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Router glossary


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  The process of engraving lines into a plank of wood to make it look as though it's been created from several planks glued together  

Imitation matchlining

Imitation matchlining involves using a V-groove cutter to create a series of parallel grooves in a board to give the impression that the it was made by separate boards formed with matchlining joints. 

  An example of a piece of wood with material inlay  


An inlay is a piece of wood, metal, or other material designed to be glued into a pre-cut groove or hollow and smoothed so that it lies flush with the surrounding surface. The groove or hollow for the inlay is often cut with a small diameter straight router cutter. You can buy inlay kits and templates for routing inlays.

  Different types of intumescent strips, used as fire and smoke resistant seals on doors and windows  

Intumescent strip

An intumescent strip comes in the form of a narrow piece of material designed to fit between a door, or a window, and its frame to provide a smoke and fire barrier. Specially designed router cutters are available to cut the recesses needed for these strips. 


  Router jig. A template for a router  


A general term for devices used as a holding and guiding mechanism for a router or other power tool. Many different forms of jig and other templates are available for a multitude of routing applications. 



  Thickness of cut made by a router cutter or other tool  


The term "kerf" can be used to describe the thickness of the cut made by a tool such as a biscuit jointer router cutter, as well as the thickness of the cutter's blade. 

  A router cutter used to create a slotted groove on the back of a picture frame so that it can be hung on a wall  

Keyhole cutter

A keyhole cutter is designed to produce a special slotted groove on the backs of pictures frames or other items, allowing them to be hung on the wall.

  Kick back when routing - preventing kick back  

Kick back

Kickback occurs when a router bit gets lodged in the material and struggles to continue cutting. When this happens, the bit will try and turn the material, or - if the material is clamped down - transfer the energy back to the router, which becomes difficult to control.

  A hard lump in a piece of wood  


A knot is a very hard mass in a piece of timber formed at the junction of a branch. There are two kinds of knot: the "dead" knot which is loose and generally falls out, and the "live" knot which is firmly a part of the wood.

  An example of a knuckle joint  

Knuckle joint

Knuckle joints are similar to finger joints, except the “fingers” are rounded over and the recesses into which the fingers fit have a convex shape. They are commonly used on drop leaf tables, to form the hinges for swing legs. There are router cutters designed for routing the knuckle part of this joint.



  Router cutter used to trim laminate flush with the material it is attached to  

Laminate trim cutter

A laminate trim cutter is used for trimming the plastic laminate overlay or vertical mounted edge strip.

  Lap joint for woodworking  

Lap joint

A joint where one piece overlaps another.buy router cutters

  A door with horizontal reinforcing bars (ledges) supported by diagonal reinforcing bards (braces)  

Ledged and braced doors

Ledged and braced doors consist of vertical boards and horizontal bars or ledges strengthened by diagonal braces. They can also be called batten doors.

  Router motor  


The load is the amount of resistance the router has to overcome in order to continue cutting effectively. Routing tough material, encountering difficult grain structure, or a sudden change in feed direction are just some of the things that can increase the load placed on the motor.



  Plywood, block board and MDF - all examples of man-made materials  

Man-made material

The term "man-made material" usually refers to reconstituted materials and engineered woods, such as medium density fibreboard (MDF), chipboard, blockboard, and plywood. 

  A tongue and groove joint with a chamfer - a matchlining joint  

Matchlining joint

A matchlining joint is essentially a tongue and groove joint but with a chamfer (usually of 45 degrees) above both the tongue and groove sections. When the two materials are joined, the chamfers meet to form a V-shaped groove. Matchlining joints are often used to construct bath panels or the linings of interior walls. There are matchlining cutters designed to create these joints. V-groove router cutters can be used to create “imitation matchlining”.

  MDF. Medium density fibreboard can be routed with a router cutter  

Medium density fibreboard (MDF)

Medium density fibreboard, commonly known as MDF, is a versatile man-made board used widely in the woodworking industry. It is smoother than hardboard, denser than chipboard, and often comes veneered or laminated. MDF can be easily machined with a router and tungsten carbide tipped router cutters. 

  An example of a mitre joint  


A mitre or mitre joint involves joining two lengths of material by cutting bevels at the end of each. The angles are usually 45-degrees, so that when joined, they form a 90-degree corner, which is a true mitre joint.  Mitres can also be set for other angles of corner, for example, if two 30-degree sides were joined they could form a 60-degree corner. Mitres are often used to make things like frames. 

