A plunge router is a versatile instrument that may substantially improve the appearance of your woodworking projects. They can be used manually for fine details or with a router table for extreme precision. We have compiled a list of the best plunge router in this article.
Plunge routers are a type of woodworking router that, unlike fixed base routers, can plunge, lowering, and elevate while cutting for increased versatility in deep cutting. Some of these routers also include fixtures, allowing them to function as fixed-base routers.
Some consider plunge routers to be of higher quality because the base of the tool can rest on the material while the bit lowers for the cut, as opposed to a fixed-base router where the bit protrudes until the cut is made. But what exactly are plunge routers used for, and are they superior to fixed-base routers?
A plunge router may not be necessary for basic woodworking cuts, but for complex templates, dados, inlay patterns, and more intricate designs on siding, baseboards, crown molding, and other decorative edge cuts, a plunge router can get the job done safer and more efficiently. While plunge routers are typically heavier and more expensive than fixed models, they are the professional choice for edge and shape work, as well as smaller holes such as picture hanging grooves.
If you’re unsure whether to go with a fixed base router or a plunge router, a plunge router combo might be your best alternative, and we’ve included a few on our list below. Variable speed, router table compatibility, bit protection, ergonomic handles with comfort grips, and micro-adjustment capabilities for that precise cut are all things to look for when looking for the finest plunge router.
Plunge routing is a difficult task. Precision, delicacy, and a skillful hand are required, as well as the appropriate tool for the work. Working with a shaky or untrustworthy device can throw your entire balance off. Inlay pattern work requires the use of plunge routers. Using a plunge router produces quicker and safer results.
Choosing the best plunge router for your needs can be difficult because some have variable speeds for precise use on a wide range of materials, others have simple adjustments and onboard measurements for the most accurate cuts, and still, others are lightweight and easy to maneuver for extended use.
We compiled this list of reviews and a complete buyer’s guide to assist you in determining which plunge router will best serve you and your workshop.
Best Plunge Router 2023
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
DEWALT DWP611PK Router Kit
Lotos ER001 Electric Plunge Wood Router
Ryobi RE180PL1G Plunge Router
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit
Bosch specializes in contractor-grade tools designed to withstand heavy use, and this router is no exception.
It has a 214-horsepower, 12-amp motor that will cut through any wood species, from soft pine to hard maple and oak.
Given the strength of the motor, this router is one of the loudest at 90 dB.
Ear protection will be required at all times, and it may be distracting to those in other rooms of your home.
You can set the motor speed to anywhere between 8,000 and 25,000 RPM, allowing you to make cleaner cuts, reduce tear-out, and maximize cutting speed.
It can be applied to any project you’re working on.
It’s also well balanced, with little vibration even at high speeds.
This router was built by Bosch with heavy-duty metal and hard plastic, so we’re confident it will last for many years.
It has a fixed-depth base with beautiful wooden handles that give you excellent control while cutting.
It also includes a plunger base with a rack and pinion system and onboard measurements, allowing you to easily make small adjustments and dial in your tool for precision cuts.
Swapping out the bases is simple and requires little effort.
This router provides a clear guard to protect you from wood chips and sawdust while you cut while allowing a clear line of sight to your workpiece.
It also features a port for dust collection, which can help keep your workpiece clear of debris and reduce cleanup time after you finish working.
The router weighs 18.2 pounds, making it a bit heavier and more difficult to use for extended periods of time.
The Triton TRA001 provides continuous precise depth adjustments, making it excellent for precision work.
Single-wrench bit changes are made possible by an automated spindle lock, and variable speeds allow for smooth transitions in speed and project.
Side air vents prevent dust from entering the router, extending the life of your investment.
The fully enclosed guard provides additional security.
The 3-stage turret with direct reading scales ensures that no cut is off-center.
With this router, you can expect continuous, smooth cutting that is not afraid of difficult tasks and will not slow down with pressure cutting.
However, the news wasn’t all good for this router.
It has easily broken plastic parts, the guard appears to obstruct visibility, and applying just a little pressure can cause the engine to bog down.
Furthermore, they do not provide excellent customer service.
DEWALT produces powerful and long-lasting power tools, and we were glad to learn that this router lived up to our expectations.
It is powered by a strong 114-horsepower, 7-amp motor for prolonged use and steady performance.
The motor’s speed may be adjusted between 16,000 and 27,000 RPM, providing a wide range of speeds for use on various materials.
