An important tool required by all woodworking enthusiasts, a wood router, is a great tool that can be for creating intricate designs, shaping sides of the wood and many more projects. Having the right knowledge about woodworking routers and router bits will certainly help you in selecting the correct type. Buying and using one of incorrect type will surely not give you the results you aimed for. Hence, it becomes important to have the correct knowledge for the job
What are the different types of woodworking routers?
Woodworking routers comes in 2 types, namely plunge routers and fixed base routers. The router’s design specifies the exact job that it performs. Some basic info about its design, construction and types are outlined below.
Woodworking routers have a case that consist of the motor used to spin the bits. A metal clamp secures the bit into place. The platform of the router may be bounded to the case or attached with a spring.
Routers are available in range of horsepower motors from 7/8 HP to 3.5 hp. They also have different sized bits from 6mm to 1/2in. Based on the motor’s HP and router’s size, the speed varies anything from 8000 to 30000 rpm.
Quality woodworking routers have dimension scales that enables user to set the required depth without having to measure it manually.
Plunge wood router reviews
Plunge routers use a spring-loaded base to push the bit into the wood and are perfect to be used when cutting needs to be started from middle of the wood instead of the edge. More versatile, they are costly and may be hard to use.
Fixed Base routers
Best for cutting edges and moulding designs, they aren’t heavy and very easy to use. It requires the depth of the blade to be set before use.
1. DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit
In the world of woodworking the usefulness of a tool is a factor to look out for when purchasing any woodworking tool. The 1.25 Horsepower, Dewalt DWP611PK router is one of the top rated routers at the time of this research. With its ergonomic features, a splendid design, easy-control and top notch performance, this is a router that is worth every penny.
The Main Benefits:
- Has both fixed and plunge base giving the user more flexibility.
- Variable speed dial from 16000 to 27000 RPM helps the user better manage the tool and tasks.
- Soft start feature helps minimize torque on this router.
- Comes with ¼ inch collet ideal for small tasks especially for the woodworker who needs a back-up router.
- With the D-shape fixed base it offers more stability and increases visibility.
The Key Pros:
- Operates quietly.
- Ergonomic design.
- Features plunge and fixed base in combo kit.
- Additional accessories for extended performance and flexibility.
- It is powerful with an ability to handle soft and hard woods.
- Has a variable speed.
The Key Cons
- Compatible with ¼ inch collet only which is somehow limiting.
- It is not cordless. Its 8 foot 18 gauge cord gives the user sufficient length for any job site or workshop project.
- Its standard base is not compatible with bushings.
2. Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit
In the research for the most efficient wood routers in the market I came across Bosch 1617EVSPK router as one among the top selling routers in the market at this time. Technically speaking, this router has the routing capabilities of mid-size range routers but is capable of handling the work load of any wood worker.
This router is fitted with aluminum housing and it has a 2.25 HP motor that delivers power capability of 8000 to 25000 RPM. It is a router that will meet the needs of the intermediate to advance wood worker. You can use both ¼ and ½ inch collets with this router and it is definitely worth your money.
The main Benefits
- It has a variable speed dial and hence will handle most tasks.
- Has both plunge and fixed bases for more versatility.
- Compatible with both ¼ and ½ inch collets hence versatile.
- Fine depth adjustment is available for micro depth adjustment that enhances accurate and precise cuts.
- With the Bosch Precision Centering design it is easy to center the bit using the sub-base of optional template guides (jigs, dovetail fixtures, or templates).
The Key Pros
- It has an auto-release collet chuck.
- Has contoured soft grip handles for more control and comfort.
- It is double insulated for enhanced safety.
- Compatible with template guide adapter.
- Motor alignment arrows are available.
- Supports both ¼ and ½ inch collets for larger bits.
The Key Cons
- Require wrenches to change bits/collets which are hard to find.
- Bushings tend to get clogged with sawdust when using on router table.
- It is difficult to change bases.
- Does not come with Adapter for Template Guide which is hard to find.
3. DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit
This medium range router is a plunge and fixed base router with a variable speed. It represents a true combination of power and convenience making it one of the favorite router combo kits in the market today. This router has all the desired features of a router and is ideal for the beginner, intermediate and professional wood crafter. This router can be installed on a router table for more comfort when handling heavy applications. Furthermore, it comes with a price tag that is worth its features.
The main Benefits
- Has a dust sealed switch that protects the tool from dust hence will last longer.
- Comes with heavy duty materials that enhance durability.
- Its 2.25 HP/12 Amp powerful motor delivers 8000 to 24000 RPM ideal for various job applications.
