Types Of Wood Routers -6 An Expert Explains

Last Update On: January 25, 2022 // Author:

A wood router is used for routing hard materials such as wood and plastic. Although you can rout plastic and aluminum, it is generally used for woodwork. The woodworker can design or cut wood with its handle or setting on the router table. The manufacturers offer different types of wood routers based on the different kinds of design and woodwork.

Beginners may face trouble at the time of working with a plunge wood router. On the other hand, you will get the expected shape and precision if you use a fixed base router. So, read the advantages and disadvantages of the wood routers thoroughly before buying a wood router that fits for you.

types of wood routers


Types of Wood Routers

There are many types of wood routers available in the market. Which type is the best one depends on the purposes of using, the extent of finishing, and the conditions of working. We have described the types of wood routers thoroughly in the below section. I hope you will choose the right router after reading the 3 types of wood routers.

Plunge Routers

Plunge wood routers are the most popular types of plunge routers and suitable for inlay pattern work, mortising, and stopped dados. The mechanism of the plunge is spring-loaded that helps motor locks to spring up at the top of the posts. A carpenter or DIY enthusiast like a plunge wood router of the following advantages.

Advantages of Plunge routers

  1. You can easily adjust the depth at the time of working on the project.
  2. Using the plunge wood router is safer than other types becasue of its safe protrudes.
  3. Its depth adjustment knobs give excellent effects on your wood design.
  4. You can do stringing and delicate inlay work with a plunge router.
  5. Plunge router gives users the freedom to adjust the depth of cutting.
  6. There does not need to stop the machine from changing the depth of the blade for changing the design.
  7. You can start cuttings in the middle of the materials and get more movement control vertically.
  8. Plunge routers are versatile routers, and so you can do a lot of design work with this type of router.

Although they are the most efficient and powerful router, they have the following disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Plunge Router

  1. The initial cost of buying a plunge router is very high compared to a fixed base wood router.
  2. You need to have high skills and proficiency in operating this tool.
  3. You can’t mount this on a fixed table base, so you need to move this tool on the materials at the time of cutting or designing.

Suitable For

The people who need excellent finishing in inlays pattern work, template routing, specialized bits should use a plunge wood router. People with previous woodworking experience should buy this type of wood router.

Fixed base router

The fixed base router is another most popular type of routers for beginners. If you want molding tasks or edge cutting, you can choose fixed base wood routers. The ergonomic designs and the latest mechanism have made this router lighter than the plunge wood router. You have to fix the depth of the cutting blade before starting work. As the base of the router can be fixed in the router table, they are called fixed base wood routers.

Advantages of Fixed Base Routers

  1. There does not need to use high skill and experience to work with this router. A beginner DIY enthusiast can start working with this router.
  2. Its excellent functionality ensures edge-shaping and precision cuts.
  3. You can carry this router from one place to another for its easy portability.
  4. The price of the fixed base router is less than plunge routers.
  5. Even a beginner-level can handle a fixed base router and give the proper shape and design on materials.
  6. As they can be set in one fixed position, you will get the highest quality and precession.

Disadvantages of the Fixed Base Routers

  1. Limited design and woodworking can be done with a fixed base wood router.
  2. You can’t cut in the middle of the materials using this wood router.

Suitable For

The tasks that require high control in tasks need this router. The people who want to do freehand edgework but have low skills and experience should use this type of router.

Combo Router

A combo router is also known as an interchangeable base router. The mechanisms of both plunge base and fixed base routers have been used to produce this combo kits. So, you can do any design work by buying this simple kit.

Advantages of the Combo Router Kits

  1. You don’t need to carry many types of router to complete different kinds of design.
  2. You can upgrade your bases that have different handle styles.
  3. As you can do all kinds of design work using this combo kit, you can save money by buying this instead of kit.

Disadvantages of the Combo Router kits

  1. The cost of the combo router is high then the other two types described above.
  2. Switching between bases is a challenge for some woodworkers, requiring a lot of experience and skill.

Suitable For

The woodworkers who need to change bases frequently at the time of designing like this combo kit. If you want to get functionalities of both fixed base and plunge routers, you should use Combo router kits.

The buying decision depends on person to person. I think you have already decided to buy the right type of wood router.

What Kind Of Router Should I Buy For Woodworking?

There are many kinds of router found in the marker. Different kinds of routers provide different functionalities of the woodwork. Some are suitable for precision design, and some are popular for cost-effectiveness.

Plunge routers ensure the highest efficiency in designing and cutting wood, but they require a lot of previous woodworking experience. If you have no budget problems and are doing woodworking, you should buy a plunge wood router. On the other hand, you should buy a fixed base routed if you are a rookie woodworker.

Frequently Asked Question

Can any router be mounted to a table?

Any router which has a handle can be mounted on the table. It is easy to complete wood designing if you can mount a router on the table.

Can you use drill bits in a router?

You need a drill to make a hole in the wood plate, so you need to use a drill. You can use drill bits in most of the routers. Check this feature if you dire to make a hole on the wood.

can you use a wood router on aluminum?

A wood router with standard carbide bits can cut aluminum. If you don’t use the durable and hardy blade at aluminum, the blades become dull.

Watch out the types of router to select the right one for you

Final Thought

“Which type of should I buy?” is a common question when buying a wood router. One router is not suitable for all kinds of people. Although plunge routers give the precision and versatile design woking, the beginners can’t handle this router.

Again, you don’t need to invest a huge amount in case of only hobby woodworking. A fixed base router is enough for small design work. Pick the best router among the different types of wood routers based on your skill and experience.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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