How to Climb Cut Safely
Don’t believe the naysayers
Synopsis: You’ve probably heard that climb-cutting should be avoided because it is not safe. This article aims to dispel that view. Chris Gochnour argues climb-cutting , or moving the router in the same direction as the bit’s rotation, is a legitimate practice that every woodworker should use in the right places. Its biggest benefit is that it prevents chipout and tearout when routing along an edge. But to do it safely, you first need to understand when to do it and how the router will behave during the cut.
From Fine Woodworking #220
Watch this video and learn how to avoid router tearout
Climb-cutting sounds like an X Games sporting event, but there’s nothing extreme about it. The technique, in which you move the router in the same direction that the bit wants to pull it, gets a bad rap as being unsafe. But it’s a legitimate practice that every woodworker should use—in the right places.
The biggest benefit of climb-cutting is that it prevents chipout and tearout when routing along an edge. For some cuts, it also lets you set the bit to cut full depth and just whittle away until you get close, a real time-saver.
Climb-cutting is no more dangerous than any other machine technique. But to do it safely, you first need to understand when to do it and how the router will behave during the cut.
What makes the climb cut tricky Many woodworking instructors tell their students they should always rout against the rotation of the bit, often called a push cut. Push-cutting does provide maximum control over the tool, so it’s considered safer and is the reason why beginners are taught to rout this way. But push-cutting can cause the unsupported wood fibers ahead of the bit to tear out.…