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top rated wood router reviews

Best Wood Router Reviews for 2016


You might think that finding the best wood router is tough. There are way too many models out there, the prices vary a lot, and it seems like finding a good one is never ending task. That’s where we come in, we tried and tested top picks on the market this year and came up with a list of Top 5 Wood router reviews that will help you choose the right router for your needs.

We have done tons of different tests while testing and looking for the best router tables, and we have managed to compile a top list of the ones we think you should buy. We have kept many things in our mind while doing the testing. We looked at the performance of the routers, price, safety, quality, and a lot more. After we had tested over 30 different products, we have finally managed to create this list.

All routers you see on this page are the ones we think are worth buying. It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newbie looking for a way to start with woodworking; you can rest assured that all of the items on our list will suit your needs.

If your budget is a problem, you will manage to find something that can get you started. You might be a hobbyist, or a pro, in the end, you will find a router which will help you out with your woodwork. Read on, and find out which ones made it to our top list, and why.

PRODUCT IMAGEPRODUCT NAMEDIMENSIONSPOWERRATING
DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HPDEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP7 x 10.2 x 19.2 inchesAC power, 120 volts
Bosch 1617EVSPKBOSCH 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower6.2 x 19.5 x 14.5 inchesAC/DC, 120 volts
Porter-Cable 690LRPORTER CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base 10 x 10 x 8 inchesCorded-electric, 120 volts
Dewalt DW616DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base10.8 x 9.2 x 7.2 inchesCorded-electric, 120 volts
Black & Decker RP250BLACK AND DECKER RP250 10-Amp11.5 x 6.6 x 11.9 inchesCorded-electric, 120 volts

Best Wood Router Seller

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Wood Router Review


CUSTOMER RATING: 4.7/5

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP

There is a reason why the DEWALT DWP611PK is one of the best selling routers on the Amazon. Many people have tried it out and loved it, but we decided to put it truly to the test and share the results with you.

First of all, this wood router is pretty easy to use making it easy for a newbie to start wood crafting, but its advanced features make it a versatile tool for any wood worker’s tool shop. The DWP611PK is aesthetically pleasing, and its ergonomic features add to control, visibility, and performance. This awesome tool includes a lot of features which can be found in the more expensive models, making the DeWalt DWP611PK well worth its money. The fact that this router costs around 150$ might turn some of you off from buying it, but that could be a mistake.

When one looks at a router, the first thing which must be noticed is the horsepower rating of the motor. This wood router has a 1.25 peak HP motor making it one of the smaller routers out there, but you should not let that fact fool you. Despite its small size this router has lots of torque. Another good thing about this router is that it includes a soft starter. This means that, during the start up, the electric current surge of the motor is temporarily reduced, which leads to less stress on the router motor. This neat little router comes equipped with a variable speed dial which adjusts the RPM range from 16,000 to 27,000.

DeWalt DWP611PK is capable of working with large diameter bits and cutters, as well as with small diameter bits and cutters. This wide range of bits and cutters that the DWP611PK can handle is something both the hobbyists and the pros will come to appreciate.

DeWalt DWP611PK comes with both the plunge and fixed base. You will be pleased to know that with the plunge base this router performs exceptionally well. There are no jerky movements or anything else that might spoil the cut. Rubber handled grips make sure that you won’t have any problems with control and comfort.

It is very easy to switch between the two bases. You only need to lock the router down, and you will see how easy it is to do trimming and edging, as well as anything else you might want to do. The adjustment ring controls the bit depth changes to within 1/64 of an inch.

An extended eight slot collet makes it easier to tighten and loosen the bits. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular and the two ones on the bottom of the DeWalt DWP611PK do wonders with illuminating your project.

Some users found it troublesome that there are no side handles, and that the router isn’t cordless, but if you don’t see those two things as a problem you don’t have anything to worry about. This router managed to show us why it is a best-seller, and why so many people are buying it. Definitely, give this one a go!

