Last updated September 23, 2021
Router edge guides are an essential part of woodworking and carpentry – routers are appliances used for carving cuts, design, and various wood joints.
These routers need a guiding factor that ensures proper carving and output – router guides, also called edge guides, hold the router in place by attaching itself to the router base plate. These guides have in-built rods or fixing screws that do the job.
We have reviewed various router edge guides suitable for your woodworking needs – router edge guide kits don’t just contain edge guides. They also include support rods, additional thumbscrews, in-built fine adjustment-knobs, and dust collection accessories. You can refer to the detailed buying guidelines after the end of the review section.
- Best for Bosch Routers: Bosch Deluxe Router Edge Guide RA1054
- Best for Dewalt Routers: DEWALT Router Edge Guide DW6913
- Best for Porter Cable Routers: PORTER-CABLE Router Edge Guide for Model 100
- Best for Fixed Base Routers: DEWALT Router Edge Guide DNP618
- Best Budget Edge Guide: Bosch PR102 Palm Router Edge Guide
- Best for Festoll Routers: Festool 492636 Parallel Edge Guide
- Best for Ryobi Routers: Ryobi 6090080 Straight Edge Guide
Buying Guidelines for Router Edge Guide
What is a router edge guide, and how is it operated?
We all know about template guides; they are tools constructed from sturdy material like aluminum or steel and feature ‘teeth’ or cutting slots of a particular dimension. The cutting slots are utilized for designing varying types of joints in woodworking.
Similarly, router edge guides are tools that attach a router to the router base – the guides attach the two components and facilitate smooth movement of the router over a work surface. The router path is controlled by the router guide, ensuring precision, output quality, and quality of work.
What is the construct of router guides?
Router guides are constructed from durable materials like steel alloys and treated or non-treated aluminum. The router guide body consists of a part called the fence fixed to the body via thumbscrews or exclusively designed threaded screws.
A router guide usually includes holding rods – these rods pass from the fence and are affixed to the router base through pre-existing holes in the router base. These rods are constructed out of steel or any other sturdy material – the rods attach the router guide to the router base – the router base holds the router in place for woodworking.
The guide is also equipped with a precision knob for micro-adjustments of coarse adjustments – these adjustments ensure top-notch performance while working and high-quality outputs.
What is the need for router guides?
It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur, intermediate, or an expert woodworker – neither does it matter if you are a carpenter, hobbyist, or looking to learn woodworking; router guides are necessary for precise woodworking.
There are various types of cuts and joints that need a router guide:
- V-groove, bead, and flute cuts.
- Curved shapes like circles, inlays, and arcs.
- Joints like screw-slots, dadoes, dovetail joints, and mortise.
- Other patterns like rabbets, round-overs, and tongues.
How to choose the perfect router guide?
There are several factors that we consider to choose our ideal tools or gadgets, right? Let’s see how we can choose the perfect router guide:
Material make or Construct
A router guide should always be made from durable and sturdy material; simultaneously, the material should not hinder the woodworker’s performance. It should not be too heavy and should not disturb the router sliding over the working table. Router guides are usually constructed from steel, aluminum, UHMW plastic, and acrylic. You should also consider the amount of work and performance you expect from your tool – this way; you can choose a product with a longer shelf-life.
Size and fitting dimensions
Router guides are designed for all types of routers: plunge router, fixed base router, and palm routers. Before finalizing your choice, ensure that it fits your regular router perfectly. It often happens that router guides from a particular brand are designed for routers by the same company. Specifications like these are always mentioned when you are browsing for your tool, but sometimes this information is not present – check with a sales representative or shop executive.
It would help if you always looked for versatility and utility when choosing woodworking equipment or accessories. Some router guides are designed only designed for fixed-base routers, and some are universal. You should pick the most adaptable for your needs. Router guides are not just needed for joints; they are also utilized for cuts and designs. A versatile router should make dovetail joints, rabbets, V-grooves, mortises, dadoes, and more.
Safety comes first, right? It is especially true when you are involved in woodworking and handling tools like routers, axes, and fixtures. The ideal router guide should not have any chafed areas or sharp edges on its surface – the construct material should be free of abrasion. The purchase you make should include guidelines for proper handling of all the inclusive parts. Always choose a router passed through quality control and necessary SOPs.
Router guides aren’t just about a fence, a few thumbscrews, and steel rods – many manufacturers, equip other parameters or accessories with the guide. A router guide equipped with a vacuum duct, adapter, and adaptable to various hose dimensions is ideal for keeping your workspace clean. Sometimes router bits are not visible, especially if they are very close to the guide or outside surfaces – many router bits are equipped with laser lights to address this issue. Similarly, in-built LED-light helps illuminate the work surface and also lets you see your layout lines. Routers can tip when you are working close to the edge – to prevent tipping, router guides are provisioned with offset baseplates.
Bosch is a globally known technology and engineering company backed with more than 100 years of legacy. The Bosch Tools division develops the Bosch RA1054.
Construct and design
RA1054 features a hard-aluminum constructed body with durable steel rods to affix to ideal router bases and hold the router in place. The guide is equipped with a plastic precision knob to set the dimensions of the central rod. The RA1054 is also equipped with a transparent plastic dust-collection duct attached to a vacuum hose adapter – black plastic thumbscrews are structured to the body; they aid in holding the steel rods in their place.
The RA1054 works along with multiple Bosch products like the MRF01, MRF23EVS, 1617, 1617EVSTB, 1617EVSPK, and more. You can make 8-inch edge cuts with the product – the smooth transition on router bases also helps edge forming when you’re using non-piloted bits.
