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Best Wood Router Reviewed and Top Rated Routers for Woodworking and Ratings

While there are a lot of woodworking tools you may want to have in your arsenal, having a good wood router is a necessity. Armed with the best wood router you can afford, you will be able to bring the majority of the woodworking creations you have in your head to life.

When you read wood router reviews, it is clear that amateurs and professionals benefit from this versatile tool. Without good wood router, you must resort to archaic and sloppy methods to attain the cuts you want.

Working with top wood router will not only improve the quality of your work, but it will also allow you to work faster. This is important whether you are working on a hobby project or completing a professional job for a client.

This guide is designed to give you the basic information you need to make a conscientious decision when deciding what the best wood router is for your needs.

Our Top 3 Recommended Wood Routers

  • Bosch 1617EVSPK
  • 6.2 x 19.5 x 14.5”
  • 18.2 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Horsepower: 2.25
  • DEWALT DWP611PK
  • 7 x 10.2 x 19"
  • 8 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Horsepower: 1.25
  • DEWALT DW618PK
  • 15.9 x 24 x 9.1”
  • 22.3 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Horsepower: 2.5

Wood Router reviewsWhat Is a Wood Router and How to use it?

What is a router tool? A router is a versatile tool that every woodworker needs in their arsenal. It is designed to route, or hollow out, a space in a piece of wood or plastic. It is an excellent tool for making cutouts, joint cuts, and decorative surface cuts.

Still, you may be wondering, what does a router do? What types of routers are available? And what is the best wood router for my needs?

What Does a Wood Router Do?

best wood router

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A wood router is useful for more than just cutting intricate edges on a piece of wood. It is a powerful tool that can create almost flawless wood patterns. It is used extensively in carpentry and cabinetry.

At the outset, routers were solely hand tools. Now there are many styles of electrically powered spinning routers on the market today. Routers have an electric driven motor and spindle. The router has a flat plane and a shaft or a bit that sticks out at the bottom. The electric motor causes the bit to spin rapidly, allowing it to cut wood to a desired shape.

Learning how to use a router tool effectively will take some time. This is because the best wood router will have versatile speed controls and other settings that need to be mastered before you are able to produce the woodworking results you want.

Types of Routers

Plunge Routers: These routers are designed to allow you to make controlled vertical movements as you cut. You can insert, or plunge, the cutting bit into the surface of your wood seamlessly. Plunge routers allow you to make deep grooves, do pattern and template work, do complete cut through, as well as mortises.

Fixed Base Routers: These routers are perfect for edge shaping. They’re easy to maneuver and are considered to be a good all-purpose router.

What Size Router Will You Need?

best affordable router

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Before selecting the best affordable router and before learning how to use a plunge router, you first need to decide what size router you will need. The power of your router is determined by its horsepower. The horsepower along with the collet will determine how large the bit you can use can be.

While these are not hard and fast rules, the following are some guidelines to consider.

When looking for a general all-purpose router, it may suffice to purchase one that has:

  • A Fixed Base
  • 1.5 to 3.5 hp
  • 8 to 15 A
  • Weighs Between 8 to 10 Pounds

A model of this sort is going to be compact and easy to maneuver.

If you want a model with more flexibility, the best wood router for you will be one with similar specifications to the above mentioned model but one that has an interchangeable base. This will allow you to have flexibility and at the same time versatility to meet your changing needs.

There are a lot of budget routers on the market. It is worth it to take the time to find the best budget router on the market by reading the reviews in order to get one that has the power and versatility to meet your needs.

Types of Wood Routers

Each router style has its pros and cons. Understanding a little bit about these routers helps in making a good choice when selecting the best cheap router for your needs.

There are five basic styles of wood routers. They are:

Fixed Based Router best cheap router

With a fixed base router, the position of the router is constant. This means that if you set the router bit to cut at 3/8 of an inch, the bit will extend past the base 3/8 of an inch and provide a consistent cut depth throughout the job until you change the position of the bit.