PROS

  • Compact
  • Powerful
  • Easy to change bits
  • Variable speed
  • Compact Plunge base in the combo kit
  • Smooth cuts
  • Dual LEDs

CONS

  • Not cordless
  • Edge guide sold separately
  • No side handles

Best Quality

BOSCH 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower
Wood Router Review


CUSTOMER RATING: 4.6/5

Bosch 1617EVSPK

If you’re searching for a router with a soft start and a variable speed, then you can safely assume that you have managed to find one! But that’s not all; the Bosch 1617EVSPK is the best quality wood router we have had the pleasure to test. The additional horsepower helps with the higher density woods as it leaves you feeling less exhausted. This will help you finish your tasks quicker and will put less stress on your hands.

The Bosch 1617EVSPK has 2.25 horsepower and has a speed of 8,000 to 25,000 RPMs. It also has an interchangeable base, which is always a plus. It comes with both the plunge and fixed bases, collet chucks, chip shields, wrenches, and a carrying case.

The first thing we have noticed during our testing is how easy it is to use this wood router. We have been blown away when we noticed the classically designed handles which have proven to be a feature which makes this router so easy to use. Fixed base has beautiful wooden handles which are quite sturdy, while the plunging base has rubberized grips. When it comes to bases, they can be changed quickly, but we have noticed that changing the bases ca be a bit tricky while the router is cold.

The best part has to be the fact that the Bosch 1617EVSPK maintains a constant speed while cutting. Plenty of other cheaper products have a problem of not maintaining a constant speed, but this one does it flawlessly. You will not notice any inconsistencies in the grooves and cuts. We have managed to drop this router on the ground, but it hasn’t taken any visible damage. Yes, the Bosch 1617EVSPK is very sturdy, and we do appreciate that fact.

Some people have complained that they have managed to scrape their hands against the place adjustment screws while trying to change bits. This is such a minor issue that we didn’t even want to include it here, but eventually we decided to mention it.

Bosch22

If you are looking for a router which will step up your game, then the Bosch 1617EVSPK is the one you should look out for! This is the highest quality wood router we have used, and we would recommend it to both the hobbyists and the pros. You might find the price of around 200$ is a bit steep, but when you buy it, you will not feel sorry for investing in this versatile, high-quality tool. If you need a high-quality router, then you should get this one and find out for yourself why so many people are falling in love with the Bosch 1617EVSPK.

PROS

  • Precision
  • Variable speed dial
  • Durability
  • Soft start

CONS

  • Bit changing

Most Popular

PORTER CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Wood Router Review


CUSTOMER RATING: 4.5/5

Porter Cable 690LR

Most of the woodworkers know that the PORTER CABLE 690LR is a very popular router – not without a reason! This wood router might look bland and simple, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get the job done. When it comes to woodworking, flash doesn’t mean anything; it just looks pretty. This router has a simple design, but it is also very easy to work with if you are a beginner. It is also very useful for woodworking pros since many of them seem to be using it.

We have talked about the simplicity of design noticeable in the  690LR; this means that some of the features are lacking, but the precision and reliability of this tool make up for any minor flaws. This wood router comes with a 1.75 HP motor capable of producing 27,500 RPMs. Yes, it is a single-speed motor, but it performs very well and is easy to handle.

The LR in the name stands for Level Release quick clamp feature. This is a new feature compared to the older turn-key type. You can change the bases, unfortunately, they are sold separately, but it is good to know that you can use plunge and d-handle bases. A motor release mechanism will help you with the change of the bases.

The low price is not the only reason to why the PORTER CABLE 690LR is so popular. The LR version has a cam-lock lever, which makes height adjustments a breeze. Another reason for the popularity of this router is the fact that you can make micro-height adjustments up to 1/128 of an inch. You will be able to create very precise cut with this router.

