How to Install Router Bits Correctly? How to Change a Router Bit?

Now you’ve purchased a brand new wood router and some top-quality router bits, but what’s next? How to install router bits and make the whole thing start running? If a router bit is not correctly installed or changed, it can cause improper functionality and the bit may also get permanently damaged, sometimes it may even become a safety hazard, causing the bit to fly right out of the tool at the speed of hundreds of miles per hour.

Here are some steps to follow, that would guide you on proper installation and how to install a router bit with wood outer. To change a router bit, steps are also similar.

Step 1: Choose the correct router bit

Bits and routers come in different varieties. Click here to read our guide on how to buy the right bit for your project. Bits come in different sizes, shapes, functions, so you could pick one appropriate to your need, with correct depth for a specific purpose, and correct direction for cutting. Check if the bit is sharp because a dull one could damage your project, create unwanted burn marks, or chip on your wood.

Step 2: Make sure router and the bit is clean

Ensure that there is no leftover grime or debris on the router bit shank and definitely check the collet as well. Friction can be caused by remaining sawdust and crust, and enough friction under such high speed can make temperature rapidly rise. If you find that your router bit is damaged, burned, dull, or chipped, avoid using it. Sharpen your dull bits and replace damaged ones before using your wood router. Make sure that the collet is open and the nut loosened.

Step 3: Install router bits

One question that gets asked the most is how far to insert router bit? One thing we are sure of is that if the bit is inserted all the way in, it’s gonna bring you some unwanted results.

To avoid that, first Insert the bit into the router, make sure it goes all the way into the collet as far as possible at first. Whenever the shank would reach the bottom of the collet, that’s when you should slowly pull back the bit for around 1/8 to 1/4 inch, otherwise, there’s a good chance of your router bit getting stuck after using. When you are finished with tightening the bit, the bit shank should not be preferably less than 3/4 inches. If in case you find that it is shorter in the collet, you should not use that bit and maybe better opt for a replacement.

After that, use an appropriate wrench to tighten your collet nuts. And wah lah, you’ve successfully learned how to change a router bit!

install router bits

Additional Tips

  • Make sure you use your safety gear correctly every time you work on your project. This includes wearing glasses, gloves, and earplugs or other hearing protection.
  • Every type of bit has an ideal router speed, so before starting make sure you know it. incorrect speed could damage your bit. Your can check our RPM chart here.
  • Always read the operation manual and make sure you fully understand all the specifications and functions of the router.

Read further on how to choose your router bits here: Complete Beginner’s Router Bits Buying Guide

Also, check out this video tutorial on how to install a router bit if you are still unsure.