Are you in the market for a new router? A wood router is a great addition to any tool arsenal that lets you refine all types of edges, and you can take on template work as well. If the router is mounted on a table, the tool can be used as a shaper, so you can mill different profiles, raise panels, and create moldings.
There are a great variety of jigs and accessories that are available making the projects you can do with a wood router endless. Here are some tips in purchasing the best router for woodworking, and a few reviews to help you get started with your search.
How to Choose the Best Router for Woodworking
When deciding on the best wood router to buy, you will find that there are several different types, as well as a variety of features that each may have. You don't necessarily just want to buy the best wood router for woodworking.
There are several different types that have different uses, so you always want to keep in mind the types of projects you will be working on. Here is some helpful background information on the types and features of woodworking routers to help you know the things to look for in buying the best woodworking router for the money.
Important Wood Router Buying Tips
Types of Wood Routers
- Plunge Routers - This type of wood router comes with a base that's spring loaded which lets the bit go down into the piece of wood. This allows you to start cutting in the middle of the wood instead of on the edge. This gives you a lot of versatility and it can be a little more difficult to use than a fixed base router.
- Fixed Base Wood Routers - This style works well when it's fixed to a router table and is perfect for edge cuts and molding. They're usually lightweight and easy to use. You should set the bit depth before you start running the router and you cannot change it while it's running.
Wood Router Features
- Interchangeable Bases - It's a great feature if the router can be used both as a plunge and fixed router. This will make it a lot more versatile.
- Horsepower - Common horsepower and speeds for a wood router are 1 1/2 HP, 2 HP, and 3 HP. Also, some wood routers come with variable speed motors that range from 8,000 to 30,000 rpm.
- Speed Controls - This helps you to adjust your speed to match the type of project you're working on.
- Electronic Feedback Circuitry - This means that your router's circuitry monitors the amount of stress that your motor has placed on it and it adjusts the torque to match the stress level.
- Soft Start - This helps to prevent gouging and for extending the life of your motor. It's also a great feature for beginners who aren't used to the sudden movement when a router starts.
- Spindle Lock - This makes bit changes much easier, instead of having to use two wrenches to change the bit.
- Ergonomic Handles - This is very important for your comfort level if you're using your woodworking router for long periods of time.
- Dust Control - This can help keep your work area clear and stop dust from getting into your motor and creating problems.
- Collet Size - This is the sleeve that holds the router bit. This works with the router shaft that connects to the collet nut and the motor. The size of a collet ranges from 1/4" and 1/2".
- Router Table - This lets you attache the router with the bit up so you can slide wood across it and the bit.
- Router Fences - This gives you a guide to follow and something to push the wood against. It also keeps the wood from shifting and lets you cut the wood in an accurate straight line.
- Clamps - Clamps will prevent the piece you're working on from slipping and hold the jig to the worktable for more stability.
- Jigs - This holds your wood in place when you're cutting box joints, hinge recesses, and dovetail joints.
What is the Best Router for Woodworking?
Here's a brief summary of the top routers for woodworking on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed woodworking routers reviews to make your decision easier.
DEWALT DWP611PK Router
The DEWALT DWP611PK router is a great wood router for both DIYers and professionals. It has a ton of features, and it gives you great control, visibility, and performance.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Router
The Bosch 1617EVSPK router is a great wood router for tough jobs as it gives you great performance with a lot of power. It has Constant Response Circuitry so you can maintain a constant speed, so you can make more accurate cuts.
Porter-Cable 690LR Router
The Porter Cable 690LR router is a fixed base router that will give you both great power and efficiency. This router comes with two ergonomic handles that make it really comfortable if you are using it for a long period of time.
Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
The Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router has a durable, heavy-duty aluminum motor, plus a variable speed control dial that lets you choose the speed you need depending on the project. It also has an electronic control that lets you maintain a constant speed.
SKIL 1817 120V 1-3/4 HP Fixed Base Router
The SKIL 1817 120V 1-3/4 HP Fixed Base Router is another fixed based router that has a 1 or 2” collet capacity, so you can work on larger projects. It also includes a micro-fine depth adjustment that gives you precise depth measurements.
Top Woodworking Router Reviews
What is the Best Router for Woodworking to Buy?
The winner of the best router for woodworking roundup is the DeWalt DWP611PK. It is a popular model that is used by both DIYers and professionals. It has tons of features and innovations that give you great visibility, control, and performance. It is also very comfortable to use for long periods of time, and it is very versatile creating small bevel cuts, or letting you do large flush trimming.
The DeWalt DWP611PK has a highly powerful 1 ¼” HP motor that guarantees high performance for any project you are working on. Hands down, the DeWalt router is the definite choice for the best router for woodworking.