Routers offer so much versatility due to the wide selection of router cutters available. But with so many to choose from where do you start? Explore nine 1/4″ router cutters for better woodworking by reading our short, helpful guide.
Let’s see the selection
Explore a selection of nine ¼” router cutters to expand your woodworking collection.
Noted for their high tensile strength and alluring aesthetics, dovetail joints are also one of the earliest forms of joinery. Examples were discovered on furniture found within the tombs of the kings of ancient Egypt. So if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good to be able to make these joints! What’s more, routing makes it considerably easier than cutting by hand.
If you need to hang anything on the wall then the keyhole cutter is a simple and secure way to attach objects flush to a wall. The larger sideways head makes a plunge cut and the blade below the head allows you to make a sideways cut to form the keyhole slot. Remember before making the cut, find the centre of the piece you’re about to hang. This will ensure it’s well balanced, so that the object hangs straight after the cut has been made.
Ovolo / Roundover Cutter
The ovolo moulding is widely used in many joinery and furniture applications and these are among our most popular moulding cutters. The roundover cutter is used in many furniture applications to soften and smooth the look of a sharp edge. Use it for smoothing table tops, chair arms, decorative mouldings or skirting boards. These bits are supplied with two bearings to switch between ovolo and roundover use.
When routing the end of a plank, the end grain is prone to splintering. A tip to prevent this is to rout the end first which will compact the fibres and then continue along the length of the board.
On exposed edges the chamfer cutter creates a great looking symmetrical sloping edge. This helps to change the look of chair seats, picture frames, shelves and countertops.
Panel Mould Cutter
Add some life into plain cabinet doors or drawers with a decorative relief on the surface. As the cutting edge extends to the tip you can make plunge cuts directly into the surface without necessarily having to start from the edge.
If you’re looking to add personalised touches to your work, a milling cutter is the ideal choice. With exceptional performance, surface finish and high accuracy, it’s the perfect bit for sign making or any kind of recessed work.
Round Nose Cutter
Round nose router bits are used for routing grooves that have round bottoms or sides, depending on the depth of cut. Fluting dates back many centuries and can be seen in Georgian architecture where posts and columns were given decorative flutes- simple but very elegant. Ideal for veining, engraving, decorative flutes, fluted millwork and sign making, this cutter could be used for coves on picture frames, wooden draining boards or defining panelled areas on sheet materials.
Nothing makes a house a home more than your own personalised touches. Imagine walking up to your home each day to see your own bespoke house sign. These cutters are great for making your own signs and if you need some tips follow our guide on How To Make a House Sign. You could customise your sign further by using a panel mould cutter for added decoration.
Straight Flute Cutter
Straight flute cutters are some of the most common cutters and arguably the ones that will get the most use. They’re so popular due to the simple design that can be used for a variety of tasks in the workshop. Producing grooves with a flat base, template work, joint making or any material that has been roughly cut to size, a straight cutter will neatly trim the edge. Single flutes are best used for jobs in softer material where a smaller size is needed such as routing inlays. Opt for a twin flute for harder material and for creating rabbets and dadoes.
Router Bit Set
If you’re ready to embrace routing, router bit sets are an easy way to get a collection of bits at a great price. This set of 12 1/4″ router cutter bits contains a selection of the bits mentioned above plus a few more. This means that as your skills and expertise grow, there are new router cutters to try.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not take a look at some of our other articles. If you want to get the most from your router cutters, regular router bit care and maintenance is essential. In our router bit care article, we explore some of the processes you should undertake to help ensure your router cutters always perform at their best. Alternatively, why not check out our article Nine 1/2″ router cutters to add to your collection; ideal if you own a 1/2″ router.
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