Drillly is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more

Woodworking Tools

Best Wood Routers: Reviews With Buying Guide (2021)

Any woodworker knows how important it is to have a router to hollow out and shape any piece of wood. Even if you’re new to woodworking, you probably already know that a wood router is the best power tool to make this job easier. Wood routers have always been a great help for me in making templates and creating artwork on wood blocks that I personally enjoy a lot.

It’s extremely important to know about the qualities and features of a router in detail in order to choose the perfect model. However, this research would take a lot of your effort and time. That’s alright, we’ve come up with this guide with every detail you need to know about a wood router.

Here we prepared a list of the 10 best wood routers present in today’s market to help you make an informed buying decision. If you are uncertain about which model and router accessories would be perfect for your needs, go through reviews and you’ll see that making the decision has become a lot easier. Let’s get started!

Our Top 10 Best Router for Woodworking

01 DEWALT DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (Best overall)

DEWALT DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit

DEWALT DWP611PK is one of the most reviewed and top selling wood routers on the market. This compact router combines power and ease of operation pretty well, making it a perfect choice for both DIYers and professional carpenters.

This router is extremely compact in size with a 1.25 HP motor. But it generates a lot of power and torque. It has a soft-start feature that prolongs the motor life and makes it safer to use.

It offers you a variable speed range of 16000 to 27000 rpm with a scale from 1 to 6 on the speed dial. Adjusting the speed, you can manage the device better and determine the perfect speed needed for your project.

It comes with two bases unlike the DWP611 model that offers you only one base. You can perform all the trimming and edging tasks with the fixed base. On the other hand, the plunge base can turn your router into a plunge router, allowing you to work on all your woodworking projects.

Additionally, changing the bit and bases of this router is easy with its spring loaded quick-release tabs. The DEWALT DWP611PK offers you more plunge stroke than Makita RT0701CX7 and other similar market-leading models.

This router has a robust design with a light weight. We loved that it came with in-built LED lights. You can clearly see the workpiece and have better accuracy as a result. However, we wished it included an edge guide that would make the edging tasks a lot easier.

Just like all other DEWALT woodworking tools, this model also has a plastic dust cover placed over the power switch. We think it’s a great feature for prolonging the switch’s life.

Specifications

  • Weight: 4.6 pounds (fixed), 6.2 pounds (plunge)
  • Dimensions: 7 x 10.2 x 19.2 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Combo Kit
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Plunge Stroke: 2″
  • Amps: 7.0
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 16000-27000 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • ergonomic grips
  • Comparatively quiet
  • Dust collector included
  • Clean and smooth cut
  • LED lights
  • Adjustable clamp
  • Variable speed

Cons

  • No edge guide
  • Corded

Our Verdict

If you’re a beginner or an intermediate woodworker and looking for a combo router kit for your workshop, this router is the perfect choice for you. When it comes to power tools, you can always trust DEWALT. The DWP611PK is smaller in size but offers you a professional finish at all times. There is hardly any feature of this router that we didn’t like and its high ratings online are a clear indication of ultimate customer satisfaction.

02 Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit (Also Great)

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit

If you’re looking for a feature-rich router that’s compact, easy to use and affordable, you should definitely check out the Makita RT0701CX7. It’s perfect for both home-based and pro woodworkers.

This aluminum-made router is extremely durable and sleek in design. Double-insulation brass is used on the body to make it scratch-and damage-resistant.

Makita RT0701CX7 operates on a soft-start motor with 1.25 HP and 6.5 amps. The adjustable speed dial has a whopping range of 10,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm, which you can get from expensive high-end models only. You can easily change the speed as per your requirements.

This lightweight router kit works fine with both plunge and fixed bases. You don’t need any specific template guide for the fixed base since it accepts any template guide. Changing the bases is easier compared to some other compact models. We also had a seamless and smooth bit changing experience with this router, thanks to the handy shaft-locks.

You can have highly accurate and fine work with its rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system. You also get a more precise setting with its easy-to-read depth scales.

