13 Best Wood Routers for Professionals & Amateurs Alike

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Planning to hollow out and shape some wooden blocks, but can’t decide on which router tool to go for?

Then we might have just the perfect list and guide for you to get started.

Whether you’re an amateur or even a professional woodworker, you will know how important it is to have the right wood router that can fit your needs perfectly.

And in today’s day and age, with so many options and models to pick from, one can rarely choose the router model that can meet the job at hand.

So, to help you out, we have brought a guide and a list of some of our favorite wood routers which have taken the market by storm.

 Best Wood Routers

 And we’re confident that at least one among them will be exactly what you’re looking for.

1. DEWALT DWP611PK Variable Speed Combo Kit

If your workshop doesn’t have much space to work around in, then this amazing wood router model from DEWALT may just be the perfect solution for all your wood shaping needs.

It’s moderately priced with a compact and portable design, so you can either carry it around with you or use it in a shop that has limited space.

DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 1.25-HP Max...
  • Durable 1.25hp motor delivers the power to meet...
  • Variable speed control feature enables bit speed...

Experience

What impressed us the most about the DEWALT DWP611PK is the variable speed function that it comes with. 

By using the speed trigger, you will be able to change the motor rotation from 16,000 RPM all the way to 27,000 RPM very easily.

So, if you have a lot of different jobs lined up from smaller ones to bigger ones, then this wood router will help you make quick work of all of them.

The speed settings is what makes this model so very versatile and a must-have for professional as well as amateur woodworkers. 

The router comes with some convenient lighting features as well. The design includes two separate LED lights which are mounted near the base; this will help you out on the jobs where you need to work in tighter, poorly lit places. 

However, there is one major issue that we did find with the DEWALT DWP611PK, and that was with the motor heating. 

When running at a lower RPM speed, the model works perfectly well. But on the highest RPM, the motor heats up significantly. This may cause your palms a lot of discomfort, if you’re planning to use it for a longer period of time. 

Pros
  • The DEWALT DWP611PK is quite budget-friendly compared to the features it provides
  • Has a variable speed customizing feature for improve versatility
  • It comes with an LED light set up so that you can work in dim conditions
Cons
  • It has a lot of heating issues at higher speeds

2. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Combo Kit

When it comes to versatility in the field of woodworking, there are not many router models out there today that can compete with the sheer performance and versatility that Bosch 1617EVSPK brings to the table.

From doing plunge cuts to edge forming, laminate cutting, and even slot cutting, this router will be able to help you achieve them all. 

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit - 2.25 Horsepower Plunge...
  • Versatile: this versatile kit can be used for a...
  • Durability: aluminum construction makes this one...

Experience

As we have mentioned above, the best part of the Bosch 1617EVSPK is its versatility and the wide range of uses that you can put it through.

But apart from the different wood shaping methods, the other aspect of this wood router that impressed us a lot was the 12-amp motor that it houses.

The motor alone is capable of providing a significant amount of torque and cutting power to make the toughest of jobs look and feel much easier.

It comes with a lot of user-friendly features as well and runs at a constant RPM so you can focus on the task at hand and not be constantly worried about holding down on the activation trigger.

Durability is also another aspect which helps make this wood router to be a great travel companion.

As the base is made with high-quality aluminum, the router is much lighter than what it looks and can withstand the wear and tear of daily rough use.

But so many positive features when bundled into one makes for a very expensive wood routing tool indeed.

And this is precisely why we will be recommending the Bosch 1617EVSPK more for the professional woodworkers than the domestic ones. 

Pros
  • It comes with an incredibly powerful 12-AMP motor
  • Lightweight and durable body structure, making it the perfect job site companion
  • It is capable of some of the most versatile range of uses 
Cons
  • One of the most expensive wood routers on the list

3. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Wood Router

If you’re quite new to the woodworking scene and are still getting accustomed to the various tools and mechanisms involved in the process, then the Triton TRA001 router would be the perfect pick indeed.

It comes with only three buttons and a stable cutting power, which will not cause any problems for tool novices and amateurs.

Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
  • Single button switches from conventional plunge to...
  • Through base, single wrench bit change is achieved...

Experience

The Triton TRA001 is the ideal entry-level wood router and has been a fan favorite for a lot of domestic woodworkers for years now. 

The router is very easy to maintain, and if you ever need to adjust it in any way, then all you need is a good wrench, and you’re good to go.

Overheating is one issue which plagues power tools like wood routers a lot, and is a major concern for a lot of the woodworkers out there.

