Wood routers are a really useful tool when it comes to hollowing out, cutting up, or trimming down wooden objects and surfaces, especially in big woodworking projects where you have to DIY everything yourself. They are designed to help you hollow out a specific area without having to do it all by hand, speeding up the process, and making sure that you get very precise results, no matter how deep you need the hollow area to be or what angle you’re cutting at. But, like all tools, it’s not always easy to track down the best wood router for any particular job, especially if you’ve never bought one before.
View the Best Wood Router, Below.
- DEWALT DWP611PK Wood Router
- Festool 574692 Router
- Avid Power Fixed-Base Wood Router
- Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router
- PORTER-CABLE 690LR Router
- Makita RT0701C Compact Router
- DEWALT DW618B3 Wood Router
- Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router
- PORTER-CABLE 892 Router
- Triton TRA001 Mode Precision Plunge Router
1. DEWALT DWP611PK Wood RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This adjustable router contains a strong 1.25-horsepower motor that's perfect for handling both hard and soft wooden surfaces, using a variable speed system and simple on-off switch to let you stop, start, speed up and slow down the cutting at the press of a button. To help you use it in darker areas, there are two LEDs built into the translucent sub-base section that can light up the surface you're cutting, giving you more control over where it's placed. Even better, the adjustment ring lets you alter the changes in the cutting depth with an accuracy of 1/64th of an inch.
This router is compact, straightforward and offers two different base types, letting you adjust it to the exact cut you need without being forced to use confusing accessories or hard-to-grasp features that take a long time to learn.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Festool 574692 RouterRead Customer Reviews →
The ergonomic design of this wood router allows for greater control and lower fatigue, as well as one-handed control for very specific situations. The chip deflector and dust collection system keep your hands free of debris without interfering with the router's operation, while the very precise dial gives you a massive amount of accurate depth control: each adjustment is within 1/256th of an inch, which equates to about 1/10th of a millimeter. This is backed up by a strong 1.88hp motor and high overall cutting speed, both of which allow for maximum power and efficiency at almost any depth.
This wood router offers a mixture of strength, speed, and accuracy, making it a good all-purpose choice for people who need precision in all of their cuts and woodworking projects.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Avid Power Fixed-Base Wood RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This fixed-base router tool uses a 2-horsepower engine to provide up to 25,000 RPM of cutting speed, allowing for quick and clean cuts in a variety of different surface types. The highly accurate adjustment ring lets you alter the depth within 1/64th of an inch, and it can accept a range of router bit sizes. Thanks to the general design, it can be used for almost any kind of regular job, ranging from large plunging tasks to small-scale trimming and cutting. As a side note, the heavy-duty aluminum body ensures that it's both stable and durable, but still using ergonomic grips to give you more direct control over where the cuts are made.
Accuracy and versatility are really useful features to have, and this router combines them both with great cutting speed for a greater level of control and overall efficiency.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This wood router kit is designed to provide everything you need for a varied range of project types, offering great performance during cutting, trimming, plunging, and edge forming. The rounded wooden handles allow for a much higher level of control and comfort during difficult tasks, and you can easily adjust the unit thanks to its variable speed dial system and high level of accuracy. Not only that, but its wide speed range makes it versatile enough to work smoothly on dozens of surface types and harnesses, all while using a chip deflector and lightweight body to keep the cutting surface clear and accessible at all times.
Speed is the main benefit of any powered cutting tool, so being able to adjust it on the fly makes this one of the most versatile routers on the market.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. PORTER-CABLE 690LR RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This 11-amp motor uses a cam-lock lever that allows for very accurate, reliable height adjustment changes, and is made with precision-machined components that massively increase performance when trying to make specific cuts and hollowed areas. The cam-lock leaver makes this height adjustment even easier, and the high overall cutting speed from the internal motor offers a great level of base power for dealing with tougher types of wood. Not only that, but thanks to the small, straightforward design of the router body, it's easy to use in tight spaces or smaller workshops.
