Plunge Routers are hot products for all woodworkers since just one tool can do so much of your work. Since this is one of the essential tools a woodworker can buy, it has a lot of variations in the market. Apart from all the different types of Plunge routers in the market, there are different variations of routers as well, like the fixed routers. For all these reasons, we are here to help you find the best plunge router in the market.
Routers are incredibly versatile in design since they can dip in the middle of your wood’s surface with power, control, and precision. Plunge routers can do a lot of things that a fixed router cannot.
Evaluating the Best Plunge Router, Below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Evaluating the Best Plunge Router, Below.
- 1.1 1. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
- 1.2 2. PORTER-CABLE 895PK, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, 12-Amp, 2-1/4 HP
- 1.3 3. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router
- 1.4 4. Makita XTR01T7
- 1.5 5. Bosch Router Power Tools 1617EVSPK
- 1.6 6. DEWALT DW618B3
- 1.7 7. Makita RP2301FC
- 1.8 8. DeWalt DW621 2-Horsepower Plunge Router
- 1.9 9. DeWalt DWP611PK Fixed Base, Variable Speed Router
- 1.10 10. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
- 1.11 What is a Plunge Router, and what are they used for?
- 1.12 Fixed Base vs. Plunge Base?
- 1.13 Router Features to Look at When You are Purchasing One
- 1.14 Plunge Router Operating Tips
- 1.15 Wood Router Accessories
- 1.16 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.16.1 1. How to Use a Plunge Router?
- 1.16.2 2. How to plunge cut with a fixed router base?
- 1.16.3 3. How to mount a plunge router on a table?
- 1.16.4 4. How to cut a tenon with a plunge router?
- 1.16.5 5. What router table fits the DeWalt 618 Plunge Router?
- 1.16.6 6. What router bit is used for plunge cutting?
- 1.16.7 7. Why would you need a plunge kit for a router?
- 1.16.8 8. How to use a table router as a plunge router?
- 1.16.9 9. Why does my plunge router keep moving?
Here is a list of the Top Rated plunge routers that are currently hot in the market.
1. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
- Single button switches from conventional plunge to fixed-base router with rack and pinion mode
- Through base, single wrench bit change is achieved with automatic spindle lock
- Micro winder enables continuous fine depth adjustment through the full plunge mode
- Soft start and variable speed provides the perfect speed for all cutter types
- Side air vents reduces intake of dust into the motor casings
Plunge Routers are known for their incredible versatility, and the Triton TRA001 does it the best. What more can you want from a tool that can act as both a Plunge Router and a Fixed Router? Typically, the top of the list usually contains an excellent product that is also affordable; however, even though the TRA001 is quite expensive, its quality just cannot be overlooked.
The Base, Winder, and Speed
The best feature of the Triton TRA001 is the two-in-one base that makes it both a fixed and a plunge router. The plunge base will help you in making intricate designs and beautiful patterns, while the fixed base helps a great deal in making smooth edges and flat surfaces.
The micro winder is a great system that allows you to easily change the depth between 2, 3, or 5 inches. The markings are evident, and you just need to turn the knob to increase or decrease the depth of your work.
The 3-1/4 HP, 15A motor, along with the variable speed control, helps you a great deal with flexibility. The variable speed control is the best you get since it can automatically adjust itself when you simultaneously work with different types of wood. There are cases when you no do not want to pause your work just to change the speed.
There are very few places where you can go wrong with the TRA001. The side vents allow all the dust and debris to fall directly off the tool; there are very few routers out there with a vent system.
The entire tool only has comfort in mind; the handle design fits right into your hand and has a rubber grip for stability and control. All the knobs and buttons are clear and within reach.
- It works as both a fixed and plunge router.
- It reduces dust and debris with side vents.
- It is lightweight at 13 pounds.
- It comes with an adjustable fence.
- It has a variable speed control knob.
- It has a powerful 3-1/4 HP motor.
- It is incredibly versatile with its design and base.
- Dust builds very easily.
2. PORTER-CABLE 895PK, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, 12-Amp, 2-1/4 HP
- Soft-starting, 12 Amp motor of PORTER-CABLE router features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the toughest applications
- Variable-speed control feature (10,000 - 23,000 rpm) enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications
- Release the motor, adjust bit height and clamp the motor from above the router table with model #75301 kit (included). Fixed base only.
