Best Wood Router – 2017 Reviews and Buying Guide By an Expert
Wood workers when consulted have specified a wood router to be one of the most important tools in their workshops. There are several benefits of using a wood router and thus this tool is truly a versatile machine. It leads the race when it comes to power and precision. Here we will give you guidelines about wood router and what benefits you can reap out of this effective wood working tool.
Moreover when you would start looking to buy best wood router from the market, just like other devices you will find plenty of types, brands and models of wood routers thus making buying decision more complicated. So to make a wise buying decision, you should consider some basic factors that give you ease of selecting the right one. wood router buying guide
Overview of Wood Routers
Wood Router: It is a powerful tool that is capable of carrying out various woodworking applications. Diversified use of this tool is such that one compact tool can aid you in dealing with making decorative edges, cut grooves, create moldings, mortise, joints, crave sign boards and more. Routers are portable and can be handheld for many applications however you can also mount it on a router table for other complicated tasks.
In earlier days, wood routers were hand powered tools but as time evolved these tools became even more versatile with electric power. Now, most of the wood workers prefer electrically powered routers especially when dealing with large wood cutting jobs. These routers enable you to carry out task in minutes with ease.
Advantages of Wood Routers
Wood routers reviews suggests that these devices are capable of doing many things and with the use of proper bit, you can accomplish any wood working task with less time consumed and fewer efforts made. You can cut mold or edge pieces of woods. Some of the major benefits that you get with using these machines include:
- It reduces waste of work pieces by offering you precise cutting, trimming and edging in a controlled error-free environment.
- You can deal easily with large pieces of wood and can even clamp your router on a large routing table.
- Routers can be controlled for specific depth and height and thus replicating work pieces is easier and flawless with the aid of these tools in comparison to doing so with hands.
- These tools make your work even easier and safer while offering you a high quality result provided you know how to use the wood router properly? With repeated use and practice, you can become an expert at using these tools.
- Routers offer safer working environment for wood workers and offers clear line of sight preventing from dangerous accidents to happen.
- With the use of these machines, you will witness a vast increase in production capacity and it will give you improved performance in comparison to previous results without a best wood router.
There are various benefits that these machines offer and thus it is important for you to know that how to take care of this tool? Like all other tools, wood routers also have tendency of wear and tear and thus proper care can prevent from major problems.
Top 5 Best Wood Routers Picks
Go through these short our reviews of top contender and select one that suits your needs best.
1. Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Review
The Bosch 1617EVSPK Router offers you a combination kit having both fixed and plunge bases. It has a 12 amp 2.25 HP motor housed inside offering a variable speed ranging from 8000 to 25000 RPM. This kit is appointed with a quick clamp system for both the bases that makes movement of motor from one base to another really easy and quick. Constant Response Circuitry System along with soft start is a feature that ensures speed control under load.
Precision Centering Design aids you in keeping bit on the intended cutline when you use the router with guidance devices. It also features precise micro-fine bit depth adjustment system for both fixed and plunge bases. Larger bits can be accepted and the working space is quite visible with wide base openings. This combo kit includes self-releasing collets of 1/2 and 1/4 inch making router more versatile for use. Wood router reviews suggest that this machine has a durable construction and soft grip handles makes way for more comfort. This router is backed by 1 year limited warranty. Read more our reviews
2. DEWALT DWP611PK Combo Kit Review
The DEWALT DWP611PK is appointed with a durable 1.25 HP motor that gives you enough power to deal with heavy load applications. It features variable speed option that gives you flexibility of adjusting speed according to requirement of different jobs. Appointed with the soft starting motor, this machine maintains speed consistency. This best wood router features dual LEDs that make your wood cutting space more visible. Controlled bit depth changes to within 1.64 inch for fixed base is accredited to the adjustment ring.
