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Cleaning Wood Router & Router Bits | Maintaining Your Tools

Cleaning Router Bits

Cleaning your woodwork instruments is probably the last thing you want to do after a long day’s work, but it is necessary if you want to keep your gear in good working order for as long as possible. A procedure that takes a few seconds barely and is well worth your time will save you from having to fix or replace tools in the future.

Woodworking tools, mainly cleaning cnc router and router bits, are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear in most workplaces, so it’s not surprising that the occasional problem will arise. This is since prolonged usage of these instruments might cause degradation in their accuracy and smoothness. However, just because your wood router has been acting up recently does not necessarily imply that it is time to trade it with brand-new ones. It could mean it’s time that you pick up your gear and start cleaning the router and bits. 

Cleaning Router Bits

When it comes to wood carving, it’s critical to take good care of your tools and equipment, as with many other crafts. They will last out longer and work better if you keep them, clean them, and correctly sharpen them. Clean routers produce accurate results. Learning the techniques of the trade is more than just mastering the carving technique; it also entails maintaining tools in a consistent and concise manner. According to research, only regular routine maintenance and cleaning router and router bits schedules can ensure that you have a hassle-free wood working environment with these instruments for many years. 

Not only would cleaning your tools extend their life expectancy, but it would also help to prevent workpiece damage. Dust and wood splitters are the two most dangerous enemies of your wood router, and a buildup of these particles can cause serious issues. So here we are sharing some useful tips on ‘how to clean router bits and wooden routers’ and maintain them so that you can ensure proper functionality for years.


How to Clean a Wood Router and Bits?

Wood routers cut a variety of wood pieces and edges, and many of these pieces may end up accumulating in various parts of the router. These tools are also subjected to the accumulation of pitch and resin. Many of the woods can have negative impacts on your router, such as pinewood, which can cause it to clog up at various points throughout the machine. The accumulation of pitch, wood splitters, and dust particles might cause your wood router’s performance to decrease. Non-stop bit integrity degradation, as well as blade sharpness degradation, might result in increased motor temperature and other difficulties with your wood router. As a solution, it is extremely important to consider cleaning your router.

Router Bit Cleaning

Router bit cleaning is the second step. Dust and dirt that has been stored on the router bit may be preventing the bit from rotating and thereby affecting its functioning. Unless you notice that your blades and bits aren’t operating as well as they once did, you may not need to send them in for sharpening. It’s possible that they are simply in desperate need of a good cleaning. After some time has passed, pitch and resin begin to accumulate on cutting surfaces, making them less effective at cutting. It is important to remove the accumulation since the increased friction and heat will speed up the deterioration of the edge, and eventually, the blade or a router bit would be rendered inoperable.

While the pitch and resin are being removed, any helpful oils that were previously lubricating the tooling surface are being removed as well during the cleaning process. Remove rust from the drill bits. We must lubricate and preserve the metal to aid in the clean cutting of the blades and the prevention of rust buildup as well. The dry lubricant in aerosol form is extremely simple to use. After applying a light coat, I buff it into the surface with a paper towel to ensure that it is evenly distributed.

After that, use a tiny brush to brush away any remaining dust. After you’ve removed all the extra residue and burnt-on deposits, you must be thinking ‘how to clean up resin tools.’ For this, use a rag soaked in high-quality cleaning fluid to remove any remaining resinous residue. It is intended to dissolve the resin, pitch, slime, muck, crud, gunge, and other noxious residues in a short period of time. The pitch can also be removed with a pitch remover. This mixture aids in the preservation of cutter performance and can be used within 60 seconds. Cleaning is much easier to deal with if you handle it one room at a time, as is the situation with nearly everything else. If you have just taken a router piece from your router, it is likely that it is still rather warm. This means that any resin that is on it will be soft and will be easier to remove than if it were hard. When you use Axminster Blade & Bit Cleaner for cleaning the blade, it gets to work right away and lubricates the blade and bit for future usage.

In the case of clean drill bits, you’ll want to use a hone to sharpen the edge of the router cutter before continuing. Lapping fluid produces greater results than water, and it eliminates the need to lubricate the cutters after they have been used. It is recommended that each face of the router cutter receives the same number of strokes to maintain the balance. An ideal tool for this job is a double-sided hone with fine and coarse sides. When it comes to honing router cutters, fine is the most used grade, but the coarse side is great for bringing a blunt edge back to life. Aside from sharpening HSS router cutters, the coarse side of the hone can also be used for other purposes.

Router Collet Cleaning

Other critical locations, such as drill attachments for cleaning, must be thoroughly cleaned, including the points of connection between the router and its bit, which include the collet and shaft. If dirt and dust have accumulated in the collet and shaft of your bit during operation, your bit may begin to slip. It is necessary to examine and clean the shaft every time you change a router bit. It is probable that there could be some persistent filth and residue that will be difficult to remove. For such residues, you should use a mild cleaning that adheres to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To clean a collet, you simply remove the retainer nut from the collet and soak it in a mild soap solution for a few minutes until clean. Cleaning the inside of the shaft end with a stiff nylon or brass brush is recommended because cleaning the inside of the shaft end may be tough. Cleaning the inside of the collection can be accomplished with a little nylon brush and router bit cleaner. This little brush can be used to thoroughly clean the router threads as well as the interior of the collet nut for a thorough cleaning. It can also be utilized to clean the saw blade, as it’s also known as the saw blade cleaner.

