Recently, we had asked the UpHomes Community a few questions to find out the most common power tools in a woodworker’s inventory. We expected the first position would be for a miter saw, and the next one was undoubtedly the Wood Router. On an average, 9 of 10 Woodworkers had at least two wood routers at their workshops and they were using it for various purposes. They also recommended the tool for everyone who needs to start experimenting or DIY-ing with woodwork. We had also collected some valuable inputs from a bunch of expert professionals, which really helped us in picking the best wood router for our readers.
We had to dedicate a specific space at UpHomes Lab for testing the shortlisted wood routers and there were 20 wood routers in total. Making the lab messy and full of those wood-made waste, we tested each of those products, thanks to the Professional-Testing team of UpHomes. Followed by an analysis session that spread around 3 days, we were able to curate a list of the best wood router for different purposes, suiting different budgets as well. At the end of the day, anyone — whether you are a professional carpenter or a passionately casual DIY — can get the optimal wood router from our recommendation list.
For those who have less time to read, we have the Quick Recommendations.
Best Wood Router Reviews – Our Top Picks 2017!
To get you valuable insights to each product, we have detailed reviews ahead.
We had enough reasons to purchase this wood router as the best pick. On top of all, it’s a product that comes from Bosch — a trustworthy manufacturer when it comes to hardware tools. It also happens to be a widely-used and reviewed wood router in the market, with the best ratings as well. You have for choices for finding the best wood router, which are a standard router, router with benchtop table, router with edge guide and the one with both. If you are ready to pay more, you can get these additional features built into it. We have tried the standalone Wood Router model, though.
Usability is an important factor here, and Bosch 1617EVSPK 2-1/4-Horsepower Variable Speed Router offers Fixed Base and Plunge Base. This feature was helpful in choosing the optimal intensity while routing different types of wood. The Soft Start feature and micro-fine depth adjustment options are really superb from the usability point of view. Because the router is made of Aluminium and wooden construction, the experience was sturdy on different types of wood materials. Altogether, we would say the ergonomics is good enough.
Coming to performance, it has a maximum power of 2.25 Horsepower. And, you can choose the speed from 8000 RPM to 25000 RPM. It needs to be noted that it’s a kit that comes with fixed base chip shield, ½-inches and ¼ collet chucks. Also, there are dedicated wrenches for bit-change and height adjustments. So, if you’re starting up with the world of woodworks, this is a complete package of everything you need. Furthermore, there is an extra feel of precision and durability. Combined with 1-Year Conditional Warranty, this is one of the best packages you’ll ever find.
Are you looking for an effective yet budget-friendly alternative for your wood-routing needs? In that case, we would love to recommend DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router. In case if you are still doubtful, this product comes from DEWALT and is an Amazon Best Seller. And, the best part, as we said, is you get all the features for a lower price tag. That having said, we had not expected much of a performance from the device either. You can get the compact router, with edge guide and round sub base or with both.
When we asked Don, he was impressed by the usability of this router. He’s a guy who uses a wood router to do a variety of woodwork, and this was purchased as a compact counterpart for precise needs. it’s true that DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router has a minimal power of 1.25 HP of maximum torque and different speed levels for different needs. That having said, the speed ranges from 16000 RPM to 27000 RPM. While using the router, the speed distribution was equal and consistent, partly due to the Soft Start feature included. Our team was really impressed by the output too.
In comparison, DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router is offering a bunch of extra features as well. For instance, there are dual LED Lights for extra precision. These were useful when we had a low-lit working area. When compared to other products, the weight of 8lbs and dimensions of 7×10.1×19.2” are just compact for all needs. In light of this product, this package is impressive-enough for precision needs, at low price.
We wanted to pick a wood router that performs well but costs less. And, it was then we came across DEWALT DW618 2-1/4 HP Electronic Variable-Speed Fixed-Base Router. As the name says, it’s a fixed-base router that is quite stern to use. Some users have been using the router for more than a few years, and they are quite satisfied with the performance. In case if you did not notice, this router is powered by a 2.25 Horsepower motor and the speed can be varied according to that. The speed can be selected from 8000 RPM to 24000 RPM.
We had tried routing wood with most of the speed levels. There was an effective amount of consistency that works fine with the height-adjustment features. The adjustment ring is quite ergonomically designed and it can be used for almost all needs. Additional features of the wood router include the safety locks and its solid base adjustment. We must say the router is not just easy to use but also feels easy to be cleaned. The same easiness is there when you want to change the bit or base. DEWALT DW618 2-1/4 HP Electronic Variable-Speed Fixed-Base Router weighs 10lbs and the dimensions are 10.8” x 9.5” x 7.2”.
