Best Wood Routers 2022: Reviews and Buying Guide

28 mins read
best wood routers

If you are engaged in woodworking, it is a must to have the best wood router in your workshop. This is a very useful electric machine and can be used for so many things.

From simple cutting and edging to intricate surface designs – a well-chosen wood router can handle everything.

Wood routers may be needed by home builders, professional carpenters, and even construction contractors. The point is that there are too many brands and models on the market and choosing from the best wood routers can be difficult.

In the end, you can choose the best wood router according to exactly what you need and according to the budget you have. If you are in a hurry and want to skip our reviews, we recommend getting the BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router.

A Spotlight on Some of the Best Wood Routers 2022

BOSCH 1617EVS
11 lbs
Power Source: Corded Electric
Fixed Base Router
12A
8,000 to 25,000 RPM
PORTER-CABLE PCE6430
3.6 lbs
Power Source: Corded Electric
Fixed Base Router
4.5A
31,000 RPM
Triton TRA001
14.33 lbs
Power Source: Corded Electric
Plunge/Fixed Base Router
15A
8,000 -21,000 RPM
DEWALT DW616
6.23 lbs
Power Source: Corded Electric
Fixed Base Router
11A
24,500 RPM
Makita RT0701C
3.9 lbs
Power Source: Corded Electric
Fixed Base Router
6.5A
10,000 to 30,000 RPM

Wood Routers Reviews

BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

The BOSCH 1617EVS boasts an extraordinarily elegant and lightweight aluminum construction. It is packaged in a casing that provides the machine with padding, shielding it from unexpected impacts and the risk of falling over. Because it has a casing and a very slim design, it is quite portable and may be used for various applications.

The thin and light construction makes it comfortable to hold and simple to manipulate over wood surfaces. It has two handles that protrude outward; they are made of wood and have a good shape and feel to the wrists. Overall, the model is simple to use and understand. You can use the knob connected to the side of the tool to alter the bit’s height, allowing for micro-fine adjustment.

The coarse lever is used to adjust the height, while the micro-fine regulators can be used to fine-tune the adjustment. Both fixed and plunging bases are included in the Bosch 1617EVS, making it easy to switch between them. When navigating, the fixed base lets you see where you’re going since it’s transparent, but the plunge base is for more complex cuts.

The BOSCH 1617EVS contains a 12 amp rated engine at 2.25 HP. The speed range is from 8,000 to 25,000 pm. To change the engine’s speed, use the speed dial on the front of the machine. Bosch adding a soft start option extends the motor’s life and lowers maintenance costs. The motor gradually warms up and achieves its specified speed after turning on. It enhances user and machine safety.

Furthermore, while working on big weights, a plunge base helps to maintain a consistent pace. In addition, the 1/4′ and 1/2′ chucks on this model allow it to accommodate any router bit. Bosch added a chip deflector at the bottom. It improves sight by deflecting tiny bits, as the name implies.

Pros
  • The clamp mechanism enables rapid base replacement
  • It has a more refined and silent function The design is sleek and small
  • The speed adjustment feature Features a “soft” start
Cons
  • It’s a little pricey

PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 with a 1/4-Inch Laminate Trimmer and 4.5-Amp Single Speed

This trim router from PORTER-CABLE can handle a wide variety of tasks. It can cut patterns in materials such as pine, poplar, and cedar in addition to cutting countertop laminate to the desired form. It has a fixed base that is made of cast aluminum. It’s durable and long-lasting.

It contains an engine that draws a current of 4.5 amps and rotates at 31,500 revolutions per minute, but you can’t change the speed. A quick-release motor clamp and micro-adjustment ring for fine-tuning the depth of a cut are among the features of this machine.

The user can remove the motor and switch bits thanks to the quick-release clamp, which eliminates the need to insert a wrench into the device’s base.

The PBE6430 makes it easy to Trim with high precision, thanks to the thick, transparent plastic bottom plate. Overall, this device packs a lot of power at a competitive price.

