A lot of people tend to believe that wood is best shaped manually. This is far from being true, especially when having in mind how advanced the technology of today is. The best wood router is a device that is going to allow you not only to better shape your wood pieces, but you are also going to be able to do it in a timely manner. This is surely going to bring a lot of advantages for your business.
Whether you are a professional or a enthusiastic do-it-yourself type of person, the wood router is something that you want in your shop. However, choosing the most appropriate one is definitely not a walk in the park. With this in mind, we have compiled of the best wood router reviews for this year. This would allow you to weigh in their pros and cons and relate them to your particular need. Once you have done this, you are going to be able to make the best possible decision. So without wasting any more time, let’s jump right to the reviews.
- Bosch 1617EVSPK
- Speed: 8,000 to 25,000 rpm
- Motor: 12 Amp 2.25 HP
- Depth changes: soft start, micro-fine adjustments
- Collet: 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch
- Other: Bosch Precision Centering Design, fixed and plunge bases
- PORTER-CABLE 690LR
- Speed: 27,500
- Motor: 11-Amp 1.75 HP
- Depth changes: micrometer adjuster accurate to 1/128-inch
- Collet: 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch
- Other: cam-lock lever, auto-release collet system
- DEWALT DWP611PK
- Speed: 16,000-27,000 rpm
- Motor: 1.25hp
- Depth changes: within 1/64-inch
- Collet: 1/4-inch
- Other: Dual LEDs and clear sub-base, Soft-starting motor
- Bosch PR20EVSK
- Speed: 15,000 - 35,000 rpm
- Motor: 5.6 Amp 1 HP
- Depth changes: Micro-fine adjustments
- Collet: 1/4-inch
- Other: Constant-Response Circuitry, soft-start and quick-lock systems
- DEWALT DW618PK
- Speed: 8,000-24,000 rpm
- Motor: 12-AMP 2.25 HP
- Depth changes: adjustments in 1/64-inch increments
- Collet: 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch
- Other: through-the-column dust collection, Soft start
- Hitachi M12VC
- Speed: 8,000-24,000 RPM
- Motor: 11 Amp 2.25 HP
- Depth changes: two-stage motor release clamp for adjustments
- Collet: 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch
- Other: 2-stage motor release clamp, Class leading noise leve
Top 6 Wood Routers Reviewed
DEWALT DWP611PK Wood Router
The DEWALT DWP611PK is without a doubt one amongst the best woodworking routers out on the market and certainly deserves a spot in our top 6 for this current year. Of course, there is a wide variety of reasons behind that. Right of the bat, the router comes with a durable 1.25 HP motor that is perfectly capable of delivering the right amount of power in order to meet some of the toughest applications and undertakings.
You can also take full advantage of the variable speed control feature that is going to allow you to optimize the bit speed for the different woodworking activities. The range of the speed varies from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM.
At the same time the motor is rather soft starting and it features a full-time electronic feedback that would allow it to properly maintain a constant speed level throughout the entire cut, regardless of the applied pressure. The unit has a dual LED lights as well as a clear sub-base which contributes to the maximum visibility while operating the unit.
The router also features an adjustment ring that would enable you to control the bit depth changes. It is differentiated in increments of 1/64-inches each. This ensures proper cuts accurate to the last millimeter. Even though the router has a plunge base, it features a release-to-lock lever that would allow the user to maintain the specific depth setting. It also has rubber handles that would prevent slipping and would allow you to exercise perfect control over the machine itself.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router
This is considered to be one of the best routers for woodworking during the current year of 2019. The device offers great versatility due to the fact that the base of the router is plunge but it also features a fixed-base kit which would allow you to carry out some of the toughest woodworking applications.
In order to properly contribute to this, the unit comes with a significantly powerful 2.25 HP motor. The latter would allow you to properly adjust the speeds thanks to the variable speed feature. You can set it to work at speed ranging from 8,000 all the way to 25,000 RPM.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK router is made out of an aluminum construction which makes it rather light-weight thus ensuring easy control with minimum effort. The unit has wooden handles on the fixed base kit in order to allow maximum convenience, control as well as safety.