- Comes with a micro-fine depth adjustment for precise and accurate cuts.
- Has a spindle lock button that facilitates single wrench changes.
- Comes with a large hole sub-base which is more stable.
- With the quick release motor it is quick and easy to change bits.
The Key Pros
- Quick and easy depth adjustment with no need for any extra tool.
- With the powerful motor and variable speed it is fast to carry out various operations.
- Has a dust collection that ensures a clean tool and working area.
- With its D-Handle sub-base the user enjoys excellent control and comfort.
- Comes with a durable housing and hence lasts for longer.
- Has a clear LEXAN sub-base for maximum clarity when routing.
The Key Cons
- It is quite hard to follow the manual guidelines that come with the tool.
- Base tends to vibrate when the Plunge Lock Lever is locked when using the plunge base.
- It is more expensive since the user has to buy the edge guide separately.
4. Bosch MRC23EVSK 2.3 HP Combination Plunge & Fixed-Base Variable Speed Router Pack
In the router combo kit market where you can find a plunge base and a fixed base which share one motor, the Bosch MRC23EVSK is Bosch’s latest product of the Router Combination Kit. Different from other routers which commonly have two routers in one, the MRS23EVSK is competing with others in another way. The Bosch MRC23EVSK was equipped with electrical connectors on the motor unit and on both bases that give the capabilities to them to mount the on/off switches on the hadles of each base. By this way, you can start and stop the router and handle it with your hands for the same time. This is very safe and makes you feel with proper control. This reflects another innovation from the Bosch, and it’s sure other router companies may emulate or copy it soon.
What is a little unfortunate is that there’s been a downside which in this case is the price- counting the new feature means that the most ideal price is almost about $100 more than the bestselling Bosch 1617EVSPK which provides you with the same routing functionality.
As router has a variety of functions, each wood worker and green hand users will have an occupation on a suitable router kit combination kit, consequently, an ideal kit will be your companion tool for wood working, and for most professionals one is not enough. Whereas, with its great versatility, choosing an ideal one that can help most at work is not always an easy job. In this article, we searched for a certain number of features that you should be thinking about, for example the router power ratings and variable speed, accurate depth setting with good adjustment control, the router bit size, and also the advantages and disadvantages of a Fixed Base Router VS a Plunge Router, and etc.
Horsepower Rating of the motor
When choosing a router, there is an important feature to be noticed, that is the horsepower rating of the motor. The Bosch MRC23EVSK has a powerful 2.3 hp whereby you make easily handle it by its enough power of pushing some bigger 1/2-inch shank bits into the stock with no bogging down. A variable speed motor is same important as the power, for the lager the bit, the slower the cutting speed needs to be. If you use a larger bit at a very high speed, you may burn the stock.
What’s more, the Bosch MRC23EVSK motor provides a big range of speed, that is from the speed of 10,000 to about 25,000 rpm, which gives you the possibility to specifically match the speed to the type of the cutter size and the stock. In order to limit the router tendency of making you hands twisted, most of the routers has a feature called soft start and so does the router products from Bosch. What’s more, the Bosch motor is very smooth. All the routers vibrate to some extend, as we know, the more vibration may result in less smooth in the cut, which consequently may reduce your comfortable feelings when using it. We’ve found that the minimal vibration of the Bosch MRC23EVSK together with the comfortable handles makes it very easy to use.
5. DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router
Being a 1.25 HP maximum torque variable speed compact router, DEWALT DWP611 is designed with the capability of handling various complex routing applications such as heavy flush trimmings, small bevel cuts, and many others. It is highly powered and with its LED feature, the user is able to get maximum visibility of the working area. It also has additional features that make it very easy to handle and operate.
If you are the woodworker who would like to do projects such as pattern making, staircase making, fiber glass designing, plastic designing, kitchen remodeling, or carpentry tasks, then this router is a definite must-have for you.
The main Benefits
- The variable speed control feature boosts the speed of the bit to suit various applications.
- Comes with LED lights and has a clear sub-base for maximum visibility of the working area.
- Comes with an excellent adjustment ring for maximum control.
- Its soft start feature in the motor helps maintain speed throughout the cutting applications.
- Has a 1.25 Hp motor that delivers enough power for even the toughest applications in your wood working projects.
- Easy to adjust and height and change bits.
The Key Pros
- Router adjustment ring for accurate cutting depth.
- Motor location is maintained through all woodworking applications.
- Has a variable speed control feature ideal for a wide range of applications.
- It powerful enough for the toughest applications courtesy of its 1-1/4 peak HP motor.
