Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

The complete woodworking store typically has various sorts of routers. Nevertheless, when starting up out, funds constraints can limit you to just a single router. Woodworkers usually uncover them selves obtaining to decide on amongst the fixed foundation and plunge router. In the end, your concept device must be established by the wants you are seeking to satisfy.

In this post, we will talk about the distinctive abilities of these two router varieties, as nicely as the benefits and negatives to help you choose what you need to purchase first.

Fixed Base Routers

As you can tell from its title, the set base router is secured to 1 position to guarantee that the chopping little bit stays in one situation. Although this can restrict your flexibility of movement, it enhances the machine’s simplicity of use and precision.

Cut Depth

These routers typically function a lower profile, in addition to currently being lightweight, thus making them easier to management. Furthermore, not like plunge routers, where you can adjust the slicing depth as you function, fastened foundation routers call for that you set the depth before you start operating.

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?


Mounted base routers provide you severe precision considering that their base is static and their chopping depth preset, hence decreasing the risk of human error. This is why they are well-liked in joinery initiatives.

Due to this style, fixed base routers are excellent for initiatives that need to operate from the side, these kinds of as edging.

Ease of Use

Once you have set the little bit, all you require to do is information it. Plunge routers, on the other hand, need a larger degree of physical handle, which can be difficult to maintain for prolonged periods. Furthermore, its compact style and lightweight character make it easier to run than plunge routers.

When endeavor substantial routing assignments, most professionals prefer the mounted base router given that it is not as tiring to use as the plunge router. As a consequence, fixed base routers are ideal for newbies.

What’s It Good For?

If most of your perform takes place on a table, the set foundation router is an outstanding option, as it enables you to mount it on the desk. The layout of a plunge router, on the other hand, is not best for mounting.

Once more, fixed foundation routers are recommended for tasks that demand tremendous exact cuts on the edge of a workpiece, this kind of as joinery. Fixed base routers sacrifice flexibility for precision. Consequently, you are restricted in the range of initiatives that you can get on using this resource.


On common, fastened foundation routers value considerably less than plunge routers. This is simply because they do not have as numerous components or a sophisticated design and style. This can make them the ideal router to buy if you are on a spending budget.

Our Favorite Fixed Base Router

Bosch GKF125CEN

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

With its one.twenty five-HP motor, the Bosch GKF125CEN is able of achieving slicing speeds of up to 35,000 RPM. What’s much more, it has a variable pace environment, as a result allowing you to enhance the equipment for diverse assignments or resources.

It is also remarkably simple to use. It features a gentle-begin and quick-lock method to get you up and going in no time. It also has a depth adjustment attribute that permits for much more exact cuts, as nicely as ergonomic finger pockets to increase your ease and comfort as you use the program

Thanks to a rugged aluminum construction, this unit is exceptionally sturdy. Even with its strong create, it is incredibly mild, hence boosting its relieve of use. It also arrives with a rubber grip to allow for one-handed procedure.

The only disadvantage to this set foundation router by Bosch is that its guides are a little bit flimsy.

  • Easy to use
  • Decent power
  • Lightweight
  • Variable speed
  • Easy setup
  • Flimsy guides

Plunge Base Router Overview

Diverse woodworkers have different techniques to their craft. Some put great value in the efficiency that devices permit them, even though other people take a arms-on technique to their craft. If you are amid the latter, then the plunge router may well be perfect, as you have to operate the device physically to make cuts.

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

Cut Depth

A single of the largest benefits that a plunge foundation router has in excess of the set base is its ability to modify cut depth while nonetheless in action. When employing set foundation routers, you first have to end the machine in buy to alter its minimize depth. As a outcome, plunge routers are a lot more convenient in this regard.

Plunge routers have spring-loaded arms on each sides to allow you to dip the cutting bit into the surface of the substance from distinct angles. As a outcome, they are particularly helpful in tasks where you have to cut from above.


When compared to fastened foundation routers, plunge routers are a lot more versatile. This is because they can cut material from the two the best and middle, which is something that a fixed foundation router are not able to do.

Thanks to their movable little bit, these routers are considerably a lot more adaptable than fastened base routers. However, that also provides plunge base routers a steeper finding out curve, as you will require to know how to gauge depth while cutting. As a result, plunge base routers might not be newbie-welcoming.

What’s It Good For?

Thanks to the dexterity they let you, plunge routers are significantly more efficient at producing wooden indicators. To make a signal, simply draw the letters on the board, and then use the plunge cutter to rout the letters out.

These routers are ideal for applications that require you to perform from over the floor, this kind of as making grooves, mortices, dados, rebates, and fluting.

Additionally, opposite to popular impression, plunge foundation routers can aid you in your edging work. This is simply because you can use their round-more than slicing bit to profile your edges.

The biggest drawback of the plunge router, nonetheless, is that it is not as precise or exact as the fastened foundation router, specifically when it will come to edge doing work.


Thanks to their versatility and handiness, plunge base routers are much more pricey than fixed base routers, on regular.

