How To Use A trim Router | A Woodworking Tools Guide

How to Use a Trim Router

There are various type of wood router in the market. Today I am going to discuss about how to use a trim router.

A trim router (also known as a laminate trimmer or a laminate trim router) is a one-handed, light-weighted, smaller kind of portable router which offers a relatively low-noise working environment due to its one horsepower motor. At only a fraction of the cost of regular routers, this is a router for woodworking which is ideal for smaller tasks, such as edge-routing decorative work.

Because the router bits for trim are generally easy to change with the help of a set of wrenches, the laminate trim routers can become very task-specific, which we will cover in detail.

How to use a trim router


Here are four rules of thumb to follow that will ensure your success as a professional or novice wood-worker, and an expert: Advance the laminate trim router against the rotation of the bit: This will allow the bit to cut into the work while giving you full control over the router.

To make this clearer, when you look down at the top of a router you can see the router bits for trim rotating in a clockwise direction. This means that the movement you need to apply is going to be left to right. However, if you move the router so that it stands between you and your workpiece this rule is inverted.


Because relative to you, the bit is now rotating anti-clockwise, so the movement applied needs to be from right to left.

Use router bits for trim fitted with Ball-Bearing Pilots

router-bitsIf you are new to the woodworking business then this tip is especially handy. This way you won’t need to attach and edge guide to your router or a straightedge fence to the work.

Because the bearings ride along the edge of the workpiece ensuring the bits to remain on course and giving you total control, making your experience on a trim router much more comfortable.

Equip your router with a Template Guide

This is a steel collar which is mounted onto the router’s base and allows you to easily cut boards to any size and shape.

Here is how it works

desired-shape-templateFirst, you cut off the desired shape template out of Plywood or Hardboard. It is also extremely important to take into consideration the offset distance between the outside edge of the template and the cutting edge of the bit, usually about 3/16″.

Then just clamp the template in place and advance the router into the workpiece, always making sure to keep the Template Guide pressed tightly against the template.

Mount your laminate trim router upside-down on a router table

trim-router-upside-downProbably the most important technique regarding a trim router using. Not only for greatly increasing the tool’s capabilities, but also because of overall safety. Because you can see the bit rotating from this position, you can know exactly what you’re doing.

Although you can certainly build your own router table, most store-bought tables will satisfy all your needs. Just make sure to read the specs, as it may not be compatible with your particular trim router. We are almost there on becoming experts on how to use a trim router.

But how do we buy the right one?

Well, here are some tips and questions you will want to ask to make sure you make the right decision.

  • How easy it is to see the router bits for trim while working?
  • Does it have LED lights?
  • How easy it is to adjust the bit height, including fine adjustments?
  • Does it include an Edge Guide?
  • How versatile is it, does it have a fixed base, a plunge base or both?

Considering all these aspects we have come with a top product recommendation that will make sure you have everything you need, combining the best features available on the market.

The DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Combo Kit, and here is why


  • A slightly bigger motor of 1.25HP delivers high power to handle even the toughest jobs.
  • Variable speed control ranging from 16,000 to 27,000 rpm.
  • A soft-starter motor with electronic feedback which will ensure the motor to work at exactly the desired power.
  • Clear sub-base along with dual LED lights for maximum bit visibility.
  • A spindle lock designed to easily remove and change the bits.
  • And most importantly, it comes with a combo fixed and plunged base, that are easily interchangeable.

Now what exactly can we accomplish by using a trim router

When they first came on the market, they were not exactly the most versatile tools available. But today they have become an indispensable addition to any workshop, and we will discuss six of the most popular uses for it and make sure you become an expert on how to use a trim router:

Chamfering-smaller-edgesRound-Over and Chamfering smaller edges

Because they are so cheap and task-specific, you will always have the proper tool available no matter your specific needs.

They make quick work of routing flutes

Simply by installing a Round-Nose or a Core-Box bit, you can easily set a straightedge close to the cutting area. Because of their small squared sub-bases, using a trim router allows you to follow the straightedge perfectly, so that cutting flutes will never be a hassle again.

Routing shallow, no-tip hinge mortises

narrow-baseThis task is especially suited for a laminate trim router because of its narrow base, portability, light weight and low center of gravity, where most full-sized routers will probably falter and quiver. Just place a template with any top-bearing dado clean-out bits and a small cutter-head. If needed you can also square up the corners with a chisel.

Working with Decorative Inlay Grooves

To ensure your final product has a professional, craftsman-like quality, by using a trim router you can access tighter and narrower surfaces. For this work scenario you will need one of the following router bits for trim: A Straight bit or a Down-Cut Spiral bit.

Butterfly Patches

An all-time favorite to cover up flaws such as knots or splits, you can use a trim router equipped with a Straight bit or a Down-Cut Spiral bit to remove the material and cut down the patch.

Flush trimming

Flush-trimmingTrim routers still excel at flush trimming laminate wood edgings. You will need some Bearing-Guided Flush-Trim bits for ideal results. Now that we have covered the basics of using a trim router, we need to discuss the proper techniques in order to make the most of it.

So no matter if you are an experienced woodworker or a beginner enthusiast, the DEWALT DWP611PK will definitely make the most out of your routing experience. Having all the mentioned easy-to-use features, this best wood router ensures that you don’t have to be a pro to know how to use a trim router.

Just set it up on a router table for optimal results and prepare to be amazed at the wonders of your skilled routing work.