Routers are versatile power tools that have replaced many handheld shaping and grooving planes. Because they are high revving, with speeds from 20,000 to 26,000rpm, they make a good quality, clean cut very quickly. They are graded according to the diameter of the collet that holds the cutter and are available in ^4-^in (6-12mm) sizes, which correspond to the shank sizes of the cutters, although some of the larger routers have collets that will allow the use of cutters with smaller diameters. Several accessories are usually supplied with a router, including a fence and various devices to allow the router to follow irregular shapes. A router can be used freehand or mounted on a table. Plunge routers are best for freehand use, but the plunging mechanism can be inconvenient when the router is mounted on a table.

There is a huge range of cutters to choose from which, for convenience, can be divided into two groups: those with bearings on the tips that are used to follow and shape an edge, and those that do not have bearings and can be used fully inserted into the wood for making grooves of different shapes and sizes.

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