Best Router Bit for Cutting Letters

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When done right, cutting wood can turn a dull wooden blank into an impressive piece of art. But that’s only if you have the right tools for the job.

If your next project includes cutting a lot of letters, your router won’t be enough for it. You’ll need a pack of router bits to help you tackle intricate details and draw graceful curves without a hitch.

Here’s a buying guide to help you choose the best router bits for cutting letters.

Router Bits for Cutting Letters

Your set of router bits should include various bits for all kinds of applications. It should also be appropriately priced and well-stored to stay in service for the longest time possible. With these considerations in mind, I compiled the best five options on the market.

Brand
Best overall
Hiltex
Best for the Money
CMT
Best Budget
KOWOOD
Product
Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits |...
CMT 800.505.11 13-Piece Router Bit Set, 1/2-Inch...
KOWOOD Router Bits Set of 15 Pieces 1/4 Inch...
Material
Carbide, Alloy Steel
Carbide
Alloy blade
Color
Blue
‎Orange Grey Metal
Yellow
Price
-
-
-
Best overall
Brand
Hiltex
Product
Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits |...
Material
Carbide, Alloy Steel
Color
Blue
Price
-
Best for the Money
Brand
CMT
Product
CMT 800.505.11 13-Piece Router Bit Set, 1/2-Inch...
Material
Carbide
Color
‎Orange Grey Metal
Price
-
Best Budget
Brand
KOWOOD
Product
KOWOOD Router Bits Set of 15 Pieces 1/4 Inch...
Material
Alloy blade
Color
Yellow
Price
-

Best Router Bit for Cutting Letters: CMT 800.505.11 13-Piece Router Bit Set

CMT 800.505.11 13-Piece Router Bit Set, 1/2-Inch...

If you’re willing to pay more than average for a router bit set, the CMT 800.5.5.11 is the router bit for you. It’s a bit costly compared to the rest of this list, but that’s only because it offers unrivaled quality and high functionality.

The set is fully equipped with 13 bits for different functions. It includes three double flute straight bits, along with a dovetail- round over, chamfer, roman gee, cove, etc. They come enclosed in a hardwood case that offers easy storage and full protection for the bits.

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The bits are made of solid carbide and steel. Their blades are made of high-density industrial chrome carbide. As for the bodies, they’re made of steel and coated by non-stick Orange Shield for protection and long-lasting performance.

Not only that, but the bits also have a sleek mirror finish, thanks to the multi-axis grinding. They go through tri-metal brazing too, accounting for higher endurance.

You’ll have to inflict a lot of abuse before you can see the tiniest scratch on one of the bits. They’re highly durable and sturdy, which makes you feel a bit better about paying the high price for them.

Aside from the material, the bits are brilliantly designed to resist kickback. That way, you can control the depth of your cut and make precise, clean cuts easily.

Pros

  • The bits are well-balanced for smoother cuts
  • Ideal for professional woodworkers and large projects
  • Suitable for cutting most wood types

Cons

  • On the expensive side of the market
CMT 800.505.11 13-Piece Router Bit Set, 1/2-Inch...
  • Set Includes straight,rabbeting, profile, chamfer, dovertail bits and more types
  • 2 SinterHip Hi-Density Industrial Chrome Carbide cutting edges for long-lasting performance
  • Some bits features antikickback design for working in a safe way
  • Some bits are equipped with a bearing for easy template work

Most Durable Router Bit for Letter Cutting: Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits

Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits |...

The Hiltex 10100 is a set any woodworker would want to see in their toolbox. It comprises 15 bits manufactured with durability in mind. They’re made of hardened alloy steel and finished with powder coating for extra protection. On top of that, their blades are made of YG8 tungsten carbide to ensure sturdiness.

No matter which wood type you’re working on, the blades will cut cleanly and neatly. They’re designed to be easy to use, even for beginners and amateurs.

Plus, they’re highly resistant to heat, thanks to the hard metal material. You can use them for any application on your mind, such as decoration pieces. In fact, you can also use them with any router model you have, thanks to their universal ¼-inch shank.

You’ll find all the bits you can think of in the Hiltex case. It includes a roman gee, a chamfer, a corner round, a cove box bit, etc.

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All the bits come fully equipped with enclosed bearing rollers. You may think they’re unnecessary, but they account for ultra-smooth operation and easy alignment. Again, that makes the bit ideal for beginners.

If you tend to worry about storage, you’ll want to thank Hiltex for the case these bits come in. It’s blow-molded and slotted to fit the bits perfectly. It’s also compact enough to fit on any shelf.

Pros

  • Carbide blades for clean cuts on any type of wood
  • Sturdy case included for hassle-free storage
  • Highly versatile for most letter projects
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Some users reported the bits get broken after repeated use on MDF
  • Not suitable for large projects
Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide Router Bits |...
  • [CLEAN CUTTING]: These router bits are tipped with precisely machined YG8 tungsten carbide blades to...
  • [DURABLE]: Hardened solid alloy steel construction with a powder coating finish for durability and...
  • [COMPATIBLE]: Each router bit has a 1/4-inch universal shank which fits all models of routers, with...
  • [VERSATILE]: This router bit set comes with 15 pieces, perfect for edging, trimming, veining and...

