Last updated February 25, 2020
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 wood router. Buying the best one can be tough, given the variety present in the market. There are certain qualities that wood router 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 best 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 the best wood router, 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!
|Bosch 1617EVSPK||Porter Cable 690LR||DeWalt DW618PK 12||Bosch 1617EVS|
|4.38 x 5.75||6.00 x 6.69||5.50 x 4.75||6.00 x 5.75||6.00 x 6.69|
|Router Type |
|0.25, 0.375, 0,5, 0.315|
DeWalt DWP611PK – Best for the Money
The Dewalt DWP611PK is a maximum torque variable router combo kit which has an LED and a motor of about 1.23HP which delivers its best during application. It has an optimal speed variation which can be changed depending on the application.
This product has a plunge base which makes use of a fine-tune adjustment rod for a precise depth setting.
Frequently Asked Questions
The DW611pk is a good, suitable and compact router. This DeWalt product is not just efficient, but very handy for heavy-duty tasks and for beginners that are about to start their woodworking project. if you are looking for a reliable and elegant compact router I recommend the DEWALT DW611PK.
Bosch 1617EVSPK – Best for Beginners
BOSCH 1617EVSPK is a fixed base router kit that has a product of 2.25HP plunge which features a 25,000RPM that gives power when needed for smooth routing. This Bosch machinery is for woodworkers who are on a budget but needs everything a wood router does with the added benefit of finding a single router motor with a plunge as well as a fixed-based combined together in one kit.
This product protrudes a versatile kit board of application, that involves in slot cutting, dovetail cutting and more. It also has an in-built constant response circuitry. Both the plunge and fixed bases have a quick clamp feature which helps the motor move between bases without having to rely on tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
This tool is perfect for heavy and a variety of work giving its multiple bases too. This tool has gotten a lot of positive reviews prior to most people who have used it. The BOSCH 1617EVSPK is no doubt a simple and compact tool but it is highly recommended for everyone except beginners and newbies.
Porter-Cable 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router – Best for General Use
The Porter-Cable 690LR is an efficient and powerful tool which utilizes a hefty 1¾-Hp motor to generate up to 27,500 RPM for precise woodworking cuts. This tool features two ergonomic handles which are strategically placed to make woodworking easy and comfortable as much as possible. The router is made easy to use by adding collects which can take ¼-inch and ½-inch shank bits.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all said and done, you will find out that the Porter-Cable 690LR is a very nice choice when it comes to picking out the best woodworking router, at least for me. I do like the 27,500 RPM which the motor gives off, it is enough to handle tons of projects at a short period of time. The only disadvantage that comes with this tool is the absence of variable speeds. Some people would prefer cutting with low speeds but they can’t with this tool. I recommend this product but not to those who fall in that category.
DeWalt DW618PK 12-Amp Variable-Speed Router Kit – Best for Router Table
The DEWALT DWP618PK features a 12-Amp variable-speed, soft start motor which has fixed and plunge base for a variety of woodworking jobs. The 2¼-HP motor gives off variable speeds from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM for various applications. The Dewalt combo kit is built for durability and consistency.
Each base of this combo kit contains an ergonomic and comfortable rubber over-molded handles which improved control and balance for a long period of time. Dewalt also included a 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collect for extra bit retention and added improved versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
From our point of view, we consider this combo router kit as a good one and we totally recommend it. Although it has its flaws and bad reviews, we believe that this router combo kit product is still amongst the best woodworking router tools and it still satisfied a lot of customers and professionals. This combo kit is suitable for newbies and beginners who just got into the woodworking game.
Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router – Best for Carving
With the Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP Variable Speed Router, customers and consumers can take care of the toughest routing jobs with a 12-Amp 2.25 hp motor, and a versatile speed which ranges from 8,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM. The body of this router is made to support durability with motor housing and bases which is made up of aluminum and the power switch of this router is dustproof, meaning that dust particles can’t get to it.The Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP Variable Speed Router kit gives its users all the components which is required for fixed-depth routing. The fixed base of this router contains threaded holes for mounting to a qualified router table and it also has a bit-height adjustment system which lets you adjust the bit height from the table.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is very difficult not to recommend or refer anyone interested in wood routers to the Bosch 1617EVS. It has a powerful motor which is capable of handling most jobs thrown at it. The only problem one can face with this router is the absence of a plunge base which affects its versatility. Apart from that, it is a really good tool one should have if they are into woodworking.