  A mitre lock cutter with an example of the shape of joint it can create  

Mitre lock joint

A mitre lock joint is a type of corner joint, where two pieces of material meet at 90 degrees; however it can also be used on the sides of materials to make a wider board. The joint consists of tapered tongues and grooves that lock into one another when glued together, helping to protect the joint against movement, making them very strong. There are mitre lock cutters which are designed to rout the parts for this joint.

  Example of a mortise and tenon joint  


A mortise is a rectangular hole or slot designed to receive a corresponding projection (like a tenon) to make a right-angled joint, or to receive an item such as a lock or hinge. There are special mortise cutters and jigs designed to help cut mortises.

  Decorative shaping on the show face of a workpiece  


Moulding refers to a narrow strip of material (usually wood) that is used to decorate a structure, accent its features, or conceal a joint between two parts. A wide range of moulding cutters are available to create different moulding profiles. 

  Multi-fluted rasps can be used for carving in hand-held router machines  

Multi-fluted rasps

Small multi-fluted rasps are used to deburr, clean welds, and carve wood. They're usually used in portable hand grinders or light-duty hand routers.



The vertical division between the rails in a panel door or panelling. For windows, muntins are very small strips of wood or metal that divide a sash into smaller glass panes or lights.buy router cutters



  Metals which do not contain iron  

Non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are those which do not contain iron in considerable amounts. Examples include: aluminium, copper, and brass. Some router cutters can be used to cut these metals.

  Non-pilot router bit, groove cutting router bit, surface cutting router bit  

Non-pilot router bits

Non-pilot router bits, or cutters, are those that do not have a guide bearing around their shank and are designed to cut across the surface (rather than along the edge) of a material. They are also known as groove cutter or surface-cutting bits. 

  A specific shape of decorative moulding  


The nosing is the portion of a stair tread that projects beyond the face of the riser. It typically has a rounded profile. Staff bead router cutters can be used to produce nosings.



  Examples of a groove created by an ogee cutter  


An ogee is a type of profile that has two curves, one convex and one concave, which produce a wave-like shape. Two ogee profiles together form an "ogee arch", a shape commonly seen in architecture, often above doorways or windows. There are many different ogee router cutters which are designed to produce the ogee shape in materials.

  A type of stone used for sharpening  


An oilstone is a stone on which oil is applied in order to touch up cutting tools, such as router cutters or planer blades, by sharpening or honing their blades. 

  An ovolo cutter with an example of the shape of moulding it can create  


An ovolo is a profile with a quarter round convex cross section (the opposite of a cavetto). There are various ovolo router cutters designed to produce this shape in materials.



  A board that is set into a frame - known as a panel  


A panel is a board that is designed to be set in a frame, usually within a groove around the inside of the frame. It can be positioned below, above, or flush with the face of the frame itself, and is normally seen in panelled doors and furniture. 

  One run of a router cutter through a piece of material - a pass  


In routing, a pass refers to one run of the router cutter through the material. It's recommended that deep cuts are made in a series of shallow passes to help prolong the life of the router cutter's edges. 

  An example of a worktop with a peninsular top, like a breakfast bar  

Peninsular top

A peninsular top is a kitchen worktop that is accessible from three sides, like a breakfast bar. There are Trend workshop jigs and cutters which can be used to cut out peninsular units as well as shape the ends. 

  Speed that the tip of a cutting edge travels - peripheral speed  

Peripheral speed

Peripheral speed is the distance a given point on the perimeter of a rotating circular object travels. In routing, this is at the extremity of the cutting edges and is usually expressed in feet or metres per second.

  Cutters designed to pierce through laminate and then trim material underneath it  

Pierce and trim cutters

Pierce and trim cutters are designed to pierce through a laminate overlay and then trim it back to match the shape beneath. buy router cutters

  Pilot router bit, router bit with guide, router bits  

Pilot router bits 

A pilot router bit or cutter, or edge forming router bit, is one that has a guide bearing that rests against the edge of the material and helps the user to rout at a consistent depth. The guide bearing can be located above or below the cutting edges.

  The sticky substance found in softwood  


The term "pitch" can be used to describe the sticky resinous substance often found in softwoods, as well as the steepness of a roof or stairs.

