What Does a Plunge Router Do: 5 Most Common Usage

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

A plunge router is a very smart & handy tool that helps the woodworker complete their wood project perfectly. Before purchasing a plunge router, most woodworkers want to know what does a plunge router do?

A plunge router can do a lot of versatile woodwork that you can’t do with other routers. To complete mortising, inlay pattern & stop dados on the wood easily & safely, you will need the best plunge router.

What Does A Plunge Router Do?

A plunge router is a multi-purpose tool that offers many functions to accomplish a variety of tasks for wood projects. But most of the woodworkers use only a few of these functions because most of them don’t know what does a plunge router do? If you are one of them, then read the below section carefully to know what you can do with a plunge router.



Usually, most of the woodworkers depend on the hollow-chisel mortiser for doing mortises quickly on their wood projects. But if you have a plunge router, then you can do this task more efficiently & easily.

As the plunge router is a handheld tool, you can smoothly use it over any wood surface for mortising. You can set the depth for any cut and edge; you have full flexibility. You can go to more depth with a plunge router.

Inlay groovers

For any inlay works on your wood project, you can blindly trust on a plunge router. It is often known as a captured inlay. The mechanism of this tool allows the woodworker to get a constant entry and exit from the edge.

This becomes quite tough when you try the same thing with a fixed router. Most of the time, it gets misaligned exactly from where you get a start, and it is the kind of task you want to do successfully in your first attempt without making any mistake. A plunge router is the best option to do this job properly.

Get your stopped flutes without burning

If you want to get your stop flutes completely burn free, then there are no better alternatives than a plunge router. You can not do this type of milling safely and accurately with a fixed router.

With a plunge router, you get the perfect flutes in a start block, a stop-block, etc. Just set the plunge router on your start block, preset the depth, and then click on the lever lock to set it with the board length. This will allow you to get a burn-free stopped flute.

Bit protection

A plunge router comes with built-in bit protection. It is one of the best advantages of this router. The bit of your plunge router stays protected when you are not using it.

When you start work with your plunge router, you just need to push the lever lock with your finger to disengage it. This will allow your router bit retracts from the spring-loaded mechanism. Through this, it protects your fingers, bits of the router, and benchtop everything from any kind of potential risk.

Interior pattern

When you need to route on a closed pattern for your interior woodwork, you cannot use a fixed router effectively. In such a case, you will need a plunge router for effective and efficient interior woodwork.

On the other hand, if you use a fixed base router for interior woodwork, there are high possibilities that you could ruin the workpiece or injure yourself. Whether you do it yourself or for commercial purposes, it is always better to use a plunge router for an interior pattern.

How To Use A Plunge Router?

Among all types of wood router, the plunge router is one of the easiest and convenient ones. Now, if you purchase or want to purchase a plunge router and don’t know how to use it properly, then read the below section carefully.

Things that you will need are a plunge router, wrench, clamps, & router bit. Once you collect all these things together, you can move forward & use the plunge router.

Step 1– The first thing that you have to do is to choose a set of bits for a plunge router. Because every wood project needs a different router bit. Every individual bit has unique features that allow a woodworker to enjoy different types of cutting the way they want.

Step 2– Put all of your materials in a stable place; it will help you work securely. Because when you use the plunge router, it will spin with a high speed that may turn the objects instead of plunging it. To avoid this type of problem, you can use a non-skid router mat.

Step 3– Noise is the most irritating part of the plunge router. While using a plunge router, it produces a lot of sounds that may harm your hearing ability permanently if you don’t use safety protection. So use your ear safety protection before starting your work with a plunge router.

Step 4– Make sure you have set your plunge router in-depth & in exact position. You have to measure the exact depth for better output for cutting. You can set the depth by pushing the depth guide and release the springs to hold the plate from the bottom.

Step 5– Moving your router in the exact direction is very important. For example, when you cut the edge of the wood from the outside, you have to move the router counter-clockwise. But when you need to cut the inside edge. You have to move clockwise.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are researching a plunge router, many questions may arise on your mind. In this section, I have included some questions and answers that people frequently asked about a plunge router.

Is a plunge router necessary?

To be a professional woodworker, a plunge router is needed equipment that helps a woodworker to make sophisticated joints. For jig cut, mortises, dovetail, and tenons, you will need the plunge router.

Can you use a plunge router on a table?

Yes, you can. When you can afford only one router, you should go for the best plunge router that will allow you to perform all the tasks.

Can a plunge router be used as a fixed router?

Yes, you can use a plunge router as a fixed router, but it will limit the freedom that you could enjoy with a plunge router.

Final Thought

A plunge router is one of the most desirable equipments for every woodworker, but most of the users of this tool don’t know what does a plunge router do? Due to their lack of knowledge, they miss most of the amazing functions of this multi-function tool.

With a plunge router, you can do mortising, stopped dados, & inlay patterns on the wood easily & safely rather than any other router. As it is a handheld tool, you can use it more efficiently and perfectly.

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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