However, this router doesn’t feature any LED light that disappointed us. But it shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re working in poor lighting conditions. We would’ve also appreciated it if the on/off switch had a dust shield. Apart from these few negatives, you’ll love the incredible features that the RT0701CX7 model comes with.

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 7 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Combo Kit with 1-base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Plunge Stroke: 1-3/8″
  • Amps: 6.50
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 10,000-30,000 rpm
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Pros

  • Ergonomic and sleek design
  • Parallel metal guide
  • Sturdy fence
  • Accessible motor brushes
  • Soft start motor
  • Includes two wrenches
  • Variable speed

Cons

  • No LED light
  • No dust shield

Our Verdict

The Makita RT0701CX7 delivers precision, versatility, and heavy performance in a compact size. You can carry it anywhere without any hassle. Though you don’t get built-in light, it still adds great value with all of its amazing features. If you prefer small tools with a great performance, this is probably the best you can get for the price.

03 Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit (Best Wood Routers for Beginners)

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit

Bosch 1617EVSPK is one of most frequently reviewed and top-rated midrange routers out there. This compact router is so easy to use that beginners will surely love this machine.

This model comes with a variable speed motor that allows you to adjust the speed between 8000 rpm to 25000 rpm. It has a 2.25 HP and 12-amp large and powerful motor, which is one of the most powerful we’ve seen on wood routers.

In terms of versatility, Bosch 1617EVSPK is simply unmatched. When testing, we performed a wide range of operations, including edge forming, accurate bit plunging, slot cutting, dovetail cutting, and laminate trimming. All work turned out pretty accurate and we were highly impressed with its performance.

This model is a bit heavier than the Bosch 1617EVS but more compact in size. The motor housing and the base are made from heavy-duty aluminum that makes it extremely durable. Moreover, there is a dust shield over its power switch that further enhances its durability.

Furthermore, this combo kit router model includes two polished wooden handles on its fixed base and two soft-grip handles on its plunge base. We found both handles pretty comfortable and as a result, we were able to have better control during operation.

However, switching between the two bases could be a bit difficult and there are no templates that most other similar models have. You have to buy them separately.

Specifications

  • Weight: 18.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 11.5 x 11.6 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Combo Kit
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Plunge Stroke: 2¼ inch
  • Amps: 12
  • Horsepower: 2.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 8,000-25,000 rpm
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Self-releasing collet chuck
  • Contoured soft-grip handles
  • Powerful motor
  • Easy to use
  • Dust shield protection
  • Durable

Cons

  • Difficult to change the bases
  • Lacks adapter for template guide

Our Verdict

If you’re a hobbyist and a newcomer in the world of woodworking, we recommend that you spend a little extra to get the Bosch 1617EVSPK. You can have pretty much all kinds of applications easily with this amazing wood router. It’s also durable enough to serve you for long. You may rest assured that you won’t be disappointed with Bosch 1617EVSPK’s performance and durability.

04 DEWALT DWP611 Router (Great for Small Projects)

DEWALT DWP611 Router

The DWP611 is another excellent small and lightweight router from DEWALT. But this model doesn’t come with a kit like the DWP611PK. It only has a D-shape fixed base, which is clear enough to see your workpiece well. The dual LED lights illuminate your workpiece for even better visibility.

This compact power tool comes with a 1.25 HP motor that produces enough powerful torque to help you perform even the toughest applications, such as huge edge profiles, flush trimming, or minimal bevel-cuts. It also offers you a variable speed ranging from 16000 rpm to 27000 rpm, similar to the DWP611PK. Considering the price, we think it’s a steal!

The DWP611’s motor also has a soft-start feature that maintains its speed throughout the cut. The adjustment ring controls bit depth changes and keeps it within 1/64-inch. There is a 1/4″ diameter collet since it’s a compact router and a spindle-lock button to change the bits. But we found the bit changing process quite complex and time-consuming that could’ve been hassle-free.

This tool is embellished with a contoured grip that we found comfortable and overall, we found this router easy to use.

However, we would have appreciated electric brakes on this device as a great safety feature. But you’ll be glad that this product is backed by a 3-year limited warranty!