Now, the Triton TRA001 will hardly ever heat up. It is designed to support multiple vents which are cleverly placed all over its body 

The vents also make sure that the wood dust doesn’t have any access to any off the sensitive electrical components and ruin the internal mechanism of the router. 

It has a lightweight body as well, and you will be able to carry it around anywhere you want.

However, durability is not exactly a strong suit for this router model, and there may be some issues with the electrical components after a certain point. The controls are normally the first ones to give away after several months of use.

Pros
  • It has a lot of conveniently placed vents all over the body to reduce overheating
  • Compact and lightweight body, easy to carry around
  • One of the best entry-level wood routers out there today 
Cons
  • Not as durable as we would have liked it to be

4. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP

The Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP is all about providing the best value for money to customers who are looking for an affordable yet reliable wood router for both professional and domestic jobs.

It’s slim, ergonomically designed, and incredibly easy to handle: the perfect tool for both amateurs and adept woodworkers who frequently take up light to medium wood shaping works.

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit
  • Variable speed control dial (10,000 to 30,000 RPM)...
  • Smooth rack and pinion fine depth adjustment...

Experience

Though one of the most budget-friendly models on the market today, the Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP by no means compromises on its quality and reliability.

One of the router’s most prominent features is the ‘slow start component,’ which is just the perfect feature for those who are still quite new to using power tools. 

This component will allow one to ease into the full power of the tool, and not allow it to go full-throttle from the start. Thereby significantly improving the overall handling of the router, and preventing accidents which may have occurred otherwise.

Additionally, the speed of the Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP is also monitored electrically and made to be as consistent and as reliable as possible. 

Its body is slim as well, and compact with a great lightweight rating, so you can very easily carry it around with you. 

However, the Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP tends to vibrate excessively from time to time. 

It occurs in short bursts when in use, especially for the more difficult jobs where you have to use the tool for prolonged periods. 

Hence, it’s just better to stick to small to medium-sized woodworking jobs with it. 

Pros
  • One of the most budget-friendly wood routers on the list today
  • It has a slow start component, which helps the newer user ease into full power
  • Lightweight and portable design, easy to carry around 
Cons
  • Vibrates excessively from time to time in short bursts

5. Avid Power 11-Amp 2 HP Fixed-Base Wood Router

Looking for the cheapest wood router on the market for doing some wood shaping jobs around the house? Then Avid Power has got you covered with this amazing router model. 

The Avid Fixed-Base wood router is the most affordable option that you will come across. It’s powerful, impact-resistant, and the perfect pick for homegrown woodworking businesses. 

Sale
11-Amp 2 HP Fixed-Base Wood Router with Edge Guide, 1/2-Inch, 3/8-Inch...
  • 【Powerful and Efficient】11-Amp motor produces...
  • 【Precise Depth Adjustment】 Micro-fine depth...

Experience 

The biggest takeaway feature of the Avid Fixed-Base wood router is the handling comfort that it provides its users.

The body of the router comes with a rubber-coated handle, which is specifically designed with comfort in mind. The rubber also helps in minimizing the vibrations that come from the tool when it’s in use and prevents your arms from getting exhausted too soon.

The other feature of the Avid Fixed-Base wood router, which we absolutely loved was its portability and how one can take it out for a spin to far off places. 

The body is made out of a durable aluminum housing, which will protect the motor when you travel with the router. 

The model comes with a convenient soft carrying case as well, which makes it even easier to transport the router from one point to another. 

However, through the body of the router is durable, we cannot say the same for the functional bits and the switches. 

The bit chucks become loose very easily, and you will have to stop your work and tighten them from time to time. 

Pros
  • Cheapest wood router model on the market today
  • Comes with a durable aluminum casing, which protects the motor inside
  • Comes with a soft carrying case to make transportation easier
Cons
  • The bit chucks are not as reliable as the rest of the body and come off loose frequently

6. PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Wood Router

For the bigger, professional woodworking jobs, the PORTER-CABLE 690LR is going to be one of the best options that you can go for. 

It’s an incredibly powerful router model that supports an 11-amp motor and capable of providing 27,500 revolutions per minute. 

There are many professionals today who are opting into this model, and because of which, it has become a standard go-to for a lot of the woodworking businesses out there.

PORTER-CABLE 693LRPK 1-3/4 HP Fixed Router and Plunge Base Kit
  • 11 Amp motor producing 1-3/4 Peak hp
  • 27,500 rpm single speed motor

Experience

The PORTER-CABLE 690LR is a full-sized router that’s specifically designed to tackle bigger wood shaping jobs that need greater power and more time to accomplish.

