The Best Wood Routers to make beautiful Edge Profiles and Fine Joinery

If you are new to woodworking, you will soon realize that using a router makes a huge difference in the visual appearance of your wooden creations.

Before you indulge yourself with a new fancy tool, you should at least check that:

  1. The RPM range will work for your projects
  2. It is accurate, stable, and durable
  3. You know whether you prefer a fixed-base router or a plunge-base router

We have selected for you the best wood routers that you can buy in the USA.

  1. Best Versatile Router: Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router
  2. Best for the Money: DeWalt DW618PK Wood Router
  3. Best Plunge Router: Triton TRA001 Wood Router
  4. Best for General Use: Porter-Cable 690LR Wood Router
  5. Best for Router Table: DeWalt DWP611PK Wood Router
  6. Best for Carving: Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router
  7. Best Trim Router: Bosch PR20EV Colt Wood Router
  8. Best Professional Router: Festool 574692 Wood Router
  9. Best Cordless Router: Makita XTR01Z Wood Router
  10. Best CNC Router: BobsCNC E3 Wood Router

🔎 Buyer’s Guide

The thing about working with wood is that there are a number of different scenarios you are going to face. Cutting wood is pretty simple. Carving it would be a little more complicated, but it is also important to keep in mind the fact that there are a lot of wood carving tools that would help you get the job done in no time at all. Then comes the all-important task of wood routing.

Wood routers come in handy when you are using a particularly hard piece of wood. If you need to hollow it out, the various tools you might have at your disposal are going to be more or less worthless. You are going to need something a little more precise and powerful. This combination of power and precision can only be found in wood routers.

Hence, a wood router is a machine that is used to hollow out tough woods so that you can give them the shape you want. Hence, they are useful in a variety of situations such as the creation of cabinets that tend to use very hardwood and also tend to require intricate paneling and hollowing out in order to be actually useful.

There are a variety of wood routers out there, so you need to make sure that you buy one that is right for you.

Types of Wood Routers

As mentioned before, there are a variety of different routers that you can get. One of the most popular types is a fixed-based router that is useful if you want something that is portable, compact, and easy to use because you would not have difficulty moving it around.

However, this router is more about maneuverability rather than anything else. Therefore, if you want something portable, you should get a wood router that has interchangeable bases. This would enable you to keep a set of bases with you at all times that you can take with you everywhere you go, thus saving you the trouble of carrying multiple wood routers and decreasing your load by a large margin. These wood routers are generally more affordable as well, which is important for people who don’t have an enormous budget. 

These two are the main types of routers that you would be able to buy. There are other types as well such as the laminate trimmer which is well known for its precision, but these types of wood routers are not as popular as the two that have been mentioned above.

However, you should check them out as well because they do offer some pretty unique benefits which could come in handy.

➡️ Plunge Routers

Plunge routers cut from above just like the drill press.

The chest area of the router grips the router bit and can be pushed downwards more than two spring-stacked columns that channel the router bit’s way, enabling it to slice the exterior of an object from above.

Pros
  • The spring-stacked top half, router bit included, can be pushed downwards, bringing down the exterior part of the materials. It builds a wide range of cuts you are able to construct and makes them more appropriate for different templates and jigs.
  • When the router is plunged to a specific depth and locked in place, the plunge routers work just like the fixed base models, securing the bit in place when working, thus ensuring consistency.

➡️ Fixed Based Routers

Fixed base router has its’ body as well as the base set together.

Accordingly, fixed base routers can’t plunge cut outside of materials from the top; they can just begin from the edges.

Pros
  • On fixed base routers, the knobs are at times positioned farther down the body, this implies that your hands are nearer to the machine’s base and the workpiece.
Cons
  • One of the disadvantages of fixed base routers is, it doesn’t permit pushing the router’s bit outside of materials. That is, the cuts made over the surface must begin from the edge.
  • The demerit of the fixed base router is that it doesn’t enable you to plunge the router bit outside of materials. It implies cuts made over the surface must begin at an edge and makes it unacceptable for use with most templates and jigs.

➡️ Combo router kits

A few routers come with an interchangeable base. They comprise of the upper half of the router (the collect assembly and the engine) with a detachable base, and some of the time at least one extra bases for various applications.