- Plunge base features machined brass bushings and steel guide rods for a smooth, free-flowing plunge stroke
- Plunge base offers through-the-column dust collection for efficient dust removal and improved bit and cut-line visibility
- Depth rod with 6-position adjustable turret enables stepped or repeated plunge cuts
- Dual-position switch allows user to cut power while maintaining control of the router
- Overmolded grips for greater comfort in extended use
- Spindle lock feature allows for single wrench bit changes
- Durable latch lever enables quick and simple coarse depth adjustments and motor release for transition between bases
The Porter-Cable 895PK is a toned-down version of the Triton TRA001. The hardware is not that much noteworthy since many other routers have such hardware. However, since the router has a double base that acts as both a fixed and a plunge router, it deserves a second place on the list.
The Horse Power, and Variable Speed
One of the first things you should consider when buying something mechanical like a wood router is the power behind the motor, and it is useful when you think of the 895PK. The tool has a 12 Amp soft-start engine with electronic feedback, which will help you maintain a steady speed throughout your most robust operations.
Another positive aspect of a soft-star engine is that it lowers the surge and torque on the motor during the start, mainly if you use it with an AC motor.
You also get a variable speed control system with the router, and you can have speeds of 10,000 to up to 23,000 RPMs. The system is straightforward to control with the speed dial that is on the top of the router.
Porter-Cable has also taken steps to make your operations more manageable with the dual position switch system; this means that there are two power switches at the top and bottom left side of the body.
Build Quality and Other Features
The 895PK has a brilliant design that allows you to use both the ½ and ¼ collet size, and that further allows you to use a wider range of router bits. The collet system allows you more versatility than other routers in the market.
Also, versatility takes a step further with the depth adjustment system that has six layers of adjustments. You can change the depth very quickly with the adjustment knob on the back.
- It has a sub-base centering gauge.
- It has a quiet motor.
- It has a clear base for better visibility.
- It has a long 10-foot cord.
- It has a sturdy die-cast aluminum build.
- It has a liner screw mechanism for easy height adjustment.
- It has a very poor user manual.
- It has no dust seal switch.
- It has lateral deflection in the plunge router.
3. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router
- Precision: trigger control system located in handle for enhanced control
- Adjustable: variable speed dial for matching speed to work piece and task
- Speed: both routers feature fast, 2.3 HP, soft star motors; Variable speed dials let you set the speed you need for the job
- Power: power through tough routing tasks with a 15 Amp variable speed motor, 2. 3 Horsepower and a variable speed range between 10, 000 and 25, 000 RPM
- Router table compatibility: threaded holes make fixed base Router table mountable
The Bosch MRC23EVSK is an entry-level router that can act as both a plunge and a fixed router. The best thing about the tool is its design and the convenient positions where each button and knobs are situated. However, you have to have a reasonable budget if you want the MRC23EVSK.
Power, Variable Speed, and a Soft-Start System
The Bosch MRC23EVSK has one of the most powerful motors you can find out there. Since power is the first thing, you should look at when purchasing a plunge router, and then should be on your wish list.
The router houses a 2.3 hp motor that is enough to use a ½ inch shank bit to drill through your working piece (stock/wood) without any slowdowns. The motor also allows the tool to have a wide range of speeds ranging from 10,000 RPMs to 25,000 RPMs. In turn, this speed range allows you greater versatility than most other routers on the market.
Last, of all, a router is just not worth it if it does not have the soft-start system. The soft-start gradually increases the speed of the motor to the desired point and not in an instant that there are no surges or shacks at the start.
Build Design & Depth Adjustment System
Unlike most other routers, this one has the power switch on the handlebar to make it incredibly convenient for you. Also, the base design allows you to use it as both a plunge router and a fixed router, and at such an affordable price.
Also, the depth adjustment system is great for both the bases and the speed dial is located at the base of the tool. Another great feature of the tool is that if you use a router table, you can adjust the height from the table using an included hex wrench!
- It acts as both a plunge router and a fixed router.
- It has an incredibly powerful 2.5 HP motor.
- It has the "soft-start" system for smoother starts.
- The power switch and speed dials are in a convenient place at the handlebar and base.
- The depth adjustment system is great with additional adjustment functions when using a router table.
- It has a long, 10-feet power cord.
- Nothing worth mentioning.
4. Makita XTR01T7
If the last few years have been any indication, then cordless tools are the future. The Makita XTR01T7 is a dream come true for many carpenters out there, and ever since the product stepped into the market, its sell skyrocketed to infinity and beyond! The only drawback is that most cordless tools increase portability at the expense of power. Find out if the former statement holds for this router that is soon to become the best wood router in the market.
