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Designing on hard surfaces like wood may look mesmerizing, but it requires a precise quality of work. The machine that does this designing is a wood router. And the best wood router can give you the freedom to cut through the woods to shape up your craft with precision.
Since there are tons of different models and versions of wood routers in the market, you might have trouble making a choice. To save your time, we have shrunk down your options to the top 5 wood routers. Keep up until the end of this article to find out the product that suits your crafting works.
Features to Consider before Buying Wood Routers for the Money
Before deciding to buy a wood router for your routing works, you need to consider the following factors carefully.
Size of the Router Matters
There are different varieties of routers on the market. The compact-sized smaller ones that can be easily held in one hand can be of great use while you are working on your feet. These are easy to transport and carry from location to location.
On the other hand, the larger and heavier ones are designed to be kept at the stores or the garage without much movement. But these larger ones are no alternatives when you have got a heavy load of works.
Ergonomic Design Is the Key
You are supposed to hold the router for quite a long time while you are working. This calls for a great design for both the body of the machine and the grip. An ergonomically designed wood router can provide maximum comfort to your hand and body if you are using the machine for a greater period.
Dust Collection Should Be There
Working with a wood router means a pile of dust after every session. The dust that is produced while routing does go to your lungs. A proper dust collection system can help you save your breath. Most of the top-notched ones come with a superior dust collection system that saves not only your breath but also the router itself.
Go for Precise Adjustment
A wood router with more adjustability is going to support you in many situations. It has more stops in its dial, which provides better precision while adjusting the depth and speed of the router. You definitely don’t want to miss out on that.
Soft Start Is Preferred
A soft-start system can reduce the torque of the device and provide a smooth start-up. This can help it to be in good health for a long time and increase longevity.
Look for Variable Speed
A wood router would work flawlessly when you get to adjust the speed of the bits. The ones that feature triggers for variable speed can help you out through any given projects.
Top 5 Best Wood Router for Beginners Review
We have carefully picked the top 5 wood routers available in the market for your use. Go through the in-depth reviews we have done on each of the routers and find out the best-suited one for you.
1. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router
Our first pick is a true versatile example. The Bosch 1617EVSPK is powered by a 12 amp motor that enables it to hollow through woods with little difficulty.
The router can be used for a broad range of wood routing works. Foaming the edge, slot cutting, bit plunging, dovetail cutting, laminate trimming you name it, you can carry out a versatile amount of work if you get a hold to this one. With all the features, it can prove to the best woodworking router available.
And the aluminum body of this machine gives it the perfect sturdiness that you need. Still, you have a wood handle to hold, just to make sure your hands don’t feel any fatigue whatsoever.
With a 12-amp, 2.25 horsepower of the motor, this router can strike through the wood at a rate of 8000 to 25000 RPM. You can monitor and control the RPM for the precise speed you require. The constant speed of this routing device makes sure you can take it for a spin to complete the toughest jobs.
There is a variable speed set-up regulator for setting up the optimum speed. A couple of plunges that support its total routing mechanism provide smooth movement while setting up the exact height and precise position. The speed dial provides a soft-start, and it keeps a constant speed that is required under load.
It includes a fixed base that can be used to adjust the bit height from the upper part of the router table. Coupled with the precise centering, it provides an excellent cutting position for you.
This versatile kit comes with all the necessary components required for fixed-depth routing. The microfine bit-depth alteration on the base of the router makes accurate and quick changing possible. It works under the range of an inch and accuracy to 1/64 inch.
- Aluminum-built strong body
- Comfortable wood grip
- Powerful 12-amp motor
- Maintains constant speed with built-in constant response circuitry
- Revolution power ranges from 8000 up to 25000 per minute
- It’s difficult to place the motor housing on the base
2. DEWALT DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
The next on our list is the DeWalt DWP611PK Router. This thing comes with a durable 1.25HP motor that can provide you the ultimate power you need to keep your routing works on the spin. No matter how difficult your task is going to be, this motor has got your back.
