Many people think that a good wood router is an essential piece of equipment when it comes to woodworking. Don’t you agree?
Of course, there are many wood routers on the market, but I’m here to help you choose the best for you. This is exactly why I want to talk to you about the best wood router 2018.
I’ll talk you through some of the most popular wood routers and how to use them.
A wood router is an important power tool that allows you to create designs, joints, do plunge cutting, shape edges, etc.
The best wood router does all this, and much more. But how do you know what wood router is the best for you?
I’m going to mention every best wood router, and its features and details. This way, it’ll be easy for you to decide which wood router is the one for you.
- Wood Router Review
- 1. DeWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP - Best Wood Router in 2018
- 2. Bosch 1617EVSPK - Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router
- 3. Porter-Cable 7538 - Single Speed Plunge Router
- 4. DeWALT DW618PK 12 Amp
- 5. Hitachi KM12VC
- 6. SKIL 1817 - Fixed Base Router Under $100
- 7. Bosch PR20EVSK - Variable Speed Electronic Palm Router Kit
- 8. Makita RT0701CX7
- 9. Porter-Cable 690LR
- 10. Bosch 1617EVSPK - Dust Extraction Hood & Vacuum Hose Adapter
- Best Wood Routers Buyers Guide
- What is a wood router?
- Type of Wood Router
- A few things about wood routers that you must be aware of!
- Router Bits Materials
Wood Router Review
When it comes to the best wood router, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, you want a wood router that’s packed with useful features. Of course, knowing its features is essential when buying any of the best wood routers. Without further ado, here’s the comparison table of the top ten wood routers 2018:
|Router Name||Amperage||HorsePower||Type||Collect Capacity|
|12.00||2.25||Fixed&Plunge||0.25 – 0.50’’||Check Price|
|Hitachi KM12VC||11.00||2.25||Fixed&Plunge||½’’ – ¼’’||Check Price|
|12.00||2.25||Fixed&Plunge||0.50 – 0.25’’||Check Price|
|Bosch PR20EVSK||5.60||1.00||Fixed||0.25’’||Check Price|
|Makita RT0701CX7||N/A||1.25||Fixed&Plunge||0.25’’|| Check Price |
|Porter-Cable 7538||15.00||3.25||Fixed&Plunge||0.50’’||Check Price|
|12.00||2.25||Fixed&Plunge||0.25 – 0.50’’||Check Price|
Finally, the best is to inform yourself well about each of these routers. This way, you’ll know exactly If the wood router would work for you. Also, it’s important to know what’s the best plunge router for you. Every wood router in our comparison table is different from the others. On that note, think about what kind of wood router you want, and read all the instructions carefully. This well help you understand how the word router works, and how to use it safely. Naturally, picking out a wrong wood router can be discouraging, and won’t deliver the kind of results you’re expecting.
Do you need help in choosing the right wood router? I’ve prepared 10 different wood router reviews for you, to make the search much easier. Finally, keep on reading to find the best wood router for your needs.
1. DeWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP - Best Wood Router in 2018
Here’s a powerful router combo kit. Its 1.25 HP motor delivers amazing power to each application that requires more toughness.
There’s an optimal speed control. Another useful features are dual LED’s, as well as a clear sub-base that allow you to have full visibility during operation.
This is a quick wood router, and its speed goes from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM.
The plunge stroke is 2 inches. In conclusion, this is a corded wood router, with collet diameter of 0.25 inches.
Customers are mostly happy with this wood router, especially when using it for small projects. However, the most critic comes from overheating. If you run it for a longer period of time, the wood router will become hot and it may melt some parts. Also, some people are complaining about the power code being stiff and hard. Naturally, the power cord may take some time to get used to but it’s not that big of an issue.
- convenient, easy to use
- soft start feature
- fixed & plunge kit
- great for small projects
- could overheat
2. Bosch 1617EVSPK - Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router
This is a 12 Amp, 2.25 HP wood router. It’s a plunge and fixed base kit, with a soft start feature. Its speed varies from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. The overall construction is made of aluminum, with wooden handles featured on the fixed base of the router. The plunge base features a soft grip handle.
