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Top stile and rail router bit recommendations

To those not familiar with this site, I am old Jack a professional woodworker with 30 years’ experience. I Once did a review of the best router bit set in America. I, however, feel that there is a need for a more “use” specific router bit set review: stile and rail router bit.  I am not going to introduce router bits today for that refer to my previous article here.

A router is a versatile power tool all you need is to change the bits. I have begun a 5 part series on router-bits for specific applications in part 1 I spoke about cabinet/raised panel router-bits. In this article which is part 2 I will be introducing rail and stile router-bits and then going to the market to review the top 3 rail and stile router-bits.

Firstly, I have seen a lot of confusion here in the US people will be looking for rail and “style” router-bits without much success. This is because they don’t exist. Instead, they should be looking for rail and “stile” router-bits. They’re a common type of door making router bit used to make raised panel doors – or any other type of door constructed with an outer frame and an interior “floating” panel. The confusion is easily clarified: “Stile and rail” refer to the parts of a door frame. The rails of a door – including cabinet doors, entry doors, and many other types of door or frame – are the horizontal members of the outer frame. The word “stile” – which has nothing to do with the word “style”, and comes from the Old English word “stigel”, meaning “device for climbing” – refers to the vertical members of the frame. Stile and rail router bits cut a decorative profile and panel slot into the interior edge of the door frame, and they also cut a special “mirror image” profile known as a “cope” into the ends of the rails, allowing the parts of the frame to be quickly and accurately joined together.  Now that you know what to call them. Let us get into the market and shop.

It worth noting that stile and rail router bit can either come as a pair or as 1 combined bit.

Best Stile and Rail Router Bits

Here is my list of best stile and rail router bits.

Whiteside rail and stile router bits

1. Whiteside 6006 Classical Stile &Rail Set 7/8cl 1/2SH 2FL

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Special Note: Whiteside makes 7 patterns for Stile & Rail route bits. For the sake of this review I will go in depth with one router bit set in this case the 6006 because most of the features apply to all route bits. Afterward I will give brief descriptions of the other 6 patterns.

Application: For making full size Stile and Rail joints on a router table

   Description:

If you ask any experienced woodworker you will be told that Whiteside makes the best Stile & Rail router sets.  I cannot emphasis enough how well this router bit set functions.

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch

Cutting Length 7/8”

  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Classical

Reasons for this rank

The first reason has to be that Whiteside is a brand that is proving to be a top player in tool manufacturing. The 6006 classic Stile and Rail set’ body is made from Solid Alloy Steel therefore its robust. The business end of the tool is made from carbide. Carbide makes sure that the router bit set tips, remain sharp for longer and also they maintain their geometry. Another thing that makes the Whiteside 6006 classic standout is that its well-balanced so there won’t be any wobbling or vibrations during use at high RPM. As a result, it’s the ideal set for high stakes high precision jobs like designer furniture.

Moreover, this router bit set has ball bearing guides that control the cutting depth. The ball bearings allow increase versatility allowing one to work even on rounded arched or special shaped doors. I have found this to be a very empowering feature as a craftsman. It allows me to be more creative.

I have found that this is a very user-friendly set. Initial set up is easy and straightforward. During use, the 6006 makes very crisp and clean cuts.

Lastly you can make Stile & Rail cuts for glass doors using Whiteside’s Door Construction Sets. No extra components are required. All that’s needed is to stagger the cutting edges and “stack” both groovers on the Stile bit. Use both bearings (no groover) on the Rail bit. Make your cuts just like in normal door construction. Cut the inside edges of all four pieces with the Stile bit. Trim the ends of the Rails with the Rail bit. Assemble door and insert glass pane.

Negatives.

From a work point of view, I have very little to complain about. There is only one issue. If you are in the state of California you will realize that Whiteside router bits fall under the P65 regulation. For more information refer to http://www.p65warnings.ca.gov. Let me just clarify what this means. The first thing is that one has to always wear eye and ear protection along with dust masks. Secondly re-grinding of Whiteside router bits will produce dust of potentially hazardous ingredients.