Plunge Routers

What is a plunge router? A plunge router is similar to a fixed base router, but it allows you to set a preset cut depth. However, you can lower or plunge the bit deeper into the material you are working on, adjusting the depth of your cut while you are working.

Fixed based and plunge routers are among the two most popular styles of routers available. When determining fixed base versus plunge router, consider the type of work you are planning on doing now and the possible woodworking jobs you will have in the future. For most people, a plunge router is the best choice because it offers greater flexibility.

Interchangeable Base Routers

These routers offer the freedom to go between a fixed base router and a plunge router. Most are designed with an easy to detach base. It saves you money because you have the benefit of using two styles of routers in one product.

Combination Router Kits

These kits have a single motor with a fixed base and a plunge router base.

Trim router

Trim router reviews

Courtesy of Michael Storer

These routers are small and lightweight versions of a traditional router. They are primarily used for flushing the edges after applying a laminate or a veneer.

Keep in mind the following when thinking about different types of routers. Trim routers are light duty use routers. You will use them on some inlays and to form veneers. Most have a one horsepower motor.

From there, you will have medium-range plunge routers, fixed base routers, and a combination of the two. These will have a horsepower range of 1.5 to 2.3. These products are going to be what most do-it-yourselfers and some professionals will use. They come with ¼ inch or ½ inch collets.

Finally, you will have fixed routers and some plunge routers that have a 15 amp 3.25 hp motor. These are heavy duty beasts. They are pro-routers that most average users will have little use for.

Wood Router Accessories

Best Router bits

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When you read the reviews, it becomes clear that having a powerful and well-designed router is pointless without having the proper accessories and knowing how to use them. The following is a list of the most important router accessories as well as a bit of information about their use.

Router Bits

Router bits come in many profiles. Profile refers to the shape of the cutting edge of the router. Some of the most common profiles include:

  • Straight Bits designed to make a straight cut in the material or to form a groove.
  • Rabbeting bits are designed with a spinning pilot bearing at the tip. This allows you to cut a shoulder in the edge of the piece you are working on. These are often used when creating a joint.
  • Flush trim bits are used to trim the edge of a piece of wood so that it matches with the edge of another piece of wood.

Other bits include chamfer bits, edge forming bits, and specialized bits.

Router Tables

Router Tables reviewsA router table is stationary. It is a machine that allows a router to be mounted underneath it with the spindle pointing vertically. Different router bits may be added to the spindle chuck, changing the results you get on the project you are working on.

Most router tables have a vertical fence that allows the wood piece to be guided while at the same time determining the depth of the cut. A router table improves the versatility of a handheld router, making it easier to work with larger pieces. By reading wood router reviews, you can get a good idea of which router table will work best with your machine.

Fences

A router fence is a must-have for guiding your work through router bits. A good router fence is going to be completely flat and slide across the router table in a smooth manner. Some router fences are designed with a dust extraction or collection system.

When looking for a router fence, find one that has a micrometer adjustment feature. This will allow you to make accurate adjustments.

You want your router fence to be sturdy and square to your table. A good fence will be the right size for the router table.

Jigs

Best router jig

Courtesy of Danny Ayers

In the most basic terms, a router jig is designed to make your woodworking easier. It is used in conjunction with the router as a way of speeding up repetitive tasks and ensuring that your measurements, your cuts, and the position of your work pieces are uniform.

Clamps

Clamps are essential for any woodworker. They are a way to hold the pieces of wood you are working on in place and prevent them from slipping. They also can hold a jig onto your worktable. All of these things make your project more uniform and safer. When you speak to any long time carpenter, they will tell you that their clamps are among the most valuable tools they have.

There are a variety of clamps available, including those made for use on rough wood and for finished projects.

Speed Controls

Some speed control features include:

  • Electronic feedback circuitry that monitors the amount of stress placed on the motor, adjusting the torque to match it.
  • Soft start that prevents the router from gorging the material by surging to full speed when you turn it on. Instead, the router gradually gains speed, protecting your work material.
  • Switches on a router are pretty straightforward. All routers have a switch to turn them off and on. Some routers have what is referred to as a variable speed trigger.