- Makita-built Brushless motor delivers faster and more accurate cuts in a variety of materials
- The electronically-controlled BL Brushless motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
- Variable speed control dial (10, 000 - 30, 000 RPM) to match the speed to the application
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
- On/off button with separate lock button helps prevent accidental start-up of the tool for user and work piece protection
Brushless Motor's Power and Performance
The best thing about cordless tools is its ability to hold brushless motors. Not only is it more efficient, but it will also get you a better runtime than a brush motor. The brushless tech allows you to transfer more power from the battery to the motor.
While it is true that there are more powerful routers in the market, it is also true that this is a router that is far more than just a DIY tool. You can do almost any kind of woodwork with the Makita Router; however, a corded tool will do those jobs a little faster.
The Build Quality and Feature Set
The Makita Router is a little heavier than your average cordless router; however, most of that weight goes to the grip, and it does not hurt to have a tool that is very stable in hand.
The biggest trade-off for cordless routers is that it misses out on most technologies in the market; however, this router holds almost all premium features in it. These features are the variable speed control system, the removable base, the height adjustment system, and the quick-release cam lock.
So, in the end, it is safe to say that you do not miss out on much with the router, even if it is a cordless one.
- It has a brushless motor that is very efficient and powerful.
- It has the "soft-start" feature.
- It has a durable aluminum housing and a visible base.
- You can use other bases as well.
- It has a quick-release cam lock system.
- It has a long three-year warranty period.
- It has a wide speed range (10,000 – 30,000).
- It has a separate on and off button.
- It is the best wood router for the money.
- It is not as powerful as corded counterparts.
5. Bosch Router Power Tools 1617EVSPK
The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a mid-size router that does almost all your jobs perfectly. It will handle any woodworks you through at it, and the fact that it can use both ¼ and ½ inch collet sizes makes it very versatile. You can say that for a corded router, this is the best wood router for the money, and is also the “best wood router for beginner.”
- Versatile: This versatile kit can be used for a broad range of applications, including precise bit plunging, edge forming, slot cutting, laminate trimming and dovetail cutting; Making it one of the most widely used routers for wood working
- Durability: Aluminum construction makes this one of our most durable wood routers yet with wooden handles on a fixed base and a soft grip handle on a plunge base
- Ease of use: Rounded hardwood handles maximize user control
- Convenient: With the built in constant response circuitry, our 1617EVSPK wood router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results
- Kit contents: Includes a plunge base, fixed base, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collet chucks, shaft wrench, collet nut wrench, chip shields and carrying case
Power and Speed
Corded routers are known for their power, and the 2.25 HP motor proves that statement. The motor is more than powerful enough to fit in any shops and router tables out there, and it will not cause any fatigue in use, especially with the soft-start system.
The plunge router also has a variable speed control with its speed ranging from 8,000 RPMs to 25,000 RPMs. The speed control dial is at the top front side of the tool, where it is incredibly convenient to reach. The wide speed range gives you great versatility, and you can do different types of works such as laminating, cutting softwood, and many more.
Build Quality and Feature Set
The aluminum build gives the tool a long-lasting and sturdy build. Also, the base is removable, and you can use both a plunge base and a fixed base. Moreover, you can use collet sizes of both ¼ inches and ½ inches, making it even more versatile. It is pretty safe to say that this is the best wood router for the money.
Last, of all, its depth adjustment settings depend upon the base you put it. In the case of the fixed base, you get three levels of adjustment, with ½ inch increments. The plunge base has an adjustment dial with 1/32- and 1/28-inch increments in all.
- It is lightweight but has a durable build.
- It has a self-releasing chuck collet.
- It has a ten feet long cord.
- It has a removable chip shield.
- It has good template guides.
- It has motor alignment arrows.
- It has a good drip for a handle.
- Dust build-up will cause the power switch to fail.
- The C-ring sometimes falls off or breaks.
- Changing the base is difficult.
6. DEWALT DW618B3
The market is always in a craze for a two-base router that, vying for one base, is almost non-existent. However, if one base does it for professionals out there, then how about a three base! The DeWalt DW618B3 is a router that has three bases – plunge base, fixed base, and a D-Handle base! If this is not the best router for money, then nothing can be. The price is incredibly low if you compare it with other premium wood routers.
