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Best Plunge Router 2020:

The Complete Buyer’s Guide

Serious about woodworking and want to achieve the best possible finish across a variety of different projects? If so, a wood router is a must-have tool in your woodworking arsenal.

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of compact routers that pack the necessary punch to handle anything from creating routered edges or patterns to creating various types of joint including dadoes, rabbets, and dovetails.

When it comes to flexibility and convenience, we aren’t just interested in any old type of wood router, though.

No, today we’re going to be focusing on arguably the most versatile kind of router you can buy – the plunge router.

The fact is, for more intricate details like mortices, dados, stopped flutes, and inlay patterns, or in general situations where you need to work in the middle of a piece of timber away from the edges, nothing beats the convenience of a good plunge router.

There’s just one problem; the term ‘good’ is very subjective, and there’s no shortage of plunge routers available, meaning it can be challenging to choose between them.

That’s where this guide can help.

From overall power to plunge depth, cordless or corded models, and everything in-between, our goal is to help you choose the right plunge router for you.

So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into our round-up of the best plunge routers in 2020…



Summary: Our Top 3 Plunge Router Models
Makita XTR01T7 – The Best Cordless Router (Comes With Plunge Base) (Read More)
#1
Battery-Powered

Makita XTR01T7 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Compact Fixed Plunge Router Toolcrowd Image Check Price
Makita RT0701CX7 – The Best Value Plunge Router (Read More)
#1
Best Value
Makita RT0701CX7 1.25-HP Compact Fixed Plunge Router Toolcrowd Image Check Price
Metabo HPT M12V2 – The Best Heavy Duty Plunge Router (Read More)
#1
Heavy-Duty Pick
Metabo HPT M12V2 3.5-HP Variable Speed Plunge Router Toolcrowd Image Check Price

The Full List: The Best Plunge Routers in 2020

1
Makita XTR01T7 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Compact Fixed / Plunge Router

Winner – Battery-Powered

Our Thoughts

Let’s face it; no one likes feeling restricted, and when it comes to power tools, one of the most restrictive things to deal with is a power cord.

No matter how careful you are, the power cord inevitably ends up wrapping itself around every obstacle in sight. Either that or the tool in question comes with about three feet of cable; the result of which being that you either end up either adjusting the workpiece every few minutes or you risk tripping over a seemingly endless extension lead.

That’s why, wherever possible, we’ll choose a battery-powered tool over a corded tool any day of the week, and when it comes to cordless plunge routers, the Makita XTR01T7 gets our vote.

The XTR01T7’s showpiece, other than the fact that it comes packed with not one, but two, high-powered 5.0 Ah batteries, is its brushless motor. Renowned for being more efficient, the router will not only last longer per charge than comparable brushed routers, but it’ll also last longer overall given that there’s generally less to go wrong with brushless motors.

Throw in other standout features like double collets (1/4″ and 1/2″) straight out of the box, a more than adequate plunge depth of just under two inches, electronic speed control, a soft starter function, and a high overall variable speed range (10,000 – 30,000 RPM), and you’re on to a winner.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Power1.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)10,000 – 30,000
Plunge Range0 – 1 9/16″
Collet Diameter1/4″ and 3/8″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight4.6 lbs
Battery18V LXT® Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity5.0 Ah

Includes

  • 1x Makita XTR01Z Brushless Router
  • 2x 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion 5.0Ah Batteries
  • 1x Charger
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x 3/8″ Collet
  • 1x Trimmer Base
  • 1x Plunge Base
  • 2x Wrenches
  • 2x Template Guides
  • 1x Interlocking Case, X-Large

Reasons to Buy

  • It offers excellent value for money, especially considering that it comes with two 5.0Ah lithium-ion batteries.
  • Lithium-ion batteries not only provide longer runtime versus conventional batteries but also allow for maximum portability of the XTR01T7 versus the other routers on this list.
  • It features a brushless motor for longer life and maximum efficiency.
  • The router’s electronic speed control keeps the output speed constant under load for a smoother, more uniform finish.
  • The output speed can be varied between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM to suit better whatever task you’re completing.
  • It features a smooth rack-and-pinion mechanism allowing for finer adjustment of the routing depth when using the fixed base.
  • Two LED lights illuminate whatever work surface you’re working on.
  • The plunge base can be installed or removed with minimal fuss or hassle.
  • The XTR01Z’s body and the base are made from aluminum for added durability.
  • It comes with a 3-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.

