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Router bits-metric sizes

Do I need metric size bits for metric cutting?

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Danny Cooley13/12/2012 07:12:50
4 forum posts

Hello it new to all this so excuse the perhaps obvious question.

Have recently got a Dewalt 625 router and a Tend 1/2' starter set of bits.

I'm a 'metric person' so all the furniture I'm designing will use metric dims, including the rebates, grooves, chamfers, and the like.

I gather there are metric router bits available, but most of them still seem to be imperial.

From what I've read, it should be possible to make the cuts to metric sizes by using bushes and guides/jigs and the like (plus the depth gauge is metric). Plus sometimes the exact width/size of thé cut/groove doesn't matter so much as long as the corresponding edge/lip/tenon ect is made to match (does that make sense?)

To recap then, do I need to get a metric set of cuts if I want to work in metric? Or am I going to make things complicated for myself? Should I stick with the I perial sets and use various tricks/techniques to get metric size cuts?

For the record, I've been working as a designer/architect/building technologist for a good few years, so have an understanding of the principals, but don't really use the tools so to speak



Oddjob13/12/2012 11:30:57
1635 forum posts
79 photos

I presume that by "bits" you are referring to router cutters?

You seem to have got the principles ok so working in imperial shouldn't be a problem unless you have to match your cuts to parts/materials that are made to metric measurements. Then you should use metric cutters to match.

Metric cutters are readily available in all of the shapes/designs that are available in imperial. All of the major stockists have them.


Doug13/12/2012 12:30:37
3415 forum posts
35 photos

Hi Danny,

Usually when you buy a set of cutters the 1/2 inch refers to the shank size.

It is possible to get metric sized cutters on imperial shanks, in fact this is quite common.

As to making a metric sized cut with an imperial sized cutter, most cuts are dependent on the settings made to the router,eg depth width etc, so finished size doesn`t always relate to the size of the cutter.

That said, a slot cut with a 1/4" cutter will only give a 1/4" slot, but a second pass with the router moved over a tad can give a 7, 8 or 9mm slot etc.

The most important thing is to make sure the collet in your router is the correct size for the shank size of your cutters eg 1/2" collet for 1/2" shank, 12mm collet for 12mm shank.


Big Al13/12/2012 19:14:43
1604 forum posts
73 photos

It shouldn't matter whether you work in metric or imperial. Most metric size's are based on imperial measurements anyway.


Danny Cooley14/12/2012 17:25:37
4 forum posts


'I presume that by "bits" you are referring to router cutters?'

Errrrr, ....... Yes (am still a bit new to this!)

Cheers for tthat will stick with the imperial sizes for now then and mabe get the occasional metric cutter if I find I really need it (hopefully not)

Anyway, thanks for that. Now I can get on with things a bit.



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