These speed controls when used in conjunction with a foot switch can make it easy for you to do two-handed router work.

D-Handle Bases

excellent a D-handle base

Courtesy of Mark Hunter

If you were to ask most carpenters what they feel defines the best wood router, the majority will say that it has a D-handle base. These routers are excellent for working freehand.

They will allow you to have a weak grip to perform a wide range of techniques that are very difficult to perform with a traditional grip.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into getting the most out of your wood router. It all starts with buying the best inexpensive router, adding on necessary accessories, learning how to use the machine, and then creating wonderful functional and art wood pieces.

Best Wood Router Reviews

DEWALT DWP611PK

The DEWALT DWP611PK is a variable speed router that has been designed for ease-of-use while at the same time having enough power to be used by amateurs and professionals.

It is ergonomically designed with innovative features, giving it an attractive appearance as well as features not found in other routers of the same price range. It comes with a plunge base and a fixed base in the combo set.

The router has a 1.25 peak horsepower motor. In this respect, it is smaller than some of the other routers on the market, but it has high torque.

This means that it’s powerful enough for all of your small woodworking projects. It is the best compact router in this price range.

The D shape fixed base on the router increases its stability and visibility, making it easier for you to see what you are doing when you are edging or doing radius cuts. It has a spring-loaded quick release tab on each side, making it easy to remove and switch the base. The majority of the reviews about this product are positive.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

This is good wood router for someone looking to get their feet wet as a wood craftsman and who wants to add some nice special touches to their projects. It is also good for the intermediate user who might have a larger router in their shop but does not want to take it out every time they need to do little jobs.

Bosch 1617EVSPK

When you look at the Bosch 1617EVSPK and when you read wood router reviews about the product, it is very clear that this unit was designed to be full of features that carpenters would use. It is a Bosch plunge router/fixed router combo.

It has a very powerful motor and a lot of features that increase your ability to work efficiently while at the same time creating a stellar project. The router is cased with solid aluminum. The bases are sturdy and well-built, not to mention attractive to look at.

There are multiple knobs that you can use to make minute adjustments. It is clear to see that with this unit, Bosch was striving to make top wood router on the market.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

Most wood router reviews agree that this is a well-designed, finely crafted, powerful machine. Since it comes with both a plunge and fixed base, it is flexible enough for you to use it on a wide range of projects.

This unit is perfect for intermediate or advanced users. Because of its power, it may be a little bit too much for someone who is just starting to get a feel for how a router works. So it is not recommended for beginners.

DEWALT DW618PK

DeWalt wood tools are renowned around the world for their durability and performance. The DEWALT DW618PK more than lives up to this reputation. This is a variable speed router that has 2.25 hp.

It is a mid-range router with, according to the reviews, a surprising amount of power and functions. It’s designed to be used by the professional woodworker as well as the at home do-it-yourselfer.

It has a mixture of easy to use functions and more advanced functions suited to the intermediate or professional user.

The combo kit has a fixed base and a plunge base, increasing the flexibility and usability of the unit.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

While an adventurous beginner looking to add nice touches to their project can use this router, it is the best wood router for intermediate and professional woodworkers. It’s fixed and plunge base options give it flexibility not found in other units.

PORTER-CABLE 690LR

The PORTER-CABLE 690LR has a very unique design and casing. It looks modern and stands out as being different than the DeWalt plunge router or other routers like the Bosch MRC23EVSK. In fact, some people say that it looks like a coffee maker.

This impressive fixed base router is powered by a 1.75 hp motor. It has the ability to generate up to 27,000 RPMs, putting it right up there with some of the most powerful hand routers in this price range.

It is designed to give you precise cuts and routing action. The fixed base motor allows you to take advantage of every drop of horsepower this unit has.

It is a great tool for woodworking, construction, or making furniture repairs.