The spectacular speed of 27,500 revolutions per minute allows the router to go through harder wood variants like it was nothing.

The model is also dust-sealed, so you do not have to worry about damaging the motor or any other electrical components from settled wood shavings. 

This is also the reason why this router can be used on a regular basis for all types of professional wood shaping jobs.

For a full-sized router, the PORTER-CABLE 690LR is surprisingly affordable, and you will not have to blow a hole through your savings just to have it set up on your workbench.

But, much like the Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP, this router is prone to frequent bursts of excessive vibrations. 

It can get very noisy as well, which does tend to get annoying in the long run; however, that’s not a deal-breaker by any means. 

Pros
  • Quite budget-friendly for a full-sized router
  • It has 27,500 revolutions per minute, which effortlessly goes through harder wood components
  • Perfect for the big professional jobs 
Cons
  • Prone to frequent bursts of excessive vibrations
  • It makes a lot of noise when in use for a prolonged period

7. TACKLIFE Plunge and Fixed Base Wood Router

With the TACKLIFE wood router, you will get the perfect balance between versatility and ease of use. 

Unlike most other standard router models out there, the TACKLIFE is highly customizable, and you can adjust it to fit any job or wood shaping requirements that you may have. 

It’s a highly popular router in the market, equally sought after by professionals and amateurs alike.

TACKLIFE Plunge and Fixed Base Router, 30,000RPM Compact Router Kit, 6...
  • 6 VARIABLE SPEED: Features a pure copper motor...
  • 1 METER FLEX SHAFT: Tacklife plunge router is...

Experience

As we have mentioned before, the best aspect of the TACKLIFE wood router is the incredible versatility that it brings to the table. 

It’s a variable speed tool that consists of six different stop points so that you can adjust the speed of the router to fit the job at hand. 

And as the speed ranges from 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM, and you will be able to tackle light to hardwood shaping jobs very easily.

The pack comes with several different wrenches as well, and it can help you optimize and adjust the router in whichever way you want. 

The TACKLIFE router’s build is designed to be lightweight and durable so that you can carry it around easily to different job sites and not restrict its uses to your garage alone. 

However, the major problem of this wood router lies with the bits, and how hard it is to change it. Even though the rest of the router’s body is easily customizable, the bits are very hard to remove and replace, so if they do break, you’re going to have a very tough time getting those parts up and running again.

Pros
  • It comes with a convenient variable speed setting
  • One of the most versatile wood router models on the list today
  • It comes with wrench tools to help you adjust the router to your liking 
Cons
  • The bits are very hard to change

8. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Wood-Router

It’s not every day that one comes across a wood router that lets you adjust and customize every cut that you make on a wooden block.

But the Ridgid R2401 is one of the very few router models which lets you do that and a lot more, to help you breeze through any wood shaping job effortlessly.

Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
  • Round and Square Bases - for added versatility and...
  • Easy Access Micro Adjust Dial - for precise depth...

Experience

When using the Ridgid R2401 for ourselves, we just fell in love with the customizable cut feature, which lets us access with the use of a very convenient and refined adjustment dial.

The body is made to be compact and lightweight so that you can carry it around with you anywhere you go. 

There is a quick-release lever as well, which will allow you to remove bits from the tool easily and keep it clean without having to take it in for maintenance every now and then.

The bit housing is pretty solid and made out of lightweight aluminum, which is tough and durable, and you can subject it through frequent rough use without having to worry about it much.

However, the rest of the tool is not as durable as the bits are and is made out of cheap plastic, which feels as though it will break down very easily.

The body is not dustproof as well, and so if you are using the router for long, there are high chances that dust enters the internal mechanisms and damage them in the long run.

Pros
  • A quick-release lever helps to maintain the tool easily
  • Cut adjustable features to improve on the overall versatility
  • The compact and light body offers great portability 
Cons
  • Most of the body is made out of cheap plastic and is not as durable
  • Not at all as dustproof as we would have liked it to be

9. Enertwist 1-1/4 HP Compact Palm Router Tool

The Enertwist 1-1/4 HP Compact Palm Router Tool is one of the smallest wood routing models on the list today.

And as it’s a palm router, you will find it to be perfectly suited for the smaller, more domestic tasks which do not need much power.

The router is capable of fitting right into your palms, making it one of the most portable wood routers on the list today.

Sale
Enertwist 7.0-Amp 1.25 HP Wood Router Tool Kit, Fixed Base, Soft...
  • Powerful & Variable Speed Enertwist compact router...
  • Soft Start Electronic Control Soft-starting motor...

