Wood crafting, carpentry and cabinetry require a lot of equipment and tools; and one of these most helpful and important tools required by woodcrafters and woodworkers is a wood router. A wood router is meant to be used for trimming, shaping, or cutting different kinds of wood materials. It can also be utilized by woodworkers to cut a groove on wood materials as well as plastic material or some other hard workpieces. It is available in different types. Some are handheld while some are meant to be mounted on a table. Table mounted routers are widely used compared to handheld routers because of their versatility. Routers also differ in their functionality. There are some that can cut metal materials and other materials and some that can cut only wood materials. Basically, a wood router regardless of its type consists of guide template, a cutting tool and router unit.
- 1 Best Wood Router For Beginners (Comparison)
- 2 Best Wood Router For Beginners
- 3 Types of wood routers
- 4 How to choose the best wood router
- 5 Conclusion
Owing to the wide use of wood routers and improvement in technology, there are many top wood router brands each having different models in their product range. In fact, shoppers have up to 100 options to choose from. With such a plethora of options, first time shoppers and even professionals normally find it difficult to choose one that will meet their requirements. In order to help you to make an informed decision, we have carried out an in-depth research in order to discover the best models on the market taking into consideration their durability, functionality, features and consumer rating. We have briefly reviewed best wood routers and put up other useful information that will help you to make an informed decision if you are looking for a wood router.
Best Wood Router For Beginners (Comparison)
Best Wood Router For Beginners
Dewalt DWP611PK is one of the best wood routers on the market. It has stunning power and also delivers impressive performance. Its motor is capable of generating 1.25HP of torque. Its speed can be adjusted and it is also variable meaning that it can be used on different kinds of woods and on different applications. The cutting accuracy is almost 100%. With Dewalt DWP611PK wood router there is no room for mistakes because of the control it offers to users. Users enjoyed perfect grip because the handle is not just solid but also contoured. It offers users with superior bit visibility thanks to the LED light and clear plastic fixed base it comes with. Its profile is available in a lightweight design and this also enhances the control users enjoy while working with this unit. Besides, working with this wood router does not put any strain on the operators’ muscles. The router provides improved surface contact with the large eight slots that it comes with. The tool remains stable even when it is used on heavier applications thanks to its large plunge base platform. Check Detailed Review
- It is not just efficient but durable thanks to its aluminum motor housing and base construction.
- It is certified frustration-free and covered with a 3 year warranty.
- It is quite easy to set and modify the depth of cut of this wood router with high level of precision.
- The workpiece is lighted up by the LED reducing the possibility of mistakes.
- It is available in a compact and lightweight design making it easy for users to work for hours with it.
- It comes with the basic features required for routing.
- The plastic case may be too hard to the likening of some consumers who will prefer a soft case. However, this is subjective as some consumers do not have any problem with that.
- The aluminum on the grip may cause problem to some users when the hands become sweaty. Thus, it would have been better if it is replaced with rubber.
- Some woodcrafter would have preferred it to be cordless even though the cord is lengthy enough to allow users some freedom.
Dewalt DW618PK is a wood router which can be used by both a professional and a do-it-yourself hobbyist. Beginners in wood crafting can also work with this tool because it is equipped with good and easy-to-use features. It delivers stunning performance thanks to the cam motor housing as well as its other features like clear LEXAN sub-base and 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets. It features both plunge and fixed bases. However, it can be purchased only with the fixed base. Dewalt DW618PK motor is capable of generating 2.25 HP torque. The motor is adjustable and it is a tool-free steel cam style type. With this motor, setting the depth measurement is a breeze and changes between the based are easily accomplished. It features an electronic variable speed. Its complete feedback control ranges from 8,000 to 24,000RPM. It is equipped with a dust collector which is capable of trapping 95 percent of particles and dust generated during cutting. This reduces post-routing task. Dewalt DW618PK can use both 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch which are the the two most common bit shank sizes to choose from in router table. It also features an adjustment ring of 360 micro which makes for easy control of the depth. Check Detailed Review
- It is covered by a three year warranty which will give users rest of mind that nothing will happen to their machine for at least three years.
- It can be used for all types of woods making it to be very versatile.
- It has excellent ergonomics, low gravity and low centre.
- Its power cord is detachable making storage to be easy.
- It is durable and also offers impressive cutting quality.
- It is corded and many consumers would have preferred it to be cordless.
- The package does not come with any edge guide. Purchasing one means added cost.
- Users may not find it easy to reach the collet.
Bosch 1617EVSPK is an option for woodworker looking for router with impressive performance and stunning ease-of-use. Whether you are a professional or an inexperienced wood crafter, you will be able to work with this tool. It comes with 12Amp motor which is capable of generating 2.25HP. It comes with a fixed-based depth of 1-5/8″ with variable speed control RPM of 8,000 – 25,000 which makes it a great tool for woodcrafters cutting different kinds of woods. Just with a finger, operators can easily get to the toggle switch of the variable speed control. It has a collet capacity of 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 8mm. Whether you want to do fixed routing or plunge routing, you will be able to achieve it with this tool as it comes with both plunge and fixed base. Whether you prefer fixed base or plunge wood router, you don’t require any tool for the fitting of the base. It is very easy to change this model’s router bits. Bosch 1617EVSPK adjusts excellently with and in a fixed base, it can perform 1/64 inch. It now comes with an aluminum motor housing and bases and this enhances its durability. Dust and any other particle cannot enter the power switch. Check Detailed Review
- The plunge base’s handles offers good control thanks to its ergonomics.
