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Routers are useful tools that can aid in shaping the wood you are working on. It is indispensable when it comes to carpentry and different kinds of woodwork. You can also rely on this for creating artworks and making templates. If there are woodwork and carpentry projects that will require you to make curves, you can also rely on this to get the job done and accomplish it precisely and neatly.
Wood routers are a wonderful investment and thankfully, there are a lot of options out there from reputable brands. Make sure you read until the end of this article to find out which models and brands of wood routers we highly recommend.
Types of Wood Routers and Their Benefits
When searching for the best wood routers, you will come across different types that have different benefits. Here are some types of wood routers you can get:
Fixed Base Router
This is the most ideal wood router for beginners. It is the easiest to use and has a short learning curve. You can best work with it when using a bench or a table. If you are working on projects that require the best precision, especially when it comes to creating straight lines such as when cutting edges or when doing molding work, this is the best router to choose.
Compared to the other types of router, this one is actually lighter in weight, giving it more portability. The problem with this that some people might find a downside is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for blade depth. You can set the depth of the blade at the beginning but once you start using it, you can’t change the depth anymore. This is why this isn’t the best to use when it comes to gouging. But if you have projects that are done repeatedly, this should be an ideal choice for you. These routers are also quite affordable.
This type of router is recommended for more experienced woodworkers. If you are a professional, you should opt for this kind of router as it has a wide range of applications. It can do a variety of freehand functions but can also work well even when you are using a template. You can get the best stability and control with this unit as it boasts of a soft start system.
Unlike the previous type of router, this one has a depth that can be adjusted even while you are in the middle of using it. It will allow you to accomplish different tasks such as cutting letters and grooves. On the other hand, it is heftier than other routers and it’s not that easy to learn. However, there are safety features in this unit that can benefit the inexperienced workers.
If your work requires you to change bases regularly, getting a combo router might be the best choice. You can use both a plunge and a fixed base. It just takes some tweaking with the engine. Since you are using one that is capable of doing both functions, you can make a wide range of things with this router. Of course, changing bases will require a bit more time to accomplish. On the other hand, this is less costly compared to buying a separate plunge and fixed base router.
These are specialist kind of routers. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Controlled. This is controlled using a computer, so you can get the cutting depth and the feed rate you want exactly the way you want them. You can freely input the variables you want, making way for more precision. They are, however, a bit more expensive than other types of routers. This type of router also allows you to have a larger cutting field and eliminate chances of wasting wood.
Best Wood Router 2020 Reviews
Here are the wood routers you should consider buying:
- DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router
- Bosch Colt Palm Grip Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router
- Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
- Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit
The following are some reasons why these are your best choices:
1. DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router
This wood router might be at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price, but it backs it up with some of the best and the most advanced features. With its 1.25 HP of the motor, it is capable of accomplishing even the toughest woodworking projects. You can get the best control over it with its variable speed control function. It has a soft-starting motor function that enables a more consistent speed while working.
- It has a powerful motor that can help you achieve those more difficult cuts.
- The variable speed control feature ensures safer and more controlled operations.
- You can benefit from its soft-starting motor that has an electronic feedback. This will allow you to have a more consistent speed while cutting through wood.
- The sub-base is clear, so you can easily see what you are working on. It also comes with dual LED lights for maximum visibility.
- You can control the depth easily with its adjustment ring.
- You can change the base easily with its spring-loaded release tabs.
- This unit is built to last. The housing is made from aluminum materials.
- This comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Some said it is not ideal for extended use because of how hot it gets.
2. Bosch Colt Palm Grip Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router
If you are looking for an inexpensive router, this should be a good choice. It is inexpensive but it still delivers when it comes to good features and quality structure. This fixed base router delivers 5.6 amps of motor power. It has a variable speed setting and a depth adjustment system. The exterior is made from durable aluminum material. It can last for a long time.
- This is one of the most affordable wood routers you can get today.
- You can rely on this for a long time, thanks to its durable exterior and strong fixed base that delivers a lot of power.
- It is compact and easy to stow away in a small bag.
