10 Best Plunge Router Options for 2021

Most woodworking enthusiasts, even beginners, require a router. It’s an essential power tool, and you’re bound to need it. This versatile router can be used for many situations. However, most people aren’t sure if they need a fixed-based router or a plunge router. Overall, fixed-based routers let you set the cutting depth and keep that same depth for all the cutting you do. With that, a fixed router offers 1,400 watts and weighs 10 pounds.

9.5
Festool 574692 Imperial

Festool 574692 Imperial Best Overall

The Festool Imperial is a great choice for those who want to pick the best plunge router.
9.5
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

Makita RT0701CX7 Best Budget

The first thing you notice about this handheld router is its lightness.
9
Hitachi KM12VC Variable Fixed-Plunge Base Kit

Hitachi KM12VC Variable Fixed/Plunge Base Kit Best Choice

This fixed/plunge base kit from Hitachi even offers electronic speed control, which helps you maintain the right level of RPMs when you use it.
9
Bosch MRP23EVS

Bosch MRP23EVS Best in list

Plus, the handles are comfortable and ergonomic, so it’s easy to make adjustments as needed.
8.5
Ryobi RE180PL1G

Ryobi RE180PL1G Best Versatile

The Ryobi plunge router can handle various bits and comes with a variable speed system.
8.5
Makita RP1800

Makita RP1800 Best designed

You’re sure to appreciate the Makita RP1800 because it has a 15-amp motor and reaches speeds of 22000 RPM.
8
Black & Decker RP250

Black & Decker RP250 Best features

That means your tool has the most power possible for superior performance.
8
Festool 574692

Festool 574692 Best Built

ContentYou’re sure to find that the Festool plunge router is one of the most versatile machines available.
7.5
Dewalt Router, Fixed Plunge Base DW618B3

Dewalt Router, Fixed Plunge Base DW618B3 Best price

It works at an electronic variable speed, as well.

However, a plunge router lets you set your base of operation down when you’re using it. Sometimes, they’re called dedicated plunge routers.

Now that you know the difference between the two, it’s important to find the best plunge router. Overall, a conventional plunge router can help you with many projects and ensure that you can work hard without overworking your arms.

10 Best Plunge Routers

Triton TRA001

Best Performance
The Triton TRA001 weighs roughly 13 pounds and features a durable design. With that, it’s made using high-grade steel, so it’s sturdy enough to handle heavy-duty operations.
10Expert Score
Single button switches from conventional plunge

Aside from the rack and pinion mode and spindle lock, this model also features a single-button switch and micro-winder.

Soft start
9.5
Variable speed
9
Triton TRA001

With just one look at this plunge router, you might think that it’s quite heavy and big. The Triton TRA001 weighs roughly 13 pounds and features a durable design. With that, it’s made using high-grade steel, so it’s sturdy enough to handle heavy-duty operations.

You’re sure to appreciate the 3.5-horsepower motor, which is capable of rotating your blades at speeds of 8000 to 21000 RPM. With so much power, this router can handle any woodworking job you have.

When you’re working on a complex job, you need precision. This router features multi-functional fences so that users have more control and can have more accurate cuts. If you’ve got woodworking skills, tiny cuts are possible with this machine, too.

Aside from the rack and pinion mode and spindle lock, this model also features a single-button switch and micro-winder. That way, you can make different depth adjustment options and change the speed based on the cut you want to make.

There are also side vents available on the device to reduce the risk of dust in the workshop.

It’s crucial to be safe while working on projects, and this router features a safety switch shutter lock. That design blocks your motor while you change between modes. For professionals, this router is sure to be great.

Features

  • Powerful and durable design
  • Heavy-duty design that’s well-suited for various projects
  • Includes variable speed control, enabling users to go from 8000 to 21000 RPM
  • Safety switch shutter lock
  • Automatic spindle lock
  • Smooth starting feature

Festool 574692 Imperial

Best Overall
On top of it all, this model offers precision depth adjustment. With the micro-adjustability variable speed dial, you can route with tremendous precision and control 1/10mm ball detents.
9.5Expert Score
Micro-adjustability dial allows routing with tremendous precision

They’re designed to increase control and reduce hand fatigue. With that, the integrated switches here let users use the device one-handed.