- Gives maximum visibility of the working area with its LED and clear sub-base.
- With soft-start feature the tool does not jump off when starting.
The Key Cons
- It is highly priced when compared to other routers.
- Lacks a Dewalt hard case.
- The motor has to be removed when changing the bits.
- Not everyone will like the base width.
6. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router
Designed for precise and accurate cuts, the Porter-Cable 690LR router delivers a staggering 27,500 RPM thanks to its 1-3/4 HP motor. This superb and powerful tool is compatible with both ¼ and ½ inch collets making it one of the most convenient tools to have in your workshop. Furthermore, it has an ergonomic design, easy bit removal, and under-table stop making one of the easiest to use and operate in your workshop.
The main Benefits
- It comes with a powerful motor with a peak of 1-3/4 HP hence can handle most tasks.
- You can use both ½ and ¼ inch collets that are auto-release.
- With the cam lock feature you can easily release the motor and easily make coarse height adjustments.
- It delivers staggering 27,500 RPM from one single motor making it the most powerful router.
- Comes with a micro depth adjustment system that delivers micro-fine adjustments for up to 1/128.
The Key Pros
- The auto release collet system makes bit changing easy.
- It is compatible with other routers since its fixed base.
- Easy to handle and operate since it has several handles.
- Long-lasting since it is made of aluminium housing.
- The power switch and ball bearing are debris and dust-proof since they are sealed.
- Single speed delivers consistent power of 27500 RPM and hence delivers consistent performance.
The Key Cons
- It is not portable since it is a fixed base router.
- Power switch is located inappropriately.
- Does no come with a case hence it’s a challenge to store some of the other router components?
- It is a small router hence can’t handle some rails and stile bits.
7. Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router
The Bosch 1617EVS router is a plunge and fixed base wood router that is loved by many wood crafters. It boasts of all the features and technical capabilities of an ideal router. Its fixed base works perfectly whether it is affixed on a router table or used freehand and it has a precise height adjustment as well.
The plunge base, on the other hand, is one of the best. It features ergonomic and comfortable handles, an excellent locking mechanism and a perfect plunge action. With all its superior features and capabilities, this router still comes at an inexpensive price making it one of your best investment options.
The main Benefits
- Comes with a solid fixed base that can be used in a router table and freehand as well.
- Well-angled handles in plunge base for maximum control and comfort.
- Its 2-1/4 Horsepower can handle most router table tasks. Generates power of 8000 to 25000 RPM.
- Has an electronic variable speed that starts the motor gradually. It also keeps speed on check especially when the tool is loaded.
- Uses both ¼ and ½ inch collets giving it great versatility.
The Key Pros
- Has both plunge and fixed base for more flexibility.
Excellent routing power courtesy of its 2.25 horsepower motor that generates 8000 to 25000 RPM.
You can use both ¼ and ½ inch collets.
Ideal for wide variety of tasks since it has a variable speed feature.
Both plunge and fixed base have excellent depth adjustments.
Comes with storage compartment.
The Key Cons
- You need two wrenches for bit changes.
- To use third party collars you require a special adapter.
- Not ideal for the beginner wood crafter.
8. DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base
This combo router kit is a high-performance tool that has a unique D-handle base. With this handle the user has a great contact with the working area. The fact that it has both plunge and fixed base makes it even more useful and versatile to the user, you can handle various routing tasks with no problem. Asides its D-handle base, this router has other 3 bases, a dust-collection system, and a variable speed motor. It is definitely worth your investment.
The main Benefits
- Has a variable speed range of 8000 to 24000 RPM and thus can handle various applications.
- Comes with three bases: Fixed, plunge, and the D-handle base that offer great functionality.
- Compatible with both ½ and ¼ inch collets for more versatility.
- Its dust-collection system can collect up to 95% of the dust for a clean working area.
- Its switch is easy to operate with both hands since it has right and left cord set locations.
- Has a self-release –slots collet system that ensures bit retention and prevents any frozen bits.
The Key Pros
- It has three bases that include fixed, plunge and D-handle base.
- It comes with a variable speed motor.
- Features a dust-collection system that can collect up to 95% of the dust.
- Soft-start up feature reduces torque and enhances accuracy when routing.
- Compatible to ½ and ¼ inch collets.
- Comes with Lexan sub-base for maximum visibility.
- Has an ergonomic design.
The Key Cons
- 3 bases combination is a bit complex for beginners.
- Use of wrenches to remove bits is a challenge to some users.
- The fact that the user sees the coils and bushings when routing may be a distraction.