➡️ Heavy-duty routers, medium-duty routers, and light-duty routers

A router’s ‘duty’ is the size and intensity of the router, and influences the effectiveness of the router for particular jobs

➡️ Heavy-duty routers

A heavy-duty router is the most significant and most dominant of all hand routers. As a rule, it has the biggest collet size, and this implies that it can hold in place router cutters of over 38mm or 1½ inches.

➡️ Medium duty routers

These types of routers are neither heavy nor light. They are not heavy like the heavy-duty models; as such they are suitable for fragile work. However, they are heavier and larger than light-duty routers, this makes them more suitable for regular use and they are often used with bigger cutters more than light-duty models.

➡️ Light duty routers

Light duty routers are grouped as semi-proficient devices, perfect for specialists, and light exchange work. Occasionally used over shorter timeframes. They are small and lightweight and usually are capable of accepting bits whose cutting diameters are limited, under 38mm or 1½ inches because of their small collets.

Listed below are the kinds of routers out there and the model, which will be most appropriate for you when you desire to buy a router.

➡️ Laminate routers / Trim routers / Compact-size routers / Palm routers

The wood routers that are outfitted with consumer-grade engines putting out at most 1 hp are the smallest in the router family.

⚙️Features

  • The Ergonomic designs allow you to hold the palm router with a single-handed grip comfortably, stretching out upward starting from the base. A few brands are inherently much balanced over others, so attempt them personally whenever possible.
  • Beautiful depth modification dials put you in absolute control of most complex routing tasks, for example, decorative inlays.
  • Macro depth modification controls, and then again, gives you a chance to switch depths quicker in case you are moving on to another task.
  • Brushless electric engines run calmer and help spare battery control on the cordless models, this is exceptionally fundamental for the turning bits and extremely productive.
  • Safety features, for example, the finger guards and the spindle locks are essential and must be included (standard).
  • The Edge guards are essential for directing routers along passes, particularly over the table.
  • The Chuck wrenches provided with the unit helps to change the chuck toss bits with no additional tool.

The type of router you can carry along, are genuinely compact, and function admirably for fast jobs like mortising entryway pivots or making window patterns are called the palm routers.

➡️ Cordless

Cordless palm router model is the most efficient kind of router available for small, petty jobs and nothing beats the comfort it gives.

The CORDLESS PALM ROUTER is pricier and heavy because of the battery pack, yet for routing the edges and trimming the laminates, only a few power instruments can carry out the task instantly like a cordless router. Like a good number of battery-powered apparatus, running time is gauged in Amp per hour (Ah) also, cordless routers require bigger Ah batteries to run optimally.

Sizes of Wood Routers

One aspect of the wood router that you should pay particular attention to is the shank size. There are multiple shank sizes, and each size will have a different impact on your wood routing experience. Sizes go from 6 mm all the way to 10 mm, so if you want the most precision possible, you should make sure that you get the right kind of size based on your requirements. Shank size can also affect the depth of penetration, and getting the right shank size can also mean that you would not have to use as much power as might be necessary otherwise.

➡️ Medium-sized routers

Medium-sized routers provide a decent harmony among power and control and regularly come in two models; it could be one-handed or two-handed, depending upon the base design.

Unlike the palm routers, which typically come in grasp style models, these routers can plunge based, fixed based, or combo based for multiple uses.

Moreover, owning a medium-sized router impressively gives you more room to choose the router bits you can utilize.

Both weekend specialists fiddling with carpentry to genuine star shops will locate a medium-sized router helpful for practically any routing job– from edge cutting and finishing to dovetailing and profiling cut tasks.

⚙️Characteristics

  • Dust accumulation feature helps to keep your shop clean and also shield you from breathing in particles and dust that may cause medical issues later on. Make it a necessity if you want to be routing composite boards and lots of plastic pieces.
  • The easy handle design is an absolute necessity. To correctly use a router, you need strategy and some training, so ensure you get tools you can handle comfortably.
  • Variable speed gives you a chance to alter your router’s speed. It is necessary for using particular individual bits or dealing with hardwood or different objects.
  • Soft star: rather than spinning your router at maximum RPM when you switch it on, gently start and gradually revs the motor up to the fixed speed. This keeps the router consistent as you begin your pass, and also keeps it from twitching out of your hands.
  • The Built-in LED light can lighten your working zone for enhanced visibility.

➡️ Full-Sized routers

The Full-sized router possesses a specialty with regards to this classification of power tools. It is costly and too cumbersome to operate manually. As a general rule, a full-sized router is commonly used on the router table.

