Router bits are the teeth of a router that single-handedly determines how smooth your cuts will be.
What kind of router bit is best for cutting Fornica? What’s a good router bit for flushing plywood laminate worktops? We will take a close look at the best options available for these tasks.
I’ve factored in the individual advantages and downsides of ½” and ¼” shank sizes as they can significantly impact the finishing of the final product.
Later in this guide, I will also answer some of the most common router bit related queries but first things first – let’s take a look at the list of 5 best router bits for laminate trimming that are well worth the money-
Detailed Reviews of the Best Router Bits for Laminate Trimming & more
In a hurry and want to skip the most important parts before finalizing your purchase? I got you. Below is a quick lowdown of best router bits you should consider buying for your laminate trimming projects-
- Best Value: SellyOak Keyhole Router Bit
“ Best T-slot router bits for the money that lets you effortlessly make flawless keyholes in your wall hangings.”
- Editor’s Choice: Freud 50-501
“You will be able to push this bit into a thick veneered plywood laminate sheet without applying too much pressure. Freud bits are everything premium router bits should be. Definitely worth the money.”
- Best Overall: Freud 1/16″ Radius Laminate Trim Bit
“Easily one of the best router bits for cabinet doors at this price. The bearings are well-made and it also reduces the need for filing the edges for a smooth finish.”
- Best for High-gloss Laminates: Amana Tool – 47147
“A perfect set of router bits for trimming thick aluminum and high-gloss plastic laminates. It doesn’t ruin your finished pieces with scratches.”
- Most Versatile Router Bits: CMT 807.004.11
“Thanks to the ½” shank, this one has the perfect size for trimming both thick and thin laminate sheets.”
1. SellyOak Keyhole Router Bit Set
- Shank size: ¼”.
- Head Length: Approx. ½”, ⅜”, and 5/16”.
- Cutter material: Carbide alloy.
- Tool Flute: Straight.
With these T-slot or keyhole router bits, you can easily cut holes into your picture frames and other wall hangings.
The carbide-tipped keyhole router bits are made of solid steel with a special anti-kickback design that helps to keep the edges sharp even after several uses. The three head lengths allow you to use these bits for a variety of projects.
The shank size of these router bits are ¼” good enough for low-intensity laminate trimming projects. For a hitch-free cutting experience, make sure to fully insert the router cutters into the case and tighten them down firmly.
Also, with a ¼”, you can’t flawlessly cut the entire piece in one pass. For smoother and cleaner edges, I’d suggest making the initial cut with a straight bit before you use these bits.
- Highly compatible with portable machines.
- Accurate size.
- The carbide tips stay sharp after repeated uses.
- Can’t make deep cuts.
2. Freud 50-501 Top & Bottom Bearing Flush Trim Bits
- Shank size: ¼”.
- Cutter material: High-density carbide with aluminum.
- Bearing diameter: ½”.
- Special feature: Multi-axis grinding.
The second entry on this list is a set of flush trim router bits with large carbide teeth. The high-density carbine offers unquestionable durability and sharpness, allowing you to cut laminate without chipping.
For the same reason, it does a terrific job at cutting templates and flushing the edges of the workpieces. Both the top and bottom bearings of the router bit are removable.
Some people have had issues tightening down the top bearing but in my experience, you can lock it securely with a little extra effort. These are large, high-quality flush trimming bits that won’t cause any major damage to your workpiece.
So if you are still learning the ropes of woodworking and not working with expensive wood pieces, you can confidently go for Freud router bits.
- Remarkably sharp and accurately sized.
- Top and bottom bearings are removable.
- Lets you cut workpieces without chipping.
- Ideal for making templates and patterns.
- Multi-axis grinding provides burn resistance.
- You may struggle to lock the top bearing properly.
3. Freud 1/16″ Radius Laminate Trim Bit
- Shank size: ¼”.
- Shank shape: Square.
- Suitable for: Laminate trimmers, table-mounted portable trimmers, and handheld trimmers.
- Cutter material: High-density carbide.
Freud router bits hardly ever disappoint and this one is no exception. Apart from laminate trimmers, the trim bits are also compatible with fixed base and handheld compact routers.
Its shank size is ¼” which is generally considered to be more versatile, providing smooth cuts on both plastic, aluminum as well as plywood laminates.
If you are specifically on the lookout for the best router bits for cabinet doors, this would be a nice option to opt for. Using this router bit will significantly reduce the need for filing the trimmed edges. You can trim a countertop or desk in a jiffy, minus any scratching, with the bits.
