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      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2009 edited
     
    Router bits come in diameters up to 5". Obviously, the larger the router bit, the more power you need to drive it. A larger bit removes more wood each time a cutting flute contacts the wood. What may not be quite as obvious is the the larger the bit, the slower the speed at which it should run. This is because the larger the diameter of the flutes, the higher the "tip speed" -- the speed at which the outside diameter of the flute is moving. If the flute moves too fast, it will burn the wood -- but that's the least of your worries. As the diameter and tip speeds increase, so does the likelihood and danger of kickbacks. A 3-12"-diameter bit spinning at 24,000 RPM will kickback pieces of wood at approximately 250 miles per hour -- faster the some bullets. Certainly faster than you can dodge the projectile. For that reason, you should lower the speed of your router. Here's a chart:

    Bit Diameter -- Maximum Safe Speed
    Up to 1 inch -- 24,000 RPM
    1" to 2" ------- 20,000 RPM
    2" to 2-1/2" -- 16,000 RPM
    2-1/2" to 3" -- 12,000 RPM
    3" to 3-1/2" --- 8,000 RPM
    Over 3-1/2" --- Don't even think about it.

    If you need to cut larger profiles than what you can safely cut with your router, consider a shaper.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
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    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2012
     
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    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2012
     
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