The Bosch wood router has 1-year warranty and it comes with wrenches, chip shields, carrying case and collet chunks. Both fixed and plunge base feature a quick clamp system. This allows a quick conversion that requires no tools. Finally, moving the motor takes only seconds and it’s easy to do.
Although the customers are overall happy with the wood router, there still are some minor complaints about it. For example, some people experience a switch failure. They’ve reported that the switch is easily replaced by Bosch, so don’t worry. Also, some users are very critical about the motor not fitting easily in the plunge base, although Bosch advertises the ease of use of this wood router. Either way, some people have experienced trouble with fitting the motor in plunge base.
- Aluminium, with wooden handles
- Quick conversion, no tools
- Soft start
- Fixed and plunge base kit
- occasional switch failure
3. Porter-Cable 7538 - Single Speed Plunge Router
If you’re looking for a wood router that’s easy to use, you’ve found one. An auto-release collet system makes the bit removal easy after use.
The motor is 15 Amp, which provides enough power and durability.
This is a good wood router for any tough applications. Also, there’s a single speed of 21,000 RPM, while featuring a soft start feature. This could possibly be the best plunge router according to wood router reviews.
It’s got 3.25 HP and six-position depth rod. Finally, going from stepped to repeated plunge cuts, this wood router comes highly recommended by experienced woodworkers and hobbyists.
The wood router is rated with 4.7 out of 5 stars, so it’s hard to find any reliable critics. The most common complaint is definitely the user manual not being really helpful. Of course, this is far from a deal breaker, since the wood router is quite easy to operate with. Also, there’s the issue of a dust collector accessory not featured in this wood router. Luckily, you can buy this attachment separately and solve the problem easily.
- Powerful plunge router
- Soft start feature
- 3’’ plunge range
- Suitable for tough applications
- Dust collector attachment not included
- User manual hard to use
If you’re working with some of the toughest hardwood, this is the best wood router for you. The wood router has a 12-amp electronic speed motor with 2.25 HP and a soft start feature.
This versatile wood router comes with 0.25 and 0.50 inch collets. It’s both plunge and fixed wood router.
The bases are easy to change because the steel motor features a cam lock. This feature makes the base switch require no tools. Like any other best plunge router, this wood router has a dust collector that collects up to 95% of dust. The dust can contribute to tear and wear of the machine, so it’s good to have a collector like this.
Of course, the metal housing of the tool, brass bushings, as well as the steel guide rods all contribute to the durability of this wood router. It features a 3-year warranty.
Since DeWALT is a name well known for the quality of their products, it’s hard to find any critics. However, there are some minor ones that you may find important. First, people mostly complain because this wood router doesn’t come with a centering tool. Of course, you can understand why this is important for some people. Simply, most users criticize DeWALT for this miss, and would prefer if there was a centering tool with a guide.
- Plunge & fixed wood router
- Features a dust collector
- Bases are easy to change
- Powerful motor with a cam lock
- No centering tool
- Could be a little noisy
Here’s a wood router for whoever likes controlled and precise cutting. It’s an 11 amp wood router with 2.25 HP. Both fixed and plunge bases are easy to change thanks to the release clamp featured.
The 2-stage release clamp is also very useful when it comes to accurate depth adjustments. This wood router features a noise level that doesn’t go more than 79.5Db.
This is good if you’re someone who doesn’t stand noise and like to work in less noisy conditions.
The wood router comes with 0.50’’ and 0.25’’ collet chucks, centering gauge, template guide adapter, and 16mm wrench. Its speed goes up to 24,000 RPM and it’s constant thanks to the router’s speed control.
Well, the speed control seems to be the problem for most of the users. Simply, it’s reported that the speed control may not work as well after some use. Some people even say that the speed control stopped working completely after a certain time. Of course, this important issue could break the deal for some people. The wood router itself goes up to 24,000 RPM, but the speed control may fail to keep the speed at its peak. If this happens, make sure to contact the manufacturer and they’ll fix it for you if the product is still under warranty
- Precise cutting and control
- Fixed and plunge wood router
- Powerful 11 amp motor
- Speed control may fail
6. SKIL 1817 - Fixed Base Router Under $100
The Skil wood router that features a soft start that helps you start smoothly, while also incising motor life. Based on many wood router reviews, this model is quite good for large profile applications.
