Best Wood Router | Reviews of Powerful and Precise Models

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Routers are useful tools that can aid in shaping the wood you are working on, and they are indispensable when it comes to detailing 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 many 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.

Our best pick is the DEWALT DWP611PK. This wood router comes with a powerful motor with variable speed control. It is highly durable and it comes with dual LEDs to provide you with more visibility.

The Best Wood Routers Are:

ProductDetails
1. DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router

  • Speed: 16,000-27,000 RPM
  • Motor: 7 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds
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2. Bosch PR20EVS Variable Speed Palm Router

  • Speed: 16,000-35,000 RPM
  • Motor: 5.6 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
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3. Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit

  • Speed: 10,000-30,000 RPM
  • Motor: 6.5 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
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4. Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit

  • Speed: 8,000-24,000 RPM
  • Motor: 11 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds
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5. Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Wood Router

  • Speed: 8,000-25,000 RPM
  • Motor: 12 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 18.2 pounds
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6. Porter-Cable 690LR Fixed Base Wood Router

  • Speed: 27,000 RPM
  • Motor: 11 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
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1. DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router — Best Woodworking 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.

This tool allows you to optimize the speed of the bit to suit the material you are working on, thanks to its variable speed control. The variable speed range of this wood router is from 16,000 RPM to 27,000 RPM.

The 7-amp motor also has a soft-start feature, and this feature prevents the tool from starting to full speed immediately you switch it on. It also has full-time electronic feedback that helps to maintain the speed of the motor and increase its durability and performance.

This is undoubtedly one of the best woodworking routers on the market, thanks to its dual functionality. You can use this tool as a fixed or plunge based router. With a standard base, the depth travel of this tool is 1.5 inches while the depth travel is up to 2 inches with a plunge base.

It comes with dual LEDs to brighten up your workpiece and provide you with more visibility. This router comes with an adjustable ring that allows for bit changes to within 1/64 inches. Since it is a 2-in-1 tool, the motor transitions easily and quickly between plunge and fixed bases.

Specs

  • Speed: 16,000-27,000 RPM
  • Motor: 7 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed dial for more control
  • Dual LEDs for more visibility
  • Durable

Cons

  • It is on the higher end of the price spectrum
  • Some users said it gets hot quickly

Verdict

Ergonomic and Lightweight: This is an ideal choice because of its many features. However, as a whole, this is a machine that you can easily use because of how comfortable and lightweight it is.

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2. Bosch PR20EVS Variable Speed Palm 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.

If you are looking for the best wood router that you can use to work for a very long time without feeling fatigued, then you should consider this tool. It is super lightweight and compact, as it weighs just 3.3 pounds. It is the lightest wood router on our list.

The impressive 5.6-amp motor also delivers variable speed, with a no-load speed of 16,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM. This wood router is convenient and it allows for free workflow, thanks to its angled cord exit that keeps the power cord out of the way when working. It is also known for its durability, thanks to its rugged aluminum base. It is precise, solid, and very stable.

It comes with a quick clamp system that allows you to adjust the motor easily or move it from base to base. You can also do a micro and macro adjustment with this tool, thanks to its precise and fast depth adjustment system.

It is also a highly versatile option, as it allows for easy and quick bit changes using a spindle lock and one wrench or two wrenches.

Specs

  • Speed: 16,000-35,000 RPM
  • Motor: 5.6 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

Pros

  • One of the most affordable wood routers on the market
  • Compact, lightweight, and very easy to use
  • Comes with finger guards, which enhances grip
  • Reliable and durable

Cons

  • Some users said they did not like the height adjustment feature

Verdict

Inexpensive Choice: For those who do not want to break the bank, this one from Bosch is a perfect choice. While it is more affordable than others are, it still has many great features that can give more expensive brands a run for their money.

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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 a more effective adjustment of depth. You can also release and change the base with ease.

This wood router comes with a 6.5-amp motor that delivers variable speed ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 rotations per minute. This speed range is ideal for any wood routing job.

It is also versatile, as it accepts industrial standard template guides. It comes with a soft-start feature that makes the motor start up smoothly. With this feature, your wood router will not start to full speed immediately you turn it on.

The electronic speed control feature is also there to ensure the motor maintains constant speed under load. You can also remove the base quickly and easily to install other bases.

Changing bits with this router is very easy, thanks to its shaft lock feature. For easy penetration, this tool features a plunge depth capacity of 1-3/8 inches. For enhanced performance and handling, this tool features a high visibility base design.

Specs

  • Speed: 10,000-30,000 RPM
  • Motor: 6.5 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds

Pros

  • Motor is housed in an aluminum casing for the best durability
  • Provides the most accuracy
  • Ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue
  • Comes with all the accessories you would need

Cons

  • More expensive than other models

Verdict

Get Precise Cuts All the Time: This is a complete kit that should get you started with your woodwork right away. You can achieve many intricate designs with the help of this one.

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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 its 2-stage motor release clamp. You can maintain a stable speed as you work. Unlike other routers, this one produces relatively lower noise levels

The 11-amp motor delivers up to 2.25 horsepower for controlled, precise cuts. It has an electronic speed control feature that helps to maintain a constant speed even when the load varies.