Reasons to Skip

  • The openings on the two included bases are relatively small, meaning that larger router bits may not fit.
  • At 1.25HP, it isn’t as powerful as some of the other routers on this list.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Makita XTR01T7


2
Makita RT0701CX7 1.25-HP Compact Fixed / Plunge Router

Winner – Best Value

Our Thoughts

You don’t always need to spend megabucks to get a quality power tool from a brand that you can trust, and the Makita RT0701CX7 is testament to that.

No, it probably won’t be the go-to choice for the discerning professional carpenter or woodworker (at 1.25-horsepower, it’s perhaps a touch underpowered). Still, in our opinion, it’s a package that the amateur woodworker or keen DIYer would do well not to overlook.

The RT0701CX7 might be our value choice, but it still comes packed with all the ‘nice to haves’ seen on more expensive plunge routers, including electronic speed control and a soft-start function, and its wide variable speed range (10,000 – 30,000 RPM) makes it very well-suited to a broad range of router tasks.

So, where does it fall short of our expectations?

We’ve already touched on the lower power output. Still, we can’t cite this as a significant drawback, chiefly because the RT0701CX7 isn’t a professional-grade tool and so doesn’t warrant the additional power or cost required to keep up with these models.

If pushed, we’d probably mentioned the lack of 1/2″ collet as standard and the lack of LED lights as the only real negatives in this otherwise great package from Makita.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage6.5-Amps
Power1.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)10,000 – 30,000
Plunge Range0 – 1 3/8″
Collet Diameter1/4″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight10.5 lbs

Includes

  • 1x Makita RT0701C Compact Router
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x Trimmer Base
  • 1x Plunge Base
  • 1x Straight Guide
  • 2x Wrenches

Reasons to Buy

  • It offers considerable bang for your buck.
  • Handle most general-purpose routing tasks with ease thanks to the RT0701C’s mid-powered 6.5A, 120W motor capable of up to a maximum of 1.25 horsepower.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to adapt the router’s speed to best suit each particular task by using the simple dial at the top of the unit to vary the output between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM.
  • Benefit from the innovative soft motor start feature which eases you into each task and helps provide a better quality finish. This reduces the jerkiness associated with starting up the majority of power tools and helps make the RT0701C ideal for beginners.
  • Maintain a consistent speed even under load as a result of the router’s electronic speed controller.
  • Spend less time making adjustments and more time routing thanks to the RT0701C’s simple rack-and-pinion cam-lock system which allows for quick and easy height adjustments.
  • Be confident in the RT0701C’s ability to stand up to all general-purpose routing activities given its heavy-duty motor case engineered for increased durability versus comparable plastic models.

Reasons to Skip

  • It doesn’t feature an LED light for increased visibility while routing.
  • The RT0701C’s power output (a maximum of 1.25HP) will not be sufficient for heavy-duty or commercial-grade tasks (it’s better suited to lighter tasks such as routing small profiles, dovetailing, and door hinge profiles, etc. instead).

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Makita RT0701CX7


3
Metabo HPT M12V2 3.25-HP Variable Speed Plunge Router

Winner – Heavy Duty

Our Thoughts

Solely aimed at professional woodworkers and carpenters, the Metabo HPT M12V2 is a bit of a beast. Built around a 15-amp, 3.25-horsepower, the HPT M12V2 has plenty of power to tackle even the toughest timbers imaginable.

Where the Metabo excels, though, and the reason why it receives our heavy-duty recommendation versus the Triton TRA001 which exhibits matching power figures is its broader variable speed range (8,000 to 22,000 RPM versus the TRA001’s 8,000 to 21,000 RPM). One speed does not suit all when it comes to routing, and while an extra 1,000 RPM might not sound a lot, it does push the Metabo ahead of the Triton in terms of versatility.

A few inspired designed choices make the HPT M12V2 a joy to use, too.

Firstly, you can change the router’s output speed quickly, easily, and on the fly in seconds via the speed control dial located on the handle.

