How to Use Router Bits? [A Beginner Guide]

A router is one of the most portable power tools for woodworking. The primary function of the router is to perform several types of bits. Amazingly, there are several bit types for all your cuts. However, it is not enough to know how many bits there are. You also need to know how to use router bits.

The router bits give the edges around the wood a variety of complete looks. You must go through a few steps to use the bit. If the bit is not applied correctly, your wood piece can be damaged unexpectedly. So, all things you need to know about router bit usage.

Although the guide to using router bits is for beginners, everyone should know other things related to it. The professionals may also make some mistakes. In this article, you will learn everything about the use of the router bit. Hopefully, all your questions will be answered.

5 Steps Should Follow To Use Router Bits: Make The Job Done Properly

A handheld router is a special tool to complete any woodworking project. Since the router uses different bits, it is essential to know the correct way to use the bits. So, at this stage, you will know how to use a router bit with a few steps.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Equipment

To use bits, you need to have some essentials in your collection. Some things are mandatory, and some will ensure your safety. These tools must be prepared for all professionals or amateurs. It is enough to collect the following equipment:

  • A router
  • Bit set
  • Slightly higher table
  • Gloves
  • Eye protective glass

Step 2: Take Safety Measures

You may have noticed that the bits chew on the place where they touch. When your finger is too close, it will get stuck in the machine. Moreover, very small pieces of wood fly away and can enter your eyes directly. Therefore, use eye protective glass and gloves. Further, if you put your hand near the blade, the condition will be similar to that of a piece of wood.

It is necessary to ensure safety while doing any work on the wood pieces. Similarly, you should be more secure when using a bit of a handheld router. Bits can pose an extreme security risk when traveling at high speeds.

Step 3: Pick The Right Bit

Those who use a handheld router have a set of router bits. Pick the right bit knowing which router is suitable for any purpose. Straight bits are usually the most used because they are useful for multiple purposes. These bits are great for cutting square-shaped grooves on your wood piece.

Also, V-Groove bits are used to decorate wood surfaces. These are useful for carving different designs. Flush trim bits are used to perfect the edges of any wood surface. So, be sure to know the bits before choosing the right bit for your job.

Step 4: Attach Bit To The Router

Now, it is time to attach the bit to the router. After inserting the bit into the router, stick the collet and nut around its neck so that the bit is tight enough to rotate. It is essential to know how many bits to insert into the router collet. Many people think it should be attached as far as the bit can go.

This is not a good idea. So, do not set the bit to extend too far from the collet because this is unsafe. Besides, the bit should not be too close. Set the bit to a safe distance. The bit should come out slightly from the threaded nut.

Step 5: Determine Router Bit Reference

The bits usually rely on the bearing reference to guide the blade properly. Before you start cutting, look at the reference you are using. There are many routers where you will not find references. In this case, a fence outside the bit is used.

The job of this fence is to ensure better cuts. It removes the unnecessary elements around to achieve the desired depth. This also makes the router bit management easier.

Step 6: Now Start Biting

Now plug in the router and start working. Use the bit experimentally on a small piece before working on the original wood piece. It can work in the actual place if it handles the edges properly. Set the router base to your desired depth.

Consider how deep you want to give a perfect cut. Then start cutting gently from one end. In case you want to cut straight, do not let it move left or right. As a beginner, you should not rush.

Step 7: Change The Bit If Necessary

In case you need to do different work on the same workpiece, then you need to change the router bit. The bits are very easy to change. Remove the router base and collet. Then remove the bit as well. Remember that you can only do these things when your router is unplugged.

If you move the bit without unplugging, it will start suddenly and can cause a big danger. Also, do not try to loosen the bit without removing each nut. Once the bit is removed, place the new bit in the same way.

Things Should Consider To Choose Perfect Router Bits:

These are some major things that must be considered while choosing and using router bits. 

Here Are A Few Notes On Making The Choice:

  • For making round, v shape as well as flat on the bottom style of long surface cuts, choose grooves. Great for the countertop of the kitchen as well as tables made of wood.
  • The cover route works best for any plain surface that needs some interesting edging. It is also known as a rounded grove.
  • For any type of decorative route, you need chamfer using. It won’t allow the extending ancrod the whole profile of a material. And so, it would be great to use as a flattened corner.

After Making The Choice Of Route, You Need To Pick A Bit As Well:

  • If you need to go for trench and rebated grooves, choose the 654, 652, or 650 numbers that are basically the straight bits. These would help to get a nice square bottom with groves that are also pretty straightforward.
  • For those who chose chamfer and cove rout, a piloted bit would be the right one for keeping things in place. There are two types with this one. The 612 is a beading bit that would work great for decorative purposes. While the 615 is rounding over the type that shows amazing results with edge smoothing tasks.
  • For working with V-shaped decoration purpose grooves, you need to choose the 640 or v-groove bit basically.
  • And finally for rout grooves that are meant for hanging suitable stuff such as a frame, would need a bit that gives narrow slot cuts. Such as the keyhole bit, which is 655.

6 Mistakes You Need To Avoid When Using Router Bits:

Some mistakes in using the router bit can ruin all your work. Especially newcomers who make these mistakes. That is why you should know about these mistakes in some detail to avoid them easily. Find out what can happen when using the wrong bit:

1. Too Much Biting Off

There is a certain level of biting that many pass over emotionally. The router indeed has enough power, but you should always use the required power. Do not use the bit too deeply. In addition to missing the desired cut, it can lose its effectiveness. Deep cuts up to about 3/8” deep are recommended.