The design is ergonomically friendly offering completely controlled and precise performance. The router though is compact but it is capable of handling heavy trimming and large edging jobs well along with other applications. The kit includes both fixed and plunge bases. Quick and simple release with adjustable base clamp makes the design even more flexible. Greater bit contact is offered with 1/4 inch collet. DEWALT gives 3 years warranty for this machine. Read more our reviews
3. DEWALT DW618PK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Review
The DEWALT DW618PK includes both fixed and plunge bases for increased versatility for various wood working tasks. It features a 2.25 12 amp electronic motor system with variable speed ranging from 8000 to 24000 RPM that makes it easier to cut through tough woods too. The tool comes with both 1/2 and 1/4 inch collet along with retention of bit.
The easy and precise micro-fine depth adjustment can go up to 1/64 inch increment and adjustment is really simple without need of tools. Also base can be interchanged without tools. It has quick release system that makes removal of bit and base change really easy.
This tool has a through the column dust collection system that captures most of the dust and improves visibility. The wood router review reveals that this machine is durable and efficient.Optimum level accuracy is ensured with comfortable rubber over molded handles placed on both bases. This wood router is backed by a 3 years warranty by DEWALT. Read more our reviews
4. PORTER-CABLE 690LR Fixed-Base Router Review
Efficient and powerful 11 amp motor with 1.75 maximum horsepower is the PORTER-CABLE 690LR Fixed-Base Router offering a single speed of 27,500 revolutions per minute. The router motor housing and base is made up of precision machined aluminum. Motor release and height adjustment system of this router is simple with cam-lock lever. Precise depth adjustment can be ascertained with micrometer depth adjuster with accuracy up to 1/128 inch.
Wood workers can get their job done quicker with increased precision with this well-designed and structured router. It includes two ergonomic designed handles placed well for comfortable use that makes routing easier. Even if you will use the router all day long, you won’t feel as stressed as you may feel any conventional design router. Router gives you convenience of accepting shank bits of both 1/2 and 1/4 inch. This wood router gives you stress-free use for various applications of wood working with a 3- year warranty. Read more our reviews
5. Festool 574342 OF 1400 EQ Router Review
A user-friendly design with complete controlled and powerful working environment is what Festool 574342 OF 1400 EQ Router offers to its users. It features comfortable grip handle that reduces stress and includes convenience of power switch and speed control located here within. Precision ground rods with quick and secure lock through double column clamp offers smoother functionality. MMC electronic controls maintain constant speed and gives improved quality cuts with less room for errors.
It also includes overload and thermal protection. 1400 Watt motor system housed in a light weight body makes it easy to handle yet powerful machine. Flexibility is offered with this tool accepting 1/2, 1/4 or 8 mm bits. Ease of adjusting depth for precise results with micro-adjustable depth control within 1/256 inches. It also includes dust extraction system that makes your working space clean offering enhanced visibility. This router also comes with a 3 years limited warranty. Read more our reviews
Factors to Consider for Selection of the Best Wood Router
Including best wood router to your workshop will make you an all-rounder professional and thus this proves to be a vital decision for your work.
Identify your Needs
There are different types of wood routers available in market and thus the need is to realize what is your requirement? In all cases it is not viable to get the largest and most expensive machine however you need to find the most suitable and convenient option for you among varied ones that are available. Need assessment can be made by thinking about following points:
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- How much and what kind of cutting or edging you need to do?
- Would you need to have a router mounted on a routing table?
- Is portability, size and weight; important for you depending upon your working environment?
- Would you be working with larger diameter bits?
- How much are you willing to spend?
Your answers to these questions above will help you in making a better buying decision.
11 Key Features to look for in a Wood Router
Some important features that one must consider before making a buying decision are discussed as under:
1. Router Type & Size:
Wood routers reviews classify these tools in to three main types according to their sizes including large routers, mid-sized routers and trim routers. identify which one you need by having a quick look at specific features of each type:
- Large Routers: Most suitable to use with a router table as these are quite heavy machines that will be difficult to operate with hands. Usually these machines include a motor of power 3 HP and you can use these with large bit size for jobs with raised panel bits for suppose. As you increase the size of bit, you may need to lower the speed down and for that purpose, we recommend you to buy a variable speed
- Mid-sized Routers: These routers are all-purpose user-friendly ones for wood workers. These include a motor size from 5 to 2.25 HP and these are also capable of handling different bit sizes. The size of these routers is such that you can easily use it with hands or if desired can mount it on a routing table.
