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Top 3 Best Wood Router Reviews In 2016

What Do You Need To Know About Before Buying The Best Wood Router In The Market?

best wood router guide

A best wood router is a carpenter’s delight especially if it’s dependable, serves its purpose and is within your budget. If you are a woodworking enthusiast interested in creating intricate designs, shaping patterns and creating woodwork joints, you most definitely need to buy a wood router. Different projects require different routers, so you need to be aware of the differences between each of the wooden routers available in the marketplace. You can get them from hardware stores, department stores, tool stores or online retailers. Find out the best features your money can buy for each router, what’s included with your kit and other details in this review.

Comparison Chart

PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2.25-Horsepower Fixed and Plunge Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 0.5-Inch and 0.25-Inch Collets DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Variable Speed Max Torque Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s
Brand Porter-Cable Bosch Dewalt
Weight 9.4 pounds 18.2 pounds 8 pounds
Dimensions 10 * 10 * 8 inches 6.2 * 19.5 * 14.5 inches 18.9 * 10 * 6.8 inches
Amps 11 12 7
Voltage 120 Volts 120 Volts 120 Volts
Power source Corded-Electric AC/DC AC
Special Features Fixed-base Plunge Plunge
Amazon Rating #5 #7 #1

 

A Review on the Best Wood Routers

Depending on the level of expertise you’re at, a good wood router should meet your needs in your budget. You may want to simply make wooden designs for doors or you may need a router for a complicated manufacturing assembly line. Here are three popular brands of wood routers, their best features and accessories, performance and durability in detail.

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

Porter-Cable 690LR is the best choice of wood router for you if you want a simple, non-flashy router. It’s a basic fixed base router that does your woodwork. It is observed by woodworkers that seven out of ten woodworkers use this router. LR stands for Lever Release quick adjustment clamp feature which is new with this router, compared to the older turn-key type. You can use this router as base and add various bases like plunge, D-handle or a plain Jane base for your varying woodwork requirements.

Features

Porter-Cable 690LR comes with the following features:

  • Single speed 1.75 horsepower router motor generates 27,500 rpm for easy handling
  • Spiral can design and cam-lock lever make adjustments precise and fast
  • Easy bit removal using the auto-release collect system
  • Greater comfort and less job fatigue through overmold grip
  • Precision machined aluminum motor housing and base protects the inner components
  • Dust sealed power switch
  • Sealed ball bearing construction guards against wear and tear
  • Micro-depth adjustor precise up to 1/128 inch
  • An under-table stop prevents the motor from rotating out of the base while it is still on
  • Ergonomically molded grips keep hands and wrists comfortable even during lengthy jobs

Performance

A basic fixed base router, it has a single speed 11 amp motor that produces 1.75 peak horsepower that performs 27,500 revolutions per minute to complete a range of jobs. The cam-lock lever helps in quick and simple coarse height adjustments, with steady and consistent performance. To change between plunge and d-handle bases (sold separately), there is a motor release mechanism.

Durability

The router sports a rugged construction using precision-machined aluminum motor housing and base. It is as durable as it is efficient. Its dust-sealed components include a dust-sealed switch and sealed ball-bearing construction. These guard against wear and tear whether the router is used in a busy jobsite or a hardworking shop.

Capacity

This router can work with both 0.25-inch and 0.50-inch collets. There is a built-in auto-release collet system for fast bit removal. This ensures user-friendly performance and consistency.

Accessories

  • Router with motor
  • 25-inch collets
  • 25 inch collet wrench
  • 5-inch collets
  • 5 inch collet wrench
  • Fixed base
  • Operating manual

Affordability

With a list price at $300, this router is available online on Amazon at under $100 with free shipping.

Customer Service

The Porter-Cable website offers information on warranty concerns, service center locations and return policies. With a 3-year warranty, a 1-year free service contract and 90 day money back guarantee, this router promises ease of use and convenience.

Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2.25-Horsepower Fixed and Plunge Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 0.5-Inch and 0.25-Inch Collets

Bosch 1617EVSPK router is your best choice router if you need a multi-base, variable speed router for your various woodworking needs. It includes a fixed and plunge base, both designed by Bosch Precision Centering Design. Depending on the material and the task, using the speed dial you can switch between ranges of RPMs using its variable speed motor. Switching between the bases takes a matter of seconds and does not require any additional tools.

Features

The Bosch 1617EVSPK12 router comes with the following features:

  • Motor & RPM Output – 2.25HP/12 AMP Motor, 8,000 to 25,000 RPM
  • Variable speed dial that matches speed to task / work piece
  • Soft-start reduces torque at start-up
  • The circuitry responds constantly and maintains uniform speed even under tough conditions.
  • Micro-fine bit depth adjustment system on both fixed and plunge bases for precise, fast adjustment of bit depth
  • Wide base openings and 2 inch sub-base openings provides better visibility while accepting larger bits
  • Switch located left or right for consistency and user preference (during depth adjustment, motor does not rotate)
  • The handles have a contoured and soft grip for better control and comfort
  • Doubly insulated
  • Dust sealed power switch
  • Rugged carrying case includes compartments for the items in the kit

 

Performance

Tough routing tasks can be done using this router with its powerful 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor and its capable speed range starting from 8,000 lasting up to 25,000 RPM. Speed can be changed using the variable speed dial depending on the material and routing task. Get cleaner, accurate cuts with its built-in constant response circuitry that maintains a constant speed. The motor’s soft start feature ensures smoother transition and easy handling on startup while reducing torque.