Best Wood Routers From Each Category
|Bosch Colt 1HP Trim Router||BobsCNC E3 CNC Router||Makita XTR01Z||Triton TRA001||Festool 574692|
|9.4 x 7.4 x 4.7||25 x25 x 19||6.2 x 8.5 x 5.8||10.2 x 12.9 x 11.4||15.5 x 12.5 x 12.5|
|Router Type |
Bosch PR20EV Colt – Best Trim Router
When it comes to this router, Bosch combined precision, power and versatility to give you a masterpiece. The Bosch PR20EV Colt has a 1 hp 5.6-Amp motor that ranges speeds from about 16,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM. The dial which controls the speed is mounted at the top of the router.
This Bosch product features a soft start technology which controls how the machinery torque during startup. It has a precise and fast depth adjustment system which allows both micro and macro adjustment to be made.
Frequently Asked Questions
Looking at the features and the unique description of this product, you will find out that it is a more budget-friendly product which is perfect for only light-duty jobs due to the 1 HP. Operation is also easy with the Bosch PR20EV and it also boasts of an ergonomic design which makes it comfortable. I do recommend this product as the best trim router.
BobsCNC E3 CNC Router Engraver Kit – Best CNC Router
Taking one look at the BobsCNC E3 CNC, you will find out that the primary material used in the production of this product is wood. Each of the BobsCNC E3 CNC comes with a DeWalt 660 router and a large cutting area where all the jobs required is done. The cutting head and gantry runs on an SG20U support system.
The control of the router, on the other hand, is done by an Arduino-based microprocessor which runs the GRBL motion control software. This engraved kit and router can be connected to a computer which is compatible with it running Mac, Windows and Linus as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
One thing we like about the BobsCNC E3 CNC is that it is perfect for startups and beginners who are willing to go down the woodworking hole. It is very easy to use and it has a variable system platform which can work across major operating systems available. The CNC router, on the other hand, is standard and does exactly what it is required to. I recommend this product.
Makita XTR01Z 18V Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless Router – Best Cordless Router
The Makita XTR01Z is designed for a full range of various woodworking and carpentry applications. The XTR01Z is a cordless compact router which has an efficient Makita BL Brushless Motor that runs 50% longer with longer tool life and increased power and speed.The Makita XTR01Z has a variable control speed dial which can range from about 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM to match the desired speed needed for woodworking applications. It also has a soft start feature for better start-ups and a fine depth adjustment system for a more precise and accurate cut.
Frequently Asked Questions
I believe the Makita XTR01Z is another router you need to focus on and it is so far one of the best cordless routers in the market. If you need any tool you need to carry anywhere even where there is no electricity, this Makita product is your best choice. Although you will invest much in batteries so you can achieve its maximum potential.
Triton TRA001 Plunge Router – Best Plunge Router
Weighing about 13 pounds, this Triton TRA001 plunge router is made to be very durable and heavy for better longevity. It is made up of totally high-grade steel which is very sturdy allowing its users to handle heavy-duty applications. It has a very powerful 3.5 HP motor which is capable of delivering speeds from about 8,000 RPM to 21,000 RPM.
With this plunge router, professionalism is guaranteed because it comes with multi-functional Fence’s which allows its users to have more accurate and precise cuts. The Triton TRA001 features an automatic spindle lock, a single button switch and a micro winder.
Frequently Asked Questions
I personally believe that the Triton TRA001 is a router every woodworker should put their eyes on because it is very effective in function and it allows precise cuts for mostly professional tasks. It is not suitable for newbies or beginners. Although once mastered, you will really get the hang of it. I recommend this product because it would carry you to any length it is capable of.
Festool 574692 – Best Professional Router
Being designed to increase control and reduce fatigue amongst its users, the Festool 574692 plunge router is said to be the best overall router. This device is a one handed operation because of the integrated switches found on the device. It also features a dust extraction mechanism which clears and protects the tools from dust and debris which can affect it later.
Frequently Asked Questions
This router is no doubt the best on our list, if not the best in the market. I love that it was designed to reduce fatigue and difficulty when it comes to operation. It has a perfect dust collection system and a powerful motor which can get any woodworking job completed on time. The downside to the product is mostly the price margin. It is costly compared to most routers on this list. If you have the money to get it, I advise that you go for it.
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.
The chest area of the router grips the router bit and can be pushed downwards more than two spring-stacked columns that channel the router bit’s way, enabling it to slice the exterior of an object from above.
Fixed Based Routers
Accordingly, fixed base routers can’t plunge cut outside of materials from the top; it can just begin from the edges.
Combo router kits
A few routers come with an interchangeable base. They comprise of the upper half of the router (the collect assembly and the engine) with a detachable base, and some of the time at least one extra bases for various applications.