Experience

What we honestly love about the Enertwist 1-1/4 HP Compact Palm Router is how even for a small wood router model, it’s able to produce amazingly clean and precise cuts. 

It’s able to maintain a constant speed all throughout the working phase and is adjustable with a variable speed setting of 6 different modes ranging from 10,000 and 32,000 RPMs.

A smaller size means a smaller gripping area, as well as a higher chance to cause more injuries to the wrist of the user.

To counteract this problem, Enertwist equips their model with a gradual start mechanism where the router doesn’t reach its top cutting speed right from the start.

No matter what speed setting you put it on, it will start from the lowest and gradually reach a higher point.

However, we will not recommend the Enertwist for jobs which require a lot of power. With just 1 1/4th horsepower, it will not help you achieve much in the professional sphere. 

Hence, it’s best to stick to minor woodworking jobs around the house that do not require much out of a router.

Pros
  • The most portable router model on the list
  • Reliable cutting power and handling with a slow start setting to avoid injury
  • It provides a stable cutting power for clean and precise cuts 
Cons
  • Lacks a lot of power, is a bad idea for tougher jobs

10. Goplus Electric Plunge WoodRouter

If you are looking for one of the best all-rounders in the wood routing market, then you will rarely find anything which surpasses the potential of the Goplus Electric Plunge.

The model is very attractive to look at as well, and contains a plethora of ergonomic features, along with a very affordable price tag, making it a great fit for both domestic and professional jobs.

Experience

The Goplus Electric Plunge router does a little bit of everything. From providing reliable power to offering adjustable speed settings, this router model is indeed a jack of all trades. 

The speed settings range between 16,000 and 30,000 RPM and come with a convenient gradual start setting as well. 

This keeps the router ergonomic and user-friendly, which any amateur can pick up and learn woodworking with.

The model comes with a lot of router bits as well; hence, you will not have to worry about replaceable parts if the machine ever breaks down.

The body of the Goplus also comes with a top handle depth adjustment button, which will allow you to set the desired routing depth depending on the job at hand.

All in all, it’s a very versatile machine with a lot of features to help you get started on a woodworking business.

However, it’s not at all durable, and the plastic casing is very fragile, to say the least. Overheating is an issue as well; the higher power and the lack of vents cause heat to accumulate, so it’s better not to use this router for long stretches at a time.

Pros
  • It has a lot of reliable cutting power to help with any job
  • Variable speed setting and a gradual slow start feature for ease of use
  • It comes with a very budget-friendly price tag 
Cons
  • Nor as durable as some of the other models on the list
  • Prone to frequent overheating issues

11. SKIL 1817 Fixed Base Router 

The SKIL 1817 Fixed Base Router is, in our eyes, one of the best router models when it comes to achieving the perfect depth adjustment.

There are a lot of woodworking jobs out there that require precise depth measurements, and you will have to bank on efficiency more than on power. 

Experience

The SKIL 1817 is all about precision and achieving the most intricate of woodworking jobs with relative ease. 

But that doesn’t mean that this model doesn’t cater to large profile applications. As it comes with a 0.50″ collet capacity, it can help you achieve any form of woodworking jobs you use it for, no matter how difficult or complicated it may be.

The router starts up slowly as well; this minimizes the risk of injury and increases the lifespan of the motor along with the rest of the electric components. 

Moreover, as the router is a fixed base model, it contains a very convenient on/off switch, which allows for better control.

The quick-release button on the casing will help you to effortlessly remove the motor during maintenance checks and allow you to make the necessary adjustments as you see fit. 

The soft-grip handles will improve your grip, while the LED lights will help you operate under dusky conditions rather well. 

However, even though with a precise depth measurement, this router lacks a lot of cutting power, and not recommended for the tougher professional jobs.

Pros
  • One of the best wood routing models for precise depth measurement
  • Perfect for the intricate woodworking jobs which require precision
  • The convenient on/off switch offers better control 
Cons
  • Lacks the required amount of power to achieve tougher professional work

12. Hitachi KM12VC

Much like the SKIL 1817, the Hitachi KM12VC, too, is known for its amazing precision and controlled cutting abilities. 

It’s essentially an 11 amp wood router with 2.25 HP of power and comes in two customizable base variants of a fixed as well as a plunge.

You can either go for either of the bases or pick them both, as changing them is very easy thanks to the amazing release clamp feature. 

Hitachi KM12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router...
  • Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT....
  • 11 Amp motor (2 1/4 Peak Horsepower), for precise,...

Experience 

Precision is not the only thing that made us fall in love with this wood router. Versatility is also another one of its positive qualities, which helps it to cater to every woodworking needs with ease.

