As we have come to realize, woodworking is more than just cutting and connecting wooden boards. There’s a whole other dimension that requires finesse too – maybe even more so than strength. The act of cutting out fancy edges and perfecting wood patterns might take several years to learn, but seeing what products you could potentially create is enough motivation to venture down this path.
Of course, just like any other undertaking, having access to the right tools makes everything so much simpler. In the case of molding and carpentry, owning a wood router will go a long way in enhancing your skills. It may even take your talents to the next level.
In this article, we’d like to discuss in greater detail the advantages of this tool. With so many different types out on the market, our goal is to successfully define each one so you can better discern which one to purchase. We’ll even give some examples to further stress each point. If you’re interested in learning more, we suggest that you continue reading.
Quick release motor latches simplifies the processes of replacing bits, removing the motor, and the like.
Its micro-fine depth adjustment ring helps you find the perfect cutting position and lock it into place.
Digging into thick pieces of wood can often be challenging, though an essential part of the job. A plunge router is a perfect power tool to produce deep insertions, while also adjusting the bit’s cut depth to fit your needs. Here in this subsection, we’ll be sharing some of the best plunge routers on the market, beginning with these two specimens.
Two things that directly affect a wood router’s performance are power and accuracy. So anyone who’s seeking an option that provides both must seriously consider the Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router. It will serve as a good investment to vastly improve your woodworking skills.
One of the best advantages of choosing this model is its versatility. You won’t just be limited to cutting around mortises or stopping dadoes, but also template routing as well. Its 15-AMP motor with maximum variable speeds of 22,000+ enables it to be used on a wider variety of tasks. Even the construction of cabinets and door – which are widely considered as the most complicated wood tasks – are no match for this machine.
Since the primary role of a wood router is to smoothen out edges, accuracy is another essential trait. The Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router sports an ergonomic design that’s lightweight and very easy to handle. A rubberized handle likewise aids you in grasping the router for greater control. It even comes with several linear ball bearings to ensure a more seamless operation.
Finally, this plunge router model is incredibly energy efficient. Besides an electric brake and soft start-up feature to stop and start the engine, an electronic speed control helps keep the system running at a constant speed. This means you only expel the amount of energy needed for every task – nothing more, nothing less.
These functions, among others, are what make the Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router one of the best wood routers on the market. Professional carpenters, masons, and artisan will be very pleased with the advantages it can offer.
At first glance, the Bosch MRP23EVE Electronic Plunge-Base Router looks like something that came straight out of a Star Wars movie. It’s almost robotic exterior, however, masks a powerful motor and functional design to compete with even the best wood routers on the market. Still, this variation is better suited for an above-average crafter, rather than a hardcore fanatic.
Arguably the best quality of this model is its trigger control. Thanks to two soft-grip handles, controlling this device is both effective and comfortable on your arms. All the vital controls such as the power switch and variable speed settings are found in the same vicinity, giving better management of this power tool. Woodworking often requires a lot of split-second movements so this is a valuable characteristic to have.
Take note also that an Afterlock micro-fine bit-depth adjustment helps the Bosch MRP23EVE Electronic Plunge-Base Router successfully penetrate the thick exterior of wood planks. This same feature also allows for simpler adjustment of settings, even without the use of tools. As a result, your movements become more precise and as a result, better overall quality of products.
The 2.3-horsepower, 15-AMP motor is only the cherry on top of a very complete unit. Any user looking to expand their skill set is going to find this as a worthy companion. Easily and without a doubt, the Bosch MRP23EVE Electronic Plunge-Base Router will make a perfect addition to your collection of tools at home.
Unlike a plunge router, a fixed-base model – as its name suggests – is locked in a particular location. Moving it around, however, will require you to manually undo it and mount it onto a new location. This may take some effort to do. Still, fixed-base routers produce very precise cuts for a wide variety of wood-crafting chores. If this is what your project requires, you may want to check out some of its most notable examples.
