The 8 Best Tongue And Groove Router Bits
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in January of 2019. A set of well-made tongue and groove router bits will help you create sturdy, interlocking joints for cabinet doors, tabletops, wainscot paneling, and more. When you’re shopping around for the right kit, note that there are many factors to consider, including the material they are made from and their size. Here we rate various choices for durability, ease of use, and value. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 03, 2020:
In today’s update, we added in the Porter-Cable 43392PC, a versatile 1/2-inch shank set. It comes with the components you need for creating not only tongue-and-groove joints but also rabbets and dadoes, so it can serve as a slot cutter router bit as well. This tool proves useful for projects like T-molding installations and weather stripping. Included are three-wing slot cutters, a 1/2-inch arbor bearing, and the shims and spacers to allow you to adjust it, as needed. It’s made by a century-old tool manufacturer that’s now a subsidiary of Black & Decker. We considered adding in a 1/4-inch-shank Tacklife RB31C, but decided to leave it out due to mixed reviews, including some users who felt it cut through stock too roughly.
We kept the Freud Adjustable Set and the Whiteside 5990 in their top slots, as both of these are from established brands in woodworking tools and can be counted on for clean and precise results. The Freud set is covered in a patented coating to reduce pitch buildup, while the components of the Whiteside model are made of tough premium carbide, and their precision-ground build ensures they’ll stay balanced at high RPMs. For another model from a well-known name in the industry, check out the Bosch 84623M which, like the Porter-Cable selection, consists of just one shank; after you use the full assembly to create the tongue component of your joint, simply remove one of the cutters to forge the grooved piece. This one features a 1/2-inch shank and is made up of tempered steel. Note that it’s not intended for use with handheld routers.
No matter set which you go with, as we mentioned in our previous update, follow safe woodworking practices by wearing eye and ear protection. In addition, use push blocks when needed to keep your hands a safe distance from the bit. Also, utilize a safety guard and avoid working with small pieces of stock.
April 19, 2019:
One factor to consider when purchasing router bits is shank size. If your router only accepts bits with quarter-inch shanks, look to the practical Bosch 84623M, which only consists of a single bit that’s cleverly designed to be able to create each of the two components of your tongue and groove joint.
When possible, you might opt for a half-inch shank set, as they produce less vibration and usually deliver a smoother cut than their thinner counterparts do. For a quality pair of bits from an industry leader, consider the selections from either Whiteside or Freud, both of which made our list thanks to their durable builds and overall reliability.
For the convenience of an included carrying case, check out the Yoniko and CMT sets featured here, the former of which comes with a sturdy, latched wooden box, and the latter of which includes a bright orange, foam-lined container that’s sure to stand out on your workbench.
No matter which you ultimately choose, be sure to follow proper woodworking practices, including wearing protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear when you’re operating a router.