Routers are an essential tool for woodworkers, no matter if you are a beginner or an expert. There are two types of routers: fixed routers and plunge routers. People who have used a fixed router previously would know that it does not have versatility. A fixed router holds the cutting depth at the same level for everything you do. Thus, plunge routers gained popularity as they offered more room for creativity and versatility. You can lower the base with a plunge router while using it, even if you have previously set the base to some other depth. The range of tasks that the top plunge routers in 2021 can accomplish is incredible.
Some plunge routers have dual functionality so that you can switch to a fixed router if needed. These high-speed tools add value to your tasks, so buying the right plunge router is imperative.
DEWALT is a well-known brand for making power-packed tools. The plunge router DNP612 is one such fantastic product by DEWALT that customers have loved. The plunge base is powered by a powerful electric motor of 2.25 HP, because of which you can quickly go up to 27000 RPM. With this much power and energy, you can cut wood up to 1/64 inch deep.
The best thing about this plunge router by DEWALT is that it offers a three-year warranty. It adds to the reputation of the brand, and customers find it easy to trust them. The construction and build quality of the plunge router is promising, and customers have reviewed it to be durable and long-lasting. One of the additional features is the inbuilt LEDs, which are handy for you when working in the dark.
Bosch is another highly reputable tools brand. The company has produced many different types of plunge routers, and the PL1632 is one of the best in the bunch. It has a 6.5 amp motor that can smoothly provide 16,500 rotations in a minute. The router has a dual-mount fence, so it offers non-flex guidance. The built-in elevated stand has caught customers’ eyes as it protects the blades, increasing the product’s lifespan. The positioning of the cord is also ensured to be smooth with a ball-joint swivel.
The additional features of this plunge router are excellent as it has a lock-off and on the button, so the router does not start accidentally and cause any accidents. Furthermore, the product also comes with a dustbag. The router weighs 6.3 pounds only, so you can easily carry it anywhere. The product also offers a one-year warranty to increase the trust of customers.
If you want to add more sophistication and precision to your carpentry work, the SKIL plunge router is a perfect choice. The tool runs with a powerful motor of 2.5 HP and 14 amps. The product is a combination of a fixed-based router and an amp plunge. Thus, you can use it for a variety of products. The electronic feedback continuously maintains the RPM of the motor.
The most valuable feature is the speed control LCD because it takes off most of the workload from your shoulder. All you need to do is select the type and material in the LCD, and you will get a suggested speed with the help of the intelligent speed control feature.
The tool is safe to use because they live tool indicator feature notifies the user when connected to a power source. SKIL has left no stone unturned in terms of security as they have also added a soft start feature for ensuring a slow, controlled, and safe start to routing.
Offers a one year warranty
Comfortable and safe to use
In case of any issue, customer service does not respond promptly
As mentioned above, it is a dual-mode plunge router, i.e. you can convert it from a plunge router to a fixed router and vice versa with a simple switch. Due to this duality, TRA001 can be used for multiple projects and tasks. If you use the device in full plunge mode, the micro winder helps make fine depth adjustments. Furthermore, the variable speed and soft start features are also added to the tool to ensure the safety of users.
The side vents take care of the dust accumulated during woodwork so that your motor can remain functional for a long time. The lightweight machine is packed with heavy mechanics as it can provide you 20,000 rotations in a minute with its 15 amp motor. Triton is known for precision tools, and this dual-mode plunger has proved it.
If you are looking for excellent quality, robust and powerful machines, Metabo is your go-to store. The KM12VC HPT plunge router by Metabo impressed its customers with an 11 amp motor that provides controlled and efficient cuts. Electronic speed control is also added to the device to maintain the consistency of RPM if the caseload varies.
You can use the device for various projects, but it is best for groove cutting, pattern cutting, chamfering, window cutting, trimming, and shaping. You can rely on the tool in terms of accuracy because it has a 2-stage motor release clamp. The best part is that the router is very peaceful to work with because it produces merely 79 dB of noise. Thus, with the ergonomic design and low noise level, you can comfortably concentrate on your work.