We talked about the design being simple, but there are plenty of positive things stemming out of the simple approach to design; the 690LR is sturdy and durable. The ruggedness of this tool isn’t a detriment – it is very accurate and efficient. This router might not look as flashy as the other ones, but it gets the job done. This nifty wood router has a dust-sealed switch and a sealed ball-bearing construction. This ensures that the wear and tear are minimal even if you’re using it at a busy job site.

The 690LR can work with 1/4 inch collets and 1/2 inch collets. A built-in auto-release collet system makes sure that removing bits is easy and fast. We can safely say that this router is very user-friendly and consistent. Some users have complained about the power switch being placed on the machine. While this is not ideal, not many people saw it as a problem.

Lack of a storage compartment makes it a bit tedious to store the router components, but a crafty woodworker will solve this problem in an instant. There are plenty of reasons why the PORTER CABLE 690LR is extremely popular, you have learned some of them, but if you want to find out more, we suggest that you buy it and give it a try!

PROS

  • Easy to control
  • Auto-release collet system
  • Cam-lock lever
  • Consistent
  • Sealed ball bearing and power switch

CONS

  • Not cordless
  • Lacks variable speed
  • Power switch on the machine

Best Buy

DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base
Wood Router Review


CUSTOMER RATING: 4.9/5

Dewalt DW616

If you are looking for a router which can help you with woodworking done at home as well as with woodworking done at a job site, then the Dewalt DW616 could be what you’re looking for! This machine is capable of routing even the most demanding woods, and it can be bought for reasonable price. This is a definite best buy on our list, but if you would like to learn more about the Dewalt DW616 – read on.

This router comes with a 1.75 HP, 11-amp motor which provides enough power for your woodworking needs. The DW616 is compact and designed with simplicity in mind, but we have to say that this router is very easily noticeable because, in our opinion, it looks beautiful. The router also includes 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, two wrenches, and a sub-base concentricity gauge.

We were very glad to see that the DW616 comes with a switch that is dust sealed. It doesn’t matter how demanding your task is; you can rest assured that your machine’s switch will stay dust-free. It is nice to see just how much work has been put into ensuring that this router has a longer switch life. The switch and cordset configuration let you keep the switch in your right or left hand. This is unique and will leave many users satisfied.

Another thing that might peak your interest is the fact that this router is easily serviceable. Quick release motor latches and the steel motor cam lock make it very convenient for the users to service their router. It is important to note that the over-molded rubber handles and a well-balanced body ensure that you can work comfortably for hours. Low center of gravity design only adds to the fact that you can use the DW616 for many hours without experiencing any discomfort.

The micro-fine depth adjustment ring makes sure that you can make accurate adjustments in 1/64 inch increments. The Dewalt DW616 features a clear, lexan sub-base which ensures visibility, durability, and the ability to accept standard template guide bushings. We have mentioned that this tool includes a sub-base concentricity gauge. This will enhance your accuracy by helping with maintaining bit concentricity.

We are amazed at what the Dewalt has managed to create an easily usable tool with lots of power and precision at such a low price. Some users have complained that the Dewalt DW616 is very noisy, but we think that the problem is easily solved by investing in ear protection.

DEWALT DW616

If you’re looking for a best-bang-for-the-buck product, then you can sigh a sigh of relief because you have found it! The Dewalt DW616 proves that it is the best buy wood router in 2016. It is safe, sturdy, smartly designed, and some would say that it isn’t very expensive.

PROS

  • Built strong
  • Price
  • Smartly designed
  • Comfort

CONS

  • Noise

Lowest Price

BLACK AND DECKER RP250 10-Amp Plunge Router Review


CUSTOMER RATING: 4.8/5

Black & Decker RP250

The Black and Decker RP250 is a variable speed plunge router which gives you all of the functionality of a fixed router for a low price of around 50$ It comes with a 1/4 inch collet, wrench, 10 Amp variable speed motor, and an adjustable parallel edge guide. This router can not only create decorative edging like a fixed router, but it also allows you to start working in the middle of a piece of wood. This will let you create inlays, cut-outs, and more.

