If you want to create your own piece of furniture starting from a scratch; along with a vision you will also need creativity, woodworking skills and most importantly a good quality woodworking router. All the professionals use a woodworking router as a tool to work efficiently while creating a piece of furniture. If you are new to this field, you will soon find out that a woodworking router is a holy grail for furniture lovers.
Surprisingly, there are enough options on the market for a woodworking router to confound the customer and spoil them with choices. There are certain features in the wood router that you must check before purchasing one. It is needless to say that a woodworking router is not an item that is purchased frequently by anyone. Thus, one needs to do thorough research before investing in a woodworker model.
Before moving ahead with features of a woodworking router, you must know what exactly a woodworking router is and how it does work. A woodworking router is basically a power tool or a hand tool that a worker uses to hollow out or rout areas typically in a hard material like wood or plastic. Their tools are basically used in woodworking like cabinetry or handheld cutting.
The structure of a router consists of base housing with a vertically mounted electric motor which has a collet on the end with the shaft. The below portion is height adjustable and allows protrusion through the opening in a flat plate.
First and foremost thing is to work out a budget according to your purpose and carry out thorough research. Look for much information as you can about different varieties, types, models, features and more for a woodworking router.
There are two different types of woodworking routers:
When talking about the types of woodworking router, there is a major classification of two types: Plunge woodworking router and fixed woodworking router.
While using the plunge base router, you need to place the sole of the base on the face of the work when cutting the bit which is raised about the work. The motor is then turned on and the cutter lowers down into the work.
When using a fixed-base router, the cut depth of the tool is set before starting the tool. You need to securely clamp the woodcut into the workbench or the table to reduce any kind of movement.
You can either place the soleplate rested flat on the workpiece or place it at an angle with the bit above the work while you rock it over the work after the motor is turned on.
In both the plunge router and fixed router, the bit cuts its way in but the plunge router carries out this work efficiently and in a more refined manner as compared to the fixed woodwork router like a drill press.
Also, the plunge router is spring-loaded and is suitable for tasks including precise cuts, deep grooves, mortises, pattern work and other template work.
The fixed woodworking router, on the other hand, is great for any beginner woodworker as it can perform well on a bench or a router table. It is suitable for edge cuts, moulding and other straight-line precision. They are comparatively lighter than plunge woodworking router and are easy to use.
There is also one more kind of woodworking router which has features of both plunge and fixed router, they are called combo routers. Combo woodworking routers have both the bases and can be interchanged one after another as per the usage.
If you are not a professional, the decision of purchasing an ideal woodworking router is a difficult one. Since there are plenty of designs available in the market for a good woodworking router, it becomes more difficult to settle down with one option. Here are a few things you must consider and check before buying a good woodworking router.
1. Power of the woodworking router
If your intention is to work with hardwood cuts, it is ideal to go for 1-1/2 HP to 2-1/2 HP routers at max. Any router you put your money into must provide as much power as you need if you are paying a good price for it. There are models that also come with higher horsepower and call handle the heavy-duty usage and materials as well.
2. Woodworking router Controls
Adjustments and manipulation are imperative for any woodworking tools. To start off with, you must evaluate how easily you can access the router controls and adjust them accordingly. Check if the controls are placed in a way where they can be used to keep both your hands on the router and still access the on/off button. Also, pay attention to the kind of handles provided in the router, if your router has a D handle, it is ideal for beginners to use it more easily. The router should also have a safety switch and lockable features.
3. Future needs with the wood router
There are other accessories that come along with a woodworking router. Keep in mind the future aspect before investing in the tool. If you are going to need a router table in the future then go for them with features that can control the router easily when mounted on a table? A unit also should have a double stage height adjustment with a large access hole with maximum efficiency of the base.
4. Speed Control in the wood router
If you are not a professional in using a woodworking router then consider the speed control to be a very important feature for the router. You can start with a mitigating soft push and then go on to an average speed where you can control the tool easily.
5. Is the woodworking router Compatible
If you have a storage issue, you must take into account the compatibility of the machine. Since the woodworking router comes with other accessories like bushings, bits, collects and more; it is important to take into consideration if the machine is compatible enough to place it well.
1. Waste Reduction
If you wish to produce the furniture pieces in a large volume and do not have enough time, manual labour or money to execute the same, these woodworking routers are pretty accurate in producing the identical furniture pieces in a huge scale by eliminating any chances of human errors or high wastage levels.
