Best Plunge Routers of 2020 (Reviews)

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In a Rush? Here are 3 plunge routers that our team thought you may be interested in depending on your budget, the type of wood router you are looking for, and the quality you require.

Best Overall Pick

Festool 574692 Plunge Router OF 1400 EQ Imperial

“If you are looking for a top of the line plunge router than this is it. Featuring a powerful motor and more than enough adjustability you can tackle more projects with confidence.”

Best Budget

Bosch 120-Volt 2.3 HP MRP23EVS Electric Plunge Router

“For those on a budget, this is a tough one to beat. Featuring adjustable speed settings, a durable build and a 2.3 horsepower motor this is a great choice.

Best Value

Makita 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router

“From a trusted brand, the Makita 3 1/4 horsepower plunge router is a great value options for those who don’t want to sacrafice to much.”


Plunge routers are a powerful style of router that enable handyman and professionals alike to create clean and consistent cuts in a wide variety of hard and softwoods. They are easy-to-use, great for a broad range of woodworking projects, and allow you to set pre-determined cutting depths making them a great tool to have in your garage or workshop.

With that being said, will all the options currently available it can be tough to know which router will be best for you. 

Below we’ll review the ten best plunge routers currently available, covering tool specifications, highlights, and fit/ finish. Providing you with easy to digest reviews that will enable you to find the best tool for your needs.


The 10 Best Plunge Routers with Reviews

1. Festool 574692 Router (Best overall)

Tool Highlights

  • Powerful motor
  • Precise cutting capabilities and depth measurement guide
  • Ergonomic handles 
  • Integrated dust extraction ports help reduce airborne debris
  • Built-in chip deflector


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 1.88 hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2 ¾ ” inches (70 mm)

No Load Speed: 10,000 rpm – 22,500 rpm

Weight: 17.95 lbs (8.14 kg)

Product Review

Well designed and powerful, the Festool 574692 is a great plunge router for those who need a high-end durable unit. Featuring a built-in chip deflector, ergonomic handles and an integrated dust collection system this router can handle any woodworking task with ease. 

It gets even better when you consider the platform’s precise cutting abilities backed by its microfine adjustment settings and its no-nonsense 1.88 horsepower motor. Overall an excellent choice for the hobbyist or professional who needs a reliable router around the shop that can tackle a wide variety of projects and wood types.


2. Makita RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router (Best Cordless)

Tool Highlights

  • Features a soft-start system for smooth start-ups
  • Adjustable speed
  • Built-in LED lights to enhance visibility across the work area
  • Linear ball bearings 
  • Ergonomic, comfortable rubber handles for enhanced control


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 3 ¼  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range:  2 ¾ ” inches (70 mm)

No Load Speed: 9,000 rpm – 22,000 rpm

Weight: 12.6 lbs (5.7 kg)

Product Review

If you’re looking for a tool with safety in mind and great adjustability than look no further. With a built-in LED lighting system, ergonomic rubber handles, and variable speed settings you will have more than enough control to dial in that cut or manage different types of wood.

In addition to that, the plunge base sits on linear ball bearings, creating a smooth cutting action that enhances your control of the tool. When you put all these features together, you get an incredibly precise router that can make accurate cuts without much work.  

Making this an excellent tool for professionals who value control and precision when woodworking.


3. DEWALT Plunge Router Kit, Variable Speed 2-1/4-HP (DW618PKB)

Tool Highlights

  • 12 amp, variable-speed motor
  • An integrated dust collection system
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment for extremely precise cuts
  • Comfortable rubber handles for added control
  • Heavy-duty, die-cast aluminum base


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 2 ¼  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2 ½” inches ( 63.5mm)

No Load Speed: 8,000 – 24,000 rpm

Weight: 10.1 lbs ( kg)

Product Review

An ergonomic, and durable plunge router that includes a variable speed 2.25 hp motor, integrated dust collection system, and a heavy-duty, die-cast base. This motor allows the tool to cut hard and softwood with ease, while the micro-fine adjustment feature allows you to achieve consistently precise cuts.

Its base makes it durable and sturdy in hand or when mounted and can easily handle tasks such as trimming, chamfering or cut mouldings. If you’re looking for an affordable kit that can tackle a wide range of projects this may be a good option to consider.


4. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router (Best Manual)

Tool Highlights

  • Soft-start, variable-speed motor
  • Built-in dust extractor
  • Safety switch + fully enclosed guarding area
  • Fast depth adjustment with winder handle
  • Precision cutting capabilities


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 3 ¼  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2-21/32″ inches 

No Load Speed:  8,000 – 21,000 rpm

Weight: 20 lbs (9 kg)

Product Review

This simple to use plunge router features a soft-start, variable speed motor, built-in dust extractor, and a no-load speed of up to 21,000 rpm making it a great choice for those looking to cut through hardwood, or work on smaller projects like picture frames.

Its design includes a range of safety features like a fully enclosed guard area, a durable well-constructed body, and a safety switch to help maintain smooth operations at all times. 

It can be slightly on the heavy side when compared to other routers in this list, but that may contribute to its overall durable feeling. This plunge router would make a great addition to anyone’s toolbox, though maybe more so those who care about safety, and durability.


5. Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Wood Router

Tool Highlights

  • Rounded wood handles provide a comfortable grip
  • Powerful and consistent cuts
  • Variable speed settings to dial in for the task at hand
  • Durable aluminum construction, compatible with a plunge base
  • Microfine adjustment capabilities


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 2.25  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: N/A

No Load Speed:  8,000 – 25,000 rpm

Weight: 18.2 lbs (8.2 kg)

Product Review

This is a powerful, well-rounded router, that offers precision cutting capabilities, adjustable speed settings and a durable aluminum construction 

It features a 2.25 horsepower motor that provides a no load speed of up to 25,000 rpm and a reasonable weight to power ratio, which makes it great for cutting through any kind of wood you have in the shop without feeling like your lifting a weight every time you use it.

Whether you are just a hobbyist, or are a professional contractor, this should be suitable for most needs, without being out of reach for those who are on a budget.


6. DEWALT Fixed & Plunge Router Kit, 12-Amp, 2-1/4-HP (DW618B3)


Tool Highlights

  • Electronic, variable-speed motor
  • Dewalt’s micro-fine adjustment settings
  • Rubber handles for enhanced control and balance
  • Fixed & plunge base router kit provides additional functionality and versatility
  • Through-the-column dust collection system collects 95% of generated dust


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 2 ¼  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2 ½ ” inches 

No Load Speed:  8,000 – 24,000 rpm

Weight:  28.1 lbs ( kg)

Product Review

This kit offers both a fixed and plunge base option allowing you to use the router for a broad range of projects and tasks. It features an electronic variable speed motor, micro-fine adjustment settings, and rubber handles. These features enable you to create precision cuts to the millimetre with less hassle and more control. 

It also includes a dust collection system that says it collects 95% of dust generated – allowing users to cut more often without concern for creating to much dust in the air. 

With a durable body and a powerful motor, this can cut through any kind of wood without a problem and should hold up to normal shop tasks


7. Skil 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Combo (RT1322-00)


Tool Highlights

  • Powerful motor
  • Fixed and Plunge base attachments for added versatility
  • Soft-start functionality
  • LCD display for viewing speed
  • Integrated vacuum ports for easy dust collection


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 2.5 hp (14 amp)

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2 ⅛ ” inches 

No Load Speed:  0,000 – 25,000 rpm

Weight:  16.02 lbs ( 7.25 kg)

Product Review

This is a dual function router that can easily be switched between a fixed base and a plunge base, making it a great option for those who value versatility.  It includes soft start functionality as well as a powerful 2.5 horsepower motor allowing it to cut through any wood with ease.

On the lighter side, this router is great for the hobbyist who just wants an easy-to-use tool for woodworking projects around the house or shop. 

It’s durable, well crafted and includes extras like an LCD display without being difficult to use, overall a great multi-functional addition to any toolbox.


8. Lotos ER001 Electric Plunge Wood Router

Tool Highlights

  • Versatile, fixed and plunge router
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design
  • Variable speed motor for more adjustability
  • Precision cutting features, with micro and macro adjustment functionality
  • Can handle a broad range of woodworking applications


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 1.6 hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2” inches (50.8 mm)

No Load Speed: 16,000 – 30,000 rpm

Weight: 9.68 lbs ( 4.3 kg)

Product Review

This versatile router can be used as both a fixed and plunge router, features a lightweight ergonomic design, and a variable speed motor like many others in this list. Its lightweight design makes it great for small projects around the house, including cabinetry and woodworking projects.

