How to Use a Trim Router

No matter if you’re a professional woodworker or someone who’s just getting started, there’s no way you can do without woodworking tools. Although some people like taking the manual route, there will be a few tools involved no matter what. However, using tools doesn’t mean that your created artwork would lose its quality. As a matter of fact, woodworking tools actually help you do your work with more accuracy and preciseness. Other than that, you’d be saving plenty of time as well all thanks to the decrease in manual labor.

Among the multitude of woodworking tools available, routers have to be one of the most useful ones. With the help of a router, you can easily make grooves or other decorative edges on wood. This tool uses a bit which is basically a shaped cutter and there is a vast variety of bits available in the market.

With that being said, similar to bits, routers also have various types for different purposes. One such kind is the Trim Router which is basically small in size and can be held with a single hand. Other than that, you’ll also find some of these Trim Routers to have batteries. Accordingly, this makes them quite portable, so you can carry them around with ease. However, there is much more to Trim Routers than just this.

So, in this article, we will be giving you guys and gals all the info about Trim Routers. But, not only that but we’re also going to teach you how to use a Trim Router. So, if we have you interested, let’s have a look at what Trim Routers are all about.

Meet the Trim Router

The origin of the Trim Router goes way back to the time of the laminate trimmer. As such, you will see that this type of router is quite small in size. When it comes to the uses of the Trim Router, you can use it to add decorative edges to your artwork. With that being said, you are not bound to only small details, so feel free to use your creativity here. In terms of its parts, most Trim Routers come with 0.25-inch collets to be used with 0.25-inch router bit shanks.

It is true that you can do pretty much anything with this type of router. However, there could be a lot of difficulties if you try making large cuts since the Trim Router isn’t that big in size. Well, its small size is its biggest advantage since you can hold the router with just one hand. Because of this, your other hand would be free which you could use to steady the piece of wood.

Also, the fact that Trim Routers sport 0.25-inch collets could pose an issue when it comes to the supported bits. Accordingly, you may have a hard time looking for a specific bit that could fit your Trim Router. However, you need not worry since several companies such as Freud and Whiteside deal in its bits. Considering this, chances are that you’ll easily be able to find plenty of supported bits.

Another thing worth noting about the Trim Router is that it’s the same as the handheld router. They’re just two different names for the exact same woodworking tool. Nevertheless, many people still get confused and think that a handheld router is somehow different from a Trim Router. Well, we’d like to mention that this is certainly not true.

Using the Trim Router

It is true that woodworking can be quite complicated at times and mastering it could actually take quite a while. With that being said, using woodworking tools is not as difficult if you follow the instructions correctly. Accordingly, if you don’t want to screw up your artwork, make sure to clearly follow our steps.


The first step to using a Trim Router is installing its bit. If you have experience in woodworking, you’d know there’ll be a plethora of bits to choose from. So, choose wisely according to the job at hand and slide the selected bit into the collet of the router. Once that’s done, use a wrench to tighten the nut and the router will be all ready to use.


Now you might want to consider your artwork and go for the cutting depth that you think you’ll need. Most Trim Routers come with turning wheels that allow you to set their depth.


With this, you can begin routing. With that being said, you should pay extra attention to the routing direction here. What you’ll want to do is see the direction that the bit is turning and route in the opposite direction.


The router depth is another important factor when it comes to cutting wood with the help of a Trim Router. Different applications require different router depth, so this is entirely up to the user to figure out. However, a good rule of thumb is that small decorative edges would take just one simple cut, while thick materials would require more cuts with increasing depth after each cut.

These are all the steps one should take to use a Trim Router. With that being said, there are a few other tips that we’d like to mention which could be of help.

Some Tips

We know that bits are highly important when it comes to cutting wood. Accordingly, they need to be as sharp as possible, so you could cut through wood easily. If they are not, you could have trouble while cutting and end up ruining your entire workpiece.

Also, before getting to cutting, you should also make sure that the bit has been installed properly on the router. Because, if it’s loose, the machine could cause more noise and might break down as well. When it comes to protection, handheld routers could be dangerous if not used properly. Considering this, it is best to wear protective gear so that you don’t end up hurting yourself.

Other than that, if you want your router to last for several years, there is one thing you should do. And, that is clean your Trim Router before and after use. This way, there will be no dust or debris left in the machine since that could cause issues. We also recommend using your Trim Router at medium speed since if you go too fast, the machine could bog down. On the other hand, wood can also be damaged while working at a lower speed.


Trim Routers or handheld routers, as some like to call it, make the process of cutting wood a whole lot easier. Not only are these machines highly portable but their small size lets you hold your workpiece as well. Moreover, as you could see from this article, using a Trim Router isn’t that difficult either. In fact, you can start using this useful device right away. However, in order to make the most out of your device, make sure to follow the tips we have mentioned and you’ll thank us later.

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