How to Cut A Slot in Wood With A Router: Smoothly & Perfectly

Working with a router is a challenge in itself, and then cutting a slot with a router without cutting your fingers off is another game plan; at least for a beginner, it is not an easy route to figure out. 

However, with proper practice and a solid strategy, you can also learn to use a wood router and do amazing things with it, like cutting a slot, making a pattern, and so much more! 

We know you are here to learn about how to cut a slot in wood with a router. So without wasting any more time, we will cut to the chase and walk you through a step-by-step process on how you can cut a slot in wood using a router.

Let’s go! 

How To Cut A Slot In Wood With A Router

Things Required To Cut A Slot In Wood:

Cost – $150-$300

The time needed- 5 minutes 

Tools Needed

  • A wood router
  • A router table
  • Stopper clamps (optional)
  • A straight router bit

Materials Needed

  • A plank of wood

Cutting a slot in a piece of wood is pretty simple if you have the right tools. In this case, you have your trusty router.

And hopefully, you are using a router table as well because, to be safer with routing, this is a requirement that you have to fulfill. So, this is how you cut a slot with a router and a simple straight router bit. 


How To Cut A Slot in Wood With A Router – A Definitive Guide

Step 1 – Place The Piece Of Wood On The Routing Table

How to Cut A Slot in Wood With A Router

In this step, you must place your wood plan or whatever you are planning to cut a slit on the table, preferably the routing table.

Step 2 – Mark The Cutting Limit

Get a ruler and draw your starting and stopping points. You see, while working with a router, you have the option to maintain precision, but all that can go south if you don’t have control over your measurements. 

You have to plan this part out accurately. Where does the slit start and stop? Mark those points with a ruler beforehand. Trust us, this is necessary, don’t eyeball this.

Step 3: Choose Your Bit

corrent router bit

Now, no matter how thick is your piece of wood, you can cut the slit with a simple straight bit, as long as the straight bit is half as long as the thickness of your wood.

So, in this step, according to how wide do you want the slit to be, choose your router bit.

Step 4 – Place The Fence

How to Cut A Slot in Wood With A Router

This part is essential; you have to set the fence in this step. This fence is the actual fence up against which you will push the wood to get a straight and sharp slot. Make sure they are secure in their place and they are accurately positioned.

Step 5 – Use Stopper Clamps 

This step is optional; you can choose to use a stopper clamp to which point you want to stop pushing your wood piece. 

If you trust yourself to make this as accurate as you need it to be, then there is no need to use the stopper clamps. 

Step 6 – Get Slotting

cutting a thin slot in woodYou can go back and repeat this step from the endpoint to the start to make sure that your slot reached your desired depth.

If you want the slot to cut all the way through, then use a more extended bit or just flit the wood piece around and cut on the same area from the opposite direction. 

Final Words

Lastly, there are many different types of routers available in the market to get different jobs done. For example, there are handheld plunge routers and those who sit on the table, which is fixed.

You can use either one to cut a slot; in this step-by-step guide, we described how to get the job done using a fixed router.

In our opinion, only woodworking experts should work with a plunge router because it needs precision and a plunge router is quite dangerous to work with, especially if you are a beginner.

However, if you are an expert already, we believe you won’t exactly need a tutorial on how to cut a slot in wood with a router; thus, our tutorial is based on a fixed router.

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