The 10 Best Router Bit Sets
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in October of 2017. Most woodworkers understand how much a reliable router bit can add to a carpentry project, and owning a top-quality set with a range of useful pieces can make a huge difference in your finished products. One of these comprehensive sets can introduce you to new kinds of cuts you might otherwise have neglected. We considered sharpness, materials, and the variety of included profiles and diameters. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
October 08, 2020:
Removed the Yonico Multi-Profile because of availability issues. Added the MLCS 8383.
Freud bits aren't cheap but they are the gold-standard for router bits. Once you start working with nice hardwoods, you start having to worry about the economy bits dulling quickly, leaving a rough finish, and burning the wood. Sharpening bits isn't very difficult but the frequency with which you have to stop to sharpen them can be irritating and time consuming. No set of bits will ever be complete given the nature of woodworking - you'll encounter a board size that requires a bit size and profile that you don't have. However, the Freud 91-100 Super comes with some of the standard edging and joining bits.
Choosing the right bits to buy when you're starting out can be overwhelming so a set like the MLCS 8383 is quite appealing. MLCS does produce solid bits that won't dull too quickly and it includes all of the bits you need when you just want to start profiling your edges, cutting dovetails, and flushing edges. Remember to wipe your bits clean before each use to clear out any dust and resin that may interfere with the cutting process. Also make sure you learn about how to properly use a router to minimize the chance of kickback and injury.
June 18, 2019:
At the top of our list is the Freud 91-100, which is available from an industry leader known for its quality woodworking pieces and lifetime warranties. The 13 bits come in a unique shadow box case that can either be hung on your workshop wall or mounted on the bench. These versatile tools are great for use with composition materials, plywoods, hardwoods, and softwoods. They can be used with either hand-held or table-mounted routers. Freud operates six manufacturing facilities in Western Europe and oversees the entire process from start to finish. These cutters are made with 1/2-inch shanks, which many woodworkers prefer, since they tend to produce less vibration and a smoother finished product than their thinner, 1/4-inch counterparts do.
Added to the selection in this update is the Skil 91030, which features 30 pieces made with commonly used profiles, so you’ll be well equipped to form precise straight and curved edges, as well as those that join two workpieces together. The carbide-tipped bits provide high performance and speed. Leaving the list is the ABN Tungsten Carbide, due to concerns with availability.
No matter which you ultimately choose, be sure to follow safe woodworking practices when operating a router, including wearing a dust mask and eye and ear protection. Keep your hands, clothes, and hair away from the blades, and turn off the machine’s power when you’re making adjustments to it. Keep it unplugged when it’s not in use.
October 19, 2018:
Removed a couple slightly overpriced items nearly identical to others on the list. Added entry-level and mid-range Stalwart products for home craftsmen, clarified the CMT's professional quality and also cost.