The smooth rounded edge of the bits helps you achieve the perfect, flawless round-over edge, something only a high-quality router bit can deliver.
- Works equally well on both Formica and hardwood laminates.
- Leaves the most perfect round edges.
- Delivers high-quality finish.
- Cuts smoothly without scratching or chipping.
- Adjusting the bit to the right height has a bit of a learning curve.
4. Amana Tool – 47147 bits with Euro Square Bearing
- Shank size: ¼”.
- Cutting head diameter: ½”.
- Bearing type: Square bearing.
- Bearing material: Non-stick Teflon.
Simple, affordable, and effective – the next router bit on my list checks all the right boxes. The carbide-tipped ¼” router bits have a slight tapering to aid smooth cutting and ensure a nearly file-free edge. You can cut metal laminates with it with ease.
To prevent the bits from wearing out too soon, I’d advise you to make the initial cut with a trimming router and save this one for the finishing. The square Teflon bearing on these bits is way better than what you’d find on standard router bits.
So no need to worry about glue build-up hindering the router or unsightly marks on finished workpieces. To be able to make the cut quickly and avoid burning the laminate, make sure you properly adjust the height while making a test cut.
- Does not burn the laminate.
- Leaves you with practically file-free edges.
- Comes with a long-lasting bearing.
- Ideal for high-gloss laminates.
- Can shoot up hot shavings in your face while making the first pass.
5. CMT 807.004.11 File-Free Flush Trim Bit
- Cutter material: Carbide.
- Shank size: ½”.
- Filing required: No.
- Cutting length: ⅜”.
Featuring two carbide cutting tips, the flush trim bits can help you attain smooth edges and stunning finish on your laminates after flush trimming. If you don’t want the trouble of filing the edges for hours, these bits will be worth your while.
It’s made durably and the cutters are adequately sharp and perfectly sharp. Moreover, due to the ¼” shank size, these are perfectly suitable for trimming plywood laminates.
- Completely eliminates the need for filing.
- Ideal for use in cabinet shops.
- Has two carbide cutting tips for better efficiency.
- Suitable for hardwood laminates.
- A bit expensive.
6. WSOOX 3 PCS Router Bit Set
Arguably the best router bit set you can find at this price, these bits come in both ½” and ¼” shank sizes to cater to all kinds of wood cutting needs. Kitted out with high-quality carbide cutters, the router bits don’t leave burn or scratch marks on Fornica.
The cutters are admittedly sharp and make a smooth and clean initial cut. If carpentry is your hobby and you are looking for a cheap set of routers for cutting worktop edges and similar DIY tasks, the WSOOX routers would make a good option.
- Very affordable for a set of 3 router bits.
- Accurate size and excellent sharpness.
- Best suited for beginner DIY-ers.
- The 1/2 “ shank version causes minimal vibration.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty applications.
How to Trim a Laminate Countertop with a Router (without Chipping)
Flush trimming the edges is the final and most challenging step of creating a laminate countertop. Although wood files are traditionally used for flush trimming the workpiece edges, using a router bit will make your job much easier.
Flush trim bits are specifically designed for creating clean, smooth to the touch surfaces.
If you are a beginner and not sure how to use a router for laminate trimming, use the following steps as a reference:
- Clean up all the debris from the countertop with a whiskbroom.
- Choose the right router bit for the job, preferably a beveled bit to minimize the risk of edge chipping.
- Insert the flush trim router bit into your router and adjust the cutting depth using the bit’s guide bearing. Keep the bearing about 1/16” below the bottom edge of the workpiece.
- Turn on the router and put the router base flat against the workpiece surface. Hold your router level, firmly against the laminate and trim the entire edge while maintaining a steady feeding speed.
- Don’t pause while cutting or else, the edges will be inevitably jagged. That’s why it’s important to do a test cut first.
Frequently Asked Questions
A flush trimming bit would be a good choice for trimming the edges of a Formica.
Definitely. Get a good-quality flush trimming bit to go with the router and you can achieve smooth to the touch, file-free edges without breaking a single sweat.
A laminate trimmer is basically a compact router with just a few differences. The main difference is the size. Trimmers can’t fit a large router and therefore, can only perform light routing tasks.
Also, unlike a router, laminate trimmers feature a guide bearing to keep the bearing from leaving scratch marks on the finished edges.
I hope this guide helps you find the right router bit for your varied laminate trimming projects. Even though the differences appear minor on the surface, not all router bits will give you the same cutting performance and finish. So take your time to consider what kind of projects you’ll be dealing with and make your decision accordingly. Good luck.