How To Use A DeWalt Router [Step-By-Step Guide]?

Are you working on a woodworking project and want to know how to use a DeWalt router to improve it? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

Here is a summary of the steps that you can follow to use your DeWalt router:

  1. Choose the bit that you want to use.
  2. Load the bit into your DeWalt router’s collet.
  3. If you’re using a variable-speed router, pick the appropriate speed for the size of the bit that you’re using.
  4. Slide your router counterclockwise along the edge of the wood. Start from the bottom end grain, from left to right.

Learn the complete steps on how to use your router for various tasks in the succeeding sections. Let’s talk about how to set up your router in the sections below.

Read on!

What Are The Parts Of A Router?

Before we talk about how to use a router, it is best to familiarize ourselves with its different parts first. We will focus on the parts that you need to know to become familiar with your DeWalt router.

sun lit Dewalt router used on wood works of the house, How To Use A Dewalt Router [Step By Step Guide]

Router Bit

The bits, or the router bits, are what you connect to the router to cut or trim. Router bits are solid metal that has various shapes and sizes.

Two or three sides of the router bits have sharp protrusions that still follow the shape of the bit. These are what cut the wood as the router spins.

When the router spins the bit, the spinning movement will shave off parts of the wood according to the shape of the bit. Thus, picking the right bit can give your wood project decorative edging. Various shapes of bits will also produce various shapes on the wood.

The part of the bit that has paint is often the shape that you will get. Any area that doesn’t have paint will not be part of the shape from the bit.

The opposite end of the cutting side of a bit is a circular shaft or the shank. The shaft is what connects to the router’s collet.

machine tool wood factory drilling cnc

The Collet

Collets are steel sleeves that grip the router bit. Their size is a perfect match for the diameter of the bit's shaft. You connect a collet to the router shaft. The collet nut tightens the collet.

The popular sizes of collets are the half-inch and the quarter-inch collet. When picking your bit, it should have a shaft that fits into the mounting hole of the collet.

The most important function of the collet is to allow you to switch between different bits.

Router Base

Some DeWalt models have routers that can fit into different types of bases. Two popular types of bases are common in routers.

The fixed base is what you commonly see in routers. It has a smooth sub-base or base plate that allows you to slide it across the surface of a slab of wood to cut. A DeWalt fixed base normally has a quick-release latch that makes it simpler and faster to switch bases.

The plunger base makes it simpler to use plunge routers for various woodworking projects. Plunge posts support the router vertically. There is a spring inside the plunge posts that automatically bring the router back to its original position.

There is also a turret stop that allows you to specify the maximum depth that the router can go.

Speed Switch

Some DeWalt routers have a speed selections switch or knob. This is only present on variable-speed routers.

Variable speed routers allow you to use the most appropriate speed for the bit that you will use. As a rule of thumb, bits with larger diameters must use lower speeds, while bits with smaller diameters typically use faster rotational speeds.

Motor Pack

The motor pack of a router is its main source of power. It can provide power to the router bits through the motor shaft.

Modern routers have a speed switch that allows you to change the speed of the motor. The motor can spin from around 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM.

You can transfer the motor pack to different bases to make it easier for you to work on your project.

Rechargeable Battery

portrait photo of a Dewalt router cordless

Modern routers—like almost all power tools—now have wireless versions.

For a wireless router to work without wires, you need a powerful battery to supply electrical energy. Battery packs of different power capacities are available as an upgrade to the stock battery of your router if you need a higher capacity.

Moreover, some router models have accessories that will fit both the wired and wireless versions of their routers. This interconnectivity of accessories is a plus since you do not have to buy separate sets of accessories for your wired and wireless router.

Depth Gauge

The depth gauge of a router gives you control over how low the bit will go to cut or trim your wood. Some models use a side-mounted screw to adjust the height of the bit upward or down.

How To Use A DeWalt Router?

Here are the complete steps for using the router. We will go over the common tasks that you can do with a router, including the steps to complete them.

Getting The Router Ready

  1. Remove the battery of your router if you’re using a wireless router. Unplug the router from the power socket if it is not wireless.
  2. Remove the router from the base by unlocking the base and pulling the motor pack out of the base.
  3. Loosen the collet with a spanner.

Changing The Router Bit

  1. Pick the router bit that you want to use.
  2. Insert the bit into the collet and then slowly pull it out until you have an eighth of the shaft sticking out of the collet.
    • Never push the bit all the way into the collet. The base of the shaft will start to change as you get to the cutting part of the bit. The paint of the bit will help you determine the start of the cutting part of the bit.
    • Thus, if you push the bit all the way into the collet, the collet will not be able to firmly grip the bit because of the uneven diameter where the cutting area starts.
  1. Hold the router shaft with a spanner to prevent the shaft from moving.
  2. Tighten the collet with another spanner while locking the shaft in place.
    • Never over-tighten the collet. Over-tightening the collet can damage it and reduce its ability to grip the bit.
    • The rotation of the motor will also tighten the collet into place.

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Positioning The Router

  1. Insert the router into the base.
  2. Twist the router to position it on the base.
  3. Position the router at the edge of the wooden board that you will be working on.
  4. Carefully lower the height of the router bit by adjusting the depth gauge. Make sure that you maintain the support of your router to prevent it from tipping over your workbench or table while you adjust the height of the router bit.
  5. Press the power unlock button.
    • Not all router models have a power unlock button.
    • The power unlock button prevents any accidental power-up of the router.
    • You will not be able to turn the router on without unlocking it first.
  1. Position the router on the piece of wood that you will be working on.
    • It is a good idea to test the settings of your router on scrap wood first. This will tell you if the depth is correct or whether you need to adjust it. Testing the router first will allow you to finalize the adjustments before working on your project.
    • When working with a router, always move your router counterclockwise.
    • Ideally, move it from left to right at the bottom grain first, then upward on the right side of the wood. This will prevent your router from running away and becoming uncontrollable, which is dangerous.
  1. Grip the router firmly and move it across the wooden slab to trim it.

woodworking carpentry cutting edge board router

How To Use A Router To Make A Sign?

Aside from making gorgeous edges for your projects, you can also use a router to make signs. The router can cut a shallow hole that follows a design or words on a wooden board. The end product is a sign with carved letters and a logo.

Here are the simple steps to accomplish this.

  1. Follow the steps above—from the beginning to Step 5 of the section “Positioning The Router”—on how to use a router.
  2. Prepare the wooden slab that you will work on. Draw the pattern or write the sign on the wooden slab.
  3. Adjust the depth of the router to match the depth that you want it to carve for the sign.
  4. Position the router over the slab of wood.
  5. Unlock and turn on the router to start carving out the sign. Move the router slowly as you follow the lines on the slab of wood.
    • You can pick different sizes of bit that is best suited for letters or the outline of a logo.

In Closing

sun lit Dewalt router used on wood works of the house

The DeWalt router is one of the most versatile and useful power tools for woodworking. Using it will need a little practice and an occasional trial and error. However, knowing the basics can give you a rewarding experience.

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