I’ve written quite a bit about routers for ToolCrib (scroll down to the router resources section)… but I haven’t yet written about choosing a solid plunge router. This thread at Woodnet: “What plunge router do you like” served as a great jumping off point for this short comparison article.
One major decision point you’ll have to make as you hunt for your plunge router is whether you want a dedicated plunger or a plunge kit router. As far as I can tell (based on opinions of Pat Warner) the plunge kit is best for the budget minded hobbyist. If you’re going to be routing professionally or even a great deal then the kit is not a great choice.
Further I’ve found some significant disagreements around using a plunge router in a router table. Pat Warner says don’t use a plunge router in a table, while Rockler cites writers for the Woodworkers Journal saying it’s not a problem. I lean towards Warner’s estimation personally, but I don’t have experience on the matter.
Dedicated Plunge Router:
DeWalt 621: 5 Votes
DEWALT 621 review by Pat Warner
Hitachi M12V2M: 1 Vote
Hitachi M12V2, 3 1/4Hp, Plunge Router by Tom Hintz
Festool OF 1400 EQ Plus Router: 1 Vote
Festool OF 1400 EQ Plus Router Review by Jim Becker
Here’s a Festool OF 1400 movie… it’s a pretty sweet looking machine:
Router with Fixed/Plunge Kit:
Bosch 1617: 2 Votes
Bosch 1617 Review by Phil Bumbalough
DeWalt DW618PK: 2 Votes
DeWALT 618 Router Kit Review by Jack Loganbill
Ridgid EVS 2-1/4 Peak HP Router Combo: 1 Vote
SELECTING A ROUTER (from Pat Warner)
Triton 3 1/4hp Plunge Router Review (representing the Aussie Routers)
Dewalt 618 vs. 621 (Pat Warner chimes in on this thread)
Advice on new Router purchase
Using a Plunge Router in a Router Table? (from Rockler)
PLUNGE OR FIXED FOR THE ROUTER TABLE? (Pat Warner)
More router resources from ToolCrib:
ToolCrib.com’s Ultimate Guide to Free Router Table Plans
Best Router Bits: Whiteside vs. Freud vs. Eagle America and MORE
Best Router for Beginning Woodworker?
ToolCrib.com’s Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Saw Blades and Router Bits
How Many Routers… Is Enough Routers?