Best Wood Routers
Featured Image: Makita

The sheer brute strength of a circular or table saw can cut even the toughest piece of hardwood in your workshop. But sometimes brute strength is not enough, and there are some things that these power saws just can’t do. If you want to add some grooves, intricate edges, and other designs to a workpiece, then you definitely need a tool called a router.

Any woodworker worth his salt owns one or more wood routers. Their main role in the workshop is to trim and smooth the rough edges of a piece of wood, but they are also amazingly versatile. 

Routers can be used to create decorative and fancy moldings. These tools can be used to produce rabbets and dadoes, as well as carve simple and intricate patterns on a piece of wood.

All these are made possible by an assortment of bits attached to the routers collet. Some of the commonly used routers bits are straight, rabbeting, and flush trim bits. 

If you want to produce a simple bevel cut, then use a chamfer router bit. Cove, edge beading, ogee, and roundover bits are used to make beautiful and elegant decorative edges.

Intricate edges are produced by molding, rail and stile, and raised panel router bits. Some bits are used specifically for joinery, including finger join, lock miter, and dovetail router bits. 

DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 1.25-HP Max Torque (DWP611PK)
  • Durable 1.25HP motor of DEWALT router delivers the power to meet the toughest applications
  • Variable speed control feature of DEWALT plunge router enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications
  • Soft-starting motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the cut
  • Dual LED's and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility in operation
  • Adjustment ring enables controlled bit depth changes to within 1/64-inch (fixed base only)
Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP* Compact Router Kit
  • Variable speed control dial (10,000 - 30,000 RPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
  • Smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system for more precise settings
  • Slim and ergonomically designed body for increased comfort and control
  • Quick release cam lock system for easy depth adjustments and base removal/installation
  • Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load. Fits compact routers models RT0700C and RT0701C
PORTER-CABLE 892 2-1/4-Horsepower Router with 8931 Plunge Router Base
  • Soft-starting, 12 Amp motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the toughest applications
  • variable-speed control feature (10,000 - 23,000 rpm) enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications
  • Accessory base for router models 891 and 892
  • Replacement base for combination kit models 893PK, 894PK and 895PK
Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
  • Round and Square Bases - for added versatility and convenience
  • Easy Access Micro Adjust Dial – for precise depth control
  • Flat Top – router sits upside down for easier bit changes
  • No Mar Top – Overmold on top of router prevents marring of work surface
  • Quick Release Lever – allows for easy removal of motor from base
BOSCH 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router
  • FIXED BASE: threaded holes for mounting to router table positioned in common 3-hole pattern; includes RA1161 fixed-base with system for adjusting bit height from above a router table
  • DURABILITY: aluminum construction makes this one of our most durable wood routers yet with wooden handles on a fixed base and a soft grip handle on a plunge base
  • EASE OF USE: rounded hardwood handles maximize user control; microfine bit-depth adjustment
  • CONVENIENT: with the built-in constant response circuitry, our 1617EVS wood router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results
  • 12 AMP MOTOR AND ADJUSTABLE SPEED DIAL: user can set the optimal speed (8,000-25,000 RPM) for more or less power
Metabo HPT Router Kit | Fixed/Plunge Base | Variable Speed | 11 Amp Motor | 2-1/4 Peak HP | KM12VC
  • MOTOR: 11 amp motor (2-1/4 peak horsepower) for precise, controlled cuts
  • DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: 2-Stage motor release clamp for quick and accurate depth adjustments and base changes
  • FINE DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: Fine depth adjustment (plunge base) for precise depth control
  • LOW NOISE: Class leading noise level, only 79.5 dB for quieter workshop
  • SPEED CONTROL: Electronic speed control, maintains constant RPM even as load varies
ENERTWIST Compact Router Tool, 7.0-Amp 1.25HP Soft Start Variable Speed Wood Router Kit w/Fixed Base, 1/4" & 3/8" Collets, Edge Guide, Roller Guide, Dust Hood, Replacement Brush Set, ET-RT-710S
  • Enertwist compact router tool with improved 7.0Amp 1-1/4 HP motor offers 6 variable speed adjustable from 10,000 to 32,000 RPM for variety materials routing and trimming.
  • Soft-starting motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the cut, provides you incredibly smooth and clean treated surface!
  • Rack and pinion depth control for more precision cutting in either inch or mm. With quick release cam lock system for easy depth adjustment and base removal/installation.
  • Durable cast aluminum housing with vibration-reducing soft-grip handle for increased comfort and durability. And with dust hood to connect vaccum to make job site superior clean.
  • What You Get 1.25 Hp palm router tool with 6.6Ft/2m cord, edge guide, roller guide, dust hood, 3/8” and 1/4” collet, wrench, replacement carbon brushes.

