“What are the best plunge routers now?”. If you’re looking for the answer to this question, then you have landed at the right place.
For people who usually have to do woodwork, the plunge router is one of the must-have equipment in the workshop.
This item supports users to complete their tasks exactly in a short time with less effort than cutting by the traditional tools.
Compared to the fixed router, the plunge router is more and more popular thanks to its ergonomic design and high performance.
However, choosing the right one among thousands of items on the market isn’t an easy task.
That’s why we want to reveal the top 5 best overall products that are worth your consideration.
Table of Contents
- Top Rated Plunge Routers Compared
- Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Plunge Router
- 5 Best Plunge Routers – Reviews
- Frequently Asked Question About Plunge Router
- What Can You Do With A Plunge Router?
- Is It Important To Have A Router Table For Using Plunge Router?
- How Deep A Plunge Router Can Cut?
- How To Keep The Plunge Router’s Quality?
- Should I Sharpen The Router Bits?
- A Plunge Router Can Use As A Fixed Router?
- What Speed Should I Run The Plunge Router?
- Should I Choose A Fixed Router Or A Plunge Router?
Top Rated Plunge Routers Compared
|Makita RP2301FC||3-1/4 HP||9,000 - 22,000|
|BOSCH MRP23EVS||2.3 HP||10,000 – 25,000|
|DEWALT DW625||3 HP||8,000 - 22,000|
|WEN RT6033||2.5 HP||8,000 - 23, 000|
|Festool 574692||2-1/4 HP||10,000 - 22,500|
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Plunge Router
Certainly, you can base some criteria and features on finding out what most suits you on the top list. You can also rate them from 1 to 5 points to make it easier to choose.
Many people misunderstand this index about the power rating and don’t know how to choose the most suitable.
There are 2 mains factors that you should pay attention to Horse Power (HP) and Ampere (Amp).
It’s advisable to choose the item with 1.75 to 2.25 HP which is the average range for a common scale of work.
So if you don’t have to handle the super-large projects, this is an ideal choice for every user.
Besides, the professionals highly recommend over 2.25 HP products for heavy-duty works with large pieces or a large amount of wood. You can evaluate your workload to choose the most suitable capacity.
There are routers with the capacity of 2 or 3 horses, but they can work for 10 to 20 seconds at a time.
This situation is troublesome as you have to restart again and again many times. That’s why the Amp needs considering.
As usual, people can choose products with 11 Amp as the mid-range items. However, it’s highly recommended that 12 Amps or higher items are worth money as they can reduce vibrations when using.
It would be better if your tool comes with various speeds. With different wood and scales, you will need different levels to handle your jobs smoothly and effectively.
For example, the about 8,000-10,000RPM level is suitable for hard and large woods. Wood-routing tasks need about 20,000 to 22,000RPM, and the higher ranges are suitable for laminating jobs.
The more speed settings, the more flexible the router is. It’s supportive of many different activities, so it’s worth more attention.
As you’re looking for a handheld tool, size is worth considering as it significantly affects your process.
Obviously, no one wants to hold a bulky and heavy tool for about 30 minutes to hours.
The 2 common sizes of woodworking collet are 1/4 inches and 1/2 inches which influence the size of the router.
Most plunge routers are usable with both of these 2 by replacing the collet.
However, some products can work with 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch collet only. That’s why you should carefully read the information from the manufacturer to make sure you choose the right product.
As usual, people divide the plunge router into 2 main styles: standard with palm and laminate trimmer.
Standard router: Able to use with the 2 collets. This style is suitable for grooving, designing, or even routing the edge of wood pieces.
Palm and laminate router: Compatible with the smaller collet. It’s an ideal choice for 1/2 inches or thinner woods.
Ease Of Use
A plunge router isn’t quite difficult to use. However, it will appear vibrations can be a challenge for you when using and controlling, especially for those who are beginners. For that reason, check the manipulation and operation mechanism is a must-do step.
It should have features as improve ergonomics that you can hold more comfortably. You’re able to use it effectively for longer periods of time. Also, you have to make sure that the control buttons can quickly access.
Imagine that it suddenly jumps out of your hand when you turn on your tool due to the high speed and strong vibration. As the bit is still working, it’s extremely dangerous, and the router can damage you.
Soft start technology is invented to solve this problem. You can turn your tool on, and it will gradually speed up. This safety feature stabilizes the router and reduces twists simultaneously.
On each item, the collet is firmly designed with a high grip on the router. It can be a big challenge for you when you want to loosen to change the collets for different bits.
That’s why your tool needs a spindle lock. This part keeps the spindle from turning or twisting. In addition, by pressing this lock, you can loosen or tighten the collet without any effort.
The vacuum port is a wonderful benefit that not all products have. This part support you to complete your cleaning task easier thank to dust collector feature.
When you’re carrying out your project, the debris can spew everywhere to create a mess or be dangerous to your health. The vacuum port should connect easily to the dust collector that debris can not escape.
The plunge routers include a vacuum port that will cost you more than conventional models. But they’re worth your money.
