Wood Router Reviews

Best Wood Router

If you’re a serious woodworker or a professional craftsman of some kind, having a great quality router is a must. It’s not always easy to find the best router for your needs. Read below about how to choose just the right one that you will love.

Introduction to the Wood Router Reviews

maxwoodworkingA lot of research and time has gone into compiling a great Wood router review for anyone considering purchasing the favorite tool that woodworkers and professionals use. We’ve taken the top three customer favorites and go into detail for you about what makes them favorites as well as what customers are saying about them. You don’t have to wonder if you’ve gotten the right information from several sites, we make it easy and convenient for you to get all the information you need in one place to help you find the perfect router for you.

Our goal is to make sorting through the many different routers there are less overwhelming and confusing by giving you the necessary details not biased fluff. Whether you are a professional woodworker looking for a great quality router to handle the important tasks you do in your business, or a serious hobbyist that enjoys building projects, you’ll be able to have a great education about these valuable and useful tools that will help you in your search.

Top Ranked Wood Routers

DEWALT DWP611PK Review

Not only is the DEWALT DWP611PK a user favorite among professionals and DIYers, it is an Amazon Best Seller as well. 

The ergonomic features make it a super comfortable wood router to use that has a lot of features and innovations that provide great control, visibility and overall performance.

Whether you’re making small bevel cuts or large flush trimming, you’ll love the accuracy and performance of this wood router.

The powerful 1 ¼” hp motor ensures great performance for all of your projects. 

Your work pieces will have plenty of illumination with the dual LED lights and you can get it with both a fixed and plunge base or just a fixed base.

What do the professionals say about the DEWALT DWP611PK?

Bosch 1617EVSPK Review

Rough jobs are no match for the Bosch 1617EVSPK. 

The 2.25 hp motor has 12 amps for excellent power and performance.  Speed ranges from 8,000 to 25,000 rpm. 

It comes with a variable speed dial that lets the user control the speed based on the material they are routing.

The built in Constant Response Circuitry helps you maintain a constant speed through the whole routing process so you get better and more accurate results. 

The soft start feature prevents gouging and gives you a smoother transition and better handling.

You can choose between fixed base and plunge routing depending on what your project is.  This router is a definite pleaser for anyone who does a lot of woodworking.

What do the professionals say about the Bosch?

PORTER-CABLE 690LR Review

Efficiency and power are two of the draws of the Porter-Cable 690LR.  This fixed base router has a strong 1 ¾ hp motor that generates an astounding 27,500 rpms giving users precise, accurate cuts every time.

The two ergonomic handles provide lots of comfort for the user even for jobs that last hours.  In addition to all the regular features of this great model, this router also accepts ¼” and ½” shank bits too!

The durability of this router is hard to beat with a precision-machined aluminum housing and base.

The switch is dust sealed along with the sealed ball bearing construction that prevents premature wear and tear from dust getting into the switch mechanism and causing problems.  The perfect wood router for a busy job site or a personal garage or shop.

Top Rated Wood Router Summary

Wood Routers are a cabinet or furniture makers go to tool for creating intricate patterns on their work pieces that adds style and character. Purchasing a good quality one is imperative, especially if woodworking is your livelihood. The three wood routers chosen here are all customer favorites and any of them would make a perfect tool to have in your woodworking shop to create tons of great, high quality work pieces with ease and comfort. Taking this information and using it to make a decision on which wood router is the best for you will help you get the right one for the jobs you have and also one that you will love using for a long time to come. All of them come with warranties and guarantees to further ensure you that you’ve chosen a great wood router.

