As with any power tool, there are some basic, common sense safety rules that need to be kept in mind with their use. With the high speeds a router bit works at, getting rushed or excited or forgetful is a quick way to end up hurt and bleeding. Review these important safety tips for successful woodworking.
Always wear your goggles or safety glasses when using a router and keep them clean so you can see exactly what you are doing. The fine dust created by the router also needs to stay out of your lungs so don’t forget a mask either. Protect your hearing with ear plugs since routers are loud. Finally, don’t work in long sleeves, especially with a table router as the cuff material can catch in the bit and drag your arm in.
Make your router safer as well. Always unplug the power when you are changing bits. It may seem like a hassle but something can easily bump the switch while you are fiddling with the bits and suddenly you can have fingers flying everywhere. Never leave more than 20% of the bit shaft extended from the collet and make sure it is tight. If the shaft is too far out it can bend or break and loosened, can become a projectile.
You also want to examine your bits every so often for wear or chipping. Examine the bearings and other parts to see that they are not working loose. Replace any bit that is not in good working condition.
It may not seem at first to be a safety precaution but – read the owner’s manual! There are many differences in the various brands and styles of routers and knowing what yours can and can’t do is very important in keeping you safe and your projects successful. Besides, if you read the manual you just may learn some new capability your router has and you will be an even better woodworker.