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Wood Router Buying Guide 2018

A real woodworker knows how to work wood in order to create their own pieces of furniture. If you are new to this field, you should know that the best tool to make your tasks as easy as possible is a router for wood. Buying the best wood router can be tough, given the variety present in the market. There are certain qualities that wood router reviews tend to possess and below, you are going to find out exactly what these qualities are. You are also going to find a list of the top-notch wood routers that are worth your while as well as a detailed description of why they are the best of the best.

Before you take the plunge and purchase a product, you should gain as much information as possible so that you can rest assured that whatever you buy would satisfy you in every way. Hence, if you feel a little uncertain about which product would be right for you, just read on and you will find that the decision will start to become a lot easier than before!

Top Rated Wood Routers

DeWalt DWP611PK

DeWalt DWP611PK

Review score:4,5 stars

DeWalt is perhaps one of the best companies in the market for a wood router. This product is a great example of why this company is so well thought of. To start off with, the variable speed means that you can customize the power output of this wood router, thus enabling you to get the exact results that you might be looking for. This is important because woodworking is a delicate task and requires a great deal of finesse and control. Your skills can only take you so far; after a little while, you are going to have to be able to depend on your wood router to help you out.

The LEDs featured in the design are also a nice touch because they would allow you to see with clarity how your work is progressing. Visibility can be a real problem when it comes to woodworking, so if you want your end result to be up to the mark, you should make sure that the product you get has adequate lighting to make that possible. You will be glad to know that this product right here exemplifies this trait!

One thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to wood routers is style. Having one that looks nice is certainly not a bad thing in any case and with this product, you are going to get a design that is quite aesthetically pleasing. This would help you spice up the look of your workstation and since your wood router would look so stylish, you might just be a little more inclined toward working on your projects.

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Bosch 1617EVSPK

Review score:4,5 stars

If you want to talk about variable speeds, only a few products on the market would be able to measure up to this behemoth created by Bosch. If you want the most customizable speed options possible, you should definitely use this wood router for your daily tasks. Giving you the option to operate it at anywhere between 8,000 to 25,000 RPM, a range that would cover pretty much all possible tasks that you would have in mind for the router, this product is great because you are unlikely to require any other wood router while you are using it.

You might be a little apprehensive about purchasing this product when you take a look at the price tag, but the fact of the matter is that it is worth it when you check out the variable speed. Another thing to keep in mind about this product is how durable it is. Durability is key when you are trying to select a wood router because it is going to experience quite a bit of rough treatment, especially if you are planning on using it on a regular basis. Hence, the fact that this product is durable helps justify the price a little as you are not going to have to spend a lot of money on pricey repairs or buying a new product every time your wood router breaks down.

Finally, the thing about this product that has quite a few people excited is the fact that it is so energy efficient. A product that saves so much energy is definitely one that is worth looking into, especially when you consider the fact that wood routers tend to use up a significant amount of energy over an extended period of time. Hence, using this product would allow you to save up on energy bills as well.

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Porter-Cable 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router

Review score:4 stars

Porter-Cable 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router

At first glance, this product might not seem like a good buy simply because it does not have a variable speed motor. When you have a single speed motor that operates at 25,000 RPM, you might assume that such a wood router would be unsuitable for people who require a little bit of finesse while they are working with wood and rightfully so. However, to compensate for the single speed motor, this product offers you something quite unique with the lever that would allow you to adjust how coarse or fine you leave your wood grain.

This is important because it allows specificity in one of the most important areas of woodworking, which is often ignored because people are focusing too much on RPM. Additionally, the fact that this product costs a good 30% less than variable speed motor wood routers makes it quite an attractive option for people who do not have the funds to buy a Bosch or DeWalt wood router.

Another thing that makes up for the single speed motor is the aluminum casing that this product is housed in. This aluminum casing is phenomenally durable, so much so that you can expect to use it as your main wood router for quite a bit of time. This, along with the fact that you get a superior depth adjustment with this product, makes it a must buy for newbies as well as experienced hands that don't have the sort of budget that would get them a high-end machine. It is important to keep in mind that apart from the single speed motor, pretty much every single aspect of this product is utterly amazing and makes it worth the price several times over!

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DeWalt DW618PK 12-Amp Variable-Speed Router Kit

Review score:5 stars

DeWalt DW618PK 12-Amp Variable-Speed Router Kit

The first thing you should understand about this product is that it does not just have a variable speed motor, but it has a very powerful one! This is important because the 12-amp variable speed wood router that you would get when you buy this product is worth its price since it would be able to cut through the hardest of wood with ease and precision that are to die for. You would be hard pressed to find a wood router that is this incredibly precise on the market! However, it is important to note that this is not the only thing about this wood router that you are going to love.

