The router : what use ? How to choose and use it safely ?

The router is a versatile device which allows the realization of many works in relation with wood and many other materials. It is essential for cabinetmakers and carpenters who find in the router their daily ally. It is also a must for amateur do-it-yourselfers who want to do a lot of work at home. Let’s see what are the main selection criteria for having an infallible router and what are the rules that must be followed in order to use it without risk.

Ripper: uses

The router is an essential power tool for professionals and amateur DIY enthusiasts. It is mainly suitable for carpentry and cabinetmaking work. It allows of course to work wood, but also plastic or aluminum, steel, brass, that is to say hard materials as well as soft materials. It is essential for assemblies or finishing since it allows to:

  • To cut,
  • Profiler,
  • Flush,
  • Chanfreiner,
  • Drill holes.
  • groove,
  • Graver…

If this work of pieces of wood or other materials is possible, it is because the router is equipped with a cutter driven by a motor.

Router: selection criteria

There are a considerable number of router models, so it is not so easy to choose, especially when working with wood as an amateur. However, it is essential to have an excellent quality router in order to continue to DIY with pleasure.

The essential selection criteria are the following :

  • Its weight, which must be moderate,
  • The presence of ergonomic handles,
  • Robustness,
  • Longevity, life expectancy,
  • Reliability,
  • versatility,
  • The power,
  • The precision,
  • An integrated LED lamp,
  • A sole that does not slip,
  • Good quality jacks,
  • The absence of vibration,
  • Easy adjustments such as the choice of depth,
  • Its accessories such as clamps, compasses, parallel guides, milling cutters,
  • A powerful integrated dust extractor,
  • Its level of security
  • Its evolutionary side,
  • maneuverability,
  • Consumables easy to find in DIY stores,
  • Value for money.

Some categories of routers are more suitable for professionals while others are preferably aimed at amateurs.

Pour DIY at home wood of any type whatsoever, plastic or even aluminum and other materials, if you do not have a lot of experience in this area, you can for example opt for an entry or mid-range router provided that it has ergonomic handles allowing an excellent grip, and that it is sold with a case of very varied accessories. Ideally, preference can be given to a router equipped with a complete chip extraction systembut this equipment is relatively rare on entry-level routers.

About the engine powerit must be sufficient to be able to machine everything. We can therefore rely on a motor of at least 1800 W and a rotation speed between 8,000 and reaching at least 28,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). It is also necessary to be able to count on a machine which limits the risks of false manipulations. For this, the ideal is to find a router soft start of the cutter.

Some models are more sophisticated and incorporate a very useful dust extractor to limit the risk of inhaling fine dust and offer a depth adjustment device in three very distinct ways: either micrometric or through a winding handle , or still diving.

Categories of routers

We understand that, generally, the higher the range, the more the price of a router increases. It is safe to classify them into three categories in terms of purchase price.

The entry level router at the maximum price of 100 €

She is light, suitable for beginners who want to get their hands dirty. Professionals can use this type of device but rather as a simple auxiliary trimmer, whether for pieces of wood or plaster, because it is not suitable for intensive daily use.

The mid-range router with a selling price of 110 to 150 €

It is generally better equipped than the lower model, but it is especially at the level of its vitesse the difference between these two ranges lies, so that a greater variety of materials can be machined with this tool.

The high-end router for a budget over 150 €

She allows to do everythingwhatever the material you want to undertake, without limit, because it benefits from a advanced technology. It is generally a sophisticated model, of great robustness, and which simplifies the work of materials. The cutters are changed quickly, you can pre-select the depth of the stops, the start of the tree is progressive, it is equipped with an LED lighting system for better visibility of precision work, it also has a swivel handle , a powerful chip extractor… In short, we expect no less from a router of this superior category.

Finally there is a exceptional range of routers. They are machines to which the pros mainly turn, but to afford this type of little gem, you have to pay around 500 €.

Some models are better suited to furniture manufacturing because they settle under table. Anyway, the router on which we set our sights should not be too heavy. A relatively reasonable weight makes the work less arduous.

Using a router: safety rules

Precautions should be taken when handling a router. It is therefore a machine not to be put in all hands. The use of a router implies compliance with the following safety rules:

  • Wear protective gear : mask, goggles, gloves, noise-canceling headphones,
  • Leave the ripper hors tension during preparation, assembly and/or assembly operations,
  • Fix the part working on a workbench using clamps,
  • Ride at full speed avant to use the tool,
  • Only unplug the router when the strawberry is completely at a standstill,
  • Always unplug the machine after use.

When buying a router, do not hesitate to inquire with a specialist available to consumers in some major DIY stores, presenting their project to them so that they can advise on the most suitable router model. to his client. But if you do not feel ready to use this kind of equipment yourself, it is better entrust his work to a craftsman,saint or carpenter.

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