What is the Difference Between Roundover and Beading Router Bit?
Woodworking involves various techniques for adding decorative edges and profiles to pieces. Two popular techniques are roundover and beading. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between roundover and beading that make each technique unique. In this guide, we will explore the characteristics of roundover and beading to help you understand the differences and choose the right technique for your woodworking projects.

Roundover: A roundover is a woodworking technique that involves creating a smooth, rounded edge along the corners or edges of a piece. It softens sharp edges and adds a gentle curve to the profile. Roundovers are typically created using a roundover router bit or by hand using a chisel or sandpaper. The size of the roundover can vary, ranging from a subtle radius to a larger, more pronounced curve. Roundovers are commonly used for tabletops, shelves, and other furniture pieces, as they provide a safe and comfortable feel while enhancing the visual appeal. Beading: Beading, on the other hand, is a technique that adds a decorative detail to the edge of a piece. It involves creating a small, rounded groove or bead along the edge. Beading can be accomplished using specialized router bits or hand tools such as beading planes or scrapers. The size and depth of the bead can vary, allowing for different design options. Beading is often used to add a touch of elegance, visual interest, or a traditional look to furniture, cabinetry, picture frames, and moldings.
  • Distinguishing Factors
  • While both roundover and beading techniques involve creating rounded edges, there are key factors that differentiate them. The primary distinction lies in their purpose and visual effect. Roundovers are primarily functional, providing a smooth and comfortable edge, while also enhancing the overall aesthetics of a piece. Beading, on the other hand, is purely decorative, adding a distinct detail or accentuating the style of the piece. Beading creates a more intricate and eye-catching profile, drawing attention to the edge and adding depth and character to the design.
  • Choosing the Right Technique
  • When deciding between roundover and beading, consider the intended purpose and desired visual effect of your woodworking project. If you want to soften edges and create a comfortable feel while enhancing the overall appearance, a roundover is a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you aim to add decorative details and create a distinctive profile, beading is the technique to opt for. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, the style of the piece, and the desired outcome.
Understanding the difference between roundover and beading techniques is essential for achieving the desired edge profile in your woodworking projects. Roundovers provide a smooth, rounded edge for functional and aesthetic purposes, while beading adds decorative accents and visual interest to the edge. By considering the purpose, visual effect, and overall design of your project, you can confidently choose between these techniques to create stunning and personalized woodworking pieces.
Double Bead Edging Router bit