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How to Buy a Plunge Router

10 min read


Plunge Routers for DIYers Table

Benefits Plunge Routers
Versatile Great for making big and small cuts
Consistent Create perfect, repeatable cuts in materials like wood and plastic
Precise Making perfect dadoes, through holes, and other joinery cuts
Economical Less expensive than other router types
Portable Small and lightweight for easy transport and storage

Every home diyer can benefit from owning a Plunge Router.

It’s versatile enough to make big and small cuts.

It’s also consistent, producing perfect, repeatable cuts in materials like wood and plastic.

Plus, it’s precise enough to make perfect dadoes, through holes, and other joinery cuts.

What’s more, plunge routers are less expensive than other router types.

And, they are small and lightweight, so they are easy to transport and store around the home.

Defining the Plunge Router

A plunge router is a type of equipment commonly used for woodworking.

It is designed with a spindle that can be raised and lowered quickly in order to cut material of any depth.

As the name suggests, you can use a plunge router to make “plunging” cuts, or cuts that go below your router’s surface.

Plunge routing can also be used to shape the edges of the wood or create curves and different patterns.

Those deciding to purchase a plunge router should also consider the specific needs of the project, such as the size and type of material being worked on.

Our Goal

Our goal is to help you learn what to look for in a plunge router, how to use it for woodworking tasks, and how to care for it.

A plunge router is a vital tool for a home DIYer; it provides quickness, precision, and accuracy when cutting.

Plus, by learning the basics of a plunge router, you will know how to make complex cuts and successfully complete projects.

With the proper instruction, you can easily and confidently select, use, and care for a plunge router.

We’re here to guide you every step of the way.

What Sets Plunge Routers Apart


Plunge routers are a great tool for working with wood! They allow users to precisely adjust the blade depth, which gives them greater control and helps their projects look even better.

Plus, plunge routers have increased control: they come with handles that allow users to easily move the router, even when making more delicate cuts.

The plunge action also makes for clean cutouts and isolates the tool vibration, so you don’t get as much noise.

Finally, plunge routers usually have larger motors, which gives them more power and durability.

All of these advantages make plunge routers an excellent choice for any craftsman!

How Plunge Routers Work

Plunge routers are powerful machines that use a plunging mechanism to shave or shape wood.

The router is mounted on a housing base and a guide that fits into the wood and keeps the router from moving.

To work, the motor is switched on and the bit spins, lowering the bit into the wood as users move the router across it.

This allows users to cut deeper and more accurately, and to shape or route details into the wood.

Plunge routers are also capable of cutting circles, channels, mortises, dadoes, and more.

These routers are great for detailed work, allowing users to make clean, precise cuts and intricate patterns.

Features to Look For

A plunge router is a great addition to any workshop, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs.

Look for a router with depth adjustment controls, so you can customize the depth of the cut.

It should have an ergonomic handle for comfortable extended use.

Check for adjustable speed settings, which can help you select the best speed for your project.

And examine the available shank options and rotor sizes, to make sure there’s a bit that will work with your current tools.

A dust-collecting foot can help reduce cleanup time, and selecting a model with a range of table mounting options can make it easier to work with different materials.

When to Use a Plunge Router

Common Applications

Plunge routers are great tools to use for a lot of jobs.

Some of the most common applications include carving out intricate designs like those found in woodworking projects, routing letters and designs in wood, attaching locks and hinges in cabinets, and creating recesses in furniture or architectural features.

You can also use plunge routers for creating pipe notches, shaping decorative edges, and finishing a variety of materials.

All these tasks can be completed quickly and accurately when using a plunge router.

Plunge Routers In Your Workshop

Plunge routers can really up your workshop game.

They can take the place of other tools, like circular saws, jigsaws, and belt sanders.

They can also work with tools like mitre saws to help you cut straight lines at various depths.

This makes the plunge router a great addition to homes with limited space by helping you slim down your workshop.

Not only that, but plunge routers are a more precise option for detailed projects, or for working in tight spaces.

Finally, plunge routers can produce smoother edges so you get better results more quickly.

No matter your space constraints, a plunge router has something to offer.

Techniques and Tips

Using a plunge router effectively requires the right techniques and tips.