Specifications

  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 11.5 x 7.3 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Plunge Stroke: 1.5″
  • Amps: 7.0
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 16,000-27,000 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Robust in design
  • Dual LED lights
  • Great bit visibility
  • Less noise and vibration
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No electric brake
  • Difficult bits change

Our Verdict

For those that want an affordable wood router to handle small woodworking projects, DEWALT DWP611 is exactly the one you’re looking for. This is a great handheld power tool both for the novice and the expert. You’ll surely get more bang for your buck when you’ll have it in your arsenal.

05 Bosch 1617EVS (Best for Carving)

Bosch 1617EVS

This is another excellent compact router from Bosch. Though cheaper than the 1617EVSPK, it still offers you similar features. It doesn’t have two bases like the former, but you can handle almost all types of woodworking projects with the fixed base.

This router has a heavy-duty 2.25 HP motor rated at 12-amps. This power is enough to perform basic routing and easily cut through materials. There is an air vent that keeps the motor cool even under heavy workload.

The motor features the soft start technology that allows it to start off slowly and prevents potential damage to your workpiece. It also offers an excellent variable speed range between 8000 rpm to 25000 rpm. You can easily and quickly adjust the speed with the speed dial.

What’s more, it can keep the same speed during any intense load with the Constant-Response-Circuitry technology. We just loved this feature. This router gives you a linear and professional routing result on the workpiece that is similar to the industrial routers.

The Bosch 1617EVS accommodates both 1/2″ and 1/4″ chucks. So, this model can fit all types of router bits. It’s also easy to remove or fit a bit with this router.

We hardly found any negatives about this router. But we faced one problem – the C-ring was often falling off. If you happen to face a similar problem, contact the manufacturer since this model is backed by 1-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Weight: 9.92 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 10.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″, 1/2″
  • Amps: 12
  • Wattage: 1400W
  • Horsepower: 2.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 8000-25,000 rpm
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed
  • Great accuracy
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Soft grip handles

Cons

  • C-ring falls off frequently

Our Verdict

With all the value-added features, this router offers you an excellent performance. Overall, it succeeds in being a great choice for professionals and novices alike.

If you need a router mostly for performing edge trimmings, we’ll recommend the Bosch 1617EVS for you. You must use a router table with it. However, if you often need to make holes in your workpiece, this model won’t be suitable for you.

06 PORTER-CABLE 690LR Router (Best for Home Use)

PORTER-CABLE 690LR Router

PORTER-CABLE 690LR is another affordable wood router on our list. Anyone looking for a high-quality fixed-base router should give it a try.

This router is a powerful tool with an 11-amp, 1.75 HP motor – a single speed motor that revolves at 27,500 RPM. Although you can’t increase or slow down the speed, it still makes precise cuts at this high speed. In fact, its speed is one of the highest for single motor routers available on the market.

There is a cam-lock level for coarse height adjustments, which maintains a consistent and steady performance. Besides, the quick-release feature enables you to change the fixed base in case you want to use a plunge base.

We especially loved the user-friendly design of this router. We were at ease operating this tool even when handling large pieces of woods. It also has an auto-release collet system that helps you change the bits quite easily.

The handle grips allow you to work for extended hours without any strain since they are super comfortable to hold. They also make sure that the tool never slips away from your hands.

You won’t have to worry about a suitable table for this router because it’s compatible with most tables available today. The power switch is covered with a dust-shield to protect it against any wear and tear. On top of that, you get a 3-year warranty, so you’re covered in case any mechanical issue comes up.

Specifications

  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 8 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″, 1/2″
  • Amps: 11
  • Horsepower: 1.75 HP
  • No-load speed: 27,500 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Accuracy
  • Compact size
  • Good height adjustments
  • Accessible brushes
  • Auto-release collet
  • High speed

Cons

  • Difficult bit changing process
  • Single-speed motor

Our Verdict

All in all, the PORTER-CABLE 690LR combines quality, accuracy, and affordability. The manufacturers have done a fine job ensuring this router’s durability. The level of comfort that this tool offers is simply incredible.

