Best Router for Woodworking: Top Picks for 2023

Woodworking is an art that requires precision and attention to detail. One of the essential tools in any woodworker’s arsenal is a router. A router is a versatile tool that can be used for shaping, cutting, and trimming wood. It is a must-have for any woodworking enthusiast.

When it comes to choosing the best router for woodworking, there are several factors to consider. The first thing to consider is the type of work you will be doing. If you are working on small projects, a handheld router will be suitable for you. However, if you are working on large projects, a table router will be more appropriate.

Another critical factor to consider is the power of the router. The power of the router determines how fast and how deep it can cut. A router with more power will be able to cut through thicker wood more quickly than one with less power.

Finally, the quality of the router is also crucial. A high-quality router will last longer and perform better than a low-quality one. It is essential to invest in a router that is durable and made from high-quality materials.

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In this article, we will review the best routers for woodworking and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. We spent several hours researching and testing different routers to identify the ones that offer the best performance, durability, and value for money.

Best Routers for Woodworking

If you’re a woodworking enthusiast, you know how important it is to have a high-quality router. Whether you’re creating intricate designs or cutting grooves, a good router can make all the difference in the world. But with so many routers on the market, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best routers for woodworking. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and we’re confident that one of these routers will be perfect for your needs.

BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

If you’re looking for a powerful and durable router for woodworking, the BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router is a great option.

Pros

  • The aluminum construction makes this router one of the most durable on the market.
  • The built-in constant response circuitry ensures that the router maintains a constant speed throughout the cut, resulting in cleaner and more accurate results.
  • The router is easy to use thanks to the microfine bit-depth adjustment and the rounded hardwood handles that maximize user control.

Cons

  • The router is on the heavier side, weighing in at 10.2 pounds.
  • Some users have reported issues with the plunge base.
  • The router is on the pricier side compared to other models.

This router is a workhorse that can handle even the toughest woodworking projects. The 12 amp motor and adjustable speed dial allow you to set the optimal speed for more or less power, making it versatile enough to handle a variety of tasks.

The fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting to a router table positioned in a common 3-hole pattern, and the router is compatible with optional template guide adapters for easy change of Bosch quick-release template guides and common threaded template guides. The kit also includes a 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collet chuck, a shaft wrench, a collet nut wrench, chip shields, a T-handle hex height adjustment wrench, and 3pk 10-24 screws for table mounting.

Overall, if you’re willing to invest in a high-quality router for woodworking, the BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router is a great choice. Its durability, ease of use, and power make it a reliable tool for any woodworking project.

BOSCH 1617EVSPK Wood 12 Amp Router Tool Combo Kit – 2.25 Horsepower Plunge Router & Fixed Base with a Variable Speed

BOSCH Router Kit

If you’re looking for a versatile and durable router kit, the BOSCH 1617EVSPK Wood 12 Amp Router Tool Combo Kit is a great option. With its powerful motor and advanced speed control technology, this kit can handle a broad range of routing applications with precision and accuracy.

Pros

  • The kit is versatile and can be used for a broad range of applications, making it one of the most widely used routers for woodworking.
  • The aluminum construction makes this one of the most durable wood routers yet with wooden handles on a fixed base and a soft grip handle on a plunge base.
  • The built-in constant response circuitry maintains a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results.

Cons

  • The router kit is relatively heavy, weighing in at 18.2 pounds.
  • The router kit is relatively expensive compared to other options on the market.
  • The router kit may be too powerful for some users, making it difficult to control for beginners.

This router kit includes a plunge base, fixed base, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collet chucks, shaft wrench, collet nut wrench, chip shields, and carrying case. Both bases feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design for accuracy and control. The kit also includes comfortable forged 16-mm and 24-mm bit change wrenches and a T-handle hex-height adjustment wrench.

With a powerful 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor and a versatile speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM, this router kit can handle even tough routing jobs with ease. The variable speed dial allows you to set the optimal speed for the routing task and material, and the integrated soft-start feature reduces torque upon start-up for a much smoother transition and easier handling.

This versatile kit provides all the components necessary for fixed-depth routing and plunge routing, as well. Microfine bit depth adjustment systems on both bases allow for accurate and fast bit depth adjustments. The microfine adjustment has an overall range of one inch and is accurate to 1/64 inch.

