Handheld Routers

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Router ActionShot.jpg
Synonyms: plunge routers, handheld routers,
electric trimmers, trimmer machines;
DE: Oberfräsen, Handoberfräsmaschinen
Material: wood
Used with: router bits;
router jigs
Access Requirements: Handheld Router Introduction
Tutors: Lukas
Similar (More or Less): CNC router, router plane; milling table, CNC mill

A router is basically a powerful motor spinning a sharp metal bit at high speeds. Read the manual before using and be aware of the difference between the regular "push" and the more dangerous "climb" cut!


Routers are very dangerous tools, make sure you have received the handheld router introduction in person and take time to think about what you are going to do!

Makita DRT50


Makita DRT50

Type: Handheld Router
Location: router table
Access Requirements: Handheld Router Introduction
Manual: Makita
Tutors: Lukas

The router has its own box (Makpack) with all its accessories (DRT50RTJX2). It is battery powered with 18V Makita lithium batteries that are shared with our other Makita tools like the cordless drill. The set consists of:

  • flat surface attachment w/o grips
  • flat surface attachment with grips
  • edge cut attachment
  • 2x vacuum dust attachment
  • long grip (can replace one of the stud grips on the flat surface attachment)
  • roller attachment for routing edges with bits lacking a bearing

Dust Extraction

with a superfluous adapter from our scroll saw, the router can be connected to Festool shop vacs

There are two different dust collection pieces, depending on which attachment you're using. Either one will need the black flexible adapter seen in the photo to fit on our shop vacs.

Additional Upgrades/Accessories

Freehand Baseplate

Lukas donated a custom baseplate bought from a local blogger (holzundleim.de). It should allow for much easier freehand routing!

It is made from HPL ("Resopal") and can be screwed to the gripless surface attachment in place of its small round baseplate. To dive into the workpiece, let the baseplate rest on its rear (straight) side and slowly allow it to tip forward after the router bit reaches full speed.

installed baseplate

The grips were turned from scrap ash wood as the original 3D printed ones felt too small. As suggested by the maker, the bottom edges were broken with 120 grit sandpaper to improve its sliding ability.

Circle Cutting Jig

Patrick made a 3D printed circle cutting jig that is used in combination with the surface attachment. Cutting range is ~200-720 mm ⌀ (depending on the router bit used).

Circle cutting jig

Router Bits

(main article: Router Bits)

Router bits can get quite expensive, but good quality ones can be sharpened when they become dull.

Typical collet (Spannzangen) sizes are 6 and 8 mm.
A simple shared set of 8 mm router bits is available under the router table. As always, report when broken and replace them accordingly!

Copying Rings

Copying rings can be used for template work and are more versatile (although a bit more complicated) than flush trim bits with a ball bearing that takes care of the copying. When working with a copying ring, the template has to be offset from the target shape by a few millimeters: offset = (outer coyping ring diameter - bit diameter)/2 [1]

Future Plans

  • self-built router table
  • 3D copying jig
  • "Pantorouter" guidance jig

Interesting Links