You can use 690LR for small to medium projects. If ease-of-use and comfort is an extremely important factor for you, you can undoubtedly get your hands on this model.

07 Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router (Advanced Choice)

Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router

Triton TRA001 is a feature-rich model that we picked as our advanced choice because it offers you such high-end features that you won’t find in most other router models. Every carpenter, especially professionals, would love to have this wood router to accomplish a host of woodworking tasks.

This is a plunge base router that offers you more flexibility than fixed-based models like Dewalt DWP611 or Bosch 1617EVS. It allows you to make intricate patterns and designs. You can even use a fixed base to have flatter surfaces and smoother edges.

It’s equipped with an extremely powerful 15-amp, 3.35 HP motor. You won’t find a more powerful and larger motor in any other wood router on the market till now. However, it causes a bit stronger vibration than the similar models.

We would always recommend that you have a router with a variable speed motor just like this one. It allows you to choose the required speed – ranging from 8000 rpm to 21000 rpm – to plunge into any thick wood-board and create beveled-edges.

It features two rubberized handles that give you a comfortable and better grip. Your hands also don’t slide off the tool even if you sweat. What’s more, this router has a micro winder that allows you to adjust the cutting depth between 2, 3 or 5-inches by simply turning the knob.

What we loved most about this router was that it came with useful accessories that we didn’t have to buy separately. You get two collets, a winder, and a wrench. This model also has its own fencing system that helps you make more even and smoother cuts.

Triton TRA001 is the most expensive router on our list, coming at just under $270. But you definitely get a lot of advanced features for that price! It was also a highly reviewed product on eStores that proved that other users also found its performance quite satisfactory.

Specifications

  • Weight: 14.33 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.9 x 11.4 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Plunge
  • Collet Diameter: 1/2″, 1/4″
  • Plunge Stroke: 2 3/5″
  • Amps: 15
  • Horsepower: 3.25 HP
  • No-load speed: 8000 -21000 rpm
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Multi-function fence
  • Variable speed
  • Versatile
  • Fine precision
  • Soft start system
  • Durable
  • Excellent dust extraction system

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Too strong vibration

Our Verdict

If you’re in need of a super advanced router and price is not that much of a concern for you, consider Triton TRA001. With features like 15-amp powerful motor and micro winder for adjusting depths, you’ll have the finest cuts and precise depths possible.

You might think you need more experience to use this high-end tool, but this router is actually quite easy to handle. So, whether you’re a professional or an amateur, you’ll surely get the hang of this tool sooner than your expectations.

08 DEWALT DCW600B 20V Max XR

DEWALT DCW600B 20V Max XR

For many carpenters, a cordless router is a dream come true. The DEWALT DCW600B is a highly versatile router greatly appreciated in the woodworking industry. In fact, it’s one of the highest rated routers on eStores.

This router comes with a variable speed motor at an excellent range between 16000 rpm to 25000 rpm. With this high speed, you can have a smooth routing experience and handle any tough applications. It also has a soft-start technology that maintains the speed at all times.

It’s one of the lightest routers out there with a weight of only 2.6 pounds. It’s also lighter than the Makita XTR01Z that took the 10th place on our list. So, you can carry this router around everywhere. There are also dual LED lights that enhance the visibility of your workpiece.

We really appreciate the fact that this router is equipped with an electronic brake. During our testing, there was a tricky situation when we immediately had to shut the motor down. No harm was done, thanks to the brake.

Furthermore, this model has an adjustable depth-ring. You can easily and quickly adjust the height with it. Beside, its release-camp makes the bit changing process effortless.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Type: Small router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Volts: 20V
  • Battery-powered
  • No-load speed: 16,000-25,500 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Cordless
  • Dual LED lights
  • Easy base and bit change
  • Variable speed
  • Electronic brake

Cons

  • No kit options

Our Verdict

The DEWALT DCW600B renders power just like a corded one but with the convenience of a cordless tool. This model is sturdy but ultra-lightweight. It performs with the same efficiency like its corded counterparts. This is a great pocket-friendly option for you that deserves your attention if you’re new to woodworking.