If you are looking for an ultra-compact wood router, DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router is the best recommendation. Once again, this product falls into the medium-budget type of category. Even then, you have the standard features offered. For instance, this router is powered by a 1.25 HP Motor that is suitable for semi-tough purposes. Don’t expect it to perform as good as the top pick. That having said, with the variable speed up to 27000 RPM, the speed was satisfactory enough to go ahead. And, this is what we had expected for the price.
As we said, DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router has an incredibly compact design. This was useful for ultra-specific needs. You get an included 1.8ft power cord, enhancing the best of usability and portability. There are some additional features as well, such as the Dual LEDs. These helped us a lot while testing the router under low-light conditions. An extra perk for convenience, you can easily shift the bits, thanks to the 1.25” router collet. It also feels awesome to release the base. Altogether, the speed and performance were up to the mark.
Contender #3 — DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router
Another fixed-base wood router in our recommendation list, this product is offering better performance, in spite of its compact design. For instance, talking about the motor and speed, you are getting a 1.75 HP motor that is suitable for tougher type of wood. In our testing, DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router worked well with finessing and hard-type cleaning of the wood. One thing to be noted here is that it is not a variable-speed motor. You are getting the same level of speed throughout the functioning. This can be a bit insufficient if you are trying different type of wood material.
Amanda, who has been experimenting with wood routers, says she has loved the DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router as a solid router. The fixed base is indeed an addition to seamless working of the same. This wood router has a weight of 10lbs and is measured at 10.8” x 9.2” x 7.2”. Another feature we loved in the product is the easier depth adjustments, in 1/64” increments. With the package, you are also getting three-year warranty and one-year free service from DEWALT. Altogether, if you can work without its variable speed model, this is an impressive pick for medium budget.
When you need a complete kit for wood routing, we are happy to recommend this collection from DEWALT. It has anything and everything you need for precise routing and finessing of the product. First, we can take the case of performance. It is coming with a 2.25 HP variable speed motor that has 12-Amp capacity. We’d tried the product with different types of hardwoods and needless to say, DEWALT had shown its real quality and consistency. The best thing is that you have the option to select the speed between 8000 RPM to 24000 RPM.
Because you are getting the entire package, you can set up the router in the way you like. Easiness is there if you want to change the bit and base changes. The comfortable handle was found to be ergonomic for our purposes. One unique feature we found in DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit is its advanced options for dust control. We don’t know how, but the product has been managing dust-accumulation in an effective manner. If you have some issues with dust, this can be a good reason to purchase the kit.
Contender #5 — PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router
With another ultra-affordable fixed-base wood router, we end our list of the best wood router products in the current market. In case if you are not familiar with, PORTER CABLE is an excellent manufacturer when it comes to power tool appliances. And, you can purchase the same product with or without template guide. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router is using a single-speed motor of 1.75 HP capacity and offers maximum speed of 27500 RPM. So, even though you don’t have an option to adjust the speed, the speed is better than others in the list.
However, we think PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router is noted for the premium finish as well. As you can see, the entire housing is made of Aluminium, which gives a precision feel. Also, other features include the cam-lock lever and some other safety features. For instance, the auto-release collet system was easy for us to use, especially when it comes to changing the bits. With the minimal weight of 9.4lbs and the compact dimensions of 10” x 10” x 8”, this is usable enough for varying needs. Most of the customers we’d consulted were satisfied with the motor and performance — which is a good thing.
So, these are the seven best wood router machines we have selected after hours of reviewing. Some of the products are offering advanced features while others are for sturdiness and performance. It is necessary to understand your specific purpose and pick the rightest product from the seven-member list. For instance, if you are starting with wood-routing and DIY experiments, you may not need the high-performance products from the list. Now, we have planned to do something else for meaningful selection of wood routers in town.
We will have an introduction to wood routers and some considerations for purchasing the best.
Wood Routers — an Introduction
Let’s have a simple introduction into wood routers.
In simple words, a Wood Router is a machine used for routing out a particular area of wooden piece. This is connected to a power supply and has a powerful motor inside. This motor is connected to a cutting bit, which also rotates according to the motor. This router bit may have different sizes and shapes depending on what you want to rout out and the desired shape and purpose. Some wood routers can be used as a tool for plunging as well as being placed on the table. In the latter variant, you have an option to move the wood portion accordingly and have the perfect cut. This is the basics you should know about a wood router you’d normally get from the power tools market. And we have chosen the best wood routers from different kinds of categories above.
