Before you work with a router, it is important that you understand the feed direction of a router. If the tool is fed in the wrong direction, it exposes the user to danger and the quality of cut that will be obtain will be affected. It is most appropriate to feed the workpiece to the router against the rotation of the bit. The effect of feeding workpiece in this manner is that the router and workpiece will be pulled tightly together. In this way, you will be able to predict the operation. Here are the right feeding direction for handheld and table mounted router.
Freehand Routing Feed Direction
If you are working with a handheld router in which the bit faces downward, the spinning direction of the bit is clockwise. In order to feed the router along the exterior of the edges of a workpiece, The router has to be moved from left to right so that it will be able to feed against the rotation of the bit. Feeding from left to right when you are routing right round a board will give you exactly what you are looking for. As the router bit easily performs its function, it will be easy for you to control the resistance. The work will be easy for you.
Sometimes the nature of your work may require you to rout right round the interior of a cutaway area when you are routing manually. You can liken this to when you are routing around a donut's inner cutout. The feed direction will change in this situation. Rather than feeding anti-clockwise, you will have to feed clockwise. Though you are routing in different direction here, the guiding principle still remains the same. For enhanced cutting performance and maximum control always feed against the rotation of the bit. When you are manually routing inside cutouts, you should maintain a clockwise feed direction but the revise is the case when you are routing the outer edges.
Feed direction for a router table
When the router is mounted on a table, the feed direction will change because the router is now inverted. In this arrangement, the bit spins in an anti-clockwise rotation. This will require you to feed the wood from the table's left side to its right when you are routing the outside edges of your work material. The bit will be pushing the wood backwards against the operator. If a fence is fitted to the router, the bit of the router will push the wood against the fence. In order to have control of the cut, you have to keep this resistance against the bit. You have to determine the right amount of force to apply based on the resistance you are feeling from the bit. It will also help you to determine how fast the wood will be moved past the bit in order to make a clean cut.
On the contrary, you have to feed the workpiece counterclockwise against the rotation of the bit if you are working around the inside edges of a cutout. When you press the wood against the cutting edges of the bits, as it is spinning in its direction, you will feel the resistance it creates evenly.