Consumers receive a lot of capacity from a little router at this price despite its single-speed motor. When used at optimal settings, this Porter-Cable’s 4.5-Amp Single Speed machine with a Laminate Trimmer delivers outstanding results.

Pros
  • Features a powerful 4.5-amp motor
  • Features a motor clamp with a quick-release mechanism
  • An adjustable micro-ring is also included
  • One-speed motor
Cons
  • Not all conventional router tables are compatible with this product
  • Some users have problems with the depth of the grip

Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP, with Dual Mode Precision

The TRITON TRA001 wood router is a powerful machine with modest pricing. It incorporates a micro winder and vent mechanism, among other high-tech features. This type may be used in any environment, including outdoors in all weather.

Its rubberized handle greatly absorbs sweat and preserves friction between the hand and grips, preventing slippage in the summer. Instead of knobs or levers for height adjustment, you use twist and turn handles to set your desired height.

The micro winder feature is outstanding. You will need to make use of it to reach your required depth easily. It comes with a handbook that contains accurate calibrations. Both fixed and plunge bases are included in the package. Simply pushing one button located on the router makes it possible to switch the bases without encountering any difficulties.

The dust produced as a byproduct of the routing process might clog your tool, or, if inhaled, lodge in your lungs; The Triton TRA001’s vent system eliminates this danger. The side-mounted vents gather dirt and garbage. Only one wrench is needed to remove the plunge base’s collets.

Additionally, the fence system aids in precision cutting of various forms, particularly circles. Using the micro winder and three markings can easily modify the depth without affecting the delicate work.

It is equipped with a motor with 3.25 horsepower and can rotate at speeds ranging from 8,000 to 21,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). Utilization at home or business is safe thanks to the soft-start function. Thankfully, the TRA001 has a protective coating. The switch glows and can be seen even in direct sunshine.

Pros
  • Precise speed control
  • Switch with a neon glow
  • Features a micro winder
  • Fencing and ventilation System
  • Adjustable depth
Cons
  • Abnormal vibration

DEWALT Router (DW616), 1-3/4 HP, with Fixed Base

The DEWALT DW616 fixed-base router is one option to consider if you need a versatile tool that excels in capability, pricing, and overall quality. Single-speed, 1 3/4-horsepower, 11-amp motor with 24,500 RPMs powers the DW616. It offers all of the power, durability, and adaptability necessary for professional construction sites.

Setting the bit depth is simple, thanks to the built-in cam lock, which is suitable for making coarse changes. A micro-fine adjustable ring makes it possible to achieve an accuracy of 1/64 of an inch. The motor’s top may be placed inverted on a table to make depth changes. The top is flat and will balance effortlessly on a textured surface.

The router incorporates two motor locks that detach the base for convenient bit changes. The workpiece and bit can be seen clearly through the translucent Lexan baseplate, which is another beneficial feature of this excellent tool.

It comes with a 3-year limited warranty and free servicing for the first year. Overall, this is one of the best general-purpose wood routers, even though consumers can’t change the motor speed.

Pros
  • It has a single-speed motor
  • Features a motor of 1 3/4 hp and 11 amps
  • A built-in cam lock
  • Adjustments down to 1/64 of an inch are possible
Cons
  • This kit does not contain a concentricity gauge
  • Certain users experience weak threading

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

The MAKITA RT0701C’s slender and elegant design is one of its most prominent attributes. It is made of aluminum, has a slender body, and is designed to be comfortable. A silver gloss lends the body a refined but plain appearance.

The body of the motor is made of aluminum, which keeps it from getting too hot. The base is made of transparent material to provide clear visibility, allowing you to keep track of your progress.

You have the option of purchasing this router in a variety of configurations. It gives you an option of buying the unit with a single base or both bases; the decision is entirely up to you. A variety of options are available to suit your budget. As a result, it is very affordable and accessible to the widest possible audience.

