How to work the cutter properly. Variety of tools

Working with a hand router on woodwalk

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A router is a lumber tool that makes many rotations at high speed. There are both professional equipment, such as milling and engraving machines, and for independent processing, which requires certain skills and knowledge. Detailed instructions and video tutorials on our website will help you perform high-quality woodworking operations with a hand-held electric milling machine.

Router models

As for the cutter models that don’t have control bearing, their direct purpose is to make a slot in the body of the board. The work with this type of nozzles becomes much easier than it is with cutters with actuators. Damage is excluded. There are no other kinds of problems.


Rectangular cutters allow you to mill large slots at right angles. And it can be done quickly and with every millimeter in mind.

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Quite capable of repeating the same operations as “rectangular”, but in addition allow you to make a rounded groove.

“V” shaped

Used to achieve a triangular groove shape when working with wood. Hence the prefix to the name “V”.


A special type of nozzle without a bearing is used when sharpening boards with internal expansion. Such actions often take place in the construction of the house or furniture making, allowing the introduction of strong locks of the closed type in the construction.

it is worth adding that in order to choose the right nozzle, it is necessary to clearly understand the essence of the work to be done. For beginners it will not hurt to read the reviews, as well as to take advice from the seller.

Preparing the tool for work

The most important thing to do before starting milling is to configure the unit for a particular type of work, taking into account the properties of the material to be processed and the type of tooling.

Choice of speed

The milling machine is a machine capable of developing very high spindle speed, from 8000 to 24000 rpm and more. The higher the rotational speed of the tool, the cleaner the machined surface will be. But you should know that exceeding the allowable speed for certain milling cutters can cause burning of the workpiece in the areas of processing. That’s why you should consider not only the rotational speed of the tool shank but also the linear speed of the blade. As a general rule, the larger the tool diameter, the faster the linear speed of the cutting edge. If larger tools are to be used, the spindle speed has to be reduced slightly.

Here is the table below where you can find the speed best suited to the diameter of your tool.

Above all the hardness of the workpiece to be machined should be considered when selecting the speed of the tool. Carbide wood should be milled at slower speeds than recommended for a specific tool diameter.

Also reduce tool speed if you have PVC, Plexiglas, and plastic cutting applications. High RPMs will cause the plastic to melt and stick to the tool blades. The speed should be determined experimentally for each application.

Cutter Installation

Switch off the power supply to the cutter before changing tool. Disconnecting the start button is not enough. It is important to unplug the power cord to prevent the motor from starting accidentally.

  • Lay the machine on its side so that the spindle locking button is on top.
  • Press the button and turn the spindle until it engages in the locking mechanism. Then put a wrench on the collet nut and unscrew it. Some router models may not have this button. In that case, 2 spanners are needed. The first one is put on the nut on the spindle and serves as a clamp (if you use it against the guide rod), and the second one is used for unscrewing the collet nut.
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Remember: the collet nut must not be tightened if there is no tool in it. This will cause it to break.

Depth setting

Almost all milling machines have depth control knobs. Setting the immersion depth of the tool is as follows:

  • Place the unit on a level surface, e.g. on a table.
  • Slide the turret step (1), which is at the lowest height, under the plunge stop (2).

If you lower the drive until the stop (2) makes contact with the lowest step of the turret, the maximum extension of the milling cutter relative to the base of the machine is achieved. This is the final depth the tool will plunge into the workpiece, that is, the desired depth.

If you want to make a deep groove that is not possible with a single cut, you can use the turret stop to plunge the tool into the workpiece in stages. To do this, bring the highest step of the turret stop (1) under the depth stop (2) and mill. Next, place the next lower stop under the stop and make one pass with the tool again. When the limiter reaches the lowest stop, the desired groove depth will be obtained. The following illustration shows how the tool is deepened step by step into the workpiece using a turret-type stop.

Getting started and taking care of the tool

To understand how this device works, you should get acquainted with its main parts and their purpose.