2. Whiteside 5990 Shaker Stile & Rail Set

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Applications: his set is for cabinet door construction with undersized 1/4” plywood panels (Actual panel thickness of 7/32” or 5.5 mm). 1/2” shank only

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 13/16”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Shaker

Reasons for the ranking

Like the 6006 the 5990 is a high quality Whiteside rail and stile router bit set. During use it performs very well. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cut in one pass. Ball bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives

There is a small issue with Standard 1/4″ ply which doesn’t fit in the groove it cuts. I had to sand if it down around the edges quite a bit to get it to slide in.

3. Whiteside 6001 Round Stile & Rail Set 1/2″SH, 1″CL, 1/4″

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Applications: This set is for cabinet door construction with undersized 1/4” plywood panels (Actual panel thickness of 7/32” or 5.5 mm). 1/2” shank only

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 1”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:1/4”
  • Router table
  • Style: Round

Reasons for the ranking

The 6001-bit set makes excellent clean-cut edge surfaces in a variety of hardwoods and softwood) for great door applications. In true Whiteside fashion this is value for money. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cut in one pass. Ball bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives.

The only issue is the p65 regulations that I mentioned above.

4. Whiteside 6002 Ogee Stile & Rail Set

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Applications: This set is for cabinet door construction

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 7/8”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Ogee

Reasons for the ranking

The 6003-bit set makes excellent clean-cut edge surfaces in a variety of hardwoods and softwood) for great door applications. In true Whiteside fashion this is value for money. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cut in one pass. Ball bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives.

The only issue is the p65 regulations that I mentioned above

5.  White side 6003 Bead Stile and Rail Set with 7/8-inch Cutting length

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Applications: Make full size Stile and Rail joints on your router table.

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 7/8”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Bead

Reasons for the ranking

Like the other Whiteside rail and stile router bits 6003 is a high quality router bit-set you will not regret investing in them. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cut in one pass. Ball bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives

The only issue is the p65 regulations that I mentioned above.

6.  Whiteside 6004 Straight Stile and Rail Set with 7/8-inch Cutting length

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Applications: Make full size Stile and Rail joints on your router table.

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 7/8”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Straight.

Reasons for the ranking

Like the other Whiteside rail and stile router bits 6004 is a high-quality router bit-set  you will not regret investing in them. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cut in one pass. Ball bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives

The only issue is the p65 regulations that I mentioned above.

  7.   Whiteside 6005 Traditional Stile and Rail Set with 7/8-inch Cutting length

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Applications: Make full size Stile and Rail joints on your router table.

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-5/8”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 7/8”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Reveal Width:3/8”
  • Router table
  • Style: Straight.

Reasons for the ranking

Like the other Whiteside rail and stile router bits 6005 is a high-quality router bit-set you will not regret investing in them. The interlocking design plus the raised panel groove are both cuts in one pass. Ball-bearing guides control the cutting depth and also allow use on rounded, arched, or special shaped doors. With these two-piece sets, simply switch router bits to change from cutting stiles to cutting rails. Ideal for stock from 5/8” to 7/8” thick.

Negatives

The only issue is the p65 regulations that I mentioned above.

Freud rail and stile router bits

1. Freud 1-11/16″ (Dia.) Premier Adjustable Rail & Stile Bit with 1/2″ Shank (Round Over) (99-760)

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Special Note: Freud makes 5 patterns for Stile & Rail route bits. For the sake of this review, I will go in-depth with one router bit set in this case the (99-760) because most of the features apply to all route bits. Afterward I will give brief descriptions of the other 4 patterns.

Application: For building rail and stile doors and Extra Strong long tenon joints.

   Description: Freud is a reputable global brand in the world of tools. They are a leader when it comes to good quality high-tech router-bits. The Freud (99-760) is no exception. I use it regularly in my workshop.

Specs

  • Diameter 1-11/16”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 3-3/4”
  • Material Tico Hi-density Carbide
  • Color Perma-Shield Coating
  • Router Table
  • Style Round Over

Reasons for this rank

The Freud (99-760) is a premium rail and stile router-bit set because of reasons I am going to mention below.

Firstly, Freud is a reputable brand in the US as well as Globally. During use this router bit performs very well. Moreover, I have also noticed that this particular router bit makes very smooth cuts. The cuts are so smooth that I won’t be needing to use sand paper which saves both money and time. As if that’s not enough the router bit is designed to cut into a variety of materials namely composite, plywood, softwoods, hardwoods.