Dust extraction
10
Precision depth adjustment
10
Festool 574692 Imperial

The Festool Imperial is a great choice for those who want to pick the best plunge router. They’re designed to increase control and reduce hand fatigue. With that, the integrated switches here let users use the device one-handed.

You’re sure to appreciate the dust extraction mechanism. Its integrated pods capture the dust particles and debris, which prolong the router’s cutting life and reduce cleanup time.

There’s also a swiveling chip deflector on this model. You can use it with edge-forming bits. Plus, it offers dust extraction around the curves and corners of the project. Overall, it’s designed to be used with the FS Guide Rail System, MFS multi-routing templates, and various specialty accessory options.

On top of it all, this model offers precision depth adjustment. With the micro-adjustability variable speed dial, you can route with tremendous precision and control 1/10mm ball detents.

Features

  • Ergonomic handle for more control
  • Spindle brake for quick and safe stops
  • HEPA-certified
  • Durable, stable, and accurate router
  • Versatile for various woodworking tasks

Makita RT0701CX7

Best Budget
It only weighs 4 pounds, so it’s designed to be used on overhead projects, door jams, and cabinets. Overall, it’s ideal for detailed and small projects. Plus, many people claim that it’s comfortable in your hands and quiet when compared to others.
9.5Expert Score
Smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system

Overall, the plunge fixed base can handle all projects, but it could jam or stick after the first few tries.

Performance
9.5
Powerful
9
Makita RT0701CX7

The first thing you notice about this handheld router is its lightness. It only weighs 4 pounds, so it’s designed to be used on overhead projects, door jams, and cabinets. Overall, it’s ideal for detailed and small projects. Plus, many people claim that it’s comfortable in your hands and quiet when compared to others.

Because of its size, the Makita Plunge Router could overheat easily. The grips are also smaller than they should be, which could cause burns if you handle them improperly.

Overall, the plunge fixed base can handle all projects, but it could jam or stick after the first few tries. That could lead to a flaw in your work.

When focused on functionality and price, the brand has it all. This product is great for light detail work and gets the job done if you’re careful. You’re sure to appreciate the variable speed control dial and the powerful motor, which goes from 10000 to 30000 RPM. Plus, it’s got a soft-start feature so that it’s smoother.

Features

  • Variable speed control to go from 10000 to 30000 RPM
  • Soft-start feature
  • Lightweight at 4 pounds
  • Nice performance
  • Surprisingly quiet motor

Hitachi KM12VC Variable Fixed/Plunge Base Kit

Best Choice
This fixed/plunge base kit from Hitachi even offers electronic speed control, which helps you maintain the right level of RPMs when you use it. This device is unlike other plunge routers because it makes less noise. You get a quiet environment whenever you work, so you’re not disturbing family members or neighbors.
9Expert Score
Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT

The Hitachi Fixed/Plunge Base Kit is a plunge router, but it can also function as a fixed-base router, making it one of the best plunge routers out there. It can get your job done fast and easily.

Electronic speed control
9.5
Controlled cuts
9
Hitachi KM12VC Variable Fixed/Plunge Base Kit

The Hitachi Fixed/Plunge Base Kit is a plunge router, but it can also function as a fixed-base router, making it one of the best plunge routers out there. It can get your job done fast and easily.

It features an 11-amp motor, and this plunge router offers more precision control. That means you get perfection in all of your projects. Plus, the two-stage motor has a release clamp, so you can change your base quickly and make a minor depth adjustment as needed.

This fixed/plunge base kit from Hitachi even offers electronic speed control, which helps you maintain the right level of RPMs when you use it. This device is unlike other plunge routers because it makes less noise. You get a quiet environment whenever you work, so you’re not disturbing family members or neighbors.

With the Hitachi brand, you get 24000 RPMs, a comfortable handle, and less vibration. The ergonomic stylings mean that it’s easy to hold the device for extended periods.

