The Best Wood Routers of 2017 – Buying Guide & Reviews

Wood RouterA wood router is a power tool used to hollow out an area in the face of a hard workpiece. It’s typically a tool that you will use when working with cabinets or chairs of wood or plastic.

Wood routers are applicable for many woodworking applications. It can have a functional use while still playing a significant role in decorative designs. The tool is really handy because of its portability.

Some woodworkers treat wood routers as the most versatile tool in their garage. Because it can “hollow out” holes in workpieces. The tool is essential when making curved contours, finished edges, and precise cutaways. And if you are a serious woodworker, you should invest into one of these. It’s a actually a tool that you’ll end up using quite often once you have it.

Our Top 4 Wood Router Picks

MODELAMPERAGE
PRODUCT WEIGHTUSER RATINGPRICE
DEWALT DWP611PK
DEWALT DWP611PK Wood Router
7 Amps
4.6 pounds4.7/5
$$
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Bosch 1617EVSPK
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Kit
12 Amps
19.5 pounds
4.5/5
$$$
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Bosch MRC23EVSK
Bosch MRC23EVSK Wood Router Pack
15 Amps
9.3 pounds
4.5/5
$$$$$
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DEWALT DW618PK
DEWALT DW618PK Wood Router
12 Amps
10.1 pounds
4.4/5
$$$$
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There are hundreds of wood routers on the market today. All of them are designed for various uses and patterns. As a consumer it can be hard to know which ones are bad and which ones are good. Therefore we have created this buying guide where we rank the 4 best wood routers. The rankings are based on thorough analysis and testing of the products. We also provide you with buying advice that will help you make the final buying decision.

#1 DEWALT DWP611PK – Our Top Pick

DEWALT DWP611PK Wood RouterAfter multiple tests and inspections we’d say that the best wood router on the market is the DEWALT DWP611PK. This router has a 1 1/4 HP motor that can generate sufficient cutting power. In fact, its competitors do not come close to its power rating. To complement this feature, this wood router comes with a variable speed control. In this way, you can control the speed so that it is appropriate for the project that you are working on.

Moreover, it has a contoured grip that has an ergonomic low position. This enables you to work close to the surface, which gives you top notch control. With this component, the precision is guaranteed. Its motor also includes a soft start feature so that it doesn’t whack the machine while starting it. Moreover, it has an electronic feedback system so that it can maintain the motor speed, even while doing extensive projects. The DEWALT DWP611PK also has an adjustable ring which allows you to have depth increments with 1/64 inches!

A woodworker will love the convenience and comfort that the DEWALT DWP611PK has. It has a fixed base with dual LED light so that you can have maximum visibility while working.

The D-shaped sub base of the DEWALT DWP611PK gives flatness and stability while doing edge profiles. It also has a spindle lock that you can use to adjust the bit change by integrating a large button easily. You can even actuate this button as well!

Meanwhile, the plunge base of this wood router has a precise and clear depth scale. It also has a release-to-lock lever which allows you to maintain the current depth setting. Moreover, the rubber handles of this tool have a non-slip feature. Therefore, you have excellent control while working with it. What puts the icing on the cake for this wood router is the reasonable price that you can grab it for. The value you get for this price is amazing which also makes it one of the best wood routers for the money.

Specifications:

Amperage7 Amps
Collet diameter18 inches
Horsepower1 1/4 HP
Plunge stroke2 inches
Depth stop5
No-load speed16,000 to 27,000 RPM
Product weight4.6 pounds (fixed); 6.2 pounds (plunge)

#2 Bosch 1617EVSPK

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router KitAnother wood router that you should be rooting for is the Bosch 1617EVSPK. This power tool can handle tough jobs because of its driven by a 2.25 HP/12 amp motor. Such capacity is even better than the DEWALT DWP611PK! Moreover, you will be astounded by the cutting speed of this router, which can range from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM! Therefore, you can be confident that you can take this power tool on any job sites!

Moreover, it comes with a variable speed control, too. With this feature, you can have the optimal speed that will suit any application. It also got the Constant Response Circuitry technology. This innovation allows this tool to maintain its speed throughout the cutting process. The built-in soft-start feature of the Bosch 1617EVSPK also reduces the torque when you start it. Therefore, you can always expect a smooth transition while operating this tool.

This versatile wood router is also excellent in dealing plunger routing and fixed-depth routing. This is thanks to the micro-fine bit depth adjustment system that is found on both bases of this wood router. This feature allows the tool to have fast but accurate bit depth adjustments. Specifically, the micro-fine adjustment has a range of one inch and has an accuracy per 1/4 inch.

Moreover, both of the bases have the patented Bosch Precision Centering design. This innovation allows the bit to be always at the center of the base. This enables you always to have the bit on the intended cutting line while using guiding devices such as dovetail fixtures and templates.