There is no particular answer for the question as to what you can do with a wooden router. While some are using routers for advanced finessing of wooden materials, others are used for crafting and carving. It is also about the type of bit you are using with the motor. There are straight bits and shaped bits. These should be chosen according to your particular purpose.
Since you can choose one from the different types of wood routers, you should know about the available options in market. We will check them out.
Different Types of Wood Routers
Wood Routers can be classified, based on different aspects. We will have a look on basic criteria.
Based on Size
Based on the size and design, you can classify wood routers into three types.
- Trim Routers or Compact Routers are the smallest ones in list. Despite the small size, you can have it in different feature combinations and other features. Because of the small size, you are getting a lot of precise purposes, like edge work. If you are a novice in the world of woodworking or DIYs, we will recommend going for this start type of wood router.
- Mid-Sized Routers are commonly used by professionals and DIY experts. The best advantage here is the extra amount of performance and options for table-mounting. That is, you can connect the router in base portion of your table and get the job done. This is good when you need precise cuts and an impressive routing experience. They have an average amount of weight, though not as heavy as the next category.
- Full-Sized Routers are for the ultimate professional requirements of routing needs. These are quite a lot heavy and consume a lot of space. That having, you are getting a huge amount of performance, which is a bit overkill, even for the professional needs. Another advantage is that you can connect the router with the router table and have the best workspace. You would need a huge workspace to accommodate the product though.
Considering your space requirements and allocations, you should choose the right choice.
Based on Base Types
This is another factor of consideration. The selection of base type has a big role on the smoothness, speed and performance of the wood router you need.
- Fixed Base Routers are quite common and they don’t really offer much of height adjustment. You’d not be able to fulfil all the routing applications, but the overall performance is just awesome. Once it has been set with the depth and the position, there is no worry about accidental changes, either.
- Plunge Base Routers have a flexible type of height adjustments. When you are routing a wood-piece and need the perks of varying depth, this one is suited. Although it takes time to get accustomed to, plunge-base routers are too cool for professional needs.
Apart from this duo, there are some combination kits as well. Depending on the requirement, you would be able to choose the right base type.
Factors to Consider for Choosing the Best
It’s up to you to choose the type of wood router you need. Of course, you should choose the best combo of height adjustment options and size variants. Apart from these, the following factors should be considered if you need to choose the best wood router for your needs.
- Performance: It’s an important thing for any type of wood router you need. The power of the devices is calculated in Horsepower and you can get the choices from 1HP or higher. In our list, we included many products of different performance levels. This should be selected depending on the wood piece material that you are going to rout. Obviously, you can consider the electricity stuff before checking out.
- Speed is somewhat connected to the performance, but there are some major classifications as well. For instance, you can have Single-Speed and Variable-Speed Wood Routers in the market. While the first one gives you consistent speed all over the routing session, the second category is suitable for versatile needs. With respected to the to-be-routed material and its toughness, you can select the best-suited speed range. These devices come with digital or analogue options for speed controls. If you are using the wood router for crafting or carving needs, we recommend going for the variable-speed ones.
- Depth Adjustment has to be another factor for the best wood router consideration. You should not just look at the increments but also the easiness of it. It’s good if you can get a router with an in-built lock for depth. This way, you will be able to have the same-quality routing experience, no matter the surface.
- Soft Start feature is truly a blessing for most professionals out there. If your wood router starts and speeds up all of a sudden, you might end up in some trouble. With the Soft Start option, the machine gets started in lower speeds but attains better speeds in seconds. This is good when you need cooler controls over the functioning of the wood router.
- Design and Ergonomics of the wood router should be the most-discussed consideration ever. This is helpful if you want to use the router machine for a long period of time. If you get the right grips and a well-placed handle, it’s all good to go. It’s an optional feature, but if you care for productivity, you would know how to choose.
- Miscellaneous Features included in Wood Routers are LED Lights. These are useful if you will have to use the product in low-light areas.
- Some wood routers have an in-built option for Dust Management. If you are allergic to dust or some of other factors, you can consider these features too.
Apart from these considerations, you should be careful about the router bit you are choosing. Make sure the best bit kit is there at your inventory. That way, you can have the best results of purchasing and using a router machine for your woodwork area.
We hope you are ready to go with our best wood router recommendations and the buying guide. There’s no doubt on the fact that you need an electric wood router for your woodworking needs, regardless whether you are a newbie or an experienced professional. Now that you are ready to spend some money on getting one wood router, make sure that you spend the money wisely. And, there, you can get the best results by following our complete guide for purchasing the best wood router products. We have explained the various types of the same product and we hope all those help you choose well.