How To Round Wood Edges Without A Router

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If you do not have a router and you need to round off the wooden edges, you can still go ahead and do it. However, it would be best if you had the right alternative tools to get the job done. The wood router is a modern innovation, but even before that, woodworkers could round wooden edges with proficiency without using it.

Hence, it would help if you also had an idea of rounding the wooden edges without the use of a router.

How To Round Wood Edges Without A Router

So, if you do not have a power tool, but you still wish to round off your wooden edges, you are at the right place. Before proceeding with this guide to help you know how to round wood edges without a router, it is evident for you to know a fact. The fact is that none of the alternative methods are as fast as a wood router.


These methods can save you some extra money but will eventually demand a little amount of time in return. Now, follow this guide to know the methods of rounding off the wood edges without a wood router.

Method 1: Rounding Off Wooden Edges With Chisel

  1. Get a sharp chisel for the purpose. It is cheap and readily available at hardware stores.
  2. It would be best if you took your time to get the edges rounded off with a chisel.
  3. Slice the wooden edges with it by taking note of the proportions that you are cutting off.
  4. It will be a little longer process that you need to execute patiently.
  5. Keep in mind that you need to use the chisel in a bit slow manner.
  6. Once you obtain the final piece with round-off edges, go ahead with the sanding procedure.

Method 2: Rounding Off With Hand Plane

  1. For large round-offs of about a quarter-inch or something more than that, you need to use a hand plane.
  2. The blade within hand planes is sharper and removes more wood in every stroke.
  3. Place the plane over the working area at an angle of 45 degrees.
  4. Slide it upon the complete length of the working surface.
  5. Keep varying the tilts to ensure that you get a round-off edge.
  6. Continue the process until you obtain the desired size.
  7. Once you are satisfied, use sandpaper to give the final finish.
Tools displayed in an indoor tool shed

Method 3: Rounding Off With A Wood File

  1. A wood file is an aggressive wood shaper than that of sandpaper.
  2. For small radius round-offs, you must go ahead with wood files. (Do not prefer this method for large radius wooden edge round-offs)
  3. You need to grind the edges of your wood surface that you wish to round.
  4. Take your time, and change angles to give it a desirable shape from all sides.
  5. It is a slow process, but soon you will see the edges rounding off gradually.
  6. Continue rubbing the wood until you get the desired final size of the wooden edge.
  7. Lower the pressure as you reach the final point.
  8. Once you are over with it, use the sandpaper for smoothening of the edges.

Method 4: Rounding Off With A Power Sander (Optional)

  1. A power sander is a common tool to possess if you are a woodworker by profession or passion.
  2. Use a hand-held power sander for the purpose. (Note: Follow this method, only if you have a power sander, else you can go with the other methods mentioned above)
  3. It is an alternative to sandpapering the wooden edges with sanding blocks.
  4. It would be best to be careful while sanding the wooden edge with this machine to round them off. It is because this might remove excessive material when you go out of focus.
  5. Do not apply too much pressure on the wooden edges while using the power sanders.
  6. Go light, and slow to get accurate edges with this machine.

For a better insight into how you can use a chisel and other alternatives for rounding off the wooden edges, here is a link to a video for better elaboration.

Person smoothening the edges of a piece of wood

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Wood Routers So Expensive?

The pricing of a wood router depends upon the model and its features. They are expensive than that of the chisel or hand planes. However, routers are fast and efficient, even though they are not affordable and economical. They have the best features and settings to cut through the wooden edges to round them off easily.

But it is not ideal for beginners to spend so much money on it. Still, if you are a beginner and have bought a wood router, refer to this article to learn how to use it!

Which Chisel Can I Prefer For Woodworking?

There are different woodworking chisels available in the market to help you round off the wooden edges. Also, it would be best if you chose among the paring chisels, mortise chisels, and bench chisels. All of them have different woodworking applications that demand different techniques of usage.

To know more about the types and how to get different cuts with chisel over wood, you can check this article


Put an end to your search for the best wood routers to achieve rounded-off wooden edges. In fact, you do not need to spend such a hefty amount to get the best tool for the purpose. Instead, you can use alternatives that demand precision skills and will save you a lot of money.

And, this guide above will help you in the process. So, use these techniques and do some attractive woodworks at a minimal cost.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.