Top 10 Best Wood Routers: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2019

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Router Tool

A professional woodworker knows that the best wood routers, is what he needs to make his work easier. If you are new in this field, you are eventually going to realize this fact.

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You can create your pieces of art or furniture from wood with the help of a wood router. It is a tool using which you can cut a hollow area inside a block of wood to make a detailed design in creative carpentry or a hinge joint.

However, wood routers are available in different size and each possesses different functionality and features. This makes it a tough decision to choose one from the given varieties. There are specific features that the wood router possesses and you can look at these features from the list given below. The detailed description along with their pros and cons will help you to gain a better understanding of the wood routers.

10 Best Wood Routers in 2019

1. Dewalt 20V MAX XR Cordless tool, brushless router DCW600B

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
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The 20V MAX XR compact cordless router renders power like a corded router along with the convenience of cordless equipment. It’s plastic fixed-base makes it sturdy whereas the dual LED lights illuminate the work surface to provide superior visibility. Equipped with a variable control for speed, it is one of the best wood router 2019. The release clamp enables easy, rapid base, bit change, and the penultimate soft-start motor helps the user to maintain the speed of the tool while delivering cuts.

Pros
  • Depth adjustment rings enable easy and fast height adjustments
  • Electric brakes reduce the speed of the motor at a fast pace after the tool is switched off
  • Soft start motor possesses electronic feedback
  • Soft start motor maintains the speed during delivering cuts
  • Dual LED lights
Cons
  • DCW600B works only with Dewalt 20V battery series

2. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood router

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit - 2.25 Horsepower Plunge Router & FIXED Base Router Kit with a Variable Speed 12 Amp Motor
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The moderately-sized router, Bosch 1617EVSPK is an impressive option with a 12-amp motor that is capable of bringing loads of power to the job you need to perform. The versatile tool can perform edge forming, plunge cuts, laminate trimming, and slot cutting with a wide variety of materials. Also, the machine is user-friendly as it enables the user to run it at a constant speed. Thus, you can emphasize your job without the need of holding the activation trigger. Furthermore, the well-built design of the router is light in weight and withstands job site wear and tear.

Pros
  • Durable body made of aluminum
  • The versatile tool can handle a wide array of materials (including metal) without losing power
  • Compact and powerful
  • Easy depth measurement
  • Monitors revolutions per minute to maintain the desired RPM
  • Runs quietly and smoothly
Cons
  • Costly
  • Fixed-base handles are a bit slippery

3. Makita RT0701CX7 Wood Router

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
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The Matika RT0701CX7 is an ergonomic and slim tool that is effective as well as affordable. If you are looking for one on a budget, you need to pay special emphasis on this tool. The slow-start feature of the tool helps the user to easily slip into the full force of the tool. Also, the speed can be monitored electrically for delivering reliability and consistency. It is the best wood router for beginners.

The affordable router can run between 10,000 and 30,000 revolutions per minute and the variable speed control feature can be made to match the speed of the router to that of the application.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Slow-start mechanism
  • Speed is monitored electrically and can be matched with the speed of the application
  • Efficient depth adjustment system
Cons
  • Produces excessive vibrations
  • Does not possess a clear base

4. 6.5 AMP compact router 1.25 HP Avid power MW104 router with fixed base

6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router with Fixed Base, 5 Trim Router Bits, Variable Speed, Edge Guide, Roller Guide and Dust Hood, Avid Power MW104
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The powerful compact Avid power MW104 router with variable speed control possesses a 6.5-amp motor that has a maximum horsepower of 1.25. It delivers abundant force to perform a vast range of trimming and routing applications. Besides, the variable speed control function, which ranges from 10000 to 32000 RPM enables the user to select an appropriate speed while dealing with different materials. Moreover, the smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment feature allows a precise operation to carry out a wide range of woodworking and cabinetry applications.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Durable case made of aluminum
  • A soft case is included for ease of transportation
  • LED light to illuminate the workspace
  • Quick locking system
Cons
  • Not compatible with the router table due to its small size
  • Produces lots of vibration
  • Noisy
  • Bits become loose easily

5. Bosch GKF 12V 25N

Bosch GKF125CEN Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router
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The Bosch GKF 12volts 25N is a brushless cordless palm edge router that has a unique design. The design delivers enhanced control over the tool and helps your fingers to reach the switch easily without the need of changing your grip. The motor is optimized for 13000 rpm. Its ergonomic construction delivers a well-balanced, lightweight design with the convenience of a cordless machine for hassle-free routing. It also features a versatile depth-adjustment system for ensuring precise depth adjustments.