A Full-sized router runs on a three or more hp motor range. It is quite helpful when you need to route using large measurement router cutters, particularly if you are going to push pieces of hardwood against them. If you intend to utilize any shaper more than 38mm, consider putting resources into a Full-sized router machine.

⚙️Characteristics

  • Electronic velocity control causes the router to make up for the weight thus keeping the bit spinning at a consistent rate. This very important for guaranteeing steady cuts as well as finishing.
  • Electric brakes let you switch between removes quicker by cutting the time trusting that the bit will quit turning.
  • Chip diverters shield your face from flying garbage.

Wood Router Accessories

➡️ Extensions and Chucks

If you want precision, you might want to get a few extensions and chucks that would allow you to get the most precise routing possible without having to increase your power. Check out as many chucks as you can so that you can buy one that is perfect for your needs.

➡️ Storage Boxes

Whatever accessories you get, you are going to need a box to store them in. Getting a large box is also useful if you plan to get a wood router that offers interchangeable bases. You would need a place to store these bases, and a storage box would allow you to keep all your things in one place which is extremely useful for people who tend to move around a lot.

➡️ Allen Keys

Allen keys are going to be your tool of choice if you want superior depth adjustment. Wood routing is not just about power and speed; your depth of penetration matters a lot as well. Hence, if you truly want the best precision, you should get an Allen key to help make that happen.

💡How to Choose a Router

Now that you have educated yourself on the various types of wood routers that are out there, you need to try and choose the right type of router for you. In order to do this, you need to first assess your own needs in order to ascertain which type of wood router would fulfill your requirements. There are also certain overall features that you should look for.

Wood routers features

⚙️Motor Type

There are two basic types of motors that you can get when it comes to wood routers. The first type of motor is a single-speed motor. The thing about this option is that you can’t really control the power output, but the fact that you generally get a lot more power output, to begin with, makes up for this disadvantage quite a bit. Single-speed motors are perfect for individuals who have the need for intense power more than anything else, and people who need precision might be a little disappointed here.

The other type of motor that you can get is the variable speed motor. The main benefit of this motor is that you would be able to customize the power output of your machine to a large extent, thus allowing you to be a lot more precise with your routing.

⚙️Durability

Wood routers deal with some pretty tough woods, so getting one that is durable makes a lot of sense. After all, you don’t want a wood router that would end up breaking down after you have used it for only a year. This is the sort of thing that you would want to get several years out of at least because it is the best woodworking router and such things are meant to last. When you are looking for a high-quality wood router, durability should be one of the things that you look for the most. It would help ensure that your routing experience is a lot more affordable in the long run because you would not have to pay for repairs as often, nor would you have to buy a replacement when your wood router breaks down.

⚙️Price

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to wood routers is one that they make with a variety of other products as well. This mistake is assuming that price is somehow indicative of quality. Right off the bat, you should know that this is not true at all. An expensive product is not necessarily going to be top-notch. Indeed, some of the more expensive products out there can be quite low in quality because their price is the result of big brands trying to get a big profit while offering subpar products.

This is not to say that you should go for the cheapest wood router available either. Try to find a middle ground; this way you would be able to get something that won’t break the bank but would be top-notch in quality regardless of this fact.

⚙️Brand

Wood routers are the sort of products where you need to be conscious of the brand that you are purchasing from. There are two main brands out there that are considered the best of the best, which are Bosch and DeWalt. Both are comparable in terms of power, precision, and durability. It is in the accessories and customization that they give each other some competition.

Bosch is known to have an edge in the power department, albeit a very small one, and is also well known for providing excellent products that are very portable. DeWalt is slightly more affordable than Bosch and is important because it provides a unique number of features, many of which have to do with its astounding variable motors.

While it is true that both of these brands have something or the other that gives each an edge over the other, it is also important to realize that they are both excellent choices. Whichever brand you go for, you can rest assured that you are going to be well satisfied.

🏅Best Wood Routers in 2022

1

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router

Best Versatile Router
  • 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collet chucks
  • 8,000-25,000 RPM
  • Diameter: 6 inches Fixed/ 6-11/16 inches

BOSCH 1617EVSPK is a fixed base router kit that has a product of 2.25HP plunge which features a 25,000RPM that gives power when needed for smooth routing. This Bosch machinery is for woodworkers who are on a budget but needs everything a wood router does with the added benefit of finding a single router motor with a plunge as well as a fixed-based combined together in one kit. 