It doesn’t go as low as we’d like and can cause slight burning on softer materials, but the range is enough for the majority of woodworking tasks.
It has soft-start technology to reduce vibration when you turn on the motor, and the motor is well-balanced and provides you with excellent control while cutting.
It is only 8 pounds in weight, making it easy to maneuver around your workpiece and suitable for one-handed operation.
It comes with both a plunger and a fixed-depth base.
The plunger base features a rack and pinion mechanism for quick, easy adjustments and exceptional cut precision.
The plunger’s handles are large, comfortable to hold and provide security while cutting.
The fixed-depth base is thin enough for one-handed use and has the best bottom plate of any router we tested.
The plate is completely transparent and illuminated by an LED work light, which illuminates your cut and the area around it with pinpoint accuracy.
The bases are simple to change out.
This router generates 78.9 dB during operation, which is about average for noise.
It will necessitate ear protection, but it is unlikely to affect anyone in your home while in use.
Given its power, durability, and ease of use, we believe this router represents excellent value for money.
We loved the Lotos ER001 since it has a strong motor with multiple speeds.
The 7-stop turret works in tandem with macro and micro adjustments to deliver precise cuts ideal for cabinetry work.
The base locks down for functionality, and the aluminum construction is strong.
The rubber-covered handles provide a comfortable grip as well.
A few features were also unappealing to us.
To begin with, it does not come constructed, and the parts are difficult to replace.
Under pressure, the engine tended to bog down, resulting in less precise cuts.
Also, the packing was not perfect because several changes had to be made afterward, and the vibrations were severe.
Ryobi manufactures low-cost tools that are nonetheless powerful but are better suited to casual woodworkers or hobbyists.
This router is capable and reasonably priced, although it lacks some of the bells and whistles found on other routers.
Because the plunger base is not detachable, it only works as a plunge router.
Unless you lock the depth at its maximum height, you won’t be able to use this as a fixed-depth router.
It has a powerful 2-horsepower, 10-amp motor that will get you through almost any woodworking project, and you can adjust the motor speed between 15,000 and 25,000 RPM.
You can adjust the speed to match the workpiece, but even the slowest setting is too fast for some materials and may cause minor burning depending on the stock.
When the router is not spinning, the speed control knob has six settings and is very simple to set and adjust.
It weighs 10.84 pounds and provides good feedback while cutting, but it can be a little heavy for extended use.
Despite the power of the motor, this is one of the quietest routers we tested, producing only 42 dB during operation.
As a result, it is unlikely to bother others in your home.
The base features a clear guard to protect you from debris while cutting, as well as a clear line of sight for improved accuracy.
The side handles are small and do not have any rubber on them to improve grip.
We wish there was some rubber or even textured plastic to give us a little more assurance.
It has a rack and pinion mechanism for precise adjustments, and the onboard measurements assist in setting exact cuts and depths.
This tool, which weighs around 18 pounds out of the box, is intended to support durability and performance.
It also makes the tool too hefty to use for hand routing.
The Bosch MRP23EVS has threaded holes for mounting to a router table.
The controls are also conveniently located, with a lockable power switch on the handle.
The plunge mechanism is said to be exceptionally smooth, and the handles are ergonomic and comfortable, making micro-adjustments simple to use and read.
Despite the weight of the router, this works great.
The Bosch MRP23EVS lacks a plastic shield on the operator side, which is an odd omission given that dust control is an issue, making a plastic shield a must-have.
The Bosch MRP23EVS has a 2.25 HP motor that can produce blade rotation speeds ranging from 8,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM.
Most woodworkers recognize Makita for its professional-grade, long-lasting tools, and this router fits right in.
It’s almost entirely comprised of heavy-duty metal components, and we’re confident it’ll last for many projects.
Despite being composed of sturdy components, this is one of the lightest routers we’ve tried.
It only weighs 3.9 pounds, making it easy to manipulate your workpiece if you operate it manually.
The plunger attachment includes broad grips that provide excellent control while working.
The plunger is securely attached to provide you confidence throughout the operation, but it is also simply removed with a single clip.
The plunger also includes a piece of clear plastic to protect you from sawdust or wood chips while still allowing you to see your workpiece clearly for accuracy.
The router comes with a second attachment for one-handed use, which is made of heavy-duty rubber and has a good grip for precision work.
It has soft-start technology, which reduces vibration when you turn on the power, giving you more control over the cutting process from start to finish.