Secondly, in a bid to create a simpler, cleaner, and overall less confusing design, Metabo has refined the process for making depth adjustments by integrating both micro and macro changes into the same knob. So, regardless if you want to adjust the depth by fractions of an inch or the entirety of the 2-9/16″ available, it all happens via the same adjustment knob.

Perhaps our favorite part of the HPT M12V2, though, is the styling. In a world where the trend seems to be creating power tools that look ever-more bland and uninspiring, Metabo has gone to town and created a design that stands out for all the right reasons.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage15-Amps
Power3.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)8,000 – 22,000
Plunge Range0 – 2 9/16″
Collet Diameter1/4″ and 1/2″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight13.9 lbs

Includes

  • 1x Metabo HPT M12V2 Plunge Router
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x 1/2″ Collet
  • 1x Straight Guide
  • 1x Centering Gauge
  • 1x Dust Adapter Gauge
  • 1x Template Guide Adapter
  • 1x Guide Bar & Wing Nut
  • 2x Wrenches

Reasons to Buy

  • Handle even the toughest routing tasks with ease thanks to the M12V2’s powerful 15A motor capable of up to 3-1/4 peak HP.
  • The motor’s soft start feature lets you ease yourself into each task and reduces initial jerkiness to provide a better quality finish.
  • The M12V2’s electronic speed controller helps it maintain a constant speed under load, again providing a better quality finish.
  • Quickly and easily adjust the router’s speed on the fly via the handy speed dial located on the handle.
  • It features an innovative adjustment knob that pairs both quick and fine-adjustment capabilities to simplify the process of changing the plunge depth.
  • The router’s dust guide channels dust and cuttings away from the workpiece for added convenience and extra visibility.
  • You can convert the M12V2 for table use if preferred.
  • It comes with a five year warranty.

Reasons to Skip

  • It doesn’t feature a built-in LED light for improved visibility while routing.
  • It’s one of the heaviest plunge routers on this list.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Metabo HPT M12V2


4
Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router

Our Thoughts

Just narrowly missing out on our award for the best heavy-duty plunge router is the Triton TRA001.

Thanks to its 15-amp, 3.25-horsepower motor, the TRA001 certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to power, with it comfortably handling whatever users both amateur and professional, can throw at it.

While it may have fallen to the Metabo HPT M12V2 in terms of variable speed (its variable speed range is ever so slightly lower at 8,000 to 21,000 RPM), that’s where the sacrifices stop.

One area where the Triton excels over every other router on this list is plunge depth. At 2-3/5″, there might not be a massive increase over the Metabo HPT M12V2, in fact, only fractions of an inch. Still, if you compare it against the remainder of our featured plunge routers, the difference isn’t always so insignificant and further strengthens the TRA001’s credentials as the most versatile plunge router in terms of working depth.

The TRA001 comes with everything you’d expect to see from a router at this price point, too, including electronic speed control, soft start, multiple collet sizes (1/4″ and 1/2″) right out of the box.

It also has its fair share of smart design features, including a handy micro winder that makes it possible to make very accurate, micro-adjustments to the plunge depth all without the need for tools. On the subject of convenience, the TRA001’s automatic spindle lock lets you change bits using only a single wrench to minimize both hassle and downtime.

To close out, if you’re in the market for a professional-grade router from a brand you can trust, the Triton TRA001 is an excellent choice.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage15-Amps
Power3.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)8,000 – 21,000
Plunge Range0 – 2 3/5″
Collet Diameter1/4″ and 1/2″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight14.33 lbs

Includes

  • 1x Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Plunge Router
  • 1x Multi-Function Fence
  • 1x Collet Wrench
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x 1/2″ Collet
  • 1x Table Height Winder

Reasons to Buy

  • Suitable for use on even the toughest of timbers thanks to its 15A motor capable of up to 3-1/4 peak HP.
  • The motor’s soft start feature helps remove any of the jerkiness commonly experienced with starting up a power tool, making it not only more pleasant to use, but also easier to achieve a quality finish with.
  • The Triton TRA001’s electronic speed control keeps the output speed constant for a more uniform finish regardless of what you’re working on.
  • It comes with both a 1/4″ and 1/2″ collet making it compatible with more router bits right out of the box.
  • You can undertake micro-adjustments to the TRA001’s plunge depth using its handy micro winder.
  • A fully enclosed guard makes the router safer to use.
  • The router’s automatic spindle lock means you can change bits quickly using a single wrench to minimize hassle and downtime.