This product protrudes a versatile kit board of application, that involves slot cutting, dovetail cutting, and more. It also has an in-built constant response circuitry. Both the plunge and fixed bases have a quick clamp feature which helps the motor move between bases without having to rely on tools.

Pros
  • Variable speed system which ranges from 8,000RPM to 25,000RPM
  • Quick clamp system that helps users shift bases
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Good height adjustment control
Cons
  • The fixed base handles are quite slippery which is quite dangerous for its users

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s its base size?

The base size is 6” fixed / 6 11 /16” plunge.

What is the carrying case in dimensions?

The dimensions of the carrying case are Approximately 21 x 15 x 8

Can the Ryobi R163 fit the product?

Yes, it can fit in.

Does this router provide a height adjustment system?

Yes, it provides a height adjustment system for the router table.

Overall impression
This tool is perfect for heavy and a variety of work giving its multiple bases too. This tool has gotten a lot of positive reviews prior to most people who have used it. The BOSCH 1617EVSPK is no doubt a simple and compact tool but it is highly recommended for everyone except beginners and newbies.

Where to buy


2

DeWalt DW618PK Wood Router

Best for the Money
  • 2-1/4 HP (maximum motor HP)
  • 8,000-24,000 rpm
  • Integral, through-the-column dust collection collects 95% of the dust

The DEWALT DW618PK features a 12-Amp variable-speed, soft start motor which has a fixed and plunge base for a variety of woodworking jobs. The 2¼-HP motor gives off variable speeds from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM for various applications. The Dewalt combo kit is built for durability and consistency. 

Each base of this combo kit contains ergonomic and comfortable rubber over-molded handles which improved control and balance for a long period of time. Dewalt DW618PK also included a 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collect for extra bit retention and added improved versatility.

Pros
  • Ergonomic grip to lessen fatigue
  • Good dust collection system
  • Compact and durable design
  • Center of gravity of this device is very low
  • Very easy to use
  • Amazing variable speed dial
Cons
  • Collet nut is difficult to reach sometimes
  • Cord is not long enough
  • It doesn’t come with an edge guide but it can be purchased separately

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of the box?

23” L X 16 1/2” W X 9” D

Does this router have an in-built light?

No, it does not.

Is there a way I can adjust the depht while it is being mounted in the table?

Yes, it allows you to screw the base to get you desired height.

Does it have a work light on it?

No, it doesn’t.

What router table is best for this router?

A hand made the table is always best if you want to purchase, get a table that meets all your requirements.

Overall impression
From our point of view, we consider this combo router kit as a good one and we totally recommend it. Although it has its flaws and bad reviews, we believe that this router combo kit product is still amongst the best woodworking router tools and it still satisfied a lot of customers and professionals. This combo kit is suitable for newbies and beginners who just got into the woodworking game.

Where to buy


3

Triton TRA001 Wood Router

Best Plunge Router
  • 3 1/4 Horsepower Motor
  • 8000-21000 RPM
  • Plunge range 0 – 2 3/5″

Weighing about 13 pounds, this Triton TRA001 plunge router is made to be very durable and heavy for better longevity. It is made up of totally high-grade steel which is very sturdy allowing its users to handle heavy-duty applications. It has a very powerful 3.5 HP motor which is capable of delivering speeds from about 8,000 RPM to 21,000 RPM. 

With this plunge router, professionalism is guaranteed because it comes with multi-functional Fence’s which allows its users to have more accurate and precise cuts. The Triton TRA001 features an automatic spindle lock, a single button switch and a micro winder.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Soft start feature for easy start-up
  • Great value for the price
  • Sturdy in nature and also durable
  • Powerful motor that can handle most jobs
Cons
  • Safety cover gets in the way
  • Suitable for only professionals
  • Faulty on and off switch

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it come with a winder for adjustments above the table?

Yes, the package comes with a winder for above the table adjustments.

What is the biggest bit you can use on this product?

The Triton TRA001 can handle mainly ½” shank and ¼” shank bits.

Are the handles removable?

No they are not. They are attached to the body which is ergonomic and used to index the depth of the cut.

Overall impression
I personally believe that the Triton TRA001 is a router every woodworker should put their eyes on because it is very effective in function and it allows precise cuts for mostly professional tasks. It is not suitable for newbies or beginners. Although once mastered, you will really get the hang of it. I recommend this product because it would carry you to any length it is capable of.

