FAQ: best wood router

As a general rule, buy bits from established manufacturers. Start off with some trim bits, pattern bits and roundover bits. Invest in the best quality bits you can afford and build up a collection over time.

This is the most common way to make sure you get straight, accurate cuts for grooves and housings. Simply nail or clamp a straight board to your workpiece then run your router against it.

This simple accessory screws or bolts onto the edge of your router base. The straight guide will run against the edge of the workpiece and direct the cutter parallel to it.

This accessory is used when you want to cut out grooves or circular shapes. These can be internal cuts like cutting out for sink or external cuts, for example cutting out round a tabletop.

If you plan to cut lots of patterns, it’s worth picking up a dedicated bit. You can, though, use a trim bit to for pattern work. The only different between these bits is the location of the bearing so you can certainly make do and mend.

Climb cutting is when you need to make small cuts in the opposite direction. Since the bits are designed so they cut into the flow of the wood, climb cuts are often poor quality. It’s normally not a good idea to try routing your workpiece in reverse.

If you are running your router in a commercial settings for 8 hours a day, you’ll need to swap the collets out perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. Scale this down accordingly if you are a home woodworker.

Clamping the material to the bench is effective but can also be restrictive. You can pin down the wood if you can pin holes in a waste area. You can even use double-sided tape for holding templates and jigs so experiment and find out what works best for you and the project you’re working on.

This guide controls the movement of your router in all 4 directions. It’s designed for making internal cuts for the slots in through tenons, recesses and cutting stopped housing. You can make your own quite easily and accuracy is absolutely paramount with this guide.

Put simply, this is an elegant way to use your router to cut repeated shapes from a jig or master template. Build up a collection of templates over time to expand your woodworking horizons and get more done in less time.


best wood router: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.