A good plunge router is like a woodworker’s armory.
If you’re a woodworking nerd like me, you know I’m not exaggerating.
But if you’re part of 99% of the folk who gave so much effort on cutting but struggling to get desired smooth cut, then honey it’s time to rethink about your tool. The chances are you’re using the wrong tool for the job.
If you have a good router kit at hand, you will realize how easier and safer it is to perform the routing using a plunge router. We often say that: plunge routers go where no other router can.
And it’s true!
Want to give a try? Sound’s good. Today I want to dive deeper into what plunge router is, the difference between a plunge router and a fixed router, and my favourite list of the best plunge router. So, let’s get this show on the road. Ready?
Quick Pick: Top-Rated Plunge Router
- Pick# 1: Bosch router 1617evspk – “Best plunge router fine woodworking”
- Pick#2: Dewalt router plunge base – “Best plunge router for the money”
- Pick# 3: Makita RT0701CX7 plunge router – “Best plunge router with dust collection”
- Pick# 4: Skil plunge router 1835 – “Best budget plunge router”
What Is A Plunge Base Router?
Let’s clarify what a plunge base router actually is.
Well, the plunge is also known as a deep cutable wood router. Especially, plunge router used for mortising, inlay pattern, stopped dados, and specialized bits. These four types of works are the main works, which you can do with a plunge base router.
During a woodcut you need much vertical movement with a router, as for this matter, plunge base router is quite an endurance to do enough vertical movement while cutting something. Indeed, a plunge base router is a functional and versatile router that can enter a deeper surface in a wood.
You bet it is!
Also, the plunge base router is adjustable at any template and pattern. You can complete the whole work without facing any trouble with a plunge router. The size of the plunge needle blades is increasable and decrease able. I think you acquire about plunge base router.
7 Best Plunge Router Kit to Stand Out From the Crowd
Here are our top 7 trendy plunge router reviews 2020 that you can grab your hands on.
1. Bosch 1617evspk Wood Router
Here you go, Bosch router 1617evspk is the right fit of what you yearn for. This kit offers all the components needed for fixed-depth routing.
Specification at a glance
- Amperage: 12.0
- Base Diameter: 6″ Fixed/ 6-11/16″ Plunge
- Plunge Depth: 2-1/4″
- Voltage: 120V
- Fixed-Base Depth Range: 1-5/8″
- Case Type: Hard plastic
- Power Source: Corded-electric
Why am I calling it versatile?
This simple looking powerhouse has a broad range of applications- including edge forming, slot cutting, bit plunging, dovetail cutting and laminate trimming.
As good as it sounds!
Now let’s talk about construction. Fully constructed by Aluminum, this is so far the durable wood routers on a fixed base. But the best part of this tool is most probably the soft grip wooden handles. You won’t feel that you are holding a machine for that extended period of time.
It’s time to see what’s actually includes with the router. You will get:
- Fixed base
- A plunge base
- Collet chucks (1/4 inch and 1/2 inch)
- Shaft wrench
- Collet nut wrench
- Chip shields
- Carrying case
What’s quite a lot, isn’t it? The things that impress me most, with the help of response circuitry, this router ensure a stable speed while you’re working.
And the result?
Cleaner, more accurate cut within a blink!
We all know, 12-amp is the most powerful tool used in woodworking and all these kinds of stuff. You will be that this 1617evspk is also 12-amp with 8,000-25,000 RPM. And I guess 2.25-horsepower is also decent to clean result.
Still not convinced with RPM?
Well, the speed-control technology is so advanced that this will automatically monitor the RPM fluctuation for smooth performance.
- Microfine bit-depth adjustment
- Double insulated
- Compatible with a good chunk of set and template
- The adjustment knob is a joke
2. Dewalt DWP611PK Plunge Base Router
It’s so surprising to see a low tool weight has such Heavy-duty, die-cast aluminium base. Durable 1.25HP motor is so good to meet the toughest applications.
Specification at a glance
- Load Speed: 16,000-27,000 rpm
- Power Tool Type: Corded
- Amps: 7.0 Amps
- Spindle Lock: 12 Positions
- Depth Stop: 5
- Power Source: ac
- Voltage: 120 Volts
The DWP611PK is absolutely a beast when it comes to speed to be optimized. Powerful 1.25HP motor will take good care to tackle the toughest woodworking tasks.
But wait – there’s more.
