If it is the context of jointing by using tenon and mortises or shaping the edges of hardwoods for box jointing, carpenters use several wood shaping tools; but very often they want to have a plunge router for doing their jobs with perfection. What the best plunge router can do with precision for jointing patterns and joineries like dovetails, no other hand tools can do this with precision and fast.
The wood router is one of the innovative and technologically sound power tools for carpenters these days. You can find different types of routers on the market for beginners to expert professional woodworkers. In this post, I have tried to focus on some top-quality plunge routers only.
To choose the routers for professional woodworkers, keep your eyes on our blog post. You’ll find here the benefits and features of the world’s most powerful plunge routers ever.
The Top Picks
- 1 5 Best Plunge Router Reviews
- 2 Features & Buying Guide
- 3 The Latest Plunge Router FAQs
- 4 A Few More Selective Plunge Routers
- 5 Final Verdict
5 Best Plunge Router Reviews
Here’s the best plunge router. See our list of 5 top picks right here.
DEWALT Router Combo Kit with D-Handle Base
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This Dewalt combo kit is a complete router set that comes with a D-handle base, which is an instant gain for professional carpenters. It comes with both fixed and plunge bases, and an appropriate combo kit compatible with any router tables.
The 12.0-Amp motor generates maximum horsepower allowing constant speed and never stops. It cuts any hardwoods with full confidence.
Users will find a superior experience with precision cuts.
Dewalt introduces this kit with a higher speed up to 24,000 RPMs. Don’t worry; it has a variable speed control system to reduce the rpm right at the level for potential benefits. The speed control allows you to maintain speed under the load, thus avoiding burning and twisting. You can use the 8,000 RPM range with cutters and diameter bits. Meanwhile, you can use 24,000 RPM with laminates, plastics, and softwoods.
Also, it has a micro-fine tune for bit depth adjustment. It allows precision cuts with accurate bit depth providing a nice cutting experience. The 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets serve as the steel sleeve holding the router bit. They also work with the router shaft to tighten down the collet nut.
For fast and quick base changes, you’ll find a tool-free cam-lock that also helps for fine adjustment. The 360-degree micro-fine adjustment ring can control changes in bit depth. There is also a start feature that allows you to minimize the torque. It will reduce the load on the electrical current surge and power train during the startup.
Other features of this tool include the dust-sealed switch. It can collect up to 95% of the dust and provide superior visibility. The rubber over-molded handles give you comfort, balance, and control. The router motor has a cut-out channel to line up with the locking needles.
Moreover, it comes with a D-handle that may be an additional benefit for users.
Compare speed and RPMs of its range with other similar products to come to a wise decision. The basic features of this router make it easy to use for beginners. However, the added advanced features also make it perfect for professionals. The cam motor housing, collets, and sub-base improve its overall performance.
Most routers come with no D-handle. It will give you additional support in handling the table.
However, like other plunge routers, it also has problems. If you can overlook them, then this router is for you.
Triton TRA001 – Dual-Mode Pro Router
If I could, it would be the top place on our list. But for some vital components and users’ expectations, we place it right here.
Its powerful 3.25 HP motor revolves up to 21,000 RPMs, and the soft start, variable speed control, and switch control plunge to the fixed base system. The automatic spindle lock, micro winder features give it a universal acceptance for all users. The beginners to professionals users got it helpful.
It is fully automatic and has a smooth operating option even for the toughest applications. Don’t worry about its higher revolution since the soft start and the variable speed control will allow it for the entrance users so far.
Triton TRA001 router looks heavy and large. It weighs 13 pounds, and this can be attributed to its durable design. Only high-quality materials and technological engineering are used in the construction of this router.
Triton plunge router is incredibly powerful and rotates from a speed of 8000 RPM to 21000 RPM. The variable speed control system controls its speed for smooth operations and precision cuts without producing excessive torques.
It comes with a multi-function fence to allow more control over it. If you have the skills, you can even make tiny cuts by it.
