A router is a very useful tool – and potentially quite dangerous. A little knowledge goes a long way toward using a router safely. If you’re not very handy you might want to reconsider using a router or at least be extra careful.
Always use a sharp bit. Dull edges make for more work.
Clamp the work securely.
Fasten a piece of wood the same thickness as the workpiece to your bench. Use it to support the router and prevent wobbling, which can ruin your work.
Feed the router from left to right so that the cutting edge of the bit meets the wood first.
A deep pass can bind, burn the wood or twist the tool in your hands. Make a series of shallow passes, gradually extending the bit.
Don’t push the router. That causes the engine to slow, which in turn slows the blade. You’re more likely to get chips and splinters this way, and it’s possible to burn the wood this way as well.
Use an edge guide whenever possible – freehand cutting requires patience, steady hands and practice.
Start routing somewhere other than on an edge (plunge cutting) by starting the motor and lowering the spinning blade into the work.