Most Versatile Letter Cutting Router Bit: Whiteside Router Bits 401 Basic

Whiteside Router Bits 401 Basic Router Bit with...

If you want to own a set of bits that you can use for absolutely any project and on any type of wood, you’ll want to take a look at this Whiteside set. It’s called 401 Basic because it includes all the basic essentials you need for intricate woodcutting, and it’s suitable for both professionals and amateurs.

The bits are made of Premium Carbide, which is a heavy-duty material that’s both durable and sturdy. In addition to that, they’re designed to be well-balanced to ensure even weight distribution while carving letters on high RPM. The bits are suitable for use on both abrasive and soft wood types.

Unlike most similar sets, the Whiteside 401 Basic includes bits of different sizes. That includes a ⅜-inch cove bit, a ½-inch straight double flute bit, a ⅜-inch round-over bit, and a ¼-inch straight bit. They come in a sturdy storage case that’s both lightweight and durable.

For the quality it provides, the Whiteside set has a moderate, reasonable price. It offers excellent value for money, and it’s the closest thing to luxurious sets like the CMT one.

You can use the bits on a CNC machine if you’d like, but you’ll have to remove the bearing first.

Pros

  • Ideal for complicated and heavy-duty products
  • Suitable for all different types of woods
  • Well-made and durable bits with sharp blades

Cons

  • There’s no size labeling in the storage case
Whiteside Router Bits 401 Basic Router Bit with...
  • Whiteside Router Bits are made with Premium Carbide
  • Precision ground for proper balance at high RPM
  • Industrial Quality

Best Budget Router Bit for Cutting Letters: KOWOOD Router Bits Set of 15 Pieces

KOWOOD Router Bits Set of 15 Pieces 1/4 Inch...

If you’re on a tight budget, we doubt you’ll find a better set than the Kowood. It has 15 router bits that are suitable for both beginner and professional applications. The wide variety of available cuts make the set an ideal option for professionals.

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It’s also a good option for most materials except metal. You can use the bits for cutting particle board, plywood, MDF, and similar wood types. However, they act poorly when cutting iron, steel, and similar metals.

The router bits are made to withstand the test of time, with their blades made of hard alloy metal. They also have an anti-kickback design that minimizes the chance of injuring yourself while working or installing them.

The bits have a shank size of ¼ inches, accounting for more precise cuts. The small size also means less vibration and better stability while using your router.

The bits come in a wooden case that’s sturdy and protective to keep them away from outside elements. You can also carry it effortlessly, thanks to its compact size and lightweight. That way, you can take it with you anywhere for remote jobs.

The only major downside to this set is the fact that the blades go dull sooner than they should. However, for the low price, you’d expect some setbacks, so it shouldn’t be a major issue.

Pros

  • The price is suitable for users on a tight budget
  • The set is highly versatile
  • Suitable for both beginners and professionals
  • Protective wooden case included with slots for organizing

Cons

  • Some users mentioned the blades go dull sooner than they should

Pair this budget set of router bits up with the best router under $100.

KOWOOD Router Bits Set of 15 Pieces 1/4 Inch...
  • ▲ DURABLE STEEL BODY - Boasting alloy blade, balanced craftsmanship and a solid hardened steel...
  • ▲ USE OF SAFE - The 1/4 inch shank bits provide greater stability and less vibration during use
  • ▲ WIDELY APPLICATIONS - These tongue and groove router bit set is truly versatile for your extra...
  • ▲ EASY TO STORE AND CARRY - The included wooden case is sturdy and makes storing the high-quality...

Best Beginner Letter Cutting Router Bit: FivePears Tungsten Carbide Router Bits

FivePears Tungsten Carbide Router Bits - 12 Piece...

The FivePears set of router bits is among the best options for beginners. It comes with two different shank sizes, so you can try your luck until you find the one suitable for your project. Typically, beginners mostly like to try until they get the hang of woodworking.

The FivePears set of router bits, covering all the basic essentials you may need for DIY and professional, intricate projects. The bits are available in ¼-inch and ½-inch shank sizes, so you can choose the best one for your letter-cutting project.

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½ inch shank sizes are good for dissipating the heat from cutting wood, and they offer extra stability, which you’ll need if you’re a beginner. On the other hand, ¼ inch ones are more affordable, and some would say they’re easier to use.

The router bits are made of C3 hard tungsten steel, and their bodies are made of carbon steel. Both materials are highly durable and ensure you keep using the bits for a long time without seeing signs of rust or brittleness.