The MAKITA RT0701C lifts are easy to attach. The use of a cam lock made swapping bases a breeze. Depth adjustment allows for the precision of approximately 1-3/8′′. It just takes a few seconds to get the desired level of depth. It has a 1/4″ collet, making it suitable for most wood routing applications.

Routers like plunge bases. It produces output that is accurate and devoid of mistakes. The base is equipped with a handlebar, making it more user-friendly. That also allows for precise cutting and alignment. The cam lock lets you easily take the fixed base off the router.

The router lift in place is ready to be operated right out of the box. The MAKITA RT0701C offers a broad variable speed spanning 10,000 to 30,000 revolutions per minute. For steady speed, you can use the built-in electronic speed dial.

Although it has a respectable power capacity, there is a possibility that it may trip and make erroneous cuts. It only has a 1.25HP motor; Overall, this model is best suited for moderate tasks. It is not the best option if you need something to handle big loads.

Pros
  • Sleek appearance
  • It starts slowly
  • Broad speed range
  • The base is small
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • There are no LED Lights
  • There is no seal on the power switch
  • The engine is not suitable for bigger workloads

Wood Routers Buying Guide

In order to make an informed and therefore good choice, you need to consider exactly what wood router you need and, most importantly, what it will be used for.

Types of wood routers

When deciding which wood router to buy, there are usually two main factors – the size of the motor and the base.

Each of the different motor sizes is best suited for a specific task.

Choosing a base is often a matter of personal preference, but you can also take into account the complexity of your projects. Let’s take a closer look at the types of wood routers – so you can find out which one would be best for you.

Wood routers are electric machines designed for any woodworking in a workshop. Their power is usually represented in horsepower.

Portable wood routers

These are the smallest routers and in most cases have weak motors that have a power of up to 1 horsepower. They offer incredible maneuverability and can be used for trimming, shaping, and adjusting timber. They are powerful enough to do a good job with such tasks. Excellent choice for laying and cutting laminate.

If you are a homemaker and you need a cheap, small, and light router – this is the type for you.

The ergonomic design will allow you to work with the router more comfortably and for a longer time. Also, some brands and models are much better balanced than others, so it’s best to try at least a few in person.

What to look for in such a wood router:

  • Fine-tuning the depth of cut gives you maximum control over even the most detailed tasks, such as decoration.
  • Depth adjustment levels give you the ability to quickly change the depth of cut and easily move on to your next task.
  • Brushless electric motors run quieter and help conserve battery power in cordless models, making them more efficient and good overall.
  • It’s good to have finger guards – this and all the other extra safety options are always preferable, especially if you’re a beginner.
  • Guide edges are also particularly important for guiding the router along grooves and contours, especially if you do not have a workbench.
  • Make sure that the set includes keys for changing the attachments – this will be faster and easier, without you having to get them yourself and look for them later.

Portable wood routers are your best option if you want something light and small to carry everywhere with you. They do an excellent job on smaller projects and unpretentious tasks.

They are also your best choice for more delicate work or use directly on a client’s site.

The best thing is that if you want a fully portable and independent wood router – portable models are available with or without cable.

Just choose the right cordless model and that’s it.

Keep in mind that portable wood routers may not be the best choice for larger projects or work tasks simply because they are less powerful and can’t hold larger attachments.

Cordless portable wood routers

Since we mentioned the cordless portable routers, we can’t help but touch on them in more detail.

They are the most convenient and efficient among the compact models and again allow you to perform all smaller, unpretentious, or attention-grabbing tasks.

As you may have guessed, they are more expensive and heavier because of their rechargeable battery, but for trimming edges and laminate they are probably your best choice. As with all machines with a rechargeable battery, their operating time on a single charge is expressed in ampere-hours.

So if you want a model that lasts longer – make sure it has a battery with as many ampere-hours as possible.

Medium-sized wood routers

This type of wood router provides a good balance between control and power. Available in models for one or two hands – according to the design of the base.