- It is not just high performing but also durable and covered with a year warranty.
- It is a versatile wood router as it is capable of working on different kinds of woods and besides it comes with both plunge and fixed base.
- The size of the collet (shaft) can be changed from 1/4 inches to 1/2 inches.
- It is double insulated.
- It comes with work light which enhances visibility.
- Users may experience difficulty in changing the bases as loosing or tighting the base can be difficult.
If you are an amateur woodworker and you are looking for a versatile wood router that matches your experience, Makita RT0701C may be a product that you are looking for. It is suitable for lightweight and small-time routing work and not for heavy-duty workload. It is available in a lightweight and compact design. Thus with a dimensions of 10x8x6 inches and weight of 3.9 pounds, it is very easy to work with this machine. It operates with 120 volts and comes with a motor which is capable of generating a horsepower of 1.25 torque. It is a corded wood router with impressive versatility thanks to its variable speed control dial which ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM. Makita RT0701C is capable of delivering more professional and standard finish thanks to the special electronic speed load circuitry that it comes with. By default, it has a fixed base plate. However, you can also use a plunge base on it. The base can easily be removed thanks to its cam lock system which has a spring release mechanism that you have to press down for it to release. Thus, it is left for you to decide whether to purchase it or not. The router offers just 1/4 inch shaft for the router bits because of its smaller motor. It has aluminum casing, clear base and ergonomic design. Check Detailed Review
- It has awesome built quality and impressive durability thanks to the aluminum housing for the motor and the metal alloy it comes with.
- It is highly versatile as it can be used for both bases and to work on different kinds of woods.
- It is cost effective considering the standard and quality of finishing its gives.
- It is very easy to work with thanks to its lightweight design and ergonomic design.
- It is not good for professional use as it cannot be used to carry out heavy duty work.
- The power cord comes with anti-theft device.
- The model does not have any LED or light on it.
Strongly created and equipped with user-friendly features, Black & Decker RP250 is a good option for woodworkers that want rewarding routing experience. With this wood router, you’ll enjoy enhanced accuracy and incredible accuracy. It is a versatile router designed to perform multiple tasks. It can carry out fixed base routing even though it basically works on the plunge base. It comes with a motor of 10Amp which is capable of generating 2-1/4 torque of horsepower. With this torque, it rotates at a very high speed which varies from 8000 to 27,000 RPM. With this tool, you can get more precise results and greater control as a result of its start function. Though the router is made with tough materials which enhance its durability, it is covered with a 2 year warranty. It gives accurate results as a result of the improved visibility it offers as made possible by its sightline base. It is available in a lightweight and compact design as it weighs only 9.9 pounds and has a dimensions of 11.5 x 6.6 x 11.9 inches. It is a corded wood router that operates on 120 volts. Check Detailed Review
- It is budget friendly and can be used by inexperience woodcrafter.
- Its dust collection system is quite great. It is capable of trapping resins and debris generated during cutting and this helps in reducing post cutting task.
- It is versatile as it is capable of doing both fixed and plunge base task. Besides it has variable speed control.
- The base is very strong making the router to provides more support and control.
- It comes with a very strong motor housing.
- It is not good for every day use or heavy-duty task.
- Its depth stop has limitation on its range.
- A lot of users may find the handle very small and this makes handling somewhat difficult.
- Mounting of guide bushings is not supported by this router.
- It comes with a small base.
6. Dewalt DW616
Dewalt DW616 is an embodiment of durability, ease-of-use, durability and versatility. The package comes with the basic thing you require in order to start routing. Working with this wood router is very easy and comfortable as one does not require any tool to remove the base or make adjustment. Besides, adjustment can easily and quickly be made. The features that make this possible are the quick-release motor latches and steel motor cam lock that it comes with. The body is very stable during work. The handles are made from rubber and thus handling it for hours will not result in any hand fatigue. You can choose whether to keep the switch on your left or right hand thanks to the unique switch and cordset configuration it comes with. Dewalt DW616 comes with a motor of 11 amp which is capable of delivering 1-3/4 horsepower operating on 120 voltage. The housing of the motor is plated with nickel for enhance easy and long lasting depth adjustment. This wood router weighs 10 pounds and has a dimensions of 10.8×9.2×7.2 inches. It comes with fixed-based. It is covered with a three year limited warranty, 1 year free service contract and 90 day money back guarantee. Check Detailed Review
- The space between the base and motor is enough for the removal of the bits.
- It is easier to micro adjust the height adjustment of this product.
- Users can easily see what they are doing via the clear lexan base.
- It is very easy to use and its motor generates reasonable amount of power.