The motor is very well balanced, so you won’t feel much vibration while working.
With 114 horsepower, it also has enough power to get through almost any job.
It allows you to adjust the motor speed from 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM, allowing you to dial in the perfect speed for your workpiece.
Because of this versatility, you can set lower speeds for harder woods to avoid burning and tear-out, or higher speeds for clean, accurate cuts on softer materials.
The motor is powerful but quiet, producing only 79.5 dB when running.
We still recommend ear protection, but it’s quiet enough not to bother your neighbors.
The router is simple to set up and modify, with rack and pinion adjustments that allow you to fine-tune your tool to your individual job.
Buying Guide for the Best Plunge Routers
When purchasing a router, there are several factors to consider. It is an investment, and whether you use it infrequently or as the heart and soul of your business, what you use it for is an important consideration. There are an almost infinite number of routers to choose from.
What to Consider When Buying a Plunge Router
A router is an essential tool in the toolbox of any craftsman. Especially if you’re doing precision cutting that necessitates a deft touch and a creative mind. If you need to fit parts together, it is even more critical that you buy the right router to do the job correctly. When shopping for a router, consider the following factors:
The power of your plunge router will be an important aspect of what you can do with it. For any form of precise cutting, constant power is essential. Larger pieces require more force to drive through the wood. Routers of this class will require 2 horsepower (HP) or more to meet this level criteria. The last thing you want is a router that skips or slows with pressure, resulting in inaccurate cutting.
When changing bits, variable speed is essential. Single-speed routers are only appropriate for tiny amounts of data. If your work requires more detail and you’re using larger bits, slow down the cutting speed for a more precise cut. A variable-speed router solves this problem and allows you to use different bits to perform a wider range of cuts.
When changing bits, variable speed is essential. Single-speed routers are only appropriate for tiny amounts of data. If your task requires greater detail and you’re using larger bits, slow down the cutting speed for a more exact cut. A variable-speed router will solve that problem and allow you to use different bits to make a wider range of cuts.
A 14-inch or 12-inch diameter bit is commonly used in wood routers. However, 12-inch pieces are more expensive, but they are more stable and emit less clatter. You should choose a router that can use a variety of routers, including 12-inch and 14-inch diameter bits. This will enable you to complete a large quantity of work with greater detail and precision.
Router operations naturally produce a good bit of dust. If you can avoid collecting dust in order to see your work, it is a major advantage. A router with a vacuum port will save you time cleaning while also improving your vision. You also don’t want to inhale dust, which could cause health problems. First and foremost, get a router with dust control.
Woodworkers require a wide range of tools to execute a variety of tasks. It’s a skilled trade. To ensure that you can fulfill all of your tasks, check sure your router comes with the necessary accessories or that you can purchase them separately. This is directly related to router performance. Having the proper tools is essential for any work.
Another consideration with accessories is that they must be readily available in the marketplace. If you buy an old router, parts and accessories may not be available. Make certain that the router you are considering has a robust marketplace.
Routers necessitate the use of both hands. Are the switches at a comfortable and easy-to-reach location?
Will you be able to transition smoothly while holding the router? The feel of your router in your hand, as well as the positioning of the grips and switches, should all be considered.
When you purchase a product that will be used for several hours at a time or for your livelihood, you are making an investment. You will want to buy a router from a company that backs its products and your investment. Nothing is more frustrating than having something go wrong and you are unable to get assistance for it. This costs both time and money.
What is the difference between a fixed and a plunge router?
A fixed router has a constant router bit that cannot be changed while it is in use. A plunge router, on the other hand, offers more variety and versatility because you can set the cut depth and then lower it while using it.
Are plunge routers effective?
Plunge routers are useful and come in handy all the time. A plunge router allows you to complete a variety of tasks quickly. Advanced features such as soft start also ensure the user’s safety.
Are plunge routers effective for cutting edges?
When working with an interior surface and making small keyhole slots, etc., a plunge router is required because a fixed-base router tends to fail in such situations. Trim routers, on the other hand, are specifically designed for cutting edges and are therefore recommended by experts.
How deep can I cut with a plunge router?
The depth of the cut varies from model to model, but it usually lies in the range of 2 – 3.5 inches.
There are numerous routers on the market, each with its own set of features, speeds, accessories, and safety technology. Woodworking is a beautifully skilled and creative industry; don’t let the wrong tool for the job limit your creativity. We hope you enjoyed our plunge router reviews and are now able to make an informed decision.