- It is quite a challenge to make height adjustments.
How to choose the best wood router
If you are working with wood professionally and you want to be a master craftsman than you need professional tools. Having the best wood router is a need to have tool. Good quality doesn’t come cheap but considering all things this will be a best investment that you will make in a long time.
Before you go out to purchase the best wood router for your needs you need to do a little research of your own. Depending on your needs as a craftsman you need to choose appropriate wood working tools to fit your needs. In this article we will try to explain and review closely some of the best wood routers that you can find.
We need to cover some basics there are 3 types of wood routers:
- Plunge Wood Routers
- Fixed Base Wood Routers
- Interchangeable Routers
- Plunge Wood Routers
Like in any appliance there are some pros and cons to using it. Some pros of the plunge router is that instead of Fixed base router, it starts to cut in the middle of the work instead of the edge, which offers much bigger variety of options while the con is that it’s a lot harder to use for inexperienced craftsman.
- Fixed Base Wood Router
This one is perfect for beginners. This model is mostly used fitted on a router table and perfect for cutting edges where you need a straight line. Much lighter in weight than plunge wood router and it’s easier to use. Before starting to cut you need to adjust the depth, remember to adjust it at the beginning as you will not be able to do it during the cutting.
- Interchangeable Base Router
On the market today you can find several wood routers with interchangeable options where you can choose between plunged and fixed base routers. You can easily switch between them just by removing motor from one and adding it to another one. Considering that with this one you will not need to purchase two wood routers as you will have, two in one option with this one. Of course not everything is so perfect. Considering how much time will you waste switching motors from one to another some people still find much more efficient to purchase two different wood routers, At the end of the it all depends on your needs and how often will you use it.
If you thought this is all the difference between you can choose from you are wrong. Of course this is where the motor comes in. Different types of wood routes come with different horsepower and speed. Now it all depends on which one you choose you will have the power based on what you paid for. Different wood routers come with different power so you will have the option to choose from 8,000 all the way to 30,000 RPMs. Again depending on what you will be using it for and how often will you use it you will choose the right one for you.
Added options for Wood Routers:
- Router bits
- Table for routers
- Router Fences
Some of the features will already be in the box when you purchase a wood router, in some you might not get any of the options outlined above, so you will have to get it separately. All the features are on a need to have basis as they will make your live a lot easier. There are plenty wood rooter reviews online so it’s very easy to get confused on what you need and what you don’t need. It all comes down to what will you use it for and how often will you use it.
- Different types of router bits
Not all router bits are the same you basically have ten bits options:
- Roman Ogee
- Round Nose
- Round Over
- V Groove
You need to do your due diligence before you go out and get one of the options for yourself. They are all the same thing but again they are different.
Even though it doesn’t sound like you need to have it, it’s actually very important and will make your life easier. When you place clamps on the work that you are doing it will prevent it from slipping of the table or moving.
The same as the clamps, their job is to keep the wood steady while you work on it. You will push the wood against the fence and keep it steady while you work on it. This will make your life a hell of lot easier especially if you have ton of work to do and don’t have time to lose on small and insignificant things like this.
Again, choosing the best wood router can be a little tricky, but with the right due diligence and your exact plan on what you will be using it on can get you a lot closer to your decision. Will it be Plunge or Fixed Base Wood Router depends on your needs. If you decide you can go with Interchangeable option. Remember if you are using it often for more efficient work it’s best to take 2 Wood routers with different options as it will save you a lot of time. Don’t forget to take the right added options for them as well. Look for some of the best wood router reviews and make your decision.
Best Wood Router for Beginner Guide
With a woodworking router kit in hand, any piece of wood routing task could be finished with ease. The routing tools can deliver many a facilities. The woodworking router kit functions from mundane to extraordinary extents. As we know in the router family, there exist various router types, like the fixed base, or movable ones. Some routers can start their work with fixed speeds while other routers can have variable alacrities. These routers with widely different spectrum have been available since the 1980s, thus making the world of wood art more attracting and special. It has been an easy job for those fresh woodworking routers to cut and push into the specific depth people wanted. ( Best Woodworking Routers 2014 Reviews )
DeWALT Router Kit- the brand with optimized performance
As wee know, best woodworking routers are designed by the leading professionals. The woodworking router brands who are keeping the edge would be DeWALT, BOSCH, Porter Cable and HITACHI, etc. DeWALT DWP611 makes the top among compact routers according to the analysis. The potent device can deliver power in a durable order. It is very ideal for applications which are tough and sturdy. But what is more interesting is its DeWALT factor of speed controlling. This router has got an optimized performance decree. Meanwhile, DWP611 works upon few adjustable rings, these comportments will ordain the gadget and its router users with excellent depth changes.
