Which is better under a router table, plunge or non-plunge? I've
watched the Router Workshop on TV with the older guy and his son and
they swear by the plunge router with the springs removed. Is there a
real advantage to that or is it just individual preferences?
Gerry < so many questions, so little knowledge >
P.S. Yet another question, is there a proper name for "non-plunge"?
Religious war. Those who prefer either will defend to the death their
Just for the record, I am a proponent of plunge, specifically the one
that the Rosendahls (the guys you're talking about) used mostly
(they've used Dewallies and P-Cs, as well); the Hitachi M12V (and when
all the sponsorship left, they continued to use the Hitachis painted a
Fixed base works.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
Never use the plunge in a table. If you are using a router lift, the fixed
base is the way to go. Triton plunge and maybe a couple of others are now
more "table friendly" for adjusting.
I have a Benchdog lift and it is simple and accurate to adjust. Others will
do the same thing.
I, too, prefer a fixed non-plunge for under the table. Look at the 3HP
offerings by either Milwaukee (my preference for a router table router) or
Porter Cable. The Milwaukee I have can even be adjusted from above the
The big Milwaukee was my first choice but I am ending up with the Triton.
You can adjust height from above the table with the Milwaukee. Is that an
advantage? Don't you have to reach under the table anyway to unlock the
base? I find that I have to stoop down anyway to look across the table at
the bit height.
Good question and I just ordered a new under table router to replace my
Bosch 1611, 15 amp plunge router. My 1611 is similar to the current 1619, a
big router. My 1611 is 16 years old and has no modern features other that
it is electric.
Anyway, what you want is a router that you can fine tune the height
adjustment with some sort of adjustment knob after making your quick coarse
height adjustment. Note my mentioning "after" making your Quick coarse
adjustment. You do not want one of those after market threaded tubes with a
knob on it. Those take forever to run up and down from one end of
adjustment to the other end. Something to look at for example is the
adjustment setup on the newest Milwaukee routers the Bosch 1613 or 1619 or
the Triton router. All of these routers and I am sure a slew of others will
work nicely under the table. Some are fixed base, some are plunge base.
Your main concern is to be able to make coarse height adjustments quickly
and then be able to fine tune that adjustment. I also have a Bosch 1617evs
router that would work great in my router table but it is kinda small for
some of the bits that I spin on my router table. If you are turning common
horizontal raised panel bits I strongly suggest one of the 15 amp "aka" 3+
hp routers with VARIABLE speed. You need to slow those big bits down to the
10,000 rpm range.
So today I went down to buy my 6th router and had narrowed the choices down
to the fixed base 5625-20 Milwaukee or the plunge base Triton. I had
considered the Bosch 1619 evs but because of the location of the fine tune
adjustment knob it would be behind the router when turned up side down or on
the left side of the router. Neither of those locations appealed to me.
The Milwaukee is a beast and well made. Simple. Variable speed, fast
coarse adjustment, good fine tune height adjustment knob and the ability to
make fine tune height adjustments "above" the table. It is also a 2 wrench
router which I GREATLY prefer over the single wrench models. BUT, I found
that when the Milwaukee is upside down and you push the coarse adjustment
knob to make an adjustment, you better have a both hands on the router to
keep it from falling out of the fixed base. While the above table height
adjustment is a cool idea I can see the hole in the table top filling with
saw dust and clogging the mechanism even though there is a plastic cover
that opens when you push an adjustment tool through it.
So now I turn to the plunge base Triton, Seems to be designed from the
ground up to be hung under the table or used free hand. While I have read
many mixed reviews about 3 or 4 specific problems, these apparently have all
been addressed and the new production Tritons have been fitted with the
fixes. I ordered the Triton from the Woodcraft store. They were sold out.
The big pluses I see here is that bits can be changed from above the table
top. While this is a 1 wrench router like my current Bosch 1611 the router
will remain in the base during a bit change. While 1 wrench routers sound
simpler to use, you still have to use your other hand to hold the router and
or the router shaft lock. So what have you gained by only using 1 wrench?
With 2 wrench routers, you can loosen or tighten the collet with 1 hand. 2
hands are still needed to make coarse adjustments to the collet. The Triton
having a self locking shaft and not requiring removal of the router from the
table may be somewhere in between the 2 wrench and 1 wrench style as far as
ease is concerned. I suspect one hand will be on the wrench and the other
holding the router cabinet to keep it from moving when loosening or
tightening the collet. The Triton will not fall out of its base when making
coarse adjustments under the table.
Other nice touches that the Triton has over other plunge based routers are,
the adjustable depth turret is second to none and simple to use requiring no
screw driver or wrench for multiple height adjustments. This may or may not
be useful in a router table. The Triton comes with an edge guide for free
Routers are generally plunge base or "non-plunge" fixed base.
Smiley noted ;-)
I like to read comments after the 'honeymoon' period is over, since the two
versions tend to differ. For example, a few guys got the expensive Twin
Linear router fence and gave great reviews. Over a period of time, I saw
some negative comments (scattered in the NG) about the accuracy of the
wedges used to offset the fence faces. It's hard to admit to an expensive
toy not meeting expectations but, given time, people seem more likely to
give the story - warts and all. I'd still like to get the full story on the
Twin Linear - if there is one.