2. Accuracy on Large Pieces
woodworking routers are also perfect for any projects that involve a large cutting edge fields. There are various sizes of routers available in the market and depending upon the type of application in hand, you can select any size appropriate for you. Once you have selected the perfect one, you will be able to cut out huge pieces of wood in mere fractions of seconds with a minimal margin of error.
3. The precision of Identical Pieces
When it comes to creating furniture on large scale, precision is a very important feature to achieve. For this purpose, the modern woodworking routers come with various digital features that will allow the user to produce tons of pieces that are identical. Irrespective of the volume, each of these repeated pieces is precise, free of errors and of high quality.
4. Safe for Use
Every woodworking router comes with an external housing that makes the tool quite easy and safe to use. Any cutting components are not exposed in the machine which significantly reduces the chances of any mishaps or injury while working with the routers.
5. Easy to Use
There is no hard manual labor required to operate the machine as it heavily relies on technology. Once you have mastered the skill of operating the router, it becomes very easy for a layman to get the work done easily without any hassle. All the routers come with an instruction manual guide and relevant pieces of training through videos also make it very easy for the users’ to operate the machine easily and conveniently.
You can be a professional woodworker or just a normal human being who happens to use the tool as a weekend hobby or once in a while for any household work. But if you want to buy a woodworking router, you should be aware of its shapes, sizes and other features.
First of all, you must identify the need for the purpose of the router. If you know what kind of cuts are you looking forward to, it will be easier for you to narrow down the choices available.
There are tons of options available in the market to buy the woodworking router. Once you have finalized the need for a suitable woodworking router, go ahead and find the suitable models on the internet and check out the reviews, features, and characteristics.
Once you have gone through the different brands, features, functions, and pricing of the woodworking router, find the best suitable model that fits your budget. You can check various websites to see whether there’s any price difference or ongoing offers and discounts for the machine.
After you have received the woodworking router, go through the instruction guide or a manual that you receive along with it and get familiar with the motors, bits, bases and more.
Unbox the machine and set up your router by attaching it with the necessary accessories, components, and other items.
Adjust your bit depth, set the speed accordingly and use an alternative surface to test where the router performs satisfactorily or not.
The efficiency and durability of your router will mainly depend on how you keep it. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to keep the wood router in the best possible conditions:
No matter how huge the brand is or how good of quality the woodworking router is, if you don’t maintain it well, it is not going to last for a long time in that condition. There are a few ways in which you can ensure that the woodworking router works well. Some of them are as follows:
The basic purpose of the woodworking router is to cut wood fast and effectively. You should always make sure the machine is sharp enough. Do not use the blunt blades as it strains the machine and can malfunction very easily.
woodworking router does not come in isolation, they come with various accessories and also with a storage case along. After you are done using the machine, make sure you put it back to the case safely in a correct setup.
The more you clean the router, the more smoothness you will get while using it. Remove any kind of dust or rust that builds up with time due to oxidization. Not just the router but every part which comes in contact with the wood surface must be kept clean and pristine to avoid the wood damage. Timely lubrication, oiling, and wax are imperative.
Starting from cutting grooves, carving signs, making raised panels, cutting slots, curating decorative edges, making moldings on a wooden material, laminating veneers, trimming plastic and wood and more.
Even though the router is used for multiple purposes, one thing that remains consistent is ensuring safety while using the router. The machine needs to fit well with bits and ball-bearing pilots before routing is handled. The bearings are used to keep the bit safely in course while working the router in position. The next step is to set the depth for the cut accordingly.
If you are a beginner in woodworking router, the chances of using the woodwork in the wrong direction are pretty high. Before beginning the process of using the tool. You must check the angle at which the bit is rotating. The router needs to be placed against the rotation direction of the bit.
Ideally, the movement of the router must be from left direction to right direction. But if you place the router in the middle, it will give you a much better positioning. This way, you get the router to cut better and smooth edges of the board.
1. Bosch woodworking router
Bosch is a legendary brand in the machinery and electronics industry. Needless to say, it is also one of the most reputed woodworking router manufacturers in the market. It boasts multiple models working under the skill set. The models contain trigger control systems, depth adjustments, quick-release motor clamps and more.
2. Dewalt woodworking router
Dewalt features some of the most advanced models for woodworking routers in the market. They consist of models with some of the finest features like ergonomic handles, soft start, electronic feedback, dust control, speed control and more.
3. Porter-Cable woodworking router
Another big name in the woodworking router is Porter Cable which contains all the models that are powerful, fast and precise. These machines have some of the most advanced features like superior motor, auto release and various other key features in the market.
