Best Speed for Router

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Forum topic by Buckeyeduffer posted 10-02-2016 04:57 PM 246 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 21 days

10-02-2016 04:57 PM

Hello All:

A newbie here. Just setting up my retirement shop and working a few projects along the way. One problem I am consistently having is getting lousy cuts from my router. I have a Dewalt Router mounted in an undertable router jig, with a adequate fence, (I think) but my routing jobs are rough looking at best and most are regretable. I get a bad strong vibration from the piece bening routed and any wood harder than white pine seems to burn a good bit.

I do not know if this is a router speed, or router bit problem. Any thoughts?

-- Buckeyeduffer

8 replies so far

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1294 posts in 1367 days

#1 posted 10-02-2016 05:09 PM

there are a lot of crucial details missing and pix are generally very helpful. What kind of profile, is it carbide, how deep of a cut, what kind of material. I am generally the other end of the spectrum when it comes to routers. all of mine are 1 speed, and I run everything wide open. I have for years. the more cuts per inch the cleaner the cut.

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115171 posts in 2996 days

#2 posted 10-02-2016 05:41 PM

Like Shawn said there’s no set speed there are a number of factors involved ,but generally speaking the larger the bit the slower the speed.

-- Custom furniture

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115171 posts in 2996 days

#3 posted 10-02-2016 05:41 PM

BTW Welcome to Ljs

-- Custom furniture

View JBrow's profile


744 posts in 339 days

#4 posted 10-02-2016 06:05 PM


MLCS Technical Guide may be a good resource. In fact page 3 of the guide directly addresses your questions. On page 3 it speaks of general remedies for vibration and burning. These are adjusting the depth of cut, feed rate, and router bit speed. It goes on and provides appropriate speeds for various diameters of router bits. The guide also provides advice for the use of various types of router bits commonly used.

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2537 posts in 1676 days

#5 posted 10-02-2016 09:34 PM

JBrow, that is a great resource. Thanks for posting it.

-- Art

View Lazyman's profile


603 posts in 806 days

#6 posted 10-03-2016 12:40 AM

As already mentioned, more information or example pictures would be helpful. Some experimentation with different speeds on different woods might be in order, but bit speed is not the only variable and perhaps not even the most important one. Since you call yourself a newbie I will mention a couple of obvious things that can lead to poor cuts.

1) Make sure that you are routing in the right direction. It is usually pretty obvious if you go the wrong way because the router/work piece will fight you and you will get a terrible cut. Here is one source that explains how to determine the correct direction (there are plenty of others online):
2) Make multiple light passes instead of a single pass to the final cut
3) Don’t try to feed too fast. If the bit bogs down, you may get a rougher cut.
3) The end of a cut and end grain tend to tear out the worst. Sometimes it is helpful to have a piece of scrap at the end of the cut to support the cut or route the piece before cutting to the final length so you can cut off any tear out near the ends.
4) Make sure that the bits are sharp and clean.

5) Finally, make sure that your router is firmly attached to the table and that it doesn’t flex or move. Use a square to make sure that the straight bit is square to the table in all directions and a straight edge to check that the table insert, if you have one, is perfectly flat and copanar to the rest of the table. If you put a 2 ” straight bit in it for example you should not see any deflection if you push on the tip from the side—power off of course. Use the square to check for the deflection. If the table top or insert plate is flexible at all, you will get some of the vibrations that you describe, especially in really hard woods.

I hope these help. If not, post more information and especially some pictures and someone will be able to help give you some other ideas.

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 872 days

#7 posted 10-03-2016 01:02 AM

Read the bit spec. It overrides anything else. Take two passes, one hogging and the 2nd clean up unless the bit says otherwise.

Chattering is a sign of over feeding (taking too deep of a cut). Take two, shallower, passes.

Dull bits burn. Don’t waste your $ on HSS bits – carbide only. HSS bits will only last one project or less. Only use bits with live bearings and not rub collars.

When all else fails – buy moulding . . . Lol


-- Madmark -

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1444 days

#8 posted 10-03-2016 04:07 AM

Simple rule of thumb on feed direction: feed TOWARD the carbide.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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