This unit generates less noise, as the noise level is only 79.5 dB. The package includes ½-inch collet chuck, 1/4-inch collet chuck, template guide adapter, 16mm wrench, 23mm wrench, 4mm hex bar wrench, sub-base plate, hex socket HD bolt (10 pieces), and a carrying case.

This wood router is also great for fine groove cutting, trimming, shaping, chamfering, window cutting, and cutting patterns. The variable speed range of this wood router is from 8,000 to 24,000 rotations per minute. Being a highly versatile wood router, it accepts 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch bits. This means you can use it with any bit set.

It also features an ergonomic design that makes it very easy and comfortable to handle. It is a 2-in-1 tool, and it allows you to switch between the fixed and plunge base easily.

The plunge base weighs only 9.9 pounds while the fixed base weighs only 7.3 pounds. As a bonus, the plunge base comes with a fine-depth adjustment knob for more precise depth control.

Specs

  • Speed: 8,000-24,000 RPM
  • Motor: 11 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds

Pros

  • A lot of power for more difficult woodwork
  • Produces less noise
  • More control over its speed for consistent results
  • Comes with virtually everything you need

Cons

  • Some said it required underside protection so that sawdust will not go flying everywhere.

Verdict

Great Adjustment Depth: You can control your cuts more with this unit that has good adjustment depth function.

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5. Bosch 1617EVSPK Variable Speed Wood Router

Our next wood router review is on another Bosch product. That is because the Bosch 1617EVSPK is one of the best wood routers on the market, and it is the number one choice of many woodworkers.

This tool is also known for its great performance and versatility. It comes in handy from doing plunge cuts to laminate cutting, edge forming, and even slot cutting.

You can use it to handle a wide range of projects, thanks to its versatility. When it comes to performance, this wood router comes with a powerful 12-amp motor that delivers more than enough cutting power and torque to handle the toughest jobs with ease. It is also one of the most durable wood routers out there, thanks to its aluminum construction.

It comes with both fixed and plunged bases. The plunge base has soft-grip, ergonomically designed handles while the fixed base has wooden handles. The handles help to maximize user control, and they also make the tool very easy and comfortable to handle.

It comes with several user-friendly features, including a constant rotation per minute, which allows you to focus on your project and not worry about holding down the activation trigger.

Included in the package are 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collet chucks, collet nut wrench, shaft wrench, chip shields, and a carrying case. It features variable speed control, with a no-load speed of 8,000 to 25,000 rotations per minute.

Specs

  • Speed: 8,000-25,000 RPM
  • Motor: 12 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 18.2 pounds

Pros

  • Ideal for professional and heavy-duty jobs
  • Very durable construction
  • Incredibly powerful 12-amp motor
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A bit heavy

Verdict

Versatility: This is a highly versatile wood router and it is powerful enough to handle any routing project. It is also a highly durable wood router.

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6. Porter-Cable 690LR Fixed Base Wood Router

If you are looking for a wood router that delivers very high speeds, then you should consider the Porter-Cable 690LR Fixed Based Wood router. It is a single-speed wood router, which might be a drawback for some applications. However, the speed it delivers is very powerful and it is ideal for a wide range of projects.

It comes with a precision-machined aluminum base and motor housing that helps to increase the durability of the tool. The 11-amp motor of this tool produces up to 1.75 HP, which delivers a single-speed of 27,500 RPM. It also comes with a cam-lock lever that allows for easy motor release and height adjustment.

This unit features a micrometer depth adjuster that is accurate to 1/128-inch. It allows for easy and quick bit changing, thanks to its auto-release collet system. It also allows you to use all kinds of bits, as it comes with both 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch shank bits.

Specs

  • Speed: 27,000 RPM
  • Motor: 11 Amps
  • Power Source: Electric-Powered
  • Weight: 9.4 pounds

Pros

  • Delivers very high speed
  • Simple coarse height adjustment
  • Easy and quick bit changing
  • Comfortable grips for extended use

Cons

  • A single-speed motor

Verdict

High-Speed: If you are looking for a wood router with very high speed, you should consider this option. It is a single-speed router, but it delivers high performance.

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Types Of Wood Routers And Their Benefits

When searching for the 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 from.

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 does not 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 cannot change the depth anymore. This is why this is not the best to use when it comes to gouging.

However, if you have projects that are done repeatedly, this should be an ideal choice for you. These routers are also quite affordable.

Plunge Router

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.

Combination Router

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.

CNC Routers

These are specialist kinds 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 the chances of wasting wood.

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:

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, but it will also help create a safer working environment.

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.

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. You can also check here to learn how to maintain your wood router.

Conclusion

We hope our wood router reviews have sufficiently guided you toward a great purchase decision. Make sure you visit our homepage for more ideas on the best woodworking tools to buy. Get valuable information and tips when it comes to buying the right products.

Our top pick for the best wood router is the DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router because it comes with a very powerful motor that delivers great speed. It is very easy to use and it comes with several user-friendly features.