Pros
  • Cordless tool
  • Ergonomic design
  • Excellent spindle lock
  • Excellent grip
  • The collet can be loosened easily
Cons
  • Does not possess a dust collection pot
  • The bit is offset and is not situated in the base
  • All the four edges of a door cannot be routed without the need of turning the door for every edge
  • generates a lot of heat while working
  • not suitable for bigger tasks

6. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP dual mode precision plunge router

Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
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User-friendliness is one of the major features why you must go for Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP router. It features three buttons which makes it easy enough even for the novices to use it. The tool does not ask for much maintenance and can be adjusted with the help of a single wrench. Moreover, the wisely centered vents prevent, the tool from overheating and ensures that dust does not enter the sensitive electrical parts.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Easy to maintain and use
  • Easy and quick to change the bits
  • Delivers sufficient power
  • Accuracy and ease of height adjustment
  • The switch cover locks automatically when the router is at its highest position for safety purpose
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Big and heavy
  • The dust collection system is not good
  • The crank mechanism does not work properly sometimes

7. Porter-Cable PCE6430 4.5-AMP single-speed ¼ inch laminate trimmer

PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 4.5-Amp Single Speed 1/4-Inch Laminate Trimmer
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The Porter-Cable PCE6430 ¼ inches Laminate Trimmer possesses a 31,000 RPM 4.5-AMP motor which offers the required power and durability to deliver cuts in different materials. The precision machine delivers accurate cuts with the help of the attached depth rings. The Trimmer is great for trimming, hinge routing applications, and small edge forming. It possesses a spindle lock button which enables the user to change the bits using a single wrench.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design allows the user to control the equipment with one hand
  • LED lights illuminate the work area
  • Extra-large locking clips help the motor to release quickly and assist in-depth adjustment
  • Depth ring allows accurate and quick bit height adjustments
  • The aluminum fixed base ensures the durability of the tool
Cons
  • Produces a lot of vibrations while working
  • Noisy
  • Collar slips sometimes
  • Height adjustment locking mechanism is not efficient

8. Metabo HPT M12VC 2-1/4 Peal variable speed fixed-base router

Metabo HPT M12VC 2-1/4 Peak Hp Variable Speed Fixed Base Router
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Metabo HPT 2-1/4 inches peak HP variable speed router with fixed base is made for window cutting, fine groove cutting, chamfering, cutting patterns, trimming and shaping. The design of Metabo HPT is designed for delivering precision while working. Also, the ergonomic style of the router will make it a great addition to your workshop.

The 11 AMP motor delivers controlled and precise cuts and features 8000 to 24000 revolutions per minute. The nickel-plated motor is housed for delivering smooth depth adjustments and the electronic speed control mechanism maintains constant RPM even if the load varies.

Pros
  • The tool delivers controlled and precise cuts
  • Dual-stage motor release clamp provides accurate and quick base changes and depth measurements
  • Speed control can be maintained electrically
  • Ideal for quieter workshop
  • 2-1/4 horsepower 11 amp powerful motor
Cons
  • Costly

9. Electric hand trimmer Woodworking joiner cutting planner palm router wood laminator tool 30000 RPM 800W

Electric Hand Trimmer Wood Laminator Palm Router Woodworking Joiner Cutting Planning Tool 30000R/MIN 800W 110V
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The premium quality electric hand trimmer tool is made with high-quality aluminum and plastic which provides longevity of the tool. The trimmer is easy to operate and is widely used for applications such as cabinet processing, wood processing, DIY and handicraft production. It possesses a transparent cover to trap the flying dust created while working. The user can observe the processing conditions via the transparent base.