The Light Weight Router Kit
DWP611PK is another router model made by DeWALT for for variable speed compaction. This model is durable and can work in the most tough situations. The nice and clean device has a warranty for 3 years, which means it overs the diverse defects with much care. Being a mobile router, this product is very light in weight and small in size, which enables itself to work within every intrinsic platform. DeWALT DWP611PK, being a super trim router kit, can doing wood working with much ease.
DeWALT created one fixed base variable speed router which plunges with a charge of 12 Amperes at least. If you are doing a task which involves hardwood, this one can take the tough job. If those chores be managed by proficient tools, they can be handled with a much higher deal of versatility. Gladly to see, the DW618PK is the kind of router kit which can definitely do precise adjustments. Because they are routers with high accuracy, which lead to vertical and horizontal depth increments with a scheme of solid locking. In terms of the hard core plunging, DeWALT has received its reputation as the top manufacture.
The Speedy Porter Cable
Let’s take look at what Porter Cable is doing. The Porter Cable 7518 Speedmatic has stood out in the market by its versatility, reliability, durability and absolutely its functionality as well. The 5 speed mode motor can cut through diverse diameters and depths, which is quite pleasing to us. The soft star of the Porter Cable 7518 is good at bring down start up torque. The controlled motor of the 7518 runs extremely steady. In few words, nice precision, dust free switch, and an enhanced durability. This machine saves your investment of your cable for at least 60%.
Porter Cable- the fixed base router kit type
What is known to us all and what makes the Porter Cable 690LR special and foremost router version is the fixed base design. Porter Cable 690LR occupies an aluminum motor, running over a single speed, is very well protected and housed with good precision.This router keeps its high standard of accuracy because of its micro adjustments at the same time when it is doing deeper routing tasks. The overall reviews about this Porter Cable 690LR is four stars, which is quite a pleasing and satisfying result for woodworkers from beginners to professionals.
The Porter Cable Router Kit with variable speed
The one last router product from porter is a 2-1/4 horsepower router, the Porter cable 892, which is currently available at no more than 200$. The soft starting device was activated by a 12 Amp motor. The Porter manufacture has very considerate supporting services, for which you can inquire operation questions no matter big or small.
BOSCH routers offer consistency and durability
The Bosch 1617EVSPK, which have long been regarded both as a tool and a state of the art device. This 1617EVS PKrouter kit is good at monitoring and maintaining its performance. What’s more special is that this router kit is well known by users for its consistency and durability. The industrial design is second to none, the rugged aluminum made structure is long lasting. Bosch 1617EVSPK is very excellent.
BOSCH router for professional standard
The professional router kit from the Bosch manufacture is with a sensational guide. The Bosch PR20EVSK, being locked and hocked with soft grips, delights over its variable speeds. It can run on a minimal current of 5.6 Amps. For green hands ( beginners), you can work with this router kit with no fear, for it has human finger protection design:) This straight edge router kit weighs just round 11.7 pounds, which is comparatively less than other woodworking router kits in the market.
Hitachi router weights less!
Last but not least, the Hitachi M12VC has also been listed in the top ten router kits. This router kit has a mechanism which fully exploits over variable speeds. It has a very quite resourceful motor with nice precision. You can create your own flawless projects with this world leading classic router kit
Woodworking Router Accessories
Doing the various tasks requires some basic accessories such as router bits, router tables, fences, clamps, switches and many more.
What are the different types of router bits?
There are different types of bits available to perform different types of tasks. Some are specifically used for cutting edges while some for shaping designs. The bits are available in different sizes to cater to different needs. They are made from steel with a carbide tip and are generally durable if used properly.
Router Jigs and Clamps
They secure the wood into place so that specific cuts can be performed while clamps hold the wood so that it doesn’t slip. Clamps are also used to hold the jig to worktable.
Router Speed controls and switches
Wood working routers have switches to turn on and off. Plus, some also come with a footswitch that can be very handy if both hands are being used. Speed controls are used to control speed and can be operated with a knob’s twist or can be foot activated.
Purchasing a woodworking router is relatively easier than operating one but once anyone learns the skill and how to employ the different bits for different tasks, it become a child’s play to create intricate designs and beautiful pieces of furniture.
Undertaking woodworking projects needs both professionalism and expertise. The overwhelming wood routing task would be much more easier with an ideal Plunging tool. Check these top best woodworking routers before making your choice of purchasing!