Whether you are a professional working in the carpentry industry, fiddling around with wood, or just a student looking for some material for your general quiz, or perhaps someone who is idly wondering about all this stuff, whatever your doubt about wood router, we are here to help. If you are looking for the best wood router reviews, recommendations, and customer queries, you are in the right place.
So, if you are lost and wondering what on earth are wood router, those are basically wood-cutting tools that hollow out the hard wood surface, molding it in any way desired. The router does more than cut fancy edges. It will also cut flawless dadoes and rabbets and perfect patterns.
Our blog also provides tips and tricks on wood routing, and any other general enquiries one may have. With an expansive research on a range of products and an in-depth study of the customer feedback using the product for a considerable time period and comprehensive comparisons of different brands and models, we are able to create relevant reviews on different wood routers.
The Best Selling Wood Routers in the Market
Based on those reviews, we have succeeded in making a list of:
- DEWALT DWP611PK – Combo Router Kits (Check It At Amazon >>> | Read Review)
- Bosch 1617EVSPK – Combo Router Kits (Check It At Amazon >>> | Read Review)
- DEWALT DW618PK – Combo Router Kits (Check It At Amazon >>> | Read Review)
- PORTER-CABLE 690LR – Fixed Base Router (Check It At Amazon >>> | Read Review)
This router with a durable motor Horsepower of 1.25, is capable of handling the heaviest of applications, with a variable speed ranging from 16000 to 27000 RPM, optimizing it for changing applications. The motor starts off softly, and its speed remains constant throughout due to the full-time electronic feedback. Probably the most interesting feature of this router is the dual LED system and a transparent sub-base for both fixed and plunge bases, ensuring maximum visibility of operations.
Finally, the adjustable rings enable controlled bit depth to within 1/64th inch (fixed base only). The router offers two tabs that allow for a simple and quick base release, and a new adaptable base clamp design to maintain the motherboard’s location through the toughest applications. The plunge base comes with a marker and a depth scale and also a level which you can release to lock. This helps you maintain a consistent depth setting. Also, the plunge base has a non-slip grip. This results in excellent user control as well as a smooth and consistent finish, which is accurate as well.
Most reviews about the Dewalt611PK are positive, reflecting customers’ full satisfaction and how the product is ‘exactly what they ordered’, with an affordable. Customers compared to it Bosch and expressed how the Dewalt covers all Bosch’s shortcomings, along with being practical, easy to handle, and lightweight.
Some customers did complain about its inability to handle demanding work while others showed their disapproval on how the router doesn’t come with an edge guide. We were also not impressed by the handles of the DWP611PK as those are only available for the plunge base and are not of an adequate quality. This makes it difficult to work on this router for long durations. Lastly, this router has a lot of plastic, which is easily breakable and requires extra caution.
2. Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit
This router is the third best-selling in the market. Bosch is also said to have a soft start, with a 2.25 HP covered motor, cased in an aluminum cover making it both powerful and durable. This router comes in a variable speed, ranging from 8000 to 25000, and with six different speed settings. The router can be easily adjusted to speed settings going from 1 to 3. The RPM range for the different settings is from 8,000 to 16,500. This means, it can be used equally well with cutters, diameter bits, and nonferrous metals.
If you set the dial beyond 3, i.e. from 4 to 6, the range of the RPM increases to 20,000 to 25,000. This means it can be used without hassle on softer and smaller materials, such as laminates, softwood and plastic. This router also comes with an option of either choosing a fixed or plunge base, depending on your preference. Both of the 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 on either side for easier operation, plus a depth rod and depth stop turret to control cutting depth. This Bosch router has separate handles for both the fixed and the plunge base. Having handles eases the pressure and makes your job a lot easier. Most router combo kits like the Dewalt DWP611PK don’t have handles on both the bases. Holding the handles on the plunge base is an absolute pleasure. They are of good quality and absorb the shock nicely.
You can make those delicate edge cuts easily thanks to grip. The wooden handles on the fixed base however could have been better, but they don’t do that bad a job. The Bosch 1617EVSPK comes with additional features, including an exclusive quick-change template guide adapter, which firmly grips the guides with a spring-loaded ring. A dust sealed power switch that prevents dust from building up and causing early switch failure on the job, but also can be moved to right or left for ease of use.
This router also comes with a work light, is double insulated, wide based (opening 2.56 ‘’ sub base for larger bits), a 100-foot cord, motor alignment arrows and a self-releasing Collet Chuck. A 16mm and 24mm bit changing wrenches, contoured and comfortable gripping handles and threaded holes in the base for an easier mounting on the router table in common 3-hole pattern.
However, it has its drawbacks. This router doesn’t come with a template guide for the adapter and can be disappointing when it comes to high tolerance operations and heavy tasks as it might end up affecting its durability. Customers also experienced jamming issues with the plunge base, when they started working with this router. Finally, the wooden handles on the fixed base leave you somewhat disappointed.
