How To Cut A Square Hole In Wood With A Router

Projects involving woodworking are a combination of creativity and expertise. And for everyone learning the basics is a crucial aspect that needs to be understood. However, it is a trait that requires variation. Cutting the wood has never been a difficult task. But when it comes to cutting the exact size and pieces of wood, you definitely need expertise for performing exceptionally on every project. Adding some uniqueness to your product will become necessary with time and demand. Depending on your task, you might need to cut it into different shapes like squares and rectangles. 

There is one thing that you need to consider is that the outer part of the wood is considerably easier to work with. But it is much more difficult to cut when it comes to the inner portion of the wood. For this reason, many woodworkers use routers to cut the precise size of the wood piece in order to achieve perfect symmetry. Now the question arises how to cut a square hole in wood with a router. 

In the absence of perfect knowledge and expertise for cutting makes it challenging to work on. If you are not familiar with using a router, you might end up destroying the overall shape and quality of the wood. The inner and outer cuts should be closely monitored throughout the whole process. Due to its square shape, square holes are relatively easier to cut when you compare cutting other shapes. And eventually, you can get your job done easily and quickly using an adjustable router table and router.

For this reason, we bring you a perfect article that would allow you to cut your wood. And from this article, you will learn some basics about woodworking if you are up for creating some beautiful masterpieces. Let us start with some safety features that you need to consider right before starting your operations using a router.

Safety First

Here are some safety tips you should remember to ensure that you are protecting yourself from splinters or sharp blades. Moreover, in order to avoid making mistakes, keep your focus on the task at hand. A slight error in measurement or any other factor can result in more problems. And when you are done, you will come to realize the result. In the end, no matter what cutting tool or tools you are using, you need to be very careful while operating them.

  1. Power tools should always be used with safety goggles
  2. If possible, work outside or in a room with a sound ventilation system
  3. Power tools come with instructions. Follow them carefully for your betterment
  4. Wear the appropriate protective clothing such as gloves, dust mask, closed-toed shoes. 
  5. A sharp blade should be present on all cutting tools

Essential Tips 

Here are some of the essential tips that you need to consider right before working on how to cut a square hole in wood with a router. 

  1. It is vital that you wear all the safety equipment before beginning the project.
  2. This point will also be elaborated on in the equipment section of the article. 
  3. It is crucial that you work in a room with sufficient ventilation since drilling and cutting produce much dust.
  4. Prepare to work on this project the whole day because it might take some time. 
  5. Set up a schedule before you begin working not to feel overwhelmed.
  6. Get to know the power tools you will be working with by reading the manuals. 
  7. The more features you remember, the more effective you will become
  8. On the other hand, you won’t be able to use it effectively.
  9. Make sure the cutting tools have sharp blades. 
  10. Whenever possible, replace them with fresh ones if they are blunt or not as sharp as you would like.


While working on your wood for how to cut a square hole in wood with a router, you need some equipment. The list you need to perform seamless operations is hereunder for you to consider. 

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Protractor
  3. Safety goggles
  4. Dust mask
  5. Straightedge
  6. Pencil
  7. Sandpaper
  8. Gloves
  9. Wood file
  10. Vacuum cleaner
  11. Drilling machine
  12. A router

The Process 

 Here we conclude the complete process for you that will enable you on how to cut a hole with a router. This is a simple process that consists of almost 4 significant steps that are elaborated in detail for you. 

Step 1:

The first step of the process is outlining the wood in a square. The layout of the square will be made by picking a point on the wood. And for this, the center point of the wood can be chosen for better accuracy. Using this layout as a guide will make cutting much easier or, might say, more accessible. After that, you need to mark the layout with a pencil after obtaining a precise measurement with the measuring tape. 

You will have an idea of what the cut you will get will look like from this drawing. Additionally, you can use a protractor to ensure perfectly square corners. An angle of 45 degrees would be ideal for the corner. By keeping this measurement in mind, the square will be symmetrical from all angles. Your drawing should appear sharp even from a distance. Make sure to sharpen the pencil to the point where it looks and acts like a sharp pencil.

Step 2: 

In the second step, you will learn on how to cut a square recess with a router. There are a lot of concerned individuals who ask Can A Router Cut A Square Hole? 

To find perfect information on this, you can also consult the internet or even ask for guidance from professionals. The perfect router for this job would also be a tricky question. And for this, there are various woodworking routers available in the market. No matter if it is a portable or a mounted machine, you will get your desired cut and results within no time. 

The next step is very crucial, and you must possess the necessary knowledge and skills to complete this task smoothly. A router bit and template guides on your router table will help you create an accurate template. Now prepare the overall template layout after you have measured the dimensions of the square that you are going to work on. For an added thickness of 0.35 – 0.37 inches for each template line, this is a highly recommended measurement.

Choose one corner and begin drilling there. In the beginning, create a small hole to act as a guide and slowly advance in the direction of the markings. Make sure the router’s fence is adjusted so those accurate movements can be made. In order for your work to be high quality, the fence should be in the same place as the square. 

Once it is turned on, you are ready to go. When the machine follows your markings, do not take your eyes off the screen. As soon as you finish the first line, you should rotate the wood so that a new straight line fits the fence. Once you complete this process, you’ll have a clean-cut square hole.

Step 3: 

This is the third and the last step for sanding the edges. You can now have a sigh of relief since all the crucial work has been completed. And you may take a few minutes break if you wish to. Making the square holes like this that you have recently worked on is going to assist you in many other woodworking projects in the future. There is one thing that you need to ensure, and that is that the edges should be sanded gently with sandpaper. 

Try avoiding putting too much pressure on the edges, as this will result in a rounded edge. And this is not the result that you have been working for. To determine which grit sequence will work best for the condition of the wood, you need to know all the grit sequences of this paper. Therefore, smooth edges are smoothed with lower-grit sandpaper, while rough edges are sanded with higher-grit sandpaper. And adding extra smoothness is also possible using a wood file. In the end, when it comes to cleaning the wood you have been working on. Using a vacuum cleaner will clean the area after you have finished working.


Learning how to cut a square hole in wood with a router is essential to mastering woodworking. You can perform the task using chisels, drills, saws, and routers. But the most important thing for you to make sure of is to wear protective clothing or gear whenever you are out there performing your professional tasks. Further, this will prevent wood particles and dust from entering your body. We have also mentioned a list of types of equipment that you might need to work with your routers. In the end, practice makes you more proficient, and with practice, the process will become much easier and more precise.


  • Johnathen James

    My name is Johnathan James, and I have a lifelong passion for woodworking. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Furniture Making and Architectural Woodworking, which has further reinforced my knowledge and skills in these fields. I have gained considerable experience in the woodworking industry through my employment with a woodworking company. As a result, I am well-versed in a diverse range of specialized equipment, including but not limited to wood routers, router table, table saws, track saws, and chainsaws.

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