Unlike many routers, this model is focused around fine depth adjustment, letting you get the exact height you want every time. Being able to alter the depth also means that you can quickly and easily adjust the settings without having to fiddle with accessories or other gadgets, too.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Makita RT0701C Compact RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This compact router has a variable control dial that allows it to operate between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM at any time, as well as a special rack-and-pinion depth system that makes precise cuts extremely easy to carry out. The electronic controls are also designed to automatically maintain speeds while cutting through solid materials, leading to smooth operation and professional results every time. The base can accept dozens of industry-standard guides, and it has a gentle start feature that reduces the chance of wear and tear during cutting, as well as ensuring that the entire tool activates slowly and safely.
The compact design of this router makes it an ideal choice for people who are tired of using heavier, harder-to-move routers that don't work well for smaller tasks. Not only that, but it's adjustable enough to provide excellent results in dozens of situations.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. DEWALT DW618B3 Wood RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This fixed and plunge-based router uses a strong 12-amp engine to take on all but the hardest types of wood, making it much easier to get consistent results even on hard materials. The feedback control system ensures that the cutting speeds are always balanced, even during the process of cutting through a heavy material, and the slow-start system gives you more control over how it's angled. Thanks to the dust collection tool in the main column, up to ninety-five percent of all dust and debris will be collected, improving visibility and safety during difficult jobs. There's also a spindle lock option for letting you perform bit changes using a regular wrench if needed.
This router's main features are power, reliability, and safety, three things that make a huge difference when you're using most wood routers and need proper protection.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Bosch PR20EVS Palm RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This simple 1-horsepower, 5.6-amp router offers a range of different speeds and a high level of durability, improving stability while still letting you cut or trim down tougher and more resistant surfaces. On top of this is the excellent precision, thanks to the depth adjustment system that makes it easy to perform both minor and major adjustments quickly. This works alongside a simple bit-changing design, a reliable spindle lock, and the ability to easily clamp the motor down in a location for better consistency, all of which results in far better cuts, less risk to the user, and a much better level of control overall.
Being able to retain the current speed while cutting is always useful, but this router goes a step further and features a design that makes almost everything much more convenient for the user.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. PORTER-CABLE 892 RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This multi-functional wood router uses a gentle-starting motor that can reach speeds of between 10,000 and 23,000 rotations per minute without any issues, retaining it's speed for as long as possible even when it's under heavy load. Unlike many routers, it's designed with a dual-position off switch that makes it easy to turn off in emergencies without having to let go and lose control, as well as a great level of bit height adjustment that opens up more possibilities for different cutting depths and base options. The over-molded grips also make it much more comfortable to use for extended periods of time, regardless of the situation.
This router gives you more control over the location, speed, and depth of your cuts while working at maximum efficiency and a high level of safety. The various extra features make it useful for almost any day-to-day woodwork task.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Triton TRA001 Mode Precision Plunge RouterRead Customer Reviews →
This dual-mode router offers the same features as both plunge routers and fixed-base routers, being able to switch between the two at the press of a button. The automatic spindle lock makes it easy to change the base at any time, and the special micro winder system gives you far more control over the precision of each angle and depth you're using. The slow start system makes it safer to use and easier to control, while the built-in vents on the sides reduce the chance of dust or debris getting into the motor and damaging it. It can even be adjusted while mounted on a table, so you don't need to remove it each time.
This router tool offers a mixture of high speeds and high accuracy but still manages to give you useful features that can help you adjust, alter or protect different parts of the router itself while you're using it.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Wood Router Buyer’s Guide
Wood routers are quite a useful tool, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to buy. They’ve gotten a lot better over the years, but that means that there’s always more wood router designs to choose from, and not all of them are designed with the same goals or purposes in mind. When you’re choosing routers, wood types aren’t the only thing you need to worry about, and it’s quite easy to completely misunderstand or forget what you need routers for wood for in the first place. Knowing your tool-related needs makes the search much easier, especially if you can narrow it down to a specific router type or tool design.
Understanding Wood Routers
If you’re fairly new to wood routers and don’t exactly understand what they’re for, it can be difficult to know what you need. A woodworking router is essentially just a versatile tool meant for cutting, routing out or smoothing down a section of a piece of wood: this can be anything from smoothing off the edge of a doorway to cutting grooves in a wooden wall, depending on the situation. The cut that’s created by the router depends on the routers’ bit size, shape, and depth. Some of them will be more geared towards creating hollowed-out areas, while others will be designed as a “trim router” that’s supposed to be used to trim wood.