You can easily control the speed of the bit by the variable speed controller option the router proudly offers. It depends on the application of the machine. Depending on the routing type, you can easily change the speed of the bit.
There is an adjustment ring on the device that provides quite a support to adjust the bit-depth within 1/64 inch. This is applicable to the fixed base only. Again, the plunge base comes with a fine-tune adjustment rod for precision in depth-setting.
Changing the bit was never easy. The large and low-pressure spindle lock can help in a comfortable bit changing. You can quickly change the bits using the multiple shaft-lock.
On the fixed base, the router uses its depth ring and the clamping mechanism to keep the motor in a fixed position for better and precise routing results. Switching between fixed and plunge bases require the transition of the motor, which can be easily done by the DeWalt DWP611PK.
Using this excellent wood router, you can make holes through the wood at depth up to 1.5 inches with the standard fixed base. You can also go deeper up to 2 inches with the plunge base.
For your easy grip and maximum comfort, the handles of the DWP611PK are made of over-molded rubber. This ensures not only comfort but also great security.
- A variable speed control system
- Comfortable and secure grip
- Aluminum motor housing and base for durability
- Extended sub-base for greater work surface
- Larger plunge base for heavier application
- The depth adjustment system on the plunge base is a bit sloppy
3. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
Up next, you can focus on the Makita RT0701CX7. It is an all-round performer when it comes to wood routing. Including a 1-1/4 HP motor inside, this beast can deliver a power of 6.5 amp to ensure maximum performance. The first thing you will notice in this router is its design.
And the ergonomic design provides perfect comfort and ease of use for any user. You can hold it quite well, and use it without much difficulty.
Having a variable speed control option is what makes the router a brilliant one. You can select the range of RPM for your customized work accordingly. The RPM ranges from 10000 to 30000, which you can set matching your task type.
To adjust the depth of the bit, you have the smooth rack adjustments system. The pinion fine adjustment allows precise and accurate depth adjustment to bring in better results. With a bit of help from the cam lock system, the depth adjustment and base removal or installation will be easy-peasy.
As for control, this router gives you maximum comfort. The electronic speed controller on the RT0701CX7 ensures the constant speed that’s required under the given load.
The heavy-duty aluminum body provides excellent strength to its body. Even if the device seems slim and small to hold in one hand, the strength is neck to neck with any industry-standard machine out there.
- Ergonomically designed strong body
- Fine adjustment for precision
- Easy base removal and bit adjustment
- Quick-release cam lock for depth adjustment
- Soft start option for hassle-free starting
- Depth adjustment needs losing the current settings
4. PORTER-CABLE Router 3-1/4-HP (7518)
The Porter-Cable 7518 router is a true masterpiece in its category. Having a 15-amp powerful electric motor, it delivers speeds ranging from 10000 RPM to at best 21000 RPM. That’s the versatility we are talking about to keep supporting all your routing tasks.
This router is supported by a soft-start system, which minimizes the torque to a lower level at the start-up. The motor can keep up a constant speed throughout the routing task, all day. To save your energy and time, the device features a collet system with an auto-release function that enables easy bit-removal after you’ve used it.
It is well-designed and perfectly crafted. The sealed ball-bearing design allows it to keep itself along with its vital organs off from the dust. That saves the machine from getting damaged or clogged with dust inside.
Not to mention, the aluminum motor housing and base make the router a sturdy one. The strength will pave your way towards using it even in rough-and-tough jobs. Integrated cast handles are very handy and comfortable to hold for better stability. Hold on to it with zero fatigue and greater comfort.
Overall, it’s small in size, but very strong if build-quality is concerned. The heavy-duty aesthetics and the comfortable grip, allowed this machine to get its place on our top 5 list. Considering the price tag, it has, it is also the best wood router for the money.