At the same time, the plunge base kit has a soft-grip handle. Despite of the fact that it includes a fixed as well as a fixed base kit, the router also has ¼ inch and ½ inch collet chucks, wrenches, chip shields as well as a carrying case. It comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer and it measures 6.2 x 19.5 x 14.5 inches in size, weighing approximately about 19.5 pounds.
This particular woodworking router is specifically designated to accommodate a large variety of different routing undertakings. This is due to the fact that it has a lot of features and additions that most of the devices don’t offer.
PORTER-CABLE 690LR Wood Router
Our top 6 wood router comparison demands us to include the PORTER-CABLE 690LR as one of the best units on the market for the current year. This is due to its amazing specifications which really do bring a lot of convenience and utility on the table.
Right of the bat, the unit features a motor capable of working at 11 amps and peaking at 1.75 HP. This would enable you to carry out an abundance of different routing operations. The unit is a fixed-base wood router that would allow you to precisely execute your cuts without any inconsistencies or uneven shapes.
At the same time, the unit is capable of delivering the significant 27,500 revolutions per minute which would enable you to properly handle even the toughest wood routing undertakings. The aluminum motor features perfectly machined housing as well as base that would not only provide you with a great tool, but would also ensure that maximum safety is delivered. The router also comes with a cam-lock lever that would allow you to adjust some simple coarse heights as well as to release the motor.
The micrometer depth adjuster is perfectly accurate to 1/128 of an inch. As you can see, this doubles the depth accuracy of previous machines which surely is something that needs enough stressing out.
Bosch PR20EVSK Woodworking Router
Being considered as one of the best router tools, the Bosch PR20EVSK is surely something that you might want to consider while shopping for a device of this kind. The unit is more compact and light-weight model, but despite of its design and not so powerful motor, it is capable of delivering excellent performance.
Even though it features a 1 HP, 5.6 Amp motor, the latter is perfectly able to deliver an RPM of up to 35,000. As you can see, this is significantly more than the other devices and this would allow you to carry out even the toughest wood works. At the same time, the motor offers the possibility to adjust the speed in between the range of 15,000 and 35,000 RPM.
Despite the fact that the unit is a fixed-base router, it has depth adjustment system that allows further versatility as well as finger support pockets to ensure easier usage. The soft grip combined with the lightweight aluminum construction is there to offer you an operation with little to no effort.
At the same time, the unit includes a number of perks such as a palm router, drop-forged collet as well as shaft wrenches, collet, fixed base, straight-edge guide and a holding case. All of these are intended to provide you with everything you need to carry out your woodworking undertakings. The unit only weighs about 11.8 pounds and it comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
DEWALT DW618PK Woodworking Router
There are a lot of things that make us put the DEWALT DW618PK in the comparison amongst the top rated wood routers. The powerful 2.25 HP 12 Amp electronic motor is going to make sure that you have enough power to handle and properly carry out even the toughest woodworking undertakings with little to no effort.
At the same time, the device provides a great deal of versatility for numerous reasons. First of all, you are able to adjust the speed levels which would be applicable for the different projects. The unit is also a plunge as well as fixed-base wood router due to the additional kits that are included.
On the other hand, the router comes with ¼ inch and ½ inch collets which are also contributing to the versatility and ensuring that you can enjoy greater bit retention. This also brings in a significant amount of security.
You are going to be able to create precise depth adjustments in 1/64 increments in order to carry out your work with further accuracy. At the same time the motor cam lock makes those adjustments really easy. The lock is also tool-free which would allow you to properly change between the different bases, the plunge and fixed one, in a matter of seconds. It also has superior dust collectors which are going to get rid of 95% of the dust in order to present you with perfect bit visibility which would undeniably translate to more precise results.
Hitachi M12VC Woodworking Router
This particular model is considered to be one of the best routers for router tables. This is due to the fact that it is a fixed base router which would ensure greater stability and sturdiness. At the same time the router really does bring a lot of advantages.