Types of Router Base
The base of your router makes a very big difference since it’s the main part of how the cuts are made. There are only two major types, but they’re different enough for them to be clearly distinct, and not all of them are designed to work in every situation.
First are fixed-base router designs. A fixed-base router needs you to set the depth of the cut (relative to the base) before you actually switch it on: you set the depth, place it in the cutting area and turn it on, then watch as the wood router creates the holes, grooves or indents that you wanted. In most cases, a fixed-base router is the simplest option, and also has the fastest bit-changing system by default. However, since you already need to have the router in place, it essentially starts cutting while already on the surface, which can make the results look slightly more ‘messy.’
The second tool type is plunge router designs. A plunge router is built so that the motor can slide up and down, usually with a level lock somewhere in the system. They can do many of the same things, but they’re a lot more complicated and often come with some extra bulk – the upside is that they can be lowered into the cutting area, so you can let them reach maximum speed before they even touch the wood surface.
Some wood routers are a combination of both, either using individual interchangeable parts or an electronic system that you can toggle on and off. Under the right conditions, they can be incredibly versatile, but they also have drawbacks of their own.
Like all tools, routers have their own key features that matter. However, unlike most tools, routers still have limits on what they can do, and only some parts are removable. The base is a good example: your router tool can have it’s based changed dozens of times in a day, but the handles might be built into the design. Knowing what you can adjust on your tool, and what you can’t, can be incredibly important to using your routers effectively.
The best router for your needs is whichever one can fill them. Some routers will, but other router designs might be intended for different purposes. Trying to find the best router while also focusing on things like the warranty, storage options, price, and the safety of the edges on the motor housing can complicate things, so try to work out which features you need most. Perhaps you need a variable speed router or some with the best quick release system available.
What Is The Best Wood Router For Home Use?
The hardest part of finding the “best” wood router is that many routers are advertised incorrectly. For example, through the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate can earn money for promoting certain products and linking to Amazon. An affiliate advertising program designed to provide benefits to sites that are advertising and linking to their products can result in unfair coverage, especially when it comes to technical tools like routers.
If you’re reading a review, always check to see if they’re Amazon Services LLC associates – they may be using their sites to earn advertising fees by advertising the products to you. Being a participant in the Amazon affiliate program isn’t a bad thing, but through the program, an affiliate advertising a product might have some hidden bias towards a product that really isn’t “the best” wood router for your needs. Focus on your own requirements first.
What is the Best Router for a Beginner?
Like any power tool, beginners will want something simple that they can get used to. Brands don’t always matter in this situation: you might be told that the Porter-Cable 690lr is a better choice than any router Bosch could make, but in the end, you need to find something that’s affordable (within your budget), easy to use and can create the cuts you need. Very few brands stick to one style, either: any router Bosch makes might be different from another router Bosch has made in the past, so you can’t write anything off as “too expensive” or “hard to use” without researching them.
In most cases, the easiest options are a fixed based router with an easy bit, a good quick-release system, and an electric speed management system to keep a consistent level of RPMs while cutting.
What Is The Best Router For A Router Table?
Router tables act as a cutting surface for a wide range of wood routers, but finding the best wood router to fit them can take a while. Not only do you need to worry about the plunge base (if your router has one), but also the best kind of material to cut on and how large your router table is. Most router reviews will forget to mention router tables, but that’s mainly because there isn’t a solid answer: if the DEWALT DWP611pk is the best wood router for your current needs, then the DEWALT DWP611pk is the best wood router for your router table. Very few routers are designed in a way that stops them from working with tables altogether.
What Are Routers Used For With Wood?
As mentioned before, routers are power tools used to trim down, hollow out or otherwise cut into wood. However, most wood router models have specific purposes that they’re designed for – a fixed base router with fine depth adjustment and height adjustment might be designed for creating straight holes, for example.
Most routers can’t do everything, no matter which base they use or the kind of tool they’re supposed to emulate/work with. The best router in any situation is the one that works, so choose something you can actually use properly.
The best router in any situation should be the one that does its job well and keeps you safe. Don’t force a router to do something it’s not meant to do.
Did you Know?
High speeds don’t always translate to the best performance. The faster a motor runs, the harder it can be to control the way the router moves in your hands.