What Router Bit Do I Need for Door Hinges?

Whether you’re a licensed carpenter or someone who enjoys DIY, it’s rewarding work. However, it’s also meticulous work that demands you do things right the first time. That’s why choosing the correct router bit for each task is so important.

You need a half-inch flush trim router bit for door hinges, though straight bits work well too. The right bit needs a wide cutting diameter (½ to ¾-inch) and a ¼-inch cutting depth. However, it depends on the type of door (house vs. cabinet), the type of material, bit versatility, and longevity.

For this article, we’ll talk a little about how to select the best router bit for the job and what considerations you need to take before making your final selection. We’ll also give you three top picks for the best router bit to get the job done.

Things To Consider When Choosing the Right Router Bit

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to find the right router bit for any particular activity is not taking the time to sit down and consider what they need before heading to the store. If you take just a few moments to think critically about the job you’ll be doing, it can help ensure you pick the right tool the first time.

The Type of Bit

If you’ve been doing carpentry work for any amount of time, you already know there are hundreds of bits out there. There are multi-profile bits, straight bits, flush trim bits, rabbeting bits, and more. 

If you’re entirely new to using routers, here’s a great video that’ll show you the main options:

It’s preferable to use a flush trim router bit when working with door hinges, but many people have just as much success with straight bits. You can use both bits in almost the same manner, so try both and see which one you prefer.

Finding the Right Diameter

When it comes to door hinges, you need a router bit with a wide cutting diameter. Most people prefer to use ½-inch (1.27-cm) or ¾-inch (1.91-cm) diameter bits, although some people still use the ¼-inch (0.64-cm). I tend to stick with the ½-inch bits; they just seem to work better. They’re more durable and provide you with a smoother cut than the ¼-inch ones. Plus, I don’t have to worry as much about them breaking or bending mid-cut.

I don’t generally find that I need the added stability of the ¾-inch bit, but if you prefer working with larger bits, ¾-inch bits are also acceptable.

Finding the Right Depth

When it comes to cutting diameter, there’s a little leeway on which sizes work best. However, when it comes to cutting depth, I’m adamant about using ¼-inch (0.64-cm) depths. They’re exactly what you need to get the hinges hollowed out perfectly. 

The Type of Doors You’re Working On

If you set a cabinet door and a front house door side by side, it’s apparent that you’re working with two different things. The material is often different, and the size is almost always different. After all, when’s the last time you saw a cabinet door that could double as a house door?

The bits I’ve chosen for this list are mainly for use with house door hinges, but if you’re looking for router bits to use specifically with cabinet doors, you may need to find something a little more suited to the task. Many bits, however, can be used for both large and small doors.

Versatility of the Bit

Many people prefer to use straight bits instead of flush trim bits because straight bits are so versatile. You can do hundreds of things with a plain old straight bit, and people like to save money. 

Whenever possible, I, too, prefer to purchase bits that I can repeatedly use instead of bits that I’ll only need for a single project, so I understand the appeal of buying a straight bit.

However, flush trim bits have multiple uses, as well. You can use them interchangeably with straight bits for many projects. 

Longevity of the Bit

When it comes to buying any tool or bit, you want to purchase something that will last. Look for brands that you’ve used and trusted before and whose bits stayed sharp and didn’t break, bend, or warp after a few uses.

Kit vs. Single

The final consideration you want to make when looking for a new bit is whether you want to buy a single bit, a set of bits, or an entire kit that’s specifically linked to door hinge installation. There’s no one choice that’s better than the others. It’s more a matter of your specific needs, budget, and preferences.

However, if you’re relatively new to using your router, I’d recommend the door hinge kit. It streamlines the whole process and helps you every step of the way. It also takes any guesswork out of buying the right bit because it’s included in the kit.

The 3 Best Router Bits for Door Hinges

Here are my top three recommendations for dealing with door hinges. 