09 DEWALT DW616 Router

DEWALT DW616 Router

The DW616 is a fixed base router from DEWALT. It has tons of impressive features suitable for both hobbyists and pros.

This model comes with an 11-amp motor with 1.75 HP, generating enough power to work on any wooden material effortlessly. As far as adjustments and precision are concerned, you can easily manage that with its easy-to-use adjustment ring that can be adjusted as deep as 1/64-inch.

This router comes with a single speed motor with a speed of 24500 rpm. It’s a decent speed for routing but since you can’t change the speed, you may not perform some cutting works that require more torque at less rpm.

The rubberized grips are also positioned well and you can comfortably handle the tool. The fixed base ensures better visibility of your workpiece. It also accepts all universal template guides.

We loved operating this corded model that was really easy to use. The unique switch and cord-set configuration lets you keep the switch in either hand. You also can easily change the router bit with this model.

DEWALT DW616 produces low vibration compared to other similar models. Maintaining it is also pretty easy. You can simply use the quick-release mechanism to release the motor.

Specifications

  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″, 1/2″
  • Amps: 11
  • Volts: 120V
  • Horsepower: 1.75 HP
  • No-load speed: 24,500 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Dust-sealed switch
  • Accuracy
  • Durable
  • Affordable price
  • Ergonomic handle design

Cons

  • Single-speed motor
  • No lights

Our Verdict

If you’re on a budget but want a wood router with decent features, the DEWALT DW616 is an ideal choice for you. It does its job pretty well. Overall, the powerful motor and ergonomic design make it a great value for money product.

10 Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT

Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT

This is another quality wood router from Makita on our list. This cordless router has the same variable speed range like the Makita RT0701CX7, but it’s more compact in size.

Makita XTR01Z comes with a brushless motor that offers you more running time than a brushed motor. It offers you more accurate and faster cuts. Besides, the motor gets more power transferred from its 18V battery. With its 1/4″ shank bit, this router can perform any of your trim work with great efficiency.

This router stands out with its ergonomic design. We found the rubberized grip super comfortable to hold. You can expect to have a smooth routing session with this easy-to-use machine. Moreover, it comes with dual LED lights that aren’t common with every trim router. This feature definitely is a great addition.

It offers you a variable speed ranging from 10,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm. You can conveniently control the speed from a scale of 1 to 5 on its onboard dial.

We just loved this router’s two-button power on/off system – one of its most advanced features. The button is safer as well as quicker than the switch. Before pressing the power button, you first need to press its lock/unlock button that prevents you from accidentally turning the router on.

You’ll appreciate its compact size too. However, the package doesn’t contain a storage or carrying case and you have to buy that separately as a result.

Specifications

  • Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.2 x 8.5 x 5.8 inches
  • Type: Compact router
  • Base: Fixed base
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4″
  • Volts: 18V
  • Battery-powered
  • Brushless motor
  • No-load speed: 10,000-30,000 rpm
  • Warranty: 3 year limited

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Dual LED lights
  • Soft start system
  • Comfortable rubberized grip
  • Variable speed
  • 2-step power on/off feature

Cons

  • No storage case

Our Verdict

Overall, Makita XTR01Z is one of the most efficient and affordable cordless wood routers for sale. It isn’t as light and powerful as the DEWALT DCW600B we reviewed earlier, but it’s more compact and offers you more speed range.

Moreover, the built-in LED lights make your job even easier. If you’re particularly looking for an affordable cordless router with variable speed, this is a great option for you.

Why Do You Need a Wood Router?

A wood router is a cutting tool used to rout out an area in a piece of wood. This is the most versatile tool that you can have in your woodworking shop vital to perform any kind of woodworking project. You’ll need a wood router for crafting artistic pieces, cabinetry, and of course, carpentry. You can also create beautiful wood patterns by cutting flawless dadoes.

You can use this versatile tool as a plunging tool as well. For maximum versatility, you would require both a small and a large router. The large one is for a great volume of woodwork while the small one for smaller tasks.

