For quite a long time now, woodworkers have been using wood routers to trim, cut and shape wood. Originally, the routers started as manual tools but have now evolved into powered tools.
Modern wood routers have an electric motor that drives the spindle causing it to spin rapidly. Thanks to the automation, these tools can now tackle small scales tasks, joinery milling, and template routing.
Enough with the sweet talk. Now let us look at the various types of woodcutters. If it is the first time you are selecting the best router, choosing the best machine can be bewildering.
Before you are lost to the vast sea of router features and size, let us look at the main types of wood routers available.
Fixed Base Routers
Just as the name indicates, the fixed base routers are fitted on a bench or a router table. They do not have a plunging action and are ideal for projects that require straight-line accuracy. They work perfectly for projects such as edge cutting and molding tasks.
And, since they are straightforward to use, these machines are ideal for users who just began woodworking.
If you are looking for precise cuts, the fixed router comes in handy. Unlike other models, you font have to worry about controlling the cutting base. This makes it a great choice for individuals who are looking forward to creating intricate and unique designs. Some of the main benefits of using these routers include:
The most significant difference between a fixed base and a plunge base router is the increased accuracy. This is especially important when dealing with delicate pieces like the dovetail. Since they are easy to control, they enable you to make complex designs easily.
- Compact Design
When compared to the plunge routers, the fixed routers come in far less size. This is great especially for expert woodworkers or people who have to bring their tools to their job site. Thanks to the compact design, you can easily carry it in your car trunk.
- Light in Weight
Smaller size translates to lower weight. This is also another advantage for people who are looking to bringing their tools to the job site. Additionally, since it is lighter, controlling it is easier. With this model, you don’t have to worry about arm, hand, or wrist strain.
- Delivers precise cuts
- Perfect for home use
- Very easy to use
Fixed base routers are a perfect choice for home projects or professionals who are looking to take these tools to their job site. These fantastic routers work as excellent wood shapers and thanks to the compact design they are easy to operate. For this reason, they are the most preferred choice by beginners.
Ideally, the plunge router is designed for experienced and professional woodworkers. Thanks to the advanced design, this model can perform different applications including free handjobs and template-based. They feature a soft start that enables you to control stability while operating it.
One of the things that makes this unit stands out is the fact that it cuts from above. Actually, this model works similar to a drill press. Its upper body houses the bit and is plunged downwards over the two columns that are spring-loaded.
This enables it to cut into the surface of the wood from above. The plunge cutting will enable you to tackle challenging applications and shape the wood from different angles.
Notably, you can also adjust the cutting depth. This enables you to precisely plunge it in proper depth to meet your needs. With the advanced functionality, you can use this model in cutting incised letters, stopped dados, mortises, as well as grooves. Other notable benefits that come with this unit include:
- Enhanced Versatility
One of the reasons why most people opt for the plunge router is the fact that they are more versatile than the fixed routers. They are easy to customize the cut depth, allowing you to perform more tasks. Equally, you can set your preferred cutting depth allowing you to make precise cuts to meet your needs.
In the same breath, the plunge routers are also user-friendly. Notably, these tools are designed to perform diligently where the fixed plungers cannot. Their main secret lies on the adjustability. This is not all; below are some of the additional benefits of using this type of wood router.
- Safer to use
- Adjustable design helps you customize your cuts
- Enables you to make precise cuts at the center of your workpiece
As mentioned, this unit is designed for the professional woodworker. Its advanced features enable you to work on challenging projects. Even better, you can create precision cuts at your work piece’s center. This model will enable you to make quick through patterns, deep grooves, mortise as well as templates.
Combo Router Kits
The name tells it all: the Combo router is a crossbreed between the plunge and fixed routers. Therefore, if you are going to change plates in your work, then you don’t have to purchase both a fixed and plunge router.
This uniquely designed router gives you the functionality of the two in the same machine. For you to do this, all you need to do is to remove the engine from one base and install it on the other one.
The working mechanism is usually the routers that we had discussed earlier. This handy tool is great and cost-effective as you will get all the features of a fixed base and plunge base router.
Additionally, you will need to carry one product and get all the features you will get from two different router types.
- Cheaper than purchasing two different routers
- Comes with the functionalities of a fixed ad plunge router
- Easier to carry to the Jobsite
Why waste your hard-earned money on something that can be done by a single versatile machine? This is a budget-friendly option for individuals who are looking for the performance of both a fixed and a plunge router.
Whether you are a beginner woodworker or a professional, you are going to require these routers to tackle your tasks. Now that you know the types of wood routers available, it is up to you to consider what your tasks involve and pick the model that suits your needs. All the best!