This is thanks to its 0.50’’ collet capacity. It’s the wood router with a perfect depth adjustment. It’s micro-fine and excellent for precise depth measurements.
This is a fixed base router, with on/off switch for better control.
The quick-release button easily performs the motor removal and adjustments. Its handles are soft-grip and the machine features LED light that helps you operate easily.
There aren’t many wood router reviews on this machine, but there are some critical reviews, as well as positive. More precisely, some people reported that they didn’t get all the parts with their SKIL wood router. You may see this as a big problem, and it definitely shouldn’t be neglected. Now, this might just be a slight mistake in packing the product and if it happens, all you have to do is just inform the manufacturer. In most cases, they replace the missing parts without any problems.
- Soft start feature
- Good depth adjustment
- LED light for easy operation
- Fit only for some basic woodworking
7. Bosch PR20EVSK - Variable Speed Electronic Palm Router Kit
This fixed base wood router features an edge guide. The machine features a soft start and a quick lock system. The motor we’re talking about is 5.6 amp, and 15,000 to 35,000 RPM.
It’s quite convenient, featuring finger support pockets. You’ll quickly notice its soft grip, even though the whole tool is aluminum. The router features shaft wrenches, fixed base, collet, palm router, dropforged collet, and the edge guide along with other useful parts. The quick-clamp system makes it easy for you to adjust and move the motor from base to base.
Also, it’s safe to use thanks to the angled cord exit that helps the router’s cord to stay away from your work. Finally, the manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty for this tool.
Some of the most common critics are considering the fact that the tool is aluminum. Simply, people find that this makes it hard to see the work you’re doing. Also, the tool doesn’t feature a LED light, which would also make it easier for you to see your work. Since this isn’t really a problem you can fix but it’s how the tool is made, the best is to think carefully if this would make it hard for you.
- Precise edge guide
- It’s a soft grip machine
- Soft start and a quick lock
- Hard to keep an eye on your work
This is a convenient and easy to use wood router. The Makita wood router features speed control that enables you to match the speed to each application. The speed, of course, goes from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM.
There is precise setting such as rack-and-pinion smooth adjustment system. The design of this tool makes it easy and comfortable to use and control. The motor featured has 1.25 HP. Also, there’s electronic speed control that help the tool maintain the speed.
This wood router features soft start and cam lock for quick release. Some people think of this tool as the best plunge router, thanks to its performance and convenience.
Most people are critical over the fact that you don’t get a guide for a plunge base of the tool. However, this isn’t too big of a deal, so if you have any experience in woodworking, you’ll know how to use the tool. Also, some people experienced broken parts delivered upon purchase. The manufacturer suggests you simply use the warranty and replace whatever is missing. Most of the time that solves the issue for many people.
- Precise and convenient
- Electronic speed control
- Soft start and excellent performance
- Plunge base comes with no guide
This fixed base router features 11 Amp motor and 1.75 horsepower. You’ll quickly realize how quick this wood router is. We’re talking about as much as 27,500 RPM thanks to this single speed motor.
Both motor and the base are aluminum. Motor release and height adjustments are enabled by cam-lock. The router features 0.25 and 0.50’’ collets, operating manual and a collet wrench.
This wood router is good for whoever is looking to use the tool often. Simply, the switch is dust-sealed, while the entire construction guards against wearing and tearing. The tool features fast bit removal as well as the ergonomic design. Both of these features are user-friendly and help achieve the best performance. Also, you’ll like the under-table stop that helps you keep the router in place.
The molded grips are comfortable, regardless of how long you’re working. The manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty for this model.
