I am replacing my 20 year old 1Hp Craftsman router. It is the type that
adjusts the depth by loosening the base clamp & spinning the ring.
Other than mortising what are the typical advantages/disadvantages of
I have never used a plunge router so would like to know how does the
depth adjustment compare in ease of use as far as tweaking to the final
depth. Do they typically have a micro-adjust of some type?
Main use will be for furniture making & not mounted in a router table.
Also I see some router kits contain both base types but cost alot more-
is that worth the extra cost?
On Fri, 17 Jul 2009 23:13:03 +0000, Lew Hodgett wrote:
I'm probably in a minority here, but I like the DeWalt kit I got. One of
the advantages is that the body does not rotate when you raise or lower.
Means the switch is always in the same position under a table.
Also, they have an adjustable base (panhead screws) and a centering
device. A lot of routers have minimal or no adjustment in positioning
the base because they use flathead screws.
I'm not a heavy user, so can't speak as to the reliability, but so far
I've had no problems.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Take a close look at the Triton routers. They are a plunge and fixed base
built in one, you don't have to swap bases to change from one configuration
to the other. They have micro and coarse depth adjustment, variable speed,
above the router table bit changes if you use it that way, and are very ugly
to look at.
The little one
The big one
Get it here
The Rockler and Woodcraft sites state the Triton Plunge Router (2400W
- 3.25 hp) is discontinued, but maybe only at the Houston outlets I
viewed. I didn't search other outlets.
I have a similar 1975(year) Craftsman model, also.
Oddly enough, I've just ordered myself a new router over the weekend and I
looked very closely at the Triton range.
I was a bit concerned that there only appeared to be one agent in the UK
but came close to ordering one. However, in the end I bought a Trend T11.
Quite a bit more money (in UK anyway) but seems to a have a lot of
accessories/jigs readilly available. However, the thing that really sold
it to me was the fact that the cutter depth can be adjusted from *above*
the table as well as below. You need a 20mm hole through the table and the
fine adjustment rod provided goes through to adjust the router height,
adjusts 1.5mm per turn.
Plunge or fixed without changing bases of course. Standard DeWalt/Elu
mounting holes. 2000W, variable speed from 8,000 to 20,000 rpm
When the work is inside the board and not at the edge, I find it easier and
safer getting started with a plunge router - position router, start, lower
bit , route, raise bit, stop - instead of position, tip on edge, start ease
router into position and start cutting, tip back up, stop.
A plunge router has a much taller profile than a fixed base, and this has
some effect on the centre of gravity of it, however many of us have gotten
use to it.
When you need to make a deep cut you have to do multiple passes, they are so
easy with a plunge router.
You set the maximum depth and control the depth by hand (router dependant,
but some type of finger activated lock/release) doing light passes, until
you get to the final depth.
For example - cutting circles or arcs, or (stopped) dados.
If you plan on making furniture, and you have not used a router table then I
think you are limiting yourself.
A lot of work can be done on the table, and a plunge router is recommended
for a table.
I now have 3 routers, a 3 hp in my router table, a trim router, and a PC 630
(my first router)
The Porter Cable 630 series with both fixed base and plunge and I almost
always use it with the plunge base even though it takes a minute to switch
Since you have been using a fixed base for router for over 20 years, you
likely have developed a comfort and skill level with it that you can do
almost everything that can be done with a plunge, but I'm confident that you
will find more utility with a plunge router than a fixed base.
I have a few friends who have a Triton models- they are very good routers,
so consider them in you search.
Hope this helps
All good suggestions & even some things I did not think of to ask were
I think I'll go with the PC kit with 2 bases & be covered for the next
One last question, for large bits like raised panel, etc. I assume
variable speed is needed but what is the recommended horsepower to have?
(I know more is better, but more hp=greater tool weight too)
If you plan on using horizontal raised panel bits I recommend a router
with 3 HP or greater. There are also vertical raised panel bits that,
because of their reduced diameter, require less horsepower. See:
I've got a Ridgid router with two bases. I've found the fixed base to be
superior in chip collection with a vacuum. I switch between them every
now and again, usually when I want to make different depths of cut. Were
it not for the superior chip collection of the fixed base, I'd probably
use the plunge base more.
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
Pat, I think many of us would like to see you do a comparative
evaluation of different routers and we would certainly be prepared to
pay for it, even like $20.00.
Your above mentioned page may be somewhat outdated, being from 2005
and I have no doubt that your files on individual routers available at
Warner's Magazine (http://www.patwarner.com/warner_magazine.html ) are
quite useful, but your directly comparing routers would be a lot more
useful for those contemplating a purchase. And I am sure many of us
here on the wreck would recommend people buying your evaluation, as we
now recommend your site.
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