Electronic Feedback Circuitry
This feature is a high-tech feature of a plunge router that follows and checks the workload when your router is operating. After that, it will adjust and maintain the suitable speed for different times of use.
As we know, different types and depths of woods will need various speeds. So it’s worth consideration as you’ll receive a better consistent result and maintain the item’s quality simultaneously.
Router Table Compatibility
For consistent or detailed woodwork, people will prepare a router table. This accessory supports you to work on a stable surface and more accurate results.
However, not all items can work with a router table. The requirement here is your router must have the swappable base to be compatible with this extra part.
It’s advisable to buy a plunge router with a swappable base. It will be suitable for common use and lending with a universal router table when you want to adjust the height of bit and detailed process.
5 Best Plunge Routers – Reviews
Here’s are the 5 best overall products with different advantages that you should deliberate carefully to choose an item that matches your requirements.
1. Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router 3.25 HP
Are you looking for a powerful router that can handle heavy-duty projects? Don’t miss this Makita Electric Plunge Router 3.25 HP RP2301FC.
What impressed us most when we use this product is the robust motor. Most products on the market come with a 1.75 to 3 HP motor; this item has a 3.25 HP one. This is the main factor that makes this router suitable for different scales of project.
There are various speeds for you to choose from. It ranges from 9,000RPM to 22,000RPM and has electric speed control, so you can rest assured that your tool will work smoothly and stably.
As it’s compatible with both 0.25-inch and 0.5-inch router bits, you can utilize this tool for different using purposes and surfaces. No matter if you want to cut or groove, it will complete the task perfectly.
In addition, LED light is available for working in low light conditions. There is no need to worry if you will have to work in a closed storehouse or at night.
It would be better if it comes with the edge guide that supports you to have a more precise cut. So you have to paint or mark on the wood surface before doing.
- Powerful 3.5 HP motor for heavy-duty projects
- Various speeds for different woods
- Compatible with 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch bits
- Includes a LED light to increase visibility in the working area
- Handles with high-grip and ergonomic design
- Lacks of the edge guide
- Don’t support clear vacuum port
2. BOSCH MRP23EVS Electronic Plunge Base Router
Among many products we’ve tried, we finally found out the best overall item – BOSCH Electronic Plunge Base Router 2.3 HP MRP23EVS.
Although this isn’t the most powerful router on this list, with a 2.3 HP motor, it’s suitable for most common woodworks. Combined with 15 Amps, it can works smoothly without sudden stops.
The ergonomic design is ideal for a long time use with 2 firms and easy-to-hold handles. Even when you’re a beginner, it’s still easy to control with a weight of 12.6 pounds.
For different tasks, you can customize the speeds to receive the most exact results. The lowest level is 10,000RPM, and the highest is 25,000RPM that you can freely choose.
We also appreciate the precise performance of this tool. It’s suitable for projects or products that require a high degree of sophistication and accuracy.
We will more satisfy if this item has the dust collection feature. This feature reduces the number of tasks of cleaning and makes it easier to do.
- Smooth and powerful operation
- Compact and ergonomic design
- Different levels of speed for tasks
- Works well with high accuracy
- Firm and stable structure for a long time use
- Excludes dust collection feature
- The screw can be a bit lose after use
3. DEWALT DW625 Plunge Router With Variable Speed 3 HP
If you’re tired of using bulky and heavy routers, a lightweight one will satisfy you a lot. And it can be DEWALT Plunge Router With Variable Speed 3 HP (DW625).
When weighing about 11.2 pounds, it’s totally easy and comfortable to use this router. For users who are women or beginners, it’s ideal and useful as a heavy item will bring you more challenges than this.
A high-performance motor with 3 HP allows you to handle different types of works. If you want to carry out a small project at home or even heavy-duty ones at work, this can be your helpful assistant.
Having a robust motor doesn’t mean this product can’t work smoothly. We were surprised by its stable and effective operation with very little vibration.
Last but not least, this plunge router is flexible for various wood surfaces and depths. You can choose the suitable bit, then adjust the speed from 8,000RPM to 22,000RPM and get started.
However, the grip level of the 2 handles is pretty low. Thus, you should pay attention to avoiding slipping, especially when your hands start to sweat.
- Lightweight for a better experience
- Easy-to-use and friendly design
- Smooth and stable working
- Have integral dust extraction adapter
- Low grip level of handles
- Quite expensive
4. WEN RT6033 15-Amp Variable Speed Plunge Router
Do you need a quality product, but the budget is your biggest obstacle preventing you from making a decision? Don’t worry, and WEN Variable Speed Plunge Router 15-Amp RT6033 will be your savior.
You may be confused as people usually say that “the cheapest is the dearest.” This opinion can be true with some low-quality items, but not with this plunge router, and we will show you why.
This router is designed to work well with a router table. You can easily adjust the base and lend it to the extra tool.
The 15 amp engine provides you with a continuous and smooth working process. It reduces a lot of vibrations for more accurate results and easier to control.
Also, it can fit on both 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits with a depth that up to 2-3/8 inches.