The RP250 comes with a 2.25 HP motor running on 10 Amps, and the variable speeds make it rotate from 8,000 to 27,000 RPM. We have found this router more than capable of cutting soft wood and hardwood without a problem. When you choose your rotation speed, you will notice that the speed stays constant which is always a plus. One of the features that we love is the gradual start function – this ensures more precise results, and it keeps you away from making expensive mistakes.

This tool features a rack-and-pinion height adjustment system, which lets you set the depth of reduce to within a 1/16 of an inch. A plastic window is contoured to the router base, and it protects you from wood chips and other debris that might be considered a problem. This wood router also boasts a push-button spindle lock which makes changing the bits an easy task.

It is obvious that versatility is the key word when it comes to Blackand Decker RP250. This machine can perform all of the functions of a fixed base router, but it can also do free hand routing cut outs, template cuts, and much more. We love the fact that it doesn’t sacrifice control and accuracy. All of your cuts will be precise thanks to the enhanced visibility.

One of the problems many users have noticed is that the plunge lock is a bit complicated to use. Some have talked about the base of the plate opening being small, and that the handles are too small for someone with average-sized hands. But all of these minor flaws go away when you remember that this tool can be bought for under $70.

Black & Decker

If you want to buy a unique wood router which, performs like two tools in one, has a low price and a gradual start feature, is excellent for beginners, and reduces the time of repetitive tasks, then the Black & Decker RP250 is right for you! If you are inclined towards spending double the amount of money and more, then take a look at the other best wood router reviews.

PROS

  • Price
  • Variable speed
  • Plunge base cuts through varied applications
  • Sturdy
  • Changing of bits is easy
  • Dual LEDs
  • Easy to change bits

CONS

  • Plunge lock hard to use
  • Handles too small
  • Only has 1/4 collet

How to Choose the Right Router for You?

You have decided that your shop needs a router, but you have no clue which one you should buy, and you don’t even know what you should look out for before committing to one model. Luckily, we are here to help you out with buying the best wood router for yourself. Read on and learn a bit more about wood routers, and you will have a clearer idea of what kind of a router you would like to own.

Your Needs Define Your Router

If this is the first time you are buying a router, you already know how hard it is to buy a good one. If you only want to soften those sharp edges, then a trim router is what you need – they are very compact and affordable. But if you would like to perform mortising and dovetailing, moderate to large profiling cuts, and just about any other routing task, then you should think about a mid-sized router. These machines are operated with two hands and have either a fixed or a plunge-style base.

Fixed-base routers are used for general profiling or other cutting operations and are also usually used in router tables. With plunge-based routers, you can vary your cutting depth instantly without turning the router off (this can’t be done with fixed-base routers).

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If you would like a full-sized router, keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. Full-sized routers aren’t something you should be searching for until you get very serious about heavy-duty jobs.

Features to Look Out For

1. Soft start

It is fun to see how people react to routers without a soft start. As soon as they turn it on the sudden noise and the surge of power make the router yank their hands. Soft start gives you a moment of pause before it powers up, and then it slowly accelerates to the speed you have set. Most of the new routers have this feature, but be sure to check it before buying.

2. Variable speed

Most of the routers come with a variable speed control, and it helps immensly if you use one router for all your bit sizes. If you’re using small bits – use mid to high speeds. If you are using large bits – use slower speeds.

3. Spindle lock

This is a very handy thing to have if you want to make bit changes more often. Plenty of routers out there require two wrenches for making bit changes. A spindle lock assures that you only need one wrench for the collet.

4. Above the table adjustment

Be sure that your router allows you to adjust the cutting height from above the table by using a knob, crank or a handle. Another thing to look out for is that the router is designed to extend the collet above the table.

All of these things become very useful when you finally decide to use your router together with a router table. Hopefully, we have helped you with your next purchase of a wood router. Keep these few things in your mind before committing to a product, and you will make sure that you don’t regret your purchase.

STILL NOT SURE WHAT TO CHOOSE?

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