Researching For the Best Router to Buy

September 4, 2014 by  
Filed under DIY Projects, Home Improvements

Researching For the Best Router to Buy

Researching For the Best Router to Buy

For truly fine woodworking, a router is an essential tool of the craft. It allows the fine detail that enhances your finished piece. As well as the intricate detailing work, the router also serves to create such essential elements as grooves and joints to fit even small items together perfectly.

Wood routers are made in four basic ways with each one having specific functions it is best suited for.

1) Small laminate trimmers
2) Low-powered 7/8 to 1 1/2 HP (horsepower)
3) Medium-powered 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 HP
4) High-powered 3 to 4 HP

The smallest, the laminate trimmers, do just that in a fine way with the power low enough so as to not chip or break the laminate. These easily maneuverable routers also work well for hinge mortises.

While still too small to use with a router table, the low-powered routers still work well with up to 1/2″ round-over bits. They are great for bench work and are still comfortable to the hand. The medium-powered 2 1/4 HP routers are still able to be used free-hand but provide enough power to push the larger bits through even hard woods.

Any of the wood routers over 2 HP are able and best used with a router table. With the stability a table provides you don’t have to worry about the weight causing maneuverability problems. The large, high-powered routers are usually plunge routers. They can use the largest bits and “plunge” deeply into even the hardest of woods. They are especially good for mortise work.

Each tool has its strong and weak points. For instance the heavy hand-held routers can be awkward. If you are going to be using the tool hand-held, the extra pound or two can make all the difference over a length of time.

Not all routers have a variable speed function and some work better with a “soft” startup that builds up to the optimum working speed rather than start up too fast and jerk in your hand. Keep in mind what you need when searching through the options available.

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