The top-selling point of it is its automatic spindle lock. It makes complex tasks simpler by changing the tip. The control is superior, especially if you are working with softwood, but it also cuts hardwoods.
The tool also comes with an excellent micro winder with a switch. The single switch micro winder allows accurate depth adjustments. It has the option to reduce the speed level for larger bit sizes. The side air vents can reduce dust ingestion.
Its safety switch shutter lock brings good news for you. It blocks the motor while changing modes of operations. It also protects the motor from debris.
The shutter lock may be somewhat tricky for first-hand users though it has some advantages.
But it is a highly advantageous professional wood router you’ll feel when used.
Bosch Plunge Router Combo Kit with Fixed Base System
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Recently, we found a heavy-duty Bosch router that is leading the top-ranking position. With the 2.25 HP and 12 Amp motor, heavy-duty aluminum construction, versatile plunging options, this router is a perfect choice for professionals.
Though it is a powerful workhorse, the rounded and ergonomic handles, soft start and variable speed option, and the lockable power switch allow this super horse to work conveniently for a wide variety of applications.
This plunge router kit will suit anyone professional who takes woodworking professionally. Its rugged design and durable construction are always welcoming to the users once used.
This superior grade power tool comes with multiple user-friendly features to make your routing experience easy and smooth. The quick clamps and precision centering are its added benefits. The threaded holes it comes with are constructive features for table mounting. It gets used to mid-range projects though it can handle almost any workload.
Unlike the CNC router, it comes with a 2.25 horsepower motor that uses an AC electric motor. The soft-start variable speed control can reduce the powertrain load and electrical current surge during a startup. It also reduces the torque. Gesrepair has vividly described how soft start works.
It generates speed that ranges from 8,000 RPM to 25,000 RPMs at 6(six) different speed settings. The setting has two different modes of operation. Firstly, 1 to 3 is perfect for cutters, nonferrous metals, and diameter bits. You can use the settings 4 to 6 on laminates, plastics, and softwoods.
The collet bit size ranges 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 8 millimeters allowing you to change the collet sizes. Anytime you can change and adjust the collet size on the table. The above table adjustability is an excellent opportunity for convenient usage.
This superior-grade router kit provides constant speed throughout the cuts. A built-in constant response circuitry does it. But no worries since the soft-grip handle will assist in controlling that.
The tool’s cutting depth adjustment system comes with re-settable indicators so you can choose micro-fine or coarse bit depth. The micro-fine plunge depth allows for a superior routing experience.
However, one complaint is its lack of spindle lock. You may also find it’s uncomfortable while using the two wrenches. Moreover, we found the screws were weak, which may cause the c-ring to break or fail. The release clamp can be too tight, scratching the motor when you change the bases.
It will not be unjust to assume this kit is one of the best plunge routers for woodworking in the market today. This tool is a good router kit to use for intermediate and advance woodworking enthusiasts.
Though it does have some problems with its construction, these do not outweigh the router’s great features.
Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router with Electric Brake
Made in Japan, ball bearing construction, Makita plunge router is the best in class, upper-grade routing solution for woodworking professionals. The sturdy construction with rubberized handles will give you superior performance with comfort and ease.
Moreover, the bit change now is easier for its shaft lock option. You can turn your routing operations with continuous effort without halting the motor.
It is a reliable option for smooth, precise, and accurate cuts.
This variable speed powerful router delivers upper-grade plunge action for smooth operations for a variety of applications. You can use it for furnishing cabinetry, boxes, and many more. Makita is a trusted power tool packed with great features many full-size plunge routers may not include.
This power tool has come with a 15 Amp motor with 3.25 horsepower to deliver heavy-duty tasks with ease. It is capable of cutting the hardiest materials possible without risk.
Makita plunge router generates speed up to 22,000 rpm. You can control the speed by its variable speed that ranges from 9,000 RPM to 22,000 RPM. It is a cool speed range for any standard bit size up to 1-inch to 3.5-inch. The router will not run at the chosen speed right away from its activation period.
