Yes, this is a serious question. Many new router bits, as well as pricier cutting tools, such as end mills or some drill bits, are coated with a thick layer of some kind of waxy, oily, plasticky protective material.
How to remove this stuff before a bit can be put to use?
Well, I’ve peeled it off with my nails before, but that can be slow and messy. I have also used a utility knife to score, cut, or lift off the material, and that seems to work okay most of the time.
I installed a new bit when I wanted to test out the Porter Cable 7518 router that I bought and recently disappointed me, and the waxy plasticky coating simply disappeared. I found it about 15 feet away later that day, and presumed that either the heat or speed caused its spontaneous ejection.
So how do you remove this thick protective coating from your router bits and other tooling?
Using my nail is messy, not to mention risky. The coating is soft, and gives false confidence that it’ll protect you if you grab the sharpened cutting edges by mistake. A utility knife seems a lot safer to use, but I worry about scratching any sensitive bits of the coating or leading edge.
I suppose that a sharpened pencil-shaped dowel might be ideal for something like this. Or maybe a plastic spudger.
I’m curious to hear about your method, and am also wondering if there’s a “proper” way to do it.