Best Wood Routers: A Comprehensive Buying Guide

1. Type

  • Plunge Router

A plunge router cut from above like a drill press. It enables you to preset a cut depth and lower the router bit into the cut to slice the exterior of a material from above.

  • Fixed Based Router

Fixed based routers come with their base and body set together. They begin cutting from the edges of the object.

  • Laminate Trimmer

Laminate trimmers are the most compact in the router family. Their engines are consumer-grade, putting out maximum 1 HP.

  • Combo router kits

Some routers have interchangeable bases. The upper-half of the router comes with a base that is detachable. You get at least one extra base for different applications.

2. Size

Wood routers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It depends on the category of the router you’re looking for. There are palm routers that fit into your palms. On the other hand, compact routers are slightly bigger and feature higher power than the palm routers. Then there are full-sized routers which are the most powerful and largest in size.

3. Motor type

Wood routers basically have two types of motors. The first type is a single speed motor that’s perfect for people who need more intense power, but they might get disappointed with the precision. The other type is called the variable speed motor. You can customize the machine’s power output and get more precise cuts.

4. Heavy or medium or light duty routers

Heavy-duty routers are the most dominant and significant among all. They can hold router cutters of more than 1½ inches in place.

Medium-duty routers are neither light nor heavy. They are more suitable for regular use and projects that are fragile.

Light-duty routers are categorized as semi-proficient tools suitable for specialists and light work. They are lightweight and their cutting diameter is under 1½ inches.

5. Dust collection

Wood routers give off lots of dust that settle in your workplace as well as in your lungs. Make sure that your wood router has a good dust collection system and clean up the workshop after every session.

6. Ergonomics

Make sure your wood router is ergonomically designed. It should be comfortable to use and prevent any long-term injury. If your tool is not ergonomic, it could cause serious painful conditions like carpal-tunnel syndrome.

7. Compatibility

When you buy a router table, make sure it’s compatible with your wood router. Just check the compatibility list of the router table. You will find the table compatible if you get it from the same brand.

8. Variable speed

You will find some routers with variable speed components. They are mostly handy when you work with remarkably soft or hard woods.

9. Corded or cordless

Wood routers can be either corded or cordless. Corded units are less portable and you can run them only near an outlet. On the other hand, battery-powered wood routers are easily portable, but they can run only until the battery dies. So, choose a corded tool if you’re going to use that only in your workshop. Otherwise, a battery-powered router will be good for you.

10. Soft start

It’s better that your power tool has a slow start and isn’t instantly activated with full force once the switch is on. The soft start feature prevents injury and is especially handy when children are around.

11. Adjustment dials

With more adjustability of your router, you’ll have more precise work. Routers that come with adjustment dials feature can handle a wide range of jobs, but they are usually more expensive.

12. Built-in light

Though not mandatory, it’s always good to have a built-in LED light with your wood router, especially when you’re working in a poorly lit environment.

13. Electric Brakes

Electric brakes are a great safety feature that will maximize your efficiency. They allow you to stop the router immediately to avoid any accident.

14. Maintenance

You can easily maintain and alter the wood routers which feature the tool-free chuck change. Even if your router doesn’t have this feature, learn about the process of changing the bits.

15. Warranty and Budget

You should always consider the warranty offered by a wood router. It varies by the length of time, use, and coverage. Usually, you’ll get 1-3 years of a warranty period.

Another important factor is your budget. You know price indicates the quality of a product, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be true at all times. You can get a good wood router within $100 -$300.

Care & Maintenance Tips

A wood router requires well-maintenance for a consistent and lasting performance. There are a number of things you need to do to maintain your wood router.

  • Check the cables and blades regularly. Make sure to unplug the router before you do that. Rewire the cable immediately if you find it damaged.
  • Remove any sawdust or debris from the table’s inner compartment. For this, you have to dismantle all the connected compartments. Use the right tool so that the screws remain intact.
  • Clean all the parts of your router for a flawless performance. Use pressurized air to push out the dust and small sawdust pieces.
  • Change the brush when it gets worn off. If your motor seems to create sparks during operation, this is an indicator that the brushes need replacement. Try to maintain them with lubricants.
  • You should use either a rust prevention spray or a lubricant on the moving parts. For some plunge router models, you can separate the columns to remove springs and then use a dry-lubricant spray .
  • Store your router in a dry and clean place and never forget to unplug after use. You can also consider a storage case that will help you transport the machine.