- 2-1/4 HP (maximum motor HP), 12.0 amp electronic variable speed motor of DEWALT router provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods
- DEWALT plunge router features electronic variable speed with full feedback control for constant speed under load from 8,000-24,000 rpm and soft start to reduce start-up torque for enhanced control
- Micro-fine, depth-adjustment ring provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments and adjusts vertically for a constant switch/cordset location
- Adjustable, tool-free, steel motor cam lock makes depth adjustment and base changes quick and solid-locking
- Integral, through-the-column dust collection collects 95% of the dust and provides superior bit visibility
- Quick-release motor latches for fast and easy motor pack removal for bit and base changes
- Detachable cordset offers cordset serviceability and removes the need for a -inchshorty-inch cord motor pack
- Precision-machined brass bushings and case-hardened steel guide rods provide a smooth and accurate plunge stroke
- Spindle lock button allows for single-wrench bit changes
- Clear, LEXAN sub-base provides enhanced base durability, bit visibility, and accepts standard template guide bushings
Power and Speed
As you would expect from a DeWalt power tool, the router houses a powerful and robust 12 Amp, 2-1/4 HP motor that is perfect for any kind of woodwork you throw at it. The router is very capable, and you can even use it with a ¾ inch fluted bit without any trouble.
The tool also has a variable speed control system that has a speed range starting from 8,000 RPMs to 24,000 RPMs.
Build Quality and Feature Set
The selling feature of the DW618B3 is its incredible versatility with its three different bases. First, you get the plunge base; the rests are the D-Handle base and the fixed base. DeWalt makes things more convenient for you; the tool has a straightforward and easy to use locking lever to change the bases at will. Moreover, you do not need to worry about portability since the tool is lightweight, and you get a carrying case with the tool.
The depth adjustment system is also very easy to use, and it makes use of a Depth Adjustment Ring to spin the motor house and adjust the depth of your work. Unlike the D-Handle, the plunge base has a Depth Adjustment Rod that is easy to use.
- It has a long 3-year warranty.
- It has a quick-release latch that you can use to remove the motor easily.
- You get a fantastic three base settings with the purchase!
- The dual collection system gives you excellent visibility.
- The entire tool is very durable but is lightweight.
- It is effortless to change the bases with the simple lever lock.
- The switch of the D-Handle is stiff and, therefore, uncomfortable to use.
- The size of the carrying case if very big.
7. Makita RP2301FC
If power is what you desire, then look no further than the Makita RP2301FC, which boasts a very powerful 3-1/4 HP motor that just works like a charm. The RP2301FC is the most powerful plunge router you will find on this list. Although it is heavier and bigger than almost all the routers in the list, it is also very able. In terms of performance alone, this just might be the best wood router for the money.
- Powerful 15 AMP motor delivers 9,000-22,000 RPM for smooth routing
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
- Variable speed control dial enables user to match the speed to the application
- Soft start feature for smooth start-ups
- Electric brake for increased productivity
Powerful Motor and a Good Speed Range
The Makita RP2301FC houses a very powerful motor that rates at 3-1/4 HP. The motor is more than capable enough to handle any type of woodwork you can think of. However, all the other products on this list do too. The main reason behind this powerful motor is its unparalleled ability to finish a job quicker than all its counterparts. All in all, the 15 Amp motor can handle almost any kind of material without slowing or bogging down.
Unlike others on the list, though, this has an average speed range from 9,000 RPMs to 22,000 RPMs. The speed range is so that you can use big bits with lower speeds and the high speeds with smaller 1-inch bits.
Build Quality and Feature Set
Apart from the average speed range, the RP2301FC has all the features that can need from a premium plunge router. Although you do not get the other bases, this is certainly the best you can get from a plunge base. Therefore, this is the best plunge router you can find on the market. Also, the price of the tool is lower than all other combination routers in the market.
The soft-start system is as good as it gets, and no fatigue will set in after long uses. The depth adjustment system is good enough, and the depth knob and scale allow you to adjust the depth of your cut seamlessly.
The overall design is different from your average router, but it is for the better since the ergonomics just makes it all the better with the rubber grip and handlebar in just the right place.
- It gives you a bang for your bucks.
- It has an excellent build quality.
- It has electric brakes to stop the motor quickly and smoothly.
- It has the "soft-start" system for surge-free starts.
- It boasts a powerful 3-1/4 HP, 15 Amp motor.
- It has a chip deflector to reduce dust concentration.
- It is more expensive than other plunge routers on the market, but that is because of the powerful motor.