On top of that, the bits feature enclosed bearing rollers, accounting for more stability and easier alignment while carving out intricate letters or details.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Excellent for hobbyists and beginners
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Some users reported that the paint chips easily
FivePears Tungsten Carbide Router Bits - 12 Piece...
  • ★ HIGH QUALITY : the router bit set (1/2" shank) is constructed with C3 hard tungsten steel and...
  • ★ MULTI-FUNCTIONAL BIT SET : 12pcs/set (1/2" shank) included,different cutter types, work out a...
  • ★ EASY TO STORE : included wooden case,sturdy and makes storing the high-quality router bits...
  • ★ WIDELY APPLICATION : suit for chipboard, MDF board, hardwood,softwood etc., and mainly used in...

Features for Router Bits for Cutting Letters

Router bits are used for detailed woodworking and cutting letters. That means you need to closely consider their features if you want the end result to look like what you have in mind. Here are the most essential things to consider before buying.

Materials You’ll Cut

One of the first things to consider when buying router bits is the materials you’ll be cutting. If you’re cutting letters on plywood, hardwood, softwood, or plastic, you’ll be better off with tungsten carbide blades.

Router bit blades are mostly either tungsten carbide or steel. The steel will become dull after only a couple of uses, and you’ll have to replace it. So it’s better to choose carbide from the start, but bear in mind that it costs more than its counterpart.

Porter cable fixed router

Shank Size

There are two shank sizes available for all router bits on the market: ½-inch and ¼-inch. If you have a small, compact router and you don’t work on large projects frequently, you can go for the ¼-inch shank bits.

On the other hand, ½-inch shanks are more versatile, and they offer more stability for the router. If you’re a beginner, they’ll help you get a better grip, and they account for less deflection than ¼-inch shanks.

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Choosing the shank size should also depend on whether you’re going for router tables or freehand routing.

If you’re freehand routing on the wood, the smaller the shank size, the better.

Bear in mind that some router bits list the shank size in metrics, so make sure to recheck this when buying.

Blade Material

Router bits either have high-speed steel teeth or carbide blades.

  • High-speed steel (HSS) is ideal if you don’t want to frequently resharpen the teeth.
  • As for carbide, it’s one of the sturdiest, most durable materials. It also stays sharp for longer, but all of those benefits come at a price.

Carbide costs more than high-speed steel, so HSS is the more suitable option for beginners and users on a tight budget.

Compatibility

If you’re buying router bits individually or in a set, you need to make sure they’re compatible with your router model. Most bits are universally compatible, but it’d be wise to make sure before buying.

Bosch compact router

You’ll also want to make sure they’re compatible with the project you have in mind. For example, if you’re a beginner, you need at least some straight bits, some round-overs, a chamfer, a roman ogee, and a rabbeting bit.

Those should be enough for small projects and beginner applications. If you’re working on something more intricate or professional, you’re better off buying a complete set to ensure it has everything you need.

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Anti-Kickback Design

For cutting letters, an anti-kickback design can make a world of difference. When your bits are anti-kickback, they don’t overfeed your workpiece. As a result, you get a lower chance of kickbacks and a lower risk of injuring yourself while working.

Cutting letters is an intricate job, so such a feature is essential, especially if you’re new to woodworking or not getting the hang of it yet.

Flute

The router bit’s flute can make all the difference when it comes to the speed and precision of the cut. Single-flute router bits are ideal for wood, but they may need some cleaning after you’re done because they don’t offer great finishes.

Two-flute bits result in excellent finishes, but they’re a bit slower than single-flute ones because they don’t leave a mess behind them.

Budget

If you’re working on an intricate project, you have no choice but to get a well-equipped set that has everything you need. Even if it’s expensive, it’s your only way to finish the project.

On the other hand, if you only work on DIY projects, you may put a tight budget for the router bits. If you get a set that costs $20–$40, you’ll probably end up with brittle bits. However, that’ll be okay for DIY projects and small applications.

The brittle bits won’t bother you, and they’ll be enough for your work. Plus, they’ll be more affordable than high-quality bits, so they’ll allow you to limit your budget.

Find the right router for beginners in our review.

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The Final Verdict

Our best overall router bit set for cutting letters is the Hiltex 10100 Tungsten Carbide. It includes 15 different bits for every application you have in mind, and they’re well-made to stand the test of time.

All woodworkers should have a set like the Hiltex in their toolbox. It’s versatile, durable, and most importantly, highly affordable compared to competitors.

If you want to take your skills up a notch, you can go for the CMT 800.5.5.11. It costs a lot, but that’s because it’s made for professionals.

Allen runs a popular home website, and understands what it takes to educate audiences through online content. Through his focus at home, Allen developed an insatiable appetite for home improvement projects that he could do for cheap on weekends. Over the years, he has gained valuable experience, which he shares in detail in articles like How to Build A DIY Dining Room Table. His ability to clearly share these DIY ideas is a huge asset, and he is a valuable resource to the home improvement community.