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Tip #173
All about Router Bits - Part 2
Piloted vs. Un-Piloted Bits

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When purchasing router bits, you have the option of selecting either piloted or un-piloted bits.

Piloted Router Bits are used when cutting a decorative profile on the edge of a straight or curved workpiece where the entire edge of the stock is not to be removed.

When selecting piloted bits, you have a choice of bits with a solid pilot...or a bearing pilot. Although solid pilot bits are less costly, they can easily create friction which results in unsightly burn marks when making the cut.

Bearing pilot bits are more expensive, but provide the advantage of smoother running operation and no burning of the workpiece edge.

Un-Piloted Router Bits offer no edge guides and have flutes that will cut all the way to their tips. They are therefore designed for use on projects where the entire edge of the workpiece is to be removed - or a decorative cut is to be made somewhere within the perimeter of the stock (usually on its surface).

As a result, un-piloted bits are most commonly guided during use by a fixture, guide pin or a fence...although many practiced craftsmen create incredible designs free-hand.

Don't miss Part 3: Router Bit Materials

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