Wood Router Comparison


DEWALT DWP611PK
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Bosch 1617EVSPK
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PORTER-CABLE 690LR
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Black & Decker RP250
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DEWALT DW618PK
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Bosch PR20EVSK
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DEWALT DW616
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SKIL 1830
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DEWALT DW618B3
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Bosch MRC23EVSK
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Amperage
(amps)
7.0 12 11 10 12 5.6 11 10 12 15
Horsepower 1-1/4 2-1/4 1-3/4 1-1/4 2-1/4 1 1.75 2-1/4 2.25 3
RPM 27000 25000 27500 27000 24000 35000 24500 25000 24000 25000
Collet Diameter 1/4″ 6″ Fixed
6-11/16″ Plunge
0.25″ 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/2″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″
Plunge Stroke 2″ 2″ 1/128″ 2″ 2-1/2″ 1-3/16″ 2″ 2″ 2-1/2″ 2″
Depth Stop 5 5 4 5 2 5 5 4 3 5
Base Dimension 4 3/8″ x 5 3/4″ 6″ x 6-11/16″ 5.5″ x 4 3/4″ 4-1/2″ x 6-1/4″ 6″ x 5-3/4″ 3-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ 6″ x 6″ 6″ x 6″ 6″ x 6″ 6″ x 6″
Spindle Lock
(Position)
12 10 10 12 10 10 12 10 10 10
Weight
(Pound)
10.3 19.5 9.4 10.9 22.4 3.3 7.1 14.4 26.8 3
Router Type
Combination
Fixed & Plunge Fixed & Plunge Fixed Plunge Fixed & Plunge Fixed Fixed Fixed & Plunge Fixed & Plunge Fixed & Plunge
Operating
Input Voltage
110 volt / 120 volt
@ 60hz
120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V 120 V
Collet Capacity 1/4″ 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 8 mm 0.25″ 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/2″ 1/2″, 1/4″ 1/2″, 1/4″
Height 7″ 7″ 8.625″ 11.5″ 9.13″ 14.6″ 7.25″ 10.5″ 19.9″ 9.6″
Depth 19.25″ 21.5″ 12″ 11.9″ 15.88″ 15.7″ 10.75″ 16.75″ 24″ 15.2″
Width 10.25″ 16.25″ 5.5″ 6.6″ 24″ 4.9″ 9.25″ 10.5″ 7.8″ 22.6″
Dimension 18.9″ x 10″ x 6.8″ 6.2″ x 19.5″ x 14.5″ 10″ x 10″ x 8″ 11.5″ x 6.6″ x 11.9″ 15.9″ x 24″ x 9.1″ 15″ x 13″ x 8″ 10.8″ x 9.2″ x 7.2″ 18″ x 14.5″ x 7.8″ 19.9″ x 24″ x 7.8″ 9.6″ x 15.2″ x 22.6″
Functionality

DEWALT DWP611PK
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Bosch 1617EVSPK
View

PORTER-CABLE 690LR
View

Black & Decker RP250
View

DEWALT DW618PK
View

Bosch PR20EVSK
View

DEWALT DW616
View

SKIL 1830
View

DEWALT DW618B3
View

Bosch MRC23EVSK
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Variable Speed
Electronic Feedback
LED Back Light
Adjustable Ring
Spindle Lock Button
Wrench
Shaft Lock
Over Molded Handles
Aluminum Motor
Housing
Spindle Lock
Corded
Multiple Base
Dust Collection
Depth Adjustment
Accessories

DEWALT DWP611PK
View

Bosch 1617EVSPK
View

PORTER-CABLE 690LR
View

Black & Decker RP250
View

DEWALT DW618PK
View

Bosch PR20EVSK
View

DEWALT DW616
View

SKIL 1830
View

DEWALT DW618B3
View

Bosch MRC23EVSK
View
Compact Router
Case

Fixed Base
Plunge Base
Collet Wrench
Soft Sided Bag
Chip Shields
Collet Chucks
Edge Guide
Vacuum Adapter
Chip Deflector
Support

DEWALT DWP611PK
View

Bosch 1617EVSPK
View

PORTER-CABLE 690LR
View

Black & Decker RP250
View

DEWALT DW618PK
View

Bosch PR20EVSK
View

DEWALT DW616
View

SKIL 1830
View

DEWALT DW618B3
View

Bosch MRC23EVSK
View
User Manual
Telephone
Chat
Email
Shipment Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
Warranty 3 Years 1 Year 3 Years 2 Years 3 Years 1 Year 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 1 Year
Pricing $$$ $$$ $$$ $$ $$$ $$ $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$

 

Wood Router Buyers Guide

What is a Wood Router?

A wood router is one of the most valued tools in a woodworker’s tool set.  A good quality wood router and set of bits enables a wood worker to create lots of intricate designs, hollow out grooves, create joints and shape wood edges along with other things.  There are different types of wood routers and if you understand the differences between them you can make a good choice on a router that will fit your needs and the jobs you want to do with it.  If you buy the wrong type of wood router, you will not get the kind of results that you are looking for. This is why the information in this guide is so important. It can help you make the right choice when you purchase a router to add to your tools.

It’s possible that you will want to get more than one router to meet your needs.  Ask yourself these questions listed below to help narrow down your choices and make your selections easier.

  1. Will you be doing a lot of plunge cutting?
  2. Do you need a tool that is highly portable?
  3. Do you do a lot of work with large diameter bits?
  4. Will your router be table mounted?

Types of Wood Router

There are two basic types of wood routers: plunge and fixed base.  The design of the router will contribute to the type of work you are able to do with it. This will depend on the design and how the router operates.

Plunge Routers –   A plunge wood router has a base that is spring loaded.  This allows the bit to be shoved down into the wood.  You can lock the base at a specific depth when using it for different applications.  If you unlock the depth release, you can change the depth of the bit during running.  The advantage to plunge routers is that the cut begins in the middle of the work piece rather than the edge.  They offer you much more versatility and can be a bit harder to use than their fixed base counterparts. They are usually more expensive as well.