In this entire best wood router review, the Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router is arguably the most cost-efficient option you will find. Its perfect balance of power, stability, and consistency can be had for less than $200. Those looking for a low-risk, high-reward option that’s easy on the pocket should take a closer look at this.
Despite an affordable price tag, the Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router offers a wider variable speed range from 8,000 to 25,000-RPM. Having this ability enables you to work on more types of jobs within a single timeframe since this can all be fine-tuned with just a simple twist of its dial. Furthermore, its advanced speed-control technology maintains your chosen rate to eliminate the risk of overheating or short-circuits.
Furthermore, even its exterior is designed to support this cutting strength. The base and body are both manufactured using hard aluminum components to withstand corrosion. As such, you’ll be confident to know its life expectancy spans across several years. This wood router even comes with a comprehensive warranty package that includes a 30-day money back guarantee and service-protection plan that’s good for one year.
Experiencing it is the only real way to know its true value, especially if you’re a newbie. This unit should help simplify the art of shaping wood, so much that it never feels like work again.
Another alternative that’s widely considered as one of the best fixed-base routers out there is the Dewalt DW618. The simple appearance might suggest a rudimentary device, but don’t be fooled – it can slice and edge out wooden materials with great ease.
The wood router’s cutting strength is thanks in large part to a robust 2.25-horsepower motor, which is among the strongest in its bracket. Its height and depth capabilities can likewise be adjusted by simply rotating the ring, putting you in the most optimal positions possible. This reaches anywhere from 1/8” to 1/128”. Lastly, once you’ve reached a point you’re comfortable with, just lock the tool to maintain its firmness.
Both the motor and housing are held up by a structurally-sound base made from die-cast aluminum. On it are two rubberized handles that allow easier transporting and controlling of this machine. Users should find that it flows naturally flows with your own arm’s movements because of an ergonomic design. Just be wary since this setup might cause the motor to be slightly misaligned.
Nevertheless, the Dewalt DW618 Fixed-Base Router offers consumers an easy-to-use option that delivers great precision. It may have some minor flaws, but that hasn’t stopped it from zooming to the top as one of the best wood routers you can ever find.
Judging from its name, compact routers are the smallest of the bunch. But because of their diminutive size, these mechanical marvels specialize in crafting intricate edges, hiding crooked corners, and decorating pieces of lumber. Take a look at these examples when you are finalizing your projects and looking to end things on a high note.
Not every wood router models need size to be effective. The Makita RTO701C Compact Router is proof that great things can indeed come from small packages – literally. Armed with a 1.25-horsepower motor and several other dominant features, this handheld device can be brought around virtually anywhere and used for different jobs. Its versatility is a major reason for its immense popularity.
Specifically, this compact router employs an enhanced rack-and-pinion structure for an increased vision of the different settings. Besides that, a cam lock system is present for easy tool and depth adjustment, as well as installation and disassembly of the base. Ultimately, these help manage the controls better.
Of course, we can’t forget about its high-powered engine. A variable control dial allows you to easily choose a level from 1 to 6, which corresponds to anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000-RPM. Moreover, an electronic control feature keeps the chosen speed at a constant pace to prevent internal damages from happening.
All in all, the Makita RTO701C Compact Router is a pretty straightforward option that has all the bases covered. Power, portability, and practicality are just some of the reasons to love it. Those searching for a reliable model that’s not difficult to learn will have hit the jackpot with this.
Some consumers may resist spending hundreds of dollars on a wood router. After all, they might not even enjoy taking part in this activity, right? So for beginners and trainees, a low-cost option with all the essential features is ideal – something that the Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router perfectly offers.
A 1-horsepower, 5.6-AMP variable speed motor is the lifeline that runs this machine. It can generate up to 35,000-RPM of cutting strength, which is amazing considering its price and size. This is a perfect model to use when shaping, trimming and edging out wood because of how lightweight is it. However, we wouldn’t suggest rolling this out on heavier-duty tasks since it could incur damages quicker.