The good news is that it comes with a soft start design, so no worries about a sudden power-up. Instead of being speed up suddenly, it slowly accelerates from low to high. The soft start mechanism has made woodworking operations smooth and easy without spoiling workpieces.
Moreover, this 14 pounds router has an electric brake for better safety and linear ball bearings for smooth plunge action.
As an additional control system, it comes with a two-finger switch. It has a lock-on trigger and LED lights that make it easy to operate. The router also comes with a shaft lock for quick and easy bit changes.
On the downside, the replacement parts are difficult to find. If you do find them, they may be expensive. No dust port is included so that the motor can be safe from the particles.
Makita is an efficient tool for plunge-action throughout the toughest applications. Thus, it will be a perfect choice for industrial work. If you are a professional woodworker and want to make money by routing, it may be an ideal option for you.
Despite its being heavy, it is easy to control. The rubberized handles will give you comfort while doing things with it. However, newbies are advised to be far from it because it is costly. It is perfect for a higher range of applications. But it may be a good choice if you want to have it for long-term application.
Festool OF 1010 EQ Plunge Router
If you are a professional and don’t hesitate to spend more, OF 1010 EQ plunge-action router may be a real workhorse you want to buy. This model will ensure the constant speed under heavy load for endless possibilities. This versatile tool is sturdy, powerful, and extremely maneuverable for its compact design.
Moreover, made in Germany, this Festool router comes with almost all the modern features to help you doing dadoes, grooves, and similar jobs. For its portability, superior performance, and unmatched precision, you’ll prefer this tool.
The ergonomic handle, dust extraction system, micro depth control, and MMC electronic controls will provide you ultra-support for your routing application, which ordinary tools may miss. It may be an ideal option for professionals.
You might notice that the sales ratio of the Festool router is lower compared to other plunge routers. It doesn’t mean that they do not offer quality products. Their main target is to ensure quality, which has created their brand value to some selective users. Once the users touch it, they never go back.
Though they can be expensive, the price is reasonable for the value they add to your job. For instance, Festool model 574691 is smoother compared to a lot of plunge routers in the market.
This higher-grade model has 1400 watt power and can perform up to 2.3 horsepower, which is sufficient to routing through thick hardwoods. You can use it to cut through hickory, oak, beech, and other hardwood. The power switch is conveniently positioned on the main handle. The locking switch allows you to maintain the power without keeping the trigger depressed. These user options are significantly convenient, which will extend the lifespan of the router.
It is surprising for first-time users while gripping the handles of this model since it is more comfortable to grip. The ergonomic design will allow you to route through hardwoods for a long time with a good level of control.
You’ll like its spindle lock that allows an instant break for bit changes within a matter of seconds. It increases productivity, and users can work faster than you expect. So, it may be a more efficient tool for you to work with it. You’ll get some extra safety assurance from this tool. Pair this feature with a chip deflector, and you can work with both curves and corners.
It may be a good choice for a professional woodworker who likes to have something special.
This router is customizable with innovative MFS multi-routing templates, an FS Guide Rail system, and a wide range of other accessories.
This powerful Festool model is a superior grade plunge-action router perfect for mid-range and heavy jobs. Its ergonomic design, superpower, and instant bit changing options are excellent, which has addressed issues with some standard plunge routers. The accessories included in the set are also a plus. Overall, it’s a high-quality plunge router.
Features & Buying Guide
A plunge router can assist you in cutting dados, grooves, trim on laminate, and many more. So, it is a vital power tool for you if you are a professional woodworker. But the question is how to find quality routers online. We have sorted the core components of the plunge router you can check before selecting the right tool.
Here are the things you can consider while choosing a plunge router.
