If you have been into a woodwork shop, you have surely seen those devices that shape and cut the wood in what seems to be effortless manner. These are known as routers. Most of the experienced woodworkers are normally going to use a plunge router because it is a lot more versatile than fixed base ones. What is more, the best plunge router is going to allow you to carry out almost any kind of routing undertaking in a timely manner without breaking a sweat.
This is why we have prepared a list of the best plunge router reviews which is specifically designated to present you with the best on the market for the current year. All of the devices have been properly compared. Their most important specifications have been drawn out in order to enable you to choose the one that would best suit your particular needs. With this in mind, we bring to your attention some of the most popular plunge routers this year.
What Is a Plunge Router?
A plunge router is surely a tool that should be in every single shop and a necessary unit if you have a router table. There are a lot of different routing chores that are going to be perfectly executed with a plunge router. This is a device that would allow you to freely guide it up and down without being limited with a certain base.
The plunge mechanism is spring-loaded which allows the motor housing to always want to move up to the top. At the same time there is a lever that would enable you to freely move up and down the router housing.
However, this does not mean that you won’t be able to lock the bit in one position in order to cut at a certain pre-determined depth. Just on the contrary, every plunged router can be fixed to a certain position in order to allow the worker to exercise numerous cuts with the same depth. However, a lot of the people argue that a fixed-base router can carry out everything that a plunge router can, but the truth is far from this.
A lot of things are better off conducted with plunge routers. For instance, every plunge router makes the a great template router. This is due to the fact that they are not stuck in one position, but would rather allow you to properly follow the curves of the template.
Top 6 Best Plunge Router Reviewed 2021
1. Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge Router
This is without any doubt one of the top plunge routers on the market during this current year. And this is due to variety of good reasons. The Bosch 1617EVSPK device could be used as a plunge router and it also has a kit that would allow you to utilize it as a fixed base variable speed router. The machine comes with a significantly powerful motor as well as technology, that is advanced enough to enable you to properly control the speed.
You can exercise plenty of precision and this is surely going to allow you handle a large abundance of projects quickly as well as accurately.
The 2.25 HP motor and the incredibly versatile speed range of 8,000 all the way up to 25,000 RPM would allow you to take proper care of some tough routing jobs. There is a variable speed dial that is going to allow you to pre-set the optimal speed that is best for the particular routing task. In order to present you with incredibly accurate results, the router comes with a built-in Constant Response Circuitry which is going to enable the bit to maintain a constant speed during the entire cut.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK comes with a versatile kit that is going to provide you with all the necessary parts which are needed for fixed-depth routing as well as for plunge routing. There are microfine bit depth adjustment systems which are located on both bases in order to allow you to accurately and rapidly adjust the bit depth.
Both of the bases – the fixed and the plunge feature a quick clamp system in order to allow quickly and tool-free conversions. This would enable you to switch between the bases in a few seconds.
2. DEWALT DW618PK Plunge Router
It is absolutely undeniable that if you had to make a plunge router comparison, you would quickly come to the conclusion that the DEWALT DW618PK is one of the best machines in this category. This is another router that combines plunge and fixed base utilities at once in order to present you with enough utility. The motor with is of 2.25 HP and features variable speed settings that is going to allow you to properly rout smoothly through some of the hardest woods.
At the same time you are capable of adjusting the speed for each routing task which would allow you to properly execute each project with precision and is going to present you with a wider range of possibilities.
The router features ¼ inch and ½ inch collets that are intended to improve the versatility as well as the bit retention. The router also comes with a depth adjustment ring which is going to provide you with precise depth adjustments in increments of 1/64 of the inch.
At the same time the adjustable and tool-free motor cam lock makes it really easy to adjust the depth and to change the base. You are literally going to be able to do it within seconds. There is also an integral dust collector that is capable and intended to collect up to 85% of the dust which is specifically designated to ensure greater bit visibility. The router does not include a centering tool so you would have to purchase this additionally.
3. Hitachi KM12VC Plunge Router
The Hitachi KM12VC features electronic speed control that would allow you to properly maintain constant and even rolls per minute even if the pressure applied varies. This would enable you to precisely execute the finest cuts, regardless of the material that you are routing.
The motor is capable of peaking at 2.25 HP which is significantly powerful and is going to ensure precise as well as controlled cuts. At the same time it has a 2-stage release clamp that is going to make you quickly and accurately adjust the depths and the base.
The unit is incredibly quiet in comparison to other plunge or fixed base routers and it would produce a noise level of only 79.5 dB. This would create a quieter and calm environment which would enable you to properly focus on the routing projects.