Composition and purpose of the main components

A handheld milling tool consists of a metal housing and a motor located in the same housing. A shaft extends from the tool body and various collets are inserted on it to serve as adapters. They allow the installation of cutters of different sizes. In the collet is inserted directly the cutter, which is fixed by a special bolt or button, which is provided on some models.

The main elements of the manual milling device and their purpose.

The milling tool is designed with a metal platform that is rigidly connected to the body. It is attached to the body by means of two bars. The platen is smooth on the outside, ensuring smooth motion while working.

The manual milling device has some characteristics, the adjustment of which is carried out:

  • By means of a knob and a scale for adjusting the milling depth. Adjustment in 1/10 mm increments.
  • By adjusting the speed of the milling cutter.
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Low or medium rpm is better for initial try-outs. Although it should always be remembered that the higher the speed, the better the work. Especially when it comes to critical, visible areas that cannot be camouflaged.

In addition to these levers, there is also a button to turn the product on and off, as well as a lock button. These are considered basic elements, ensuring quality and safe work execution. There’s also a parallel stop that makes it easy to work with. It can be rigidly mounted or with the possibility of adjusting the working area, in the direction from the center.

Care of the handheld router

Usually, the factory product comes into human hands tested and lubricated, so that additional, any activities should not be carried out. Only during its operation it is necessary to monitor its cleanliness and serviceability. At the same time, it should be regularly cleaned from dust and change the grease, if it is written so in the passport. Lubrication is especially necessary for moving parts. As an option, you can use aerosol grease, but you can get by with regular grease like Lithol. It is not recommended to use thick greases, because chips and dust stick to them. If spray lubricants are used, this factor can be eliminated.

Lubrication is also required on the sole plate, the smooth part of the body. Regular oiling ensures the required smooth running.

Despite this, the purchased thing should always be checked for quality of assembly and availability of lubricant.

Unfortunately, not all manufacturers, and especially domestic ones, care about quality of assembly. There are cases where screws or screws come loose after the first hours of use because they have not been tightened properly.

Speed Speed Control

The operation of any tool is connected with certain conditions related, first of all, to the nature of the material to be machined. It can be plywood, composite material or common wood. Depending on this, the rotational speed of the power tool is adjusted. As a rule, the datasheet always indicates the parameters of the device, depending on the technical characteristics and characteristics of the processed surfaces, as well as the cutters used.

Rates of machining with different cutters.

Fixing the cutter

The first thing with which the work begins is the installation and securing of the cutter. At the same time, you should adhere to the basic rule. all work should be carried out with the plug removed from the socket.

The cutter is installed on certain marks, and if they are absent, then to a depth not less than ѕ of the length of the cutter itself. How to install a mill on a particular model, you can learn from the instructions, which must necessarily be present in the technical documents on the device. The fact that each model may have its own design features and to tell about it in the article is not possible.

Positioning the burr on the device before beginning work.

There are models both simple and more “advanced”, as they say. Some models have a button for locking the rotation of the shaft, which facilitates the process of installing the cutter. Some, especially expensive models, are equipped with ratchets. So to describe specifically the installation process of the cutter is not possible, and it makes no sense, because everyone who is familiar with the work of such devices, will figure out at the moment.

Milling depth adjustment

Each model has its own, the greatest depth of milling. It is not always the maximum depth that is required, but a certain depth that is set before work. Even if the maximum depth is required, in order not to overload the device, the milling process is divided into several stages, changing the depth of milling in stages. For adjustment there are special stops. limiters. Structurally, they are made in the form of a disc located under the bar, on which the stops of various lengths are fixed. The number of these legs can be from three to seven, which does not mean that the more of them, the better. It is better if there is a possibility of adjusting each of the legs, even if their number is minimal. To fix this stop in an optimal position, it is necessary to use a clamp, in the form of a flag.

The process of adjusting the milling depth is as follows:

  • The tool should be set on a flat surface, then release the clamps and press the router by hand so that it rests against the surface.
  • After unscrewing the locking device, release the turret stop.

Choice of turret foot.