Heavy-duty routers, medium-duty routers, and light-duty routers
A router’s ‘duty’ is the size and intensity of the router, and influences the effectiveness of the router for particular jobs
Heavy duty routers
A heavy duty router is the most significant and most dominant of all hand routers. As a rule, it has the biggest collet size, and this implies that it can hold in place router cutters of over 38mm or 1½ inches.
Medium duty routers
These types of routers are neither heavy nor light. They are not heavy like the heavy duty models; as such they are suitable for fragile work. However, they are heavier and larger than light duty routers, this makes them more suitable for regular use and they are often used with bigger cutters more than light duty models.
Light duty routers
Light duty routers are grouped as semi-proficient devices, perfect for specialists, and light exchange work. Occasionally used over shorter timeframes. They are small and lightweight and usually are capable of accepting bits whose cutting diameters are limited, under 38mm or 1½ inches because of their small collets.
Listed below are the kinds of routers out there and the model, which will be most appropriate for you when you desire to buy a router.
LAMINATE ROUTERS/ TRIM ROUTERS/ COMPACT-SIZE ROUTERS/ PALM ROUTERS
The wood routers that are outfitted with consumer-grade engines putting out at most 1 hp are the smallest in the router family.
- The Ergonomic designs allow you to hold the palm router with a single-handed grip comfortably, stretching out upward starting from the base. A few brands are inherently much balanced over others, so attempt them personally whenever possible.
- Beautiful depth modification dials put you in absolute control of most complex routing tasks, for example, decorative inlays.
- Macro depth modification controls, and then again, gives you a chance to switch depths quicker in case you are moving on to another task.
- Brushless electric engines run calmer and help spare battery control on the cordless models, this is exceptionally fundamental for the turning bits and extremely productive.
- Safety features, for example, the finger guards and the spindle locks are essential and must be included (standard).
- The Edge guards are essential for directing routers along passes, particularly over the table.
- The Chuck wrenches provided with the unit helps to change the chuck toss bits with no additional tool.
The type of router you can carry along, are genuinely compact, and function admirably for fast jobs like mortising entryway pivots or making window patterns are called the palm routers.
CORDLESS PALM ROUTERS
Cordless palm router model is the most efficient kinds of routers available for small, petty jobs and nothing beats the comfort it gives.
The CORDLESS PALM ROUTER is pricier and heavy because of the battery pack, yet for routing the edges and trimming the laminates, only a few power instruments can carry out the task instantly like a cordless router. Like a good number of battery-powered apparatus, running time is gauged in Amp per hours (Ah) also, cordless routers requires bigger Ah batteries to run optimally.
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.
Medium- sized routers provide a decent harmony among power and control and regularly come in two models; it could be one-handed or two-handed, depending upon the base design.
Unlike the palm routers, that typically come in grasp style models, these routers can plunged based, fixed based, or combo based for multiple use.
Moreover, owning a medium- sized router impressively gives you more room to choose the router bits you can utilize.
Both weekend specialists fiddling with carpentry to genuine star shops will locate a medium sized router helpful for practically any routing job– from edge cutting and finishing to dovetailing and profiling cut tasks.
- Dust accumulation feature helps to keep your shop clean and also shield you from breathing in particles and dust that may cause medical issues later on. Make it a necessity if you want to be routing composite boards and lots of plastic pieces.
- The easy handle design is an absolute necessity. To correctly use a router, you need strategy and some training, so ensure you get tools you can handle comfortably.
- Variable speed gives you a chance to alter your router’s speed. It is necessary for using particular individual bits or dealing with hardwood or different objects.
- Soft star: rather than spinning your router at maximum RPM when you switch it on, gently start and gradually revs the motor up to the fixed speed. This keeps the router consistent as you begin your pass, and also keeps it from twitching out of your hands.
- The Built-in LED light can lighten your working zone for enhanced visibility.
The Full-sized router possesses a specialty with regards to this classification of power tools. It is costly and too cumbersome to operate manually. As a general rule, full-sized router is commonly used on the router table.
A Full-sized router runs on three or more hp motor range. It is quite helpful when you need to route using large measurement router cutters, particularly if you are going to push pieces of hardwood against them. If you intend to utilize any shaper more than 38mm, consider putting resources into a Full-sized router machine.
- Electronic velocity control causes the router to make up for the weight thus keeping the bit spinning at a consistent rate. This very important for guaranteeing steady cuts as well as finishing.
- Electric brakes let you switch between removes quicker by cutting the time trusting that the bit will quit turning.
- Chip diverters shield your face from flying garbage.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.