I'm trying to trim the edge of a 1 and 1/2 inches thick butcher block counter top with a straight edge router bit. However, the router doesn't seem to cut into the wood but it sound more like the flute is turning really fast(expected) and then hit the the wood instead of cutting in. I can actually feel the impact when the bit hit the wood. I'm a complete newbies in wood working, so any little detail matters if you think I'm missing anything, or if it happened to anyone before.

The bit is set so that the bit's cut length cover the entire edge of the butcher block (1 1/2 inches). I also clamp a straight edge on the butcher block to guide the router.

Might the issue be I'm cutting in too deep? I only cut in about a 1/4 of a cm.

I'm using the dewalt router (https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-12-Amp-Corded-2-1-4-Horsepower-Fixed-and-Plunge-Base-Router-Kit-DW618PKB/301664695)

I used this bit specifically (https://www.homedepot.com/p/DIABLO-1-2-in-x-2-in-Carbide-Straight-Router-Bit-DR12128/100660640)

  • 2
    So you say you are trying to cut 2.5mm? A 1/4 of a cm… too much by hand - cut less.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 10, 2021 at 7:23
  • I will try cutting less, is there any other possible reason. I have seen video of people cutting in more with a round over bit.
    – BTTran
    Oct 10, 2021 at 7:32
  • 1
    Router bits usually like small cuts repeated than a large cut. The direction of the cut can also be important for a good cut, maybe try from other end. It is good to practice on scrape wood first to get a feel of the wood. Some videos might be from professional people using professional type tools, the ones that cost ten times what yours cost.
    – crip659
    Oct 10, 2021 at 11:02
  • 2
    Inch and a half is a lot for a router to cut. You will want to just take tiny cuts at that depth, or if taking a wide cut from edge, start the cut from the top and work down with small cuts.
    – crip659
    Oct 10, 2021 at 11:15
  • Thank you so much for the tip, I'll try again today with that in mind.
    – BTTran
    Oct 10, 2021 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


You'll require a fence to guide the router, and you need to take smaller bites (vertically, repeated). Quite possibly also a smaller horizontal cut.

Too late for you now unless you want to buy another one, but a spiral flute bit is a bit nicer to work with, as they continuously cut a small part rather than try to take the whole bite twice each revolution.

Responding to comment about round-over bit: A roundover is cutting more, but only at the corner, so it's less total wood volume, typically, and still often needs several passes for good results. Likewise, birch is a fairly hard wood (physically - it's also a "hardwood", but it's a lot harder than poplar, for instance.)

  • 1
    To emphasize: Instead of trying to cut the full 1-1/2" depth, set the router to cut 1/2" deep and make a pass. Then set it to 1" deep and make another pass. Finally, set it to the full 1-1/2" depth and make your last pass. (Exact 1/2" steps are not critical, just make 3-4 passes, in roughly equal steps.) You'll get better cuts when not trying to cut so much wood all at once. 2.5mm shouldn't be too much to cut in one pass, it's only 1/10", but not cutting the full depth will be easier on you and the router.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 10, 2021 at 17:41
  • Thank you so much for all the tips. I tried cutting multiple passes at different depths today and it works much better. So the impact I felt was definitely from cutting too much wood as once. I also tried the spiral bit, it's felt a lot more sturdy and was able to cut in deeper, to where the straight bit would have made an impact sound and unable to cut.
    – BTTran
    Oct 11, 2021 at 6:45

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