Wood Router Usage & Safety Tips

  • When you use your wood router freehand, securely clamp down the workpiece to the router table. You can place a friction map on top of the table.
  • Never hold your workpiece with your free hand when you’re routing freehand. Your router table has to be fitted with some guard covering the area above the bit. You can also use any feather board for keeping the workpiece pressed against your router table when you rout.
  • Always remember to unplug the router before making any adjustments.
  • Wear eye and ear protection every time you rout. Also, wear a dust mask and fitting clothes.
  • Never start a router keeping the bit in contact with the working material.
  • Your workpiece must be always fed against the bit’s rotation.
  • If you notice any unusual vibration or noise, immediately stop your router and inspect if there is any damage.
  • Never let your fingers get too close to the bit. If a part is too small, secure it in a jig.

Final Words

In this wood router buying guide, we tried to provide you with all the necessary details that you need to know before purchasing a wood router. After a thorough appraisal, we selected the 10 best wood routers out of hundreds of options available today so you don’t get confused and find the right match for your needs.

Remember that expensive products don’t necessarily have to be the best. Sometimes you can get the best features with a great performance from midrange tools too. Don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget because we got you covered with the best options at various price ranges on this guide.

This guide should be pretty comprehensive for you and we hope choosing your perfect wood cutter won’t be a challenging task now. Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section below.

FAQ

Q. 1. How does a router work wood?

Ans: Routing is done on moderately fragile and weak objects, generally wood. A router can run at a high speed since these objects are soft in smaller parts. Hence, small routers cut more rapidly.

Q. 2. What type of wood router do I need?

Ans: You should consider the engine size and base style when choosing a wood router. This totally depends on your personal needs and preferences. We recommend that you check out our buying guide to get familiar with the different types of routers and their features

Q. 3. What are the rituals that I must follow for the longevity of the router?

Ans: Regular maintenance and care is essential for longevity. Also, you can get a router that features too-free chuck change. You can easily maintain such routers and the bits are alterable in seconds.

Q. 4. Do I need a dust collection pot in my wood router?

Ans: It’s always recommended to use a dust collection pot since these devices produce a lot of dust. Sawdust can be really harmful for your lungs. You’ll find some routers that already have a dust collection system.

Q. 5. What should be the speed for wood routers?

Ans: Too high RPM could consume your wood while you could have an unpleasant cut with too slow speed. Most wood routers allow you to alter the engine speed. You should choose a speed depending on what type of wood you are dealing with and the size and type of the bit that you’re using.

Q. 6. How does the design of the tool decide its performance?

Ans: If you’re comfortable with any type of tool, your performance will be better and enhanced. It’s really important that your wood router is ergonomically designed. A poorly designed router will cause muscle tension that may result in burning sensations, reducing your work speed and efficiency significantly.

Q. 7. Should I go for one with a brushless motor?

Ans: Modern wood routers usually use brushless motors. They don’t make noise and last longer. So, it’s worth having a router with a brushless motor.

Q.8. What sized router should I buy?

Ans: There are different sizes and shapes available. Your storage capacity and type of tasks are crucial factors in deciding the size of the router. Palm routers are the smallest that you can use for smaller tasks. There are also compact routers that are slightly bigger and you can try the full-sized ones for heavy tasks.

Q. 9. What is the use of electric brakes in a wood router?

Ans: Electric brakes help you stop the router immediately to avoid accidents. This increases your tool’s efficiency while working. It’s a great safety feature for any wood router.

Q. 10. How do torque and rpm affect routing?

Ans: Torque measures the cutting ability of a router. You need more torque for hardwoods compared to softwoods. RPM, on the other hand, limits the diameter of the bit. If you prefer large bits, choose a router that has low RPM range.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

Leave a Comment

Drillly