- Powerful 15-amp motor
- Five-speed routing with a variety of RPM
- Soft-start motor system
- Auto release collet for better operation
- Ball-bearing dust sealing option for dust-clearance
- The bit changing method may need a bit of time to get used to
5. Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake
Last but not least, we have another Makita router on our list. Its HP 3-1/4, 15-amp motor enables it to route through the toughest of woods it comes across. The RPM that it produces with this powerful motor can range from 9000 up to 22000.
Its electronic speed control system helps you to keep a constant speed under the load it is given. You can be in full control of the speed of your router. A soft-start feature is very effective for a quiet start as you turn it on. It reduces the torque and makes sure the machine has a very smooth switch-on.
The plunge depth capacity can vary from 0 inches to 2-3/4 inches to enable easy penetration of the bits. A built-in fan featuring a labyrinth construction makes sure no dust is getting inside it. This improves its durability.
To grip and hold it easily, it has ergonomically designed rubberized handles. You can hold on to it with maximum comfort. The two-finger switch also adds to the convenience. A built-in LED light proves to be very useful while you are using it in darker places. It will illuminate your working space for precise routing.
For easy bit-change, the Matika RP2301FC introduces a shaft lock, which enables quicker change of the bits. The removal and installation of the bits are completely tool-less to give you the convenience you deserve.
Also, it includes a quick-release adjustment for plunge depth. This has a micro control option, and three preset depth stops.
- Easy to read depth-scales
- Chip deflector to direct chips away from the operator
- Durable flat top design for better stability while bit-changing
- Easy and comfortable grip
- Built-in LED light for better vision
- Accessories and parts for this machine are hard to find
Types of Wood Routers
There are basically three types of wood routers that are widely used. We have the fixed based wood router, a plunge one, and you have the combo wood router.
Fixed-Based Wood Router
The fixed based wood routers are best for those who are new to wood routing works. These are very easy to use and handle. If you fit them on a bench or table, these machines can deliver the maximum performance.
If you need to draw out accurate straight lines on the wood, a fixed based wood routing device can help you the most in this case. In addition, it excels in edge cutting and DIY projects, as well.
Fixed based wood routers are lighter than the plunged ones. These are easy to carry and comfortable to use. The blade depth on it can’t be adjusted.
Plunge Wood Router
Plunge wood routers are more suitable for professional carpenters and larger projects. These routers can perform a variety of tasks compared to the fixed ones.
They have a soft-starting system, which means you can have proper control over the machine and get optimum stability. With a plunge wood router, you can adjust the depth of the penetration while in-use.
The depth-stop allows you to set the precise measurement for exact depth that you need, that too, while the machine is working. And the only thing that a plunge wood router lacks is a lightweight feature.
Combo Wood Router
A combo wood router is what it is named after. It is a combination of fixed based wood router and a plunge wood router. You can change its base anytime according to your needs. Just remove the engine of a base and replace it on the other base to convert the fixed one to plunge one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding wood routers:
- What is a woodworking router?
It’s a device woodworking professionals use to make patterns on wood.
- Do I need a wood router?
Well, it’s totally your call, but if you’re someone who’s involved in woodworking projects, a wood router is a thing you must have with you no matter what.
- What is the best router for home use?
For home use, you need something that’s light in weight and portable. You can try a wood router from Bosch or Porter-Cable.
- What’s the difference between a fixed base router and a plunge router?
With a fixed base router, you can lock in at a specific location in its base. You can’t move the cutting bit from top to bottom. If you want to have greater accuracy, you have to set the cutting depth and lock it manually.
For super-precise cuts, you can use fixed routers with complete trust.
Plunge routers, however, lets you move the base up and down. It has got spring-loaded arms on its side, which lets you plunge the cutting-bit all by yourself easily from above. If you’re focusing more on profiling the edges, you can give plunge routers a go.
- Do these products have warranty offers?
Yes, but if you want to know their duration, you should contact your seller.
As we have reviewed 5 of the best wood routers in the market, you have probably set your mind up by now. If you need more help to decide, go through the article again to get a better idea of how to identify the best one. Our reviews and guidelines will surely land you on the right product page.