The motor is so powerful that it requires two handles to effectively maneuver it. Thankfully, the handles on this device are strategically placed to give you the maximum control over the router.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

Wood router reviews resoundingly agree that this is a powerful and precise router. It is the best wood router for someone who focuses on cabinetmaking or someone who wants a powerful yet precise cut. This is a durable, simple, basic device. It can work with the most commonly used bits and production setups. It is one of the best rated routers for woodworking in this price range.

Its 1.75 hp motor makes it powerful enough to get a lot done but not so powerful that novices will have a difficult time figuring it out. We feel confident in recommending this product for general use.

Festool 574342

The Festool 574342 is a powerful unit designed to handle the toughest task you throw at it.

It is a tool that is designed to be flexible while at the same time creating a minimal amount of dust.

The Festool 574342 has been exceeding expectations for many years.

It works well on hardwoods and is also perfect for trimming laminate.

When coupled with a CT dust extractor, it provides a level of performance that most routers at this price range cannot meet.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

There are many professional and amateur carpenters who agree that this is the best router for woodworking. It has a powerful motor, it is well-balanced, and based on what we have seen from numerous router reviews, it has a reputation for longevity.

It is a little bit more expensive than some of the other models we have reviewed, but it makes up for its cost with stellar performance and features that other routers do not have.

Bosch MRC23EVSK

Bosch is a company that is constantly pushing itself to create new, innovative, and unique products that are perfectly designed to address the needs of their customers.

This desire to create something the customer can use is clearly seen when looking at the MRC23EVSK.

This unit features a 2.3 hp motor. It comes equipped with a fixed base and a plunge base. It also has the option of a quarter inch or half inch self-releasing collet. The kit also has a T handle hex height adjustment wrench.

Bosch leads the industry when it comes to manufacturing quality. With this unit, they have taken it a step further with with their precision centering design. This guarantees that the center line of the spindle is aligned with the center of the base opening. Precision and accuracy are a lot easier with this product.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

Thanks to its always on LED lighting, variable speed dial, and trigger control system, the Bosch MRC23EVSK is a unit that stands above the rest. It is easy to see why this is one of the best rated routers by the reviews.

Black & Decker RP250

If you have a passion for wood design, you are going to appreciate some of the unique features of the Black & Decker RP250.

This Black & Decker plunge router is the best plunge router for a craftsman focused on creating stellar woodwork.

Features such as its 10 amp motor, gradual start function, and quarter inch collet are just a few of the things that make this product stand out above the competition.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

This machine is perfectly designed for someone who is looking to do decorative on softer woods. While its 10 amp motor is powerful enough for this type of work, it does not have the same power as a machine like the Dewalt DW618B3.

If you use it on harder woods, it is likely that the motor will burn out after just a few uses. There are many reviews of this product that discuss the negative results people have had when they used this product on hardwood.
That being said, it is lightweight and provides sufficient precision to allow you to add a decorative touch to all of the pieces that you make.

DEWALT DW616

The DEWALT DW616 features a 1.75 hp motor and the ability to accept ¼ inch and ½ inch bits. While it is an entry-level router, it still has the power and features to make it a great buy, especially for someone just learning how to work with wood.

When coupled with a DeWalt router table, this tool provides a new level of versatility. This versatility comes in part thanks to the option to use a fixed plunge base.

The 11 amp motor gives you the ability and power to work on hardwoods.

A unique feature of this router is its micro fine depth adjustment ring. It provides adjustments that are accurate to 1/64 of an inch. The clear sub base gives you the visibility you need while working on the most demanding project.

Locking and unlocking the base is easy thanks to the steel motor cam lock and quick release motor latches. These are just a few of the features that have garnered this unit so much praise.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

DeWalt products have a stellar reputation that they have earned over the years. That reputation is reflected in the quality of this unit. It has a very powerful motor, and it is very easy to use.

One of the downsides of this product is that since there is no soft start, you may find yourself, like many individuals who commented on this feature in wood router reviews, ruining your projects more often than you would like. This is especially true if you are accustomed to using a router that has a gradual speed increase when you first turn it on.

