Different Types of Woodworking Routers

Different Types of Woodworking Routers to Know

If you want to improve your woodworking skills, you need to get acquainted with the tools of the trade. This includes wood routers, which are one of the most important power tools for any woodworker.

But not all wood routers are built the same. As it turns out, you should be familiar with different types of woodworking routers on the market nowadays.

Most of the time, you are not sure about what to buy. And it gets even more confusing when it comes to woodworking power tools like wood routers since the market is full of different types of woodworking routers each having its own benefits.

Don't worry, because we're going to talk about the different types of wood routers so that you can find the one that works best for you. We will also discuss how to use a wood router and provide you with some safety tips during the usage.

What Are Wood Routers?

A router is a powerful instrument that woodworkers use to create intricate patterns, make joints, rout out grooves, shape wood edges and make interior cuts in solid hardwood or plastics.

Using a wood router, you can give your favorite pieces of furniture a wide variety of interesting contours, decorations and indentations.

What Is the Purpose of a Wood Router?

Wood routers are used to create tables, chairs, bookcases and stairwells, as well as any other wooden fittings. The following are four uses for a router -

  • Make a rounded corner: If you're building a table, nightstand, or bench with a square edge, you can use a router to round it out. Straight edges are often more visually pleasing than rounded ones. If you have little children and wish to avoid sharp edges on furniture for their safety, this might be handy.
  • Construct a cutting board: A rectangular piece of wood may be simply transformed into a cutting board.
  • Make a sign: A router may be used to create stunning signage. A piece of wood and a router are all you need to make a home number or a business sign.
  • Create a beveled frame: Using a router and a few pieces of wood, you can make a beveled-edge picture frame.

A router may also make beautiful flutings, cut inlays, profile edges, shape wood, drill clean holes and cut screw threads.

Types of Woodworking Routers

There are different kinds of routers based on their functions, designs and other features. Fixed-based style routers and plunge routers are the two most common kinds of wood routers.

There are also heavy-duty, medium-duty and light-duty routers. All of the types of wood routers we've talked about have their pros and cons and each one is best for a certain job.

Let's go over each category and figure out what makes each router different from the others so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Fixed-Base Routers

Fixed-base routers have a simple design with the body and base connected, making them excellent for new woodworkers. When using a fixed-base router, begin by determining the precise cut depth before proceeding.

Throughout the session, the depth should be constant. To reduce movement, the wood to be cut is usually secured tightly to a worktop. As a result, you can't work outside of materials vertically from the top; you can only start from the borders.

Pros of Fixed-Base Routers

  • Because the handles are located farther down the router's body, you can get your hands near to the router's base and the workpiece more easily.
  • The best option for newbies.
  • A precise cut may be made using this tool.
  • Suitable for use at home.

Cons of Fixed-Base Routers

  • Router bits cannot cut outside of the materials, therefore all of the patterns formed over the surface begin at the edges.
  • When it comes to adaptability, it isn't the finest choice.

Plunge Routers

Plunge routers are great power tools that can cut from above because their bases have springs in them. They are built in a special way that lets the spinning router bit be lowered into the material.

Even while working, you can change the depth of your plunge router by loosening the lock system and moving the base in the direction you want. When using a router with a plunge base, the base goes on the workpiece and the bit goes right above it.

The motor is then turned on and the bit is lowered onto the workpiece. The main benefit of a plunge router is that it lets the woodworker cut the piece of wood at any point.

Pros of Plunge Routers

  • Makes a lot of different designs that can be used with different jigs and templates.
  • When the router is lowered to a certain depth and locked in place, it works like a fixed-base router by making sure that everything is done the same way every time.
  • Without a doubt, one of the top solutions for specialists!

Cons of Plunge Routers

  • It's a little heavier than the fixed base routers!

Different type of Routers

  • Heavy-Duty Routers 
  • Medium-Duty Routers
  • Light-Duty Routers

Heavy-Duty Routers: The most widely used hand routers are heavy-duty routers. It has a large collet that can handle router bits up to 1.5 inches in length.

Medium-Duty Routers: Medium-Duty Routers are lightweight and ideal for light-duty tasks. Medium-duty routers may also be used for routine tasks with ease.

Light-Duty Routers: Semi-proficient equipment, such as light-duty routers, is excellent for experienced carpenters. They are tiny and light and because of their small collets, they only need little bits.

Safety Tips

A router is perhaps the most useful power tool in the woodshop, whether operated freehand or installed on a table. However, unless you follow appropriate safety precautions every time you rout, operating with an equipment that spins sharp carbide-tipped bits at dizzying speeds may be highly dangerous.

Here are some tips for you to securely use a router and getting the most out of this versatile tool.

  • Always hold the workpiece down firmly to your bench or work table while operating a router freehand.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from the bit at all times. Never use your free hand to grip the workpiece while routing freehand. Your router table should include a protection that protects the region directly above the bit for safe operation.
  • You should never make changes to a router without first unplugging it. Always turn off the power when changing bits, doing maintenance on the router, or installing an attachment like a fence.
  • When you rout, you need to protect your eyes, ears and nose from dust for your own safety.
  • The workpiece should always be fed against the bit's rotation for safety reasons. When freehand routing, such as rounding around the edge of a shelf or cabinet, the router is always moved from left to right.
  • Never use the router to push the cut through. Reset the bit for a lighter cut if excessive feed pressure is required.


In this article, we've put together all the important information you need to know about the different kinds of wood routers and their pros and cons. We also covered some safety tips while using these tools.

After reading this article, we hope you have a better idea of the different kinds of woodworking routers out there. As you may have figured out by now, the router is a very useful and important tool in any woodworking shop. As a beginner, you have no choice but to use fixed-base routers.

On the other hand, an expert or a seasoned worker should use a plunge router.

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