Features

  • 11-amp motor
  • Fixed-base router and plunge router in one
  • Variable speed adjustment system
  • 5-year warranty
  • Runs at 24000 RPM
  • Comes as a fixed/plunge base kit

Bosch MRP23EVS

Best in list
However, it might be a bit too heavy for hand routing. Still, it features threaded holes to mount it to a router table. Plus, the controls are well-located, which includes a lockable power switch right on the handle.
9Expert Score
The router features a trigger control system

Weighing about 18 pounds right out of the box, the plunge router from Bosch is designed for better performance and durability.

CONTROL
10
ADJUSTABLE
10
Bosch MRP23EVS

Weighing about 18 pounds right out of the box, the plunge router from Bosch is designed for better performance and durability. However, it might be a bit too heavy for hand routing. Still, it features threaded holes to mount it to a router table. Plus, the controls are well-located, which includes a lockable power switch right on the handle.

You’re sure to appreciate the plunge mechanism because it’s smooth. Plus, the handles are comfortable and ergonomic, so it’s easy to make adjustments as needed.

Overall, it functions well, even though it’s a bit heavier. Unlike other fixed-base routers, this one doesn’t have a plastic shield. That means you might have issues with dust control. Still, you can buy one yourself and install it. The problem is that you expect it to have what you need.

Regardless, this tool offers a 2.25-horsepower motor and can handle rotation speeds from 8000 to 25000 RPM.

Features

  • Aluminum structure for durability
  • Easy plunge mechanism
  • 2.25-horsepower motor
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • Lockable power for safe usage

Ryobi RE180PL1G

Best Versatile
This device also uses a 10-amp motor and has 2-horsepower with a variable speed setting. That means you can adjust the speeds based on the project you’re doing.
8.5Expert Score
Ergonomic handle for comfort

It offers a depth adjustment setting of 2 inches, and the handles are comfortable and ergonomic.

CONVENIENT
9.5
ACCURACY
9
Ryobi RE180PL1G

The Ryobi plunge router can handle various bits and comes with a variable speed system. This device also uses a 10-amp motor and has 2-horsepower with a variable speed setting. That means you can adjust the speeds based on the project you’re doing.

With that, this tool provides more versatility, so you can use it on various routing jobs. It offers a depth adjustment setting of 2 inches, and the handles are comfortable and ergonomic. Overall, this machine comes from a trusted brand of top-notch power tools.

Features

  • 10-amp motor with 2 horsepower
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort
  • Soft-start feature to save torque when machine turns on
  • Micro-adjustable depth stop feature

Makita RP1800

Best designed
This Makita plunge router also includes a rubberized, ergonomic handle with a two-finger switch. That gives you more control and lets you lock the trigger for extended use.
8.5Expert Score
Quick release plunge depth adjustment

Plus, it features a max plunge capacity of 2 3/4-inches for easier penetration into your work surface.

Smooth routing
9.5
Superior performance
9
Makita RP1800

You’re sure to appreciate the Makita RP1800 because it has a 15-amp motor and reaches speeds of 22000 RPM. Plus, it features a max plunge capacity of 2 3/4-inches for easier penetration into your work surface.

This Makita plunge router also includes a rubberized, ergonomic handle with a two-finger switch. That gives you more control and lets you lock the trigger for extended use.

You’re sure to appreciate that this product comes with some shank router bit pieces. They work well for windows, furniture-making, doors, decking, and countertops. Overall, it’s great for enthusiasts and professionals who have no router bits already.

Features

  • Oversized ball bearing construction for a longer lifespan
  • Trigger lock switch feature for continuous operation
  • Shaft lock for quick bit changes
  • Ergonomic, rubberized handles with two-finger control

Black & Decker RP250

Best features
This device even has a trigger switch and a lock-on feature. The chip shield is also great for safety and makes you feel comfortable and safe while using it.
8Expert Score
Plunge router allows decorative cutting

The Black & Decker plunge router offers a 10-amp motor that produces a variable speed from 8000 to 27000 RPM.

Criteria name
10
Criteria name
10
Black & Decker RP250

The Black & Decker plunge router offers a 10-amp motor that produces a variable speed from 8000 to 27000 RPM. That means your tool has the most power possible for superior performance. It also achieves the plunge depth of roughly 2 1/4-inch and gives you the functionality of a fixed-base router.

Even though this one doesn’t have a fixed base and isn’t considered a fixed-base router, the Black & Decker brand offers the soft start feature you like, giving you full control over the results and safety of the tool.

