3 Reasons to Use a Fixed Base Router

We asked Eric Streuli to explain his enthusiam for fixed base routers. Surely it's counter-intuitive to use a fixed base when you can buy a plunge router, set it to the depth you need and work that way, plunging as you go.

Well, yes. There's an obvious argument to the benefits of plunge routers, the most obvious being their flexibility. Why not look at the range of plunge routers we stock!
Bosch GMF1600CE 1/2in Multifunction Router

However, Eric outlined 3 solid reasons to consider using a fixed based router and he did so using the Bosch GMF 1600 CE Multifunction Twin Base Router.

Reason 1: Control

When using a fixed based router your hands are much closer to the workpiece, therefore you have more stability when moving the router over the workpiece. This equates to better control. So, a fixed base router is ideal for freehand edgework, and jig work because of the control and stability you enjoy when using it.

Bosch GMF1600CE 1/2in Multifunction Router

Reason 2: Repeat Applications

You're undertaking a routing application. You're doing it over and over again. Yes, a plunge router will handle this for you, but will need to keep a close eye on the depth you've set. Reintroducing the router to the work piece in a plunge motion could affect the accuracy of the depth. However, with a fixed base router you set the depth and that's it; that depth will be the depth you cut. No more, no less.
Bosch GMF1600CE 1/2in Multifunction Router

Reason 3: Router Table

If you're using a router with inter-changeable bases, it's really easy to set up the fixed base part in a router table, then use the motor in the plunge base, slotting it back into the table when you need it.

So, three simple reasons from an expert as to why you should be using a fixed base router. And you can see Eric demonstrating the first two reasons over on Toolstop TV. Just click here.

But what do you think?

Let us know if you agree or disagree with Eric's reasons, and if you've got more reasons to add to our list, tell us in the comments. And be sure to Share this article with your friends if you think they'd be helped by it!


jimbo on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:49:58 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

All plunge routers I've used have play in the plunge guides, with a lock on one pillar this allows a rocking motion of the top half giving sideways movement at the cutter. Not so bad for bearing copy cutters, but bad for guided use. That's why I'm looking at fixed base routers. I guess the tester/toolstop didn't want to emphasise the poor points of the other half of the kit for sale.

Chris Rendall on Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:40:08 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I also think a fixed base router is great if you are considering using it as part of a CNC set up.

Julius on Thu, 20 Mar 2014 22:02:55 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

GOF 1600 from BOSCH has quire a large 0.1mm wobble on the plunge base, the plunge shaft on right has a brass bushing, the left has no bushing, is this design flaw - I do not know, but it is not up to BOSCH standards.

Andyheathcote14b on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:55:48 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Surely if you are using the router as a pillar drill,i.e. to drill holes for adjustable shelves, or any work on the inside of the wood,then a plunge router is ideal and easier to control.

Jonas Karlström on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:51:16 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I want a router table, the real deal, since i got a plunge router already that im realy satisfied with (metabo 1229) !
But that day ill go the other way of Franko, and use a 1/2" / 12mm thats always mounted :)

Like your articles, keep them coming !

Franko on Tue, 25 Sep 2012 07:51:34 +0100 (Likes: 2 / Dislikes: 0

Good solid reasoning there Mark. However, there are two slight logistical problems there for me...
First, I've just bought a DeWalt 1/2" plunge router, and as you say, they can be a bit tricky to set up and handle, especially on edge mouldings. On big jobs though it's no problem.
Second point is that most people, for financial reasons, will only buy one router. In this case I think the plunge router would be the way most people would go. Good article though. If I win the lottery I think I will get a fixed base 1/4" router to suppliment my DW625EK!

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