What’s people reflect on the most is the fact that the tool doesn’t come with a case. You may or may not mind this detail, but apparently, it’s quite important to some people. Simply, the case is useful to keep all of the components always close to the router. Without the case, you have better chance of losing your collets, wrenches, flushcut, etc. On the other hand, if you’re careful with the wood router parts, the missing case doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Think about if you would prefer the case before purchasing the tool.
- Aluminum base and motor
- Good to use often
- Resistant to wear and tear
- 11 Amp and 1.75 HP motor
- No case included
10. Bosch 1617EVSPK - Dust Extraction Hood & Vacuum Hose Adapter
Another great wood router by Bosch that’s both fixed and plunge. It’s 12 Amp with 2.25 HP, providing speed from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. The kit includes 0.50’’ collets, vacuum hose adapter, deluxe edge guide, and a dust extraction hood.
You’ll appreciate the micro-fine depth adjustments, and the soft start feature. The guides can cut as close as 8’’ in from edge. Also, one thing that people are especially fond of is the ability to quickly convert this tool into circle guide.
This allows you to make arcs and circles to 32’’ in diameter.
There are very little critical wood router reviews on this model, but there are some important. First, some people reported that they’re having difficulties with getting the motor out of the plunge base. Of course, if this is happening, you should contact the manufacturer. There are several things you could do to fix this, but it would ruin your warranty deal so I advise you not to do that. Instead, I suggest you contact the manufacturer to check if they could help you with this in any way.
- Fixed & plunge
- Converts into circle guide
- Soft start and micro-fine depth adjustments
- It features an edge guide
- Hard to get the motor out of plunge base
Best Wood Routers Buyers Guide
If you’ve never bought a wood router before, you probably need a little guiding. Simply, if you’re a beginner, the best is to understand a few basics before you place a purchase. This is why we’ve prepared with a little buyers guide where you can learn what is a wood router, how to use it, what are the types of routers, etc. Without further ado, keep reading if you want to learn all there is about this essential woodworking tool.
What is a wood router?
A wood router is probably the most valuable tool if you’re a woodworker. A wood router with its bit set allows you to create all kinds of designs, grooves, shape wood and joints. Naturally, there are many types of this tool on the market and they’re all different. It’s important to know the difference between each type because that can help you determine what wood router is the best for you. Purchasing the wrong wood router automatically means you won’t get the results you were hoping for.
This is why we’re providing you with all this important information. Of course, all of it can help you pick out a wood router that’s just the one for your needs. Read our wood router reviews above, and choose the one you think would fit you the best.
Type of Wood Router
As I said, there are many types, but only two that are the most common. More precisely, you’re most likely to come across fixed and plunge wood routers. Naturally, the type you choose will decide the type of work you’ll be able to do. Ask yourself what type of work you’d be doing the most and what wood router can help you. Also, consider your experience in working with wood routers.
This wood router has a spring loaded base, which allows you to push the bit into the wood. Most of the time, you’re allowed to lock the base at different depth depending on the application you’re using it for. If you must change the depth while the router is in use, simply unlock the depth release. This is one of the main differences between a plunge router and a fixed base router. Another difference and possibly the advantage of this wood router is that it cuts in the middle and not the edge of your work. Plunge routers are versatile and offer so much, but they’re a little harder to use compared to fixed base wood routers.
Fixed Base Wood Routers:
If you’re a beginner in wood working, this is the perfect way to start. Keep in mind that the best way to use this tool is when it’s fitted to a router table. This is a very useful tool if you’re looking for precise edge cutting and molding. You’ll be able to do anything that requires a straight line cutting. These routers are easy to use and lightweight, especially compared to plunge wood routers. This model doesn’t allow you to change the blade depth while the motor is running. Therefore, make sure to adjust the depth as you like prior to starting. However, some styles do allow you to adjust the bit by screwing and unscrewing the router.
You can’t decide between plunge and fixed base wood routers? Luckily, some models offer both bases. Also, it’s not complicated to do. Simply, remove the motor from one base and put it in another. These models are the most convenient because they offer both bases in one tool. This way, you don’t have to buy two separate wood routers. Not only you’d save money this way, but these models are easier to carry and operate with. At the end of the day, if you think you’d need both bases, our advice is to get yourself the interchangeable bases model.