Meanwhile, this tool is also covered with a quick clamp system. It is a tool-free mechanism so that you can move the motor between two bases as fast as possible. Using this tool is not a problem either as it comes with soft grip handles. The fixed based also have an integrated threaded holes so that you can mount it on any routing tables.

Specifications:

Amperage12 Amps
Collet diameter1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch
Horsepower1 1/4 HP
Plunge stroke2 1/4 inches
No-load speed8,000 to 25,000 RPM
Product weight19.5 pounds

#3 DEWALT DW618PK

DEWALT DW618PK Wood RouterThis 2-1/4 horsepower wood router has all that it takes to become one of the best on the market today. The DEWALT DW618PK Wood Router can cut through even the toughest of hardwoods. You will enjoy the no-load speed that this power tool offers, which ranges from 8,000 to 24,000 rate per minute. With its variable speed control, you can guarantee that this tool is versatile and can handle any applications.

The same as its cousin DEWALT DWP611PK, this wood router also got a full electronic feedback which maintains the consistency of its speed. Moreover, it has a soft start feature, too, which reduces the torque upon starting this tool.

The DEWALT DW618PK also has a micro-fine depth adjustment ring. This component gives accurate bit adjustments that are within the 1-inch range. Specifically, you can make 1/64-inch increments, thanks to this feature. Moreover, you will love that the ring is the one that is turning when you are making bit depth adjustments. Most of the conventional routers have their motors do this. This mechanism gives a difficulty on switching the unit on and off.

Meanwhile, this power tool has a plunge base that has an adjustable five-position turret stop. You can use this feature if you are making repeated plunge cuts. This feature is complemented by an easy-to-reach plunge release lever and switch. You can expect that with these functions, you have total control on your routing projects!

On the other hand, its LEXAN sub-base gives visibility and maximum durability. This sub-base is also compatible with standard template guide bushings. Such feature is essential for specific applications and setups. You will love that the sub-base also possesses a concentricity gauge. This accessory allows you to insert the collet before you install the bit. With this, you can help in centering the sub-base so that it can align with the position of the bit. This feature is necessary when your cutting lines are located on the base’s side.

The DEWALT DW618PK has a dust-sealed switch that protects the entire system from dust ingestion. Also, it has brass bushings, steel guide rods, and heavy-duty metal housings. These components improve the overall durability and consistency of this tool.

Specifications:

Amperage12 Amps
Collet diameter1/2 inch, 1/4 inch
Horsepower1 1/4 HP
Plunge stroke2 1/2 inches
Depth stopMicro-fine depth adjustment ring
No-load speed8,000 to 24,000 RPM
Product weight10.1 pounds

#4 Bosch MRC23EVSK

Bosch MRC23EVSK Wood Router PackAnother choice for a wood router is the Bosch MRC23EVSK Electronic Modular Router System. This power tool is operated by a 15-amp/2.3 HP motor that has an adjustable speed setting, thanks to its variable speed control. Moreover, it also possesses a Constant Response Circuitry system so that it can maintain the consistency of its speed.

The control of the Bosch MRC23EVSK is superb, too. It has a plunge base and fixed base that provides stability while doing various applications. It also has a trigger-control system that quickly between the handle of the two bases. On the other hand, the handles have soft grip ergonomics that lessen the stress while operating this tool.

You will also love the accuracy of this tool, thanks to its micro-fine bit depth adjustment. Specifically, you can find this feature on the plunge base. With this component, you can adjust the bit depth precisely, regardless of the setting of the plunge. Of course, the fixed base also allows fine bit-depth adjustment, with a range of depth of 1 5/8 inch.

Meanwhile, it also got a turret stop in which you can adjust so that you can make any cumulative depth. This feature is essential when you are making multiple-pass operations. Moreover, the precision-centered design of the Bosch MRC23EVSK Electronic Modular Router System enables you to have the bit at the center of the base! This wood router also has a two-stage clamp system so that conversions will be fast and tool-free!

This unit includes an integrated dual LED lighting for improving working visibility. A cord swivel that prevents the rotation of the motor while making depth adjustments is also present on this wood router!

Specifications:

Amperage15 Amps
Collet diameter1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch
Horsepower2.3 HP
Plunge stroke3 inches
No-load speed10,000 to 25,000 RPM
Product weight9.3 pounds

Wood Router Buying Guide

There are several considerations that you should take before you buy a wood router. If you purchase the wrong model, you will not produce your expected output. Therefore, it is a good as a wasted investment. With your convenience and money on the line, you should know well how to choose a wood router. Once you can do this, you will be confident to select a unit by yourself!