Where to buy


4

Porter-Cable 690LR Wood Router

Best for General Use
  • 11-amp motor producing 1-3/4 peak horsepower
  • 27,500 revolutions-per-minute single-speed motor
  • Micrometer depth adjuster accurate to 1/128-inch

The Porter-Cable 690LR is an efficient and powerful tool that utilizes a hefty 1¾-Hp motor to generate up to 27,500 RPM for precise woodworking cuts. This tool features two ergonomic handles which are strategically placed to make woodworking easy and comfortable as much as possible. The router is made easy to use by adding collects which can take ¼-inch and ½-inch shank bits.

Company added a cam-lock lever system that enables simple coarse height adjustment for steady and consistent performance.
Pros
  • Powerful 11-amp motor
  • Can be used for high precision cuts
  • Auto-release collet system for easy bit removal
  • Dual bases that can be versatile for use
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Does not have a variable speed system
  • Bits need to be changed with a 2-wrench system

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it available in 220 volts?

No. It is only available in 110 volts for US.

Can this router be used with a router speed control device?

Yes it can.

Is it compatible with Porter-Cable 42000 9-Piece template guide kit?

Yes, it is compatible and can be used with Porter-Cable 42000 9-piece template guide kit.

How quiet is this tool?

It is surprisingly quiet, compared to a saw.

Overall impression
With all said and done, you will find out that the Porter-Cable 690LR is a very nice choice when it comes to picking out the best woodworking router, at least for me. I do like the 27,500 RPM which the motor gives off, it is enough to handle tons of projects in a short period of time. The only disadvantage that comes with this tool is the absence of variable speeds. Some people would prefer cutting with low speeds but they can’t with this tool. I recommend this product but not to those who fall in that category.

Where to buy


5

DeWalt DWP611PK Wood Router

Best for Router Table
  • Durable 1.25HP motor
  • 16,000-27,000 rpm
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4 in

The Dewalt DWP611PK is a maximum torque variable router combo kit that has an LED and a motor of about 1.23HP which delivers its best during application. It has an optimal speed variation which can be changed depending on the application.

This product has a plunge base that makes use of a fine-tune adjustment rod for a precise depth setting.

The DEWALT DAP611PK has a combined depth ring and clamping mechanism which allows the motor to remain locked in a position, it also has a multiple shaft lock which allows for a quick and easy bit change.
Pros
  • Efficient and comfortable design which helps prevent hand and arm fatigue
  • Lightweight and dense design
  • Provides for an easy change of bits
  • Adjustable speed and clamp
  • Fluid and quiet operation
  • Performance can be improved with the use of accessories
Cons
  • Does not include an edge guide
  • Doesn’t possess a side handle
  • Its ¼ inch collet nut is a bit difficult to reach

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it preferable to buy the plug base separately?

Yes, you can buy it the product how you want it.

Can this be used for other collets aside ¼” bits?

No, the collet is a small router and it can only use ¼” bits.


Is the product available for 220V?

No, the product is only available for 110v.


Is the product preferable for using letters in a wooden sign?

This is a wonderful product and it’s mostly recommended. I think this will be okay for your project because it’s powerful, reliable, efficient.

Overall impression
The DW611pk is a good, suitable, and compact router. This DeWalt product is not just efficient, but very handy for heavy-duty tasks and for beginners that are about to start their woodworking project. if you are looking for a reliable and elegant compact router I recommend the DEWALT DW611PK.

Where to buy


6

Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router

Best for Carving
  • 12 Amp router motor
  • 8000-25,000 RPM
  • 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collets

With the Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP Variable Speed Router, customers and consumers can take care of the toughest routing jobs with a 12-Amp 2.25 hp motor, and a versatile speed that ranges from 8,000 RPM to 25,000 RPM. The body of this router is made to support durability with motor housing and bases which are made up of aluminum and the power switch of this router is dustproof, meaning that dust particles can’t get to it. 

The Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP Variable Speed Router kit gives its users all the components which is required for fixed-depth routing. The fixed base of this router contains threaded holes for mounting to a qualified router table and it also has a bit-height adjustment system that lets you adjust the bit height from the table.

Pros
  • Powerful 12-Amp motor
  • Made up of aluminum which increases durability
  • Operation is very easy and effective
  • Variable speed dial present for speed variation
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Does not come with a plunge base

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it made in the United States?

The Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP is manufactured in Mexico.

Does this router come with a dust port?