Pros
  • Made with premium quality aluminum and plastic
  • Easy operation
  • Transparent base delivers greater accuracy while working
  • Transparent cover controls flying sawdust
Cons
  • Plastic parts might break
  • Costly

10. Cozyel 110V 800W palm router electric hand trimmer tool laminate wood router ¼ inches collets woodworking tool

Cozyel 110V 800W Palm Router Electric Hand Trimmer Wood Router 1/4
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The Cozyel 110V 800W router for woodworking can be used for cabinet processing, wooden processing, wood trimming, drilling, grooving, DIY, and handicraft production. It features an external carbon brush, which is easy to replace and the quick release level allows the user to easily remove the motor from the base.

Pros
  • Versatile machine
  • The transparent base provides a clearer view
  • Quick-release lever
  • External carbon brush
Cons
  • Plastic components might break
  • Produce excessive vibrations
  • costly

Buying Guide

Down below are listed the main things you should consider when buying a router tool.

Speed options

Usually, most router tools have multi-speed or variable-speed adjustments equipped. However, you will often find some models with a single-speed operation. You need the ability to adjust the speed range based on the wood species that you’re working on, type of the operation you are working on, and the bit diameter. All of this will increase your work quality and make your work environment a lot safer.

Classifications

Router tools, as almost any other tool, are available in different configurations.

Palm Routers

This type of router will definitely serve you well with its impressive performance and compact size. They are ideal for decorative inlays, windows cutouts, slot cutting, edge forming, small-scale dovetailing, hinge mortising, and trimming. Considering that this category of routers is limited to 1/4” shank router bits, they will never be a good option for any big operation.

Middle-size models

These models are probably the most popular too, thanks to their ease of operation and fantastic versatility. They can easily handle almost any operation, including everything a palm router can do plus circle cutting, template design work, panel cutting, and large-scale dovetailing. These routers will accept 1/2” and 1/4” shank bits, and you will usually find them with multiple bases. An excellent mid-sized model will probably be the best router for woodworking that you can find.

Full-size models

Routers from this category are considered the workhorses of the family. They are usually designed only for production use. They are usually dedicated to CNC operations or to a router table. They are huge and massive in size, and that’s the reason why you probably won’t be buying a router from this category.

Base styles

The base style is as much as important as the motor size that goes with the base. There are a couple of styles available, and you should select the one that will fit the best your operations and projects you plan to work on.

Fixed base

The fixed base is considered a standard. Models from this category are fixed with knobs or handles on opposite sides of the base for guiding and holding the router. These models can only be used to edge routing applications, but they can usually be mounted to a router table too. A model with a fixed base is also perfect for operations like box joint jigs and dovetail. A router model with a fixed base usually has ring-style settings adjustment incorporated.

Plunge base

A router tool with a plunge base is very versatile. It can be used for everything that already mentioned, fixed base, can be used for, plus all kinds of operations that require plunging into the wood. Routers with a base like this one are ideal for mortising operations, dado cuts, fluting, and blind grooves. The mechanics are elementary. The motor is moving up and down on columns that are spring loaded. A base like this one is usually equipped with adjustable settings that you can tune the way you prefer to use it.

D-Handle Base

This base is very similar to the standard base. The only difference is that two knobs used on a standard one are replaced with a D-shaped handle. This handle provides locking on/off trigger power switch and pistol-grip control.

Special note

If you are looking for a product that is able to utilize more than one base, there’s also something for you. Usually, manufacturers will release a special package called a Combination Kit. These kits incorporate a plunge and a fixed base in one prepackaged kit. This will save you a lot of money since you will be paying for two routers at a price much lower than you would if you would pay for two separate tools.

Compatibility

The compatibility of aftermarket accessories is yet another thing that you should definitely pay attention to as you are reviewing your options. Usually, manufacturers are offering just some essential accessories such as universal subbases, dust collection attachments, router bushings, and edge guides. However, you are also able to find routers with more advanced accessories like template guides, router plates, and router lifts. If you are interested in these accessories, you will have to take a close look at a specific model since these accessories are model/brand specific.

Soft start

Soft start is something that every router tool should have. Without it, the tool will start working at full speed the moment you turn it on. The noise it makes will not be pleasant, and the power of the tool will make the router go up and down in your hands. A soft start feature will slowly accelerate the speed of the router tool once you turn it on. Definitely, one of the essential features you should look for when you’re buying a router tool.

