• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

How to Use a Hand Held Router: A Comprehensive Guide

Alejandra Reynoso

ByAlejandra Reynoso

Oct 5, 2023

A hand held router is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in woodworking. It’s versatile, powerful, and can be used to create a wide range of finishes and effects. But how exactly do you use one? This guide will walk you through the process, step by step.

  • Table of Contents
  • Getting Started
  • Safety Measures
  • Basic Operation
  • Advanced Techniques
  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Key Takeaways

  • Understand the basics of operating a hand held router
  • Learn about the different types of router bits
  • Master advanced techniques for precision work

Getting Started

Before you start routing, you need to familiarize yourself with the router itself. Hand held routers vary in design, but most models have a motor housing, a base, and a collet that holds the router bit. You’ll also find an adjustment mechanism for setting the depth of cut.

Here is a great resource to understand more about different types of routers.

If you’re just starting out, it’s recommended to use a fixed-base router. It’s easier to control and perfect for basic cuts. For more advanced work, a plunge router is often preferred.

Router bits come in a dizzying array of shapes and sizes. Each type of bit creates a different kind of cut. This guide from Woodcraft breaks down the most common types and their uses.

Safety Measures

Routers are powerful tools, and they demand respect. Always wear safety glasses and hearing protection when you’re routing. A dust mask is also a good idea, especially if you’re working with exotic woods that can cause allergic reactions.

Whenever you change bits, unplug the router. It’s easy to accidentally hit the power switch and potentially cause a serious injury.

Basic Operation

To make a cut, first adjust the depth of cut. Turn the router on and gently plunge the bit into the material. Move the router from left to right, against the rotation of the bit. This is known as a climb cut and it will give you the best control and finish.

For more detailed information on the operation of routers, check this article from Associates99.

Advanced Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start to experiment with more advanced techniques. For example, you might try using a router to cut dovetail joints, or to create decorative moldings.

Another technique to consider is template routing. This involves creating a template, or pattern, and using a router with a pattern bit to replicate the design. This technique is especially useful for repetitive work, such as making multiple cabinet doors that need to match exactly.

For more advanced techniques, visit this article from Associates99.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a router used for?
    A router is used for hollowing out an area in the face of a relatively hard workpiece, typically of wood or plastic.

  • What are the different types of routers
    There are mainly two types of routers: Fixed-base routers and Plunge routers.

  • What safety measures should I follow while using a router?
    Always wear safety glasses, hearing protection, and a dust mask. Unplug the router while changing bits.


A hand held router is a versatile tool, and with a little practice, you can use it to create a wide range of finishes and effects. Remember to always take safety seriously, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques. Happy routing!

For further reading, check out this comprehensive guide on the best wood routers on Associates99.

Alejandra Reynoso

By Alejandra Reynoso

Alejandra Reynoso is a passionate writer with a gift for creating engaging and informative website articles. With a background in journalism and business with a flair for storytelling, she has mastered the art of captivating readers with her words. Alejandra's writing covers a diverse range of topics, from business and money to news and politics.