Additionally, not to being able to adjust the router’s speed, but being forced to accept the 24,500 RPM single speed, is a major drawback.

Hitachi M12VC

The Hitachi M12VC is a solid router. It features an 11 amp 2.25 hp motor. It is well-equipped to handle any task thrown at it.

Couple this machine with some Craftsman router bits and you have a powerful tool for personal or professional use.

The first thing you’re going to notice is how nice the hard sided case that holds the base and accessories is. It is perfectly designed to transport your router while at the same time providing it the protection it needs.

This router is one of the least expensive routers we are going to review. It is good value for the price, but it does lack some of the professional touches that you would see on comparable models that are bit more expensive.

For example, the collet is a bit far from the base in the lowest position. This makes it a challenge using it on a router table, even if you’re using a high quality Craftsman professional router table.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

For its price, this router provides decent value. It will provide acceptable results on a wide range of products. As you work with this machine, you are probably going to feel satisfied with the results you achieve. That being said, there are many reviews about this product where the user states that they felt that the grip made using the product uncomfortable.
We would recommend that the engineers provide a wider base and set the motor a little lower in the base to increase comfort level and functionality.

PORTER-CABLE 7538

If you are looking for a router that has the elegance of a Porsche but the power of a tank, then this is the model for you. The PORTER-CABLE 7538 is a single speed router that has a soft start.

It has a powerful 15 amp motor that gives you the durability you need to work for a long time and on some very hard materials.

Although the soft start feature does start the router out at lower RPM’s, there is no significant loss in torque, so you can get right to work as soon as you turn the machine on.

Designed to produce less vibration, this router makes you feel like you are in control from the start to the finish of your product.

With a 3.25 hp motor, this is one of the most powerful handheld routers you will be able to use.

Whether you are using the fixed router, doing plunge routing, or you opt to connect this to a Craftsman router table combo or something similar, you know that you are going to get predictable and high-quality results every single time.

As we said, this product is designed to be a tank. It produces unstoppable routing. There is no question that this is a commercial grade unit.

Specifications
Product Features
Pros and Cons

Conclusion:

It is easy to understand the power that this unit offers when you compare it to some of the other appliances in your home. With a 3.5 hp motor, this router has more power than your home’s air conditioning system.

It is designed to get the job done without you needing to struggle. You will instantly notice how it overwhelms the materials that you are working on, without producing excessive vibration. This is the best wood router for woodworkers who need power and precision.

Factors to Keep In Mind When Buying a Wood Router

It is pretty clear to see that having a router is essential for anyone who is serious about producing high quality wood work. There are some factors that you should consider when determining which router is right for you.

 

Safety

Talk to anyone who has worked with wood for a considerable period of time and they will tell you the quality of the tool you purchase will determine how safe you will be while using said tool. When it comes to a router, there are a couple of safety features that are a must.

Buying a Wood Router

Courtesy of Mark Hunter

Soft Grips

When you are working on large projects, it is likely that you will have your router in your hand for hours on end. While you are working on the project, you may not notice the effect the grip is having on your hands. Once the project is done, if the grip is not ergonomically designed and if it is not soft, your hands will pay the price.

Noise Level

Just about every professional woodworker understands the importance of using hearing protection as they are going about their tasks. At the same time, just about every professional has had a time or two when they worked on a project without wearing sufficient hearing protection. A quieter router minimizes the damage done to your hearing when you work. At the same time, a quieter router is usually designed to produce less vibration, giving you a better end product.

LED Lights

These allow you to clearly see what you are working on and also see if there any obstacles in the way that could pose a potential safety hazard.

best router for woodwork

Courtesy of Steven Vacher

Quality

The best router for woodwork is a router that produces high-quality end results. Never compromise the quality of your router for price. A good router is going to be made of high quality materials, and it is going to have certain features that will improve your end product. Some of these features include:

Variable Speed

The speed that your router operates at should vary depending on the materials that you are working on and the end goal. While a one speed router may be less expensive, it is not necessarily the best router for woodworking.