This ensures that the workpiece is milled to the desired depth. Expensive quality models have a depth adjustment wheel for precise milling depth adjustment.

Basic rules of operation

In this chapter we will try to answer the question: “How to work properly with a hand router?”.

A quality result is only possible if certain rules and working conditions are followed. These include the following wood carving requirements:

  • Only sharp tools should be used. If the machined surface is burnt, fluffy or has many small chips, the cutter should be replaced;
  • Workpiece must be securely clamped with clamps or other fixtures. Do not hold the workpiece in your hands;
  • The feed of the cutter should be smooth and slow, without jerks. Do not try to remove a thick layer of material at once. In some cases, excessive mass is pre-drilled so that a small residue can be cleaned out with the cutter;
  • Change cutting tools only when completely disconnected from the mains.

Compliance with these requirements should become a prerequisite for the home maker.

Cleanness of cut is not only ensured by sharpness, but also by cutting speed. The higher the number of revolutions, the cleaner the surface finish. For hard materials. aluminum, solid wood, etc.п RPM should be slightly reduced, so as not to overheat the cutter’s cutting edges.

In edge milling, the feed rate is adjusted so that the workpiece remains on the left side when moving away from the workpiece, and vice versa. If it is necessary to make a groove, the direction of movement does not matter.

Consider common tricks of the hand router.

How to cut a circle

In order to mill a circle with your own hands, it is necessary to use special templates or devices.

First of all, it is necessary to clarify what exactly is meant. you need a part in the form of a circle, or a hole.

It comes with a parallel stop.

If you drill a hole in it, you can make a simple circular mandrel. It is necessary to turn the stop with the corner upwards, screw it in the center of the future circle on the screw, set the desired diameter of the hole with the help of clamps and cut it into a circle. Sometimes the kit comes with a compass rod, which makes it even easier to make round holes.

When a circle is needed, a template should be used. It is a sheet with a hole of the desired diameter. It can be made of plywood or fiberboard, which is recommended to be glued in half. This produces a stiffer and thicker sheet that will make a good template.

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The diameter of the template depends on how the stop will be made. If resting on the base itself, the diameter of the template must be increased by the value of the radius of the platform plus the radius of the cutter. Where the stop is set on the copying ring supplied with the machine, the diameter of the template is equal to the sum of the radii of the cutter and the outer convex part of the ring.

As a template you can also use a ready-made circle, in which the bearing of the copy router rests. Fix it is easiest to use double-sided adhesive tape, pre-cut the excess material with an allowance of 2-3 mm.

The quality of work depends on the accuracy of the template. Usually a circular hole is cut with the jigsaw, trying to keep the shape as accurate as possible. In some cases, a circular hole is cut using a jig with a clamped cutter.

Selecting a quarter

Quartering with a hand router can be done in several ways:

  • Using a parallel stop;
  • Using an edge mill with a smaller diameter bearing;
  • With the machine platform resting on a level ledge fixed at the desired distance from the edge.

The first option is used when there is an even edge and a large size of the quarter, requiring several passes. The second method is used to obtain the same width of the quarter, as only the depth of plunge of the cutter is subject to adjustment. The third option makes it possible to make a large-sized quarter if the outer edge of the workpiece is uneven or unfinished. Wide quarters have to be made in several passes, each time moving the stop a few millimeters, until the desired width of the step is reached.

How to choose a groove

The router bits are used for the slotting process:

  • Parallel stop;
  • A bar fixed at the right distance parallel to the groove line;
  • A pair of slats, between which the router table moves.

The first two methods require care and attention, as the milling machine can only be tilted to one side. If the craftsman is distracted, the trimmer line for the cut can go sideways. The third option allows not only to avoid such situations, but also to increase the width of the groove. The distance between the slats can be slightly increased, so that the width of the groove was equal to the diameter of the cutter plus the size of the gap. It is used to make rather wide indentations for different furniture parts, locks, construction elements.

Edge machining, work with a template

Let’s take a closer look at these techniques.