8. DeWalt DW621 2-Horsepower Plunge Router
The DeWalt DW621 is a general-purpose combination Router that can do all your jobs perfectly. The router has a dual base system where you can use it both a plunge router and a fixed base router. The best thing about the router is its dust collection system that prevents the router from bogging down for a very long time.
- Powerful, smooth-running 15 Amp motor generates 3 HP
- Full wave electronic variable speeds between 8,000 and 22,000 RPM
- Rack and pinion depth adjuster; Magnified scale; Micro-fine bit depth adjuster for faster, more accurate bit depth settings
- Base dimensions: 5-5/8 x 6-11/16 inches; weighs 11.2 pounds
- Includes: 1/4-inch collet, 1/2-inch collet, dust extraction adapter, template guide bushing adapter, wrench
Power and Speed
The router houses a mid-range 2 HP, 10 Amp motor, and that puts this router in the mid-range category. However, do not worry about its power since it can do all your jobs without any hassle.
The only difference between this router and other powerful routers in the market is that this one does woodwork slower than other more powerful tools. However, since this is more affordable, it all evens out.
The router has the "soft-star" system and has a speed range from 8,000 RPMs to 24,000 RPMs. The range of speed allows you to use two different types of collet sizes – ½ inch and ¼ inch. The higher the speed, the smaller the size of the collet size, and vice versa.
Build Quality and Feature Set
The router has excellent build quality, and it is just amazing that you get both bases at such a low-price range. Truly, for a combination router, this is the best wood router for the money.
The router also has the rack and pinion depth adjuster, and the micro-fine adjusting system allows you to quickly adjust the depth up to 2-1/4 inches of plunge depth.
Moreover, you get the excellent dust collecting system that collects the dust at the base plate and then ejects it through the support column at the top. The dust collection system makes it far cleaner than any other router on the market.
- It has an excellent value for the price you pay for it.
- It has an excellent dust collection system.
- It houses a full-wave electronic speed control system.
- It has the soft-start system and the "death stop" system.
- It has a spindle lock button for single-wrench bit changes.
- It has a poor plunge lock design.
- Even with the soft-start, it lurches a little when you start it.
9. DeWalt DWP611PK Fixed Base, Variable Speed Router
The DeWalt DWP611PK is a fixed base router, but since this is too good, it deserves a place on this list. Normally plunge routers are sought after more than fixed routers, but this here is a good one. Although the 'PK' in the name makes this a combination router, the motor is not powerful enough to do all your jobs as smoothly as most on the list.
- Imported from: Mexico
- POWER TOOLS
- Commercial Brand: DEWALT
Power and Speed
The power of the tool is average at best, and since this is a plunge router and a fixed base router, this is more of a DIY tool at home, then a professional one. The router houses a 1.25 HP, 7 Amp motor, and it is capable enough to do any kind of work at home.
Because of the power, the lower range is higher than your average router, pushing 16,000 RPMs on the lower end and going as far as 27,000 RPMs on top. Since this is a DIY tool, this range is speed is enough for any kind of woodwork you throw at it.
Build Quality and Feature Set
The plunge base and the fixed base give you great versatility, and the power of the router is just enough for any kind of work. Like all the best routers, the DWP611PK has the soft-start system and makes use of both the ½ inch and ¼ inch collet sizes.
As for the depth adjustment system, you can travel up to 1.5 inches on the standard base, and up to 2 inches with the plunge depth. You can make use of a depth adjustment ring to change the depth of the cut.
- It is compact and lightweight.
- It has an ergonomic grip to reduce fatigue and relieve hand pressure.
- It has dual LED lights to work in the dark.
- It is very easy to change bits.
- It has a seal power switch.
- It has an adjustable clamp design.
- You do not get an edge guide with the base purchase.
- The collet nut is difficult to reach.
- It has no side handles.
10. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
The Makita RT0701CX7 is the weakest router on the list, having a motor that only has 1-1/4 hp. However, since this is a DIY tool, the power is understandable. Also, this is the most affordable router on the list that is both a plunge router and a fixed router. For a DIY tool, this is the "best wood router for beginner," and the best wood router for the money you can find.
- Variable speed control dial (10,000 - 30,000 RPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
- Smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system for more precise settings
- Slim and ergonomically designed body for increased comfort and control
- Quick release cam lock system for easy depth adjustments and base removal/installation
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load. Fits compact routers models RT0700C and RT0701C
- Powerful 1 to 1/4 HP (maximum) Motor Delivers Improved Performance
Power and Speed
The router houses a 6.5-amp, 1.25 HP motor; even though this is quite small compared to the other routers on the list, it is still powerful enough to do all your DIY projects at home.
