How to Use a Router Plane?

If you are a woodworking enthusiast or professional, you know that having the right tools is crucial to achieving great results.

One tool that is often overlooked but can be incredibly useful is a router plane. This tool allows you to achieve flat, level surfaces and precise depths in your woodworking projects.

How to Use a Router Plane?

To use a router plane, adjust the blade depth and position, secure the workpiece, and push the plane forward with firm, steady pressure. Check progress periodically and adjust as needed.

In this article, we will discuss how to use a router plane and some tips for getting the most out of this versatile tool.

See Also: What Is a Router Plane?

How to Use a Router Plane? – Guide

A router plane is a hand tool that is used to plane, flatten, and level wood. It has a flat sole with an adjustable blade that protrudes from the bottom, allowing you to cut away material at a precise depth.

Router planes are commonly used for mortising, dadoing, and tenoning, as well as for flattening and smoothing surfaces.

Setting Up Your Router Plane

Before using your router plane, you need to set it up correctly. First, you should choose the appropriate blade for your project.

There are two types of blades: straight blades and pointed blades. Straight blades are used for general-purpose planning, while pointed blades are used for cutting grooves and recesses.

Next, adjust the depth of the blade to the desired depth of cut. You can do this by turning the depth adjustment knob located on the top of the router plane.

Start with a shallow depth and make small adjustments as needed. Always make sure the blade is secure and tightened properly before use.

Using Your Router Plane

To use your router plane, start by marking the area you want to plane. Clamp your workpiece to a sturdy work surface, so it does not move while you work.

Position the router plane at the edge of the area to be planned, making sure the blade is aligned with the edge of the wood.

Apply pressure to the front of the router plane and push it forward, allowing the blade to cut into the wood.

Keep the pressure steady and consistent as you move the router plane forward, and be sure to keep the blade perpendicular to the wood.

Once you reach the end of the area, lift the router plane off the wood and inspect your work. Repeat the process until you achieve the desired level and smoothness.

Tips for Using Your Router Plane

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your router plane:

  • Use a backer board: To prevent a tear-out on the opposite side of the workpiece, use a backer board or a sacrificial piece of wood behind the area you are planning.
  • Start with the blade shallow: Starting with a shallow depth allows you to make small adjustments as you go, which is especially helpful for fine-tuning your work.
  • Take your time: Using a router plane requires patience and a steady hand. Take your time and make small adjustments as needed until you achieve the desired results.
  • Keep the blade sharp: A sharp blade is essential for achieving clean, precise cuts. Sharpen your blade regularly and replace it when it becomes dull.
  • Practice on scrap wood: Before using your router plane on your actual project, practice on scrap wood to get a feel for the tool and to experiment with different techniques.

Maintaining Your Router Plane

To keep your router plane in good working condition, there are a few maintenance tasks you should perform regularly:

  • Clean the tool: After each use, wipe down your router plane with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  • Lubricate the blade: Apply a small amount of lubricant to the blade before use to ensure smooth, consistent cuts.
  • Sharpen the blade: As mentioned earlier, keeping your blade sharp is crucial for achieving precise cuts. Sharpen your blade regularly using a sharpening stone or other sharpening tool.

To sharpen a blade using a sharpening stone, choose the appropriate grit and wet the stone with water or honing oil.

Hold the blade at a 20-25 degree angle and move it back and forth evenly on both sides. Check the edge and continue sharpening if needed.

Consider using a honing guide for consistent angles. Replace the blade if there are signs of wear and tear.


Finally, becoming proficient in using a router plane can offer a fulfilling journey for any woodworking enthusiast.

This tool not only delivers precision and maneuverability but also enhances your toolkit’s flexibility.

Through persistence and repetition, you can achieve immaculate, precise cuts that can enhance the overall appeal of your woodworking creations. I hope this blog post is helpful for you in understanding how to use a router plane.