Workpiece width is less than the cutting part length

In such cases it is necessary to use a template. The simplest option is to stack two identical parts. On one of them rolls the bearing, the other is machined by the cutting edge. If the part is only one, you will have to make a template from a sheet material. plywood, fiberboard, particle board or similar to them. It is important to precisely repeat the configuration of the part, avoid potholes or irregularities.

Many masters do not like to resort to this method, as the template is often used only once and then thrown away. However, the quality of work is more important than labor costs. No time and effort should be spared because it is difficult or even impossible to remove imperfections after edging.

What is the best way to buy a manual wood router: tips for choosing

Choosing a router for a home workshop, it is advisable to pay attention to the technical parameters of the devices.

  • power level;
  • The depth of wood carving with a hand router (the working stroke of the router);
  • additional functionality;
  • Spindle speed;
  • The price of a hand router.

Buying a hand-held wood router: which tool to choose by power

The capabilities of the tool largely depend on the level of motor power. The higher this indicator, the longer the milling machine will be able to work continuously without overheating. In addition, devices with a high power level allow the use of cutters with the maximum possible length and diameter. However, it can not be argued that the most powerful device will be considered the best. power results in greater tool size and weight.

Engine power affects how long the tool will run continuously

Considering this regularity, the following types of milling machines are distinguished:

  • Light-weight. weight of the constructions is 2-3 kg and power does not exceed 750 W.
  • Medium. the power level ranges from 750-1500 watts, with a weight of 3-5 kg, for example, the milling machine Bosch 1400 ACE.
  • Heavy. weight of the constructions exceeds 5 kg and power is in the range of 1500-2300 W.

To perform milling work on a regular basis, experts recommend picking up the tool, the power of which is not less than 1.5 kW. Such a tool can cope with the performance of any professional tasks, but such a large and heavy design requires considerable effort from the operator. Especially if the wood router is a beginner’s job.

Useful tip! It is very important to choose the right tool for the job. The power of the router should not be too high, but just enough to get the job done. It is necessary to consider the duration of operation of the device without interruption, as well as the possibility of processing products made of hardwood.

Medium hand routers have a motor power level in the range of 750-1500 W and weigh from 3 to 5 kg

Choosing the optimum spindle speed for your handheld wood router

One of the most important technical characteristics of the router is the rotational frequency of the spindle. The higher the speed at which the cutter turns, the better the surface quality after machining. If you need to get a very precise result with a wood router, it is enough to reduce the revolutions. Some models are made for plastic. To avoid the possibility of melting of the material, you need to avoid overheating of the working area. For this purpose, you should use the tool in a low speed mode.

Most models have a rotational speed in the range of 20-30 thousand. About./min. It is a medium variant. Consumers can purchase both slower routers. 10-20 ths. about./min., and faster models. up to 35. thousand. about./min. Do not forget that the larger the size of the diameter of the cutter, the lower should be the angular velocity of its rotation. The point is that the linear velocity of the point on the periphery of the circle is still quite high. Therefore, there is no need for excessive acceleration of the cutter, otherwise it can lead to burning of the wood.

Before you work with the cutter, you need to consider the following nuances:

  • The size of the cutter that will be used at the moment;
  • the density of the material of which the workpiece is made
  • the required machining depth.
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When working with the cutter it is important to consider that the higher the speed at which the cutter is turned, the better the quality of machining of the element

With all of the above in mind, it is better to select a tool that has the function of regulating the number of revolutions. The functionality of the router depends on this. The adjustment system can be smooth or staggered (up to 8 levels of switching).

Many manufacturers indicate the recommended values in the instructions that come with the tool, but practical experience will not be out of place. The optimal device for you can choose from it.

How to choose a hand router for wood by depth of processing

The working stroke of the router is determined by the maximum depth to which it can plunge into the material. Light router models can bury the nozzle by 2-5 cm. The penetration level of powerful tools is 7-8 cm. The higher the stroke, the deeper the router can plunge into the material. High-end tools allow you to work very thick wood.