Moreover, the Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router’s tool body is designed for portability and convenient usage. Besides a straight edge guide and depth adjustment system that both work to augment cutting accuracy, an aluminum fixed-base likewise helps to eliminate shaking of any kind. There is even an angled cord exit so the wire won’t interfere anytime you work.
All the inclusions may seem quite simple, but they all play a crucial role in optimizing every woodworking session. The Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router has almost everything you need to upgrade the talents that you possess.
Things to Consider When Buying a Wood Router
Cutting strength and durability are probably the most obvious factors to consider when choosing a wood router; yet, there are a lot more things that need to be taken into account as well. In this sub-section, we’ll be discussing these often overlooked elements and stating the value behind each one.
1. Compactness & Portability
Most jobs in construction will require you to move around. Therefore, owning a unit that’s easy to transport, stock, and maneuver is a great asset to have. Of course, we wouldn’t simply suggest choosing the smallest model. Instead, find one that balances your power requirement with these practical characteristics.
On the market today, options like the Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router are perfect blends of both. If you’re a professional that switches positions as quickly as they blink, then these are the best wood routers you must strive to aim for.
If you haven’t already noticed, the prices among these wood routers vary greatly. Of the bunch, plunge routers are the most expensive; followed by fixed-base models, and of course, compact or palm routers. Do contemplate on this too.
Our suggestion is to begin by pinpointed a price point you are willing to spend, before even canvassing through models. This should provide a clearer direction, while also minimizing the risk of overspending. After all, you wouldn’t want to go all-in on a single model, only to realize it costs more than it should, right?
Whenever your wood router breaks down or requires repairs done on it, warranty is what comes to the rescue. Just like an insurance plan, having this means the manufacturer will shoulder any costs because they stand behind the quality of their products. This is likewise a sign of a company’s willingness to engage in after-sales customer service.
Thus, any time you are given this choice, you must take it. Availing of this might mean spending more, but it’s a small price to pay for convenience and peace of mind. When something does go wrong – trust us – you’ll be glad having an investment like this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the best wood router to target?
Bosch, Makita, and Dewalt are perhaps the most well-known brands currently available to consumers. All three boast a solid track record of success, efficiency, and credibility that is reflected in their products.
So if you’re a beginner who still hasn’t learned the ropes of this industry, we recommend you stick to these suppliers. Then, once you’ve gained enough experience, you’ll be more equipped to venture into other less-popular models.
2. What is a good price point to target for each type?
As mentioned earlier on our best wood router review, the price between the archetypes varies quite substantially. Although if we were to craft a price summary table for each one, it would probably look something like this:
Plunge Wood Routers – $250 to $350
Fixed-Base Router – $120 to $220
Compact Router – $90 to $160
Furthermore, please don’t settle for something just because of an affordable fee. Always check whether it fits the needs of your job, whether it’s heavy-duty or just average. Still, it should follow those average prices.
3. How comprehensive should my warranty package be?
When going over warranty packages offered by companies, make sure it includes at least a 15-day money-back guarantee for defective units and a one-year guarantee on labor. At the same time, the wood router you choose must have an accredited service center near your area of residence so availing won’t be too much trouble.
Choosing the best wood router isn’t intimidating at all. It just takes a little more time to digest the advantages it provides. Nevertheless, seasoned carpenters and masons will tell you that once you get the hang of things, this should gradually become an invaluable asset anytime you begin wood-crafting.
But before even looking through options, it’s always important to know your needs first, particularly what you plan on using it for, how often, and whether or not it is income generating. These considerations should help you narrow down the choices and move you towards a direction that helps maximize the outcome.
Of course, if we hold every other thing in constant and just focus on extensiveness, then the Dewalt DW618 Fixed-Base Router easily takes the cake. Its excellent combination of user-friendliness, might, and precision is designed to make woodworking much simpler for anyone who uses it. Add in its die-cast aluminum base and durable exteriors, and you have a far-reaching machine you can be proud of.
What’s easily considered as one of the best fixed-base routers should serve as a worthwhile companion on your journey to success.