Measuring Dovetail Cutters

Has anyone else tried using dovetail router bits in their Shapeoko and found that the cutters did not seem to match their claimed dovetail angles? I’m not sure if I’m missing something about how to measure the angle on a dovetail or if the cutters are just junk.

I’ve got three (admittedly cheap from Amazon) dovetail cutters here, none of which match their spec when measured, I’m a little surprised as the other Yonico cutters I’ve purchased have been pretty good, it seems the only dimensions that match on the dovetail cutters are shank and the tip diameter, angle seems to be something they make up at the factory on that day.

First is the Yonico 14816 3/8" 7 degree;

Next up the Yonico 14111 1/2" 10 degree (hah hah hah);

I’ve measured the slots this cuts and they match up with my measurements of the cutter, which gives a pretty clean fit on this test piece when I tell Fusion the real 6.2 degree angle;

And finally the Triton 1/4" Dovetail Bit x 1/2" 14°, Silver, 957717, that’s only 0.8 degrees off…


Since the dovetail cutter should be used to the joint in matching versions, the actual angles shouldn’t matter:

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Yep, if I’m cutting vertically with the matching bit for the tails then I’ll get the same angle, symmetry wins, but if I’m machining flat then I need to know the angle the bit is cut at to tell Fusion what shape tail to make. I’ve made a vertical clamp jig but I’m working my way up through flat cuts to vertical trying to get a clean version of each as I learn.

I was also considering using the dovetail bit more generally as an undercut to allow me to get an angled side on a workpiece.

I thought I was missing something in the spec or measurement as the bits just don’t seem to bear any relationship to the angle they claim, there seems little point in writing “10 degrees” on a bit that is just over 6 degrees.

Send them back to where they came from. Buy stuff that has quality built in.


I am going to need a pretty powerful trebuchet to send them, I’m fairly sure they came from the PRC :wink:

Going to see if I can borrow a decent brand cutter from my woodworking neighbour and measure that up tomorrow.

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