This particular plunge router also comes with a fine depth adjustment system that is going to allow you to precisely control the depth. At the same time the unit is a versatile routing tool that is going to accept ½ inch and ¼ inch bits in order to be perfectly compatible with most of the bits that you are going to come across in the hardware shops. And to add even more convenience, the router includes a ½ inch and ¼ inch collet chucks that would allow you to easily change the bits.
4. Black & Decker RP250 Plunge Router
Unlike the previous routers, this one is specifically designated to be used as a plunge router and does not offer the fixed base kit. However, it brings a lot of advantages and would allow you to properly carry out a significant amount of routing projects. This plunge router is perfect to handle decorative cutting from the center of the material that you are working with. The 10 Amp motor is delivering sufficient power for the majority of router undertakings.
The unit comes with a gradual start function that would allow you to exercises greater and far better control which would ultimately translate to more precise results. The unit comes with a ¼ inch collet and a wrench as well as a parallel edge guide. The manufacturer also offers 2 year warranty period which would ensure that if anything happens to the machine you are either getting your money back or you are going to receive a free repair work.
In order to provide great comfort as well as superior security during the working process, the unit comes with a trigger switch with a lock-on button as well as a countered chip shield. At the same time the specifically designed sightline base is going to make sure that you have more than enough visibility while carrying out your work.
5. DEWALT DW625 – Variable Speed Router
This is without a doubt some of the most powerful electronic plunge routers on the market. The DEWALT DW625 has a 3 HP motor running at 15 amps. Despite of the significant power capacity, the motor runs incredibly smooth thus ensuring accurate routing. The device is capable of developing variable speeds ranging between 8,000 and 22,000 RPM in order to ensure that you are going to be provided with all the motion you need to finish your routing undertaking.
The device comes with a rack and pinion depth adjuster for further precision as well as a magnified scale. There is also a micro-fine bit depth adjuster that is going to allow you to rapidly switch through the different depth settings. This would ultimately translate to accurate routing exercised in a timely manner.
The device has base dimensions of 5 5/8 x 6 11/6 inches and it weighs around 11.2 pounds which makes it rather lightweight. This would allow you to work with little to no effort and at the same time you won’t be bothered by the weight in order to properly cut the material.
The unit comes with a ¼ inch and ½ inch collets, it also has a dust extraction adapter and a template guide bushing adapter as long as a wrench. Basically the only thing that you are going to need in order to start working is the work piece and you are all set to go.
6. PORTER-CABLE 7539 Speedmatic Plunge Router
There is a reason for which the PORTER-CABLE 7539 is amongst the top rated plunge routers on the market during this year. Actually, the reasons are several. Right of the bat, it has a significantly powerful 3.25 HP motor performing at 15 AMP which is capable of delivering the power as well as the durability which is required to carry out even the toughest routing undertakings.
The unit is incredibly versatile due to the fact that it has five different RPM settings. They would allow you to work at 10,000, 13,000, 16,000, 19,000 and 21,000 RPM thus making it possible for you to handle most of the applications.
At the same time, the plunge router features a soft-start which is specifically designated to reduce the torque at the start-up moment which would allow you to properly begin working with the unit without any odd shapes. Furthermore, once you have begun working with it, the machine is fully capable of maintaining a constant speed regardless of the pressure you apply which ensures greater precision.
There is also an auto-release collet system that is designed to allow you to easily remove the bit after you use the router. There is also a depth rod that has six-position adjustable turret. This feature would enable you to easily execute stepped or repeated plunge cuts without having to worry about messing up the depth of the cut.
How to Use a Plunger Router?
Now, there are a lot of tips and tricks as well as different techniques that apply to using a plunge router, but here we are going to focus on the basics. This is why we have carefully compiled this step by step guide on how to properly use your plunge router. The guide is intended for people with little to no experience with a device of this kind.
- Right of the bat you want to examine the router and to see what are the things that it is made of so you can get a general idea on what they do and how to operate them. For instance, you should notice the bit that is carrying out the cutting.
- It is highly advisable that you use jigs that would properly guide the plunge router. Most commonly they are used for cutting dadoes. These are used when joining to pieces of wood in order for them to create a perfect 90 degree angle.
- You should install the router bit into the collet and adjust the gauge according to the depth that you want to cut at.
- The next thing is to put the router against the guide or jig you are using, pull the trigger and push at a downward direction. Always use both of your hands.
- You want to move the router from the left to the right and keeping in mind the direction of the cut.
