Different Wood & Plastic Routing Tools For Every Job
Plastic routing is a very specialized procedure involving materials that vary in consistency and abrasiveness from soft thermoplastics to abrasive reinforced thermosets. Wood router bits are different from the bits that are formulated for routing plastics, since wood ranges from different materials such as soft pine, abrasive teak or MDF. One thing remains the same with both materials, though – the router bits that are used will be different depending on which materials are used and whether they are hard or soft.
It is true that the choice of plastic routing tools depends on the type of plastics that are being cut, and there is no such thing as one size fits all tools. Wood router bits work the same way – you cannot have one tool for cutting all different types of wood and MDF materials. All of these materials have unique physical properties that require unique router bits with a geometry that ensures an optimum finish. It is the exception when one type of router bits will cut both plastic and wood or wood composites; this is definitely not the rule.
It is always best to have several types of router bits for different materials, different tools and different jobs. One example of the need for different plastic machining tools is during the routing of acrylics with a hand or air router, which can lead to burns and clouding if the wrong tool is chosen. You will want to use two different router bits made of solid carbide - one to rough out the shape and one to trim. The roughing tool can be a straight or spiral designed for acrylic routing, and the second cut should be made with a three flute acrylic finish tool.
There are many different wood and plastic routing applications that require different tools for the job. When in doubt, never hesitate to ask Onsrud technical expert for advice about the right tools to use.