How to keep router bits clean - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Question How to keep router bits clean

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to woodworking and it seems that I'm starting to build a collection of router bits. Seeing how expensive they are I was wondering what's used to keep the pitch and dirt off these bits so they last longer. What's used to clean them up? Thanks.

- denis
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 10:09 AM
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Bearing or non bearing?
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 11:23 AM
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I dunno. I have bits I've been using for years. Other than dust settling on them because they stay out, they look like they did the day I bought them.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 11:51 AM
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I've found that if there is some pitch build up on the face of the cutting surface it is quick and easy to take a razor blade and scrape it off. Beyond that a small brass brush to remove any thing else if it bothers me.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 01:48 PM
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NOTE: I have been told that ordinary household Formula 409 works as well as the cleaners below. When they run out, I will give Formula 409 a try.

I have two different blade and bit cleaners. One came in a set. I saw the other at a different woodworking store and decided to give it a try:

Boeshield's Blade and Bit Cleaner, bought at Rockler as part of a set:

CMT Blade and Bit Cleaner, which I bought at a great local store, Austin Hardwoods:

Both of them work equally well.

For cleaning 10 inch saw blades, I use an ordinary Home Depot bucket lid. The raised ring in the middle exposes the blade teeth for cleaning. Use a cheap plastic (or brass) brush. To remove the blade from the bucket lid, insert your finger in the blade's arbor hole.

FYI Only:
Here is the Boeshield set that I bought at Rockler with the Blade and Bit Cleaner:
Note: I like and use Boeshield T-9, but I am not impressed with their Rust Free rust and stain remover that is also in the kit. It removed rust, but discolored the cast iron table on my table saw. I cleaned up the discoloration with a generous soaking of WD-40, followed by scrubbing with 3M 7448 gray Scotch-Brite pads.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 01:54 PM
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I use a product TREND - available many places - based on a recommendation by a user here.
it works. soaking takes minutes, not days.

can't offer an opinion if it's "the best" - not used other stuff - can only relate my satisfaction with 'it works good'

soak the bits in TREND (jar/glass/whatever) - I use a brass brush (Harbor Freight...) and Q-Tips for mechanical 'scrubbing'
bought a big flat round thing to soak/clean 10" table/RA saw blades. essential procedure if you're ripping pine/fir 'dimensional' lumber from the big box stores.

router bit or saw blade, the pitch/tar/whatever from softwoods goops up a blade and continued use fills the shop with smoke....
the heat=the smoke generated,,,, is what kills your edged tools.

also creates "forcing the work piece" situations - which is know to easily creates "oops, there's blood all over....."
so keeping your blades/bits clean in most definitely worth the couple minutes it takes.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 07:18 PM
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If there no bearing you can drop them in lacquer thinner. If there bearing you can disassemble and do the same minus the bearing... if you have been cleaning and the bearing seem stiff you can drop the whole assembly into pnuematic oil....
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-30-2020, 10:28 PM
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I toss mine in an ultrasonic cleaning tank that normally gets used for carburetor parts and chainsaw chains...I use simple green in the tank and everything comes out spotless. Whatever you use, follow Rebel's advice about disassembling the bearings before's usually just a simple allen screw that needs to be removed.

I'd also suggest a light coat of oil after cleaning to prevent surface rust from forming.
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