Keep your speed steady with slow and even movements.

Make sure the router bit only engages the material when cutting or routing.

Position your plunge router base firmly on the board before beginning work in order to ensure a clean cut.

Utilize an edge guide to help you precisely route parallel lines.

When routing a curved edge, you must tilt the router bit and bring it into the workpiece at an angle, slowly moving it across the curve as you go.

Whenever possible, use multiple passes to ensure a smooth finish.

Before lifting the router from the material, always lift the plunge and release the router base first.

It is also important to frequently inspect your router bits for signs of dullness or damage.

What To Look For In A Plunge Router

Plunge Router Options

Plunge routers come with a variety of techniques and tips.

The type of router you choose will affect the type of tips you can use.

Fixed-base plungers are great for large projects such as cabinetry.

Take your time when cutting with these, as they need more pressure and slow cutting speeds.

Professional grade routers are perfect for quick work on heavier materials like wood.

They have more power and will give you a smooth cut.

Trim routers specialize in lighter work such as trim installations and large curves.

Remember to use a router table for bigger, complex projects.

Doing so will give you more control and accuracy when diving into tricky designs.

Taking the time to research which router options is best for you will make all the difference in the final product.

Choosing the Right Plunge Router

When buying a plunge router, it’s important to make sure it has the features you need.

Ask yourself what type of projects you will be using it for, as well as the size and weight of the router.

It’s also important to consider the plunge depth and what kind of bits it supports.

Additionally, make sure to check the noise levels, reliability, price, and warranty before making a purchase.

In the end, you want to find a router that offers the features you need at a price that fits your budget.

Brand Reliability

When it comes to buying a plunge router, you want to make sure you’re investing in a reliable product.

Bosch, DeWalt, and Porter-Cable are some of the most recognized brand names for plunge routers.

They are dependable brands known for quality and durability.

Makita is also a trusted brand for adding power and precision to your job.

Triton is known for creating plunge routers that are robust, built with a high-performance motor and long-lasting parts.

Whichever brand you choose, make sure you choose one with a long-term warranty and quality components.

That way, you can trust that your plunge router will get the job done right.

Safety Measures and Precautions


Buying a plunge router can sometimes lead to commonly seen problems.

If your router is malfunctioning, the first thing you should check is the power cord.

Make sure it is plugged in correctly.

If it still doesn’t work, unplug the router and inspect the cord for any signs of wear and tear.

If the cord looks ok, check the router switch.

Wiggle the switch and try flipping it on and off again.

It may just be stuck.

Lastly, if the router isn’t turned on, open up the router shell and check the wires are connected correctly.

Maintenance and Upkeep

A plunge router is not difficult to maintain.

Make sure to look for any wear and tear on the motor and bit.

The motor should be lubricated regularly and the bit should be checked and replaced when necessary.

Clean the router after every use.

Check the cords for any damage or fraying, and inspect routing table for any debris or wear and tear.

Keeping up with these maintenance tasks is important for the lifetime of your plunging router.

Change the blade as often as needed for the best performance.

Staying Safe

When working with a plunge router, safety should always come first.

Be sure to use safety goggles and gloves anytime the router is in use.

Wear clothing that doesn’t have dangling jewelry or lose clothing pieces that can get caught in the machine.

Always be sure to measure twice and cut once to help avoid careless mistakes.

Keep the work space clean and make sure to disconnect the router from the power source when not in use.

Store the router in a safe, secure place and keep tools and loose pieces away from small children.

Lastly, be sure to follow the instructions for maintenance and safety as described in the product manual.


Buying Your Plunge Router

When buying a plunge router, it is important to consider the type of projects it is best suited for, the accuracy of each type, and the available price range.

There are two main types of plunge routers; one is a fixed base plunge router, and the other is a plunge base router.

For most projects, a fixed base plunge router is the best choice.

It is more accurate and offers a greater range of depths to work with.

A plunge base router is great for jobs that require a router to plunge deeply into the material.

When shopping for a plunge router, make sure to compare accuracy and depth available to get the best possible value.

The price for plunge routers range from low budget models for basic projects to expensive high-end models for complex projects.

Make sure to research some reviews before making your purchase.

With the right research, you can find the right plunge router to get the job done.

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