- Once you have finished the cut you would want to release the downward pressure which would allow the router to retract into its base.
Of course, this is just the most the most basic technique that any new router user should begin with. There are more complicated and complex ones that professionals would utilize. Keep in mind that routers are not only used to cut wood in order to create fitting angles.
They are a tool that is capable of creating great shapes of the wood which are very beautiful if done right. This is why most of the workers that would produce ornaments are almost always going to be using a router. After all, it is significantly easier and way faster than carving the wood with your bare hands.
Fixed or Plunge Router – What’s the Difference?
There is actually a significant difference between a fixed and a plunge router. The former is coming with a fixed base that won’t allow you to move the router base up and down. This means that you will only be able to cut at the pre-determined depth, without being able to change it while working. As you can probably figure out this is rather limiting, but it does have certain advantages.
For instance, a fixed base router is perfect for jobs that require only one size of depth cutting. You can pre-determine the depth, set the router and never worry about it accidentally cutting the wrong depth.
However, the thing is that plunge routers are capable of the exact same thing. Even though they are intended for free movement of the router base, they also have the option to be stabilized in a certain depth which would prevent the bit to move any deeper. This is why they can be utilized as fixed base devices.
However, the main intention behind a plunge router is to enable you to control the depth of the cut. They are especially convenient for experienced woodworkers that already have enough of experience with router machines. You can still do plunge work with a fixed router but you would have to angle in the bit which may be quite difficult as well as rather dangerous.
In order to choose the best type you would want to identify the kind of work that you would be carrying out. However, plunge routers really do have the upper hand and are more convenient in the majority of situations. However, if you are rather new to this kind of work and you know that you would be cutting work pieces without having to manually angle the cut, then a fixed base router should suit you just fine.
Tips on Using Wood Router Safely
Router is the most versatile tool for a woodworker. This compact handheld or fixed tool can do a variety of jobs like carving edges, making moldings, cutting grooves, trimming plastic laminates, milling woodwork joints and so on. Router may be the most useful power tool, if used safely. Simply stated, Router can be compared to a multiple times sharp knife that keeps rotating at high speed, making it quite dangerous. Adhering to these simple tips on using wood router safely could help deliver hazard-free results.
- Routers are fast and as they work through wood, will release chips and dust and are quite noisy. Hence it is important to wear proper eye, ear and dust protection gears while routing.
- It is also important to protect your hand. If using a free-bit, never hold the work-piece and fit a guard to the work table. Use a push-stick whenever required, especially for working on narrow pieces or a feather board on larger pieces which can help improve quality of cut as well.
- It is a safe option to use router bits fitted with ball-bearing pilots which could cut at the right width even without an edge guide.
- Never start or stop the router while it is in contact with the wood bit. This could bend the bit or even damage the router. Wait for the bit to stop spinning before you keep it down.
- Always move the router against the bit rotation, which could give a good grip and control over the machine.
- Check your wood for visible damages and place it in the collet, making sure to place at least 3/4th of wood inside collet.
- If you require excess pressure, reset the bit to get a lighter cut rather than forcing the router. Stop and inspect router in case of unusual vibration or noise.
- Whenever the router needs adjustments, be sure to unplug it and ensure it is switched off and parts are securely tightened before re-plugging it.
- While using router free-hand, always make sure to secure the wood piece on the work table, if not heavy enough to stay steady under pressure.
- To protect you while working on very small parts, use a jig such as coping sled or another sliding carrier for securing.
- Resort to router table if you have a piece larger than 1″ diameter or longer than 1 and 1/2″ and stick on the speed instructions in your router manual.
- It’s a safe way to rout a large wood or deep groove in a series of cuts since single cut could cause splintering and tear out.
- While shaping the edge of router table, make sure to rout with the bit inside fence and edge of material against fence to prevent stock getting stuck.
Usage of router is safer if you are confident enough of the operation which comes out of practice. Buy yourself some experience before engaging in detailed woodwork and as any other device, keep it out of the reach of children and pets, even while not in use.
The best plunge router is surely something that every experienced wood worker has to have in his work shop. They offer a great deal of utility and would allow you to carry out cutting and shaping works a lot more faster than if you had to do them manually with a saw.
However, there are a lot of different specifications that have to be properly accounted for before making the conclusive choice. You want to determine what kind of motor capacity as well as whether or not you are going to need an additional fixed-base kit with your plunge router.
All of this would certainly reflect on the price so you must make sure you have it figured out. This is exactly why we composed this list of the best plunge router reviews in order to make it a lot easier for you.