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Choosing Proper Router Bit Speeds

For Safety and Best Routing Results

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Routing with a 3/4

Routing with a 3/4" Roundover Bit

(c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
When working with larger diameter bits, in order to work safely and achieve the proper results, it is necessary to adjust the router's RPM speed accordingly. The general rule is, "the larger the bit, the slower the speed."

The chart at the bottom of this page provides a guideline as to the maximum speed that should be used for particular diameter bits. However, this chart is a general guideline. Consult your router's user guide or the documentation that accompanied your particular bit for specific details on setting the appropriate speed for the bit.

Additionally, always be certain to insert the shank completely into the collet, then pull the bit out slightly to avoid bottoming out the bit in the collet.

Also, avoid free-handing with large profile bits. It is much safer to use large profile bits in a router table at the appropriate speeds.

Router Bit Speeds

Bit Diameter Maximum Speed
Up to 1 inch 24,000 rpm
1 to 2 inches 18,000 rpm
2 to 2-1/2 inches 16,000 rpm
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches 12,000 rpm
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