Ryobi Door Hinge Router Kit

Ryobi A99HT3 Door Hinge Installation Kit/Mortiser Template Bundled with Ryobi A99LM2 Door Latch Installation Kit for Accurate Chiseling and Scoring (1)
  • 2 ITEMS INCLUDED - Ryobi Door Hinge Installation Kit and Ryobi Door Latch Installation Kit
  • HINGE KIT - 3 INCLUDED BITS WITH BUILT IN STORAGE (carbide tip router bit, self centering hinge bit, PH2/8-10SL double ended screwdriver bit) for routers and screwdrivers, so you can get to work on renovating your home right out of the package
  • HINGE KIT - CLAMPS TO STANDARD DOORS thanks to the integrated screw in clamp that will let this tool fit standard door thicknesses

Last update on 2022-11-26 at 05:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As already mentioned, a door hinge installation kit is easily the best option for someone relatively new to carpentry, DIY projects, or working with routers. They include everything you need to install your door hinges, and they’re straightforward and easy to use. 

Of all the kits on the market today, I prefer the Ryobi Door Hinge Kit. This YouTube video by user Jon Hughes shows you exactly how to use it:

When it comes to installing the perfect door hinges every time, it doesn’t get much easier than that. Since I prefer ease and convenience over most things, this is my number one choice. Best of all, it fits all sizes of doors so that you can reuse it on all your door hinge projects. 

Yonico 14176q 3/4-Inch Diameter Flush Trim Template Router Bit 1/4-Inch Shank

I’m a big fan of the Yonico router bit collection, and it’s risen quickly in popularity over the last few years. Their bits are durable, long-lasting, and come backed by a lifetime warranty. I highly recommend any of their bits, but for door hinges, this is the one I’ve found works best. 

Yonico Router Bits Pattern Bit Flush Trim 3/4-Inch Diameter 1/4-Inch Shank 14176q
  • Flush trim templates and patterns for a wide variety of projects
  • Premium C3 micro-grain tungsten carbide blades for a sharper & longer lasting edge
  • For use on table mount and handheld router

Last update on 2022-11-26 at 05:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It has a ¾-inch (1.91-cm) cutting diameter, which is slightly larger than my preferred ½-inch (1.27-cm), but it still gets the job done. The cutting depth is the standard ¼-inch (0.64-cm) needed for door hinges, and it works well with hinge templates. It’s also compatible with any router I’ve ever used. 

Thanks to its design, you can often use it interchangeably with straight bits on other projects, which is great for saving money. 

Exqutoo 4-Pack 1/4 Inch Shank Pattern Flush Trim Router Bit Set

While these bits aren’t quite as durable as the Yonico bits, I still wanted to add them because they’re good bits that come at a great price. Over time, I’ve found that Exqutoo bits don’t stay sharp as long as some other brands, but the price for them is often significantly lower than that of other brands as well. 

Exqutoo 1/4 Inch Shank Pattern Flush Trim Router Bit Set (4 Sizes) Carbide Bits with Top Bearing 1/2" Cutting Diameter Woodworking Milling Cutter Tool Router Table Accessories Wood Trimming Tools
  • 1.[SIZE] Shank Diameter: 1/4", Cutting Diameter: 1/2";Blade length 10mm, 20mm, 25mm, 38mm.
  • 2.[MATERIAL] Premium C3 micro-grain tungsten carbide blades, solid hardened steel (45+Hardness) bodies with Anti-Kickback Design, for long-lasting performance, Silver induction brazing for maximum strength and durability, Body: Solid Hardened Steel
  • 3.[TOOLS AND FIXTURES] Fits most mortising JIGS, For both table mount and handheld ROUTER, easy for trimming, grooving, DIY project, lettering, template work.

Last update on 2022-11-26 at 05:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This four-pack has a great price, and it offers a wide range of bits with a ½-inch cutting diameter but different depths. If you plan to work on several different sized doors, this four-pack should accommodate your needs.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right bit for any project is merely a matter of assessing your needs and finding the right tool to get the job done. Flush trim bits with ½-inch cutting diameters are fairly standard bits for door hinge work.

However, if you’re uncertain about finding the best one, invest in the door hinge installation kit instead. Most importantly, if you’re new to carpentry, don’t be afraid to try different bits until you find the ones that work best for you. 

Sources

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