This device even has a trigger switch and a lock-on feature. The chip shield is also great for safety and makes you feel comfortable and safe while using it.

You’re sure to appreciate that the brand added enough versatility to this router to handle templates, inlays, freehand routing, and everything that your fixed-base routers can handle.

Features

  • Strong electric motor
  • Easy/gradual start function for control and precision
  • Plunge router to provide decorative designs
  • Includes adjustable parallel edge guide, wrench, and 1/4-inch collet

Festool 574692

Best Built
With that, this router offers you precision and the capabilities you want. Add depth control, dust extraction, and a plunge lock lever, and you’ve got a great tool at your disposal.
8Expert Score
Micro-adjustability dial allows routing with tremendous precision

Plus, it accepts many different bit sizes and can handle small tasks. Overall, it’s quite maneuverable.

Ergonomic handles
9.5
Dust extraction
9
Festool 574692

You’re sure to find that the Festool plunge router is one of the most versatile machines available. It gives you 1400 watts of power and only weighs 10 pounds. Plus, it accepts many different bit sizes and can handle small tasks. Overall, it’s quite maneuverable.

With that, this router offers you precision and the capabilities you want. Add depth control, dust extraction, and a plunge lock lever, and you’ve got a great tool at your disposal.

It’s designed with an ergonomic handle, so it’s easy to operate and hold for long periods. Overall, it can simplify your routine routing tasks.

Features

  • Spindle lock for quick and easy bit changes
  • MMC electronic control feature for a more constant speed
  • Micro-adjustable depth control
  • Comfortable and ergonomic handle

Dewalt Router, Fixed Plunge Base DW618B3

Best price
Overall, you’re sure to appreciate the plunge router because it’s a fixed-base router. The Dewalt Plunge Router is actually a fixed plunge base kit and comes with a fixed and plunge base.
7.5Expert Score
D-handle incorporates trigger switch with lock-on feature

The Dewalt Router Fixed Plunge Base has a powerful motor and can route through strong wood projects.

Adjustable
9.5
Enhanced control
8.5
Dewalt Router, Fixed Plunge Base DW618B3

The Dewalt Router Fixed Plunge Base has a powerful motor and can route through strong wood projects. It works at an electronic variable speed, as well.

Overall, you’re sure to appreciate the plunge router because it’s a fixed-base router. The Dewalt Plunge Router is actually a fixed plunge base kit and comes with a fixed and plunge base.

With that, the Dewalt router delivers on performance and comes with electric speed control. With the electronic variable speed of the Dewalt Router Fixed Plunge Base, you can fine-tune the depth adjustment and handle whatever you want easily.

As with the most essential power tools, the Dewalt Router Fixed Plunge Base has everything you need.

Features

  • Spindle lock available; only need a single wrench to change bits
  • Quick-release latches for motor pack removal
  • Continuous fine depth adjustment ring offers precise depth adjustments
  • Soft-start feature to reduce torque and provide more control
  • 12-amp 2 1/4-horsepower motor with a no-load speed of 8000 and a maximum speed of 24000 RPM

Buyer’s Guide

A plunge router adds style and sophistication to your work because you can bring slotted and inlaid designs, as well as other features to your end product. That gives it a unique appearance. Overall, you increase the value and versatility of the work as a professional and make you look better, even when you’re starting out.

When you buy a plunge router, you must consider the features it offers and what you need. Some of the best plunge routers have these things:

Variable Speed

Variable speed is an important feature when you’re choosing a plunge router to buy. It allows you to have different speeds to achieve accuracy based on the task at hand.

For smaller cuts, your variable speed dial must be set at a mid or high speed. However, for larger cuts, your variable speed dial must be set at a slower speed for safety. With this feature, you can twist the knob and get fine depth adjustment, regardless of the bit you use.

Soft-start Motor Feature

Without this feature, plunge routers can blast off at full speed the moment they are turned on. If that happens, the noise might startle you, and the power surge you feel could make your router jerk while holding it. Overall, you could drop it and injure yourself or damage the product.

When you have the soft-start feature, there is a moment of pause once it is switched on. Then, the device starts increasing to the default speed gently. Most modern routers offer this option and include electronic feedback circuitry. Though it’s small, it provides a more pleasant start-up.

