In this EveryTool Guide, we'll walk you through how to resharpen your router cutters using James Barry Sharpening Credit Card Stones.
Most router cutters you have used in your life you have probably thrown away, as many of the blades become tired and less efficient with every use. It doesn't help that many modern-day router bits are mass-produced in Asia, where the quality of the blades are forgotten about in favour of how many units they can get out of the door.
In our modern way of living, we use something and then immediately throw it away because so much of what we need is readily available.
But what about manufacturers that take time, and pride themselves in each product they produce? Companies like Titman Edge and Dimar produce router cutters that are reinforced with solid carbide inserts, which are able to be resharpened providing a longer-lasting fine finish, with the overall life of the cutter being lengthened.
These companies end up saving you money in the long-run, as you can hold on to the same set of router cutters for far longer with a reliable finish every time.
What are Carbide Inserts?
Carbide inserts are bits of cemented carbide that have been reshaped and sharpened to allow for machine cutting. Carbide is stronger than steel and can withstand higher temperatures, allow for faster spinning and consistent fine finishing on a wider variety of materials.
Not only this but they can be finely sharpened with a diamond sharpening stone. Using 600 grit, these inserts can be brought back to life with a few clean and accurate swipes along the stone.
Onto The Sharpening
So you've got a router bit that isn't producing that clean efficient finish it once produced when you first bought it. That's fine, it's almost impossible to keep a cutter at the same great heights it had fresh out of the box. However, as was said before, if you buy right you don't have to buy twice.
Remember, the ideal grit for carbide is 600 grit. A finer grit will create such a fine edge on the carbide insert that it will snap off during its next use.
Resharpening your router bit is so incredibly easy, that after a few minutes of following this guide you'll be able to recreate what you see here, and breathe a new lease of life into a set of cutters that are no longer up to scratch.
First of all, place the credit card stone on the side of whatever work surface is available to you. Place a little lapping fluid onto the stone, and bring the flat side of the router bit in line with the diamond sharpening stone.
Next, simply guide the cutter away, and then towards you, across the abrasive sharpening stone. Count as you go, and do the same on the other carbide insert on the cutter. Counting as you go allows you to sharpen both inserts for the same amount of time, guaranteeing a symmetrical finish
This method will literally take you a matter of seconds to go from a dull forgotten router cutter that you were about to throw away, to a bit that can achieve the same pristine cuts that it was making from its very first use.
So forget about the previously painstaking attempts at sharpening that may have cost you more time and stress than just buying a new router bit altogether. The quality of James Barry's diamond sharpening stones allows you to get past all the time consuming frustration of blade sharpening, saving you time and tears in the long run.