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For a majority of woodworkers, including beginners, a router is one of the most vital power tools they need to have. These tools produce great results. They are versatile and you can use them in a wide range of cases. However, there are two issues. Firstly, many do not know whether to settle for a plunge router or a fixed router.
Secondly, they do not know how to choose the best among the dozens of options in the market. Nevertheless, in this article, we have provided solutions to these problems. We have reviewed nine of the best plunge routers in the market and also a guide on how to choose one by yourself.
Table of Contents
- Top Choice
- Reviews of the Best Plunge Routers
- Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
- Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Plunge Router
- Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Fix/Plunge Base Router
- DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit – DW618PK
- Makita 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router
- Bosch 120-Volt 2.3 HP Electronic Plunge Router – MRP23EVS
- PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router
- Ryobi RE180PL1G 2 HP Peak 10-Amp Plunge Router
- Craftsman 12-Amp 2 HP Fixed/Plunge Base Router
- Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Plunge Router
- Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a very powerful plunge router, then the Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router is one of the best options you should consider. This is one of the best plunge routers in the market, and it is equally powerful.
Last update on 2020-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Reviews of the Best Plunge Routers
This router comes with 3.25 HP power, providing you with a tool that can cut through the toughest of workpieces with an RPM range of 8,000 to 21,000. Triton has been in the industry since 1976, and precision has been one of its major focuses. All the machines from this manufacturer are designed to keep precision in check.
This router allows for the use of a height adjustment crank for all the above-table depth settings. It also saves you some money, as you do not need to buy a router lift accessory in the setup. The setup instruction of this machine is easy to follow and it has all the direct readings and dials. It is also a great tool for beginners. With a single button option, this router allows you to change from the normal plunge router to the fixed base. It also comes with a Micro Winder feature that allows precise adjustment of depth for complete plunge router.
Thanks to its variable setting, you can choose whatever speed you want, depending on the type of job you are doing. It also features an enclosed guarding that protects the cut zone. The device is completely safe and easy to use.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Plunge Router is another great plunge router in the market. This electric plunge router comes with a 12-Amp motor with 2.25 Horsepower. It also comes with many amazing features at a considerably fair price. When you opt for this router, you are getting both a fixed router and the plunge router. This device features a soft start process. It also features micro-adjustments for depth, providing you with the exact depth that you want. This plunge router is also known for durability, as it is made out of aluminum.
This machine comes with a soft-grip handle that makes it very easy to use. It is also designed to provide you with constant speed for every but. With this, rest assured that you will get clean results every time. This 2.25 HP motor offers up to 25,000 rotations per minute (RPM) and a minimum of 8,000 RPM. This means you have a wide range of speeds to choose from, providing you with plenty of versatility. This allows you to also embark on different kinds of woodworking projects.
This plunge router also comes with its carrying case that makes it easy to move and transport. It also features a sealed power switch. This feature ensures that no debris of dust enters into the machine while you are using it. Each of the bases also comes with a quick clamp system that makes it much easier to set up. The speed dial is also easy to use, and it helps you attain better accuracy irrespective of what you are working with.
With the Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP router, not only will you get a plunge router but also a fixed router. With this option, you can start and finish any project quickly and easily. It comes with an 11-amp motor that has the ability for more precision and control. This means more quality on any project you embark on. It is also a variable speed device. This fixed/plunge router comes with two-stage motor release clamps. With this feature, you can quickly change out the base and also make little depth adjustments easily.
It also features electronic speed control, which helps to maintain a constant level of rotation per minute (RPM) whenever you are using it. When it comes to performance, the device does a great job and it also features very quiet operation. This means that your workshop will always be noise-free whenever you use this device. It also means you can work at any time, in the day or the night, without disturbing those around you. With the variable speed adjustment feature of this device, you can get up to 24,000 RPM.
This plunge router is also very comfortable to work with. You can use this machine for a long time without feeling it, as it produces less vibration. It also features an ergonomic style handle that makes it very easy to hold and use. To crown it all, the product comes with a 5-year warranty because the manufacturers have trust in their product.
The DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit Router made it to our list because it is one of the best plunge routers in the market. This is a 2-in-1 router as you can use it as either a fixed router or a plunge router. It comes with variable speed, 12-amp motor that ensures you are in complete charge of whatever you do. This device also offers a degree versatility, as it comes with a 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch collet. This means you can use router bits with a 1/2-inch sized-shank and 1/4-inch sized-shank.