Unlike portable wood routers, which have one base, medium-sized ones can have two types of bases – fixed and plunge.

Also, unlike portable ones, medium-sized wood routers no longer have a limit on compatibility with attachments, and you can use many more and different sizes.

Whether you are a homemaker or a professional carpenter – such a router can do an excellent job for any task.

What to look for in such a wood router:

  • The dust collection option will not only keep your workplace clean but will also not allow you to inhale fine dust particles while using the wood router. If you work indoors and care about your health, be sure to look for a model with such an option.
  • The comfortable design of the handle is also a must. The use of medium-sized wood routers requires technique and practice, so it will not hurt if the handle is comfortable enough.
  • Changing the speed will allow you to adjust it exactly the way you want. This is especially important if you are using a special attachment or working with very hard wood or other material.
  • The soft-start option can also be useful. Thus, instead of the router working at maximum speed, it will start slightly and increase gradually. Not only will it not move, but it also will not unpleasantly surprise your hands while holding it.
  • Built-in LED lighting can help you see better if you’re working in a darker environment or just need extra light.

Workbenches for wood routers

If you have a medium or larger wood router and will use it often for work, investing in a workbench makes a lot of sense.

Wood router workbenches are specially designed to mount the wood router on them upside down and move the wood towards the machine, not the other way around.

The main advantage of using a workbench is that you have much more support and control while working. Without such a table, you will have to lock each piece of wood before you start processing it with the machine.

Most wood router manufacturers also offer workbenches that they claim are specially designed and made for their machines.

If you are serious about carpentry and woodworking and have your own workshop, investing in a workbench is wholly justified.

Full-size wood routers

Full-size wood routers occupy a certain niche when it comes to electric machines.

They are expensive and often too bulky to use by hand. That is why they are most often used on a workbench.

This type of wood router has a power of 3 horsepower and more. They are especially useful for working with particularly large attachments and for large projects and tasks.

If you are planning to do such work or you want a wood router that works with the largest possible attachments – it makes sense to consider acquiring a full-size model.

What to look for in such a wood router:

  • Electronic speed adjustment helps the wood router to compensate for the load while maintaining a constant speed.
  • Electric brakes will help you change pieces of wood faster because you won’t have to wait for the attachment to stop spinning on its own.
  • The deflectors will protect your face and body from possible flying wood particles when cutting.

Choosing a wood router base

As mentioned above, there are two types of bases, and periodically a manufacturer offers something new and unseen.

Portable and medium-sized wood routers usually have a fixed base or one in the shape of a “D”. The fixed base has two handles that give you more stability. A d-shaped base gives you more comfort when working.

The combined bases offer you the best of the previously mentioned – you can change from fixed to plunge and vice versa.

However, if you are planning to invest in a workbench, it does not matter what the basis of your router will be. In this case, you can simply choose the better or more budget option.

How to compare different wood routers

The fact is that the market is full of different brands and models of wood routers with different quality and characteristics.

In addition to the type and appearance, you must be able to distinguish between different models and specifications.

Power

The power of the motor of a router can be given in horsepower or amperes. If it is a cordless model, then the power will be in volts.

Accordingly, the battery life will be given in ampere-hours and the more they are – the longer the machine can run on a single battery charge.

Most manufacturers even give an approximate average operating time on a single charge in these cases. This does not always mean that what is given is completely true – keep it in mind.

Speed

Although most wood routers have speed control, it is usually given at maximum revolutions per minute. More revolutions per minute usually mean cleaner cuts and better work with attachments that remove smaller amounts of material.

When removing large amounts of material at once, lower rotation speeds are the better option.

The maximum revolutions per minute are sometimes given as unladen revolutions, which means that they are measured when the router rotates freely and does not cut anything.

Depth

The depth of cut is usually determined by the base of the wood router and is usually less than 3 inches for most models with a fixed or plunge base. Plunge offers slightly greater depth than fixed ones.

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