Want to try plunge base? No issue, for plunge base, its 2″. Impressive, low-pressure spindle lock button let you change the wrench effortlessly.
Here is the coolest one:
The precise depth adjustments ensure quick motor pack removal. You will enjoy this for both bit and base changes.
The feature I adore most is the LED light. This light offers amazing bit visibility. Large plunge base platform is so handy for added stability. This got the certified frustration-free batch, so don’t worry about quality.
Let’s not forget: Soft-starting motor gives the best electronic feedback so that you get the cut effortlessly.
- Overmolded rubber handles
- Dual LED’s
- Extended sub-base
- The base feels like a little sloppy
3. Makita RT0701CX7 Plunge Router
Don’t even try to deny it!
Looks like Makita read your minds and by the help of experts woodworker designed the makita rt0701cx7 1-1/4 hp compact router kit to blow your mind.
What’s so special about Makita compact router kit?
Let’s take a closer look.
Specification at a glance
- Size: Medium
- Plunge depth capacity: 0” – 1-3/8”
- Material: Brass
- Power Source: Electric-powered
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Horsepower: 1.25
Weighs only 3.9 lbs, this ergonomic design router has some cool feature. While the flat top plays a great role in inconvenience when changing bits.
The most unsexy part of the plunge router, the takes hell amount of time to be removed as well as to install the new one. And this Makita solves this problem with this router tool; now you can easily the base easily. The shaft lock is also designed for fast bit changes (uses ¼” shank router bits).
Sound’s amazing, isn’t it?
That’s not all, Non-marring base insert will automatically maximize the workpiece protection. Have to work a lot under pressure? No worry, Electronic speed control ensures a stable speed under load.
But I’m pretty much sure, Smooth rack and pinion depth adjustment system is the finest feature Makita ever produced. If you are a professional woodworker and have to operate the precise settings more often, then you will realize how handy this adjustment system is actually.
- Variable speed control dial
- Shaft lock
- Easy-to-read depth scales
- The on/off switch sucks
4. Hitachi KM12VC Plunge Router
At the heart of the Hitachi Router Kit is an 11-amp motor with 2-1/4 peak horsepower. Comfort and portable- this super tool is the combination of these two.
Yes, you read that right.
For comfort, solidly designed handles will give you for accuracy, and precision. For portability, they keep their weight at minimal scale, only 7.3 pounds for the fixed base while the only 9.9 pounds for plunge base.
Specification at a glance
- Color: Green
- Style: KM12VC
- Power Source: Corded-electric
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Horsepower: 2.25
- AMP: 11
What is the very first thing you noticed when you got the package at hand?
A greenish protective case, right?
That’s so cool how accessories fit securely in the package safe. And it’s a big plus for easy travel while you go for job sites. Actually, this case makes it a bit pricey, but worth it.
With the nickel-plated housing, this stuff got the adjustable no-load speed of 8,000 to 24,000 RPM so that you can operate the perfect setting according to the task.
What’s in the Box?
- KM12VC Fixed and Plunge bases
- Collet chuck (1/2-inch)
- Collet chuck (1/4-inch)
- 7 template guides
- Centering gauge
- 3 wrench (16-mm, 23-mm, and 10-mm)
- Sub base (B)
- 4-mm hex-bar wrench
- 10 hex socket HD bolt M5x10
Featuring electronic speed control, this power tool make sure you get constant RPM even when the load fluctuate and get precise cuts every time. Another great thing, this kit is backed by Hitachi’s 5-year warranty.
Here is the kicker:
The KM12VC plunge base kit is a versatile tool that supports both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch bits. That means thar’s suitable with the bits found in most workshops. The 2 decent collet chuck is mainly for easy bit changes.
- Easy base changes
- Electronic speed control
- Class-leading noise level
- Require workarounds
5. Porter-Cable Router (Fixed/Plunge Base Kit)
This Multi-Base Kit is supercharged by a decent, low-noise 2-1/4 HP motor along with 10,000 – 23,000 RPM superior electronic feedback. That means you will get precision for superior results- at an affordable price.
Specification at a glance
- Color: Gray
- Amp: 12
- Style: Router
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- RPM: 10,000 – 23,000
- Special Features: Plunge
- Included Components: Fixed base, Plunge base
- Dimensions: 9.00 x 6.00 x 12.20 inches
With the 12-amp motor, you’ll gonna have a soft-starting. On the other hand, this ensures full-time electronic feedback to operate the speed through, no matter how tough the task.