One of the vital things about a router is its speed and revolutions per minute. RPM indicates the measurement of the router’s rotating frequency(3 minutes read about rotating speed). The speed means how fast/slow it revolves. We can categorize router speed levels in 3 stages – a) lower for large bit sizes, b) standard speed level, and c) extreme higher. Lower speed ranges from 8000-10000 RPMs – better cutting experience on hardwoods. On the other hand, some routers are extremely fast and usually used for laminate trimming. But standard router speed is 22000 RPMs – the most popular plunge-based router kit comes with, and you can use it for multiple purposes.
Users can control the speed by dialing the knob at desired speed level. Moreover, a few kits may come with a digital gauge to serve this purpose. However, the variable speed is a handy option for users on a router table.
Soft Start/Variable Speed
Imagine – you’ve just switched on, and the router started horrrr… and a sudden break of bits. It’s a risk of your hands as well. Soft start engineering can save you from such insecurity. This technology reinforces the speed slowly so that the torque level comes down at a tolerable level and minimizes the sudden jump or breakthrough. It is a safe option for a wood turner.
Bit and Collet Size
It’s vital to fit the bits in place perfectly. Otherwise, higher speed may be a trouble for the large bit sizes. It is safe to hold a bit securely in the center of the collet.
It is universally well-known to have the standard diameter of collets. The woodworkers use the standard 1/4-inch diameter of collet size. But in some cases, a 1/2-inch collet is also perfect for some users.
However, the large size of bit accepts lower speed while most small size bit is popular for higher speed ranges. You can rely on the standard size of the collet for multiple purposes.
Different styles of plunge routers are out there to push woodworking one step ahead. Most popular and common are palm routers for easy maneuverability, trim router for laminate trimming, and powerful standard style router. Moreover, routers may be plunge-based and fixed based depending on the nature of jobs and table mounting.
However, typically the large size and powerful routers are classified into a standard group. These types of routers are real workhorse compatible with standard bit size and collet. The trim routers are fast and designed as the laminate trimmer. And, the palm routers are portable, easily accessible in grip and hand-held operation, specially designed to cut edges, box rounds, and similar jobs.
A router table is another vital option for professional woodworkers. A kind of woodworking needs consistent work, which handheld palm router or trimmer can’t. Users fix those routers on a router table for consistency. In that case, height adjustment is a vital point to consider mounting a router on a table.
Advanced fixed base plunge router allows height adjustment from above the table. But if it doesn’t, users have to go underneath the table to adjust the height. It’s arduous and troublesome.
The swappable base is an excellent solution to this trouble. So, be conscious about the issue while purchasing a router.
When it comes to routing operation, one of the things users would like is user-friendliness and trouble-free operation. If you place the spindle on grooves, it may wobble when rotating pressure arises. The best routers come with a spindle lock to prevent kickback and wobbling. You can use a wrench to tighten the lock and release the button to allow it to spin freely.
It also helps to swap out router bits with ease. So, when you go choosing a router, check out if the spindle lock is available or not.
However, it may be risky to interchanging the router bit when plugged in. Make sure it is unplugged when you will do that.
It is seen some plunge routers come with electronic feedback circuitry for advanced technological support. It works to give you monitoring feedback on whether the router speed is perfect for the workload.
As a professional, you want the consistent result from your workhorse. This advanced technology will give you a more pleasant user experience and smooth operations.
Above Table Adjustability
It is not wise to go underneath the table repeatedly for the router bit height adjustment. Besides, it is a troublesome job as well. The professional routers come with an above-table bit-height adjustment system to allow bit height adjustment from above the table.
It is one of the best-in-class features of a plunge router.
Woodworking at home or in a wood workshop doesn’t mean it is always underneath a white sunny day. Moreover, in a tight space, there might have low lighting. Whatever the circumstances are, LED light is an essential feature to illuminate the dark area around the router bit on a workpiece. It gives you maximum visibility to get the job done trouble-free.