You know Greg, I have been buying tools for a long time and generelly buy
with confidence. Still I am like you as I know that a lot of hype in the
beginning does not always tell the true tale. If you saw my 2 posts about
precieion miter gauges earlier this week, I am sure you will agree that
buying from a local and reputable dealer is good for him and you. I spent
about $140 for a precieion miter gauge that was no better than the gauge
that came with my saw. Immediately the next day I returned it and upgraded
to a $180 precieion miter gage. Worse than the first and both of these are
from reputable manufacutrers. That dealer knows what I expect from a tool
and if he sees me coming back, he knows that there is a "tool" preoblem and
takes care of it to my liking and without my asking. Today I bought from
Woodcraft and paid more than buying on the internet. If I find that the
Triton does not fill the bill as advertised, reliably, I have 1 year to
return it for exchange, credit, or refund. If I have to return the Triton,
I'll upgrade to the big Milwaukee.
True, but who cares? With fixed base routers, at one time or another you'll
be handling the motor to adjust the height. In the case of the Porter Cable
7518 (really the 2nd best option for a table IMO), you've got to spin and
spin and spin it to get it to height. Far less convenient than the
Speaking of convenience, plunging a router upside down seems to me to be
less than optimal. And having to adjust the depth stop constantly would
annoy me, although if the Triton has a toolless adjustment that might be
better. Does the Triton have a plunge spring defeat mechanism? That would
be desireable for use in a table. Though, I guess I just far prefer the
ability to quickly coarse adjust the motor to roughly where I want and then
fine tune from there than deal with a plunger under table. And the 5625-20
is ideal for that. By far the nicest table router I've used, but of course,
Perhaps. But as you noted in another post, the above table adjust isn't
terribly advantageous. I've never used it.
My point here was that with the large Milwaukee if you depress the coarse
adjustment knob, the router motor completely falls out of the base if
mounted under the table and you do not guard against this. The Bosch 1617
router is fixed base with coarse and fine tune adjustment and one of the
first with this style adjustment but the motor will not drop out of the base
when mounted upside down. The motor raises and lowers straight up and down
like the Milwaukee with out having to spin the motor round and round to make
height adjustments but to remove it from the base you have to turn the motor
in the base about 1/8 turn to remove it. Milwaukee should have had some
type of similar safety to prevent the motor from dropping out.
Agreed, and a very expensive setup as this router needs to be mounted with a
lift to be able to make coarse and fine adjustments quickly.
Exactly, except the Triton has eliminated this trait. The router basically
converts to a fixed base like router with the twist of a lock knob. In the
hanging under a table position, you turn a lock in one of the handles and
then the router will no longer plunge. You then engage a release on the
handle and then turn the handle to raise or lower the motor. Let go of the
release on the knob and the motor locks in at that position and then you can
fine tune that position with another fine tune knob. No lifting at all on
And having to adjust the depth stop constantly would
The Triton only needs a wrench to tighten or loosen the collet.
> Does the Triton have a plunge spring defeat mechanism?
Sorta, it is designed so that you can easily remove the spring.
Yes. I had to learn that 16 years ago with my 1611Bosch.
the motor to roughly where I want and then fine tune from there than deal
with a plunger under table. And the 5625-20
is ideal for that.
I wqas not going to buy a router that would not do exactly "that". The
Triton works exactly that way when in that "mode". Lock the adjustment
handle and the Triton converts back to the plunge style set up. Basically
Triton has come up with a router that works like a fixed base and plunge
I agree with you. I was actually going to buy the Milwaukee. I had copies
of competitors adds to bargain with, showing the price at $299. But then I
compared the Triton to it, both were side by side, and I felt the Triton was
better thought out. I have 1 year to see if the Triton lives up to the
hype. If it is not up to my expectations with actual use I will probably
exchange it for the big Milwaukee.
I understood your "point" the first time, but I still can't understand the
need for for any safety mechanism. I have no problems with the Milwaukee
motor falling out of the base under my table (and nor should anybody else),
because I support it with my hand when making coarse adjustments. It is
that simple. I mean, you have to push it up and down to make the coarse
adjustment anyhow! Just make sure your hand is there before you press the
I am not faulting the Milwaukee. I was just doing a comparison of the
two routers in this respect. I discovered this when I held the Milwaukee
upside down in the store by the housing and almost dumped the motor on the
floor when I depressed the coarse adjustment button. If the router is down
or extended to the end of the "adjustment screw" and you reach under to
lower the bit a bit more by the fine tune adjustment knob, you may not be
holding the bottom of the router and you may run out of threads to hold the
motor in the base. Not likely but it could happen. It would be something
that you should be aware of when making any kind of an adjustment. This
simply cannot happen with the Triton and or the current Bosch fixed base
routers. I see your point that it is unlikely that it would drop during
actual working conditions and 99.9 % of all adjustments under a table.
Their method is so simple, so clear, so obviously superior, I've never
understood all the hoorah and market intrest in router raising gadgets
costing oodles of dollars. That goes for the expensive fences, too.
As I say on my webpage, Tage Frid had it right viz a vis fences. He
had an article on a Fine Woodworking some 20 years ago about it. Piece
of wood, and a clamp (he had the other end attached to the table with
a bolt, if memory serves; still, it's the same idea as the router guys
and their two clamps), that's pretty much it. Nowadays, with UHMW,
it's even better.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
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