There are numerous types of wood router bits to choose from, just as there are numerous different types of routers to choose from. There are also specialized composite routers and plastic routing tools for all the different types of tasks that people might need to complete. Wood router bits can often be used for soft metals such as aluminum as well, but most people use specialized metal cutting router bits for the majority of their metal routing needs. All these factors make it even more difficult to settle on one machine for the multitude of tasks.
Deciding which power routing tool and which wood router bits is right for you and your tool shop is no easy task, but with the right tools all the other tasks will be much easier. Before even thinking about composite routers and plastic routing machines, it’s a good idea to start by considering the two types of routers to choose from for wood applications and the features and accessories available for them. With so many routers and so many wood router bits, even the most knowledgeable of woodworkers will still need a little help deciding on what wood working tool to add to their collection.
There are generally fixed base and plunge style routers, which are either better at doing plunge cuts or are better for beginners, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Most wood routers and wood router bits can work on soft metals like aluminum as well as wood, but if you intend on doing a lot of metal work, a higher horsepower model should be considered. Higher power routers and dedicated metal cutting router bits come in many different varieties, but many people feel the fixed base routers are better for metal.
There are also composite routers that address the specific needs of composite materials, as well as tools for plastic routing. It’s a good idea to speak with the manufacturers of the materials, and see what tools they recommend.