DeWalt is a reputed multinational company based in the US – the company makes power tools and handheld tools and is serving satisfied customers for almost a century.
Construct and design
The DeWalt DW6913 is constructed out of durable aluminum and steel alloys – the fence is equipped with black plastic thumbscrews, threaded perfectly to hold the steel rods and router base in place. The product comes with two pairs of steel rods – one pair is longer than the other. The DW6913 is also installed with a plastic precision knob and a vacuum hose adapter.
The DW6913 router guide provides much-needed utility – you can easily work with and develop mortises with the tool. The short rods included in the set are threaded on one end to enable mounting with a DeWalt dw610 base. The vacuum adapter attaches to various hose dimensions: 1-1/4-inch, 1-3/8-inch, and 1-1/2-inch.
Porter-Cable is another well-known machining, tool & accessories manufacturing company based in the US. The company is involved in providing hassle-free tooling solutions for over a century – the Porter-Cable 42690 edge guide is another one of those creations.
Construct and design
The Porter-Cable 42690 is constructed out of durable anodized aluminum and complemented with OEM grade steel screws and secondary parts. The aluminum construct helps in easy movement over the work surface – the dual sliding and lockable mounts are ideal for the tool’s desired performance. Porter-Cable 42690 guide set includes black thumbscrews and additional fixtures for the fence.
The tool is utilized for precise edge cutting and woodworking – Porter-Cable 42690 works well with Porter-Cable router models 100, 690, 691, 693, 891, 892, and 893. This tool finds various applications in making grooves, creating circle patterns, and dovetail jig work.
The DNP618 from DeWalt is a router guide made exclusively for fixed base router use and simplified woodworking. The DeWalt company is serving hardware workers for many decades; its reputation is seen with its products.
Construction and design
The DNP618 body comprises an all-steel construct with a durable adjustment knob and aluminum threaded screws that hold the body. The tool doesn’t include any steel rods for holding the router – the product is meant for fixed-base routers and locks to the router with the screws. The construct features sliding and locking adjustment.
You can design various types of joints with the DNP618 like dadoes, mortise & tenon, and half laps – the tool aids in precisely positioning inlays owning to its nifty functions. You can extend into 3 inches from the edge of the material – the precise locking mechanism and sliding are the contributing factors.
Bosch’s dedication to hardware workers, tool-handlers, and woodworkers is seen with their range of router guides, developed as per varying needs. The Bosch PR102 is a tool exclusively developed for palm routers, also known as hand routers.
Construct and design
The PR102 features a steel body that reflects high durability and maneuverability – the steel body consists of a fence, and a marked platform joined together by a screw. The market platform features a black thumbscrew that also acts as an adjustment knob. Mountain hardware is also present with the product set.
The PR102 is a unique design for palm routers; it works well with Bosch routers GKF125CE, PR10E, and PR20EVS. The router edge guide also works with fixed base routers PR001 and the PR101. The PR102 guide is ideal for creating slots, grooves, and various joints. You can create these slots 3-5/8 inches in from the edge with the edge-forming operations – it uses bits without bearings for these operations.
- Constructed from durable cast aluminum, and includes fiber-reinforced plastic thumbscrews
- Attaches quickly and easily using integrated thumbscrews
- Allows you to dial in the distance from the material edge in increments of 1/10mm for ultra-precise routing
Festool is a German multinational company involved in designing and developing power tools and handheld tools for various hardware work types. This edge guide is exclusively designed for OF 1400 Router.
Construction and design
The tool’s body is constructed out of durable cast aluminum with integrated thumbscrews made out of fiber-optimized plastic. Two steel rods and additional thumbscrews are also loaded with the product set. The Festool 492636 is equipped with a dust-extraction hood, thereby preventing a messy workspace and featuring an elegant design.
The Festool 492636 is a versatile tool – you can create multiple cuts and profiles like dados, flutes, grooves, ploughs, and rabbets. The tool is known for its precise setting and output, credited to its fine-adjustment system or knob – you can increase the distance from the material edge in increments of 1/10mm.
Ryobi is a multinational Japanese company involved in automobile and electronic components production – the company also develops power tools and hardware tools.
Construct and design
The Ryobi 6090080 straight edge guide is constructed from sturdy steel and polished with a brilliant shiny black color. The setup is provided with guide rods for effective handling of Ryobi routers – the guides are 3 and 1/4 inches from the center. You will also have access to attachment knobs with your purchase.
The sleek design of Ryobi 6090080 enables smooth maneuverability on the work surface. You can make various types of cuts like straight and groove cuts parallel to the work piece’s edge. The router guide is compatible with various Ryobi models: Model No. R160, R161, R165, R170VS, R175, R180, RE180PL, RE1802M, RE601, R1801M, RE185.
|Bosch RA1054||MRF01, |
|DEWALT DW6913||All DEWALT routers||Steel,
|PORTER-CABLE Model 100||For Model |
|DEWALT DNP618||Fixed Based Compact Routers||All Steel Construction|
|Bosch PR102||Mounts to Bosch GKF125CE, |
|All Steel Construction|
|Festool 492636||Festool OF-1400 Router||Cast Aluminum Construction|
|Ryobi 6090080||Most Ryobi Router Models||Metal|
Router guides are the spreader to butter and bread – without these nifty tools, woodworking, carpentry, and hobby arts would become very challenging.
All the products we reviewed are carefully assessed based on crucial selection parameters and keeping in mind the needs of woodworkers and hobbyists. The multi-faceted operating mechanism and utility features make the above-reviewed products some of the best router guides.