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What are the different types of

jointing router cutters?

  Jointing cutters  

For ease of use, most jointing router cutters should be used in a router table. 


Dovetail router cutters

  A dovetail router cutter with an example of the shape of groove it cuts  

Dovetail router cutters have a trapezoidal shape, which resembles a dove’s tail. They are designed to produce dovetail cuts for a range of applications. They are available individually or in sets.


Please note: unlike with other cutters, the dovetail profile must be cut in one pass only, due to the cutter’s shape. 

  A dovetail joint in wood, with both parts of the joint shaped with a dovetail cutter  

Arguably the most common application for these cutters is in the production of dovetail joints.


Unlike some other types of joint-making cutter, dovetail cutters do not come in pairs. This is because a single dovetail cutter is able to cut both the pins and the tails of a dovetail joint.

  An example of a dovetail jig  

When used in conjunction with a dovetail jig, a dovetail cutter can be used to create different types of dovetail joints. 


Dovetail router cutters can also cut both parts of a dovetail housing joint, which is often used for cabinets and shelving units, where a very strong bond is needed. dovetail jointers for routers


What are the different types of dovetail joint?

  Full Dovetail joint  

Through dovetail joints

A full, through or standard dovetail joint is one where the end grain of both pieces of material is visible when the joint is fully assembled.


This is often seen as the strongest and most beautiful of all the dovetail joints.

  Half blind dovetail joint  

Half-blind dovetail joint

With this type of dovetail joint, only a section of the joint is shown. It’s sometimes called a lapped dovetail.


As a result, it is commonly used for applications such as drawers, where the front portion will be on display.

  Blind/Secret Dovetails  

Blind dovetail joints

This joint completely hides both the pins and tails, leaving a single join line. It is often used for box construction. It’s sometimes called a double lapped dovetail.


However, some woodworkers don't use this joint because it hides all the hard work that goes into creating it.


Butterfly spline router cutters 

  An butterfly spline cutter with an example of the bow-tie shaped cut it can create  

Butterfly spline cutters have a diamond-shaped body, and are designed to rout the profiles of butterfly keys, splines and inlays. 

  Dovetail slots to be linked together with splines cut by a butterfly spline cutter  

They are designed to be used in conjunction with dovetail cutters with the same angle. The width of the butterfly spline will be determined by the dovetail cutter used. 


Cutting the butterfly spline is best done on a router table, using the back fence to limit the cutting depth to produce a spline of the same width as the dovetail slots.


Drawer lock router cutters

  A drawer lock router cutter and an example of the shape it can cut into a drawer edge  

Drawer lock cutters are designed to rout both parts of drawer lock joints, which are most commonly used to connect the sides, fronts, and backs of drawers.


Finger jointing router cutters

  Examples of different types of finger jointing router cutters  

Finger jointing cuttersrout the parts for finger joints on the end or edge of boards. 


They are often called "reversible offset" cutters, as the profile cut on one side of the joint must be the reverse of the other for them to interlock.

  An example of the types of guide that can be used with finger jointing router cutters  

Some models come with a ball-bearing guide located beneath the cutting edges, which rides along the edge of the workpiece, keeping the cutter routing to a consistent depth. Others do not have a guide and so require a side fence, back fence, or another device to guide them.

jointing cutters

  Finger joints, showing the configuration of finger jointing router cutters that have been used to create them  

Comb jointing router cutters

There are two main types of finger jointing cutter, those that rout a single finger and those that rout multiple fingers, which are often referred to as comb jointing cutters. Single finger cutters are best suited to thinner materials while comb cutters are chosen for thicker materials that require more fingers to join them. 

  An example of an offset tongue and groover router cutter and shape of cut it makes  

Offset tongue and groove router cutter

Offset tongue and groovers are similar to finger cutters, but they cut a wider groove. This allows more surface area for glue, making a firmer joint.


Knuckle joint router cutters

  A knuckle joint cutter and an example of the shape it creates on a wooden edge  

These cutters are designed to rout the knuckle part of knuckle joints.


Some hand tools, including a chisel, and fret saw, will be required to complete this type of joint. 


Linenfold router cutters

  A linenfold router cutter shaping a wooden panel  

Linenfold cutter produces a characteristic mock linen fold shape that is most often used on panelling and furniture. This cutter can be used to produce a scroll effect on the end of linenfold panels by using a 4mm radius cutter with a shank mounted bearing guide, specifically, the Trend guided channel cutter with ¼” shank. Linenfold cutters include instructions and a scroll template diagram. 


Mitre corner router cutters

  Mitre corner cutters and an example of the way they shape both sides of a lapped mitre joint  

These pairs of cutters are designed to make lapped mitre joints, which are commonly used in the production of speakers and columns. 


Mitre lock router cutters

  A mitre lock router cutter and an example of the shape of joint it creates  

Mitre lock cutters are designed to rout both parts of a mitre lock joint. 

  A box constructed using mitre lock joints for increased durability  

Mitre lock joints are very strong, and ideal for producing speaker cabinets, boxes, frames, columns, and posts, or any construction that must withstand movement. 

jointing cutters


Staff bead jointers

  Staff bead jointer router cutter with an example of the profile of cut it can make  

These cutters are designed to be used in conjunction with certain staff bead cutters to produce hinge joints, which are commonly used in the construction of display stands. The CraftPro range carries one staff bead jointer and its corresponding staff bead cutter, and the Professional TCT includes an 18mm jointer and corresponding cutter and a 22mm jointer with a corresponding cutter.

  Image showing how two pieces of wood that have been cut with the staff bead jointer and beader router cutters will fit together  

The staff bead jointer cuts a semi-circular radius on the edge of material that is designed to accept the protruding curve cut by the staff bead cutter. 


Sunk bead jointers

  A sunk bead jointer router cutter and the shape it creates on a piece of wood  

This sunk bead cutter is designed to be used in conjunction with a specific hand hole staff bead cutter to make curved screens, doors, barrels, and hot tubs.

  Image showing how pieces of wood shaped with the sunk bead jointer and staff bead router cutters will fit together  

The sunk bead jointer cuts a curve on the edge of material that is designed to accept the protruding curve cut by the staff bead cutter. 

      Jointing cutters  
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