The 11 Amp motor which is capable of peaking at 2.25 HP is going to enable you to execute precise and controlled cuts for greater results. The motor release clamp is 2-stage which would allow you to rapidly adjust different depths in order to provide you with enough versatility to carry out more complex projects.
The smooth depth adjustments are furthermore guaranteed by the nickel plated motor housing. At the same the unit features electronic speed control which would allow you to adjust the rotation cycles of the bit in order to accommodate each and every project individually and as per the demands of the materials. This would also let you maintain a constant RPM rate even if you apply different pressure or load on it.
The unit is also incredibly silent. It operates at a noise level of 79.5dB which would ensure quieter working environment. Hitachi understands how important concentration can be when using the router. This would not only impact your work but your safety as well because you won’t get easily distracted by excessive noise.
What Is a Wood Router?
A wood router is a type of router which is just like any other with this particular difference that it is mainly intended to be used for shaping and drilling wood. This is a must have tool in every single wood working shop. The reasons for this are numerous. Right of the bat, the router is going to allow you to carry out your projects with a significant speed.
You are surely going to find out that when you are used to work with this machine, you are going to save a significant amount of time. The router is going to enable you to create perfectly fitting joints for two work pieces, for instance.
This is why the majority of shops use routers when they are creating cabinets or shelves or basically everything that requires the joining of two pieces of wood together. These devices utilize a revolving bit at the end which is going to carry out most of the work. The effect is achieved by developing such a significant RPM rate that the bit is capable of eliminating the unnecessary wood. This would also enable you to shape the wood pieces the way you want or decorate and customize them specially for your clients.
Wood Router Types
There are two general types in which the wood router can be differentiated. There are plunge and fixed-base wood routers. This division is made based on the possibility for the router to be pushed up and down.
Plunge routers have a spring loaded base that is going to allow the user to push the device up and down and to manually control the depth of the cut. This is incredibly convenient and it provides the user with great options and versatility. You can manually control the whole process, without having to stop in order to adjust the cutting depth.
On the other hand, the fixed-base routers are more appropriate for beginners. They are also incredibly well suited for carrying out jobs that have a pre-determined routing demand. For instance, if you are going to create a joint on a wood piece that is 10 feet long, you are probably better off with a fixed-base router which would ensure that the cut is evenly deep.
However, the thing is that plunge routers also have the option to be stabilized at one cutting deep which would prevent the router to be manually pushed up and down. This is the main reason for which plunge routers are generally more convenient.
How to Choose the Best Router
Keep in mind that purchasing the perfect router for your workshop is going to present you with a tool that is powerful and versatile enough to enable you to carry out a wide range of different undertakings. You can make cutouts or create duplicates from certain patterns; you can properly shape different edges or form joints. You can create decorative surface cuts and a lot more things to name a few. This unit is a complete must-have in every workshop, especially if you are doing this for a living and professionally.
However, there are a lot of things that you must take into proper account before deciding on a particular wood router. This is why we have compiled a few guidelines in order to make things easier to comprehend. There are a lot of specifications that you would want to consider, so without any further a due, let’s take a peek.
This is the first thing that you need to consider. Plunged or fixed-base routers, they would both bring a lot of advantages in but it is without a doubt that you would benefit mostly from one of the particular types. This is why you need to determine in advance what kind of routing demand you are going to have. Keep in mind that fixed base routers are generally helpful for most of the undertakings, especially if you are a skilled do-it-yourself kind of guy.
However, plunge routers are going to bring a lot more versatility because they are capable of being pushed up and down thanks to their spring loaded base. This is why you would need to exercise more strict control while using them, but once you get a hold of it, you are surely better off with a plunge router.
The power is mainly generated by the motor. Actually, it is entirely generated by the motor and you would only have to apply a bit of pressure in order to properly guide the router bit. However, you would normally want to aim for a device that offers a greater peak. For instance, try to get a router with an electronic motor that can peak at least one horsepower if you want to be sure that you can handle the majority of applications.
