If you’re starting out with woodworking and setting up your new workshop, investing in the power tools becomes confusing. A router is one of the most important power tools for woodworking, and the confusion is here too. There are two types of router you can get for your router setup, a trim router, or a plunge router. Both the routers have their distinguished purposes for a woodworker with different types of work.
Selecting between these two requires you to know how they work and what benefits they can offer you. I’ll talk about the things you must know about the trim router vs plunge router and how you can select the right one for your woodworking. So, stick to the article to get the next wood router machine that can help you with different woodworks with high efficiency.
Table of Content:
- Trim Router Vs Plunge Router: What You Need To Know?
- What Is A Trim Router?
- Advantage Of Using A Trim Router
- Ridgid 5.5 Amp Corded Compact Power Trim Router With Micro Adjust Dial R24012+
- What Is A Plunge Router?
- Advantage Of Using A Plunge Router
- Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit – 2.25 Horsepower Plunge Router & Fixed Base Router Kit with a Variable Speed 12 Amp Motor
- My Opinion: Which Is A Better Trim Router Or Plunge Router
Trim Router Vs Plunge Router: What You Need To Know?
Both the trim router vs plunge router have a different way of working on wood and both have different benefits to offer. To help you get to know them better, here are their definitive meanings, and the advantages of using each of them:
What Is A Trim Router?
A trim router is a smaller, yet handier version of the regular full-sized wood routers. These routers are primarily used for trimming out the excess edges of the wood. They are the best tool to flush off the extra applications of veneer or laminate sheets on wood as well. With high-speed rotation at up to 30,000 RPM on the cutter, they can trim off laminates smoothly. A trim router will help you with both wooden board and hardwood to trim off the edges, make lines, make critical cavities, and so on. You can inlay designs like lettering on the hardwood with a trim router and make specific holes as well.
Advantage Of Using A Trim Router
Using a trim router comes with a lot of advantages that you cannot expect from another type of it. here are the main benefits of using a trim router to help you with special routing purposes:
- If you’re a handicap who needs to use the router one-handed, or you have the other hand busy somewhere else, you can use a trim router one-handedly.
- A trim router can help you make a straightedge guide, butterfly patches on the surface of the wood, which you cannot do with a fixed router.
- You can make perfect hinges along the edges and make them perfectly align with each other with the guide bearing of a trim router.
- If you’re working with veneer or laminate, you can get perfectly aligned trimming experience without scratching the top application on the wood.
- They also take in different types of router bits to help you make designs, grooves, cove, bead, chamber, round-over, and so on.
Ridgid 5.5 Amp Corded Compact Power Trim Router With Micro Adjust Dial R24012+
This trim router from Ridgid comes with a quick-release lever mechanism on the connecting part of the motor and the base. You can detach the whole bottom routing base from the motor housing using the lever quickly, and it has a firm tension for snapin into its place.
It comes with both rounded and square bases to give you the maximum versatility while using it on different surfaces or edges. With the micro-adjustment dial of this router, you can control and fine-tune the depth of the router bit precisely, which makes it the Best trim router.
With its 5.5 Amp motor, you’ll get the SoftStart technology to help you smoothly start the machine and get it to its high speed gradually. You can control the RPM speed of the motor with variable levels and avoid any kind of kinks, jerking, or tear away.
Ridgid 5.5 Amp Corded Features:
- This router works with 5.5 amps and comes with an extra 2.4 amps sander.
- It has variable speed controllability to smooth the start and exit of the routing.
- You can control the depth of the bit with its precise depth controller mechanism.
- The base of this router has a round and square shape to it for different wood types.
- Its quick-release mechanism helps you detach the best part from the motor quickly.
What Is A Plunge Router?
Plunge routers are the bigger version of the trim routers and have a higher power rating as well. They have higher efficiency and better adjustability on the bits, especially the depth controlling capability. A plunge router will come with two arms to hold on and controlling levers to control the depth. You can use different types of bits and plunge into the wood with a highly precise cut. They have a higher RPM rating, which ensures that you have a smooth get-in and get-out for the cut. You can use this router for edge work as well, if you can control the router and know how to adjust the depth.
Advantage Of Using A Plunge Router
Having a plunge router in your workspace can come in handy, whether you’re a professional or a beginner, to a great extent. Here are some of the main advantages you will get from a plunge router that you cannot expect from any other type:
- Plunge routers are the best tool for making inlay grooves with precise depth control for any type of inlay materials and shapes.
- You’ll be able to get a smooth entrance with a plunge router because of higher RPM, and so that’s true for the exit from the groove as well.
- Plunge routers are the best option if you’re a designer on hardwood, especially if it’s a big design with a lot of grooves around.
- These routers come with micro-adjustable controllers for the depth you want to have with the router to fix a depth while routing or fine-tuning a groove.
- With a plunge router, you can do what you cannot do with any other router type, such as making mortising patterns work with multiple depths in the same job.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit – 2.25 Horsepower Plunge Router & Fixed Base Router Kit with a Variable Speed 12 Amp Motor
The Bosch plunge router comes with double plunge bases along with a fixed base to use in any type of routing, including surface and edges. Its coarse and microfine adjustment dial allows you to adjust the depth of the bit with preciseness.
Besides the depth, you can also control the speed of the motor with its soft start technology for smooth start and exit. For the maximum penetration, it can turn from 8000 to 25,000 RPM of the motor speed, which makes it the best plunge router.
Its aluminum fixed base and the detachable plunge base comes with wooden and soft grip and spring for convenient plunging. For the bit attachment, it has a 2-inch open space to take in a wide variety of bit types and diameters for different types of routing jobs.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Features:
- The Bosch plunge router runs at 12 amps with 2.25 HP motor for the best penetration.
- It comes with a variable speed controller for 8000 RPM up to 25000 RPM.
- You can control the depth of this router with the microfine adjustment dial.
- This router has both a fixed base and a plunge base for the surface and edges.
- It has a built-in scale system with a quick-release lever for maximum convenient routing.
My Opinion: Which Is A Better Trim Router Or Plunge Router
Choosing the best one between the trim router and plunge router has two different aspects that you have to consider. If you’re going to work with boards instead of solid wood and planning to have laminate or veneer topping, go for the Trim Router. You can use it with one hand and make trimmings with better precision. If you’re looking for better control over the router and the work process, going for the Plunge Router will be a good decision. It will give you better hand control along with onboard scaling and precise marking for inlay grooves. It has a higher power rating that helps you get a smooth entrance and exit without burning.
Frequently asked question
Here are the most frequently asked questions about routers for woodwork that you might find interesting:
Can you use a trim router in a router table?
Yes, you can use a trim router with a specially designed router table that has the proper fittings.
Can you use a plunge router for edges?
Yes, a plunge router works fine for edges if you use longer bits with special designs for edges.
What is a collet on a router?
The collet holds the router bit on your router shaft, and it connects directly to the motor itself.
As the routers are crucial tools for woodworking, and you have two options, you must select the one that can do all with one. Going through the comparison and the best products of both Trim router vs plunge router, I hope you’ve selected the right one.
However, if you’re still confused between these two for the best overall, I’d suggest you get the Plunge Router. It comes with two bases, a fixed one and a plunged base with a smooth and precise spring plunge. You’ll be able to use it for both plungings on the surface and trim the edges like a trim router. This router has a variable speed control from 8000 to 25000 RPM, as well as a depth controller.