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Makita RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router (Variable Speed)

Plunge Router Electric Brake

When it comes to the manufacture of electric tools for construction, Makita is a name that means quality. This Japanese company founded in 1915 was originally started to manufacture lighting equipment, motors, and transformers. However, they moved into power tools within 12 months of their start-up. Makita’s ability to be innovative not only with their tools but also in how they are charged has continued through the decades. Makita has not only engineered gas and corded power tools but cordless as well. Their innovative battery designs have created a tool with a powerful motor that can not only handle tough jobs but allows flexibility when it comes to accessing power for work.

One of the quality power products available from Makita is their RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router. This durable, quality tool is one that can handle a variety of jobs with little difficulty. It's a good choice for furniture makers, deck builders, cabinet makers, and other professional woodworkers as well as fine woodworking at home.

Makita-HP-Plunge-Router

Pros

  • Speed Control

Routers come with different speed options. They can have a fixed or single speed or they can be variable speed, like the RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router. A single-speed means that the tool is cutting at a constant rate no matter what the project or requirement. You can change out the bits as well but the speed remains the same. This is ok if you are doing regular work on the same material most of the time and not frequently changing bit size; however, if you want to do more than that, then you need to look at a variable speed.

This Makita plunge router features a variable speed control that allows the user to change cutting speed as they work. If you change bit sizes or material types, you can also adjust the speed of the router. For example, when you work with soft material such as pinewood, you don’t need a slow speed. Should you get into harder wood or other dense materials, you will find it easier if you can slow the speed down. Its sturdy 3.25HP 5 amp motor is versatile and strong and won’t bog down, even when working with tough materials for a longer period of time.

A second benefit of working with this Makita variable speed router is the safety factor. If you are using a larger bit, you should work at a slower pace to avoid trouble. Smaller bits under 1” don’t often have safety issues but you want to be able to adjust should you need to.

  • Speed Range

It’s important to understand a plunge router’s speed range when choosing one that works for you as it affects the cutting speed and what type of bits you can utilize for a specific project. High speed means your cuts will be quicker but you need to know the limits or range of these speeds to determine the bits you can use. The lower speed tells you the biggest bit you can use and the fastest speed determines the smallest size. This model has a wide range going from 9000RPM at the lowest setting for 2.5-3.5” bits to 22000RPM that work with bits at 1” of size. This speed range allows for great versatility in design and cuts for everything from cabinetry, counter tops, and doors.

The great safety benefit that this Makita has is that no matter what speed you choose, you get what is called a soft start. It begins at a slow speed and then gets faster until reaching the set speed. This is beneficial as it means you can be careful starting delicate cuts without a huge burst of power despite the amperage and powerful motor. This also means you won’t be injured by a jolt of power causing the tool to jump.

  • Plunge Depth Capacity

Plunge depth is important if you work on varying projects and need more than a standard depth for any of your work. The deeper the plunge depth, the more versatile it is. It’s important to choose one that works for you and your particular construction projects. This router has a range of 0-2 ¾” and is easily adjustable. There are pre-set markings that make it simple to know where you are setting the bit.

  • Bonus Features

This Makita router has some great features that can make your work simpler and safer.  This plunge router features tool-less bit changes, has two LED lights to help you see your work area better, and a labyrinth fan to minimize dust. The fan itself helps prolong the life of the tool as it works with the chip deflector to keeps the dust out of the router itself. It also has an easy design that includes rubber-coated, ergonomically designed handles so you have a good grip to control the tool. This not only means that your project is safe but so are your hands and arms. This router also has easy access adjustment knobs and a lock-on switch that is helpful when you are working on a project for long a long period of time.

Cons

  • When it comes to larger sized routers, this particular one is on the heavier side. While there are many now available that are palm-size and more compact, this one is large and heavy. While this is a con in some aspects, you also get versatility and quality that you won’t find in the smaller routers, though you get less precision

Final Thoughts

While new products hit the market that are smaller and more compact, they can’t do everything the Makita plunge router can. It may be bigger, but it can be used on complex projects for long hours every day while offering variable speed for a wide range of work. It is well designed and meant for both light and heavy use. The Makita RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router promises accurate work, a comfortable design, and solid routing performance.

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