Both bases also feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design, which allows the bit to be centered with the subbase or optional template guides (sold separately). This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guidance devices such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures.

Both of the included bases, fixed and plunge, feature quick clamp systems for quick tool-free conversions, so moving the motor between the two bases takes only seconds and requires no tools. The plunge base features soft grip handles for easier operation, and the fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting it to router tables. The fixed base’s advanced bit height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table.

The Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit is durable and built for years of use. The motor housing and bases are now made of aluminum, and the power switch is now completely dust-sealed for added durability. The rugged carrying case keeps all of the components protected. This routing system is backed by a one-year limited warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, the BOSCH 1617EVSPK Wood 12 Amp Router Tool Combo Kit is a versatile and durable option for woodworkers looking for precision and accuracy in their routing tasks. While it may be relatively heavy and expensive, it offers a range of advanced features and is built to last.

SILVEL Wood Router

SILVEL Wood Router

If you’re looking for a compact and versatile router for woodworking, the SILVEL Wood Router is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The transparent cover allows you to have a clear view of the processing conditions and control flying sawdust.
  • Comes with a variety of accessories, including trimming guides and linear guides, ensuring accurate cuts.
  • Widely used in woodworking, cabinet and furniture processing, chamfering, grooving, surface treatment, woodworking planning, DIY crafts processing, veneer, and other similar materials.

Cons

  • The router may not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
  • The router may have a shorter lifespan compared to more expensive models.
  • The router may be difficult to adjust for precise cuts.

This router kit is a fantastic option for beginners and hobbyists who need an affordable and easy-to-use router. The SILVEL Wood Router is designed to be compact, allowing you to work in tight spaces with ease. The transparent cover is a great feature that allows you to have a clear view of the processing conditions and control flying sawdust, making it easier to work with.

The kit comes with a variety of accessories, including trimming guides and linear guides, ensuring accurate cuts. The linear guide makes the thickened model stable and not deformed, and the linear processing is stable. Trimming guides keep the rollers running in curves, ensuring accurate cuts. You can tighten the router bit with a wrench.

This router kit is widely used in woodworking, cabinet and furniture processing, chamfering, grooving, surface treatment, woodworking planning, DIY crafts processing, veneer, and other similar materials. It is a versatile tool that can help you achieve a variety of woodworking tasks.

Overall, the SILVEL Wood Router is a great option for beginners and hobbyists who need an affordable and easy-to-use router. It may not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks, and it may have a shorter lifespan compared to more expensive models. However, it is a great option for those who need a compact and versatile router for woodworking.

Dkenicor Wood Router Tool

Dkenicor Wood Router Tool

If you’re looking for a compact and easy-to-use wood router tool, the Dkenicor Wood Router Tool is a great option.

Pros

  • The powerful 800W copper motor with a speed of 30000 RPM provides enough power to finish trimming, milling, and engraving.
  • The compact router body is easier to hold and control, and the rubber-covered handle provides a comfortable grip sense to hold.
  • The wood trimmer router tool is widely used in cabinet and furniture processing, cabinet, handicraft production, wood veneer, and other similar materials chamfering, grooving, surface finishing, curve cutting, planing wood edge, pattern processing operations activities.

Cons

  • The router is not perfectly balanced, so you get lots of vibration with anything but small bits, and you may experience some kickback.
  • The motor may spark, smoke, and lose power after a short period of use, and the included bits are extremely dull and may have contributed to the early motor failure due to increased load.
  • There are parts that are made of plastic that may not last the test of time, such as the clear adjustable sleeve and height adjustment gear.

Overall, the Dkenicor Wood Router Tool is a good choice for DIY enthusiasts and woodworkers who need a compact and versatile tool for their woodworking projects. The extensive use of the router and the complete accessories make it a great value for the price. However, if you’re a contractor or need a more powerful and durable router, you may want to consider a more expensive option.

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

If you’re looking for a compact router that delivers improved performance, the Makita RT0701CX7 is a great option.

Pros

  • The variable speed control dial (10,000 – 30,000 RPM) enables you to match the speed to the application, allowing you to work with a variety of materials.
  • The smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system allows for more precise settings, giving you greater control over your work.
  • The slim and ergonomically designed body increases comfort and control, making it easier to use for extended periods of time.

Cons

  • The fixed base is not as versatile as a plunge base, limiting the types of cuts you can make.
  • The cord is not very long, so you may need to use an extension cord depending on your workspace.
  • The dust collection system could be better, as it doesn’t capture all of the sawdust generated during use.

