Everything You Should Know About Woodworking Routers!

Wood routers are said to be the most integral part of woodworking but what does a wood router do? What exactly is the purpose of this tool and what are the things you can do with it?

Take note that cabinets and other wooden furniture are not just made by simply assembling their parts or pieces together. They are not like plastic materials that are made with molds and something you can reproduce in short period of time. All wooden furniture is almost made to perfection and they are built with impressive amount of craftsmanship.

The skills, however, are not enough without the proper tools to help them build the project. Routers as what the term implies are tools used to rout out or hollow out an area in a piece of wood.

what does a wood router do?

Wood routers are actually multi-purpose tools as they are built more than just to cut fancy edges but with a wide range of functions. They are commonly used for plunging and also used to make joints and also to cut off those complex designs and patterns seamlessly.

The function of the router depends on what type or style of router you are using.

  • Straight Edge Routers, as what the term connotes, is a type of router that can be used to create perfect straight cuts.
  • Plunge Routers are used to hollow out special designs that cannot be achieved by simple hand saw or other related cutting tools.
  • Specialized Router Tables invert the routers for steady cuts. If you are skillful enough, you can actually create and improvise your own router table. Some will even utilize their old furniture and transform them to the best cabinet table saw​​​​​ packed with amazing storage and spacious surface to work with.

Bits are placed on the spinning routers to cut and carve holes and they come up with a wide variety of shapes, allowing woodworkers to create various wood patterns.

  • Straight Bits are used to create perfect and seamless dadoes and rabbets.
  • Roundover Bits are used to transform sharp edges to perfectly smooth curves with no ease. A little more about wood router bit.

So how does a wood router work?

On a technical side, modern routers are now powered by electric motor. The original form of routers is basically a hand tool and mostly improvised which is commonly referred now as the poor man’s router. The electric motor driven routers, however, cannot serve their functions without the cutting tools that you need to install.

These cutting tools are better known as router bits. They come up with variety of designs which can produce different patterns. Once turned on, the bits will spin in great speed allowing you to shape the wood based on your preferred pattern and style. Routers can also be fixed on a table or you can also connect them with radial arms so controlling them could be more manageable.

What Can You Do with the Router?

Now that you finally know the basics of wood routers and how they work, the exploring part may now take place. Routers are very versatile tools and a worker can come up with so many ideas on how to effectively use routers.

Basically, routers are ideal tool for almost any woodwork especially for cabinets. The routers can flawlessly cut grooves and rebates and it can also profile edges based on the router bits you used. They can cut inlays to give your project an interesting character and personality. In addition to that, plunging routers can drill clean holes while router tables can recess clean hinges without the need of manual chiseling.

If you managed to pair the best wood router with other effective tools in woodworking including the best miter saw and other woodcutting machines, the possibilities of creating interesting projects are seemingly endless. Once you have mastered the basic wood router functions, you can now look for other possibilities by user the router with other machines! Precision Joinery Machines like WoodRat for an instance can be used with routers to make jointed boxes.

If skillful enough, you can also make an improvised router jigs that can help you cut perfect circles and other shapes. Routers are not just limited for cabinet making but they can also be used effectively for carving. With machines like Duplicarver, you can perfectly imitate a certain sculpture without the need of extensive artistic skills. There’s an endless possibilities you can do with the routers and you just need to be creative and skillful to execute them all amazingly.

What Kind of Router Do I Need?

Now that you know that the amount of things you can do with routers are simply overwhelming, the question now is what kind of router do you actually need? Picking the best and suitable router for you is not different from how you pick other materials on the market. Let’s say, I’m looking for the best framing nailer online, I will definitely pick something that I could get huge benefit in return (picking an item with trusted brand for an instance is one thing I will take us top priority). There are many factors to consider when choosing the right router including the quality of the product, the budget, the durability, handling and other important features.

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Router

Festool 574354 EB Router

Ryobi R1631K 1.5 Peak HP router

It is always advisable to look for reliable wood router review sites which allow you to compare routers based on their cut quality, designs, accuracy, price and motor power. Some sites will even provide you honest reviews including the pros and cons of buying the product. Consider all these factors and you’re ready! Go take your woodworking skills to another milestone! Good luck!