No, it doesn’t.

Will the Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP fit a Porter-Cable 698 router table?

The Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4HP is compatible with all Bosch tables. To know about compatibility with Porter-Cable Router tables, please call their office and inquire.

Overall impression
It is very difficult not to recommend or refer anyone interested in wood routers to the Bosch 1617EVS. It has a powerful motor that is capable of handling most jobs thrown at it. The only problem one can face with this router is the absence of a plunge base which affects its versatility. Apart from that, it is a really good tool one should have if they are into woodworking.

Where to buy


7

Bosch PR20EV Colt Wood Router

Best Trim Router
  • 16,000 to 35,000 RPM
  • 1.0 Horse Power 5.6 amp variable speed motor
  • Includes a self-releasing 1/4 In. collet chuck

When it comes to this router, Bosch combined precision, power, and versatility to give you a masterpiece. The Bosch PR20EV Colt has a 1 hp 5.6-Amp motor that ranges speeds from about 16,000 RPM to 32,000 RPM. The dial which controls the speed is mounted at the top of the router. 

This Bosch product features a soft start technology that controls how the machinery torque during startup. It has a precise and fast depth adjustment system which allows both micro and macro adjustments to be made.

Pros
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Air vent to keep the router cool
  • 7-step adjustment depth
  • Compact design
  • Versatile tool for various woodworking jobs
Cons
  • Doesn’t have side handles except on the plunge base
  • Accepts only ¼-inch collets
  • No dust cover on the power switch

Frequently Asked Questions

What size bit fits this router?

¼” shank bits can fit into this router.

How much does only the router weigh?

Only the router weighs about 3.8 lbs.

Is there an edge guide?

Yes, the Bosch PR20EV comes with an edge guide in the case.

Where is it made?

The parts of the Bosch PR20EV is made in Malaysia while it is then assembled in Mexico.

Overall impression
Looking at the features and the unique description of this product, you will find out that it is a more budget-friendly product which is perfect for only light-duty jobs due to the 1 HP. Operation is also easy with the Bosch PR20EV and it also boasts of an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable. I do recommend this product as the best trim router.

Where to buy


8

Festool 574692 Wood Router

Best Professional Router
  • Micro-adjustable depth control to 1/256″
  • It accepts 1/2″, 1/4 inches or 8 mm bits
  • A 3 position depth stop turret

Being designed to increase control and reduce fatigue amongst its users, the Festool 574692 plunge router is said to be the best overall router. This device is a one-handed operation because of the integrated switches found on the device. It also features a dust extraction mechanism that clears and protects the tools from dust and debris which can affect them later.

This router can be used with edge forming bits and maximizing chips and it is also designed to be used with the MFS multi-routing templates. It also has a precision depth adjustment and they are Versatel for all kinds of woodworking jobs.
Pros
  • Perfect dust collection system
  • Very quiet when in use
  • Fine adjustment system is very accurate and simple
  • Plunge height adjustment is easy to use
  • Durable and compact design
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • Doesn’t come with an edge guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it come with it’s own bits?

No, it doesn’t.

What size systainer does this product come in?

It comes in approx. 11.5” D x 15.5” W x 12.5 H.

Does this router have female threads to mourn it on a router table?

No, this product attaches the router to the table with just 3 clamps.

Overall impression
This router is no doubt the best on our list, if not the best in the market. I love that it was designed to reduce fatigue and difficulty when it comes to operation. It has a perfect dust collection system and a powerful motor which can get any woodworking job completed on time. The downside to the product is mostly the price margin. It is costly compared to most routers on this list. If you have the money to get it, I advise that you go for it.

Where to buy


9

Makita XTR01Z Wood Router

Best Cordless Router
  • 10,000 to 30,000 RPM
  • Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol
  • Quick release cam lock system for convenient depth adjustments

The Makita XTR01Z is designed for a full range of various woodworking and carpentry applications. The XTR01Z is a cordless compact router that has an efficient Makita BL Brushless Motor that runs 50% longer with longer tool life and increased power and speed. 

The Makita XTR01Z has a variable control speed dial that can range from about 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM to match the desired speed needed for woodworking applications. It also has a soft start feature for better start-ups and a fine depth adjustment system for a more precise and accurate cut. 

Pros
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Fair price
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Utilizes efficient power management
  • LED lights offer extra visibility
  • Powerful engine
Cons
  • It is cordless meaning you have to invest much in batteries

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the accessories found in the wired version be interchanged with the cordless version?