Fixed Base Wood Routers – A great beginner’s wood router, the fixed base model performs best when fitted to a router table.  These models are perfect for edge cuts and molding that requires straight line precision.  They are lighter weight than plunge routers and easier to use.  When using a fixed base router, you will need to set the blade depth before you begin and it cannot be adjusted while it is running.  In many styles, you can adjust the bit up or down by twisting the housing to screw or unscrew the router.

Interchangeable Bases

Wood Router1There are several wood router models that offer both base choices; plunge and fixed. These are easily changed by removing the motor from one and switching it to the other base. With the interchangeable bases option you can have the best of both worlds and expand your design ability without having to buy an entire second router. You can also attach one to the table and leave another one for portability. They’re much lighter to carry around than having multiple routers. If you change bases a lot you may find that buying two routers is still the most efficient choice for you instead of stopping to change the base each time.

The Significance of Wood Router HP

Different styles and models of wood routers have different horsepower and speed. Some common HP for routers includes 1 ½ hp, 2 hp, 3 1.2 hp and so on. Bit sizes will vary as well so pay attention to what the box states about the routers you are looking at. There are some wood routers that are equipped with variable speed motors with rpms ranging from 8,000 to 30,000. Knowing what you are going to be using your router for will help determine the kind you need along with what hp and what rpm.

Important Wood Router Accessories

There are some common accessories that you will need when you purchase a router than will enable you to perform the tasks you want to do.

  • A good set of router bits
  • Router table
  • Fences
  • Jigs
  • Clamps
  • Speed controls
  • Switches

Many common features that routers can come equipped with are outlined below.   These are very helpful and increase the functionality of your wood router.

Different Router Bits

There are many different varieties of router bits available that will create many different designs and grooves.  Below the 10 most often purchased bits are detailed for you.  Most of the bits listed are available in different shank sizes that will accommodate the size of the router. They are made of steel with a carbide tip that can help them last a lifetime with proper use and care.  Bits that are not carbide tipped wear out faster and get damaged easier.

Beading – This type of bit will place a rounded convex edge on the wood that is slightly below the level of the sides of the wood.

Chamfer – This bit will enable to carpenter or wood worker to cut a straight edge at an angle along the side of the wood.

Cove – This bit will cut a concave (goes inward) quarter circle along the edge of a wood piece

Dado – A popular bit that forms a box groove across the wood.

Dovetail – When the groove is across the wood and the bottom of the groove is wider than the top of the groove, you know a dovetail it has been used.

Rabbeting – A bit that puts a 90-degree cut along the edge of the work piece

Roman Ogee – This bit forms a unique s shaped design along the edge of the work piece

Round Nose – Using this bit will leave a half circle groove along the work piece

Round Over –   This bit is very similar to the beading bit. It forms a rounded edge along the work piece without any recessed edges

V Groove – This bit will leave a V-shaped groove across the work piece

Router Bit Materials

Router bits are usually made of three types of materials:

Wood Router2High-Speed Steelfor use with softer materials. These types of bits don’t maintain their sharpness as long as other types.  They are the least expensive and are the perfect choice for users who only use their routers occasionally.

Carbide Tipped – These bits are made of much stronger material than the high speed steel. Carbide tips hold their edge a lot longer than the high speed steel bits and they are great for cutting harder wood pieces and metal too.  Carbide tip bits are a favorite of professional wood workers who use their routers on an almost daily basis.

Solid Carbide – These are the strongest and longest lasting router bits you can get.  These are the bits that are used for the hardest materials. The hold their edges really well and can be used for longer periods of time without problems.  These router bits are more expensive but their longevity makes them well worth it.

Router Tables, Router Fences and Other Features

Router table – The purpose of a router table is to allow the wood router to be attached to the table with the bit up.  When the router is engaged, the wood slides across the top of the table and on top of the blade or bit.  There are table top models of router tables that you can set right on your existing workbench, or free-standing router tables.

Router fences provide a guide that the user will push the wood against. This prevents any shifting of the piece and enables to bit to cut in a precise, accurate straight line.

Jigs – Jigs hold your work piece in place for cutting hinge recesses, box joiners, dado joints and dovetail joints.

Clamps – clamps are a very important addition for any carpenter or wood worker.  They clamp to the work piece to prevent it from slipping.  They can also hold the jig to the work table so it is more stable.

Speed Controls – Wood routers have on/off switches and some will have what is called a variable speed trigger.  If you need to use both hands to work on a piece, having a footswitch that can turn the router on and off makes two handed work a breeze.

Electronic feedback circuitry – EFC means that the router’s circuitry monitors how much stress is placed on the motor and will adjust the torque to match it.   What this does is prevent overloading the motor and keeps the routing consistent.