There is also the fact that it provides some pretty stellar visibility. You should keep in mind the fact that one of the biggest impediments to visibility while you are using a wood router is dust. Naturally, when you cut into wood, there is going to be a lot of wood dust flying around and this can make it nearly impossible for you to see what is going on after your woodworking session is well underway. This product comes with a dust collection feature that filters pretty much all of the dust that would fly while you are working on your wood. This gives you the clearest possible vision while you are cutting into your wood panels, thus allowing you to cut with accuracy and precision!

Additionally, the motor cam lock is adjustable enough to allow you to optimize the depth of penetration that you get. This is great for delicate works that require a light touch, and the variable motor can allow you to slow down the RPMs so that you get the most delicate, subtle cuts possible with router.

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Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router

Review score:4,5 stars

Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router

If you want the most powerful motor possible, you might have to sacrifice any hopes of getting one that is variable in its speed. This is because the more powerful a motor is, the less likely you are going to be able to customize how fast it goes since that much power is going to be quite difficult to control in the first place. However, Bosch has proven itself to be a true contender for the absolute top spot in the world of wood routers simply because it has the most powerful motor on the market and, at the same time, it has a variable speed motor.

This is nothing less than a triumph of engineering from the people at Bosch. They have managed to create a product that has an incredible 2.25 horsepower and 12 amps, but the thing that truly makes this product remarkable is the fact that it's so great at precision and accuracy that you would barely even realize just how gargantuan this product is in its power supply.

Another great thing about this product is the fact that in spite of its enormously powerful variable speed motor, a combination that should technically take up a significant amount of energy, this product is still quite cost effective when it comes to your energy bill. Part of the reason why this is the case is its energy-saving design that only uses power where it is absolutely necessary, keeping all other features off until you turn them on yourself. This helps make up for the higher-than-average price point because you would not have to worry about an inordinately expensive electricity bill; instead, you would be able to sit back and relax while using your wood router, knowing that it would not drive up your bill all that much.

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Comparative Characteristics Of Wood Routers

 Porter Cable 690LRDeWalt DWP611PKDeWalt DW618PK 12Bosch 1617EVSPKBosch 1617EVS
Porter-Cable-690LR-11

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DeWalt-DWP611PK

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DeWalt-DW618PK-12

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Bosch-1617EVSPK

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Bosch-1617EVS-2-14

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Amperage11.007.0012.0012.0012
Horsepower1.751.252.252.252.25
Maximum
RPM
27,50027,00024,00025,00025,000
Plunge
Stroke
(Inches)
0.0082.0002.5002.0002.200
Depth Stop
(Inches)
45253
Base
Dimensions
(Inches)
5.50 x 4.754.38 x 5.756.00 x 5.756.00 x 6.696.00 x 6.69
Router Type
Combination
FixedFixedFixed
& Plunge
Fixed
& Plunge
Fixed
& Plunge
Collet
Capacity
(Inches)
0.250.250.50,
0.25
0.25,
0.50
0.25, 0.375, 0,5, 0.315
Warranty
(Years)
33111

Buying Guide

The thing about working with wood is that there are a number of different scenarios you are going to face. Cutting wood is pretty simple. Carving it would be a little more complicated, but it is also important to keep in mind the fact that there are a lot of wood carving tools that would help you get the job done in no time at all. Then comes the all-important task of wood routing.

Wood routers come in handy when you are using a particularly hard piece of wood. If you need to hollow it out, the various tools you might have at your disposal are going to be more or less worthless. You are going to need something a little more precise and powerful. This combination of power and precision can only be found in wood routers.

Hence, a wood router is a machine that is used to hollow out tough woods so that you can give them the shape you want. Hence, they are useful in a variety of situations such as the creation of cabinets which tend to use very hard wood and also tend to require intricate paneling and hollowing out in order to be actually useful.

There are a variety of wood routers out there, so you need to make sure that you buy one that is right for you.

Types of Wood Routers

As mentioned before, there are a variety of different routers that you can get. One of the most popular types is a fixed based router that is useful if you want something that is portable, compact and easy to use because you would not have difficulty moving it around.

