How to use a Wood Router

Wood router is an important tool for any wood worker. Having a high quality wood router along with ideal set of bits is important for creating impressive designs, for making joints, for shaping edges of wood along with hollowing out grooves. All these and other tasks can be accomplished with perfection, only you need to understand which router to choose from a variety that is available? Different types of wood routers are available in market and you must select one that suits your needs best. Not only purchasing right one is important but you must be aware of right way of using a router. Learning to use these machines would be beneficial in varied applications and beginners can also give their wood working projects a professional look with use of a wood router.
Use a Wood Router

9 Simple Steps to follow for proper use of a wood router

Wood router is termed to be a versatile tool that offers you complete flexibility in terms of bit configuration. With different applications, you can use this tool however learning how to use it is important for taking out most benefits of a wood router. Follow these steps and you can get your wood working jobs done with ease.

Step 1: Clamp the board to the router table.

Have the poplar board clamped to the working table edge in order to get the board extending out through the table edge. You should have the board edge on your right as the router would spin clockwise. Wood is cut with the use of router with the aid of bit rotation.

Step 2: Fit the wrenches.

Remove the router from the router kit along with two wrenches. Now fit the small wrench with the router shaft and the bigger one must be fitted at the router end. Wrenches must be fitted at their proper places. In order to lose the nut, you would need to hold the small wrench and then turn the bigger one counterclockwise.

Step 3: Place the bit.

Router collet is a hole in the nut end that you have loosened now. Bit must be placed in the router collet by sliding until it comes out at the bottom. Now have the small wrench steady and you can then tighten the bigger nut.

Step 4: Set the router on board.

You must hold the router with both hands with the use of handles places on both sides of your wood router. Have the router set on the board and you can now slide the bit up along the wood. Underneath the base of the router, you will see a point where wood and bit will contact.

Step 5: Set the depth of bit.

You will find a knob on the router side that is placed for controlling depth of bit. A depth gauge is also located at the right hand side. You must turn the knob clockwise for raising bit while lowering can be done counterclockwise. You can set the bit at center of the board edge and then tighten the knob.

Step 6: Hold the router firmly for use.

While setting router for use, you must hold it firmly on both sides. Now move bit but router base must remain at rest on the board. An easy-to-reach switch is located that must be turned on for operation. Router recoil would twist as the motor would begin so be aware of that.

Step 7: Check thickness of your work piece.

The piece of wood that you fasten must have same thickness as your bench work piece. This would give complete operational support to your router and would keep it from wobbling.

Step 8: Feed the router.

Always feed router from left side to right so that cutting edge bit would meet the wood first. A range of shallow passes would work better rather than a deep pass that could result in binding of wood or twisting of tool. Gradual extending of bit for shallow passes would give you best results. Router must never be pushed as it could result in slowing down of engine and blade. This way you can burn wood or get splinters. Bit must be eased in the wood until the bit bearing comes in contact with the wood. Pull the router towards you and slowly step back. Slowly pull router along the wood edge and let it slide along the wood side. As you reach the board end, router should slide off.

Step 9: Turn router off after job done.

Now turn the switch of the router off and it would slow down spinning until it completely turns off.

Tips to follow for Safe Use:

  • Always read instruction manual before beginning to use your wood router for the first time in order to have yourself familiarized with the tool. Follow all precautionary steps for safe use.
  • Wearing safety glasses is compulsory when operating a wood router or any similar machine. This is important for safe use as using without safety glasses can have adverse effects on your eyes.
  • When you are setting up the tool or are carrying out a tool change, you must always unplug the router first.
  • Tool change must be performed with leather gloves worn over your hands. These machines have sharp edged tools and these sharp tools can create deep cuts in your hands, so one must remain really careful while handling these tools.
  • You must also wear a dust mask when using router.
  • Routers usually make a lot of noise so you can use ear plugs to protect ears.
  • Avoid using router over wet wood.
  • Check wood for any warps, nails and knots.
  • As you turn the router on, check to see that bit must not touch the wood.
  • Bit used must always be sharp. Dull ones would only complicate your work. Learn how to maintain your wood router well in order to avoid any waste of material.
  • Cutting with free hands need practice, time and patience along with steady hands. You can use an edge guide for proper use.

Beginners: Always begin with a test wood piece in order to have an idea of how much depth of cut is desired. Scrap wood used for testing would enable you to get used to of handling power of this machine. Turn the machine on and it should begin spinning before you have the wood I contact with the bit. If the setting is okay and you are satisfied with the results, you will be good to use your work piece.


Router is an important tool but it could be really dangerous if have no knowledge on safe use of this machine. A little information on using a router would ensure safe operation and you would get your desired wood working applications performed really quick and accurate. Router is a versatile tool and you will be pleased with the results but you need to be extra cautious especially if you are a beginner. Consider checking wood router reviews in order to find a perfect tool for your special wood working projects.

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