Soft Start – This feature prevents gouging when the router is turned on. Instead of power surging to full speed the second you turn it on, you’ll have a moment of pause after starting it and then the wood router starts to accelerate to the preset speed.  Soft start is beginning to be a standard feature of the new routers.  It’s a great feature for newbies who are not used to the sudden noise and movement and prevents jerking that can occur by the router just blasting on.

Spindle Lock – There are many styles of routers that have two wrenches that are needed to make bit changes.  The benefit of a spindle lock is the ease in which it allows bit changes.  It’s not necessarily a feature that is a necessity, but it does make things much easier.

Ergonomic Handles – Comfort during use is important, especially if you have a lot jobs that need to be done that take a longer time.  Some routers have two handles. If the handles are covered in a rubberized material it can make it much more comfortable to work with.

Dust Control – A lot of dust can be generated by using a router.  Getting a router with a vacuum port can help you keep your work area clear and can decrease the chances of any breathing related issues.  This is becoming a much more popular feature that new routers are having added.

Collet Size – the sleeve that holds your router bit in the router is called a collet.  This works along with the router shaft that is connected to the motor and the collet nut.  Collet sizes typically run in ¼” and ½”. There are four different styles of collets:

  • Split Shaft
  • Split Shaft with Sleeve Adapters
  • Tapered Shaft with Single Slit
  • Tapered Shaft with Multi-Slit

Wood Router3Collet Maintenance – Any kind of tool that has metal to metal contact and tools that are subjected to dust and pitch (sap) will have a tendency to wear over time and require maintenance.  Any collet that becomes worn scratched or out of round will not give the router bit proper hold and can increase vibration and run-out. (Wobble) To get the most out of your collet be sure that you never tighten it without the router bit in place.  Tightening it without a bit in place can deform the collet which will, in turn, cause improper fit of the router bit.  In addition, pitch and dust can build up and clog the collet as well as decrease the recess of the shaft. Inside the collet nut can be affected as well. It’s easy to fix this; just clean the collet regularly to ensure a tight fit on the router bit.

Cleaning will be done by using a soft rag and something like Naphtha. Be sure to use a small brush with brass or nylon bristles to get into the tight crevices. These types of bristles will clean the collet without damaging any of the surfaces. If you get burns or nicks on the collet you can use steel wool or a synthetic scouring pad like you use to wash dishes.  Don’t ever use sandpaper.  Any damaged surfaces can be smoothed out with a bronze cleaning brush.

Templates – There are many templates that you can purchase to go with your router, templates that allow you to do all kinds of intricate designs easily.  Just attach the template and follow it along with the router.

Common Types of Wood Routers/Bases

  • Fixed Base – These are much more compact and easier to maneuver than other models. Recommended for general all purpose routing, edge shaping, and for using with a router table. They usually weigh about 7-11 pounds and have 1 ½ to 3 ½ hp and 8 to 15 amps.
  • Interchangeable Bases – Typically more economical and easier to move around. Great for users who want multiple bases and handle styles as well as users who want to be able to upgrade if their needs and tasks change.  Interchangeable base routers weigh about 7-11 pounds and have 1 ½ to 3 ½ hp and 8 to 15 amps
  • Trim Router – This router is perfect for tasks that require less capacity and power. They are great for trimming and beveling laminates.  Great for crafters and hobbyists as well as detail work.  Trim routers are great for making one handed cuts that are precise and accurate.
  • Plunge base – Plunge base routers are recommended for wood workers who frequently make through cuts, stopped dadoes, deep grooves and mortises, do a lot of template or pattern work or who make signs or do engraving. They are easier to use for making interior cuts and typically weigh about 7-11 pounds.
  • Rotary Tool – weighing between 1-4 pounds this little gem is great for small routing tasks, fine detail work, crafters, hobbyists, and for users who have very light tool needs. These rotary tools are extremely compact, maneuverable and versatile.  They are good for all kinds of applications in addition to routers.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying a router, you’ll probably find that buying it is a bit easier than learning to use it. Craftsmen that make furniture and remodelers love their routers and spend a lot of money on getting a great quality one to use in their shops. By learning all of the information contained in this guide you will have a great education on what makes up a good quality router and how to match the one you buy to the jobs that you have to do. When you get one that matches your needs you will find it becomes one of your favorite tools as well. The right router, once it is learned, can help even a novice create intricate designs and quality pieces without too much effort. It does take practice to learn to master the techniques, but with the array of templates that are available, wood workers can learn many different styles and create pieces they will be proud to show off.

Resources

  1. DEWALThttp://www.dewalt.com
  2. Boschhttp://www.bosch.com
  3. Porter Cablehttp://www.portercable.com