FAQ

Seek answers to some of the questions given below. This will help you to simplify your buying decision.

What is the use of a wood router?

A wood router is a versatile tool used for woodworking and is ideal for every kind of carpentry. You will require a wood router for carpentry, to craft artistic pieces of art and furniture, and for cabinetry.

What size of the router must I buy?

You will find different sizes and shapes of wood routers when you go for buying wood routers. Your storage limitations and requirement of your task have a very crucial hand in deciding the type of tool. The types of routers, which you are going to find in the market are palm routers, compact routers, and full-sized routers.

Palm routers are very small in size and they can fit in the palm of your hand. They are designed to perform smaller tasks. Storage and transportation of palm routers are easiest but they do not come handy while performing bigger tasks. On the other hand, the power levels of compact routers are comparable to that of full-sized variety. Also, they come in an easy-to-transport package.

Whereas it is not easy to transport full-sized routers, they are the most reliable tools when you need to deal with a great volume of work.

How does the design of the tool decide its performance?

When you are comfortable with a tool, you will be able to work more efficiently and deliver enhanced performance. On the contrary, a poorly designed tool will lead to tension in the muscles which might result in inflammation or painful conditions. Also, when you are not comfortable with a tool, your efficiency and speed will reduce significantly.

Thus, the design of the tool has a deciding part in its performance. A tool with an ergonomic design is not only comfortable for the human hand, but it is also optimized to prevent injury while working.

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

Power tools produce a lost of dust. The primary settling place for these dust particles in your lungs and your workshop.

Dust setting in the workshop can be cleaned after the work is done. After all, after each work session, a tedious and big mess is always left to be cleaned up. But, the sawdust which has entered your lungs cannot be cleansed. Sawdust is a carcinogen and can result in harmful consequences sometimes.

A simple solution for the sawdust is a system of dust collection. A wood router with a dust pot would be a wise choice to invest in. Not only it will prevent your lungs from the notorious carcinogen, but it will also reduce the mess, which is created after every task.

Should I go for one with a brushless motor?

It is well worth to have this feature in your wood router. Modern tools run on brushless motors. These tools run without making any noise and they also last longer.

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

Maintenance and proper care of your equipment are necessary for its longevity. Some wood routers possess tool-free chuck changes. These tools can be altered in a few seconds and it is easy to maintain them.

It would be advisable to find out how the bits are altered in your wood router.

Should I go for a cordless router or a corded one?

Cordless and Corded routers possess their own sets of weaknesses and strengths. Cordless tools can run they are connected to an outlet. Also, they are less portable than the cordless one. However, they deliver improved performance. They are preferable if you are destined to spend your time in your workshop.

On the other hand, the router powered by battery or cordless routers can be taken everywhere. They are preferable if you have an off-site task to perform. However, they run for a limited time and need to be charged.

How do precise adjustment dials have a role to play?

Your equipment will be able to work more precisely if your router is more adjustable. Although the routers which possess dials with varied depth stops are costly, they can deal with a broader range of tasks.

What is the use of variable speed feature?

Some routers feature a variable speed function. These routers enable you to take an enhanced and more customized approach towards your tasks. The variable speed feature comes handier if you are working with remarkably softwoods or hardwoods.

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

Electric brakes enable you to halt your router on a dime and helps you to increase the efficiency of the tool while working. Also, it is a great safety measure as you can stop the equipment immediately whenever you wish to avoid accidents.

Why should I buy one with a slow start?

It is always a good option to buy equipment with a slow start feature. It prevents the equipment from activating its full force the moment you switch it on. It is a safety feature that assists you in orienting yourself by the force of the tool.

Conclusion

There are plenty of excellent wood routers available in the market. If you are focusing on getting a high-quality tool, the best choice would be Dewalt 20V MAX XR DCW600B. Also, it is a budget-friendly option.

Purchasing the best wood router becomes challenging as there are numerous options to confuse you. To make the right decision as per your job requirements, you need to get a thorough idea of what is needed in the making of a high-quality product, get familiar with the companies which are leading the market and you are good to go. Clear your conceptions about pricier items being the best. Some budget-friendly options can be as effective for your job needs.

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