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How to Sharpen Router Bits – 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. First, prepare your diamond paddles or needle files for smaller bits, a comfortable workspace, and ensure a good source of light. You will only work on each flute’s flat radial face, so it will be very easy to do.
  2. Always remember to sharpen consistently in uniform structure to maintain the balance and smoothness of the cuts.
  3. Instead of working on one flute in sharpening, you may flute with five or ten strokes as you rotate the router bit, moving toward the next flute with a similar number of strokes, getting back to the first, etc.
  4. Place the diamond paddle or needle file on the flute’s flat radial face, holding this very lightly, staying flat on. The usual approach is to hold the router bit using one hand with the sharpener on the other. Or, you can secure it within the collet or drill chuck on the area you are working.
  5. Keep checking each flute while you work, to monitor pressure, or whether you are missing a spot. Creating sharp edges takes time. The recommended diamond abrasives are at 600-grit and 1200-grit. Avoid using hand-welded and coarse diamond abrasives to prevent fracturing the edge.
  6. You can determine whether the router bit is now sharp simply by looking at it. If there are no light flecks along its edge under strong light, or if it simply feels sharp, it’s good to go.

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.

John Boson

Sup? This is John Boson signing in from my very own Woodworking station here! I hate to introduce myself as a Woodworking expert, rather I am more of a person who loves to share knowledge for people's interests. Ping me at admin@woodworkingarena.com to let me know if my job on this website has helped you or not. Also, you can request for my honest review or a piece on any know-how topic for what I will try my best. Cheers! Signing out!

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