9 Best Plunge Routers in 2021

Have you considered the relevance of different router types for your projects, if you don’t have a lot of woodworking experience?

Choosing the right one without guidance is not as easy as it might seem.

In fact, in case you have a specific router need or want to learn about their different designs and kinds, but are not ready to spend a lot of time on comprehensive research, then sticking to your first choice can be a real life-saver.

But at the same time, you need to know that there’s more than just one particular option that can fulfill your needs perfectly.

Fret no more, because finding the right plunge routers is not rocket science, and this guide will provide exactly what you need to know when choosing between them.

Top 9 Plunge Routers Comparison Table

PictureNameMaximum HPMotorRating (1-5)
1. DEWALT DW616PK Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Combo Kit1-3/4 HP11 Amp4.7
2. Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ Imperial1.88 HP11.7 Amp4.6
3. Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake3-1/4 HP15 Amp4.7
4. Makita RF1101 2-1/4 HP Router2-1/4 HP11 Amp4.7
5. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit2-1/4 HP12 Amp4.8
6. Metabo HPT Router Kit, Fixed/Plunge Base2-1/4 HP11 Amp4.6
7. Festool 574689 Router OF 2200 Imperial3 HP15 Amp4.2
8. Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit2-1/4 HP11 Amp4.5
9. DEWALT Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit2-1/4 HP12 Amp4.8

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Plunge Router

When choosing a plunge router, there are several things you should consider. Using the right kind of plunge router for the task will help you to get better performance out of it and achieve the results you want.

A plunge router can be used in different applications and each of them has a set of needs. Depending on the application, you will find a specific type of plunge router that would be appropriate.

The following factors need to be considered when buying the best plunge router in the market.

Size

When it comes to size you are not going to consider how large the machine is but rather the diameter of the collet. This is the one that holds the router bits and thus needs to be of the right size depending on your work.

Collet sizes come in two options with a ¼ inch and ½ inch.

However, some plunge routers allow you to use both sizes by swapping out the collet which is a key feature for ease of use.

Speed

Routers come in varying speed levels with the best-having speed of up to 22,000 RPMs. The speed of the router depends on what you are working on.

It is crucial that the router you get provides for proper speed adjustment to suit your type of job. When buying plunge routers ensure that you factor variable speed options for the machine you want.

Style

When it comes to buying a plunger router you need to examine the kind of work it can deliver. There are three style options to pick from. They are standard, palm, and laminate trimmer.

The standard is a large, heavy, and powerful tool that can hold both ¼ inch and ½ inch bits. It is ideal for heavy-duty jobs such as routing design and grooves.

The palm and laminate trimmers are lighter, small, and less powerful tools ideal for smaller bits. Checking this element is crucial for their ability to deliver perfect work.

Soft Start

When buying a plunger router, you need to consider how it starts the power when it turns on. The ideal one should gain power gradually for easy handling.

Besides, this is a safety feature that will ensure you avoid accidents when using your plunge router. Choose the one which has good power control especially if you are new to using this tool.

Table Compatibility

It is easy to work with a plunge router when it is on a flat surface. When seeking the right router, ensure that you factor in the ability to place it on a table.

This will provide a flat surface to work on for adjustment of length. However, not all routers will be compatible with router tables which you need to take into account when choosing the one to buy.

Spindle Lock

Safety is vital when it comes to using woodwork tools. Thus, it is crucial to consider a router that has a spindle lock.

This will ensure that the collet is tightly fastened when in use. This will ensure that the collet does not turn when you power on the router.

Electric Frequency Circuitry

When buying a plunge router, you need to ensure that you check for the one with electric frequency circuitry. This will monitor the nature of work the router is experiencing to adjust the power output.

Control is vital when using power tools and this is one of the features you have to examine during the buying process.


Top 3 Best Plunge Router Reviews

1. DEWALT DW616PK Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Combo Kit

Product Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 15.88 x 24 x 9.13 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎6 pounds
  • Maximum HP: 1-3/4 HP
  • Motor: 11 Amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Warranty: 1 year

The DEWALT DW616PK Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Combo Kit is an ideal kit that stands out as the perfect choice for a woodworker who needs an ideal tool for their work.

It comes with both plunge and fixed options which makes it possible to use a router table that will ensure that every woodwork task is done with ease.

The 1-3/4-horsepower motor delivers 11.0 Amps of power to perform demanding routing tasks quickly and smoothly.

The router features two bases — a fixed base and plunge base — that increase your versatility so you can adapt to nearly any style of the workpiece.

The fixed base allows you to keep the router in a steady position as you work, while the plunge base enables you to plunge the bit straight down into the work.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Has the ability to use different bit sizes
  • Supports both plunge and fixed base
Cons
  • May be a bit small for router table use

2. Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ Imperial

Product Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 15.55 x 11.61 x 12.8 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎17.9 pounds
  • Maximum HP: 1.88 HP
  • Motor: 11.7 Amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Warranty: 3 years

The Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ Imperial features a soft grip that helps reduce operator fatigue so you have more energy for your projects. An integrated slide switch means you can use only one hand to operate the tool.

The motor is very powerful, up to 11.7 Amp with a maximum speed of 22,500 RPM so you can quickly plunge large depths in your workpiece.

The Festool 574692 has micro-adjustability, plunge depth, and adjustable position turret that lets you route with maximum precision.