Overall, the Makita RT0701CX7 is a solid choice for those in need of a compact router. Its powerful motor, variable speed control, and ergonomic design make it a pleasure to use. However, if you need a router with more versatility or a longer cord, you may want to consider other options.

SKIL 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo

SKIL 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo

If you’re looking for a versatile and powerful woodworking router, the SKIL 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo is a great option. With features like soft start technology, precise depth adjustments, and speed control, this router provides the power and control you need for a variety of tasks.

Pros

  • The router includes both fixed and plunge bases, allowing you to easily switch between the two for different tasks.
  • The speed control LCD display lets you select the bit type and material for suggested speed settings based on the task at hand.
  • The soft start function provides a safe and controlled start to routing.

Cons

  • The fixed base depth of cut is limited to 1-3/4 inches, which may not be sufficient for all tasks.
  • Some users have reported issues with the collets, which may need to be replaced or adjusted.
  • The router is relatively heavy at 14.3 pounds, which may make it difficult to use for extended periods of time.

Overall, the SKIL 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo is a solid choice for anyone looking for a versatile and powerful woodworking router. With its soft start technology, precise depth adjustments, and speed control, it provides the power and control you need for a variety of tasks. However, the limited depth of cut and weight may be drawbacks for some users.

AKYPACH Wood Router Tool

AKYPACH Wood Router Tool

If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile wood router, the AKYPACH Wood Router Tool is an excellent option.

Pros

  • The router is made of high-quality aluminum and plastic, making it durable and long-lasting. The shock-absorbing soft handle increases comfort and durability.
  • With 800 watts of input power and a 30,000 RPM motor, this router provides enough power for wiring and fine-tuning applications. The effective heat dissipation and protection of the machine make it anti-vibration, practical, and easy to operate.
  • The transparent base design allows for high precision and easy identification during processing. The adjustable knob and scale can be easily adjusted, making it easy to operate.

Cons

  • The router may not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Some users have reported difficulty with the trimming guide rail and rollers running along the curve.
  • The router may not be as powerful as some higher-end models.

Overall, the AKYPACH Wood Router Tool is a great option for those looking for a versatile and affordable wood router. It’s easy to use, durable, and comes with a variety of accessories to make your woodworking projects easier.

WORKPRO Compact Router Kit

WORKPRO Compact Router Kit

If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile router for your woodworking projects, the WORKPRO Compact Router Kit is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The 6.5 amp motor provides plenty of power for routing and trimming applications, and the 6-speed control dial allows you to adjust the speed from 12,000-30,000 RPM to handle different usage scenarios.
  • The smooth rack and pinion depth adjustment features ensure precise operation for a variety of cabinetry and woodworking applications. The rubber-wrapped handles provide a comfortable grip and reduce hand pressure for long-term work. The transparent dust hood controls flying wood chips and gives you an overview of the processing conditions.
  • This handheld corded compact router is widely used for wood trimming, wood grooving, woodworking, wood edge planing, handicrafts making, cabinet making, surface treatment, curve cutting, pattern processing, chamfering, and DIY. The kit includes multiple accessories such as wrenches, a straight guide, a trimming guide, a dust collector, a template guide, 1/4” and 3/8″ collet cones, and more.

Cons

  • The dust collection system could be improved.
  • The corded design may limit your mobility.
  • Some users have reported that the router can be noisy.

Overall, the WORKPRO Compact Router Kit is a great choice for both beginners and experienced woodworkers. Its powerful motor, precision operation, and multiple application scenarios make it a versatile and reliable tool for a wide range of projects. If you’re looking for a compact router that offers great value for your money, this kit is definitely worth considering.

AVID POWER Compact Router Tools

AVID POWER Compact Router Tools

If you’re looking for a compact router tool that can handle a variety of routing and trimming applications, the AVID POWER Compact Router Tools are a great option to consider. With a powerful motor and variable speed control, this tool is designed to deliver precise operation and clean results.

Pros

  • The 6.5-Amp motor with max horsepower of 1.25 delivers abundant power for a variety of routing and trimming applications.
  • The variable speed control dial (10000-32000 RPM) allows users to choose a more appropriate speed for different materials.
  • The smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system ensures precise operation for a range of cabinetry and woodworking applications.