Comfortable to use ergonomic design
Offers a warranty of five years
The very low noise level
Includes efficient features like electronic speed control
Customer service after sales is disappointing
Best Plunge Routers Buying Guide
Is it really wise to rush to the market and buy any plunge router without any thinking? The features offered by various routers are so diverse that you need to sort out what you need and buy the best plunge router accordingly.
What to Consider Before Buying a Plunge Router?
Your task requirements
All plunge routers have various features that comply with different tasks. Thus, the most important question you should ask yourself before buying a plunge router is why you need it? When you have a couple of tasks in your mind where a plunge router can be handy, you can choose a product that is best suitable for you. For instance, if you want a router to cut small edges of the wood or soften the sharp edges, you will have to buy a trim router. A trim router is specifically designed to stand on the edge of a wooden piece. Similarly, other types of routers serve different purposes.
A motor powers the router, and you can perform various tasks of different strengths depending on it. Experts recommend a mid-sized router because it can cover a wide range of tasks. From typical routing tasks to moderate profiling cuts, a mid-sized router can take care of it all. Some mid-sized routers have such a powerful machine that they can handle large profiling cuts as well. Usually, a mid-sized router has a 1.7 – 2.2 HP machine and is dual mode. A small-sized router can be too small to cater to all your needs, and an extensively large-sized device may be too big for you to work with and carry. Besides, if you are looking for a router for your DIY projects at home, a large-sized machine can be a waste of money.
What Features to Look For in a Plunge Router?
Once you are set on the type and size of the router you need for your tasks, you need to sort the right plunge router from the bunch by looking for some essential features. Even if the plunge router that you buy does not have many additional features, it should indeed have these required features:
Whenever you are buying a power tool, checking its power rating is the most important thing. It is the best way to ensure that you are purchasing the top plunge router in the market. You can find the power rating in the description or details section of the router; it is given in terms of HP. The higher the power rating of the plunge router, the better is its performance. Especially if you plan to work with hardwood, you need a plunge router powerful enough to cut through it. However, there is a trade-off between the power rating and power consumption. Usually, if the router has a higher power rating, it consumes more energy, so it is best to buy one that balances both.
Motor speed rating
Just like power rating, a motor speed rating is also a crucial aspect of a plunge router. It is given in RPM (Rotation per Minute), and as you would have guessed by now, it tells the rotation speed of the motor. Different models of the router have different speeds. Usually, a high motor speed, 27,000 RPM, is better than a low motor speed of 20,000 RPM. However, here again, the requirements of your task are essential. If you need to cut a soft piece of wood, you will need a slow-speed motor.
You cannot buy different speed motors for various tasks, so it is best to buy a plunge router to adjust the speed as required.
Safety and comfort
When working with tools, you always need to put your safety first. The cuts and injuries from powerful devices like a plunge router can be alarming. Thus, the soft start feature is of great importance. It is not safe if you turn on your router and it shoots to full speed instantly. The sudden loud noise can also be disturbing to the ears. Similarly, the machine can be tricky because it takes time to establish a firm grip on it.
A soft start ensures that the router gains its speed slowly so you can easily handle it, and your ears can also adjust to the noise. This feature is available in almost all the new models of routers but we recommend double-checking before buying one.
Best Plunge Router FAQs
Q: What is the difference between a fixed and plunge router?
A: A fixed router has a constant router bit, and you cannot change it while using it. On the other hand, a plunge router provides diversity and versatility because you can set the cut depth and then lower it while using it.
Q: Are plunge routers effective?
A: Plunge routers are practical and come in handy constantly. You can perform various tasks in no time with the help of a plunge router. The advanced features like soft start ensure the user's safety as well.
Q: Are plunge routers effective for cutting edges?
A: If you want to work with an interior surface and make small keyhole slots etc., you will need a plunge router as a fixed-base router tends to fail in such situations. However, experts recommend using trim routers for cutting edges as they are specifically designed for the job.
Q: How deep can I cut with a plunge router?
A: The depth of the cut varies from model to model, but it usually lies in the range of 2 – 3.5 inches.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.