5 Steps To Better Router Results

1)      Know Your Material

No two materials act the same under the router, just like not two materials act the same under staining, cutting, or well…anything else.  Oak, for instance, has an annoying tendency to chip or crack under the router if it is moved too fast.   It always helps to do some research before you get started with a new material.  What are some problems other people have had?  How did they solve them? If you are working with an unfamiliar material always err on the side of patience.  Go slow.  Take your time until you know how the material will react.

2)      Get A Routing Table


Purchasing accessories for a tool doesn’t always improve it’s basic usefulness, but in this case it does.  A routing table can give you a very basic advantage: sight.  It’s just easier to see and handle wood when it’s at a comfortable level and you can see what you’re doing.  That’s not to say free hand is wrong, but having a table will take a lot of strain off your eyes and back.You can make your own table, but there are also a lot of great ones on the market.  We have some really cool ones.  The advantage of a routing table or package is that you are guaranteed accuracy.  Also, if you are just getting set up or revamping your tools, a package will contain everything you need to get started and you know it will all work and fit together properly.  A router fence can also help accuracy.3)      Keep Your Tools Sharp

This is especially important if you are working with something like hardwood, which will dull your bits.  You can sharpen router bits yourself with a flat, diamond paddles or diamond coated needle files.  Use these only on the flat cutting edges.  It’s best to give each surface the same number of strokes the file until the side is sharp.  Don’t try to sharpen each one individually.  That might make the bit uneven.  It’s also good to clean them regularly.

4)      Check Your Speed

Your router should come with a guide that tells you a good maximum and minimum speed, but a good guide is that the max is 24,00- rpm for 1inch bit diameter, 18,000 for 1-2 in, 16,000 for 2-2.5, and 12,000 for 2.5-3.5.  It can be easy to pick a speed you’re comfortable with and make it work for whatever you’re working with, but that isn’t necessarily the best way.   Make sure to check the speed when switching bits.

5)      Keep Your Tools Sharp

This is especially important if you are working with something like hardwood, which will dull your bits.  You can sharpen router bits yourself with a flat, diamond paddles or diamond coated needle files.  Use these only on the flat cutting edges.  It’s best to give each surface the same number of strokes the file until the side is sharp.  Don’t try to sharpen each one individually.  That might make the bit uneven.  It’s also good to clean them regularly.

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