It also comes with a depth adjustment ring that allows you to adjust the depth to suit your needs. This router can adjust at 1/64-inch increments and it also offers vertical adjustments. Interestingly, this machine can do all these without any equipment for the motor cam lock. This router also features a through-the-column dust collection system, which helps to accumulate up to 95 percent of the dust that the system puts out.
The variable-speed motor of this device provides up to 24,000 rotations per minute, providing you with enough power to rout through the toughest of hardwoods smoothly. It can also provide you with micro-fine depth adjustment. This router also comes with a very comfortable handle that is easy to hold, providing you with comfort while using it. It also comes with a 2-year warranty, which is a seal that this product is going to serve you for years.
If you are looking for a plunge router with a very powerful motor, then this is an option you should consider. The Makita 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router is very powerful and it comes with a 15-amp motor. The motor of this device can give you up to 22,000 rotations per minute. It also offers up to 2.75-inch plunge depth. With this, you will be able to create a wide range of projects and handle a lot of detail work. This machine comes with linear ball bearings, which ensures it provides you with smooth and precise cuts.
This plunge router comes with a quick-release feature that gives you micro-control, allowing you to get the exact depth you want for any kind of work. Also, it has three different preset depth stops, ensuring you get to the depth you want with ease. Using this machine feels a lot more comfortable and convenient because it comes with ergonomic handles. The handles of this device are coated with rubber, which helps to reduce the effect of the vibration on your hands. This machine is also pretty easy to use, thanks to its two-finger switch.
This plunge router also has a plunge lock lever that is conveniently located to ensure that you can operate the machine as efficiently as possible. When it comes to adjusting the depth or the guides, you do not need to worry about any sort of tool, as it can do that easily and quickly. It also comes with a built-in fan with labyrinth construction to prevent debris and dust from entering into the motor. You also do not need to worry about anything hitting you, as it comes with a chip deflector to prevent that.
Next on our list is the Bosch 12-VOLT 2.3 HP Electronic Plunge Router. This plunge base router offers 2.3 horsepower and it runs on a 15-amp, 12-volt motor. This device supports the trigger control setup that has the power switch positioned in the middle part of the base. The machine is made with beginners and professionals in mind. Beginners can use the template and other fixtures such as the dovetail to get their desired cut on the wood or any other material.
It comes with the micro-fine depth adjustment feature that allows you to continually keep the device on and get the same cuts all through the workpiece. This machine also has a variable speed setting; this allows you to the most suitable speed for any kind of project. Thanks to its spring-lock plunge lever, this router provides a great, precise plunge routing experience. To get your desired depth while routing, this machine comes with a depth rod. This powerful router features a variable speed range from 10,000 to 25,000 RPM.
It also has a depth indicator to see you through the setting of the depth and other related adjustments. This machine has a trigger system that controls the power switch. It also comes with LED lighting that is always on for clear visibility when routing. To help the system to maintain constant speed throughout a task, this router comes with a feature called Constant Response Circuitry.
Are you looking for a plunge router with a luxurious look and amazing colors? If so, look no further, as the PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router is what you need. This unit comes in a gray and black color combined. It also features a 15-amp power battery that you can use to handle any kind of project. This unit is highly powerful and durable. The motor of this machine is also designed to take on the toughest applications.
This unit features a single-speed setup that offers a maximum speed of 21,000 rotations per minute. It also comes with an auto-release collet system that allows you to remove the router bit immediately after using it. In addition to the single-speed setup, this unit also comes with a soft start system, which helps to reduce the torque in the startup. With this unit, you can set the depth suitable for any project, as it allows you to choose from an option of six different adjustable positions.
The casing of the motor and the base of this router is done with aluminum. It also offers a plunge range of 3 inches. The downside to this unit is its single speed. Hence, if you are looking for a plunge router with variable speeds, then this router would not be your best option. Otherwise, it is a very effective plunge router that would serve you for years.