  Edge planing with a router from Trend  


Planing is the process of removing small amounts of stock in order to ensure that the surfaces of a workpiece are square and true to one another. When carried out on the edge of a workpiece prior to jointing, it is called edge jointing and can be done using either a hand-held or table-mounted router.  

  Plastazote - a type of foam used to pad tool boxes  

Plastazote (and esterzote)

Plastazote and esterzote are dense foam compounds used in tool and instrument cases. They can be machined with a router and sharp high-speed steel cutters.

  Using a router to cut down through the surface of a workpiece  


Plunging is the action of lowering the router cutter into the work surface. Most modern plunge routers have spring-loaded columns to allow a smooth vertical movement when working. 

  Using a router to cut down through the surface of a workpiece  

Plunge lock

The mechanism for quickly securing the plunge router down at a set depth so it can perform like a fixed-base router.

  A type of dry lubricant  

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Polytetrafluoroethylene is a dry lubricant, usually found in spray form, which is used on router bit shanks and collets to prevent rust and resin build-up. Some router cutters are manufactured with a PTFE coating. 

  A type of plastic  

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride is a type of plastic often used to make products such as tarpaulins or cable insulation. PVC can be cut with sharp high-speed steel router cutters.

  Progressive cutting with router cutters  

Progressive cutting

Making several shallow passes when routing instead of a single deep cut places less strain on the cutting edges of your cutter and the motor of the tool, helping them both to last longer. The height of the router bit is adjusted in order to control how much material is removed with each pass.  



  A small step on the profile of a cut made by a router cutter - a quirk  


A quirk is a step or flat area adjacent to the radius of a curved profile. For example, a concave profile with a quirk above and below the curve can be created using a Trend classic/decorative edge moulding cutter with a small bearing. A larger bearing would remove the quirk.



  Radial relief  

Radial relief

Radial relief refers to the amount of space behind the cutting edge of a router cutter. This prevents friction between the cutter and the material's surface. 

  A radius is created either by rounding off a corner or cutting a concave groove along it  


In routing, the term "radius" is used to describe a rounded form whether concave or convex. Radius and round over cutters are used to produce part or half circular profiles. 


An indentation on the edge of a workpiece created using a router cutter - a rebate



A rebate is a 90-degree groove cut along the edge of a piece of material. Rebates are used in a wide variety of applications; one example is in the construction of lap joints. A rebate can be cut with a straight, spiral, or rebate trend router cutter. 

  Several beads created in a line are referred to as reeds  


When several beads are produced side by side, they can be called reeds. buy router cutters

  A router cutter with a replaceable tip  

Replaceable tips

Replaceable tips are cutting blades held on to a cutter with locking screws so that they can be changed when blunt. 

  Rosette moulding decorations  


A circular shaped decorative moulding often used at the corner joints of fireplaces and in cabinet making. Best produced using a purpose-made drilling tool fixed in a pillar drill.

  In routing, the term "roughing out" refers to the quick removal of waste material prior to the finishing cuts.  

Roughing out

In routing, the term "roughing out" refers to the quick removal of waste material prior to the finishing cuts. For example, a straight router cutter may be used to remove the bulk of material before a dovetail cutter makes a single pass to produce a dovetailed housing joint. Roughing out helps to prevent excess wear being placed on the cutting edges of the cutter designed to produce the final finished cut. 

  round over cutter for routers  

Round-over cutter

One of the several round forming cutters that can convert square edges, ends and corners of a board to a convex radius. The process of "rounding over" involves converting a square edge, end, or corner into a convex radius.


RPM (Revolutions per minute)

The speed of a router, and indeed many other power tools, is measured in revolutions, or rotations per minute. This is usually abbreviated to rpm. When talking about routing, this refers to how fast the router can turn the cutter. Provided it has sufficient power, a router with a higher rpm will be able to cut quicker than one with a lower rpm.

  A hand-held router that can be used with a variety of cutters  


A router is an electric power tool used in conjunction with router cutters, and other accessories, to cut a variety of different shapes in materials such as wood, plastic, MDF and metal.

  An example of a router table  

Router table

A router table refers to any routing system where the router is mounted in a fixed position below a table and the operator does not manually handle the router. 



Rusting is a form of corrosion undergone by metals that contain iron. It occurs when such metals are left unprotected in the presence of oxygen and moisture in the atmosphere. Metals prone to rusting can be protected and treated to extend their life.

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