This router comes with a precision depth adjustment feature that ensures smooth working with a fine-tuned cut. The micro-adjustability dial to 1/256″ (1/10mm) allows routing with maximum precision.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to handle
  • Very precise
Cons
  • A bit expensive

3. Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake

Product Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 12.99 x 9.06 x 12.6 inches
  • Item Weight: ‎14 pounds
  • Maximum HP: 3-1/4 HP
  • Motor: 15 Amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake offers variable speed, electronic speed control, and an electric brake for ease-of-use features. It delivers powerful precision with smooth plunge action and superior performance.

The 15 Amp motor maintains a constant speed under load and features an electronic speed control.

This helps to prevent the bit being pushed too fast into the wood which causes the bit to become dull faster. The electronics also reduce vibration allowing you greater control over your router.

This 3-1/4 HP plunge router has a variable speed trigger for added control at your fingertips.

It has an improved ergonomic rubberized handle that not only feels solid but is durable enough to withstand years of use.

It also comes with a built-in two-finger switch for added control and a lock-on trigger for continuous operation, as well as twin L.E.D. lights that illuminate the work area for you to see better what you’re working on.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Well-built
  • Smooth turn-on
  • Electronic turn-off brake works well
Cons
  • The dust collection could be better

Frequently Asked Questions 

There are many questions people have relating to the ideal and effective plunge router to use for their needs. It is important to have a proper idea about what to expect from a router that you choose to use.

What Can I Do With a Plunge Router?

Plunge routers enable you to change the depth and height of cut. It is a versatile tool that creates similar effects to a drill press.

It also allows you to make plunge cuts, trimming, shaping, grooving and other cutting techniques.

The most significant thing that you can do with a router is the ability to achieve the right design for your wood boards. This tool enables you to come up with the right designs, dado’s, mortise, and modern pattern boards. You can as well apply this device for flushing edges and design on laminates.

How Do You Use a Plunge Router With a Table?

It is ideal to use a plunger router on a table to ensure that its base is stable. You may opt for a router table or retrofit for your plunge router. The fixed base router would be an ideal option to use with a table.

Before you mount your router on a table, ensure that you examine your device for the ideal bits, motor, and collet. Then clamp the guide to the table in a way that the router is pushed downwards.

Put the router bits in the collet and adjust the gauge to the required depth. It is important that you hold the router firmly for stability.

Can You Use a Plunge Router for Edges?

A plunge router can be used for cutting on edges. A plunge router comes in different models, sizes, and shapes. It has a motor that can be controlled electronically to create a variety of cuts or designs.

The plunge router is ideal for shaping edges such as making decorative patterns or angles.

The different models allow for different cuts to be achieved on the edge of the surface, depending on your preference or the design you are working on.

Can a Plunge Router be Used as a Fixed Base Router?

You can use a plunger router to perform all the tasks done by a fixed router. However, there would be a slight difference in the level of accuracy you would get when using a plunger.

A fixed router would give a high level of accuracy that you would get from a plunger router when doing the same job. Due to the few moving parts in a fixed router, it gives more precise solutions.

How Deep Can a Plunge Router Cut?

The level of depth you can achieve with a plunge router depends on the model you are using. Most of the high-end routers will give you 2-3/4 inches of depth.

However, when using a lighter model of a router you will get less depth than with heavier ones.

Which is Better: Fixed or Plunge Router?

It may be confusing to pick the ideal one between the two. However, several aspects have to be taken into account before we conclude on the ideal one.

When it comes to accuracy, easy control, and lightweight, a fixed base router would be ideal. Besides, it works better with a routing table than the plunge router. These two perform similar tasks through the fixed base will give better results.

When it comes to picking one between the two, the fixed base will carry the day for many people.

What Does a Plunge Router Bit Look Like?

Plunge router bits have a bit shape that looks like, well, plunging into something. The plunge router uses a plunging mechanism for inserting a bit.

This bit will make holes in different types of material with precision. They are also perfect for making mortises and other kinds of niches.

What is the Difference Between a Trim Router and a Plunge Router?

There are slight differences between these two types of routers. The trim router is small and light which makes it ideal for flushing edges.

A trim router is used primarily for dealing with the edges of laminates. Owing to their lightweight they have high power output thus most come with a speed control mechanism.

A plunge router on the other hand is a heavy and large device that is ideal for various tasks. Plunge routers can as well be mounted on a routing table for effective use. You can do many tasks using the plunge router, unlike the trim router.

Should I Get a Router or Plunge Router?

This question will depend on the nature of the job and the experience you have. A router has a fixed bit while the plunge router allows for adjustments. Each is ideal for different tasks and solutions.

Depending on the nature of the work you should identify the one ideal for the solutions you want. However, a plunge router would be ideal due to its versatile usage in woodwork solutions.

Conclusion

A router is a great addition to your woodworking projects. It integrates speed and accuracy into your work and makes it easy to complete on time.

It is important to make the right choice for the kind of router you are going to buy for your needs. This will ensure that you get the right one to match your skills and budget as well.

There are many brands you will come across in the market, hence the need to research each router.

Every router model brings some exceptional solutions to your work. Getting a router that will offer a wide range of solutions is vital. This will ensure that you reduce the level of investment in such devices.

When it comes to making a choice between a fixed and plunge router, it comes down to the experience you want. The nature of the task as well as an influence on the type of router you are supposed to get for your needs.