Even though this is an incredibly affordable router, it still has the "soft-start" system that reduces the torque during startup. You need to use an AC electric motor, and it will massively reduce the stress on the total router.
The router also has a variable speed control system with six increments going from 10,000 RPMs to 30,000 RPMs. The electric control system greatly helps to reduce load during startup, and that will, in turn, reduce the burnout of the tool.
Build Quality and Feature Set
This router is very versatile, considering you can use it as both a plunge router and a fixed base router. The fixed base has a locking lever and a 360-degree adjustment ring to adjust the depth of your cut. The process is very easy and hassle-free.
The only negative side to the tool is that its black lever that releases the motor. There is not enough friction between the motor and base to keep the motor in place after you pull the lever to change the base.
- It has a metal parallel guide.
- It is compact and lightweight.
- It has a sturdy build to last longer.
- It has a small base that you can use to reach into tight corners.
- The base purchase has a kit with two wrenches to change bits.
- It has the "soft-start" system even at such a low price.
- It has no dust shield to protect the power switch.
- The motor will drop when you release the base.
- It has a short fence range – 3.5 inches.
- You need to hold down the locking lever since it is not instant.
What is a Plunge Router, and what are they used for?
Having a plunge router in your workspace is a must if you are a carpenter or if woodworking is your hobby. A plunge router is a perfect tool to help you with precise cutting, and it also helps you to adjust the depth of your cuts precisely.
Plunge routers are also great in a way that if you lock the base in place, it will start to act as a fixed router. Most routers have a lock mechanism that can do exactly that. However, you should buy combination routers since they have both bases and are quite affordable even when you compare them to single base routers.
Another positive side to a plunge router is that you can preset the depth of your cut. After that, you can plunge the bit into the cut with the base flat on the surface of the material you are working on.
Fixed Base vs. Plunge Base?
There are quite a few types of bases you can find; however, the two most famous router bases are the Plunge Base and the Fixed Base. There is one other type of base you can find, and that is the D-Handle Base. However, here, we will compare the features of the Plunge Base and the Fixed Base. These two types of bases are the most common and are usually found in a combo kit since they are the most useful.
Plunge Routers are different in a way since they move up and down on the base. They have two spring-loaded arms on each side of the base that allows you to manually 'plunge' into your woodwork.
Fixed bases are the least used of the two since plunge bases are more convenient. However, fixed bases are more accurate than plunge bases since they do not plunge into your stock.
Fixed bases are easier to use, and they are more lightweight, and of course, you need a router table to work with them as well.
Fixed bases are accurate since they can set an exact depth of cut. They have the accuracy to work with very articulate works, such as when you work with dovetail joints.
Router Features to Look at When You are Purchasing One
A wood router is a “must-have” tool for you if you are a carpenter, or woodworking is your hobby. Wood routers are a must when you want to create an impressive array of intricate designs, shapes, grooves, and much more.
However, since not all wood routers are the same, you need to know their features and what the best wood router for you is.
The Types of Base
The base is a wood router’s most crucial feature since it defines how the work will work. There are different types of bases you can choose from, and our list contains the Plunge Base, the Fixed Base, and the D-Handle Base. All of these are quite useful; however, the plunge base and the fixed base are more wanted.
Motor and Horsepower
The power of a tool is important for any power you want to use, and that also stands true for a wood router. To get the best performance from your wood router, purchase one that has a rating of 2 HP or above since you need quite a bit of power to drill through a stock. Also, the more power you use, the faster you can push through a stock.
Having a variable speed control system is a must if you want a versatile wood router. Small bits need a lot of speed to work with, and larger bits require less speed. Therefore, go for a router that has a wide range of speed.
Dust Control System
Since you are working with wood, there is no doubt that a work session will create a lot of dust. Also, you need to consider health issues since a lot of dust will lead to mild suffocation. Therefore, having a router with a vacuum port that manages dust is very convenient indeed. Also, you do not need to spend a lot of time cleaning afterward.
A Comfortable Grip
While this sounds less important than the others, it truly is not. Try to buy a router with a comfortable grip since you are going to spend a lot of time working with a router, and for long sessions. Therefore, if you buy one with an uncomfortable grip, there is a high probability that fatigue will set it.
The Collet Sizes
Most routers can use both the ½ inch and ¼ inch collet sizes, and they are also affordable. Therefore, purchase a router that can use both the sizes.
