how to maintain a wood router

Routers are one of the essential tools in a woodworker’s arsenal. A router is a handheld tool that can cut grooves, round corners and shape edges into solid wood quickly and precisely. But do you know how to maintain a wood router? In this article, we’ll show you how to extend your cutter’s life while getting cleaner cuts from your device.

Router Cleaning

Overheating may be avoided by cleaning tools from any woodworking dust that may have accumulated after each routing cutter operation.

Router Cutter Edges

You can clean the woodworking cutting edges of the router cutter with a brass bristle brush or abrasive scrub pad. Remove the bearing first before cleaning the router bits. To remove debris from a router bit cutting edge, do the following:

  • Use dish soap
  • Rub with a brush or scrub pad
  • Rinse with warm water

Edge Cleaning Tip

Do not use sandpaper or steel wool on a router bit, as this may damage router cutters permanently and make them unusable for future projects.

Router Bit and Collets

Brown spots on the shanks, shank slippage, routing cutters, collet seizure, and, worst case, shank fracture are all signs that a plunge router cutter is about to break. The collet will eventually begin to force router bits out, or accumulated debris will make router bits challenging to install.

Router Collets

The collet must be cleaned free of any accumulated fine dust or wooden chips. Take the collet from the arbour and clean it with a brush. The collet is oil-free and should be operated without any additional lubrication.

Router Table

The router table can be cleaned using a cloth, but no abrasives. You should not use water or any other liquid on the table; water may cause damage to your router and leave behind mineral deposits that are difficult to remove.

Router Cleaning Tip

Do not use a high-pressure air line to clean the router. This process will drive additional dust deeper into the machine’s motor and shorten the motor’s life.

Router Maintenance

If you disregard maintenance, the router will become slow to move, and the router cutters will become stuck in the collet. You may perform simple maintenance without taking the entire unit apart. But if the router is still under warranty, it’s best to let a professional help.


bits and safety goggles on wooden planks

Router bearings that have seen a lot of use may need to be replaced. They are self-contained, so there is no need to clean or lubricate them. When the motor runs normally, any changes in speed or noise, especially noises that come and go, should make you suspicious.

Save Your Fingers

Although ball bearings in routers are built to withstand high speeds, they may need to be replaced. Unusual vibrations indicate that you should consult a professional to replace palm routers’ bearings.


Excessive sparking at the motor’s head is a telltale sign of excessively worn brushes. Use a vacuum extractor to clean moving parts. Be careful not to scratch the commutator and to break any covered wires connecting the field coil and armature.

After putting the brushes back in place, reconnect their leads to ensure the terminals are fully connected, or the screws are tight but not too tight.

Plunge Columns

Inspect and remove any sticky deposits from the depth plunge columns using a blade to ensure the router plunges smoothly and efficiently. You should never use abrasive materials like wire wool or sandpaper on these columns because they will create scratches that worsen the situation.

Use Lubricating Spray

After cleaning, a light oil coating or a dry lubricating spray (PTFE) on the cutter will keep straight bits gliding effortlessly.


The router baseplate prevents the tool from leaving marks on the wood’s surface when it is being used. But it wears very quickly and can have resin on it. The router’s performance may cause feed speed problems due to the stress created by dirt on the plate.

Router Cutters Housing

Scratches can be smoothed using 200-grit sandpaper rolled over a flat surface, and resin deposits can be removed using a solvent. You can apply PTFE spray to the base to make it easier to move over the workpiece.

Router Cleaning and Maintenance

So whether you’re making a table or a fence with a certain thickness, that’s how to maintain a wood router. A router machine is an essential tool for woodworkers and carpenters. Maintaining your router will ensure that it will last longer, perform better and be less likely to break down unexpectedly.

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