Above everything, the user-friendly design will impress you. Not only has a low noise tool, but also Dual-position switch will allow you to get power at the same time control of the router.
Good for you!
Flat side on the base makes it perfect to work in tighter spaces. I didn’t see any plunge router with the 6-position adjustable turret. This is such an awesome feature which allows stepped or repeated plunge cuts.
And that’s crazy!
Apart from the router, there are a bunch of necessary accessories like a carrying case, a transparent sub-base, self-releasing collets, a wrench, table-top height adjustment handle and dust collection insert.
As woodworker has to hold the router for quite a long time, that’s why the handle is a big issue. And the good news is this porter-cable tool has over-moulded grips for utmost comfort.
- Clear Lexan sub-base
- Dual-position switch
- Base allows a straight reference point
- Poor quality spindle lock
6. Triton 3-1/4 Hp Dual-Mode Plunge Router
What’s the reason behind it?
Powerful 3 1/4 HP Motor is good enough to tackle the toughest timber with precision. Total control is ensured with precision designing.
Specification at a glance
- Voltage: 110-120V
- RPM: 8000-21000
- Motor: 3 1/4 Horsepower
- Plunge range: 0 – 2 3/5″
- Collet: 1/2″ & 1/4″
- Weighs: 14.33 lbs
First and foremost, it’s such a smart tool, can be used as hand-held or table-mount. The process of change is super easy.
For hand-held, you will find a single button switch to convert in the fixed-base router with pinion mode.
What about table mounting?
For that, you will find Quick-Fit Pins at the base. There is also a removable spring allows for simple bit adjustment.
Let’s unbox the package:
- Triton TRA001 Plunge Router
- Multi-Function Fence
- Collet (1/2″ and 1/4″)
- Collet Wrench
- Table Height Winder
Undoubtedly, the feature that keeps it ahead from the rest of the other is easy to use. How? There are certain cool features like Built-in Router Lift which allow a simple way of bit changes.
Another one is the automatic spindle lock which plays a crucial role in safe bit changes. Above all, the Access Brushes make changing a breeze.
The interesting part is how Side air vents minimize the risk of dust intake into the motor casings.
- Easy to Use
- Always Safe
- 3-Stage Turret
- The power switch is on horrible position
7. Skil 14 Amp Plunge Router
Introducing Skil plunge router- 2. 5 HP motor that lets you match superpower to the bit you’re using for multi-functionality.
This woodworking router allows you to convert between both fixed- and plunge-base effortlessly.
Specification at a glance
- Collet Size: 1/4″ and 1/2″
- No Load Speed: 10,000-25,000 rpm
- Power: 10 Amps
- Motor: 2. 5 HP
- Weight: 16.02 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.6 x 10 inches
With soft start technology, the kit may start slow, so that offer time to adjust. On the other hand, precise depth adjustments ensure optimum RPMS.
If you are in the woodworking profession, you know better how the machine vibrates while working. This is not only making a distraction on work but also annoying. To solve the problem, This Skil plunge kit designed the tool with ergonomic handles to reduce fatigue and vibration over long use.
Not only the tool, the package also includes a couple of necessary pieces of stuff like – collets(1/2 inch and 1/4 inch), collet wrench, 2 dust extraction adapters, clear sub-base, an edge guide, an additional wrench for depth adjustment, and chip shields.
Seems like a solid performer in speed control, allow to adjust the speed. The safety feature is so rare in plunge router, but skil also care good care of it.
There is a Live Tool Indicator which lit up when the tool is connected to power to keep you alert and secure. Such a great tool for small, DIY projects!
- Three LED lights
- LCD display
- Maintain optimum RPMS
- The digital part is not so accurate
What Is The Difference Between A Plunge Router And A Fixed Router?
So, we talk about before about what the fixed and plunge router exactly is.
Let’s be honest; these two routers work really great and outstanding. But there have some minor points, and these points separate these two amazing router into two different sides. We both know how the plunge router and fixed router work.
In this matter, these aren’t similar to their works. So, let’s define the differences between Plunge router and fixed router.
Router Excel: There have some differences in the router scale between these two useful routers. With the plunge router, you can adjust the scale as deep as you want. Because you can minimize the body and excel with it as your requirement.