- Some users may not like the weight. It can be troublesome and stressful to hold 10 pounds for a long time.
- It is not great for professional use.
With aluminum motor housing and base, Porter-Cable 690LR wood router is equipped with an 11 amp motor which is capable of generating a horsepower of 1-3/4. It is a single speed motor which revolves for 27,500 times per minute thanks to the speed at which is moving. Users do not have any problem adjusting the height and releasing the motor owing to the system’s cam-lock lever. The shaft or collets of the product enhances the user convenience because it is able to accept 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch shank bits. Though the Porter-Cable 690LR is strongly created, it is still covered with a three year warranty which leaves users with a rest of mind that they are purchasing a quality router. The ball-bearing construction guard of this product is sealed against tear and wear. Another good aspect of this item is that it features a stunning ergonomic design which makes for convenience and stability. It is very easy to remove the bit of this router thanks to the auto-release collet system that it comes with. There is no chance of the motor rotating inadvertently from the base thanks to the under-table stop it comes with. Users will not experience any hand fatigue even if they work for many hours with the machine as it has ergonomic molded grips. Check Detailed Review
- It is not too heavy or too light. It has a moderate weight and dimension.
- It is covered with a 90 day money back guarantee, three year limited warranted and a year free service contract.
- The package comes complete with user manual, collet wrench, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collets and fixed base.
- Many consumers find the position of the switch quite annoying as it is not very easy to reach at.
Bosch PR20EVSK is a very good wood router for people with high level of experience in woodworking. It can also be used by intermediate woodcrafter or people that are engaged in woodcrafting on regular basis or for long time. It is an embodiment of performance, durability, convenience and functionality. Its aluminum construction helps to increase its portability while its soft-grip enhances the user-convenience. It is equipped with a motor of 5.6amp which is capable of generating 1.0 horsepower that can spin the motor at a variable speed of between 15,000 to 35,000 rpm. One distinguishing feature of this product is that it is user-friendly thanks to its simple and straightforward operation. 1/4 inch bits can be used on the collect. Bit changes are easily accomplished thanks to the front spindle lock on the motor. If you like using two wrenches, there is no cause for alarm because the product also come with shaft wrench. It operates with 120 volts and 750 watts. Check Detailed Review
- It is available in a compact and lightweight design.
- The tool does not overheat as a result of the air vents made available on top to make the machine remain cool.
- Its base is very easy to be changed because the tool comes with quick clamp lever system.
- The cord is kept away from the work area by the angled cord.
- The power switch does not have any dust cover.
- It is corded which many consumers do not like.
Types of wood routers
Wood routers are basically of two types, namely, the fixed base routers and plunge routers. The difference between these two types depend on their design which determines what work can be done with them. The base of a plunge wood router is spring loaded making it possible for the user to shove down the bit on the wood. With this type of router, a wood crafter can actually begin cutting from the centre of the wood instead of the edge. Though, it is a little bit more challenging to use the plunge router, but it is more versatile than the fixed base routers. Fixed base wood routers are much easier to use than the plunge base routers and this is why it is recommended for beginners. They are normally available in a lighter weight design when compared with plunge router. The plaid depth of this type of wood routers cannot be adjusted requiring you to set it right before you can start.
Wood routers can also be divided into two based on their sizes. The first is the table mounted routers which are of larger size. The second type which is the smaller type is called the router plane or hand-held router. There is a third type of wood routers called the spindle router which features a shaft that has a holding device or a collet. It also has a vertically set electric motor.
How to choose the best wood router
As already mentioned above, wood router is one of the power tools that are available in a variety of choices on the market. Thus, before you choose a suitable wood router there are certain factors that you should take into consideration. Here are some of the factors to consider.
Consider brand and model
Some brands produce more reliable wood routers and they have established reputation on the market with the quality of products they produce. Similarly, models of the same brand do not come with same features. Thus, it is advisable that you go for models of reliable brands with features that you will require.
Take time to read the reviews of different models
Before you make your choice especially if you’re a first time shopper, you have to read reviews of wood routers that you are considering purchasing to find out what previous buyers are saying. Go for wood routers that have high customer rating.
Take your cutting needs into consideration
This is of utmost importance because each type of wood router is designed for a particular type of cut. So, go for a type that will meet your cutting needs or a type that can perform multiple tasks.
Consider performance and convenience
Sometimes, some consumers sacrifice quality for cost. But this should not be the case. You should always consider performance as well as convenience before cost as these will determine the quality of cuts you will achieve with your wood router.
Don’t forget to check the features
There are some features that are very basic and important and some that are redundant. So, you need to consider features before you make a choice. Some of the important features to consider are variable speed, electronic feedback circuitry, spindle lock, soft start and others.
Having a quality wood router is a veritable investment of money and time. With it, you will be able to obtain cuts you need for impressive output. But the quality of your router matters a lot as it determines to a greater extent the quality of the cut you will obtain. Many hardware stores both offline and online sell this important woodworking tool. But some products are simply not good. When it is time for you to purchase one, you can read our wood router reviews and choose from any of the products reviewed above because they have high customer rating and have proven records.