Cons

  • The base could be larger in diameter, making it a little hard to hold perfectly perpendicular.
  • The quality could be better.
  • The aluminum body and base could be more durable.

This compact router tool is designed with the user in mind, featuring an ergonomic design with a rubber-covered handle for a comfortable grip. The quick locking system allows for convenient depth adjustments and base changes, while the dual bright LED lights illuminate dark working areas.

The dust hood removes dust to leave a clean workspace, making it easier to see what you’re doing and ensuring that your finished product looks great. The AVID POWER Compact Router Tools also come with a range of accessories, including 5 router bits, an edge guide, a roller guide, a dust hood, 3/8” and 1/4” collets, a wrench, and a tool bag.

Overall, if you’re looking for a compact router tool that delivers powerful performance and precise results, the AVID POWER Compact Router Tools are definitely worth considering. With their variable speed control, smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system, and ergonomic design, these tools are designed to make your woodworking projects easier and more enjoyable.

Buying Guide

Choosing the best router for woodworking can be a daunting task, with so many options available in the market. However, by considering a few key features, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect router for your needs.

Power

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a router is its power. The power of a router is measured in horsepower (HP) or amps. A router with higher horsepower or amps will be able to handle tougher jobs and cut through harder materials. If you plan on using your router for heavy-duty work, it’s recommended to choose a router with at least 2 HP or 10 amps.

Speed

Another important factor to consider is the speed of the router. The speed of a router is measured in rotations per minute (RPM). A higher RPM will allow you to work faster and more efficiently. However, it’s important to note that a higher speed can also lead to more mistakes and errors. It’s recommended to choose a router with a variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the speed to fit the task at hand.

Base

The base of a router is another important feature to consider. A fixed base router is ideal for edge work and straight cuts, while a plunge base router is better for intricate designs and curved cuts. Some routers come with both fixed and plunge bases, giving you the best of both worlds.

Dust Collection

Woodworking can be a messy job, and dust collection is an important feature to consider. A router with a dust collection system will help keep your workspace clean and safe. Look for routers with a built-in dust port or the ability to attach a dust collection system.

Ergonomics

Finally, consider the ergonomics of the router. A comfortable grip and easy-to-use controls will make your woodworking experience more enjoyable and less tiring. Look for routers with soft-grip handles and intuitive controls.

By considering these key features, you can find the best router for your woodworking needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I consider when selecting a woodworking router?

When selecting a woodworking router, consider the following features:

  • Power: Look for routers with at least 1-1/2 horsepower (HP) for general woodworking projects. For larger projects or harder woods, you may need a more powerful router.
  • Speed control: Variable speed control allows you to adjust the speed of the router to match the bit and material you are using.
  • Depth adjustment: Make sure the router has a precise depth adjustment mechanism to control the depth of cut.
  • Base type: Fixed base routers are more stable and easier to control, while plunge base routers allow for more versatility and precision.
  • Dust collection: A router with a dust collection port can help keep your workspace clean and free of debris.

Which routers are recommended for beginners in woodworking?

For beginners in woodworking, we recommend routers that are easy to use and have basic features. Some popular options include the DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router, the Bosch Colt Palm Router, and the Makita RT0701C Compact Router.

What are the top-rated router brands for woodworking professionals?

Some of the top-rated router brands for woodworking professionals include:

  • Bosch
  • DEWALT
  • Makita
  • Festool
  • Porter-Cable

How do I choose a router that’s powerful enough for my woodworking projects?

To choose a router that’s powerful enough for your woodworking projects, consider the type of wood you will be working with and the size of your projects. For general woodworking projects, routers with at least 1-1/2 horsepower (HP) should suffice. For larger projects or harder woods, you may need a more powerful router with 2-3 HP.

What are the best value routers for woodworking on a budget?

If you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of options for routers that offer good value for the price. Some of the best value routers for woodworking on a budget include the Ryobi R1631K Fixed Base Router, the BLACK+DECKER RP250 Plunge Router, and the SKIL 1830 Router.

Which routers are best suited for mounting on a woodworking table?

If you plan to mount your router on a woodworking table, look for routers with a fixed base and a good depth adjustment mechanism. Some popular options include the Bosch 1617EVSPK Router Kit, the DEWALT DW618PKB Router Kit, and the Porter-Cable 690LR Router.

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