What Is A Plunge Router?

Display unit for a new plunge router model.

My friend called in the other day asking me whether he should go for a fixed-base or a plunged router. My friend, of course, is a beginner in woodworking, so he is a bit tentative about his choice of power tools. He wants to know the pros and cons of these two router types. As a doting friend, I obligingly advise him to buy the plunge router, being a fan of the plunge router. 

The plunge router features an adjustable design that allows its users to regulate the router’s height depending on the task at hand. You can easily preset the cut depth of the plunge router bit. Then, you can lower the bit onto the material to cut. Besides, you can always lock the plunge router to make it work like the fixed-base router.

Facts About Plunge Router You Should Know

The plunge router can look a bit complicated at first. But once you get the hang of its use, you will soon appreciate its design and applications. The plunge router also comes with two arms on each side. The arms let you plunge the bit onto the wood to start cutting on the materials. For this reason, it is called a plunge router. You must drive the router’s cutting part onto the wood using your brute force to start cutting.

Using the plunge router, you gain more control over your router, allowing you to make a smooth routing experience and produce enhanced routing results. Others, of course, are a bit wary about whether the plunge router can deal with the edge working correctly. Yet, if you know how to use this router correctly, you will have no problem with edge-working tasks.

Advantages of the Use of the Plunge Router

As a beginner in using the router, it will be best to know what you can expect from the plunge router. Below are some of the distinct advantages of using the plunge router:

  • You will find the plunge router remarkable when adjusting the cutting depth of the router bit with utmost precision. 
  • The plunge router works according to the amount of force you apply to the cutting bit. 
  • You gain greater control of the routing process, especially when you move in the vertical direction compared to other routers. 
  • Plunge router also allows for greater mobility and versatility, letting you deal with varying cut depths with ease. 
  • It can make direct cuts on your wood pieces without any snag. 
  • It features an ergonomic design with easy-grip handles, allowing for a higher comfort level when routing. 
  • The plunge router lets you engage in more creative tasks, allowing you enough versatility.
  • It is easy to use and allows you to complete your tasks quickly.
  • Plunge routers are perfect for experienced woodworkers who are more confident in moving routers according to the demands of their work.

Disadvantages

Aside from knowing the pros of using the plunge router, it will also help if you are cognizant of the following disadvantages of the use of the plunge router:

  • The plunge router is more expensive than the fixed-base router because it offers more versatility and flexibility. 
  • It is also not ideal for use by newbies in woodworking. 
  • You need to move the plunge router across the material you would cut. Thus, you can’t use any base for this router, which can cause an issue for you.  
  • It is suitable for those who have extra money to shell out. 
  • Plunge routers are heavy and large, and thus, you need to be physically fit to use them. 
  • Since it allows for more control on your part, it opens up more chances for mistakes. 
  • Since it doesn’t have a fixed base, you need to have a steady and firm hand to use it effectively.

When Should You Use the Plunge Router?

As mentioned above, the plunge router is a versatile power tool that you can use for various applications. Below are the following applications of the plunge router:

Trimming

The plunge router is perfect for making trims. You can use it for edging with precision. Besides, if you utilize a side fence, you can further increase the accuracy of your tasks. The plunge router is highly adjustable, ensuring that you perform your job well. 

Molding

You can also use the plunge router to create molding for your desk and table edges. You can also use it to make the molding for your mirror frames and picture frames. Since it affords you better control over your tasks, you can create fantastic designs with this router. 

Drilling

You will find the plunge router handy when drilling. Since you can set the cutting depth of the plunge router, you can make precise drilling without taking out much material. Using different routing bits, you can achieve much with the plunge router. 

Cabinet Making

You can also use the plunge router when making cabinets. Before, woodworkers would use hand tools to chisel out the design of their cabinets. Nowadays, however, you can use the plunge router and achieve high cutting accuracy. You only need to set the bit’s cutting depth to start cutting.

Decorations

The sky’s the limit with the use of the plunge router. You can create awesome wood projects with fantastic designs using the plunge router. You will indeed find the plunge router handy when making intricate designs and profiles in your projects.


Conclusion

Routers are awesome power tools that you should have in your woodworking tool arsenal. Yet, given a chance to choose between a fixed-base router and a plunge router, I will always go for the plunge router. The reason is that it provides added versatility. Yet, as mentioned above, the plunge router is not best for beginners because of the added versatility that leads to lapses in control. 

But as you get the hang of the use of the router and become more proficient in its use, you should shift to the use of the plunge router in most of your routing tasks. Besides, if you are a woodworker whose mind is fueled with creativity, you should never dilly-dally in buying a plunge router for your routing tasks.

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