Wood Router Buying Guide

Plunge Base and Fixed Base Routers

Wood routers have two types of bases: a fixed base and a plunge base. Routers with fixed bases are locked in place. Unlike a plunge base router, the user cannot manually move the cutting bit up or down during operation.

When it comes to cutting grooves and edges, fixed base routers offer more power and precision. They are also easier to control, hence more ideal for beginners.

A plunge base router, on the other hand, is attached to a specially designed base. This base allows the router bit to “plunge” when the user manually exerts pressure on it. The cutting bit then returns to position when the pressure is removed.

This type of router allows you to manually adjust the depth and gives you greater control when cutting vertically. Plunge base routers are also ideal for starting a groove in the middle of your workpiece.

But plunge base routers are not as forgiving to beginners like fixed base routers are. They also tend to be more expensive than their fixed base counterparts.    

best wood routers     

Woodworking Router Size

Wood routers are available in different sizes. The smallest of these tools are palm routers. These machines are small, portable, and ideal for smaller projects.

If you want a router that is still portable but a step higher when it comes to power and strength, then mid-sized or compact routers are ideal for you.

But if you’re looking for the granddaddy of all wood routers, then check out full-sized routers. They are larger, heavier, and packs a lot of punch then taking on the heaviest tasks. These are ideal for professional woodworkers and builders, as well as for hobbyists who have regular projects and want a tool that will last for a long time.        

Soft Start

A router that is not equipped with a soft start will go up to its maximum speed the moment you push the rocker switch. The noise the router produces and its sudden movement can be startling for many users. Plus, the sudden surge in power can cause damage to your router’s motor over time. Router motors equipped with soft start pause for a moment before gradually accelerating to the required speed. 

Variable Speed

Most routers available on the market right now have variable speed. This allows users to control the speed if they are using different bit sizes. Large bits, for example, work well and cut cleanly when the router is set at lower speeds. Smaller bits, on the other hand, work better when the router is set at higher speeds.

Ergonomic Design

Compact and full-sized routers can be difficult to handle and even dangerous if they are designed poorly. Look for a router with sizable and textured handles to prevent it from slipping from your grasp and causing damage to your workpiece and causing injury. Rest your hands regularly to avoid developing muscle tension or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Having your home remodeled can be stressful if you don’t know where to start. If you want some home remodeling ideas and inspiration, then check out our blog. You can also visit our website for our list of services, pricing guides, and other helpful tips for your home remodeling projects.

best wood routers


Our choice for the best wood router is the DEWALT DWP611PK Fixed/Plunge Base Kit. Here are the things we love about this compact router.

First is its heavy-duty 1.25 HP motor that is perfect for its compact body. The motor is soft-starting, so you won’t be startled by the sudden movement the moment you turn it on. The soft-start mechanism prevents wood burns, plus ensures the longevity of your tool. It has a variable speed setting that can go up to 27,000 RPM.

Switching the machine from fixed base to plunge base and vice versa is so easy thanks to the clamp at the back. The rocker switch, which is located on top of the tool, is covered with a clear overmold to prevent dust from getting into the motor and damaging it.

Tracking your progress and making sure that you’re on the right track can be easy with the DEWALT compact wood router. It has built-in LED lights at each side that illuminates your workpiece.

The fixed base doesn’t have a handle. But this is a compact tool after all, so it’s not really necessary. Plus, the fixed base is dimpled for a non-slip grip.

This particular version is a combo kit — meaning you’ll get both the fixed and the plunge base. Pretty expensive, but definitely worth the investment.

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