At a pretty low price, you can receive more than a router only. It comes with a carrying case, fence scale, dust collection duct, etc., for convenient using, cleaning, and storage tasks.
Heavyweight is the biggest disadvantage of this plunge router. At about 19.2 pounds, you may need to make more effort if you want to use this item for hours.
- Quite cheap price
- Works as a plunge or fixed router
- Works smoothly and reduces vibrations
- Includes many accessories with carrying case, guide and more
- Heavier than other products
- Excludes LED light feature
5. Festool 574692 Router Of 1400 EQ Imperial
We recommend that you choose a quality item with easy to use. If you haven’t had any idea, take a look at Festool Router 574692.
Its compact design is the first thing you should pay attention to. With the dimension of 15.55 x 11.61 x 12.8 inches, you can hold and control it straightforwardly.
A soft start feature is available to keep it stable and remove a part of vibrations. Thanks to this factor, the results are more precise and don’t consume too much time to adjust.
This product allows you to integrate it with different tools and accessories. Thus, your router can be extremely flexible and work at the highest performance.
With 1400 watt power makes it a good choice for process almost any kind of wood
One more advantage, you like this product that is the dust collection feature. Now your cleaning task is easier, and you don’t have to spend hours to make it clean anymore.
It will cost you higher than other items on this list. However, you’ll get what you pay for.
- Easy to use and compact design
- Smooth with little vibrations
- Can integrate with many accessories
- Includes dust collection feature
- 36-month warranty
- The price is pretty high
Frequently Asked Question About Plunge Router
What Can You Do With A Plunge Router?
This question is one of the most frequently asked ones as many people aren’t clear about the uses of the plunge router.
Besides, it’s the way for you to determine if this product is worth paying for or not.
When you own a plunge router, you can optimize it to:
- Create Inlay groove
- Make sophisticated products
- Protect built-in bits
- Cut tenons and route edges
- Cut dados and mortise patterns middle of a board
Is It Important To Have A Router Table For Using Plunge Router?
A router table is a familiar tool, especially with professional woodworkers. Obviously, it isn’t a compulsory thing, but this item will support you to complete your work easily.
There are some specific advantages that the router table can bring to you:
- Assists you to have the precise results
- Save time to adjust the wood pieces when processing
- Suitable for different stock shapes
- Support different types of cut
- Can cut with different depth levels
How Deep A Plunge Router Can Cut?
You can set up and adjust the plunge router with no more than 2 ¾ inches depth. This is the greatest level that your tool can reach, and the professionals don’t recommend using it frequently.
How To Keep The Plunge Router’s Quality?
Cleaning is a necessary task that you should do regularly to maintain your tool’s quality. You can follow some simple steps below to do it in the best way:
- Detach motor and the bits
- Swept to remove all the dust or stain on the motor. After that, lubricate your motor with Wax or silicon
- Take the collet out of the arbor, use a brush to remove all dust and stain. (Don’t lubricate the collet this part as it’s designed to work in dry condition)
- Clean the bits by a damp piece of clothes to reduce rust
- Sharpen your bit after cleaning to keep it sharpness
In addition, don’t forget to replace the bit or other parts when needed. You should make sure that the tool will work in the best condition.
Should I Sharpen The Router Bits?
Certainly! The sharp bits will give you more exact results. You don’t have to make many efforts to do your task and adjust the direction too much to get what you expected.
In addition, this work will maintain the bit’s quality as it removes dust and stain quickly. For that reason, you can limit the risks of getting rust on this part.
A Plunge Router Can Use As A Fixed Router?
Yes! The plunge Router can do everything as the fixed router. But it will be less precise.
Some of the plunge routers attach to a router table. So you can lock and used it accurately as a fixed router.
What Speed Should I Run The Plunge Router?
With different bit diameters, you should use different speeds for them. Otherwise, it will reduce the bit’s quality and lead to unexpected results like breaking your materials.
The below are recommended speeds for bits:
- Up to 1 inch or less: 24,000RPM
- From 1 to 2 inches: 18,000RPM
- From 2 to 2.5 inches: 16,000RPM
- From 2.5 to 3.5 inches: 12,000RPM
Should I Choose A Fixed Router Or A Plunge Router?
As the item you choose should suit your need, consider what your requirements are. Then you can compare the advantages of these 2 to determine.
- Suitable for both beginners and the professional
- Work with high precision
- Easy to handle thanks to the base
- Comes with a base table for stable working processes.
- Easy to adjust and customize
- Don’t need to stop the motor when you want to change direction or depth.
- Flexible to use in different places
- Various size and design for different requirements
In our favorite, we choose BOSCH MRP23EVS Plunge Base Router as the best overall. And we highly recommend this for users, no matter if you’re an amateur or skillful woodworker.
Compared to others on this best plunge routers list, we found it can work well with different surfaces and depths while bringing precise results simultaneously.
Ergonomic design is also worth appreciation as this will support users to have a better experience.
Finally, don’t forget to check our buying guide to make sure you have chosen the right product for your need.