Routers are great tools to have around the home or around your wood working shop because they are very versatile, easy to use, and can perform a whole lot of different tasks too. That being said, there are a few different types of routers that you can choose from and depending on the job at hand you will want to choose a specific type of wood router. All wood routers are good and they will get pretty much any job done, but specific types of wood routers have different features which make them more suited for one task than another. Let’s talk about the different types of wood routers, what they can do, and which ones are ideal for what jobs.
A Fixed Base Router
These routers are great for people who are just getting into wood working because they are considered to be great all around tools and can perform any routing task adequately. These routers are best used for trimming and edging because they are very compact, versatile, and easy to maneuver. A fixed base router is slightly harder to guide and adjust in terms of depth than a plunge router therefore these are best used with routing tables. Fixed base routers are ideal for small one time projects.
A Plunge Base Router
Plunge base routers are slightly different than fixed base routers, with the main difference being that plunge base router can have adjustments made in terms of depth while routing. This feature makes a plunge base router slightly more versatile and easier to use for making depth cuts, especially when there are various depths involved in one cut. Plunge base routers are great for making interior cuts and hollowing out blocks of wood. These routers are also ideal for making dadoes, grooves, and deep cuts, as well as template and pattern work and sign engraving too. Plunge base and fixed base routers are about the same size.
Laminate or trim routers are smaller and more compact that the previous types of routers that we have discusses. Trim routers usually only weigh 3 or 4 pounds as opposed to fixed base or plunge routers which usually weigh anywhere from 7 to 11 pounds. Trim routers are compact and easy to maneuver thanks to their size and can even be handled with just one hand. This type of router is great for small and precise work, the trimming and beveling of laminates, and small detail work. These routers can’t do as much high powered work on large pieces as the previous types of routers we discussed, but they are great for small things.
Interchangeable Base Routers
These routers are very versatile because they contain the best of both worlds. These routers can easily change between a plunge base and a fixed base to make it much more convenient for the person using it. These routers are great because it eliminates the need to carry around multiple different routers for different jobs.
The final type of router to be discussed is the CNC router. These routers are very big, bulky, and usually only used for larger industrial purposes. CNC stands for computer numerical control and it is operated by programming in a specific pattern to the machine and then letting the automatically operated machine do the rest. These are ideal for big jobs where multiple pieces need to be routed to the exact same parameters.