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These little "shapers", are a great asset to woodworkers...

 Most professional wood shops have a habit of buying several routers. Like ten or more. My shop is no exception. We have at least ten, and are still tempted at times by the latest models. (like the new Festool router, which will work with their track system). They range in power from 1 H.P. to 3 1/2  H.P. Each one excells at a particular job, and that's how we determine it's use, and also which type of router bit that will be used in it.


While this might sound slightly excessive, the reasoning behind it is sound. (I think).  The belief behind this compulsion, is it saves time to just grab the router with the bit you want, already set up and ready to go. We use this same policy on laminate trimmers as well. They're set with small round over bits, for which they have enough power to handle.

We use a variety of routers, some are plunge, some are D handled, some are double knob handled. Some  have variable speed controls. Some have a soft start feature, meaning they build up speed gradually. This is nice for routers with a toggle type on / off switch. Holding a 3 horse router with one hand, and turning it on is somewhat dangerous, due to the torque of the motor. I personally don't like routers with a toggle switch for two reasons. One, you have to let go of the handle with one hand to turn it on. The second reason is I've seen people plug it in without checking to see if the switch was in the off position. Nothing like trying to catch a router gone wild.

The purpose of mutiple handle arrangements is depending on the bit, control is easier with different configurations. For example when shaping the edge of a fine table top, I prefer a D handle, with variable speed, as it seems to permit better control and burning the wood can be minimized.

Uses for routers are many. With the help of jigs and various bits, they are capable of producing dovetails, mortises, and tenons, moldings of infinite varities, dados, rabits, raised panel doors and frames, and so much more.

When buying your first router, which will serve as your only one for any length of time, should provide you with ample power, and yet not be overkill. The more powerful routers would not be a good choice for a small round over bit, nor would mounting a 1 H.P. router on a router table, and attempt to use a raised panel bit in it. It can't handle the stress. (like me). A model in the mid range of the power spectrum, would be about 2 1/2 H.P. and will serve multiple functions.

Several manufacturers offer kits, with two bases, as shown below. One for plunge cutting, or lowering a spinning bit into the work piece, and a second base for regular use. These offer you the best of both worlds, and are generally priced less than buying two routers.

No woodshop is complete without this versitle tool!

 To see a complete line of routers and accessories click here


New! Porter-Cable 893PK Router Package
The NEW 890 series is loaded with great features to give you an easier-to-use, more powerful router. Ideal for all router table applications. This package includes 2-1/4 HP motor, fixed base, plunge base and carrying case.

New! Porter-Cable 893PK Router Package
Click here to order,  or view other routers



Shop for router tables and accessories from Rockler Woodworking.


Porter Cable 1-3/4 HP D-Handle Router, Model #691
This D-handle Router is 1-3/4 HP, 10 amp, 12,000 RPM.

Porter Cable 1-3/4 HP D-Handle Router, Model #691

Porter Cable 1-3/4 HP D-Handle Router, Model #691


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