As for the fixed router, you can’t increase or decrease the excel limit as you want. Because of the limit is adjusted as a regular excel limit initially while it was manufactured.
Versatility & functionality: While it comes to the versatility of these two routers, the plunge is best to buy. The reason is, the plunge has more versatility and functions than fixed routers have. You can change the blade, needles, upper plate easily of plunge routers, but you can separate the parts and add some necessary parts in a fixed router.
Depth cut: Plunge router is so good for the deep cut because you can handle its up-down limit. A fixed router is good for a quick cut, but it’s not perfect for depth cut still.
Router speed: For speed instance of these two major routes, for 1-2 inches diameter plunges maximum speed is 17000-17500rpm speed. On the other hand, for 1-2 inches diameter fixed router maximum speed is 18000rpm. That means a fixed router is faster than plunge routers.
Router vs jigsaw what are the differences?
The differences are given below-
- Jigsaw has long sharp blades and they are used for cross-cuts, rip cuts and angled cuts. Unlike a jigsaw, the router is used to round and trim down the edges of the wood.
- Jigsaw is used to cut down the wood apart, but routers are used to do hollow cuts.
- In a jigsaw there are large sharp blades, but in routers, there are small standing bits.
What Is The Advantage Of A Plunge Router?
A plunge router is one of the most anticipated tools in woodwork.
Of course, before it was invented, people do their work. Like mortising, stopped dados and inlay pattern work with their hands. But while it enters the market, people loved its Excellency works, and they found numerous advantages of a plunge router.
Is a plunge router necessary?
Perhaps, you are a beginner as a woodworker, and basically, it’s normal that you don’t know much about plunge router advantages. Don’t panic about it, because I have a specific advantage of the plunge router list for you.
Overall, after seeing and gain the advantages of a plunge router, you might be able to learn more about plunge router benefits. Here are the advantages of the Plunge router.
Plunge router can go some deep area where other routers can’t enter. That means you can size your wood as you want to shape.
Particularly, the plunge router is very suitable and incredible as a template router. Most of the router creates issues when you move the router on a template. In this case, the plunge router won’t create any problems with your templates.
- A plunge router is very optimal and flawless for Inlay Grooves.
- Uniquely, the plunge router is the burn-free stopped flutes. This is one of the amazing benefits and advantages of using a plunge router.
- You can say plunge router as a superstar at Cutting Mortises. When it comes to cutting mortises, you won’t find a better router likes plunge router.
- A plunge router is very great and fantastic for some specialized bits.
- As for safety, the plunge router ensures more safety while using.
Things to Consider While Buying a Plunge Router
Buying a plunge router isn’t similar to other tools.
You can’t able to purchase a perfect and durable plunge router until you know some basics about it. As a professional, I will emphasise a few things to consider before buying a plunge router.
Mainly, brands create a great impact when you want to buy a wood router. You shouldn’t buy any ordinary router, because it will not worth you. So, before buying a plunge router makes sure you choose a trust-worthy branded router.
For instance, you can choose DEWALT, BOSCH, MAKITA, SKIL, PORTER brands. These are the most well-known brand for routers. If you can afford them, I insist you try these branded plunge routers.
Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.
For professionals or Home users?
People bought routers for two various purposes, home uses and professional uses. Professional plunge routers come with more functionality that why it could be hard to understand for beginners. So, if you are a beginner and want to use it for your home purpose, then try to buy home uses plunge routers.
Mid-Size or full size?
Plunge routers come with basically two sizes, mid and full-size routers. For the plunge with 1-3/4 HP to 2-1/4 HP then you should choose mid-size plunge. Also, for mid-level depth grooves, you should mid-size plunge routers.
And you know what?
Full-size plunge routers come as 3 HP to 3-1/4 HP. It is best for deep grooving’s woodwork and pretty suitable for mortising, stopped dados too.
Speed always does matters, sometimes speed unfortunately ruin the pattern and design plate. So, before buying a plunge wood router, you should look first is the router is speed increase and reduce able or not. Warning, don’t move the router too fast.
Is it Adjustable with the router table?
Surely, it’s really important to see, is your router adjustable with a router table or not. The majority of time people use the router with the router table, because of safeties that’s why you have to give priority in this subject more.
Depth reach or cut
The maximum time you could need to go deeper into the wood to make the grooves. That is why ask your buyer that can it reach deeper or not.
