How to Sharpen a Router Plane Blade Manually

Maintaining clean edges and coned pointers while chiselling wood can be frustrating. One of the main reasons is an unsharpened router blade. Being a passionate woodworker learning how to sharpen a router blade is easy. With no time, you can get clean-cut edges again.

Using a router plane for a long time will need occasional sharpening. A blunt router plan blade will result in uneven wood surfaces and edges. There are many methods to sharpen the blade, but the manual one is the easiest and allows you to achieve the best results. This process gives you complete control to get desired sharpened edge.

Let me walk you through the manual procedure of sharpening a router plane blade so you can return to cleaning your wood edges.

How to Sharpen a Router Plane Blade Manually?

Router planes are used in woodworking facilities to clean joints, smooth wood surfaces, and levelling recesses. So, its sharpness is necessary to get accuracy in your wood crafting. Gather these materials and get started with the process.

Step 1: Gather Materials

For sharpening the chisel router plane blade manually, you will need these materials:

  • Router plane blade
  • Honing guide
  • Combination Waterstone
  • Water or honing oil
  • Flat surface 
  • Clean cloth

Step 2: Preparing Workspace

First, you need to prepare the workspace to sharpen the blade. A flat, clean surface, like a table, is highly recommended. If installed, gather all the materials above and remove the blade from the router plane.

Step 3: Assessing the Condition of Blade

Now, there could be a different reason that can result in the bluntness of the blade. Assess it carefully from all sides. If there are any dents, nicks, or deformation, they will be fixed by professional sharpening using a bench grinder, etc. On the contrary, if no deformity can be detected through the eye, it can be sharpened through a normal process.

Step 4: Setting Up Honing Guide

After assessing the plane blade’s condition, you will attach it to the honing guide. It is better to read and attach the instruction properly so it won’t come off during sharpening. 

The honing guide is necessary to maintain the perfect angle during the sharpening resulting in an even sharpened edge of the plane blade.

Step 5: Selecting Sharpening Angle

The angle of the blade depends on your preference for sharpness; that is how sharp the blade you need to cut through the wood as desired. It also depends upon the router plane build. However, if you go through the manufactures guide, there is recommended angle. If unavailable, you can set the Blade 25-30 degrees, the most commonly preferred angle.

Step 6: The Sharpening Process

Take the Waterstone and wet the coarse side of it with water or honing oil, depending upon the guide or type of Waterstone. Ensure the place is flat on which you place the Waterstone. Grasp the honing guide with the blade securely and start making it firm with even strokes along the stone. 

Keep on maintaining a consistent angle throughout the process. If your angle is changed, then the sharpening of the blade will be uneven. It may also result in damage to the blade surface. Go through the process several times until you are sure that the whole length of the blade is sharpened evenly.

Step 7: Refining with Fine Grit

Now, you will flip the Waterstone on the other side, which is of fine grit, and repeat the abovementioned process. Again, you will ensure a consistent angle on the blade. This step will result in a refined edge and remove any uneven scratches left in previous grit. 

Step 8: Removing the Burr

After attaining your desired sharpness evenly along the edge of the blade, now you will remove the burr. Do this with a lighter touch by making several gentle presses on the good side of the Waterstone. Keep alternating the stroke direction until you see no burr along the slope.

Step 9: Final Touchup

Wipe a clean cloth gently on the edge to remove metal residues from the sharpening process. You can use a blade lubricant or honing oil to prevent corrosion and give a smooth end to your sharpening process.

Cautions to Keep in Mind

In processes like these, where you are handling sharp-edged things, there are a few cautions that you must follow to ensure your safety.

  • Appropriate Safety Equipment: Before starting the process, wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, to protect your hands and eyes from sharp splinters. 
  • Maintain Stable Space: Force is applied when grinding the blade edge across the water stone. A honing guide may slip off. It is important to ensure that your working place is stable and rigid.
  • Handle blade Carefully: Working with a blade can be dangerous. Confirm that blade is securely attached to honing guide or jig to prevent it from slipping or moving during the process.
  • Consistent Angle: Maintaining a consistent angle is essential to ensure even sharpening along the blade’s edge. If the angle keeps changing, it may cause damage and uneven sharpening.

Consistent Pressure: Only apply a little force during the sharpening process; it can cause cuts to the blade, and low pressure would result in uneven sharpening. So, keep the pressure consistent with attaining an overall smooth sharp edge.


After following this step-by-step guide, you will know how to sharpen a router blade. A sharpened router blade will help you achieve your desired woodwork accurately. The manual sharpening process gives you complete control to get your desired blade. You only need a water stone and angel technique with precise hand movement, and voila! Your plane blade is now as good as new. Remember to take caution during the process.

Tell me any other methods you would like to learn to sharpen your router plane blade.

Happy Woodworking!

What is used for sharpening a plane blade?

You can sharpen your old router plane blades using Waterstone if you prefer it manually. Otherwise, using professional grinding would be a much more appropriate choice. 

How do you sharpen a router?

Take the blade from the router plane, fix it into the honing guide, set the angle with a water stone, and grind the edge. Flip the Waterstone to fine grit and repeat the process. Remove burr from the edges and give final touches. 

What makes a blade sharper?

To make the blade sharper, ensure a smaller angle between the blade and the waterstone. Less side force is needed to bend the edge, but it will make it sharper.

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.

Leave a Comment