Reasons to Skip

  • There are no built-in LED lights meaning you’ll need good external lighting to aid visibility during use.
  • At 14.33 lbs, it’s the heaviest plunge router on this list.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Triton TRA001


5
DEWALT DWP611PK Variable Speed 1.25-HP Max Torque Fixed / Plunge Router

Our Thoughts

While it certainly isn’t the most powerful plunge router on this list, that’s no reason to dismiss the DWP611PK.

The simple fact is, the vast majority of amateur woodworkers and DIYers don’t need a router with a power output in the two to three horsepower range. Unless you’re tackling commercial-grade jobs or the toughest of timbers regularly, purchasing a router with anything above the DWP611PK’s 1.25-horsepower could end up being a waste of money. You’ll end up with an overpriced, over-powered tool, the potential of which you can never fulfil.

Better then to save a bit of cash and look at a plunge router like the DWP611PK if your router needs prove to be decidedly modest.

Now, it might sound simple, but one of our favorite features on this model is the built-in LED lights. You’d think this would be a pretty standard feature on a router, but trust us, based on our research for this guide and models that we’ve purchased in the past, it isn’t. Not every worksite or workshop will have perfect lighting, and outside of the hassle of setting up specific task lighting, LEDs are one of the best ways to improve visibility and overall accuracy quickly. Bravo DEWALT.

We also like the fact that you can use the DWP611PK as either a fixed or plunge router, something that is pretty quick and painless to reconfigure by adding or removing the plunge base that comes as part of the kit.

DEWALT has a stellar reputation for creating quality power tools, and the DWP611PK is no different. Tough enough to handle whatever you can throw at it thanks to its aluminum body and base, it also comes with DEWALT’s 3-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage7-Amps
Power1.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)16,000 – 27,000
Plunge Range2″
Collet Diameter1/4″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight6.2 lbs

Includes

  • 1x DEWALT DWP611 compact router
  • 1 X Fixed Base
  • 1x Plunge Base
  • 1x Collet Wrench
  • 1x Soft-Sided Bag
  • 1x Operating Manual

Reasons to Buy

  • The DWP611PK’s 7-Amp, 1.25 HP motor is more than capable of handling lighter-duty tasks like routing small profiles, dovetails, or cutting door hinge profiles, for example.
  • The bit speed can be varied anywhere from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM, giving it a good range of adjustability.
  • Built-in LED’s make it much easier to see what you’re working on.
  • The adjustment ring allows for controlled bit depth changes to within 1/64″ while using the supplied fixed base, while the plunge base uses adjustment rods for fine depth changes.
  • The DWP611PK’s low-pressure spindle lock button allows for comfortable, single wrench bit changes.
  • The plunge base can be installed or removed with minimal fuss or hassle.
  • Both the motor housing and the base are made from aluminum for added durability.
  • It’s covered by DEWALT’s 3-year limited warranty.

Reasons to Skip

  • It only comes with a 1/4″ collet (you can purchase other collet sizes separately, though).
  • At 16,000 RPM, the lower end of the variable speed range is still relatively high.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
DEWALT DWP611PK


6
Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed 2.25-HP Fixed / Plunge Router

Our Thoughts

In terms of power and versatility, the Bosch 1617EVSPK is highly capable. You don’t need to look further than its 12-Amp, 2.25-horsepower motor, variable speed of between 8,000 to 25,000 RPM, and maximum plunge depth of 2-1/4″ for evidence of that.

Would we recommend it to professional tradespeople and serious woodworkers? Yes, we probably would. Although there are more powerful routers out there, the 1617EVSPK is still a good, affordable choice for everyday router tasks like precise bit plunging, edge formation, slot cutting, trimming laminates, and cutting dovetails, for example.

As with all the other routers on this list, the motor’s output is assisted by an electronic speed control; something Bosch that refers to as Constant Response Circuitry (CRC). The purpose of CRC is to help the router maintain a constant speed under load, minimizing any of the speeding up or slowing down that could lead to a non-uniform finish and reduced accuracy. It also features a soft start function that reduces any jerkiness upon start-up to improve the quality of finish further.