Horsepower

Horsepower combined with amperage and the weight of your router is what gives you the power you need to get the job done. There is no point in spending money on an under-powered router that does not allow you to work on hardwoods. Generally, it is a good idea to purchase the most powerful router within your budget. It gives you the flexibility to increase power when needed and decrease it when you are working on more delicate projects.

Soft Start

There are countless stories of individuals with completely ruined beautiful pieces of wood work because they were using a router that did not have a soft start. A soft start allows you to start working on the wood without losing control of the router because you are not prepared for the motor to rev all the way up in less than a second.

Stability

best router for woodworking

Courtesy of Dave Clark

When you read a router buying guide, one of the things you see over and over again is the importance of stability. Using a router is a very delicate thing, especially if you are trying to do an intricate design. For this reason, when looking at a router focus on the following two things:

Balance and Comfort

If the router that you use is not balanced and if the router is not comfortable, it is going to affect the end result. If you are not comfortable, you’re going to be more focused on how you feel and not focused on producing a high quality product. Newcomers to routing may become discouraged if their router is not balanced because it makes it harder for them to produce high quality work.

Base Type

The base type you select determines what you will be able to do with the router. If you purchase a router that has a fixed base, until you adjust the cut depth level, you will only be able to cut at one depth. Conversely, with a plunge base, you will be able to make adjustments to the depths of your cut, but you will sacrifice some stability.

Where to Buy Best Wood Router

best router to buy

Courtesy of Mark Hunter

After reading some of our fixed base and plunge router reviews, you no doubt are asking yourself, where you can get a router power tool? You might even be considering buying a cheap router table.

When purchasing routers for woodworking, it is not enough to simply ask, what is the best router to buy? You also need to ask yourself, where you should buy the router?

There are a lot of brick-and-mortar stores that will offer you a wood router for sale. And there is nothing wrong with going down to your local hardware store and looking for wood routers for sale. However, we feel that the best option is purchasing your router online.

Purchasing a router online from a site like Amazon.com or from the manufacturer’s website allows you to look at router tool reviews written by other people just like you. It allows you to decide which router you want to buy from the comfort of your home.

Most importantly, when you purchase a router online, you are likely going to be able to find discounts that are a lot steeper than what are offered in brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, you will be able to examine the top rated routers side-by-side in one virtual location.

Making The Decision

best woodworking tools

Courtesy of Celine Massa

Throughout this guide we have tried to answer questions like: What is a router used for? What is a good router? And what are the top rated routers? Now the ball is in your court.

There is no doubt that a router is one of the best woodworking tools a carpenter can have. It provides a level of flexibility and versatility that very few other handheld tools offer.

Whether you are looking to purchase the most expensive router or if you are looking for the best router under 100 dollars, one thing is true, having an inexpensive router is better than having no router at all.

Owning a router opens up a world of woodworking opportunities you would not otherwise have.

So what are you waiting for? Hop online, read some more reviews, do your due diligence, and then purchase the best wood router in your price range. Once you have the machine in your hand and once you look at the amazing work it has a allowed you to produce, you are going to be so happy you made the decision to buy.

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Articles, Wood Routers Comments Off on Professional Woodworking Routers Guide for Expert DIY Masters! |

Professional Woodworking Routers Guide for Expert DIY Masters!

One of the amazing things about working with wood is that there are so many tools available. Every single time you shop online or walk into a hardware store, you want to get the next tool.

And while this is exciting on the one hand, it can become very overwhelming on the other hand. You may question what tools you need and what tools you can do without.

If you speak to any professional woodworker, they will tell you that woodworking routers one of those tools that you cannot do without. They are essential if you are going to take of those amazing ideas in your head and bring them to life.

Do I Really Need a Wood Router?

Best Wood Router

Courtesy of jeanbaptisteparis

Yes. Every single woodworker will benefit from having routers for woodworking in their arsenal. Without a wood router, relatively simple tasks become complicated. The only woodworker who would not want to seriously consider purchasing a router might to be a framer.