Another reason why this router bit is number 1 is that Freud implemented cutting edge technology during the manufacturing process. The first one being kickback reducing design. This design contributes to a safer working environment. Another important feature is the computer balancing done by Freud to the router bit. This ensures vibration fee cuts. A bit out of balance is bound to vibrate and chatter. This is can be dangerous and can compromise the quality of work. Furthermore, to achieve top quality Freud used unique carbide formulations. This is very important because other manufactures use off the -shelf carbide which is not specifically designed for wood cutting applications. As a result, the bit will not be able to maintain proper geometry or sharp edges. However, with the (99-760)’s unique formulations one is guaranteed good performance for a reasonable time.

Moreover, Freud’s unique Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile System builds perfect doors in materials ranging from 5/8” to 1-1/4” thick. These bits also feature Freud’s patented technology for producing extra-strong long tenon joints. The system also includes adjustable shims to adjust the panel groove from 7/32” (5.5mm) for thinner plywood panels to 3/8” thick for larger solid wood raised panels.

Negatives

The reason why the Freud Rail and Stile router Bit set did not make it to number 1 is that there have been several complains about the pair not fully complementing each other by a few milli inches. As a result if one is not an experienced woodworker it would take time to realign and adjust the router bits to make a properly accurate cut. This becomes problematic given that rail and stile bits are primarily for joinery. In the event of not getting a good quality one might end up having to discard the wood.

 2. Freud® 99-761 Ogee Rail and Stile Bit Router Bit – 1-11/16″ Dia x 1-1/4″ H x 1/2″ Shank

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Applications:

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-11/16”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 3-3/4”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Router table
  • Style: Ogee

Reasons for the ranking

Freud’s unique Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile System builds perfect doors in material from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″ thick, and also features Freud’s patented technology for producing extra-strong long tenon joints. The System also includes adjustable shims to adjust the panel groove from 7/32″(5.5mm) for thinner plywood panels to 3/8″ (9.5mm) thick for larger solid wood raised panels. Offered in five different profiles to suit any project! For even more versatility, add optional cutters to produce double-sided doors, or the optional cutter for glass and screen door construction. Use in table-mounted routers to mill and hardwood or softwood.

Negatives

The only major problem is that the rail and stile bit are not adjusted to fit from the factory. Therefore, if you are a novice there can be problems with adjusting these two router bits.

3.  Freud® 99-761 Ogee Rail and Stile Bit Router Bit – 1-11/16″ Dia x 1-1/4″ H x 1/2″ Shank

 

Applications:

Specs

  • Diameter 1-11/16”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 3-3/4”
  • Material: High-Density Carbide.
  • Router table
  • Style: Ogee

Reasons for the ranking

Freud’s unique Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile System builds perfect doors in material from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″ thick, and also features Freud’s patented technology for producing extra-strong long tenon joints. The System also includes adjustable shims to adjust the panel groove from 7/32″(5.5mm) for thinner plywood panels to 3/8″ (9.5mm) thick for larger solid wood raised panels. Offered in five different profiles to suit any project! For even more versatility, add optional cutters to produce double-sided doors, or the optional cutter for glass and screen door construction. Use in table-mounted routers to mill and hardwood or softwood.

Negatives

The only major problem is that the rail and stile bit are not adjusted to fit from the factory. Therefore, if you are a novice there can be problems with adjusting these two router bits.

4. Freud 99-763 Bead Rail & Stile Router Bit Set – 1-11/16″ Dia x 1-1/4″ H x 1/2″ Shank

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Applications: Produces perfect fitting rail and stile doors from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″ stock

 

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-11/16”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 3-3/4”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Router table
  • Style: Round Over Bead

Reasons for the ranking

Freud’s unique Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile System build perfect doors in material from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″ thick, and also features Freud’s patented technology for producing extra-strong long tenon joints. The System also includes adjustable shims to adjust the panel groove from 7/32″(5.5mm) for thinner plywood panels to 3/8″ (9.5mm) thick for larger solid wood raised panels. Offered in five different profiles to suit any project! For even more versatility, add optional cutters to produce double-sided doors, or the optional cutter for glass and screen door construction. Use in table-mounted routers to mill and hardwood or softwood.