Plunge Router Operating Tips
Plunge routers have a lot of versatility when you consider the sheer number of operations the tools can do. Just buying one plunge router will save you a lot of trouble by doing what mortises or dowel jointers can do.
Therefore, here are a few ways that you can use your plunge router
Do the work of a mortise
Mortisers are tools that you can use to cut cubic or rectangular shapes on a piece of wood or stock. While it is not possible to directly use it as a mortise, you can easily build one by following several different guides and images that you can find on Google.
Need to Dowel? Look no further
This is very similar to the way of mortising. All you need to do is bore two 5/8-inch holes instead of slotting acrylic tops. You can even make multiple holes with different spacing in between to make different dowel setups.
This is much less of a hassle then the former two. To create the perfect circle on your stock, just mount the router on a trammel arm while making sure to have a fixed point. Making circles with plunge routers are quicker than using a saw.
Make sure to have a dust hood
Working with routers generate a lot of dust that is a pain to clean up later after. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have some sort of backup to reduce the dust amalgamation. Many manufacturers include a dust hood with the base purchase, and you can just attach it to a vacuum and work without tension.
What Makes a Good Quality Plunge Router?
Power and speed are obviously good features to look for when buying a wood router. However, that is not all that you should look at when purchasing one. The best wood router must be dependable and powerful.
Imagine a router that is powerful and has a wide range of speed; however, should it break down after a year of use, then all is for naught. Our list of the best wood routers has a lot of dependable routers that you can look at, and they can guarantee dependability when you need it the most.
Furthermore, you also need to consider what the best features are for you and you alone. There are a lot of good and powerful routers out there, however, if you are only are DIY kind of guy, then buying the most powerful and attractive one will be a total waste of money. Therefore, consider all the features that you need and not a bit more.
Wood Router Accessories
Here are a few wood router accessories that you need to know about if you are considering a purchase in the near future
Router Table and Fence
Router tables are a must if you work with routers for an extensive period of time, especially with fixed base routers. If you have a mid-sized or heavy-duty router, then you need to install it upside down with the spindle sticking up.
A router table is more of a convenience than a must; therefore, it is more convenient to add a vertical fence since it gives you more control. It is possible to work without a router table; however, you will need to spend a lot of time to secure pieces in place before actually starting to work.
Router Jigs and Clamps
Router jigs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; however, the most common is the simple square platform jig. A square platform jig is set up very convenient for a multi-tasker, and also, it is very easy to position your router for increased accuracy.
To make such a router jig, you need two pieces of plywood that are the same size and shape. You need to attach them together with glue; you can use a few brads as well for better attachments. Then, add a third to the front edge; this will act like the lip of the jig.
Clamps are as simple as all the others that you use. You can use Router Clamps to keep the router and jig in a place where it is supposed to be.
There are so many kinds of router bits out there that it is difficult to keep track of, however, here are a few of them that you might find more useful than others.
- Straight Router Bits : These are the most common type of bits that you can use to make grooves and dados since they cut straight into the wood.
- Flush-Trim Bits : These look very similar to straight bits, but they work differently. You can use flush-trim bits to trim the edge of a material flush with the edge of another material.
- Edge Forming Bits : These are also very common since you can make decorative edges with edge forming bits.
- Chamfer Router Bits : These bits cut at an angle to form a bevel to decorate edges of a surface, they work similarly to Edge Forming Bits.
- Specialized Bits : These router bits are for special tasks that no other bits can do. These come in different shapes and sizes, and you need to find the one that suits your task.
Related: Multi-Purpose Tools list
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to Use a Plunge Router?
To use a plunge router, you need to note that there are several parts to a plunge router. You need to know about the router motor, its base, the router bits, and of course, the jigs and clamps that you will use.
- Remember to use jigs for easy woodworking. These do not come with the base purchase, and you need to purchase them in wood shops or make them yourself.
- Router bits are the most important part when working, install them to the collet according to the collet size.
- Adjust the depth of your cut by looking at the scale.
- Use the router and hold it against the guide.
- You can move the router left or right, or vice versa for the direction of your cut.
- You can use different types of bits for different types of results.
- Set the plunge router base to the surface of your stock before you start your operation.
- If you release the downward pressure, the router will cease operation.
2. How to plunge cut with a fixed router base?
If you want to use a fixed router base to plunge cut, you either need to purchase the necessary jig, or make one for yourself. To make the necessary jig, follow these steps:
- To make a base, take a ¼ inch plywood with a slot down the center; this will help you provide clearance for the straight bit.
