A wood router is an essential tool for anyone working with crafting wood as it allows you to add shape to the edges of the wood. There is a wide range of wood working routers to choose from that suit casual DIY’ers to professional carpenters.
The best wood router is the DEWALT DWP611PK, which has a variable speed control feature that ranges between 16,000 to 27,000 RPM for maximum control.
In terms of the different types of wood routers, there are two main types, which are fixed base and plunge routers. The latter is designed for serious DIY’ers with experience due to the complexity of maneuvering it on the wood.
Table of Contents
Best Wood Routers
|Wood Router||Type||Motor Capacity|
|DEWALT DWP611PK||Combination||7 Amp|
|Bosch 1617EVSPK||Combination||12 Amp|
|Makita RT0701CX7||Combination||7 Amp|
|PORTER-CABLE 7518||Fixed Base||15 Amp|
|DEWALT DW625||Plunge||15 Amp|
Woodworking routers are a must have tool for professional carpenters and there is a range of factors to consider such as the horsepower, size, variable speed adjustment and of course comfort when using the tool.
The size of the router you choose is dependent upon the woodworking you intend on doing. A larger router is often more expensive but they offer better performance and are a better investment that the smaller router.
Whether you are planning to hollow out grooves or add any cosmetic design changes to wood, a router will be required for the perfect finish. Below is a list of the best wood routers that are suitable for both professional carpenters and average DIY’ers.
DEWALT DWP611PK Wood Router
Dewalt is a reputable brand that needs no introduction. The DWP611PK is one of many routers by Dewalt and uses a 1.25 Horsepower motor to cut wood cleanly. It features a variable speed control feature that ranges from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM, which is ideal for multiple applications.
Other excellent features include a “see-through” base and dual LED’s that make it easy to keep track of your work. It is a fixed and plunge base combo kit that is suitable for a range of small project by the average DIY’er.
In terms of the routing itself, features such as soft starting makes woodworking much easier. The motor speed is electronically control to provide the correct speed to reduce any sudden movement of the router, which causes damage.
As used in the main photo, its possible to do all sorts of woodworking with just this Dewalt wood router. It allows for up to 1.5 inch depth with the standard base and 2 inches with the plunge base.
Overall, it is the best wood router for the money and is backed by the Dewalt 3 year limited warranty for peace of mind. Considering its small size, its a very powerful router with the 7 amp motor providing reliable horsepower.Check it Out
Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Router Kit
Compared against the Dewalt alternative above, this wood router is more expensive but is better at tackling more difficult routing jobs. This is thanks to the more powerful motor and versatile speed range, which includes a clever “constant response” circuitry that maintains constant speed.
In terms of the durability, the construction is made from aluminium and Bosch claim that this model is the most durable woodworking router yet.
For those that worry about comfort and want an ergonomic grip, Bosch have got you covered for both fixed base and plunge base routing. It uses unique wooden handles for the fixed base and soft grip handles for the plunge base.
This wood router is ideal for both beginners and professionals because it includes everything you require and is high performing. It is not the cheapest or the most expensive router but is certainly one of the best all round wood routers.Check it Out
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router
It has a vairable speed control that ranges from 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM with a smooth rack and pinion fine depth adjustment system. Like the Dewalt, it has an electronic speed control system to ensure the speed of the routing is kept constnat.
The max horsepower of the RT0701CX7 is 1-1/4 HP, which for a small unit is quite impressive. It uses 1/4 inch router bit, which is a standard size for most routers, which is perfect for the majority of woodworking jobs.
Overall, the Makita wood router has pretty much all the features found in the premium alternatives but just lacks in the power department. It is the best cheap wood router that benefits from being both a fixed base and plunge type.Check it Out
PORTER-CABLE 7518 Speedmatic Fixed Base Router
Porter Cable produce a range of machinery from polishing buffers to routers and this 7518 model is a highly rated fixed base wood router. The 15 amp motor produces a powerful 3 1/4 horsepower, which will cut through the toughest of woods.
It is aimed at experienced DIY’ers and professionals because it has advanced features and it is just fixed base router (not plunge). It is also expensive compared to the others due to the power of the motor, which is required to tackle all routing jobs.
It is a five speed motor that runs at 10,000, 13,000, 16,000, 19,000, and 21,000 RPM that is perfect for a range of woodworking tasks. Other impressive features include a soft start, auto release collet system as well as a sealed ball bearing design to reduce dust build up around vital components.
