1/2 lock miter router bit

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Review by Edward83 posted 10-19-2010 09:21 PM 8533 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
1/2 lock miter router bit No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I saw this while looking through the router bits at Lowes. I never heard of of a lock miter router bit and feeling adventurous I decided to drop the thirty dollars for it in hopes of upping my abilities to build a better quality box.
I read the instructions and set it up in my router table. The instructions suggest having a few pieces to practice on, and believe me they weren’t kidding. It says that you can use it on boards up to 3/4 in. but I would do it a little shy. The nature of adjusting a hair one way or the other might drive you mad, I am a patient man but it’s cutting it just to close for me.
After some practice and trouble shooting I built two jigs for my router table just for this bit, one to run it through flat against the table and another to run a board upright along the fence. In the beginning I had a little trouble with tear out beause of the fact that you are trying to router the end grain of your woods. This was easily remedied by running the wood backwards through the router table for about a half inch then running it through regularly.
I really like this bit because it it made gluing a mitered corner a lot easier. I run the sides of the box one way and then the front and back the other way. The fact that they lock together means less clamping pressure needed and more gluing surface for stronger joints.
If you are like me and box building is more than a hobbie then I would say this bit is well worth it. It took some practice to use but once I was able to unleash it’s potential it earned it’s way as a valuable tool that I look forward to using more often and discovering and rediscovering the different things it can be used for!

-- Praise God in all things, especially the bad things because they make the best learning experiences.

View Edward83's profile


161 posts in 3742 days

13 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 10:43 PM

Thanks for the review. I have looked at those but never bought one. Now I know they work.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4938 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 11:44 PM

Interesting. I might give this a try. Thanks for taking the time to review.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4019 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 11:46 PM

Agreed. Thanks for that info.

On a similar note, I just posted a thread about a glue joint router bit that … I guess … is in the same general category as your new bit:

You might find my brother’s suggestion … about making UHMW setup blocks for various thickness wood … helpful, too !

-- -- Neil

View childress's profile


841 posts in 4387 days

#4 posted 10-20-2010 12:31 AM

Well, lucky you….I bought one of these and spent to better part of a day trying to get the miters to align. I kept thinking it was me. Then I noticed that the router bit wasn’t cut right. After returning it and getting a rockler one, I realized it WAS the bit because I had no problem with the new blue one :)

On the skill one I bought the parts on the cutting edge that’s 45 deg were not the same or in the same line, that is. Not really sure why mine was shaped wrong. You would think they did it all in one shot… I don’t know.

-- Childress Woodworks

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 3737 days

#5 posted 10-20-2010 02:03 AM

I agree about lock miter bits in general. They’re made by several bit manufacturers and most offer two sizes a standard size and a smaller one sometimes named baby lock miter bit. Both are terrific and since I generally use box sides of 3/8 and 1/2 I buy the baby lock miter. You are right the intial setup does take some time and some tweaking, but once setup and you’ve make some setup blocks it’s very easy to repeat the setup. The use of the bit provides excellent gluing surface for a box and totally eliminates the use of miter splines which sometimes are quite detracting from a boxes beauty. The use of dedicated sleds does help with their use.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3904 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 01:10 PM

As the guys above have already mentioned. Setup blocks are the way to go. Once you get the setup correct for a particular thickness of wood, take the time to run a scrap through and save it to help with setup next time. It will make things go much quicker. Also, on your setup block, be sure to make notes of any specifics about fence setup, router speed, and any other pertinent details that may be important. It will save you a lot of trouble and time the next time you use the bit.

Then again, you may be like me, the next time you use that bit, you won’t be able to find the setup blocks that you made. Ha! Ha!


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4041 days

#7 posted 10-20-2010 09:24 PM


Most of the Rockler lock miter bits have a matching set up jig for less than $8. I am sure other bit manufactureres have them also.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 4194 days

#8 posted 10-23-2010 09:13 PM

I have been Looking at these also. Has any one tried the ones from MLCS
here are the ones they offer, I like previous post was looking at the smaller one

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4769 days

#9 posted 11-07-2010 07:17 AM

I also got one about “gee a long time ago”, tried and it was a disaster on red oak so I put it away. About 3 weeks ago I pulled it out again and gave it another try because I will be making some legs for an arts & crafts bet and want to have the grain show up in the sides as well as the face. It worked great you just have to play with it and do a few practice runs. Its all in the lay out and set up.

View MGoBlue7's profile


56 posts in 3648 days

#10 posted 09-18-2011 07:35 PM

Hi Edward,

Just another thought to help with tearout on the end grain cuts: use a piece of scrap to support the “open” edge of the board where the bit exits the workpiece. In other words, the scrap board will butt up against your workpiece so that as the bit finishes cutting the workpiece, it immediately starts cutting the scrap. The scrap board will support the workpiece so that the pieces that would otherwise splinter off are not allowed to move.
This procedure will prevent you from having to feed the workpiece into the bit in the opposite direction, which can be potentially dangerous.

Thanks for the review on the locking mitre bit!!!

View Holt's profile


280 posts in 3474 days

#11 posted 06-24-2013 02:53 PM

Another tip for handling tear out, leave the pieces extra wide and cut to final width after cutting the lock miters…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3659 days

#12 posted 06-24-2013 03:37 PM

Careful running boards backwards (climb cut) through the router table.
Full thickness pass + climb cut = very dangerous situation.
Try using a backer block instead to limit chipout. Or you can start with an oversized workpiece, and trim it to length after the router cut.

Good luck and stay safe.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View BilltheDiver's profile


262 posts in 3731 days

#13 posted 06-24-2013 03:37 PM

For fine tuning the bit height adjustment, cut an edge on 2 scrap pieces of your stock, then place 1 on the table as cut and flip the other upside down. Bring the two pieces together and you will see exactly how far off you are. Make your adjustment exactly 1/2 the offset. Also, if the flipped piece needs to go down, so does the bit and vice versa.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

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