One more thing you to consider before buying any plunge router, features. Featured able plunge could be costly, but it wills effective and worth it for you. Such as HP motors, depth adjuster, Magnified scale, perfect base; these features have to in your router.
Can I use a plunge router on a router table?
Of course, you can use a plunge router on a router table quietly. Plunge routers have enough options to attach with a router table. But if you are a router beginner, then you might be getting worried about its safeties.
Plunge router comes with enough safeties. But the problem is, attaching the plunge router on the router table could be a little bit tough for beginners.
Because you can increase and reduce the power and needle size, that means surely you won’t face any issue for depth cut for inlay groovings. Still, you have to keep looking at the size of needles, or else you can cut the table.
The router table is very friendly to use any type of router on it. Overall, if you know how to use a plunge router then hopefully you will not face any types of problems on a router table.
So which is better fixed or plunge router?
Fixed router or plunge router, it’s been a year’s that people are arguing about these issues. Before you know which one is better, you should know first what a fixed router is and what is a plunge router. After that, you will realize what the particular benefit is and which one is the best.
A fixed router is a router that is a totally adjusted router with its blades and upper plate. You don’t need to fix it before play. Only you have to do, that is switch on the router then place the fixed router at the template then move it as your design or at the surface of the wood.
Plunge router is a type of router in which you can open the machine any time and for any purpose. You can change its needle blade and can adjust other blades. The upper plate is opening able and adjustable also. A plunge router is adequate for mortising, stopped dados, and also inlay pattern work.
So, now you have obtained and realized what these routers are about. Well, a fixed router might be effortless to use, but it is not functional. While shaping, resizing, and designing a wood literary, it will be better if you have a functional router.
For instance, With a Plunge router, you can fix or do 3 to 4 several works easily with one router. Wheatear fixed router is really easier to use, but you will face problems while doing other works. This means plunge is numerous better than a fixed router.
Frequently Asked Question
1. What features to look for in a plunge router?
There Are some factors you need to look at before purchasing a router. Those are-
- Adequate power supply to meet your work goal and benefit.
- Lightweight model with versatile speed selection.
- During heavy-duty work on a router table, the base should be larger.
- The size and weight should be favorable to use.
- Check for the best quality collected with high-grade materials.
2. How deep can you cut with a plunge router?
The cutting range with the plunge router varies from model to model. But, the average range is from 2 to 3.5 inches. Keep in mind that the plunge depth isn’t the realistic working depth under the bottom of the base plate. Plus, the router cut can go in any direction without any tendency to go in the same direction.
3. What to consider when choosing plunge routers?
The considerable criteria are given below-
- Check for the motor and power speed that can meet your workload.
- The handles and switches should be very easy to access and use.
- The base should be big enough to use the router without obstacles.
- There should be a dust extraction which is easy to attach & detach, interfere with the bushes and limit plunge depth.
- The router should be stable and easy to attach to the table.
4. Can a plunge router be used on a router table?
Absolutely, yes. It’s alright to use a plunge router on a router table. By drilling holes into the router table, the router can be mounted fixed. It’s extremely safe to use a plunge router on a router table.
5. What is the run time with a 5.0 battery on this Makita router?
Depending on the number of charges, a 5.0 battery can run for almost 3 years. The manufacturer claims that with a charging cycle of 1,000 the battery can live for 3 years at least.
6. At the end of the day, why a plunge router?
Plunge routers provide you with more dynamic, efficient and versatile styles of work. For fine-tuning, doing proper depth plunge routers are incomparable. Plus, plunge routers are safe to use.
Plunge router industry is booming.
No doubt about it.
And I take it positively because this makes it available for all of us. But the other side of the coin is there are also good chunks of garbage which claim them as a good plunge router.
Yes, I reviewed some of the best plunge router kits, few of them are small plunge router but quite impressive when it comes to performance. But no matter which one you pick, I humbly request you to have an eye on buying guide section before leaving money on the table.
So what are you waiting for? Go grab the one which matches your budget, personal preference and work type and cut like a pro.
Good luck ya’ll!
This is me Sonnet. I manage a full-time workshop for my clients’ woodworking projects. From a very young age, I’ve been always passionate about DIY projects. And that’s the reason I’m amicable with the woodworking tools. I’m regularly handling a couple of projects like cabinets, furniture, boats, and many more using wood, veneers, and laminates.