How to Sharpen Router Bits – A Step-by-Step Guide

Rabbets are rectangular-shaped recesses along the edge of your workpiece. When the time comes, and your router is not making clean cuts, it’s an indicator that they need sharpening.

Using routers is a fantastic way to bring a whole new look altogether in your woodworking. If bits are dull, they leave burn marks on the wood, decreasing the quality of your output.

How to Sharpen Router Bits?

These bits, whether they are carbide-tipped or other varieties, tend to dull faster than you may expect. This even happens quicker in solid wood, and more if you have sheet goods filled with resin, as well as plywood. The secret to proper router bit maintenance is on the sharpening.

  1. Gather Your Tools: To sharpen your router bits, you’ll need a diamond file, a honing stone, and a sharpening jig.
  2. Prepare Your Sharpening Jig: Mount your router bit in the sharpening jig, making sure it’s held securely in place.
  3. Start with the Diamond File: Using a diamond file, gently touch the cutting edge of the router bit at a 45-degree angle. Move the file back and forth along the edge of the bit, applying light pressure until the entire edge has been filled.
  4. Move to the Honing Stone: Once you’ve finished with the diamond file, move on to the honing stone. Apply a small amount of honing oil to the stone and place the cutting edge of the router bit flat on the stone. Move the bit back and forth across the stone, maintaining a consistent angle, until you’ve honed the entire edge.
  5. Check for Burrs: After honing, inspect the cutting edge of the router bit for any burrs that may have formed. Use fine-grit sandpaper to remove any burrs, being careful not to damage the edge.
  6. Test the Bit: Once you’ve finished sharpening, test the router bit on a scrap piece of wood to make sure it’s cutting smoothly and cleanly.
  7. Clean and Store: After sharpening your router bit, clean it with a dry cloth and store it in a dry, secure place.

When You Should Seek Professional Help?

According to specialists on router bits, you can sharpen the bit a few times from the moment of ownership, but eventually, you will have to seek professional help. This is important to keep it working in the best conditions. These are the pointers.

  • Inspect your router bit under good lighting. Look for blunt spots or nicks along the cutting edge.
  • Get an idea by holding one of your fingernails against the cutting edge. Then, rotate the router bit gently. The resulting action should shave the nail with less effort.
  • You may also run your router bit through softwood and see how it cuts. Afterward, take a look at the surface the procedure leaves.
  • Then, you can also examine the chips. If there is more sawdust than shavings, this is an indicator of the need of seeking professional help.

Final Words

Knowing how to sharpen router bits is important since they affect the outcomes of your woodwork. Whether it is about sharpening or cleaning the router bit, the time spent is greater than the costs that you can lose when you neglect to do these things.

It is worth your time and effort to carry out these maintenance duties. This avoids the nuisance of finding and going to a store to replace them all the time. You’ll never know how things will get better if you make it a habit to sharpen these router bits whenever they need to.

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