- To actually move the router, you need parallel fences across the base. Make sure to cover the length of the base.
- For convenience, make sure that you have stop blocks to prevent the router from going over the edge of the base.
These are all the steps you need to make the jig; now you need to follow these steps to make the plunge cut.
- After setting the depth of the cut (1/4”), tilt the base of the router at an angle, aligning it with the base of the jig.
- After the alignment, lower your router bit into the jig slot until the router is flat against the base of the jig.
3. How to mount a plunge router on a table?
Fitting a plunge router on a router table is very easy. All you need to do is make an insert plate on the table where the router will stand.
Make sure that you have an insert plate that is the correct size for your router table. Once you place the insert plate on the router table, you can set the router on the table following these steps:
- First, you need to mark out the mounting board. You need to do that to accurately place the insert plate to align it with the router. First, you need to cut your plywood to the size that you need since different people have different needs. If you are going to beading's, then you need a large board. Next, find the perfect place to place your router and then leave the surrounding area as a support space. Now, draw out the place where you will place the insert table.
- Second, you need to provide a recess between the board and the router, and you can do this with the help of fences that will move the router left and right.
- Next, attach the clamps to the recess. You just need to put the fences in place, and you can use that to guide your router.
- Last, of all, all you need to do now is place the router on the board, and enjoy your new router table. Once you clamp down your mount, make sure to do test runs on woodwork's before you actually start to do projects since you might need calibrations.
4. How to cut a tenon with a plunge router?
You can cut a tenon with a plunge router by following these steps:
- Place the stop on the platform at the ends of each shoulder of the work-piece, and align the platform edge with the shoulder line and clamp the jigs together.
- Set up the router on the workpiece and clamp them together. (Make sure to treat the plunge router like a fixed router, or else you might accidentally cut into the platform itself.)
- Rout the first cheek by setting the router on the tenoning platform. You have to make sure that the bit is clear on both the workpiece and the platform.
- Now do this the second time; however, flip the platform over first. You have to make sure that you put all the clamps back in place first.
- Before you fit the tenon in place, check it with the mortise. If the piece is too thin, reduce the depth of your cut slightly and start with a new piece. If it is the opposite, then increase the depth of your cut on the same workpiece.
- Before you actually fit the tenon, make sure to rout the edges first.
5. What router table fits the DeWalt 618 Plunge Router?
No one table will fit the DeWalt 618; you need to find a table that has an insert plate with the correct alignment of mounting holes that are similar to the ones you have on the router.
6. What router bit is used for plunge cutting?
These router bits can help you plunge cut into your work-piece:
Plunge-Cutting Tip – These are the most common bits for plunge cutting, they have a very sharp tip at the base of its body.
Spiral Bits – Any spiral bits on the market can plunge cut into your stock, so you can just get one that suits you.
Cutting Edge Bit – You can use any bits that have a cutting edge that runs along the end.
7. Why would you need a plunge kit for a router?
Routers are a big hassle if you only have the body itself. You need a lot of accessories and bits to work with a router. Also, while fixed base routers are useful for precision cutting, they are useless on a grand scale since you cannot do big projects with them.
Plunge kits have a lot of accessories like numerous router bits, a router table, jigs, and clamps that are very useful in the long run.
8. How to use a table router as a plunge router?
If you want to use a router table as a plunge router, then you must have a fixed router at hand first. Also, you need to make sure to have the necessary jigs available too. All the steps to make a jig and use it to make a fixed router work like a plunge router is answered on the question two above.
9. Why does my plunge router keep moving?
Your plunge router might keep moving down to bad clamp positioning on your router table. Make sure to check all the clamps and jigs to see whether they are loose, and chances are, they most certainly are.
Also, make sure to check how much your router bit sticks out from the collect. Measure the distance after re-calibrating the bit by unlocking and then locking the bit in place.
If you redo all the measurements, then you should be able to figure out which part of the router is actually slipping or is loose enough to make the whole tool move and shake during operation.
Related: Woodworking Tools
Routers are a crucial part of every woodworker out there, no matter if you are a professional or a DIYer. Therefore, it is mandatory to have one at hand whenever you are working with stocks and woods. However, routers have so many variations that it is almost impossible to keep track even when you are a professional. Our guide is to help you understand all possible aspects of a wood router, including different types of a router, including fixed based, and D-Handle routers. With all the information at hand, we sincerely hope that you will be able to find the best wood router for you!
Last update on 2022-01-16 at 21:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API