How to Rout an Edge of Plywood

Updated February 21, 2017

Routing an edge on plywood can be a challenge if you do not understand how to approach the task. Plywood is made from layers of wood that has been pressed together. The concern for splintering edges increases because of the many layers of wood. It is important to use a sharp router bit when routing plywood. In addition to a sharp blade, you need to prepare and use the proper technique to ensure you rout a flawless edge.

Place the plywood onto a work surface. Sand each edge of the plywood with a 120-grit sanding block until the surface is smooth.

Position the plywood so that the edge you plan to rout is approximately 2 inches off the surface of the work surface. Clamp the plywood to the work surface with bar clamps so that it is secure.

Insert a carbide-tipped plywood edging bit into the router. Tighten it in place. Adjust the router bit height so that the profile of the bit routs the plywood edge correctly by placing it against the edge of the plywood as you adjust it. Lock the height in place.

Turn on the router and place the base of the router onto the surface of the plywood at one end. Gently engage the plywood edge so that the bit starts cutting the edge. Work your way around the plywood in a counterclockwise direction until the edge is routed.

Sand the edge of the plywood with a 180-grit sanding pad until the surface of the edge is completely smooth.


Always use a sharp router blade to ensure a clean, splinter free cut.


Wear eye protection when sanding and operating a router.

Things You'll Need

  • 120-grit sanding block
  • Bar clamps
  • Router
  • Plywood edging bit, carbide tipped
  • 180-grit sanding pad
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.