It includes adjustable speed from 16,000 to 30,000 rpm allowing you to get the right amount of power for any material and plunge depth of 2 inches. 

These features all add up to a durable and adjustable tool that offers more than enough extras without being difficult to use.


9. Metabo HPT M12VE 3-1/4 Peak Hp Variable Speed Plunge Router


Tool Highlights

  • Suitable for window cutting, trimming and more
  • Powerful yet lightweight design
  • 5-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • Built for hobbyists and professionals alike
  • Controllable and easy-to-use


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 3 ¼  hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 2-9/16” inches (mm)

No Load Speed: 8,000 –  22,000 rpm

Weight: 11.7 lbs ( kg)

Product Review

From the former maker of Hitachi Tools, this router is a powerful and lightweight option from a well-known brand in the tool industry. With more than enough power to handle most tasks and reasonable plunge depth, this tool can handle a range of wood without a problem.

It’s precise and controllable while being easy to use even for inexperienced woodworkers just learning how to use the tool. 

Well-rounded, and well-built this is a great option for hobbyists who value lightweight options that are still adjustable.


10. Bosch 120-Volt 2.3 HP MRP23EVS Electric Plunge Router


Tool Highlights

  • Durable and powerful 
  • Variable speed adjustment
  • Always-on, built-in LED work surface lighting
  • Precision centring design creates clean and consistent cuts
  • Solid handles make the tool comfortable for long sessions in the workshop


Tool Specifications

Horsepower: 2.3 hp

Plunge Depth Adjustment Range: 3” inches (75mm)

No Load Speed: 10,000 rpm – 22,500 rpm

Weight: 12.6 lbs (5.7 kg)

Product Review

An adjustable router with a range of extras the Bosch MRP23EVS features a powerful electric motor, adjustable speed settings, and an always-on LED work surface lighting system.

These features make it a solid tool for both professionals and hobbyists who are looking for a well-built, durable router, that provides control and comfort for long sessions in the workshop. 

Its precision centring design allows users to create clean and consistent cuts while it’s weight makes it easy for most to maneuver around. If precision matters, this is an option to check out.


Buyer’s Guide

When you’re buying a new router, or really any wood tool for your toolbox it’s important to know what kind of features are important, what’s suitable for your budget, and what type of extras to value. With all the options out there it can be difficult to know which tool will be best for you so it’s worthwhile to learn a bit more about plunge routers before purchasing one.

So what’s actually important to consider? Below we’ll cover a couple of points we think are important when evaluating one of these tools. 

We hope this helps you determine what wood router is the best fit for you.

4 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Plunge Router

Size

Not all routers are built the same. They come in a range of sizes and weights which will impact the size of the projects you will be able to tackle with them. You can find large and small routers at a range of price points and built for a range of different uses.

While most plunge routers tend to be in the 10 – 25 lbs range, smaller types of routers like palm routers can weigh even less.

Think about what type of work you will be doing on a regular basis with this tool, if it’s larger cabinetry jobs or professional work than that may inform your choice if you just do the odd woodworking job you may be well suited with something smaller.

Functionality & Versatility

There are a number of different extras that these tools can come with including lighting systems, templates, guidelines, fixed bases and variable speed controls. Most will include some and or all of these features nowadays plus the ability to fix the tool to a base for easier use in a shop setting.

Determine what you are looking for, and what you absolutely need to have in your router thank make a decision from there.

Speed, Control, and Power

When evaluating speed and control you need to think about how much horsepower and RPMs you’ll require. More of both will allow you to cut through tougher material but will typically require you to spend more money. Additionally, speed isn’t the be all end all, as many routers also feature adjustable speed settings which allow you to dial in your tool for the material.

Durability

If you need something that can handle the wear and tear of the job site than you should consider professional level tools, likewise, if you just require a router for the odd job than you may be able to suffice with something less powerful.

Weigh the benefits – you”d be surprised what most mid-level tools are capable of nowadays.


Ryan

Ryan

Ryan is a writer for ToolboxAdvice.com. He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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