If you’re a woodworker, you’re going to need a router. You’re going to need it for all kinds of things with different types of woodworking. There’s a lot of work that you can do with a router, and if you don’t have one yet, it would be a great idea to pick one up.
If you’ve never used a router before, don’t worry about that because we’re going to go over the basics. Let’s dive in.
What is a wood router?
A router is a handheld electric tool that has a spinning bit. The cutting action of the bit makes it possible to shave off pieces from wood or MDF to create angled edges, grooves, etc.
Unlike other power tools, it is relatively quiet. It also comes with depth stops that allow you to set how deep the cut will be for different projects.
How does a wood router work?
The bit is the cutting tool that rotates in the router. It is shaped like a screw, but it is flat across its end. When the router bit is attached to the wood, it will rotate about 1/4 or 1/3 of an inch away from your intended cut. This bit creates a small groove in the wood that is going to be cut.
As you move the router along with the material, it will shave off thin layers of the wood. The depth you set with the depth stop earlier determines how big or little each layer is.
The router bit will shave off more or less wood depending on how long it is. If the bit sits deeper into the machine, the router will shave more each time it moves across the wood.
If it doesn’t sit as deeply, the router will only move across the material a couple of times before reaching the depth stop.
What does a wood router do?
A wood router can be used for many different projects. It contributes to the building process by smoothing surfaces and rounding edges. This makes the resulting piece look professional and more refined.
You can use your woodworking router for various projects outside of the workshop as well. For example, you can use it with an edge guide to make straight cuts.
Some routers can also be used with a drill press to create holes in various materials, like leather and plastics.
What are the two types of wood routers?
There are two main types of routers: fixed and plunge. The fixed router is a more basic design and features a solid base and body.
Its handles are closer to the base and its design enables it to cut perfectly in line with the edge of the material, making it perfect for beginners.
The plunge router is good for advanced users. It features a spring-loaded base which allows the router bit to cut from above, and you can adjust the depth by loosening the lock system and adjusting the base.
It is more expensive than fixed routers, but it can be used with many jigs and templates due to its design.
Are wood routers dangerous?
While a router is not inherently dangerous, it can be if you are not careful. Be sure to take safety precautions when using a woodworking tool of any kind.
There are many moving parts, so you want to make sure that the router is unplugged when changing bits or adjusting settings. You should also wear goggles and dust masks for maximum protection.
It is important to consult the user manual for your woodworking router before using it for any project. Specific instructions are depending on what type of bit you are working with.
Additionally, always check your workpiece for nails and other metal objects before turning on the router to prevent possible damage.
What should I consider before getting a wood router?
Be sure that the power output from your router meets your needs. The more powerful the motor, the more functions you can use it for.
You also should consider what kind of material you will be working with. If it is a hard, dense wood, a smaller router might not suffice.
The other thing you should keep in mind is how often you will be using your router. If you are only going to be doing occasional jobs like rounding edges or making small grooves, you can get away with a less powerful model.
If you are going to be using your router every day, you will want to go with a more powerful model.
How do I maintain my wood router?
There are three important tips on how to properly care for your woodworking router. First, always check that the router bit is secure, otherwise, it could come loose while you are using your router. When inserting or removing bits, keep one hand on the motor housing at all times to avoid injury.
Second, keep your router away from water. This not only helps keep the machine safe but also allows it to have a longer life.
Third, you should replace your bit according to the instructions in the manual so that you are using one designed for your specific model of wood router.
How much money do I need to spend on a wood router?
There are many different options available to fit various budgets. You can find fixed routers for as low as $50, while higher-end models can cost more than $300.
If you are looking for a high-quality router, be prepared to pay at least $150.
What are the best wood routers for beginners?
Here are our top 3 choices of best wood routers for beginners:
The BOSCH 1617EVS is a fixed router, which means you can’t take away the motor from the base. It also has a 2.25 horsepower motor and a 1-year warranty through BOSCH.
The best thing about this router is its ability to adjust speeds between 8000 and 25,000 RPM which allows for a very comfortable cutting experience.
The additional compatibility with the RA1129 template guide adapter set provides an easy change from traditional quick-release templates to threaded templates.
The DW618 is DEWALT’s fixed base router that can power through cuts in even the toughest materials.
This depth adjustment mechanism has micro-fine adjustments (1/64th of an inch) and can also adjust vertically to maintain a consistent switch/cordset location at all times.
Additionally, this router provides electronic variable speed with full feedback control for constant speed under load from 8,000-24,000 rpm. This router also has a soft start to reduce start-up torque for enhanced control.
There is also a quick-release motor latch for fast and easy motor pack removal as well as an adjustable tool-free steel cam lock for depth adjustment and base changes.
The Ryobi P601 One+ is a cordless router, powered by an 18V Lithium-Ion battery. It features a rubber coating to help you hold onto this power tool in slippery conditions and has LED lighting onboard to clearly show your project for precision handling.
It comes with an aluminum base to make sure you can make precision cuts and has an easy-to-use knob to help fine-tune the depth of your cut.
The Ryobi P601 One+ can whoop out 29,000 RPM to help you with your specialty woodworking projects around the home or on the professional job site. It’s compact and lightweight, too, so you can handle it even on smaller projects.
We hope this post has helped you understand more about wood routers and how to identify whether or not it’s the right tool for your project.
If you are still unsure of which router is best for you, just read over our list again and keep the three things we mentioned in mind. Happy woodworking!