The 2-stage release clamp is not just helpful for changing bases; it’s also very useful when it comes to getting accurate depth adjustments. 

It also comes with a vibration absorption feature, which helps it to soak up almost all of the noise which is emitted by the motor of the tool. 

The body of the router is equipped with a 0.50″ and a 0.25″ collet chuck as well, along with a centering gauge, template, and a guide adapter. 

This significantly increases the control one can have over the machine helping with the overall precision of the tool.

However, the router fails to impress when it comes to the longevity of the respective features, namely the speed control one.

With repeated use, the buttons start to wear out, and after a few months, the speed control may fail to work entirely.

Pros
  • Provides precise cutting and speed control
  • Comes with both fixed and plunge bases, which are easy to change
  • Has a great depth precision mechanic 
Cons
  • The speed control feature is not as long-lasting and may stop working after some months 

13. Festool 574692 Router

With a consumption of about 1400 watts, the Festool 574692 Wood Router is indeed an incredibly powerful wood shaping device. 

However, power is not the only feature that makes this model such a popular one in the market today.

It comes with a vast number of accessories as well, each catering to a specific woodworking need, and can effortlessly fit both the domestic and professional spheres perfectly.

Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ Imperial
  • Ergonomic handles: Festool routers are designed...
  • Dust extraction: Integrated dust extraction ports...

Experience 

The plunger ability of the Festool 574692 is just fantastic when compared to some of the more standard models on the market today.

It goes through the toughest of wood blocks with relative ease, and you will not have to slow down between complicated woodworking jobs in any way.

The trigger lock is also another feature of the router, which we absolutely adore; it helps to get a steady speed going and help amateur tool users get more familiar with the device.

This prevents accidental injuries as well, and along with the variable speed settings you will be able to adjust the router to fit any job at hand 

The body of the Festool 574692 is designed to have an incredible dust collection feature which you will not find in any other router.

However, this router model is out of reach for most average buyers as it’s quite expensive.

Though packed with an amazing array of features, you will have to pay a fortune to get it, and even then, you will not be provided with an edge guide, which you will have to invest in separately.

Pros
  • An incredibly powerful wood routing device
  • Will allow you to make finer adjustments to the motor with the Festool parallel guide
  • Allows for convenient plunge height adjustments for better precision
Cons
  • It’s a very expensive device
  • Will require you to invest in the edge guide separately

Wood Router Buyer’s Guide 

When it comes to fitting your specific preferences, choosing just any wood router will not do. 

You will need to keep in mind a lot of the particulars like size, ergonomics, and motors to see if they fit your personal requirements.

And in our guide, to help you out, we will be going over 4 key factors to look for when going wood router shopping.

1. The Size

Wood routers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

However, the sizes primarily rely on the router category you are looking for.

Palm routers are tools that are just perfect for smaller tasks and are small enough to fit right into your palms. 

A compact router, on the other hand, features a much higher power level than the palm ones, and though a bit bigger in size, they come in compact portable cases. 

Finally, full-sized routers are the most powerful category and are built to be much larger so that it can comfortably house the bigger motor. 

2. The Build Design | How ergonomic is it? 

This particular point is a no brainer really, but we are still going to list it in our guide as a lot of the newer customers often seem to compromise on ease of use for performance and power.

A wood router, like any other power tool, needs to be ergonomically designed with easy to use features as well as safety features that will protect the user from a long-term injury.

Now, a poorly designed wood router will cause a lot of muscle tension and result in inflammation and eventually lead to chronic and painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

So, do make sure that the router you pick is comfortable to hold and use.

3. Has a Dust Collection Port

We cannot begin to tell you how useful an integrated dust collection port can be when it comes to power tools that kick up a lot of dust. 

And a wood router gives off a lot of dust indeed.

This dust, when it settles, does it in two places, one would be your workbench, and the other, your lungs. 

As a result, it can cause a lot of physiological problems in the long run. So, it’s better to look out for a router which comes with its very own dust collection system 

4. The Motor

Being aware of the motor and picking a specific one may not be such a mandatory thing like the previous points on the list. 

But we would recommend that you go for a brushless variety as they’re usually much quieter when working than their other competitors and don’t weigh as much.

A majority of the big-brand power tool companies use them as well; hence, it can be rather convenient for you if your tool has this particular feature.

Final Thoughts 

The current woodworking market does indeed have a variety of wood routers to pick from. Each boasting a separate perk to fit a particular need and job. So, picking the right one can indeed be a difficult task to achieve; however we hope that our guide today was able to help you end your dilemma.

Till next time!

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