03:20PM | 02/03/04
Member Since: 01/22/04
3 lifetime posts
Can someone tell me if there is any advantage/disadvantage of a fixed base router verus a plunge router? Can one do anything or do it better than the other?

Appreciate your input.


05:01PM | 02/03/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Just my personal opinion. I see limited use for a plunge router. So I elect to save the extra weight and complexity and go for a simpler router. But obviously, YOUR needs come first. If you'll have the need for a lot of plunge cuts the plunge router may be for you.

A lot of pros (which I'm not) will have 3 routers on hand, pre-loaded with different bits (as they're a pain to keep changing). I can almost see it, as really, the bits get to be more expensive than the routers!

Most of the time, I find myself using the 1/4" carbide-tipped bits I can buy in packages at Costco. These work great in a 1/4" router, but are cumbersome in a 1/2" router (with its sleeve adapter to handle 1/4").

"Most" of the time, I find it easier to just use the 1/4" router, unless I need the extra power of the 1/2.

Hope this helps, and have fun with that thing!

-k2 in CO


02:40PM | 02/04/04
Member Since: 09/25/03
47 lifetime posts
I do furniture restoration and repair, having done it for over 30 years. Last count, I think I have about 9 or 10 routers. 3 are new on the shelf in case one of my regular ones dies suddenly, the rest I use. The 2 laminate routers and the one I leave set up for dovetailing are fixed base while all the others are plunge. Whether the 1/4" or 1/2", I find I can do everything I can with a fixed base plus a lot more (meaning plunges) with a plunge router. Given the choices, if I can get a plunge router vs. a fixed base, I get the plunge.

Many times I have to do 3 or 4 different cuts, I can set up each bit in a different router and switch from 1 to another without changing any settings. If I have to remake or make another piece, I don't have to go through the setup and testing again.

Any yes I have a lot more invested in cutters vs. the cost of the routers.

Forgot to mention, the 1/2" router and bits will run truer than 1/4". Heavier weight plus thicker shank on the bit, gives a more accurate/reliable cut though they do cost more.

[This message has been edited by hcbph (edited February 04, 2004).]


03:10PM | 02/04/04
Member Since: 01/22/04
3 lifetime posts
Appreciate your responces. I did just buy a 1/4" plunge router (Craftsman) which was on sale as I do not currently use routers a lot. I do have a 1/4" fixed router that I have mounted to a router table that I leave there.

My hope is to start using my routers more frequently.

Thanks again.


04:00PM | 02/04/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Juiceman,

I am glad you got to hear both my opinion ("occasional router user") and that of hcpbh (serious pro).

Either way, when it comes down to it, I think you'll have a good time with your router. One of the most satisfying tools, in my to, perhaps, a lathe!




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