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Many people claim that wood routers are an essential and most versatile tool in a woodworker shop, and we agree with them. With the right one, you could create many marvels of beauty. That opens up many questions such as – which one should you use, how small or how big, or how fast should it be?

A perfect wood router will help the user shape wood edges, ‘’rout out’’ grooves, create joints, come up with many intricate designs and perform other functions. Knowing what types of wood routers are available and understanding their differences, you will be able to purchase an ideal one that will meet your needs.

If you want to learn more about these units and which one should you use, just keep reading.

Fixed Base Routers


This router is a perfect machine for users who just began woodworking because they are very easy to use.  It delivers best when fitted on a bench or a router table. They are ideal for projects that demand straight lines accuracies such as molding tasks and edge cutting.

When it comes to the weight of these machines, they are lighter than the plunge ones which also makes them easier to use. The difference between this one and the plunge one is that you cannot adjust the fixed router for blade depth while the other one can.

Before you begin using this device, first you need to set the depth of the blade. It will remain the same while using this tool for a particular job. So, when it comes to these units, gouging or over cutting is out of the picture.

Needless to say, that they are also excellent for projects that require a router table and for repeat applications.

product image of dewalt dwp611pk compact router

Differences

Fixed base routers will be a perfect option for most home projects. They are fantastic edge sharpers, and thanks to their weight and size, they are very easy to operate. That’s why most of the beginners choose this unit.

 

PROS

  • Perfect for beginners and home use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Precise cuts 
  • Deliver best when fitted on a bench or a router table
  • Affordable
  • Simple to use

CONS

  • Not so versatile
  • Cannot perform gouging or over cutting because of the fixed base

Plunge Router


This router is an ideal option for the experienced and professional workers because this tool can perform for different applications including the free hand jobs as well as those that are template based. Their soft start system will ensure control and stability while operating it.

A plunge router allows you to adjust the depth of a cut while using it. Thanks to the depth stop you will be able to precisely plunge it to the proper depth while the machine is turned on. They can be used to cut incised letters, mortises, stopped dados, and grooves.

The main disadvantage compared to fixed one is that the plunge router mechanism adds weight to the machine. Although this unit is safer for the worker, it may take some time to get used to this machine, especially for those who have been working on a fixed base router.

Black & Decker RP250

Differences

If you need to create perfect cuts at the center of your workpiece, then the plunge router is an ideal option for you. You can quickly make through the pattern, mortise, cuts and deep grooves and template work. It may be a little heavier than the fixed base router because its mechanism adds weight to the unit.

PROS

  • Can adjust the depth of a cut 
  • Safer than the fixed router
  • Precise cuts in the center of your workpiece 
  • Increased control of vertical movement

CONS

  • A bit pricey
  • You cannot use this router with a fixed base table

Combo Router Kits


These routers are an excellent option for those users who need to change its bases in most of their work. The great thing about this machine is that it offers both fixed and plunge base options. To replace them, all you have to do is remove the engine from the one base and set it on the other one.

It is very easy to increase your design capability with this unit because they have the features of both plunge and fixed base. One of its advantages is that you can leave the one to carry around your shop and attach the other one to the router table.

Combo Router Kit

Differences

This router kit will provide you both fixed and plunge base. And the great thing about it is that you can get it for a lower price and have all the features of machine’s different types.

PROS

  • Both plunge and fixed base functionalities
  • It costs less to buy it, than purchasing two different machines.

CONS

  • Changing bases frequently

Conclusion


We hope that this article was helpful and that will be easier for you to decide which type of router is the best for you. With these three different types of wood router, you can choose which one will suit your needs. Don’t forget that for the lower price you will get the combination kit, which will provide you all the feature of both plunge and fixed base.

Different Types of Wood Routers
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