February 26, 2022
Wood engraving is a popular wood decorating technique. When done right, even the simplest signs and letters grab your eye!
If you’re looking to start on wood engraving, letter-making, and sign-making, then you need the best router bits. Just like any other hobby, you benefit from the best results when you use high-quality products. It’s crucial that you start off on the right foot – even if you’re a beginner to the project.
Today, this article will cover the best router bits you can get. Instead of using your hands, you’ll find router bits to be much more efficient. We’ll cover all their functionalities, too.
After, you can choose the best router bit for your needs and apply them to sign-making. You can even use multiple router bits if needed! After this project, you can apply it to your home, give wooden signs away for gifts, or even start your own custom wooden sign business. Let’s begin below!
Recommended Router Bits for Sign Making & Letter Making
Last update on 2023-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Amana Tool – AMS
Do you need a starter set? Amana has a versatile toolkit for various crafting jobs. Arm yourself with Amana, and you’re good to go!
You can choose from three different bit angles: 30 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees. Each angle has its purpose, so you can choose to get all three to give yourself an edge.
Each router bit is carbide-tipped. You can use an edge guide and handheld or table-mounted routers. Though it’s designed for wood, plywood, laminates, plastic, acrylic, and sign foams, you can use it for other materials, too.
2) Whiteside SC50
For a smooth, quality finish, use Whiteside SC50 router bit! With a 1/4 shank cut bit, it gives you a thin outline cut for letters and engravings. The carving liner is at 11 degrees!
It’s pretty lightweight at 0.8 ounces. You can use it for your carving projects with the help of routers, and it’s compatible with all types of routers on the market. It’s excellent for more minor, more detailed work, so if you already have a kit at hand, this is a good addition. The fine carbide tip will do all the work!
3) Rockler 3-Pc Signmaking Router Bit Set
You may be familiar with Rockler if you’ve been in the sign-making community long enough. It’s been around since the 1950s, and you can find more woodworking products at their site!
This three-piece Rockler set come with the following:
● 1/2-inch carbide tipped bit at sixty degrees
● 3/8-inch high core box bit
● 1/2-inch ninety-degree V-Groove bit
If you want something long-lasting, Rockler is your best bet. It has balanced precision that leaves you with a smooth finish. The carbide tips are at K-10 and K-20 grade, with two flutes and a 1/4 shank size.
4) KOWOOD Router Bits Set
Do you need a more extensive, versatile router bit set? If you’ve been dabbling in sign and letter-making and consider yourself more experienced, it’s time to expand. Get KOWOOD’S 15-piece set!
Professionals will love this set for its wide range of available cuts. It’s great for all kinds of wood, but we advise against using it with metals.
The 1/4 shank allows for more precision as you cut. With KOWOOD, you don’t have to worry about durability, either. The alloy blade withstands use for a long time, with an added anti-kickback sign.
There are numerous bits in one kit, so it’s normal if you feel anxious about losing them. However, KOWOOD’s design makes sure you won’t lose a single bit. Each one has bright yellow paint for you to easily spot anywhere.
Put them all in the included wooden case. That way, you can store and transport all the bits with ease!
5) FivePears Tungsten Carbide Router Bits
Are fifteen bits too overwhelming? You can start off with twelve router bits instead! That way, you know you’re covering all necessities for woodworking without overextending yourself.
Make creative dreams a reality with two shank size options: 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch. You can adjust which one to use for your router’s settings and the one you’re most comfortable with during work.
Both shank sizes help maintain stability. They’re both convenient for use, but you can experiment with projects to see which is the best for you.
Stability and versatility aren’t FivePears’ only stand-out features. You’re also sure they’ll last for a long time! The bits are made of tungsten and carbon steel, and you get a sturdy case to organize them anytime, anywhere.
Use these bits for edges, trims, grooves, and veins. Have fun!
The Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Router Bits
What Was The Material Used?
Of course, you can’t just arbitrarily choose a router bit. You want to make sure that the router bit material aids in your woodworking. These materials should last in the long run, too.
Carbide is a popular option among many woodworkers. Solid carbide is tough, so it can withstand heavy-duty work and damage. If you frequently work with hardwood, solid carbide is ideal. It gets you through the project quickly!
There is a drawback to solid carbide: the lack of precision. It’s not very sharp for carving.
Do you need sharper, more accurate tips? Carbide-tipped router bits are one of the sharpest bits you can use to carve wood. The precision is excellent, so you engrave all kinds of material without any worry. They can withstand heavy use and high speeds.
One drawback: it’s a lot more expensive compared to other products!
Is budget your main priority? You can opt for steel router bits instead. However, despite its cheapness, it comes at a price. You’re going to sacrifice the precision and durability you can get from solid carbide and carbide tips.
If you’re out of options, however, steel is still good. It’ll get the job done! If you want better results, work with softwood. It makes engraving, lettering, and sign-making easier.
How’s the Router Compatibility?
You have to make sure your router bits match several things. First, it has to be compatible with your project and experience level. You can opt for a diverse range of router bits if you do engraving as a profession.
Go for different bits for the best applications. There are round-over, straight, rabbeting, ogee, and chamfer bits. You can buy these router bits individually or as a kit.
Aside from the primary type of bit, you also need to look into the finer details. Look at the cutting edges, flute angles, and shank sizes. The little details matter! It can affect your project on a larger scale than you may realize.
We recommend going for dual cutting edge router bits for smoother cuts. Flutes should have angles to slice through wood fibers better.
What’s the Shank Size Like?
You only have two shank size options: 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch shanks. Though 1/4 shanks are more common, 1/2 inch shanks are preferable. More mass in your shank equals more stability and grip. As a result, you have less deflection.
If you’re not sure which shank size to choose from, you can go for a product that has both. For example, the FivePears set has both 1/2 and 1/4 shank sizes!
However, it’s not advisable to use the 1/2 shank if you have a smaller router device. If you want to keep woodworking and carving within budget, a 1/4 inch shank is the better choice, too.
Is It Easy To Use?
You want to enjoy wood carving without worrying about injury. An anti-kickback design is a great feature to look for! This way, you don’t overfeed the workpiece and have to deal with accidents.
A dust shield is practical, too. Dirt and debris can make a clean bearing run more smoothly.
Aside from the anti-kickback design, you can look for more brittle router bits. If you plan to use these router bits for DIY projects – and only occasionally – then brittle bits are fine! They’re not going to be for frequent use, so you don’t have to worry about damage. They’re also much cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about frequent replacements.
However, it isn’t advisable to get brittle bits if you need high durability. If you want something long-lasting, go for carbide-tipped or solid carbide router bits. No matter how high the speed or heat is, it’ll withstand it! Your workload will seem light with these tips.
Choosing the best router bits may be confusing, but it’s an easy task. There’s a wide range of kits that offer numerous router bits with their own features and details.
Before you go ahead, make sure you’ve defined your projects and the pace you’re going to do it in. Make sure the routers you get are compatible with your projects and preferred usage!
We can’t wait to see your letter-making and sign-making projects. We hope you get the best router bits with this article!
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.