How to Use a Router on Acrylic?

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

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Acrylic is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of applications, from signage and displays to furniture and decorations. If you need to cut or shape acrylic, a router can be a useful tool to achieve precise cuts and shapes. However, working with acrylic can be tricky, as it is prone to melting or cracking if not handled properly. In this guide, we will provide you with some helpful tips and techniques for using a router on acrylic, including selecting the right router bit, securing the material, and adjusting the depth of the router. We will also cover some safety precautions to keep in mind while using the router, and provide tips for cleaning up after you’ve finished routing the acrylic. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results when using a router on acrylic.

How to Use a Router on Acrylic

Assuming you are referring to using a router tool on an acrylic material, here are some general steps to follow:

  • Choose the appropriate router bit: For acrylic, it is best to use a carbide router bit designed for plastics. You can find these at most hardware or home improvement stores.
  • Secure the acrylic material: Use clamps or a vice to secure the acrylic material to your work surface to prevent it from moving while you’re using the router. Make sure the material is firmly held in place and won’t slip during routing.
  • Set the depth of the router: Adjust the depth of the router bit so that it only cuts a small amount of material with each pass. This will help prevent cracking or chipping of the acrylic.
  • Start the router: Turn on the router and let it reach its maximum speed before starting to cut the acrylic. Move the router slowly and steadily along the edges or surface of the acrylic, using a smooth motion.
  • Work in sections: Don’t try to cut the entire piece of acrylic at once. Instead, work in sections, making several passes with the router to gradually cut away the material.
  • Take breaks: If the acrylic starts to get hot or melt, take a break and let it cool down before continuing. This will help prevent damage to the material and the router bit.
  • Clean up: After you’ve finished routing the acrylic, use a cloth or brush to remove any debris or dust left on the material.
  • Use a straight edge or template: If you need to make precise cuts or shapes, use a straight edge or template to guide the router along the acrylic. This will help ensure accuracy and consistency in your cuts.
  • Avoid sharp corners: Acrylic can be brittle and prone to cracking, especially at sharp corners. When routing, try to avoid creating sharp angles and instead use rounded or curved edges.
  • Use a slow feed rate: Acrylic is a softer material than many others that routers are used on, so a slow feed rate is recommended to avoid melting or warping the material. This means moving the router at a slower pace than you might with other materials.
  • Use a finishing pass: Once you’ve made your cuts with the router, you can use a finishing pass to smooth out any rough edges or ridges left on the acrylic. This can be done using a sanding block or fine-grit sandpaper.
  • Keep the work area clean: As you work with the router, acrylic shavings and dust can accumulate on your work surface. Be sure to keep the area clean and clear to avoid the build-up of debris that can cause problems later.

Always wear protective gear like eye protection and a mask while working with a router tool.


In conclusion, using a router on acrylic can be a great way to achieve precise cuts and shapes in this versatile material. However, working with acrylic requires some care and attention, as the material is prone to melting and cracking if not handled properly. To use a router on acrylic, it is important to select the right router bit, secure the material, and adjust the depth of the router to prevent damage to the acrylic. Additionally, it is important to work in sections and use a slow feed rate to avoid melting or warping the material. With these tips and techniques in mind, you can achieve professional-looking results when using a router on acrylic. Always remember to wear protective gear and work slowly and carefully to ensure your safety and the quality of your work.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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