Eliminate Tearout Routing Plywood

A little technique goes a long way.

Eric Armstrong
3 min readApr 22, 2023


A square wooden edge can hurt people, and it can collect dings. So it’s a good idea to “soften” it. Generally, that’s done with a router. With plywood, though, large chunks can tear out at the end of a cut. But there’s a fix!

Woodworker holding a router on the edge of a board
Image from How to Get Perfect Routed Edges (lots of good tips!)

High-Quality Plywood is a Must

You have to start with a good quality “cabinet grade” plywood, of course. Even then, you’ll often have some voids to fill after rounding. That much comes with the territory. There won’t be as many as you would get with a lower grade, and they won’t be as large, but there will still be done.

Baltic Birch used to be my go-to choice, until brother Putin decided to shoot his entire country in its collective foot. Baltic Birch is produced in Finland, as well as Russia, but everything Finland makes they can sell in Europe. So that once-stellar option is no longer available. The best alternative I’ve found so far is Poplar plywood. It’s not quite as good, but it’s been a reasonable substitute.
Bamboo plywood may also be a good choice. I don’t much like the edges for my benches, but some do!

Solving the Blowout Problem

The problem with roundovers and chamfers on plywood is the blowout that can happen at the end of…



Eric Armstrong

Eric Armstrong has written books on weight loss, golf, meditation, & yoga. He even builds a Yoga Meditation Bench. Turns out it’s an Ancient Tradition!