Capacity and applications
These two go hand to hand. The capacity determines the versatility of the device which is normally deriving from the size of the collets. It is always good to go for a ½ inch collet because they have adapters and are also capable of going along with a ¼ inch and 3/8 bits. As you can probably figure out, this would directly translate to the utility of the device which means you are going to able to find more applications for it.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of things that need to be taken care of before buying a wood router. Make sure that you pay attention to these things if you don’t want to end up with a device that you paid too much for and it is not capable of handling your wood working projects.
What Can You Do With a Wood Working Router?
Keep in mind that the woodworking router is really going to bring a tremendous amount of utility in your workshop. This is due to the fact that it is generally used for a variety of different things and all of them can be executed rather fast and in a timely manner. This is due to the fact that you are using a machine and not handling the task manually.
Most of the people seem to believe that it is easier to shape the wood with great details manually, but this is quite wrong. The best woodworking routers are going to allow you to exercise absolutely precision when shaping your wood working piece. This is due to the fact that you can adjust the cutting depth, use different routers and what not.
Basically, everything is up to you. For instance, you created beautiful and at the same time quite elegant arches to door panels. Another thing that you can do with a wood working router is you can create joints that would make two pieces of wood to join perfectly with each other at a pre-determined angle, set by you. This is extremely useful for furniture manufacturers and this is why such a device is an absolute must.
It is also important to understand that you won’t be able to achieve most of those things manually, or at least not with the same precision and accuracy. Imagine creating a perfect cut to a wood piece that is over 10 feet long, for instance. It is highly likely that it would be uneven if you manually shape it.
However, this won’t ever happen if you use a wood working router. Of course this suggests that you know how to use it and you are doing it properly.
How to Use a Wood Router
There are different things that you want to know about using a wood router. However, there are quite a few differences based on the type of the router itself. As you already know, there are two types of wood routers – plunge and fixed base. As you can imagine, using a plunge router is rather different than using a fixed-base one because with the latter you won’t have to be doing any kind of pushing.
Using a plunge router requires a several things:
- The first thing you want to do is to insert the bit into the collet. It is important to check if the collet you have is going to accept the bit you want to use. This is why it is advisable to aim for routers that have a ½ inch collet option because they are typically larger and are going to be compatible with a larger variety of bits.
Now, in order to get the bit into the collet, you would want to simply feed it to it. If your collet accepts the bit you are going to feel that the latter is firmly placed and you won’t be able to easily move it from one side to another. However, you don’t want it to be touching the base so pull it out a bit and notice the two nuts beneath the collet. This is the main reason for which almost every wood router comes with two wrenches. Tighten the bit pretty neatly and you are all set to begin working.
- When using a plunge router you are going to notice that there is a lever on the side. This would stabilize the cutting depth. You can adjust it by simply pushing the device downwards.
Using a fixed-base wood router is even simpler. This is due to the fact that you won’t have to be pushing the base up and down in order to adjust the depth. You would have to set the depth in advance by pulling out as much of the bit as you need. It is quite simple.
However, it is impossible to stress out enough how much safety matters. These are normally heavy-duty machinery that is capable of causing significant troubles if used improperly. Most of the wood routers have plastic shields that are going to prevent the dust and the small wood particles to get in your eyes. Make sure that it is always facing you.
You also want to wear protective goggles in order to ensure perfect visibility. Do not overlook on any of these safety tips because the results might be devastating. Always guide your router by using the handles that are always going to be on the side of it. Don’t lay your hands on the device itself while it is working.
All in all, the best wood router is surely going to make your life a lot easier. This is why you are almost always going to find such a device in woodworking shops. The fact is that they bring a lot of convenience and utility. They are space-saving and do not require a lot of room to store. At the same time they are capable of achieving great details and perfectly shaped wood work if they are used properly.
The comparison that we have made with these wood router reviews aims to present you with the best choice on the market. The hope is that once you have gone through all of this content you are going to be sure that you need a device of this type. More importantly, we aim to make it possible for you to easily determine your need and to shop accordingly.