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and the 1617EVSPK is no different.

As we mentioned previously, one of our favorite features on a router is a built-in LED light. Nothing comes close to improving visibility and accuracy like LED lights besides specific task lighting, and owing to how much of a hassle this can be to set up, we’d prefer to rely on a router’s LED lights every time which we wouldn’t be able to do with the 1617EVSPK.

Aside from that, the final source of disappointment is the 1617EVSPK’s one-year warranty. For comparison, DEWALT and Triton offer a three-year and five-year warranty respectively, making the warranty period provided by Bosch for this particular router appear somewhat stingy. Thankfully, Bosch does have a good reputation for quality, but we’d prefer a longer warranty period for added peace of mind if we’re honest.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage12-Amps
Power2.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)8,000 – 25,000
Plunge Range2 1/4″
Collet Diameter1/4″ and 1/2″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight10 lbs

Includes

  • 1x Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Router
  • 1x Fixed Base
  • 1x Plunge Base
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x 1/2″ Collet
  • 1x Shaft Wrench
  • 1x Collet Nut Wrench
  • 1x Chip Shield Set
  • 1x Carrying Case

Reasons to Buy

  • At 12-Amps and 2.25-horsepower, the 1617EVSPK’s motor is powerful enough to tackle even the toughest timbers.
  • The 1617EVSPK’s no-load speed of between 8,000 to 25,000 RPM is one of the largest ranges of any router on this list, making it suitable to a wide array of tasks like precise bit plunging, edge formation, slot cutting, trimming laminates, and cutting dovetails.
  • The router’s electronic speed control, referred to as Constant Response Circuitry, helps the router maintain a constant speed throughout the cut for cleaner, more accurate results.
  • It includes both a 1/4″ and 1/2″ collet for greater router bit compatibility.
  • At 2.25-inches, the maximum plunge depth should prove more than sufficient for most users.
  • The router’s body and base are both constructed from aluminum for improved durability.
  • Both the fixed base and plunge base feature a chip shield for safer use and improved visibility.

Reasons to Skip

  • The manufacturer only offers a single year warranty period.
  • There are no built-in LEDs to improve visibility.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Bosch 1617EVSPK


7
DEWALT DW618PKB 2.25-HP, Variable Speed, Soft Start Fixed / Plunge Router

Our Thoughts

Last but not least is the DW618PKB, a 12-amp, 2.25-horsepower plunge router from DEWALT that means business.

It’s more than powerful enough to handle the roughest and toughest of timbers, while accurate enough to deliver a high-quality finish in all types of task including precise bit plunging, edge formation, slot cutting, trimming laminates, and cutting dovetails to name but a few.

For us, the DW618PKB’s stand out feature is the extent of its variable speed range, which at between 8,000 to 24,000 RPM is one of the largest amongst all the routers listed here. Simply put, this gives you a greater degree of flexibility to match the speed output to whatever task you’re completing, making it easier to achieve a high-quality finish.

Unlike some other models, the DW618PKB isn’t a dedicated plunge router. Instead, the motor body fits into a separate base included in the kit to provide the plunge function up to a maximum depth of 2-1/2″. For convenience, the kit uses quick-release motor latches which lets you add or remove the plunge base in seconds.

Another handy feature on the DW618PKB’s plunge base is the ‘through-the-column’ dust collection system. This design helps to collect 95% of the dust generated during routing to not only help keep the work area cleaner but also to provide better bit visibility.

As we mentioned before, DEWALT’s reputation is second-to-none when it comes to manufacturing quality power tools, and in our opinion, the DW618PKB more than lives up to this. It’s a solid contender for anyone in the market for a quality, powerful, and affordable plunge router.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCorded
Motor Amperage12-Amps
Power2.25 HP
No Load Speed (RPM)8,000 – 24,000
Plunge Range0 – 2 1/2″
Collet Diameter1/4″ and 1/2″
Electronic Speed ControlYes
Soft StartYes
Weight10.1 lbs

Includes

  • 1x DEWALT DW618M Motor Pack
  • 1x DEWALT DW6184 Fixed Base
  • 1x DEWALT DW6182 Plunge Base
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet
  • 1x 1/2″ Collet
  • 1x Wrench
  • 1x Large Hole Sub-Base
  • 1x Soft Bag

