Routers and bits

Woods Eye View

It’s okay to feel intimidated by routers. The powerful motors spin razor-sharp bits at up to 500 times per second. They also don’t work too quietly. They were noisy and bucked like bulls once they were switched on. It took two wrenches for bits to be pushed into and out of the collet. Woodworkers still revere them as the best power tool in their shop. They can be used to create perfect dadoes or dovetails, not to mention ogees and flutes.

A router isn’t just for Queen Anne sideboards. You can also use it to cut grooves for weatherstripping windows or create decorative moldings. The scare factor has been reduced by many new routers like this roundup. They can shudder-free start, make one-wrench bit adjustments, and operate at adjustable speeds to prevent burning or tearing work. Combination kits are a great alternative to having to choose between fixed-base models (great for edge work) or ones that “plunged”, which is ideal for mortising. Face your fears, grab both handles and get out there. You will be grateful you did.

Here is the action, the router’s underside where the bit protrudes above the base. The other side has a powerful motor that spins the bit at up to 20,000 rpm.

Little Workhorse

The Colt laminate-trimming tool is as large as a beer bottle and as light as a pencil. It includes a guide for straight grooves, an offset adapter to reach into corners and a tilt base that can be used to create straight edges using a straight bit. The motor’s maximum speed is 35,000 rpm, which is enough for light-duty tasks like dressing shelf edges.

Digital Depth Dial

This plunge router’s digital depth reading is precise to 1/64 inches. It allows you to switch between settings without losing any precision. The switches are carefully placed so that you can change speed or hit the power without having to take your hands from the tool.

1 383939 Rabbeting Router Bit Woodworking And
1 383939 Rabbeting Router Bit Woodworking And

The Ultimate

This plunge router is rugged enough to withstand the demands of a busy workshop.

High demand for tools–has many standout features that we don’t have the space to mention. These include a power cord that can be detached to protect it in storage and a ratcheting bit-change system that allows you to change bits quickly. Dust collection that is so efficient that you might wonder if it’s actually cutting.

Two in One

Combination router kits include one motor and two bases that can be interchangeably fixed or plunge. Make decorative edges with the fixed base and then slide the motor into its plunge base to make mortise cut.

2 1/4 hp, 7 3/4 pounds (fixed base), 9 pounds (plunge), about $200, Bosch Tools

Worksites can be difficult

DeWalt’s router combo kit is simple to use and switches between fixed or plunge modes.

Bases can be clamped using a clamp. No tools are required. The plunge is intuitive and tough.

When rounding deck rails, the base falls smoothly. To do more precise work,

A micro-adjusting knob adjusts depth increments in increments of 1/64 inch. A detachable

The power cord makes it easy to store the tool in its case and eliminates the need for storage.

The tool is more resistant to damage if the permanent cord is often strained.

2 1/4 hp, 8 pounds (fixed), 9 pounds (plunge), about $230, Dewalt

The basics for beginners

The low price of this Black & Decker plunger might make you suspicious.

model. If you can let go of your preconceptions, this will be easy to recognize

This entry-level package is an incredible deal. Simple tasks can be handled by the 12-amp router.

Edges and plunges: You get 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets and an opening.

One of the columns can be used as a shop-vac for dust collection. Best

It also includes an edge guide, which is an indispensable accessory that can be found in many cases

2 hp, 10 1/2 pounds (plunge), about $90, Black & Decker

Affordable Combo

Hitachi’s combo kit includes both a fixed and plunge base to support its 2 1/4-hp engine.

Motor, slightly less expensive than the Bosch 1617. This model is widely used.

Known as the standard bearer in the field. You can save money.

You may have to give up some minor perks. This one is a bit more tense than the previous.

Bosch. It’s slightly heavier than the Bosch for freehand or plunge models. It can also be used as a freehand, plunge model.

It’s a bonus though as it’s fairly quiet at 80 Db and comes with a set

Template guides–very helpful when you lay out Soss hinge mortises or other.

7.3 pounds (fixed base), 9.9 pounds (plunge), about $140, Hitachi Poer Tools

Unique Features

Although the Skil router combo kit may not be top-of-the line, it is still a great value.

Buy at a bargain price and have a few of the features that higher-end models should offer

note. Its switch placement is very reassuring for novices–you can

You can grip the handles with ease, then press the two-finger trigger to release it.

The bit must stop before you can take the tool off your hands. The

It’s a great idea to use work-illuminating LEDs, but unfortunately the base is not available.

Model is made of black plastic and not clear.

2 1/4 hp, 8 pounds (fixed base), 9 pounds (plunge), about $90, Skil Tools

Router table ready

Soft start: It is not unusual for a router to kick in when you turn it on. When you press the power button, the best routers will speed up quickly.

Variable speed: This feature allows you to set the rpm according to the size and hardness of your wood or the bit. Like cars, routers that are better than others can rev up and down without any problems.

Change the bit with one wrench: The button holds the collet in place while you loosen the bit. It’s much easier than two wrenches.

Dust collection: Find a port to connect to a shop vacuum. An added bonus is a plastic shroud that will contain dust near the bit.

Clear base: It is easier to know where to stop and where to start.

Compatibility with router-table: Milling trim is easy if the router can be easily flipped over and mounted

Collets of 1/2 inch: A router’s collet is equivalent to a chuck on an electric drill. A router that can handle 1/2-inch bits will be heavier and more powerful than one that can handle 1/4-inch bits. However, larger, more expensive bits perform better at high rpm and are stronger and more stable.

Removable power cord – This feature prevents it being strangled while stored.

The tool’s removable base attaches to a router table easily so that you can feed wood to the bit in controlled ways. The tool also includes a knob that can be used to adjust the depth of the bit from above the table. 2 1/4 hp, 9 pounds (fixed base), 11 1/4 pounds (plunge), about $280, Delta Porter Cable

Bunches of Bits

There are two types of router bits: those that form edges or ones that create grooves. A lot of edge-forming bits come with a roller bearing to keep the bit aligned with the template or board edge as the cut is being made. A clamped straightedge or edge guide keeps the router’s base aligned when you push it over the work with groove-forming bits. A router can wander without bearings or guides no matter how straightening you try.

Bits can be expensive. Some big ones can cost as much as $50 per piece. But a basic line of bits, such the ones listed above, can be purchased for around $100. Carbide-tipped bits are more durable and sharper than high-speed steel. If your router has a large enough collet, 1/4-inch shank bits are cheaper and can do small jobs better. However, 1/2-inch bits are stronger and more cost-effective.

About the Author


Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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