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Can You Route MDF? (All You Need to Know)

The MDF board or material can add a new value to your life. Since they are budget-friendly and fairly durable, you can buy the MDF furniture and decorate your living room. This material can also be used in your bathroom to give it a new look.

If you consider the price and the quality, it will amaze you. The quality can be increased, and you can avoid the off-gassing problem by painting or applying a sealer over the MDF material. You can also safely resize the MDF boards.

Can you route MDF? 

You can route MDF if you follow the right process. You cannot route the MDF material like the wood. It will damage the router bit and will create some issues in routing. Therefore, you must be careful about the hardness of the MDF board and choose the router accordingly to avoid damage.

People might suggest you use the sharpen and best quality router bits to route MDF boards or panels. But the truth is different; you should use the regular or standard router bits to route the MDF safely. 

The main reason to use the standard route bits is the hard MDF material. It might damage the best quality router bits, which are expensive. Using the standard route bits will route the edges and give you the desired routing experience. It will also help to reduce the risk of breaking.

MDF edges: 

You can route the MDF edges using sharp router bits. But the edges are too sharp to route, and the MDF is firm and hard. Therefore, you need to put double effort into routing the MDF edges. 

Sometimes, it might seem impossible to route the edges properly.

If you follow the right process and know which router bits to use, you can route the MDF edges. Otherwise, you will miserably fail to route the MDF edges smoothly. You may also consider my process as the perfect guideline in this regard.

MDF board: 

You can route the MDF board by following simple tips to use the standard router bits and avoid the regular router. The regular router will get damaged due to the rigid MDF board. 

You won’t find the perfect safe router bits for your MDF board. They are too weak to cut the MDF board.

But I will show you how to route the MDF board like a regular wood plank. It will save your time and router. It will show the right way to route the MDF board safely.

MDF panels: 

You can also route the MDF panels. Although they are rigid, you can use the most sharpened router bits and route the panels smoothly. It will give you the best cutting experience, and you will be able to get the decorative panels installed in your bathroom. 

Routing your MDF panels will be easier than the MDF boards if you use the sharpen bits. Because of the building structure, the MDF panels come with a much more flexible structure than the MDF boards. 

It might be an excellent reason to route the MDF panels so easily.

Is MDF hard on router bits?

MDF is hard on router bits. The router bits are designed for the perfect wood material where you can use it smoothly and get your desired design. When it comes to the MSF board, you must have an idea about the MDF’s strengths. 

This material has composite ingredients that ensure a solid build.

When you place your MDF panels or boards in the router, the bits will face difficulties in cutting through the strong hardboard. You need to choose the best or standard router bits to cut the MDF board and give you the best routing experience.

3 reasons why you can route MDF

You will mostly find these three reasons why you can route MDF boards, panels, and edges. Still, if you can avoid using MDF routing, you should ignore it because the MDF hardboard might damage your router and will ruin its quality. 


The first reason why you can route the MDF is because of the stability. The MDF board or panels are so stable that they won’t move and will stick to one place firmly. It will help to cut through the edges and route the MDF smoothly. 

Since the MDF is weighty and doesn’t move, you can route it without distraction.

Whatever the material is, stability comes first if you want to route it. Otherwise, your router bits will be broken, and you cannot route it as you want. And here, the MDF board will give you that. 

Wood Layer:

Another reason why you can route the MDF panels is because of the wood layer. Your MDF boards come with a smooth wood layer on top, making it easier to cut and get the desired design. 

You cannot smoothly route the ceramic or another hard surface like you did with the MDF. 

Although the MDF is not pure wood, it will give you the wood looks and feelings. It has a composite build that also includes some woody materials. That’s why it’s not like other strong and rigid materials.

Sharp Bits:

The main reason you can route the MDF board is your sharp bits. Typically, the unsharp router bits will not allow you to route the MDF board smoothly. 

Fortunately, the router bits are sharp enough to cut through the composite materials like the MDF board. You can use both the standard sharp or the best sharpen router bits. 

What speed to route MDF at?

Routers typically come with a selection of speeds. This is important because different bits require different speeds. This ensures that you get the best possible cut, but it also ensures that you do not put yourself in danger. 

Most routers have speeds ranging from 8,000 to 24,000 revolutions per minute (rpm).

The maximum speed of 24,000 revolutions per minute can be reached with bits measuring one inch or less. 

Bits ranging from 1 to 2 inches should be operated at approximately 16,000 rpm, bits ranging from 2 to 2.5 inches should operate at about 14,000 rpm, and bits 3 inches or larger should operate at 12,000 rpm or below.

What is the best router bit for MDF?

The straight plunge and spiral bits are the best router bits for MDF. There are many distinct kinds of CNC router bits, each of which can be configured to make it an excellent choice for cutting MDF or any other kind of material. 

Straight plunge bits are a perfect option when it comes to cutting MDF. 

Because they can have up to three flutes, you will be able to cut MDF at substantially higher speeds. This will allow you to make more intricate cuts. Another excellent bit for cutting MDF is known as a spiral bit.

How to route MDF?

You can route the MDF by following the given steps. Start from cleaning and end with mounting and routing. It will be your best and thorough guideline to route the MDF smoothly using standard router bits.


Remove any debris from the upper surface that you will be working on to maintain your momentum and not disrupt the routing process. 

In the following step, you will need to either clamp the piece of work or place a cloth underneath the board so that it does not slide or throw off the alignment. 

You will also need to clean the router and determine whether or not its parts are in working order; however, before choosing the bits, please do not plug in the router.


Choose the pattern you want to appear on the MDF edges, and then attach one of the appropriate bits to your router. When you have finished pulling the bit, you are ready to route.

In order to prevent the split from taking place on the edge that was designed earlier, you must avoid routing the sides first. However, if you start by routing the ends, you will be able to cut away any damaged areas as you work on the sides.


After plugging in the router and turning it on, you should set it on its side and rotate it counterclockwise in a smooth motion.

After you have completed the initial edge design, you will complete the final design in the same manner. If you take the time to gauge the cutting depth through the bits accurately, you will be rewarded with a flawless edge.

After you have completed the process of designing the edges, you should clean it up and determine whether or not it is what you desired.

Final Thoughts

Because of nature, building materials and the sharpened bits are the main reasons why you can route the MDF boards. You can decorate the bathroom using your MDF board since you can route it according to your needs. You can use the sharpen bits to route the MDF smoothly.