The second to the last product on our list is the Ryobi RE180PL1G 2 HP Peak 10-Amp Plunger Router, and it is equally as powerful as the aforementioned products. This unit comes in a black and green color combined system. It is also one of the best budget-friendly products on this list. Despite its affordability, this device comes with an amazing design and features. This machine is driven by a 2-HP motor which makes use of 10-amp. It is also a variable speed machine, which means you can choose a speed to meet your needs from the set of speeds provided.
It also comes with a very comfortable handle that allows you to use the machine for a long period without feeling it. The main router also comes along with both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch collects. The variable speed of this machine ranges from 15,000 to 25,000 rotations per minute. You can also set the depths of this router, thanks to its micro-adjustable stop. With this feature, you can execute continuous cuts maintaining the same depth.
You can also use this machine to work from any angle, thanks to the design of the handle. As this unit accepts both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch collects, you can work with a wide range of bit pieces with different sizes. The process of changing the bit is also simplified, and you can do this with ease because of its wrench spindle lock system.
This 12-amp fixed/plunge router also made it to our list because it is one of the most outstanding plunge routers in the market. It features a Soft Start technology, which helps you to save a lot of torque on the startup. This 2 horsepower router can provide you with up to 25,000 rotations per minute. When it comes to vibration, this plunge router generates very little vibration, thanks to the comfortable handles that come with the device. This unit serves as both a fixed base router and a plunge router. The motor has a sturdy built quality and it is built to last.
The handles of this machine are user-friendly, making the process easy and quick to handle. It also takes very little time to change the bases from a fixed base router to a plunge router. The process is also very easy. This is a variable speed machine that offers six different options for you to choose from. The speed of this machine ranges from 10,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM.
The device is highly portable and it is also a budget-friendly option. It comes with a feedback control system that allows you to choose the speed range that is more suitable for your job. Changing bits with this router is also not an issue, as it is fast and quick.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Plunge Router
A plunge router adds sophistication and style to your work with slotted keyholes, inlaid designs, doweling and mortising, and more. They boost the versatility and value of your work. However, you can only achieve all these when you settle for the best. There are certain things you need to put into consideration to settle for the best plunge router. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
One of the most vital things you should look out for when buying a plunge router is the horsepower rating. We recommend that you always go for a plunge router with a motor rating of 2 horsepower or more. You should not settle for anything less than 2 HP. This is because you need enough power to push bigger router bits through materials.
The comfort of the handles is also very important. If you want to hold and work with the machine for a long period, then you should go for a plunge router with comfortable handles. This would allow you to work for longer periods and it would also save you from any discomfort while working.
We have single and variable speed routers. A single-speed router is good only if you are using small router bits. However, if you are working with larger bits, then you would need a slower cutting speed. At this point, what you need is a router with variable speed. A variable speed router allows you to adjust the speed of the motor to suit your needs. Some routers come with variable speed that ranges from 10,000 rotations per minute to 25,000 rotations per minute and some are lesser than that.
The Diameter Of The Collet
Routers can use either 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch diameter bits. Some routers use both shank sizes. However, 1/2-inch router bits are a bit expensive because they are more stable and they produce less chatter. They are also the best, as they produce finer results. If you cannot opt for a router that accepts both sizes of shanks, 1/4-inch, and 1/2-inch, you should go for a router bit that accepts 1/2-inch bits.
Routers create a lot of dust while in use. Hence, if you want to save yourself the stress and hassle of additional clean up after work, you should opt for a plunge router that comes with a vacuum port. This would save you a lot of time after work. It would also prevent you from having dust-related issues. Many routers in the market come with this feature.
The Position Of The Power Switch
You should also make sure that the power switch of the machine is positioned in a place where you can reach it easily. An easy-to-reach power switch is one of the vital things you need to put into consideration when looking for the best plunge router.
Without the soft-start feature, your router will blast into full speed immediately you switch it on. This often makes the machine to jerk and generate a startling noise. With this feature, your router will pause for a moment after you turn it on, and then it would gently accelerate to your desired speed.
Plunger routers offer a wide range of great features and functions. However, you would still need to spend some time on research to find the best routers out there. Nevertheless, we have made this process much easier for you with the reviews of some of the best plunge routers in the market. Our buying guide is also there to help you during your decision-making process. We hope we have made this process a bit easier for you by providing you with the best options in the market.
Are you looking for more useful and versatile additions to your workshop? Then a router mounted securely in a table is just what you need for maximum workpiece control. Check out our top options here.