Yes. The only difference it poses is the DC motor.

What is the run time with a 5.0 battery on this Makita router?

This Makita Router can go 100 feet of cutting material with ¾ depth router bit.

Does it have an instant break?

No it doesn’t but the motor stops really fast.

Overall impression
I believe the Makita XTR01Z is another router you need to focus on and it is so far one of the best cordless routers in the market. If you need any tool you need to carry anywhere even where there is no electricity, this Makita product is your best choice. Although you will invest much in batteries so you can achieve their maximum potential.

Where to buy


10

BobsCNC E3 Wood Router

Best CNC Router
  • SG20U supported rail system
  • GT2 belt drive on X and Y axis
  • ACME TR8 on the Z axis

Taking one look at the BobsCNC E3 CNC, you will find out that the primary material used in the production of this product is wood. Each of the BobsCNC E3 CNC comes with a DeWalt 660 router and a large cutting area where all the jobs required are done. The cutting head and gantry run on an SG20U support system.

The control of the router, on the other hand, is done by an Arduino-based microprocessor that runs the GRBL motion control software. This engraved kit and router can be connected to a computer that is compatible with it running Mac, Windows, and Linux as well

Pros
  • Good customer service
  • Easy to assemble
  • Compatible with any OS
  • Perfect for newbies and enthusiasts
  • Powerful engine
Cons
  • Constructed with wood
  • Difficult to run accurately
  • Does not include software

Frequently Asked Questions

What bit or bit set you should use?

The BobsCNC E3 CNC DeWalt spindle comes only with a ¼ inch and ⅛ inch collet. You need to have ¼” shaft or ⅛” shaft.

Can it engrave one item as small as a pen?

Yes, the BobsCNC E3 CNC can be used to engrave on a pen.


Is there a laser module for this product?

No, there is none.

Overall impression
One thing we like about the BobsCNC E3 CNC is that it is perfect for startups and beginners who are willing to go down the woodworking hole. It is very easy to use and it has a variable system platform that can work across major operating systems available. The CNC router, on the other hand, is standard and does exactly what it is required to. I recommend this product.

Where to buy


Comparison Table

Product NameHorsepower (hp)Router Type
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router 2.25Fixed
& Plunge
DeWalt DW618PK Wood Router 2.25Fixed
& Plunge
Triton TRA001 Wood Router 3.25Plunge
Porter-Cable 690LR Wood Router 1.75Fixed
DeWalt DWP611PK Wood Router 1.25Fixed
Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router 2.25Fixed
Bosch PR20EV Colt Wood Router 1.0Trim
Festool 574692 Wood Router 1.8Plunge
Makita XTR01Z Wood Router <1.0Trim
BobsCNC E3 Wood Router CNC

FAQ

What does a wood router do?

Wood routers are hand instruments utilized in woodworking, particularly cabinetry. Routers usually are handheld or secured cutting end-up on the router table. The wood router can complete much more than cut fancy edges. It can cut perfect dadoes, rabbets, and also create unique wood patterns.
Below is the list of other tasks that the wood router can perform:
– Building drawers and boxes.
– Rabbet cutting.
– Inlaying banding.
– Routing the edges of wood pieces.
– Cutting dadoes.
– Dovetails etc.


How does a router work wood?

Routing is applied correctly to moderately weak and fragile materials, usually wood. As these materials are soft in small sections, the routers run at very high speeds; thus, small routers cut rapidly. Due to high-speed inertia, the typical woodcutting system of Type I chips would not occur.

The type of wood router I need

When you are considering picking a wood router, you have to find the engine size and base style. Every classification of engine size works best given because of a specific scope of occupations.

Your decision of base styles, then again, is frequently a matter of personal inclination, just as the multifaceted nature of the venture you will take a shot at. There are three types of routers we can use, and they are the Fixed-base Router, Plunge Router, and the Combo kits Router.

A fixed base router will be an ideal alternative for nearly all home tasks. They are edge shapers, and they are easy to operate because of their size and weight. That is the reason a lot of beginners pick this router.

When you have to make ideal cuts at the focal point of your work router piece, that point and a plunge router is a perfect alternative. You can rapidly craft through the mortise, patterns, cuts, templates, and deep depression works. It might be somewhat more massive than the fixed base routers since its mechanism increases the weight of the unit.