This router, despite its shortcomings, is popular among its users because of its excellent performance and interesting features. It also scores points over Dewalt in terms of its height adjustment ring, which is made of plastic, and breaks easily. On the other hand, Bosch is all metal and more long-lasting.
3. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router
This is an 11 Amp motor producing, fixed base router with a 1-3/4 peak horsepower. Aluminum structured, this machine takes 27500 revolutions per minute, with a single-speed motor. You can simply use the cam-lock lever to adjust the height and also release the motor, along with a micro-depth of adjuster accurate to 1/28th inch.
The router is not just efficient but also highly durable, which ensures you will get the best results from it. The router features aluminum motor housing and the base are also made out of the same material. The ball-bearing construction guard and the dust-sealed switch protect the router against wear and tear, even with regular and constant use.
A user-friendly and consistent machine, with an auto-release collet system for easy bit removal, an under-table stops the motor from inadvertently rotating out of the base. Grips are molded with ergonomically friendly features to keep your hand and wrists comfortable, especially for extended periods of work.
Looking at the reviews, people favor Bosch over Porter-Cable since its performance is not quite up to the mark, and eventually withers downs at the shafts. The router switch is also said to be located in an inconvenient position. On the contrary, there are many jigs and templates available for this router because of it widespread use. Overall, this is an appealing product but not at the same level as Bosch and Dewalt.
4. DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit
2-1/4 HP, 12.0 electronic variable speed motor provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods, with a variable electronic speed of 800 to 24000 RPM with full feedback accompanied with a soft start-up torque for enhanced control. A depth adjustment ring ensures accuracy and precision, measuring the depth in 1/64th inch increments. The device automatically adjusts to ensure a consistent switch location.
The tool is easily adjustable and safe to use, with a steel motor cam lock and a solid lock which features micro-fine adjustment on the plunge. The router also comes with an adjustable and tool free steel motor cam lock, which makes depth adjustment and a quick and solid lock changing base.
Looking at the reviews and comparing it with previously mentioned routers, the results are more or less the same. People pointed out how Bosch does not have an adapter to use PC bushings while the DW618PK is all set for PC bushings. Some people have also sent their complaints about the fragile plastic spindle lock button that breaks shortly after usage. The quality of the ergonomic grips is also found to be substandard.
Keeping in mind all the pros and cons of the four routers discussed above, it could be fairly concluded that Bosch and Dewalt are the clear industry leaders, with their products delivering the highest HP and additional features. Dewalt is popular among professionals and DIYers since it offers comfort by providing ergonomic grip topped with other several innovative features that contribute to greater control, visibility, and overall excellent performance. Having an option to choose between a plunge and fixed base is also pretty impressive.
This option is also available for Bosch and both the brands start off smooth, which is a big advantage. This prevents friction and gouging and gives your equipment a smooth flow and your hands remain safe. The Bosch router also comes with a speed dial that lets the user control the speed based on the material they are routing, offering superb ergonomic and handy adjustments.
Keeping this in mind, we conclude the leading brands for wooden routers in 2016 are Dewalt, followed by Bosch due to their additional innovative features in comparison to competitors’ products, comfort for the hands, and having to choose from options as per requirement.
Professional carpenters and DIYers can use all the different types of wood routers listed above. But workers who work longer hours and hard should go with Dewalt 611PK because of its ergonomically friendly grips, which is comfortable and gentle on the hands. Also because of its speed, it proves suitable for large production volumes.
Benefits of Using a Wood Router
Wood router, being a multipurpose tool, is highly demanded by wood workers in their woodshops. With its speed and routing accuracy, wood routers are widely used with no other tool coming to their level. A wood router can do many things and with its proper use, any woodworking job can be achieved with less effort and time, ensuring efficient allocation of resources. Wood pieces can be edged, sharpened, molded or routed.
Let’s look at this life saving tool’s benefits:
Room for Error Is Minimized
Efficient handlers can make cutting, trimming and molding error free since the machine is precise.
Lots of Work Done With Larger Cutting Fields
You can work with the router on huge wooden pieces by placing it on a big routing table.
Routers can manage precise depths, heights and measurements overall so it is much more accurate and efficient as compared to work being done manually.
Efficiency and productivity increases significantly as this tool is more efficient than using small-scale cutting tools or manual labor.
Safety of Workplace
Wood routers provide a safe environment for workers, minimizing hazardous mishaps by providing a clear line of the view. Given the proper know-how about routers, they can prove safe and easy.
Industrial use of routers can provide topnotch quality and accuracy in work. Not just that, they are capable of mass production, helping you cut out unwanted expenses that occur with being labor intensive and the ever-prevalent risk of human error.
But like any depreciative equipment, wood routers are also prone to deterioration over time and so proper maintenance would help minimize it, ensuring you don’t have to face any downtime due to the equipment faltering.