4. Hitachi woodworking router
Since ancient times, Hitachi has proved to be a leading brand in the market for its reputation and efficiency. They have impressive woodworking routers with some of the most efficient features like durable motor housing, quiet tools, motor release clamp and more.
1. Dewalt DW618PK Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-SPeed Router Kit
2. Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit
3. Dewalt DWP611PK Variable Speed Compact Router
4. Dewalt DWP611 Variable Speed Compact
5. Porter-Cable 690LR Fixed-Base Router
6. Bosch 1617EVS Variable-Speed Router
7. Bosch PR20EVSK Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router
8. Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router
9. Black & Decker RP250 Variable Speed Plunge Router
10. Dewalt DW618B3 Plunge Base and Fixed base
If you are looking for a medium-range woodworking router which is a combination of both plunge and fixed base router, DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP is the product for you. It comes with variable speed and is a true combination of convenience and power. The router boasts multiple desired features which are ideal for both beginners and professional wood crafters. It can be easily installed with a router table for added comfort when you are working with heavy applications. The price that it comes in is totally worth for the feature that it provides.
Features of Dewalt Woodworking Router
– Anti-dust seal which protects the tool from wear and tear of dust and rust.
– The heavy-duty materials used in manufacturing the machine makes is more durable.
– The 2.25 HP/12 Amp powerful motor can deliver up to 24000 RPM energy
– The micro-fine depth adjustment is accurate for precise cuts
– The spindle lock button facilitates the single wrench changes
– The large hole sub-base makes the machine stable
– The quick-release motor is easy to change bits.
– The easy depth adjustment does not need any external tool
– Powerful motor and variable speed for enhanced operations
– D-handle sub-base ensures more comfort and control
– Durable housing that lasts longer and stands the test of time
– Clear LEXAN sub-base for longer usage
– It is quite hard to follow the manual guidelines that come with the tool.
– The manual guideline is hard to understand for a beginner
– The product is priced on a higher and expensive side
– The base tends to vibrate while using the router
The research has found this model of Bosch to be one of the most efficient woodworking routers in the market. This router is technically very sound and has great routing capabilities which can handle any intensity of the workload.
Fitted with aluminium housing, this router has 2.25 HP motor which delivers power capability up to 25000 RPM. The router will fulfil the cutting requirements of a beginner and a professional.
Features of Bosch Woodworking Router:
– The variable speed of the router will enhance the speed of your task
– Since the router is a combination of both fixed and plunge, you will have the versatility of both.
– The router is compatible with both ¼ and ½ collets.
– The depth adjustment is available which enhances the accuracy of cuts
– As you can use the sub-base option template guide, it is easy to centre the bit of the router.
– The router comes with an auto-release collet chuck
– The contoured soft grip can handle the machine in a more controlled and comfortable manner.
– The double-insulated grip enhances safety and avoids and potential injury or mishap
– It is compatible with a template guide adapter
– The machine needs to be wrenched to change the bits and collets
– The machine’s bushing gets clogged while using on the router table with sawdust.
– It is difficult to change the bases for a beginner
– There is no adapter for the template guide.
Another great model for woodworking router is the DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque with a horsepower of 1.25. The ergonomic features, easy control, stunning and sleek design and top-notch performance makes the router worth every penny spent by the user. The router is a combination of both fixed and plunge base which makes the usage more versatile and convenient.
Features of Dewalt Woodworking Router:
– The user has more flexibility of usage with both fixed and plunge router base
– The variable speed goes from 16000 to 27000 RPM which can help the user perform the task better.
– You can easily minimize torque using the soft start feature in this router
– The machine is backed up with ¼ collet ideal which can be used easily as a backup router.
– The stability increases because of the D-shaped fixed base.
– Operates quietly and does not make any unbearable sound or emit any gas
– The machine makes minimal sounds and operates quietly
– The ergonomic design performs really well.
– Features both fixed and plunge base
– You can extend the performance using additional accessories
– The machine has variable speed and can operate easily for various tasks
– The machine is not cordless as it comes with 8 foot 18 gauge.
– The standard base is not compatible with bushings
This woodworking router is specially designed to have the capacity of handling multiple complex routing operations and application such as small bevel cuts, heavy flush trimming and more. The highly powered machine comes with LED features in order to maximize the visibility of the working space. Along with the LED, there are various other additional features that make the operation and handling of the machine very easy.
If you wish to use the woodworking router for tasks like staircase making, plastic designing, fibreglass designing, kitchen remodelling or any other carpentry tasks, this is the perfect tool for you.
