1. Wear proper personal protection equipment. Safety glasses or face shield are required. Hearing protection should always be used when operating the router. A dust mask is recommended. Do not wear gloves.
  2. Wear proper apparel. No loose fitting cloths or neckties. No loose jewelry. Long hair must be covered or tied back. Non-slip footwear is recommended.
  3. Keep the work area clean. Cluttered areas and benches invite accidents.
  4. Disconnect the plug from the power circuit when changing bits.
  5. When installing a bit, drop it all the way into the router's collet. Then back it out about 1/16" or 1/8" to avoid transferring the heat generated by the bit directly to your router's motor armature.
  6. Set the depth of the bit by adjusting the base.
  7. Ensure that the bit is securely mounted in the chuck and that the base is tight.
  8. Make sure that the bit can rotate freely before switching on the motor.
  9. Secure the stock. Never rely on yourself or a second person to support or hold the material. Sudden torque or kickback from the router can cause damage or injury.
  10. Never turn on the power until you are in working position.
  11. Hold the tool firmly but lightly in both hands.
  12. Do not overreach. Always keep proper footing and balance.
  13. Feed the router bit into the material at a firm, controlled speed. The router bit revolves clockwise. When cutting straight edges, move the router from left to right.  When making circular cuts, move the router in a counter-clockwise direction.
  14. Test the router on scrap lumber similar to the work material.
  15. When working with types of wood that are very dense or using a large bit, make two or more passes to prevent the router from burning out or kicking back.
  16. The sound of the motor can indicate improper cutting speeds. When the router is pushed too hard, the motor makes a low growling noise. When the router is fed into the material too slowly, the motor makes a high-pitched whine.
  17. A chattering noise and vibration can indicate that you are trying to remove too much material in one pass. This chatter is unsafe and will create a poor cut. Change the bit depth or jig setup to remove less material with each pass.
  18. Routing against the grain of the stock can produce chatter and tear-out. Where possible, plan your work so that the grain of the wood moves from left to right.
  19. Never use the router on your own. There must be a qualified technician supervising when you are operating the router.

Download PDF: Router Safety Sheet