You’ll love this model if your work requires less power and capacity. As their name says, they’re perfect for trimming. It’s a useful tool, often used by craftsmen and hobbyists. Also, it performs well when doing any detailed work. Finally, it’s a good tool for whoever needs precise one-handed cuts.
If you’re looking for a tool for your light needs, this is the one. This tool performs an excellent job on routing tasks and detailing. It’s very popular amongst craftsmen and hobbyists. The tool is very convenient and compact. You can use them for different applications and they make an overall great addition to your router.
A few things about wood routers that you must be aware of!
Of course, the frequently asked questions exist whether we’re talking about wood routers or any other products and tools. If you’re a beginner, it’s normal to have a few question about how wood routers work and how to use them.
I’ve collected a few of the questions we get most often, and I’ve done my best to provide a reliable answer. Keep reading if you want to know some basics about wood routers.
Fixed base vs Plunge base
This is a tricky question to answer simply because it mostly depends on your personal preference and needs. Of course, there are different opinions on which model is the better one. There are pros and cons to both of them, in reality. For a fixed base router, keep in mind that it’s much easier to use and set up. However, the plunge base routers are more versatile. If you’re a beginner and you’re uncertain about which type to choose, we recommend getting the interchangeable bases wood router. You can find a few models in our reviews above.
How wood routers work?
Routing is a process done in high speed. It means trimming, cutting, and shaping wood. Most of the time, the router consists a base and an electric motor with a collet. The collet is placed at the very end of the motor’s shaft. Simply, you can adjust the height of the bid. Each tool features a knob or a handle on each side to help you control the tool. Pick a wood router of your choice based on your needs and preference. Finally, once you have your tool be sure to real the user manual, which will help you a lot in understanding how does the machine work.
How to use a router?
We use router bits to apply different shapes and cuts to the wood. Of course, the router bits can’t work properly unless they’re installed the right way. No doubt, if you don’t do this properly the bit will vibrate and make a big noise. Also, this can be very dangerous. Make sure to install the bit properly, to insure you’re using your wood router safely. Using the bits in combination with applying partial profiles, you’ll be able to create many different profiles onto the edge of your wood.
Of course, these tools are durable and strong, but they do wear out eventually. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to prolong the life of your wood router. Finally, every wood router comes with a step-by-step user manual that explains how to use it properly. These manuals are also useful to understand how your router works, how to maintain it, and use in a safe way. In case you need any extra help, many wood router reviews are dedicated solely to explaining how these tools work.
Router Bits Materials
Router bits are essential parts of wood routers and they’re mostly made of different materials. The key is to know what kind of materials you’d be working on. Answering this question in advance helps you know which router bit material would work the best for you.
If you’re looking for a strong and durable router bit, this is exactly what you need. We use this bits to work on some of the hardest materials. In addition, they can be used for a really long period of time because they’re long lasting. However, you might consider their price as these bits are the most expensive. In my opinion, their long life makes the worth the money.
High Speed Steal
We use these bits for softer materials. Naturally, these bits will wear out rather soon since they don’t maintain the sharpness as long as all the other bits. It’s important to mention that they’re also the least expensive. Of course, we recommend them for people who don’t use their router as often.
These are stronger than the high speed steel bits. They hold their edge longer, which makes them work better for harder materials. For example, you can work on hardwood as well as metal. Finally, these bits are favorite amongst woodworkers who use their routers every day.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve already chosen the best wood router for you. After carefully reading the wood router reviews, critics of users, and pros and cons, you’re probably able to make that decision. Also, I hope that our beginners guide helped you learn about wood routers and how to use them. In conclusion, we’ve talked about everything you need to know in order to start the exciting journey of woodworking. Naturally, every skill takes time to master, but each of these tools can help you get there faster. Think about your preference as well as your needs when it comes to woodworking. This will help you choose a wood router easier.
Are you a beginner in woodworking? Have you tried any of the wood routers we’ve mentioned in our review? What’s your favorite plunge or fixed base wood router? Please, feel free to join the conversation in the comment section below.