Features of Dewalt DWP611 Woodworking Router:
– The variable speed control feature helps accelerate the speed of the bit for using other applications.
– The clear sub-base is visible due to the LED lights
– The adjustment ring can be used for maximum control
– The soft-start feature helps maintain the speed
– Even the toughest applications of wood can be delivered through 1.25 HP
– The height of the router is adjustable
– The adjustment ring is accurate for cutting depth.
– The machine maintains a stable motor location throughout
– The machine does not start with a jerk because of the soft-start feature
– The variable speed control feature is ideal for a wide range of operations.
– Because of the LED lights, you can work efficiently even in the dark or with minimum light in the background as it makes the working space bright.
– The price range lies on the more expensive side as compared to other routers
– It lacks a hard safety case and the storage of the machine and its accessories becomes difficult
– The motor needs to be removed for changing the bits
– The base width is not suitable to use for everyone.
Porter-Cable 690LR router is manufactured specifically for accurate and precise cuts which are delivered through the incredible 27,500 RPM adhering to its 1-3/4 HP motor. The powerful machine is compatible easily with both ½ and ¼ inch collets that makes it very convenient to use both for household purpose and professionally in a workshop. The ergonomic design comes with a removable bit and the under table stop makes the operation very easy even for the beginners.
Features of Porter Cable Woodworking Router:
– The powerful motor of 1-3/4 HP can handle the heavy-duty tasks as well.
– Available in both ½ and ¼ inch collets
– One can easily release the motor and make the coarse height adjustments
– The machine delivers outstanding 27,500 RPM from one single motor itself making the router extremely powerful.
– It comes with a micro depth adjustment system which delivers micro-fine adjustments.
– The changing procedure is extremely easy with the auto-release collet system.
– Compatible with other routers as well because of its fixed base.
– The machine is long-lasting because of the aluminium housing
– It is very easy to handle and operate because of multiple handles.
– The ball bearings and power switches are dust and debris proof since they are sealed.
– Constant performance is delivered because of 27500 RPM.
– There is no portability because it is a fixed router
– The location of the power switch is not appropriate
– There is no storage case and the chances of naked accessories collecting dust and rust are higher in this product
– The small router cannot handle stile bits and rails
This Bosch 1617EVS Variable-Speed Router is a combination of both fixed and plunge woodworking router which is the popular choice of router among the professional woof crafters. It features all the basic technical capabilities of a woodworking router. The base is fixed and is affixed perfectly to the router table and can be used freehand as well with the height adjustment feature.
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 economical price making it one of your best investment options.
Features of Bosch Speed Router:
– The machine comes with a solid base which is fixed to the table and can be used freehand as well.
– The well-angled handles are comfortable to use for both beginners and professionals
– The 2-1/4 horsepower is able to handle the control of the router table
– It can generate power from 8000 to 25000 RPM.
– The speed can be kept of check with the electronic variable speed.
– Both ¼ and ½ inch collets are used
– Both fixed and plunge base for flexibility.
– The motor generates RPM of 25000 which is an excellent routing power.
– It contains both ½ and ¼ collets and can run on variable speed making it convenient to use
– The variable speed feature is perfect for varied kinds of task.
– Excellent depth adjustments with both fixed and plunge base.
– Comes along with a storage compartment.
– Wrenches are required for changing bits.
– A special adapter is needed for using third party collars
– Not suitable for beginners because of the heavy machinery and complicated design structure
Another masterpiece woodworking router is Bosch PR20EVSK which is proven to be one of the most efficient and versatile woodworking routers in the market. It comes with a great power capability of 8000 to 25000 RPM. The 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor and inbuilt constant response are perfect for accurate and precise woodcuts. The usage of both plunge and fixed base offers way more flexibility for all kinds of routing jobs.
Features of Bosch Variable Speed Router:
– With both plunge and fixed bases, this woodworking router is a combination kit which can run on variable speed
– Fit for diverse projects with its soft start motor
– For precise and accurate cute, the precision centring design is perfect
– Rugged design for ensuring durability.
– Lock system for extra safety to prevent any mishaps and slips
– Storage compartments for all accessories
– Ergonomic design facilitates easy control
– Precise and accurate results with the plunge lock mechanism
– Comes with a micro-fine depth adjustments
– Storage compartments are good for storing accessories
– Stable speed control according to your preference
– Cannot use external collars without a special adapter
– Two different wrenches are required for changing bits
– Heavyweight and bulky for all the components
The combination of fixed and plunge router from Hitachi is famous for its reputation of being a versatile woodworking router. It has 3 wrenches, centering cage, soft start, a guide adapter, 2-1/4 Hp motor and various other incredible features. The router is extremely powerful and has an ability to generate 8000 to 24000 RPM without producing any loud or disturbing noise. It is not only great in performance but also does not cause any disturbance while using.