Considerations for Newbies & Professionals
If you are an entrance woodworking hobbyist, the thing is different. The learners can spend fewer pennies for their tool kits since they spend more time focusing on how things are done. But professionals are committed to providing services with dedication without failure. If they fail, it will affect their reputations. So, the penny doesn’t matter purchasing quality tools for better services. As a professional, you should buy a bang for the buck. Take no risk of breaking that in the middle of operations, leaving the job unfinished.
Home Users’ Opportunity
We always try to focus on a product with good quality but at a lower price range. It is because the low-profile power tools also work better with some jobs. Moreover, it becomes handy for some users to use that in-house.
Furthermore, the fewer features, the lower the price range though it’s a solid piece of router kit.
Finally, we want to say – before you go for the final decision, you can judge the product with some real users around you. You can also look into some forums for better suggestions and recommendations.
The Latest Plunge Router FAQs
New users might have a lot of asking when they intend to operate plunge routers on the table. Whether is it wise to bring out all answers from the experiment or ask to get an easy solution from other experienced users? It may be the skin of your forehead gone squeezed –don’t worry, we have some common questions and answers below. They may help you find your mind hunts.
Most plunge routers feature with plunge option only when it comes to the wood router. But we found some pro-level models come with fixed and plunge base system with them. The wise thing would be to pick the plunge routers with both options. However, if it meets your jobs, you can go with plunger action only.
The most vital part of a plunge router is its spindle lock. Besides, easy installation, smooth operation, and precision cuts are also prime concerns. An ideal plunge router should have a plunging collet, depth adjustment nozzle, precision-making fine tuner, and overall visibility on the workpiece to ensure accurate cuts.
When trim router works for laminate trimming only, you can apply a plunge router for versatile woodcutting techniques. It can help you for making tight-fitting joinery for box jointing and similar joinery system. Its higher speed creates accurate patterns with precision. You can make dadoes, cut grooves, dovetails, and many more with a plunge router.
The plunge router is powerful and heavy, so it seems arduous to operate. And to some extent, it is true, but modern technological engineering includes some features that make plunger action easy and smooth. The soft-start, variable speed control, above-table adjustment, and the switching knob make it easy and smooth for the users to handle this workhorse.
A Few More Selective Plunge Routers
We have just finished with our 5 top picks above, but still, there’re some plunge router kits to fulfill your needs.
PORTER-CABLE 7539 Speedmatic Plunge Router
Next to the list, what we got is the PORTER-CABLE plunge-action router kit. It has a gigantic size with a powerful motor that revolves around 27500 RPMs. Sorry to say, this kit is weaker than its contemporary brands, but still, it works better with several projects.
The strength of this plunge kit is its depth control, fixed-base cam locking system, and micro-adjustment system. You can lock the router into place in a snap. Once the depth is set, you no longer need to worry about moving around at the time of working on it.
With its 6(six) adjustable turret positions, you can cut through woods with precision, and it ensures precise cuts up to 1/128 of an inch. Machined aluminum is a construction material that it’s lightweight and sturdy, weighing only 21.1 pounds.
The power switch has a dust cover to protect it. For your safety, there is a plastic guard to support you.
Though other similar tools are more powerful, this kit is still a favorite for ease of control, set up, and use. It’s an attractive tool for entry and mid-size jobs.
Hitachi KM12VC Plunge Base Router Kit
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Hitachi is a brand name that comes first in mind when it comes to the consideration of plunge routers. Though it’s not in our top 5 list, people like it for its high-quality performance and durability. It could be on our list if we sacrifice different angles to pick that in place.
However, the Metabo HPT plunge-action router is available at a lower price range with good quality. Its plunge and fixed base system, ergonomic style, lower noise level, and quick and accurate depth-adjustment system are higher-level features to appreciate.
This model has a noise level of 79.7 decibels, which is suitable for noiseless operations. It also produces tolerable vibration so that users won’t feel uncomfortable. With its 11 Amp motor, it can generate enough revolution to cut through thick woods. The 2-stage motor release clamp and an electronic speed control help for control cuts each time. You can make load transitions without any trouble.