Above the Table Adjustments

Woodworking enthusiasts should realize that, sooner or later, the router you buy is likely to be put under a router table. Two features can help you with your table routing to offer precision and convenience.

First, you need a router that lets you adjust the cutting height with a handle, knob, or crank from above the table. This is better than bending over to change the fine depth adjustment from underneath the table.

With that, you need a device that offers a cover that stretches over the table. That way, it’s easier to change the router bits without removing the machine completely.

Electronic Feedback Circuitry

Overall, the electronic feedback circuitry helps you sustain your router’s efficiency while maintaining the durability of the device. Basically, this feature measures the load carried by the device and balances it out with the output force. During stressful cuts, your motor doesn’t stall or break down, and you feel the same output power.

This feature is something that some people never really understand. Unless you’ve used older models, you may not realize just how important the EFC is.

Still, with the EFC, you can focus your attention more on cutting the project and using the right technique. There’s no fear that the router can’t keep up with the pace.

Spindle Lock

Most routers require two wrenches to change out the bits. The first one tightens or loosens the collets, and the other holds your motor shaft tight. However, the best plunge routers have a spindle lock feature. This lets you push the spring-loaded pin to hold down the motor shaft. That way, you only need one wrench for the collet.

Though it’s a small feature, it’s a crucial detail found on newer plunge routers. Overall, you can’t remove the motor to see or access the bit. With that, it’s not a must-have feature, but it makes it a bit easier to replace the bits when it’s available.

FAQs

What Can You Use a Plunge Router For?

Overall, plunge routers move up and down on the base. This is loaded with a spring to each side that allows users to plunge down their cutting bit into the material and manually from above.

How Do You Use a Plunge Router with a Table?

It’s quite easy to use a plunge router with a table. Before you begin, you should always examine the device’s motor and collets and make sure that you’re using the right router bit. Clamp your guide into place so that the router gets pushed downward. That way, the bit lines up with your pattern to cut.

Install your bits in the collet, and then adjust the gauge for the cut depth you require. Now, you can pull the trigger and gently push it down while holding your router with two hands to give you more stability. This engages the machine into the wood you’re working on.

Move your router in the direction you prefer to make the cut. Understand that the pressure you put on the handles determines how deep the design is. With that, ease up a little on the handle as you finish the cut for best results.

Can You Use a Plunge Router as a Fixed Router?

Yes, you can use a plunge router as a fixed router. With plunge routers, you have more options, and you can lock them and use them just like one with a fixed-base

Is It Possible to Use Plunge Routers for Edges?

Yes, you can use a plunge router to make various decorative edges.

How Deep Can a Fixed-based Plunge Router Cut?

Generally, fixed-base plunge routers can cut 2 3/4-inch deep, but it depends on horsepower, speed, and other factors.

How Do You Cut Tenons with a Plunge Router?

To cut your tenon, you must first set up your router table and measure the exposure. Then, you can put the bit in place. Now, you must set up your sled and measure the bit’s cut and tighten your clamp.

Turn on the router to cut out a test tenon. Now, you can roll your piece over and cut it into the second shoulder and cheek. Finally, you must cut your real tenons. If the length exceeds the bit diameter, make more frequent passes with your workpiece pulled away from the router’s stop.

Conclusion

With so many plunged routers on the market, it’s crucial to find the right one to meet all of your needs. This review has gone a long way to help you understand the features you need and narrow down the search to find the best plunge router to buy.

Though most of the job is now done, you should still research on your own from the list offered.

All of these products are great, but the plunge-base router that wins today is the Triton. It makes it easy to handle the table adjustment and has a maximum motor HP of 3.5. With that, it maintains motor speed easily and is a versatile tool to handle just about anything.

You’re sure to enjoy using this mid-sized router. Now is the time to buy it online and get it in your shop for full-time use!

For those who want quality and are on a tight budget, the Ryobi brand is still a great choice. It costs a bit less than the overall winner, and it still has the same features that you know and loves in a plunge router. Use it as a trim router and change the speed settings as needed to get more power and everything else.

Create beautiful edges and designs to make your wooden products stand apart from the crowd. Happy routing!

Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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