Using a Pin Router

They're just the ticket for one-off custom parts. June 4, 2009

I see pin routers for cheap and have never used one. What are they good for?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
They are good for following patterns. The pin is essentially the bits bearing. I use to use one to cut out holes in MDF for speakers. Make a pattern, put the pc on the pattern and the pin guides the pattern and pc to follow the pattern cutting out the same shape as the pattern. It is usually better than a router because it is a higher HP motor.

From contributor J:
The pin router is a good example of old technology that still works, especially for limited production or single custom parts. While CNC milling has largely replaced the pin router, I can usually make a single custom part and have it finished before any computer programming is ready. The pin router is generally safer to use then a traditional wood shaper, especially for any hand-held contour shaping. Many of the older machines were built nearly indestructible which is why they're still around and still on the job.

From contributor O:
My ancient Rockwell gathers dust most of the time, but is just the ticket for the occasional custom piece, and it's bulletproof. Sort of like an observation by my tractor-collector neighbor, who says the reason you don't see many old Fords at tractor shows is that they're still working for a living!