Other Factors to Consider

  • The unique design of the plunge router makes installing it on a bench or table more difficult compared to fixed base routers.
  • These routers have a steeper learning curve than fixed base routers. As such, they are ideal for people with experience.

Our Favorite Plunge Router

Makita RP1800 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

The Makita RP1800 is a beast of a plunge router that is able of delivering much more than 22,000 RPM utilizing its strong 3-HP motor to make certain the effortless penetration of your workpieces.

This unit also comes with a first rate depth capability of up to 2¾ inches to enable you to make deep cuts into your parts. Thanks to linear ball bearings, this plunger cutter is capable to move effortlessly to provide large overall performance. In addition, it comes with a few preset depth stops for increased accuracy.

The Makita RP1800 also functions a sturdy building that can make it one of the most tough plunge routers on the market place these days.

This unit is also simple and comfortable to operate, many thanks to the ergonomic handles. It also will come with a constructed-in fan to clear the dust as you work.

The only disadvantage to this unit is that it does not appear with a variable speed environment.

  • Powerful
  • Accurate
  • Enhanced depth control
  • Ergonomic features for comfort
  • Does not have variable speed settings

Plunge Router vs. Fixed Base Router: Which is Better?

The solution to this question will differ amongst people, as every of these two routers has its exclusive benefits. To aid you discover the best router for your present undertaking, take into account the subsequent elements.

Best Uses

Owing to design variances, these two routers excel at various aspects of woodworking. Plunge routers are very best suited for assignments that require you to start off chopping in the center of your workpiece, such as when producing attractive patterns.

Mounted base routers, on the other hand, are ideal for more compact trims. They also take care of edge function with far more precision. As a result, they are the perfect router for joinery initiatives.


Consistency is vital in woodworking, especially when dealing with assignments that demand you to make the identical specific cuts on distinct items.

If you are searching to repeat a certain lower across a number of parts, you will be better off employing a set foundation router. This is due to the fact you only need to have to established the desired chopping depth, and the device will maintain it until you decide to alter it. This will require stopping the motor to make the adjustment.

Even though a plunge router enables you the reward of changing the cutting with the motor nevertheless operating, it is a shortcoming when it arrives to producing repeat cuts. This is since it is difficult to sustain the slicing depth setting of a plunge router.

Size and Weight

Considering that routers are handheld equipment, their measurement and excess weight do matter, as these factors impact the machine’s ease of use.

Set routers attribute a compact and light-weight design. As a consequence, they are easier to take care of and shift all around than plunge routers. Considering that plunge routers are drastically more substantial and heavier than fastened base routers, dealing with them requires higher work.


Plunge routers are generally more high-priced than set foundation routers, costing up to 2 times as considerably in certain cases. They are much more high-priced due to the versatility they permit the consumer.

How to Choose the Best Router

No matter of your choice of router, there are characteristics that you need to search out for in any router ahead of you buy it as these will have an effect on its performance and simplicity of use and, as a result, your quality of operate. Some of the characteristics consist of:

Horsepower Rating

Horsepower is a evaluate of the electrical power that your router can make. Preferably, two HP is the least amount of horsepower that a very good router need to have. Something significantly less than that and you will not be in a position to penetrate thicker items of wooden. Nonetheless, set foundation routers can get away with a absence of horsepower as their layout can make up for that deficiency. This is why horsepower should not be your sole target when analyzing a router.

Variable Speed Control

Distinct supplies or initiatives need various slicing speeds. Consequently, your router need to have variable pace handle to enable you to adjust the cutting speeds to go well with the requirements of your task.

Electronic Feedback System

The digital comments program senses the requirements of your load and adjusts the machine accordingly. This boosts the performance of the router, as effectively as its accuracy and simplicity of usage. For that reason, it is a fantastic feature to appear for in a likely router.

Ergonomic Handles

The ideal router is one that delivers excellent benefits although being simple to use. Handles enjoy a large function in the comfort and ease of a router. Seem for a single whose handles have been made to enhance your convenience.

Fixed Base Routers We Recommend

Rating Image Product Details
Our favorite

Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?
Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose? Bosch 1617EVS
  • Powerful
  • Great handles
  • Clear chip shield
    Best for the money

    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?
    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose? DEWALT DW616
  • Precise
  • Toggle switch
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment

    Plunge Routers We Recommend

    Rating Image Product Details
    Our favorite

    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?
    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose? Triton TRA001
  • Quiet
  • Powerful
  • Soft start
    Best for the money

    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?
    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose? Makita RT0701CX7 Kit
  • Lightweight
  • Variable speed control
  • Electronic speed control

    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: How to Choose?

    Fixed Base vs Plunge Router – The Verdict

    Plunge and mounted base routers are both tools that are worthy of a spot in your workshop, as every single has its own benefits. But if you had to select one particular, you should consider about the mother nature of your projects and the stage of your skill because these are possibly the most essential elements to think about.

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