Without a router, you will have to use a mallet and a chisel to make certain cuts. And that just leaves you with work that looks sloppy, that is not precise, and that will not fit together well. If you try to work without a router and you compare your work to someone who has a router, you will immediately see the difference.

Individuals who work on cabinets will especially benefit from having a wood router. Just think of all the things you have to do as you build a cabinet. First, you construct the cabinets. Then you cut the wood for the frames. Next, you are doing the paneling, creating a decoration for the front of the cabinets, and cutting other materials to make a perfect fit. All of these steps are made so much easier with a Porter cable trim router.

What about joinery? A lot of people get into carpentry because they want to learn about things like dovetails. And it is true, dovetailing was done for centuries without a router. However, a router can make a lot of the tasks involved in dovetailing wood easy. It minimizes broken pieces and wasted material.

At the end of the day, you cannot achieve the same level of precision and speed without a wood router.

Whether you are doing something that is intricate, like putting together an instrument, or doing something that is more construction, like making uniquely designed door panels, having a wood router is a must.

In this day and age, working on wood without a router could be compared to an accountant doing his or her work without a calculator or a computer. It is just that basic of a tool.

Finding the Right Router

the right router

Courtesy of Danny Ayers

Of course, not all routers are created equal. There are so many options available, so picking a router in and of itself can become overwhelming. The trick is not allowing yourself to get caught up in the details. What you want to do is look for the best routers for the money.

Some routers offer different features that most people will not need. What you want to focus on is the size of the router, the power of the motor, whether it has a slow start feature, how many RPM’s it has, and if it allows you to vary the speed.

The last feature, variable speed, is exceptionally important. If you purchase a router that only has one speed option, then you are not going to be able to use it on certain types of wood. If the RPM’s on your router are too fast, you might actually burn your wood. Or if the RPM’s are too slow, the job is going to take a lot longer, and you’re going to end up with a less than stellar product.

What Brand Should I Trust?

Right Router Brand

Courtesy of rioncm

There are a lot of brands of routers on the market. When it comes to a router, you usually do not want to go with a generic brand. You want to focus on brands that have name recognition and a good reputation.

So what are the best router brands? For the money we say Bosch and DeWalt.

DeWalt is known for making devices that are good for construction and do-it-yourself use. While not as powerful as Bosch, their products usually have some amazing features.

Bosch, on the other hand, produces a very powerful tool. They often have unique grips, which can be a little bit difficult to get used to. However, if you are looking for a high quality and powerful tool, then this is the way to go.

Should I Purchase a Router Table?

Getting a router table

Courtesy of Andrew Whitacre

Getting a router table is a personal decision. A lot of it has to do with the type of work you are going to do. If you want to do a lot of heavy work, or if you think you are going to be doing a lot of precision work, then a router table is a good option.

A router table provides precision because it allows you to do some very precise cuts while at the same time using a fence. You simply move the fence to where you need it to be, turn on your router, and push the wood through it. Once you have your router in the right position, and once you have the fence in the right position, you are going to have some impressive results.

router table

Courtesy of Doug Coldwell

When you go to a hardware store and you look at a router table, it’s likely that you are going to say to yourself: “I can make one of these on my own.” And the truth is that you probably can. However, the risks to yourself and to your projects are great.Remember, a router is a very powerful tool, especially if you’re dealing with a larger one that has a 3.25 hp motor. If your table is not well designed and it wobbles or becomes unstable, it could lead to you coming into contact with the router. The result of this momentary contact could leave you with permanent injuries.

If you are serious about working with wood, investing in a router table is something you will not regret.

Conclusion

Working with wood is a joy. It allows you to create functional and artistic pieces. Adding a router and possibly a router table to your arsenal are decisions that you will not regret. Once you have one or two of these essential tools, you’re going to find yourself enjoying your woodworking a lot more, and you will produce better results.

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