Woodworking routers are versatile tools that can be used for different kinds of work. Fixed base and plunge routers are the two types available in the market. When buying routers there are many things that you need to taken into consideration and these include low vibration, collet size, maximum bit capacity, power of motor, smoothness and ease of operation, quality of accessory fence, ease of bit changes and availability of speed control for large diameter bits.
The router is considered the most versatile power tool in the shop. You can make use of this compact tool to cut grooves and slots, shape decorative edges, make moldings, carve signs, form raised panels, trim plastic laminate and route intricate inlays. In most operations the router is handheld but it is also mounted on table for some specific work at the shop.
There are many types of router styles including plunge, D handled and double knob handled. Good quality routers have variable speed controls that enable the users to control the speed as per the application used. Multiple handle arrangements make it easier to control the machine in different configurations. The smaller and lighter versions available in the market make them easier to handle.
Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets
The new Bosch is a fixed base and plunge router kit engineered unit. It is the best router available in the market for professional woodworkers. It has a powerful motor with soft start. The operation is smooth and the wooden handles on the fixed base make it easier to handle. Irrespective of whether you place it in a fixed or plunge mode it allows accurate adjusting.
Features and specifications
- Includes a storage case that has slots for bits, wrenches and other optional accessories. Extensive safety information is provided in a well written documentation. It is equipped with a adjustable dial for setting the cutting depth.
- The electronic variable speed controls can be adjusted easily and allows the router to start smoothly. The T-handle wrench helps make easy depth adjustments when you use it with a fixed base on any table.
- The kit box includes essentials to start plunge as well as fixed base routers. This includes plunge base, fixed base, motor, ½ and ¼ inch collet and 16mm shaft wrench.
It has easy to use depth adjustments for both fixed and plunge base. The ergonomic handle on the plunge base make it easy to handle. The locking mechanism of the router is precise and this helps prevent slippage.
Two separate wrenches are needed for bit changes. Special adapter is required for using 3rd party collars that are needed for many dove tail jigs.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a solid machine and can be your ideal choice if it is the first router in your shop. The storage case is good and can accommodate all the essentials. The table mounted router makes a good choice if it is used with a lift.
Makita RT0700CX3 1-1/4 Horsepower Compact Router Kit
The Makita has joined the ranks of powerful routers that offer more utility to woodworkers. The fixed base is comfortable to use and enables precise bit height adjustment. The plunge base is easy to control. The smooth rack adjustment system enables users to set precise settings depending on the type of work that is been done.
Features and specifications
- It has variable speed control dial that enables it to match the speed of the application. The body is ergonomically designed for increased control and comfort. The heavy duty aluminum motor has been engineered for increased durability.
- The quick release lock system makes it convenient for installing and removing base as well as for depth adjustments. It has easy to read depth scales. The base can be removed easily and this enables the users to install other bases.
The electronic speed control helps maintain a constant speed even under load. The high visibility base design has helped improve performance and handling. The shaft locks can be used for quick bit changes. The tilt base provides users the convenience to route at different angles. The removable plastic shield protects the user from any debris that is airborne.
The Makita is not big and powerful to handle the large bits that may be required for complex moldings. The dust collection is good except in cases where the bit is exposed. The plunge base lock lever is a bit short.
The Makita RT0700CX3 is a powerful trim router and is considered a good choice if you are just starting to set up shop. It looks good and has nice features. It provides great value for money.
DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s
The DEWALT DWP611PK is an amazing router kit available in the laminate trimmer class. It is the only router that has a combo kit in this class. This ensures that you get both the fixed and plunge in a single package. It is a good piece of equipment for users looking to use it for different applications that includes small (bevel) cuts, heavy flush trimming and large edge profiles. The clear sub base provides clear visibility as you work. The versatile design of the router enables it to be used for jobs that do not require a full router.
Features and specifications
- It includes an extended 8 slot. The 0.25 inch cullet makes it easy to maximize the level of surface contact. It is equipped with a LED light that makes it easy to use even in environments where there is not much light or darkness.
- The plunge and fixed bases are included. It has a soft starting motor with variable speed control option. The turret shop can be adjusted easily in 5 easy steps. It comes with a variable speed as users may have to adjust the speed depending on the type of work they do.
- It is sold with a three year warranty. The contoured grip is low and near the surface and this provides users with a good level of control. This enables you to use it for a longer period of time without any stress.
The smooth plunge action is good. It is precise and easy to adjust. Users are provided a secured depth locking system and easy bit change option. When in fixed control base it offers users amazing control and balance. It is small and lightweight for a machine with its power and strength. When you use it in a fixed base mode, you may be able to handle it with just one hand.
The raised dimple aluminum used on the grips may not be comfortable as the hands get sweaty. You may not be able to grip it properly and this can affect your performance and speed. The rubber grips made for better grips as they ensured that your hands do not slip as you sweat.
The DEWALT DWP611PK is a powerful machine that gets users value for their money. It has great power, ease of use, versatility and affordability as its wining features and this definitely increases the bar for its competitors in this category. This has made it a favorite choice among professionals and beginners.
PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router
The PORTER-CABLE 690LR is a 11 amp power tool that can easily form grooves and cut efficiently. The two handles are designed ergonomically so that they are easy to handle. The handles are located at a strategic point of the tool so that routing becomes simpler. This ensures that your hands are comfortable and you do not feel the strain even when you work for long hours.
Features and specifications
- The 1/2′ and 1/4′ is a good feature as most workers have both types of bits. The router bits can be easily set in place. The auto launch system that is available keeps the bit from freezing.
- Two wrenches are available that enable you to tighten or loosen the collet. This can be done easily if the router is placed on the workbench. T-bolt enables you to fix the height of the router easily.
It is versatile and can be used with different kinds of bases. If you are working on different types of woodworking it can be useful. Shifting the bits is easy.
The position of the switch can be an inconvenience.
The PORTER-CABLE 690LR is a good choice if you are looking for efficacy and power. It is recommended if you are a professional. The quality of the router is unparallel and this makes it a popular choice.
You can make the choice of woodworking routers depending on type of work you wish to do. Learn about the features and specifications of each router so that you may be able to choose wisely. Depending on the type of work that needs to be done, you can choose from the many different types available in the market.