For those worried about the cost of the router, it comes with a 5 year limited warranty, which is the highest of any router. It is the best fixed base router for woodworking and suited for professional carpenters looking for the best.Check it Out
DEWALT DW625 Plunge Router
Dewalt also offer a range of advanced routers aimed at professionals such as the DW625 plunge wood router. It uses a 15 amp motor that produces a powerful 3 HP to cut through easily. It also includes a 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet, dust extraction adapter and template guide bushing adapter.
The speed at which the Dewalt DW625 works at ranges from 8,000 and 22,000 RPM and there is a rack and pinion depth adjuster for a more accurate depth setting.
Like the Porter Cable, it is an expensive router designed for professionals wanting the best. This DW625 model is expensive but is backed with Dewalt’s 3 year limited warranty and 1 year free service to increase the lifespan of the router.
Overall, it is the best plunge router you can buy for professional carpentry use. It is expensive but the power and quality cannot be matched by any other plunge routers.Check it Out
Wood Router Buying Guide
For you to bring creations from head to life, you need to add a wood router to your workshop. However, picking the perfect one for your woodwork projects can be perplexing considering that there is a range of wood routers available in the current market.
This guide gives you tips on making the right purchase of router for your modern workshop; it pays and saves time when you work with the right tools.
To give you a quick scan of critical factors to consider when selecting your ideal wood router, reviewing several essential features of the wood router can help you make a sound purchasing decision. It is wise to make your selection process to be application based; meaning that you start by evaluating the tasks or projects which you want to do with the router.
The first key feature is the router’s speed options. In this, you can either go for single speed or go for a more versatile one which has multi-speed or variable speed adjustments. Speed adjustments are made as per the bit of the diameter, type of wood species being machined and the type of operation; a router which you can adjust speed based on these carpentry demands will give you a high-quality work and a very safe working environment.
Types of Woodworking Routers
The smallest of them is the palm router which is compact and with outstanding performance. This router is ideal in case you have projects that require trimming, hinge cutouts or the decorative inlays. Its only limitation is it is not suitable for larger routing projects because it uses shank router bits.
The fixed based router comes fixed with knobs on opposite sides of the router for both guiding and holding. This base can be mounted to a router table, but it is limited to edge routing applications. If you have projects that use guide bushings such as box joint jigs and dovetail, then this base style is ideal.
Additionally, this style allows quick setting ring-style depth adjustments. The other router base style is the plunge base. This base style is very flexible such that it can be used for any application that a fixed base style can do and also for applications where you need to plunge the bit into the wood far away from the wood edge.
Routers with plunge base are used for projects such as fluting, dado cuts, mortising operations and blind grooves. This machine is mechanized such that it moves up and down on a machine spring loaded column.
Besides, the plunge base router offer several depth stop settings and has micro-adjustments that allow you to fine-tune your specifications the way you want and very accurately. You can also go for a D-Handle base style that offers a pistol-grip control as well as locking off/on trigger power switch.
It is worth noting that in case you need to use different base styles; manufactures offer combination kits incorporating both a fixed base and plunge base in a single prepackaged kit. This is a huge plus because it’s like buying two routers at a cost which is less than purchasing two different routers.
In order to use a wood router, you will require a router bit, which is what provides the cut that you are aiming to achieve. There is a wide range of wood router bits that include:
- Chamfer for straight edges
- Beading for circular edges
- Cove for concave quarter cut
- V Groove for v shaped grooves on the wood
- … and much more!
Some cheaper router bits will only work for a few woodworking jobs before they break or wear down. Its always worth investing into a premium router bit or lots of cheaper alternatives so that you are not left stranded mid project.
Its important to note that they also come in a range of sizes with 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch diameters. Investing into a wood router that accepts both forms of diameter would be highly advisable but it is all dependent upon which router bit you prefer to use.
Woodworking routers are a tool that every professional carpenter should own if they truly are a professional. Shaping wood with unique edges or fixing wood that has become damaged will require a router in order to get the best finish.
On top of the factors mentioned above, comfort and dust extraction are worth a mention. A comfortable grip that provides plenty on control and is ergonomic can really make a huge difference to the way you use the tool. Dust extraction is not essential but it certainly prevent time wasted on cleaning up all the wood dust, which is produced in large quantities when using a wood router.
Invest into a wood router that fulfills the jobs that it will be used for and not waste money on alternatives that will only work for one job. Large wood routers are the ideal as they can be used for almost all types of jobs but they are more expensive to buy.