Buying Guide – Routers Tools
Buying Guide – Routers ToolsDownload PDF
Routers: Essential and resourceful
Routers are tools you need to take your woodworking projects from average to spectacular. Whether you are searching for a router to create intricate decorative patterns, create custom cabinets and door panels, cut mouldings, do wood joinery or to craft traditional wood signage, routers will bring your projects to another amazing level.
Types of Routers
Generally, routers are divided in two categories: fixed and plunge. However, some models of routers can come with multiple bases to allow switiching between a plunge and fixed base.
As their name says, fixed routers have a stationary base and works wonders for edging and work that needs very precise depths. Most fixed routers are created in a way they can be attached to a router table for working on long or oversized projects. Higher-quality routers are designed so that precise height adjustments and changing bits can all be done without hassle from above the table.
If you are looking for the ultimate in portability, you might want to consider a portable router table system. These heavy-duty portable router table are ideal with fixed and plunge routers both on the jobsite and in the workshop.
Our recommendation: Festool - CMS-GE Router Table Set - P00111
Plunge routers’ housing allow controlled vertical movement during a cut. This way, you can plunge the bit into the surface of your workpiece. A plunge router provides flexibility because it permits precise cuts on the interior of your workpiece, including through cuts, deep grooves and mortises, as well as template and pattern work.
Our recommendation: Bosch - 3.25 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router - 1619EVS
Most of the interchangeable routers can be bought in a kit that includes a fixed table base, a plunge base and a carrying case. All you have to do is to remove the motor from one base and insert it in a different base. This element allows you to upgrade your base or buy bases with different handles styles at a lower cost than purchasing another router. In addition, interchangeable bases also give you the option to leave one base attached to a router table and remove the motor, rather than attaching and removing the motor or purchasing a separate router for your table.
Power and Capacity of Routers
As the diameter of the bit increases, the appropriate routing speed decreases, so routers with a wide speed range are more versatile. /Most manufacturers provide router power ratings in maximum (or peak) horsepower (hp), that can be attained for a short period. You have to make sure that you do not compare maximum horsepower on one model to sustained horsepower on another. Should you have doubts, compare the amp ratings of the motors. Generally, routers are available with 1/4" and 1/2" collets, that indicates the size of the bit shank they can accept. Routers with 1/2" collets are more polyvalent because 1/2” are available in larger diameters, and many routers with a 1/2" collet include adapters so they can accept 1/4" or 3/8”. If you plan to work on larger-diameter bits, you might need a router that is capable of slower speeds. As the diameter of the bit increases, the appropriate routing speed tends to decrease, so routers with a great speed range are more versatile.
if you buy the best router there is on the market, the router bits you will choose are as equally as important in determining the success of the tool. Federated Tool carries high-quality routers bits for all your needs.
Router Bit Features
Shank: Most of bits wit 1/4’ shanks work well. However, using a stiffer 1/2' shank will give you even smoother, and precise results.
Cutter Angle (Shear Angle): High-quality router bits have blades that don’t run parallel to the shank. Instead, they are slightly angled so the blade slices the wood instead of chopping at it.
Premium Carbide: Denser, thicker carbide routers tend to be more cost-effective in the long run. Thick carbide is specifically designed to be re-sharpened multiple times. The carbide itself is important too, but not all carbides are the same. Keep your eyes open for router bits with extremely fine grain or high-density carbide. The smaller the carbide grains, the longer it holds a sharp edge and keeps its strength. Finally, Titanium Cobalt is currently the most advanced formulation of carbide and is also impervious to corrosion and pitting caused by wood acids.
Forged Body: Heat-forged router bits are by far stronger and longer-lasting than die-cast or turned routed bid bodies.
Safety Features: Anti-kickback design is crucial. Bits that have a full metal body that extends almost all the way around the bit’s perimeter greatly diminishes the chance of kickback.
Non-stick Coating: Router bits with non-stick coating guarantee working friction and diminishes the chance of burning your wood from improper feeding. Rust, resin and other corrosive agents will have less chance of building up.
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