How to Install a Router Bit

Carpenters often use a router bit because this tool functions in a very similar way as drills do. The big difference between the router bit and the drill is that instead of creating a hole, the router uses the bit for cutting and shaping the surface of the object.

Today you can find all kinds of router bits in specialized shops, and they also come in different sizes. However, after buying it, a common problem for many beginner carpenters is how to properly install the router bit.

You have to properly install, as well as adapt, the collet and the bit. If you are not sure how to do that, read on and learn all the steps necessary for installing the router bit.

Things to Do When Installing a Router Bit

  1. The first thing to do is to select the appropriate bit for your wood router. You will find many types of bits on the market, and they are placed in different categories based on their shape, size, or function. Pick the one that is the proper shape and size for the purpose you plan to use it. Also check out the sharpness of the bit, because dull bits will not deliver the expected results.
  2. Second thing you have to do is to ensure that the router bit, as well as the collet, are both clean. Sometimes rust can lead to friction and when you start using the router you will see that its temperature will rise to very high levels. Also, sawdust can limit the lifespan of the tool, so that is why you should always make sure they are clean before you use the router.
  3. Next, insert the bit into the collet until it goes all the way to the bottom. Then adjust the bit's height. You can do that by drawing the bit back slowly. Never forget to adjust the bit because if you do not do that, there will be squeeze between the shank and the collet which will contribute towards bigger friction when operating with the router bit. If you first place the shank down to the bottom of the collet and then take it out a little bit, that will create a nice space between the bit and the collet, so you will not face any friction issues later. This step is of crucial importance because during the work with the router bit there is a friction between the bit and the working material. That leads to increased temperature of the bit and enlargement of its size. If there is no space between the bit's shank and the collet, then the bit can get damaged or can get broken. Therefore, after you pull it up a bit, tighten the collet nut firmly. You can tighten the collet nut by using an appropriate wrench.

General Advice Regarding Routers

  • Always check out the manual for operation, and make sure you clearly understand all the specifications and features of the router. This is especially important if you are going to use the router for the first time. Always hold the router in the proper direction and use it according the instructions. Before you turn the router bit on, put your protective gear on like the safety glasses, ear plugs and gloves.
  • Always be clear about the conformity between the router's speed and the specific type of the bit. If the router speed is not set correctly, then your tool will not provide the desired effects and it will not perform optimally. Incorrect speed can also lead to complete shutdown of the router.
  • Inspect the bit's shank and see whether it is longer than three quarters of an inch. If it is not, then you need to replace the shank because shorter shanks can make the router unstable when you use it.

In general, using the router should not cause you any problems because these tools are fairly easy and simple to use. However, you should always read the instructions first before you start operating with it. Just follow the mentioned advice, do all things necessary, and you will have no problems with your router even if you are just a beginner.