Extremely deep cuts cause the bit to exceed its dimensions, resulting in you failing to get the perfect cut. Moreover, your bit loses its ability to work for long periods.

2. Using Router Wrongly

This mistake is less likely to be made by professionals but more likely to be made by newcomers. They use the router arbitrarily which makes it impossible to do the right thing. When misplaced, the bit catches the wood and destroys it instead of decorating it.

You need to move the router from right to left and from left to right. But, when climbing, you can rotate the bit as much as you want. Moreover, this method is quite convenient. But, there are some complications that you may not want to consider.

3. Tripping the Rules

After setting the bit on the router, many people think that there is no problem if you skip 1/2 step of using it. This is a completely wrong idea. Details of how deep the bit should be placed and how fast to start are included in the instructions.

You should not skip any of these instructions. Often no one understands where the mistake is. Even after trying a lot to get the perfect cut, it doesn’t get perfect. In addition, your bits will lose performance.

4. Holding The Router For A Long Time

Do you know how long it takes to hold the bit on the wood? Many people make a serious mistake in this regard even after knowing it. When you keep the bit in the same area for a long time, a burn mark may form in that place. The router should be removed after reaching the desired depth.

It can take about 30 minutes to cut one end of a piece of wood and get to the other end. If the same depth of cut is required in each place, then keeping the bit for a long time in one place can make it deeper and give rise to burn-like spots.

5. Making Scratch Using Bearing

The bearings on the router bits usually guide you to cut. However, there are some disadvantages that you might want to avoid. When working on softwood, the bearings are bitten, leaving some marks on the back that are difficult to remove later.

In this case, the best option is to use the router fence. It allows working on any wood without any stains. Not only that, the fence covers the bit a lot, so your fingers are safe from it. Therefore bearings must be avoided to get a perfect result.

Not Keeping Safe Distance

Special care must be taken for the perfect cut when beating, but that does not mean that your hand will reach the blade. Newcomers make some serious mistakes that cause them harm. You need to keep in mind that machines that do not work on wood can inadvertently make your claim.

The most important thing, in this case, is to be aware of yourself. First, determine if your hand is in a safe position. Do not let the fingers get close to the blade in any way. You must have noticed how the bits are cut. In the same way, your fingers can be injured. It can be a bit safer if you use gloves on your hands.

Related Questions About Using Router Bits:

How Are Router Bits Used?

There are different types of router bits that work on different pieces of wood. The bits are usually used as needed. It is used by attaching to the router and can be changed at any time as required. In addition, the fence next to the bit is used for security which gives you security.

Set the router speed according to the bit diameter for best results. Some bits are only used to design wood edges. So these bits will not be useful for other purposes. Also, there are other bits for deep cutting or decorating wood surfaces.

What Is The Proper Way To Install A Router Bit?

The process of installing the router bit is simple. First, unplug the router from the electric board then open the router base and place it in a separate place. Loosen the collet and nut from the shoulder of the router. Ensure you pick the correct bit.

After that, enter the bit by placing the collet and nut, but do not put extra. Now tighten the nut to keep it firm during rotation. Lastly, attach the base and plug it in to check if it is working properly.

Can You Use A Router Bit In A Regular Drill?

Router bits are commonly used to shape wood edges or make various fine grooves. At first glance, it may seem that since they revolve in the same way they will probably be able to perform the same task. It cannot apply enough downward pressure to drill holes like the original drill machine. Therefore, drilling a hole with the router bit is considered unsuitable.

Drills are usually designed to apply sufficient downward pressure. So it can make a hole without any hassle. The hole that the router bit cannot make is not reliable information. Because it does create a hole that allows the edges to be shaped which is not like the hole you want.

What Does A Straight Router Bit Do?

Straight router bits are especially used to cut square grooves. These router bits are used for most projects. It gives a smooth cut with the lowest vibration of all. The most amazing thing is that it is possible to drill holes with straight bits where it is usually discouraged to do so.

This router bit works well for any drilling project as well as for cutting flutes, making rabbits, and mortise for mold making. Straight bits are much more efficient than other router bits. Therefore, it is recommended for various tasks.

Can You Use Router Bits In A Dremel?

There is no doubt that you can use a router bit in Dremel. These router bits are usually made of high-quality steel and are conveniently housed in a plastic case. The bits inside Dremel can be used very well. Moreover, the plastic case is also reusable.

It works great for mortise, routing, and inlaying a variety of soft materials, including wood. You must remember that not all types of bits can be used in Dremel. There are some specific bits that you should not go outside.

How Far Should You Insert The Router Bit?

You need to maintain a certain distance to insert the bit into the router. Having a lot of depth inside does not mean that the bit should be inserted as far as it goes. It must be inserted at a depth of at least 3/4 ”colletʼs grip to control it properly. The accuracy of your work depends on the placement of the bit.

Neither extra-long nor short bits are suitable for your job. Once the bit is fully attached to the collet, it no longer needs to be inserted deeper. Otherwise, it will not be able to grip well.

Final Verdict

Therefore, you now know how to use router bits. Success in using router bits depends on picking the right bit for the right job. Router bits are usually used to do some fine work on wood. So, you should apply the right way to use it.

In this case, the most important thing is to be consistent with each step of using the bit. So, do not skip any action. Mistakes made during routing should also be avoided, and you will be able to ensure a perfect routing.

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