This model comes with nickel-plated housing that is heavier than the palm routers. However, it can cut through harder woods. It is better for fine groove cutting, chamfering, window cutting, trimming, shaping, pattern cutting, and many more.
The versatility that it comes with is the thumb-release lever for depth adjustment. Moreover, 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch bits are common and standard sizes for this tool. Its ergonomic handles are suitable for better control and accuracy.
However, the router has a problem with balance. The plunge base is narrow, and the motor is in a higher position compared to other models. The collet is too far from the plunge base. So some bits might not sit properly in the collet. Unconscious attempts might risk damage. Again, the adjustment knobs are too greasy. The grease does allow for smoother operation, but it can make you uncomfortable.
Other things are great! Some excellent kits are a centering gauge, ½ and ¼ collet chucks, 16 mm and 23mm wrenches, template guide adapter, and sub-base plate.
Hitachi router is an aesthetically attractive tool that is both versatile and functional. This versatile tool is perfect for any of your projects. Unlike many other models, you might need some time to get used to running it. Otherwise, you will find it as the best value plunge router in the market.
BLACK AND DECKER Plunge Router
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BLACK AND DECKER may be another option for entry-level users. This combo kit is weaker than the typical plunge router, but it is still powerful to drive the plunge action. Moreover, it remains with the same speed from beginning to end.
However, the superior class features it comes with are welcoming. Its plunge range is super that allows up to 2 inches. The variable speed detector allows you to control the motor ranging from 8000 to 27000 RPM. It is a sophisticated level to this tool. With its 10 amp motor, it can produce high torque than most other expensive routers.
The plunge base, main body, and support column of the router are metal construction. Thus, it is beyond question for its durability.
However, there might have some small-scale mistakes with the design of the plunge router itself. The opening of the base plate, which is over 1 inch in diameter, goes over the opening limit of the bit size. Moreover, the plunge locking lever is not spring-loaded. You have to pull on it to lock the router. You might think that this is not worse, but the lever is away from the handle that might be an obstacle.
Despite its faulty design, we added this kit to our choice list because of its same level performance grade as a powerful plunge router. Its powerful motor, reliable plunge mechanism, and sturdy frame are all the best fit for beginners.
Also Read: Bosch Ra1171 Review
Makita Variable Speed D-Handle Router
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Did you know Makita also comes with a D-handled plunge router like DeWalt? It may be good news for you if you get bored working with heavy torque routers. Makita RD1101 model comes with a ball bearing mechanism along with a soft startup feature for complete satisfaction.
The D-handle design is different from any other models, and users find it easy to control even at a constant speed. Also, the soft-start feature offers ease of control under load. It produces the highest level of speed at 24000 RPMs, and users can cope with the speed dialing the variable speed control.
Additionally, it introduces a cam-lock for faster depth adjustment, and the sub-base allows standard template guides, which means you are now free of tension when it happens to reset up with the template guides.
Moreover, it comes with a powerful 11.0 amp motor with rugged aluminum housing. It produces the highest level of speed at a controlled and lower vibration, meaning it is the quietest at all.
One downside is it lacks the micro-adjuster, which most routers feature to ensure 100% accuracy.
This router kit is the right choice for beginners and hobbyists. Besides, its constant speed and upper-level components are welcoming to most expert users as well. However, I don’t suggest you pick this if you are doing heavy-duty jobs for business.
The concrete supervision over useful features and productive measurements demonstrated the superiority of two models – 1) from the Dewalt brand and 2) another from the Triton brand. Triton TRA001 is superior in every respect, no doubt, but still, the DEWALT D-handled router is one step ahead.
Each plunge router has its advantages and disadvantages. The best plunge router combo means it is not a kind that each feature will be similar to the things you need. However, quality features always welcome to all users.
We picked them from the judgment of quality and productivity.