Router Cutting Edge

During the cleaning and router maintenance, make sure to check the cutting edge as well. Clean the cutting edge thoroughly and determine whether it requires sharpening or repair. A cutting edge that has been severely chipped will not work as expected, and you will need to repair or replace it. Aside from checking the cleaning routine, you should also check the cutting-edge cleaning while changing the router bit fast.

Dust Collection System

It is advised that routers that are installed on a table be connected to a high quality dust collection. Not only would a dust collecting system draw air away from the bit, but it would also draw air away from the edges of the bit without raising the temperature of the router. Your wood router’s lifespan will be significantly increased if you use a dust collector to keep it clean and at a consistent temperature during its operation. You may also use your shop vac to vacuum out all the debris and dust that may have accumulated on the air vents of the router’s top and bottom sections, as well as bottom cleaning of the router bit.

Store With Care

The last and most important factor that the woodworker should take care of is , ‘Store their tools with care’. They are stored in a tool bag, drawer, or box at the risk of being damaged, chipped, or otherwise rendered inoperable, drill router cutters should be stored separately. Sharp edges are protected from injury by storing cutters separately. There are several advantages to using router cutter presenters: they grasp the tools, they display the cutters for easier selection, and they can be coated with thin oil (for example, MetalGuard Oil) to protect the cutters. Furthermore, they may be chopped to fit into cabinets, drawers, or racks, making them a simple storage alternative for a variety of items.

Router Bit Cleaner

The Powdered Brewery Wash (PWB) from Five Star is a safe cleaner that may be used in homebrewing. It contains 30% sodium metasilicate and is non-toxic. It costs about $20 for a pound of this stuff at the brewing store, and it makes numerous gallons of cleanser that I use for a variety of other reasons around the house. PWB is excellent for removing carbonised sludge and burned-on grease from stove drip trays that may be removed for cleaning. I immerse them in a sink overnight before giving them a good scrub. Unless the substance is quite thick, in which case it requires a second soak, the item comes easily off. You can buy it here.

Tips of Maintaining Your Wood Router

Here are some tips for maintaining your wood router to ensure it is always in top condition.

1. Clean the Router Regularly

Regular cleaning is essential for keeping your router in good condition. After each use, remove any wood dust and debris from the router. This can be done by using a soft brush to sweep away any dust and debris or by using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Be sure to also clean the router’s base plate and handles to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating.

2. Lubricate Moving Parts

It is important to lubricate the router’s moving parts regularly to ensure smooth operation. Lubricate the router’s bearings, gears, and other parts that move with a light machine oil or silicone lubricant. Be sure to apply the lubricant sparingly and wipe away any excess.

3. Tighten Loose Bolts and Nuts

Check the router’s bolts and nuts periodically to ensure they are securely tightened. If there are any loose bolts or nuts, tighten them with the appropriate tool.

4. Check the Router’s Bits

Over time, the router’s bits can become dull or worn. To ensure optimal performance, regularly check the router’s bits to make sure they are in good condition. If they are worn, replace them with new ones.

5. Sharpen the Router Bits

If the router’s bits are not too worn, you can sharpen them to extend their lifespan. This can be done by using a grinding wheel or sharpening stone. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sharpening the bits.

6. Change the Router’s Speed

The router’s speed should be adjusted to suit the material being worked on. If the router is running too fast, it can cause the material to splinter or chip. If the router is running too slow, it can cause the material to burn.

7. Avoid Overheating

The router’s motor can become overheated if it is used for an extended period of time. To prevent this, avoid using the router for long periods of time and allow it to cool down after each use.

8. Store the Router Properly

When the router is not in use, store it in a dry, dust-free area. This will help to protect the router from dirt and debris and will ensure it is always ready to use when needed.

By following these tips, you can ensure your wood router is always in top condition and will last for years to come. With regular maintenance, you can make sure your router is always ready for any woodworking project.

When to Seek a Professional For Router Cleaning?

Router bits can be cleaned at home to an extent. After five or six repetitions of honing, a router bit requires professional grinding to maintain its sharpness. The tests that follow will tell you whether that time has arrived.

  • Examine the bit in bright sunlight. Look at the cutting edge for any nicks or dull places.
  • Place a fingernail against the cutting edge of the bit and gradually spin the bit to the right. It should be able to shave the nail with only a small amount of effort.
  • Run the bit into softwood and see how it cuts, as well as the surface it leaves behind after it is finished.
  • Double-check the chips. If the shavings resemble sawdust rather than thin shavings, the bit will require professional attention.


In our well cleaned router review, we can say it is worth your time and money to devote some effort and resources to cleaning router and router bits and maintaining your wood tools and their various parts and components. Not only would you be able to extend the life of your wood router, but also be able to eliminate the frustration that comes with dealing with a faulty router. Any buildup of pitch, glue, gum, grit, debris and small wood particles could cause cutting friction to be reduced, resulting in the machine becoming hotter to operate. As a result, it is critical to remove all these particles to maintain a stable router temperature. Aside from all these suggestions, you should review the owner’s manual for your wood router to guarantee that you are following the recommended cleaning procedures for your individual model and make.

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