However, this router is more about maneuverability rather than anything else. Therefore, if you want something portable, you should get a wood router that has interchangeable bases. This would enable you to keep a set of bases with you at all times that you can take with you everywhere you go, thus saving you the trouble of carrying multiple wood routers and decreasing your load by a large margin. These wood routers are generally more affordable as well, which is important for people who don't have an enormous budget.

These two are the main types of routers that you would be able to buy. There are other types as well such as the laminate trimmer which is well known for its precision, but these types of wood routers are not as popular as the two that have been mentioned above. However, you should check them out as well because they do offer some pretty unique benefits which could come in handy.

Sizes of Wood Routers

One aspect of the wood router that you should pay particular attention to is the shank size. There are multiple shank sizes, and each size will have a different impact on your wood routing experience. Sizes go from 6 mm all the way to 10 mm, so if you want the most precision possible, you should make sure that you get the right kind of size based on your requirements. Shank size can also affect depth of penetration, and getting the right shank size can also mean that you would not have to use as much power as might be necessary otherwise.

Important Wood Router Accessories

Extensions and Chucks

If you want precision, you might want to get a few extensions and chucks that would allow you to get the most precise routing possible without having to increase your power. Check out as many chucks as you can so that you can buy one that is perfect for your needs.

Storage Boxes

Whatever accessories you get, you are going to need a box to store them in. Getting a large box is also useful if you plan to get a wood router that offers interchangeable bases. You would need a place to store these bases, and a storage box would allow you to keep all your things in one place which is extremely useful for people who tend to move around a lot.

Allen Keys

Allen keys are going to be your tool of choice if you want superior depth adjustment. Wood routing is not just about power and speed; your depth of penetration matters a lot as well. Hence, if you truly want the best precision, you should get an Allen key to help make that happen.

How to Choose a Router

Now that you have educated yourself on the various types of wood routers that are out there, you need to try and choose the right type of router for you. In order to do this, you need to first assess your own needs in order to ascertain which type of wood router would fulfill your requirements. There are also certain overall features that you should look for. These features are as follows:

Motor Type

There are two basic types of motors that you can get when it comes to wood routers. The first type of motor is a single speed motor. The thing about this option is that you can't really control the power output, but the fact that you generally get a lot more power output to begin with makes up for this disadvantage quite a bit. Single speed motors are perfect for individuals who have the need for intense power more than anything else, and people who need precision might be a little disappointed here.

The other type of motor that you can get is the variable speed motor. The main benefit of this motor is that you would be able to customize the power output of your machine to a large extent, thus allowing you to be a lot more precise with your routing.

Durability

Wood routers deal with some pretty tough woods, so getting one that is durable makes a lot of sense. After all, you don't want a wood router that would end up breaking down after you have used it for only a year. This is the sort of thing that you would want to get several years out of at least because it is the best woodworking router and such things are meant to last. When you are looking for a high-quality wood router, durability should be one of the things that you look for the most. It would help ensure that your routing experience is a lot more affordable in the long run because you would not have to pay for repairs as often, nor would you have to buy a replacement when your wood router breaks down.

Price

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to wood routers is one that they make with a variety of other products as well. This mistake is assuming that price is somehow indicative of quality. Right off the bat, you should know that this is not true at all. An expensive product is not necessarily going to be top notch. Indeed, some of the more expensive products out there can be quite low in quality because their price is the result of big brands trying to get a big profit while offering subpar products.

This is not to say that you should go for the cheapest wood router available either. Try to find a middle ground; this way you would be able to get something that won't break the bank but would be top notch in quality regardless of this fact.

Brand

Wood routers are the sort of products where you need to be conscious of the brand that you are purchasing from. There are two main brands out there that are considered the best of the best, which are Bosch and DeWalt. Both are comparable in terms of power, precision, and durability. It is in the accessories and customization that they give each other some competition.

Bosch is known to have an edge in the power department, albeit a very small one, and is also well known for providing excellent products that are very portable. DeWalt is slightly more affordable than Bosch and is important because it provides a unique number of features, many of which have to do with its astounding variable motors.

While it is true that both of these brands have something or the other that gives each an edge over the other, it is also important to realize that they are both excellent choices. Whichever brand you go for, you can rest assured that you are going to be well satisfied.

Conclusion

Buying the best wood router is not much different than buying anything else. Just read up on your wood router reviews and their tips, get an idea of what makes a high-quality product, get acquainted with which companies are the best of the best on the market, and you should be good to go! Just keep in mind the fact that expensive products are not necessarily the best. Sometimes midrange products can be just as effective for all of your woodcarving needs. Hence, don’t worry about missing out on the best products just because you are on a limited budget.