- Trim Routers: Trim routers are the smallest range of routers with a motor size of 1 HP or even less. These have 1/4 inch collet so you can use them with small size bits. They are really compact and light weight machines so are easier to use by hand. The power is limited so you can’t use them with router tables.
2. Price Range:
Varied types of routers are offered within different price ranges. When comparing prices, you would find out that plunge bases may be a little pricier than fixed bases. If you wish to have both bases as a combo kit, you may need to pay a little more. Price stands as one of the most important factor and once you have thought on your needs and type of router, you should think you much you are willing to spend. However if there is slight price difference in purchase price of fixed and plunge base of your selected router, we recommend you to go for plunge base that offers you more flexibility.
3. Router Base:
Another important feature is the base of router. You must assess which base is more suitable for you, a fixed or a plunge base?
- Fixed Base: With fixed base, you would need to unlock base from motor of the machine in order to adjust the depth of bit. You can then secure the lock again to fix the base. Usually the bases are removable and thus you can change bit easily. For template work and beading, fixed base is most appropriate.
- Plunge Base: These router bases allow movement of motor up and down with two guides. With locked motor, a level lock enables you to control bit depth. The advantage with plunge base is that it enables motor to reach the desired speed level before cutting. Cuts can be made right in the center of the piece by lowering bit in the stock. If you need to make dadoes and mortises, then plunge base would give you best results.
- Combo Kits: If you are not sure of which one to buy whether fixed or plunge, you now have a perfect solution in the form of a combination kit that gives you flexibility of using both fixed and plunge bases. A combo-kit gives you best of both types but their prices are high. However it is more cost-effective if you wish to buy two routers, one fixed and one variable. In this regard, combo kit will work best.
4. Variable Speed:
When dealing with larger size of bit, it is suggested that the bit should rotate slowly so speed should be reduced. Having a variable speed is important in these terms so that you can have most advantages out of your best wood router.
5. Electronic Feedback Circuitry:
This feature of the machine monitors load that is placed on the motor and thus adjusts the torque accordingly preventing from motor to wear out with heavy load.
6. Dust Control System:
Routers usually create a lot of dust around them so in order to keep yourself and your tool safe from dust, wood router must be appointed with a vacuum port. This would make clean up a lot easier and less time consuming.
7. Collet Size:
With details of various wood router reviews, we make out that interchangeable collet is recommended so that you get more versatility for using the router. So we recommend you to buy a tool with which you can use both 1/2 and 1/4 inch shank bits.
8. Soft Start:
One of the key features of wood router is the soft start. This means that the motor of the tool starts and speeds up gradually. This feature is most beneficial when you use the router with larger bits and it would enhance life span of machine.
9. Adjustments above the Table:
You may have witnessed many wood workers to be spending time under the table for adjustments. So it is preferred to buy a router that offers cutting height adjustment above the table with the use of a knob, handle or crank. This feature gives you more convenience. A similar feature that you would appreciate is to have a router that offers collet extension above the table so bit change would be easier without need of lifting the tool. Tools that have above the table adjustments would have both of these convenience features.
Warranties keep you worry-free with the use of any tool and thus it is important to consider warranty offered with any router. Some of the top contenders of routers are offered with 3 years warranty.
11. Customer Reviews:
Compare various reviews of wood routers in order to get more information on durability and performance of a particular model or brand of this tool. You can go through various customers’ reviews online before making your buying decision.
What exactly are your plans of using a wood router for is the basic question that has factors hidden for your buying decision, so first ask yourself what you desire. Intention of use makes decision more appropriate as you will be able to make out which type of wood router is best for you. Purpose of this page was to share some important factors that would help you in finding ideal wood routerand considering the factors here mentioned would enable you to pick up a right tool for wood working applications. Consider going through our reviews when choosing a particular brand or model. Once purchased, make sure that you follow all safety instructions and go through manual in order to find out how to maintain wood router well in order to avoid any mishaps, damages or wear/tear.