Negatives

The only major problem is that the rail and stile bit are not adjusted to fit from the factory. Therefore, if you are a novice there can be problems with adjusting these two router bits.

5. Freud 1-11/16″ (Dia.) Premier Adjustable Rail & Stile Bit with 1/2″ Shank (Bevel) (99-764)

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This Bevel shape is a very popular rail and stile bit set from Fred

Application: Produces perfect fitting rail and stile doors from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″

 

Specs

  • Diameter 1-11/16”
  • Shank size ½ inch
  • Cutting Length 3-3/4”
  • Material: carbide.
  • Router table
  • Style: Bevel

Reasons for the ranking

Freud’s unique Premier Adjustable Rail and Stile System build perfect doors in material from 5/8″ to 1-1/4″ thick, and also features Freud’s patented technology for producing extra-strong long tenon joints. The System also includes adjustable shims to adjust the panel groove from 7/32″(5.5mm) for thinner plywood panels to 3/8″ (9.5mm) thick for larger solid wood raised panels. Offered in five different profiles to suit any project! For even more versatility, add optional cutters to produce double-sided doors or the optional cutter for glass and screen door construction. Use in table-mounted routers to mill and hardwood or softwood.

Negatives

The only major problem is that the rail and stile bits are not adjusted to fit from the factory. Therefore, if you are a novice there can be problems with adjusting these two router bits.

Bosch rail and stile router bits

1. Bosch 85625MC 1-5/8 In. Ogee Stile & Rail Router Bits

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Special Note: Bosch makes 2 patterns for Stile & Rail route bits. For the sake of this review, I will go in-depth with one router bit set in this case the 85625MC because most of the features apply to all route bits. Afterwards, I will give brief descriptions of the other pattern.

Application: For building rail and stile doors and Extra Strong long tenon joints.

Description: Bosch needs no introduction. It has proven to be a leading maker of power-tools. Incorporating German precision and engineering into its designs.

o          Diameter 1-5/8”

o          Shank size ½ inch

o          Cutting Length 3

o          Material micro-grain carbide.

o          Router Table

o          Style Round Ogee

 Reasons for this rank

There are many reasons why this is a leading rail and stile router bit set. Firstly, there is so much care taken in the manufacturing process to ensure durability. For example, the Bosch 85625MC router bit set goes under Bosch-exclusive heat-treating process. This provides hardness and heat tolerance. Another feature you will find very helpful is the reinforced shanks. So as to ensure ultimate durability. To further make this a high-end rail and stile router bit set, Bosch used upgraded micro-grain carbide. This type of carbide ensures precise cuts and long bit life.

When it comes to performance during use this set stands out for several reasons. One of them is the Shear-angle design which provides faster routing, cleaner cuts and extended life. As far as precision is concerned this set is engineered to very close tolerance. One is guaranteed to make tight-fitting joints.

Negatives

The biggest reason Bosch doesn’t make it to number 1 is that the rail and stile range has limited shapes. Secondly, the price is very stiff.

2.    The second “Set” is called Bosch 85620M stile and rail router bit

However, lately, Bosch seemed to have stopped selling it as a set. Rather the individual bits are sold individually. I will, therefore, review them together.

Bosch 85621M            1-3/8 In. x 3/4 In. Carbide Tipped Beading Stile Bit

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Bosch 85622M            1-5/8 In. x 1 In. Carbide Tipped Beading Rail Bit

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Specs

Diameter 1-3/8”

o          Shank size ½ inch

o          Cutting Length 3/4

o          Material micro-grain carbide.

o          Router Table

o          Style Beading.

Reasons for this rank.

As I mentioned above this is a world-class high-quality set

Negatives

The range is limited

Parting words from Old Jack for stile and rail router bit recommendation.

I have done a review of the best rail and stile router bit sets in the market currently. We have all the highest quality router bits in this article, but if you are looking for something more affordable, I recommend Yonico router bits. I hope you have been informed about how to use a router bit and how to take care of your bits. Till we meet again as we continue with our 5 part series. Enjoy the craft.

Update: part 3 of the series can be found here: choosing router bits for cutting letters.