- It only weighs 11.8 pounds, so you shouldn’t have issues carrying it with you.
- It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- It comes with finger guards, which enhances grip.
- You can make adjustments to the depths through its easy-to-use adjustment system.
- It comes with a lot of accessories.
- Some said they did not like its height adjustment feature.
3. Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
If you have some more money to spare, go for this one developed by reputable brand Makita. Known for their quality tools, this brand ensures the best equipment for all your DIY needs. This router comes with a variable speed control dial to help you find the best speed suitable for your specific project. It has a rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system that will allow you to get the most precise results in cutting.
The unit itself is compact and ergonomically designed. You can operate this router without suffering from hand fatigue. It even has a quick release cam lock system for more effective adjustment of depth. You can also release and change the base with ease.
- This unit provides the most accuracy. With the rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system it boasts of, you can be assured that you can get the best results.
- You can work with minimum fatigue due to its body that has ergonomic functions.
- The motor is housed in aluminum casing for the best durability.
- It is a kit that includes everything you might need to get your projects done.
- It comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
- This can break the bank. It’s a bit more expensive than others.
4. Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit
The 11 amps of the motor can help you achieve cuts that will require more control and precision. You can make adjustments on the depth with ease, thanks to is 2-stage motor release clamp. You can maintain a stable speed as you work. Unlike other routers, this one produces relatively lower noise levels.
- This has a lot of power for those more difficult woodwork.
- Depth adjustment and changes in base can be done easily.
- You can gain more control over its speed and get consistent results.
- With its 79.5 dB of noise level, you can work in a comparatively quieter environment.
- It includes everything you might need in a kit such as a centering gauge, wrench, collet chuck, template guide adjuster and a sub-base plate.
- Some said it required more underside protection so that sawdust won’t go flying everywhere.
Which One Should You Get?
Can’t decide which of these you should get? Here are some of the things you should consider:
Ergonomic and Lightweight: DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router. This is an ideal choice because of its many features. But as a whole, this is a machine that you can easily use because of how ergonomic and lightweight it is.
Inexpensive Choice: Bosch Colt Palm Grip Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router. For those who don’t want to break the bank, this one from Bosch is the perfect choice. While it is more affordable than others, it still has a lot of great features that can give more expensive brands a run for their money.
Get Precise Cuts All the Time: Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit. This is a complete kit that should get you started with your woodwork right away. You can achieve a lot of intricate designs with the help of this one.
Great Adjustment Depth: Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit. You can control your cuts more with this unit that has good adjustment depth function.
Tips in Buying a Wood Router
When it comes to buying a wood router, you really need to take your personal needs into consideration. You need to know what kind of cuts you often make and how precise you want these cuts to get. That way, you can decide on the best type of wood router to buy and narrow down your options from there.
Additionally, here are some tips that can help you in finding the right wood router for your needs:
1. Check the speed options available.
There are routers that only run using a single speed. However, if you want more control and versatility over your router, it is better to go for those with multiple or variable speed settings. You can change the speed setting depending on the variables you want as well as the type of wood you are working on. Not only will this create the best results, it will also help create a safer working environment.
2. Decide on the size of the motor.
Routers come in different motor sizes. Palm routers are small-sized routers that use 1 HP of power or less. Since they are more compact, they can be brought to different job sites easily. This low-level and compact router is more ideal when it comes to doing dovetailing work, forming edges, cutting slots, trimming and a variety of decorative touches.
For mid-size wood routers, they usually have a motor capacity of 1-3/4 HP to up to 2-¼ HP. These routers are preferred by many woodworkers because of their power and capacity and their ability to perform a variety of tasks. such as panel cutting, designing a template and cutting circles.
The full-sized ones have the most power, with these routers having 3 HP of power to up to 3-¼ HP. This is more ideal for massive productions. However, their sheer size makes them more difficult to use for everyday operations.
3. Decide which base style is suitable for your needs.
Decide whether you can benefit more from fixed, plunge, combination, computerized or D-handle bases.
Of course, you also need to consider durability, manufacturer’s warranty and price.
What to Do Next?
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