Reasons to Buy

  • At 12-Amps and 2.25-horsepower, the 895PK’s motor is powerful enough to take on both tougher timbers, and a wide variety of tasks including precise bit plunging, edge formation, slot cutting, trimming laminates, and cutting dovetails among others.
  • The DW618PKB’s variable speed of between 8,000 to 24,000 RPM is one of the largest no-load speed ranges of any router on this list.
  • The router’s electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load, while its soft start function reduces jerkiness during start-up for increased control.
  • It comes with both a 1/4″ and 1/2″ collet, making it compatible with a wide range of router bits as standard.
  • The DW618PKB’s maximum plunge depth is a more than respectable 2-1/2″.
  • It’s quick and easy to swap between the plunge base and fixed base, and vice versa, thanks to a set of quick-release motor latches.
  • The plunge base features a ‘through-the-column’ design for dust collection that collects 95% of dust for increased cleanliness and better bit visibility.
  • The plunge base is capable of micro-adjustments as low as 5/128″ per turn, making it ideal for precise routing in veneer and inlays.
  • Both the router’s body and base and constructed from die-cast aluminum for maximum durability while keeping the overall weight down.
  • Take advantage of DEWALT’s 3-year limited warranty for maximum peace of mind.

Reasons to Skip

  • No built-in LED lights.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
DEWALT DW618PKB


Research and buying tips
  1. What is a plunge router?
Unlike fixed routers, which keep the router bit locked at a fixed height relative to the router’s base, plunge routers allow movement of the router bit both up and down thanks to spring-loaded arms.

For example:

The main advantage?

Unlike fixed routers where you can effectively only work on the edge of materials, plunge routers can work on both the sides and the middle of the work surface when the user plunges the bit down while it is rotating. Choose the cut depth you want, then lower the plunge router down to begin routing; it’s as simple as that.

  1. What is a plunge router used for?
Depending on the various bits, attachments, and accessories used, a plunge router is a good choice for the following types of task:

  • Creating routered edges, e.g., profiled or rounded edges.
  • Creating patterns or signs.
  • Cutting dado joints.
  • Cutting dovetail joints.
  • Cutting rabbet joints.
  • Forming recesses for door hinges.
  • Cutting straight grooves.
  1. When should you use a fixed base vs plunge router?
While both types ultimately carry out the same types of task, there will be specific situations where you’d be better off choosing a plunge router vs fixed base model.

Plunge routers, for example, offer much greater flexibility and manoeuvrability, making them a better and speedier choice for intricate cuts, especially where you need to adjust the routing depth regularly.

They’re also out go-to tool for when we need to work in the middle of a piece of wood. Yes, we could drill a shallow hole that would allow the access required by a fixed router, but with a plunge router, you don’t need to go to the hassle of involving multiple different tools. Set the plunge depth, fire up the router, press down on the plunge mechanism, and away you go. Simple.

  1. Which is the best plunge router?
All of the models in this list excel in one or more categories, something you can verify for yourself by checking out the various plunge router reviews for each model via the links above.

You can also check out our summary of the top-three models here.

  1. What is the difference between a brushed and a brushless router?
The chances are that you’ve come across the terms ‘brushed’ and ‘brushless’ while checking out various power tools.

These terms relate to the type of motor used in the tool, with brushed motors featuring carbon brushes that the electric charge travels through while the machine is in use. Brushless motors, on the other hand, don’t have carbon brushes, with the power generated via magnets instead.

Because they do away with the physical connection of carbon brushes, brushless motors generate significantly less friction, meaning they heat up less and have better performance characteristics versus brushed motors.

Brushless motors require much less maintenance too, with another downfall of the brushed motor being that the carbon brushes tend to wear out and require replacing, something that you don’t need to do on a brushless motor.

  1. What does no load speed mean?
The term ‘no load speed‘ refers to how quickly the motor can spin when it has no torque applied, for example, in the case of a router, when it doesn’t have a router bit attached, and it isn’t undertaking any routing.

It’s a quick and easy way to compare motor speeds between various tool models that you’re interested in, hence why we’ve included the no-load speed figures for each of the plunge routers in the list above.


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