Wood Routers: How to decide on just one - Part 1
I can't be certain but the odds are pretty good if you are reading this article that you are a wood loving tool owning hobbyist of the genre 'butcherous wood workus' ;-) commonly known as a woodworker or maybe a cabinet maker. At any rate you probably love wood - not necessarily the rough 2x4 planks and beams that homes are framed with but the life enriching substance that most common furnishings and elaborate facings are made. The stuff of which dreams are made for, if not from!
Few other materials allow you to create heirloom quality works of art just by removing a few inches of sawdust, adding glue and time and a little imagination. And no other substance reflects the once living status of the material and its' potential long second life like wood. So what power tool you should have in your repertoire to help model the raw material into the stuff of which dreams are made? It's no easy task with two different styles of routers (plunge and fixed) hundreds of different accessories and even more jigs and options to choose between. With so many factors it's no surprise that even the most certain of woodworkers sometimes needs a little help making up their mind.
Fixed base or plunge style? You decide.
First the choice of which style, the fixed base or plunge style router - the pros and cons of each are discussed ad naseum on hundreds of articles and sites on the web and your preferred method of using it, mounted on a router table or standalone may affect your choice. Plunge routers definitely provide additional functionality with their ability to do plunge cuts into stock and the added capabilities that brings to bear, but can be more difficult to learn to use and said feature may be moot when mounted to the underside of a table. If you are going to use it stand alone then the heavy top caused by the spring loading of the engine in the plunge cradle can cause difficulties for beginner users.
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