Typically, it’s difficult to use a plunge router in a router table. That’s because you often need to remove the router from the table in order to change bits. Setting the bit’s height requires fighting the plunge springs while pushing the motor to the correct bit depth. Freud’s new 15-amp FT3000VCE plunge router, $290, is a back-saving machine that allows you to make all your adjustments from above the table, from bit changes to height adjustments. Yes, other routers offer above-the-table adjustments, but most are smaller, 12-amp machines.
In addition to its easy above-the-table use, the FT3000 has a micro-adjust dial that makes it easy to fine tune bit depth in 1/128-in. increments. This machine has variable speed (8,000-21,000 rpm) and, like many variable speed routers, soft start and electronic speed control. Variable speed is especially important when you use large diameter bits in a router table. It comes with both 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. collets, and a dust port for handheld routing. The height adjustment knob required for making adjustments from above the table is included with the machine.
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