Different Types Of Wood Routers

There are two models of woodworking routers that you can buy on the market today. They are the fixed base routers and plunge base routers. When it comes to wood routers, the design is crucial in determining the type of application the tool can work best. Before we tackle about the different models of routers, we should discuss the design first.

Most of the wood routers today have a case that ensconced the motor that spins its blade (orbit). The case of the router is the one responsible for insulating the engine so that it won’t heat quickly. Usually, the case comes with ergonomic handles that guide the tool into the tool that is being cut.

Meanwhile, metal clamping sleeve or a collet is essential in locking the bit at the router’s base. With this feature, the tool can make accurate and stable cuts. On the other hand, the platform of the router is either in the form of a spring-loaded base or fixed attachment.

All routers have different motors. The common capacities that you can find on the today are as follow: 3 1/2, 2 HP, 1 1/2 HP, and 7/8 HP motors. Moreover, routers have various shank sized bits. The common sizes are 1/2 in, 12 mm, 10 mm, 8 mm, 1/4 in, and 6 mm. Most of the modern routers today have variable speed control. This configuration is essential so that you can control the speed of the bit. A router that has this feature offers more versatility compared to those do not have.

Meanwhile, the no-load speed of routers ranges from 8,000 to 30,000 RPM. The cutting speed is highly dependent on the horsepower of the motor and the size of the router itself! Of course, you will need a router that comes with measurement gauges so that you can measure the depth of the router bit. This feature eliminates the need for you to do manual measurements.

Plunge Wood Routers

This type of router comes with a spring-loaded base that enables you to push down the bit down to the material. Moreover, the base can be locked at a specific depth, if you want to make repeated cuts. Plunge routers enable you to adjust the depth of the bit while operating at the same time. Just unlock the depth release, and you can already do this mechanism.

The advantage of plunge routers is that they cut in the middle of the wood. Some conventional routers start cutting at the edge of the workpiece, which provides less accurate results. Plunge routers offer more benefits than fixed routers. However, they are quite expensive so always consider your budget and purpose before buying a plunge router.

Fixed Wood Routers

The fixed base routers usually involve manual operation. You should set the depth of the bit before you start cutting. Unlike the plunge routers, you cannot adjust the bit depth once it starts running. This type of wood routers is the best to use when you are making molding designs and edge cuts. These applications require explicitly straight line accuracy.

The advantage of fixed based router over its plunge counterpart is that they are lightweight. They are also an ideal choice for amateur woodworkers.

Clamps and Jigs

The jigs are accessories that are responsible for holding the wood in place. They are essential if you are making cuts such as dado joints, dovetail joints, box joints, and hinge recesses. Meanwhile, clamps can keep the wood in place so that it won’t slip while you are cutting. Another purpose of the clamps is to hold the jig on the worktable so that it won’t move or wiggle.


Tips On Buying Wood Routers

When you are looking for the best wood router, you should be meticulous about the blade or the bits. We should remind you that wood router bits vary on styles and designs. This variation is essential so that you can make different cuts on the wood. Some of the bits are for the purpose of cutting grooves while others are for making unique shapes and designs.

Here are the available router bits on the market today:

  • Beading router bit – It can make round edges on the wood, specifically at the area on the sides of the workpiece.
  • Chamfer router bit – This can make straight edge at a selected angle on the side of the wood.
  • Cove router bit – It can make precise concave quarter circles.
  • Dado – This router bit can form a box groove across your workpiece.
  • Dovetail – Use this to cut grooves across in a plank of wood where the top is narrower than the bottom.
  • Rabbeting – It can do 90-degree square cuts on wood edges.
  • Round Nose – This can make half circle grooves.
  • Roman Ogee – This router bit can make S-shape designs.

Moreover, you should consider that router bits are available in different sizes. This is for the purpose of accommodating the size or the router. Therefore, you should choose a bit that can fit into your existing unit. Also, we recommend that you should buy a bit that has a carbide tip. This type of construction has a long lifespan if you don’t abuse it.


Conclusion

The best wood routers on 2016 are indeed modern and ergonomic. They possess features that make them function as either plunge or fixed base models. Therefore, using them can guarantee you maximum versatility and productivity. If you are a serious woodworker, then having them can give great benefits to your work and projects.

There are different wood routers on the market today. However, we recommend that you should try the featured products on this wood router review. These models of woodworking routers can handle the toughest applications out there. They have features and components that improve their performance and overall control. Of course, we would not recommend these units if we didn’t test them. We got a team of professional woodworkers at our disposal. They thoroughly assessed hundreds of routers, but only these five stood out!

Moreover, we are hoping that our wood router buying guide has able to help you. After all, there are a lot of choices and brands out there. Choosing can be difficult, especially if you don’t know the specific criteria for this power tool! With our guide, we are expecting that you can get the top rated wood router for you!