Features of Hitachi Woodworking Router:
– The 11 Amp variable-speed motor is ideal for all kinds of operation
– The gradual start features avoid any kind of a jerk
– The electronic feedback system provides accuracy
– The stable fixed base is comfortable and easy to operate.
– The accurate fine depth adjustment is available
– It also has a storage case
– The smooth variable speed motor makes the operation very easy
– Does not make any loud disturbing noise
– Affordable price range and delivers good performance
– Very easy to operate for both beginners and professionals
– Hard case storage for storing essential components
– Soft start feature to ensure a smooth start without any interruptions
– Two wrenches are sufficient for changing bits
– Adjusting the depth of the fixed base is challenging
– Tuning micro fin depth is complicated
– The location of the collet is inappropriate
For all the beginners trying their hands on a woodworking router for the first time, this Black & Decker RP250 10-Amp 2-1/4-Inch Variable Speed Plunge Router is an entry-level router which holds the capability of handling most of the routing operation both for household purpose and for a workshop. The router is made out of durable material like metallic casing with plastic motor cover and handles. It will last for years and years because of the robust design.
The pre-installed ¼ inch collet is a bit restrictive for professional wood crafters but can handle most of the routing tasks. The router is totally worth the money if you are looking for an affordable yet easy to use woodworking router.
Features of Black & Decker RP250 Variable SPeed Plunge Router:
– The smooth spring resistance creates a smooth plunge action from the very start to the lowest point.
– It has a pre-installed dust collection
– A fully functional edge guide
– The plunge base is ideal for beginners
– Variable speed fits all kinds of projects
– Adjustment of speed makes the working easy as per the convenience of the user
– Dust collection avoids any dust or rust to accumulate on the machine
– Sturdy base along with motor housing
– Enhanced power capability with varied performance
– Edge guide
– Spindle lock to ensure extra safety
– Relatively smaller handles
– ¼ inch collet only
– Cannot mount guide bushings
– The plunge lock is hard to use
One of the best combination woodworking router in the market. The DEWALT DW618B3 has kept its brand name intact and delivering high performance with a unique D handle base. The user can have good contact with the working area while using the machine.
It has both plunge and fixed base which makes the machine even more durable, useful, and versatile and long-lasting. You can easily handle routing tasks without any problems. Apart from the D-handle base, there are three other bases of dust collection system which comes with a variable speed motor. If you are looking for a high-performance machine under a strict budget, this tool is worth every penny you spend.
Features of Dewalt DW618B3 Woodworking Router
– The variable speed range from 8000 to 24000 RPM and is suitable to handle different types of applications.
– The three based of plunge, fixed and D handle offers versatile functionality
– It is compatible with both ¼ and ½ inch collets making it pretty versatile
– It as a separate dust collection system which can collect up to 95% of the dust to ensure the working area is squeaky clean.
– Easy to operate the switch with both hands for right and left cord set locations.
– The self-release slots collet system prevents frozen bits and ensures the bit retention
– There are a total of three bases like plunge, fixed and D handle
– Variable speed motor
– Dust collection system that can collect up to 95% of dust
– Soft start feature
– Lexan sub-base for maximum visibility
– Ergonomic design
– Three bases combination with complex beginners
– The wrenches are used to remove bits can be challenging
– The sight of bushings and coil might be distracting while using the tool
– Making height adjustments can be quite a challenge for beginners who are not used to using the tool professionally.
Buying a woodworking router is not a very complicated task if you have gone through the features, advantages, pros and cons of all the listed woodworking router recommended in the list. Once you have worked out the purpose of use and budget, everything else follows smoothly. We have provided our unbiased woodworking router reviews based on the tool’s operation, customer reviews, expert insights and overall performance.
No matter which machine you put your money on, you must be familiar with the working operation and user manual guide before trying your hands on it. Make sure you are through with the safety instructions to avoid any potential mishaps, damages and danger of injury.
Consult the experts before putting your money finally into w woodworking router. It is definitely a long term investment. Therefore, you must ensure that the material used in making the tool is long-lasting, all the accessories are provided with the tool, there is a proper storage case for every accessory, and you need to regularly clean and maintain the tool and compare the prices on various website to get the best possible offer.