Multifaceted cutter. What tools can be replaced by a milling cutter?

When it comes to equipping a small carpentry workshop with the minimum necessary equipment, first of all, various machines (drilling, jointing, thicknessing), electric planers, miter saws, electric jigsaws, etc. come to mind. But a manual milling cutter is far from the first on the list priorities. But in vain! After all, this tool can replace most of what has already been listed! It’s just that not every novice master knows about his hidden abilities, those images in which he can act in his hands.

So what talents does a manual router hide in itself ?

Bringing the workpiece to mind, giving it a finished look is the main element of a manual milling cutter. To round the end or give it a complex profile – all that is needed for this is a little imagination and a cutter of the desired configuration.

For work of a similar plan, edge milling cutters of small power are suitable:

Milling cutter Metabo FME 737
If we are talking about the artistic design of solid wood products (door panels or furniture facades), then in this case you can’t do without an immersion model. This type of manual router is able to work on the plane of the workpiece, decorating it with a three-dimensional pattern.

To perform such work, milling cutters of medium and high power are suitable, supporting cutters of large diameters:

Milling cutter Bort BOF-1600N
6 199 *
Router Makita RP2300FC
Fraser builder
Assembly without a single nail or self-tapping screw is a favorite feature of self-respecting carpenters. To create such products, one cannot do without grooves and groove joints (simple groove, dovetail, lamellar connection, etc.). All of the above is performed without problems using a plunge cutter in a duet with a groove cutter of the desired configuration. If you do not change the settings of the router itself when manufacturing the same or the same type of parts, then amazing accuracy is achieved, which CNC machines used in mass production will envy.

Grooving places certain demands on the tool. Firstly, the milling cutter must be submersible, i.e., be able to penetrate into the thickness of the material, and secondly, its power must be above 1300 W:

Milling cutter Whirlwind FM-1300
3 799 *
Milling cutter Patriot ER 130
8099 *
In order not to heavily load the machine’s engine, when cutting wide or deep grooves, it is better to sample the material in several passes. This is especially important when working with low-power routers. And the cutters will be more whole.

Jointer milling cutter
A planer is essentially a large electric planer, the main purpose of which is to set the base plane of the workpiece, that is, by removing excess material, get an even workpiece from a warped board for further work with it. Moreover, in carpentry, in most cases, it is important that the planes of the workpiece are strictly perpendicular to each other.

It is possible to grind parts, i.e., create ideal planes for their further assembly or, for example, gluing into a furniture board, using a milling cutter with an end mill installed in it. To do this, use the parallel stop supplied.

Having set the cutter overhang and the amount of material to be removed, we drive the milling cutter with a parallel stop along a special tire or other perfectly flat guide. As a result, we obtain the ideal plane of the end face of the part.

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Any milling cutter of medium or high power is suitable, the main thing is that the kit includes a parallel stop:

Milling cutter Whirlwind FM-1900
5 699 *
Fraser Diold MEF-2.1
7 299 *
Router Hikoki M 12V2
20 799 *
Thicknessing machine is designed for calibrating parts, i.e. obtaining workpieces of the same size in one of the planes. Such a machine is an expensive pleasure, but a milling cutter is ready to help here too. True, to create parts of the same thickness over the entire plane, you will have to make an auxiliary device.


Then everything is simple. The workpiece is placed and fixed in the fixture. At the lowest point of the part, the depth of immersion of the cutter into the material is set. After that, with the help of a miter cutter, excess material is removed, as a result of which the master has in the hands of a part with a perfectly flat plane, which remains only to be sanded.


This technique can be used when milling a furniture board glued from parts that differ slightly from each other in height.

For such work, you will need a hardy tool that can work with large cutters:

Fraser Sturm! ER1112
5 399 *
Milling cutter Fiolent MF3-1100-E
5 199 *
Router Makita RP2300FC
Miter saw
Facing is another option for using a router. This is especially true when the preliminary cut of the workpiece is carried out manually or with a jigsaw, and not with a miter or circular saw.

The method of work is the same as when jointing the ends of the workpieces.

If several parts are made, then it is enough to align the end of one workpiece, leading the router along the guide using a parallel stop, and then, using a cutter with a bearing, repeat the even end on the remaining parts.


What to do when there is no miter saw, but you need to make a mustache connection? Cut at a 45° angle with a high level of precision? Fraser will help with this! Just again you need to make a simple device.


Further, everything is simple:

cut off the part with a small margin for milling;
insert the workpiece into the jig at the desired angle;
we remove excess material with a milling cutter, thereby leveling the plane of the connection.
Those who sawed a large number of identical parts with a jigsaw probably know how tedious this monotonous work is. With the help of a manual milling cutter, the required number of parts can be simply copied! The main thing is to prepare the template well and with high quality. And then, we take and install in the router the copy sleeve that comes with most models. We fix the template on the material, and copy, copy, copy …


Such a task is feasible for milling cutters with a small rated power:

Milling cutter Caliber Master FE-1000M
4 350 *
Milling cutter Makita RP0900
You can decorate furniture facades with an interesting pattern using a template and a copy sleeve. The main thing is that all the details will be exactly the same, and it will not take a lot of time to make them. The main effort should be directed to the careful preparation of the template!

Milling machine
After working a little with a manual router and gaining experience, the master begins to understand that it is not very convenient to hold the router on weight, his hands constantly get tired, and the processing accuracy suffers from this. A good option is to install a router on a table. The output is a milling woodworking machine. In addition to the tabletop, you will need to install a parallel stop, and as an option, install a chip removal system from the material removal zone.


As a result, the hands of the master hold the workpiece, not the router, so they get tired less and can do more.

For installation in a milling table, you need a tool of high power and preferably with a speed stabilization system under load:

Router Hammer FRZ2200 Premium
10 799 *
Fraser Diold MEF-1.9-01
6 999 *
Router Makita RP2300FC
A hand mill is an indispensable tool in any carpentry workshop, and its submersible variations can replace several tools and expensive machines at once. In the skillful hands of the master, this is the Paganini of carpentry, it is only important to know about his capabilities and be able to reveal his talents.