Big plunge router usage

Hi,
I'm seeking some explanations regarding the huge plunge routers available on the market right now.
All tool manufacturers offer a 3+HP plunge router in their lineup (some have more than one) but only two makes a fixed base router (PC and 3HP). My impression is the following:
- Those routers are very heavy and not really suitable for hand held work. - Some of them have a very small base opening preventing them from using large diameter bits. - Some may claim they're designed to be installed in a table. Well, you don't need a plunge router to gain the ability to raise the bit? A fixed base router does the job well... Many plunge routers have powerful springs that makes them very hard to raise once they're installed in a table. - As far as I'm concerned, a plunge router is designed "to plunge" in the material. I don't know many "plunging" tasks that requires such a monster. Making mortises is done easily with any 2HP plunge router.
Well, this is my understanding so far. Am I missing something? There must be over 10 plunge router monsters available but only 2 fixed base. There must be a reason for it that I ignore. What's the advantage of the plunge base in such big router?
I would appreciate if anyone of you can shed some light on this...
Thanks,
Ben
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snipped-for-privacy@videotron.ca wrote: - Those routers are very heavy and not really suitable for hand held work. - Some of them have a very small base opening preventing them from using large diameter bits. - Some may claim they're designed to be installed in a table. Well, you
don't need a plunge router to gain the ability to raise the bit? A fixed base router does the job well... Many plunge routers have powerful springs that makes them very hard to raise once they're installed in a table. - As far as I'm concerned, a plunge router is designed "to plunge" Heavy is relative, custom bases can be shop-made, and you should remove the springs for table mounting. Tom
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items that were to big for the table. The fixed base provided two large handles for added control.

problem.
and other non-wood products.

columns.
Dave
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Agree that 2 to 2.5 hp is good for most plungers. Notwithstanding, if you overwork them, they get hot. A 3 HP tool is ~ 3 pounds heavier but will run much longer on heavy duty situations. Mortice to 2" for an hour or so and the small plunger will get too hot handle. More on routers? See the http://patwarner.com/selecting_router.html link. **************************************************************************** snipped-for-privacy@videotron.ca wrote:

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I recently got a large bosch plunge for my router table and it has a "release" mechanism that keeps the springs from springing when used in a router table setup.
--
Rick Nagy
3024 Somerset Pike
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snipped-for-privacy@videotron.ca wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@videotron.ca wrote:

The plunge mechanism can be found in small lightweight Chinese routers of 1/2 HP and really has nothing to do with teh weight of the machine, merely the convenience of starting the motor before you engage teh workpiece, ie the plunge.
Take a look at the Triton 1.5HP which is made so you can easily remove the springs if you want to put it in a table, as I have done. It's not only powerful but reasonable light so I can use it in the table or hand-held. The Triton even comes with a height winder. Now I don't work for Triton so I don't need to make an advert, but I like the feel of this router a lot.
The advantage of the plunge in a big router is the same advantage as for a little router - in most cases teh weight really only relates to the size of the electric motor. Yes it sure is heavy for hand-held use but sometimes I like the extra weight that keeps it firmly seated on teh work. BUT, it's kind of awkward for unsupported edge-work where a heavier router tends to tip over and spoil teh job.
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Depends on what you're doing. The extra weight can give you a measure of stability in some tasks.

If it's just the plastic shoe put the bit you want in it and plunge it and you'll have a zero-clearance shoe. Some have metal parts that limit the bit size and IMO that's just bad design.

It's not "the ability to raise the bit", it's precision height adjustment. Some plunge routers are designed so that when mounted in a table the bit height can be adjusted from above, giving you the benefits of a router lift without having to pay the price for one.

They're good for any kind of inside cut, not just mortises.

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I have used my Freud FT2000EP 3.25HP router freehand (i.e. not even a guide), no problem. The experience is about the same as with my much older 2HP router.

Not in my case, at least.

Some people have recommended removing the springs for table use. I leave mine in because I want to use it outside the table sometimes. This router has a knob that you can turn for quite fine adjustments, and there's enough leverage for the spring counterforce to be a non issue. It can take a long time to move it through large height differences, though. That doesn't happen so often.

My 2HP seemed to be bogging down on me during ordinary jobs. That's when I decided to try just plain more power. I like it.

Versatility? I want plunge capability, and don't feel I can afford to go buy another router just for that.
These routers aren't THAT big. With electronic soft start it's not going to yank itself out of your hands on startup, either.
- Owen -
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