Powered Hand Tools - Routers
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- Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles) and appropriate hearing protection.
- Disconnect the power supply before making any adjustments or changing bits. Inspect bits carefully before installing
- Ensure that the bit is securely mounted in the chuck and the base is tight.
- Put the base of the router on the work, template or guide. Make sure that the bit can rotate freely before switching on the motor.
- Secure stock. Never rely on yourself or a second person to support or hold the material. Sudden torque or kickback from the router can cause damage and injury.
- Before using a router, check stock thoroughly for staples, nails, screws or other foreign objects.
- Keep all cords clear of cutting area.
- Hold both hands on router handles always, until a motor has stopped. Do not set the router down until exposed router bit has stopped turning.
- Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance.
- When inside routing, start the motor with the bit above the stock. When the router reaches full power, lower bit to required depth.
- When routing outside edges, guide the router counter clockwise around the work.
- When routing bevels, moldings and other edge work, make sure the router bit is in contact with the stock to the left of a starting point and is pointed in the correct cutting direction.
- Feed the router bit into the material at a firm, controlled speed.
- With softwood, you can sometimes move the router as fast as it can go.
- With hardwood, knotty and twisted wood, or with larger bits, cutting may be very slow.
- The sound of the motor can indicate safe cutting speeds. When the router is fed into the material too slowly, the motor makes a high-pitched whine. When the router is pushed too hard, the motor makes a low growling noise.
- When the type of wood or size of the bit requires going slow, make two or more passes to prevent the router from burning out or kicking back.
- To decide the depth of cut and how many passes to make, test the router on scrap lumber similar to the work.
If a router is connected to a router table, refer to Woodworking Machines - Shapers for more guidance.
Refer to Powered Hand Tools - Basic Safety for Electric Tools for general electrical safety tips.
- Fact sheet confirmed current: 2019-08-15
- Fact sheet last revised: 2013-12-20