Woodworking is a high speed method of cutting, hollowing, trimming, edging and shaping wood, plastic, metal and other materials. The machine employed to perform this task is called woodworking routers. The modern woodworking routers are powered by electric motors and have rotating spindles to do the job of woodworking. A whole lot of complex tasks such as shaping edges, carving signs, creating grooves and slots and dadoes, creating raised panels, etc. are easily performed using a woodworking router. Woodworking routers are mainly used in carpentry workshops especially for making custom cabinetry.
Small woodworking routers have motor powers ranging between 1 and 1.25 HP. Such routers are mainly used for cutting edge banding for plywood for making cabinets. They are also known as trim or laminate routers.
Large woodworking routers are much more powerful as compared to smaller versions. The motor power of such routers range between 1.75 to 3.25 HP. They are used in commercial woodworking workshops where large volumes of woods are fashioned. Large woodworking routers are divided into following classes.
- Router tables are stationary woodworking routers which are designed to cut grooves and joinery and can also handle narrow wood pieces easily.
- Overheard woodworking routers are designed for precision cutting. These routers are used for making identical wooden parts on a mass scale.
- CNC woodworking routers are equipped with modern technology which makes them much more accurate as compared to other types of routers. They are also much more safe to use and can be set up very swiftly.
The woodworking routers come with a number of attachments to enable the wood to be cut using various methods.
There are some factors which must be taken into account when purchasing woodworking routers. Some of them have been listed here.
- Woodworking routers having variable speed controls are necessary if the woodworking requires a plethora of techniques using various attachments called router bits. This is because different router bits require different spinning speeds to perform their task efficiently.
- Power rating of the motor should be sufficient for the type of wood you are working with and the kind of cutting required. Woodworking routers having power in 1 ½ to 2 ½ HP range are suitable for cutting hardwood. Routers with higher power ratings are suited for harder materials and heavier volume of work.
- Soft start feature is recommended in a woodworking router. This feature ensures that the motor steadily takes the rotating spindle to the set speed. In the absence of this feature, there is a risk of the spindle suddenly reaching the set speed which can result in loss of control over the machine.
- Spindle lock is an important feature to look for in a woodworking router because it simplifies the task of changing the router bits.
- Microfine Deepness Cut is a beneficial feature for woodworking professionals needing high precision cuts. This feature ensures that the wood is cut to the accurate depth in a highly precise manner.
- Electronic feedback feature monitors the load on the motor. This way the user can adjust the torque as per the load on the motor for getting optimum output from the router.
- For a table mounted router, a large access hole at the base and two stage height adjustments are essential features.
- Dirt collection unit collects the wood shavings and other debris and keeps the place clean.