Looking for perfect cuts in the core of your workpiece, then the plunge routers can come in handy for you. What’s more, the incredible thing about it is that you can get it at a lower cost and have every one of the features of the machine in varieties.

What should be the speed for wood routers?

Many cutting edge woodworking routers enable you to alter the RPM speed of the engine to coordinate your needs. Picking a speed can rely upon the sort of wood you are steering. Additionally, on the type and size of the bit, you are using. A device turning at too high an RPM may consume wood, while an instrument turning also gradually can leave you with a worn out, unpleasant cut.

Many routers come with a single-speed function, while the multipurpose routers are outfitted with variable-speed adjustments. An adjustable speed range of the diameter of the bit, type of function being performed, and the species of wood being routed will boost the quality of the job and also guarantee a secure work environment.

What size of router do I need?

Routers are most commonly sized according to the following dimensions:

– Shank diameter: This is measured through the bit shank’s center on its circumference.

– Overall length: This is measured from the upper part of the shank to the bottom of the guide.-

– Cutting diameter: This is the max. Width of the router cutter was measured from the outmost part of the cutting edge down to the center bit.

As often as possible, always use the biggest shank diameter for a specified cutter.

For any shank size, you select, always keep the router bits and metric shanks apart from the imperial bits and ensure they are marked clearly because they sometimes look alike.

Trying to use a 6mm width shank in a 6.5mm collet, will cause distortion and damages.

General guidelines for most bits:

Hand-Held Router Use:



Router Table Use


How to set up a wood router?

To utilize the wood router, you have to initially introduce the router bit that you need to use by extricating the collet. It finishes by turning the collet nut counter-clockwise then you add the ideal piece and fix the collet by turning the nut clockwise. Brace on the base and relax the slide of the router body to the depth you need.

At that point, reclamp the body set up and turning on the router. Use a small piece of wood to check the depth of the bit and use the fine adjustment to check the depth if it is accurate and start directing it, moving the router from appropriate to left.

Troubleshooting common router table problems

If your router would not come on, there are various things you have to check. You need to check first whether your table is connected; check the electrical switch and if that isn’t the issue, then bring in an electrical expert to fix your electrical channel as well as the power switch.

For a portion of the woodworking ventures, the router bit should be set at a specific depth. A good number of router tables enable you to position the bit depth with a check on the side of the table. After prolonged use, sawdust can get stuck to the chuck, pushing bits high. Use some packed air to get rid of sawdust or wood particles regularly. For compacted sawdust, a screwdriver can be used to release the sawdust before cleaning it out with compressed air.

How do torque and RPM affect routing

The measure of a bit’s cutting force is called Torque. For example, you can make a fine cut if you use both hands because there will be more force at the back of the blade. If you use one hand, the cut would not be smooth and clean. Since torque measures the cutting force, it, therefore, indicates the router’s ability to cut woods of varying hardness. Hardwoods require more torque compared to softwoods.

Similarly, RPM limits the bit’s diameter on the router. If you set the machine at 10000 RPM, it means that the shaft is running on 10000 RPM. After that, if you attach one inch bit to the shaft, the overlapping bit part on the shaft will rotate at 10000 RPM. But, the bit’s exterior edge will continue to move at a very high speed. Hence, if you prefer using large bits, buy a router with a low RPM range.

A slowing down or conflicting piece speed is typically brought about by free or worn belts. In the wake of slicing the power supply to your router table, open the table’s lodging to examine the drive belts. Search for uneven wear or split belts on more established machines. If the belts are in good condition check to ensure they are snug to the drive wheels. Fix and replace straps as per your proprietor’s manual. If the issue continues, contact a confirmed repairer.

The aides on your router table are as significant as the router itself. The aides will help ensure your slices are straight and to the dime.

Final thoughts

Buying the best wood router is not much different than buying anything else. Just read up on your wood router reviews and their tips, get an idea of what makes a high-quality product, get acquainted with which companies are the best of the best on the market, and you should be good to go! Just keep in mind the fact that expensive products are not necessarily the best. Sometimes midrange products can be just as effective for all of your woodcarving needs. Hence, don’t worry about missing out on the best products just because you are on a limited budget.

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Brayden Silva

Hand-made furniture, remodeling projects, and consulting on all your home needs! I've been a carpenter for over 10 years and I'm still loving it. I learn a new skill every day and can talk your ear off about it! I love to make things. I've been doing it my whole life. Check out my blog for some of my latest projects!

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