When buying a router it is important to pay attention to the maximum depth of cut of the element

Please note! It is not possible to cut a full depth groove in one step. The result can not only damage the product, but also break the milling machine. The harder the material to be machined, the shallower must be the depth of cut at a time.

You can’t make a groove that’s deeper than the cutter’s working length in one pass. Some tool models have a regulator that can be used to fine tune the plunge depth, such as the Skil 1840 LA. This parameter is usually set to an accuracy of 0.1 mm.

Getting ready for work

With the router, woodwork can be created. Carved railings, furniture fronts, decorative elements, all kinds of handicrafts and souvenirs. The possibilities of this tool are limited only by the skill and imagination of the master. There are a number of basic elements, the creation of which should be mastered by any beginner. Mastering the following cutting techniques will allow you to achieve complex tasks by applying and combining them.

Open groove

If it is necessary to create a workpiece with a groove starting from the edge, you should position the cutter so that the knife protrudes over the edge of the wood. After that you should install the cutting element and only then start the engine. After machining the edge of the product, you must lift the blade, loosen its lock and turn off the power unit.

Blank grooves are created in a similar way, the only difference is that the cutting element is not installed on the edge of the product, and at the point of the beginning of the slot.

Deep Groove

If the depth of the required groove exceeds 5 mm, it is recommended to work in several steps, each time increasing the depth of recess, especially when working with hard types of wood. The depth of the last notch should be limited to 1,5 mm. for part smoothness and groove geometry.

Narrow groove

To ensure convenience and results during the creation of a part with a narrow groove, it is recommended to attach a flat base to the sole of the cutter. This part, in tandem with the guiding rods mounted on both sides, serves as an auxiliary plane that ensures the correct blade trajectory. It is important to set the axes in line with the center of the cutting element. Run the handheld cutter smoothly and slowly, making sure that the guides are close to the sides of the workpiece.

End face

The main indicator of the correct work of the cutter with the end part of the wooden workpiece is the geometric accuracy and smoothness of the resulting edge. When machining an end face it is necessary to begin with creating a hollow cut by moving the blade in the direction of its rotation. This achieves a good cut of the base material, after which the operator has only to correct the result by turning the cutting assembly counterclockwise.

Curved edges

To create curved edges with a hand router, it is necessary to ensure the accuracy of the path of its blade, using templates equipped with a stop ring. In this method of cutting, a round plate with a flange, called a “ring”, moves along the template, providing a path for the cutting part of the tool. The stop ring is fixed to the router foot before starting work. The template is attached to the workpiece, which is fixed on the work surface with clamps.

Using templates with a router bit makes it possible to produce identical parts in the required quantity.

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Set milling depth

All hand router models have a certain outreach, which represents the maximum depth in the material that can be processed by the machine. It is quite rare that machining at maximum depth is required, so the height often needs to be adjusted. Even when milling a great depth, it is better to reduce the load on the cutters and the equipment itself, by leveling. To do this, you can use the turret. a small disc on the rod, which is equipped with stops (legs) of different heights. There can be 3 to 7 of them on a machine. It is especially convenient if the height of each can be adjusted. This is one of the signs of the high class of the cutter. To fix the turret in the desired position, you can use the stopper which is a small flag.

Setting the milling depth on hand routers is carried out in several stages:

  • tools are placed on flat surfaces, the clamps are released, pressing the cutter firmly against the surface;
  • loosening of the turret by unscrewing its retainer;
  • Based on the size of the required depth, you choose the foot on the turret. To do this, you need to rotate the disk with the stops to the desired position;
  • the screws are not fixed and the bar is held in place with the fingers, while moving the moving pointer so that its value coincides with zero;
  • The boom is raised to the desired value of the milling depth, then the lock on the turret is lowered.

If everything is done correctly, the wood router disc will go into the material to the set depth during machining.

It is worth noting that good milling machines are equipped with a wheel, which provides precise adjustment of the processing depth. It makes it possible, while maintaining the adjusted values, to correct the depth dimension even by very small values.

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