You can make anything with a pile of wood and a good quality plunge wood router. That is an excellent tool for both beginners and professionals. A variable speed ’’soft start’’ and a little less peak horsepower eliminate damaging the material before you begin cutting.

Many woodworkers say that this unit is like one of those TV remote controls that has a lot of functions and buttons.  But, few of these people understand its full capabilities. That usually comes from users who have experience with the fixed-base routers.

But, if you start out with the plunge one, then you will become accustomed to it because they have a wide range of use. If you learn to operate it correctly, you can save yourself a lot of headaches and wasted wood. “One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” Elbert Hubbard, author, and teacher.

Because of the fixed-base router, this versatile appliance gets pushed to the side too often. But, in this article, we will show you nine ideas to use the plunge one most effectively.

If you want to know more, all you have to do is read on.

1. Mortising

It is convenient for your small woodworking shop because it uses a highly versatile tool – wood router, produces great results and it is efficient. The results are top-notch, and the technique is easy to master. The best part is that the whole process takes just a few minutes.

The key is the easy-to-use and simple-to-build mortising jig. The working pieces of it consist of the two adjustable guides and an auxiliary baseplate. A hardboard that is placed along the workpiece includes this baseplate.

Image of Simple Mortising

The heart of the jig are the guides that serve two purposes.

By allowing you to reference the cut off one edge, they are used to accurately and easily position the mortise in the workpiece.

To give you secure control of the unit as the mortise is being cut, the guides will sandwich the wood snugly.

That way you will be able to carve accurate mortises.

To begin, you will need the bit installed in your router and the jig in place. Lower the bit to the surface, when you position the jig on the workpiece and then reposition it so you can center it on the layout.

Snug and tighten down the guides up to the workpiece. Plunge the inside of the end line to begin the cut. Before routing forward rout back to the layout border. Clamp a stop block to the workpiece to end the cut right to the line. This technique will give you top-notch results.

2. Doweling

You need to make the same jig as for mortising. For versatile dowel setups create multiple tops with different spacing between the holes. When you set up this jig, as you have done for mortising, you can plunge the holes.

Repeat this action for the mating workpiece and compile the joint with the dowels and glue.

3. Stopped Flutes, Grooves, and Dadoes

For these field cuts, you can’t use a fixed base router because there is a chance to damage your project. But, with a plunge one, you can quickly get these tasks done.

Just use a clamp – on an edge or straightedge guide that is made by the unit’s manufacturer.

It will be almost flawless if you add stops at each end.

Stopped Flutes, Grooves, and Dadoes

4. Circle Routing

Place your device on a trammel arm that circles one point. You can quickly cut out the workpiece from a more massive unfinished wood. The best part is that you can do this without using a saw.

5. Inlay

The best way to create tight-fitting inlays is to use a plunge router. You will eliminate the chance of veering off course by using templates with guide bushings or bearing-guided. Whether the inlay serves to patch a flaw in the wood or for decoration, with the store-bought kits, you can rout the recess.

6. Keyholes

If you want to hang something on the wall without using a wire or a hanger bracket you can make a slotted keyhole. It is the best option for you mainly because the shank and screw head slip into the slot and you won’t be able to see it. Some router bits are made explicitly for creating these keyhole slots in different sizes.

image of screw head in the slotted keyhole

Choose the right one for the screw you will use. For larger projects, you can use two or three keyhole slots or one for a smaller one. Lay out your keyholes accordingly and drive the screws into wall studs.

The technique is the same for placing the keyholes on horizontal or vertical elements of your work. The next thing is to plunge into the back to the adjusted depth.

The rest is simple; rout about one inch or maybe two of the slot, turn off your unit and get back to the place where you plunged in before setting up the device.

7. Dual-Light Offset Subbase

LED lights and laser locators will be made this subbase perfect for a plunge router tasks. For lining up a plunge cut, use the crosshair lasers which are excellent for this job. With the LED light you will be able to see tasks that are hardly visible.

8. Dust Hoods

Dust hoods sometimes come as accessories, but some manufacturers include them with the appliances. With it, you will be able to dust and gobbling up chips when hooked to a shop vacuum.

9. Sign Making

That is a very simple task that requires two options. First, you need to draw the letters or sign onto your unfinished wood and after that rout freehand along all the lines.

For this project, you need to have a steady hand.


A plunge router is a powerful tool of the modern wood shop. We hope that this article helped you to discover more ideas on how to use this appliance more effectively.