Durability

The Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit is built for multiple generations of use. To ensure long standing working capability, the power switch has been completely sealed to keep dust away. Aluminum motor housing and motor base ensure long life and durability. The components are completely protected whilst inside the rugged carrying case.

Capacity

This router can work with multi-dimension collets – 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ and 8 mm.

 

Accessories

  • 25″ Self-Releasing Collet Chuck
  • 5″ Self-Releasing Collet Chuck
  • 24mm Collet Nut Wrench
  • 16mm Shaft Wrench
  • T-Handle Hex Height Adjustment Wrench
  • Carrying Case
  • Fixed Base (RA1161)
  • Fixed Base Chip Shield
  • Plunge Base (RA1166)
  • Plunge Base Chip Shield
  • Motor
  • Pack of 3 10-24 Screws for Table Mounting

Affordability

This router is available on Amazon at around $200 with free shipping.

Customer Service

Bosch is renowned for its mechanical products and patented designs. Their website offers information on warranty concerns, service center locations and return policies. This multi functional router handling a range of routing applications comes with a 1-year limited warranty, one-year service protection plan and 30-day money back guarantee.

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Variable Speed Max Torque Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s

DEWALT DWP611PK

Dewalt DWP611PK is your choice of router if you need a powerful yet lightweight, variable speed, multi-purpose router that also works in the dark with its dual LEDs in the base. It comes with dual base – fixed and plunge. Changing motors between the fixed and plunge bases is quick and easy with its two spring loaded tabs for base release. You can easily perform a range of applications – small bevel cuts, large edge profiles, heavy flush trimming.

 

Features

  • Motor & RPM Output – 1.25HP/7 AMP Motor, 16,000 to 27,000 RPM
  • Bit speed can be changed for different applications using variable speed control
  • Soft starting motor with feedback maintains motor speed during the cut making it clean and effortless to use
  • Extended 8-slot, 0.25-inch collet maximizes surface contact
  • Easy to do single wrench bit changes with the large, low-pressure spindle lock button and multiple shaft-lock detents

 

Fixed base features

 

  • Up to 1.5″ of depth travel
  • Dual LEDs and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility in operation
  • Controlled bit depth changes are precise to 1/64″ using the adjustment ring
  • Clamping mechanism and depth ring combine to make sure motor remains locked in position while in use
  • Greater work surface contact with improved user control using the extended sub-base

 

Plunge base features

 

  • Up to 2″ of depth travel
  • Fine-tune adjustment rod for setting the depth precisely
  • Secure and comfortable grip using overmolded rubber handles
  • Larger base platform for added stability for heavier applications
  • Sub-base can be accessorized according to universal template guides

Performance

Tough routing tasks can be done using this router with its powerful 1.25 HP/7 Amp motor and its capable speed range starting from 16,000 lasting up to 27,000 RPM. You can set the speed depending on the task and work piece using the variable speed control. A low (close to the work surface), contoured grip helps in a greater level of control – helping you do more with more precision at the job site.

Durability

The 1.25 HP/7 Amp motor is made extra durable to meet the toughest of applications. The motor is housed in aluminum and the base is constructed to resist wear and tear and have a long life of use.

Capacity

The Dewalt DWP611PK comes with an extended 8-slot, 0.25-inch collet that maximizes surface bit contact and ensures smooth handling with less bit vibration. Compared to other traditional routers, it provides greater bit contact with the bit shaft.

Accessories

  • Dewalt DWP611PK compact router (with LEDs)
  • Standard fixed base plus plunge base
  • Wrench
  • Operating instructions

Affordability

This router is available on Amazon at around $170 with free shipping.

Customer Service

Dewalt is known for its power tools. Their website offers information on warranty concerns, service center locations and return policies. This multi functional router handling a range of routing applications comes with a 3 year limited warranty that covers defects due to faulty workmanship or faulty materials.

Conclusion

With durability and performance in mind, the Dewalt DWP611PK is the best wood router due to its ease of use and handling. With 84% five star reviews on Amazon, it clearly rises above the other two routers (71% and 66%). Also Amazon reported only a 1% negative review on the Dewalt DWP611PK (11% and 3%).

Buyer’s Guide

best wood router

If you are a DIY woodworker who wants to start doing complex woodwork like those in kitchen cabinets, you need a cutting edge, easy-to-use wood router to take care of the basics. Whether you are working with hard wood or plywood, your woodwork requires a router to start with. Look for these points while deciding on a router:

  • Kind of base to meet your requirements – whether plain Jane, fixed, plunge, etc
  • Type of wood you are working with – hard or plywood
  • Machine motor speed that you can handle – higher speeds needs more manual strength to handle
  • Selection of router bits like beading, chamfer, cove, dado, dovetail – used to cut grooves, to shape different designs
  • Clamp design – whether turn-key or lever release
  • Life of the router – whether for a short term job or for long term assignments
  • Additional accessories like router tables, jigs, fences
  • Placement of the power switch and speed control switch – Sometimes, foot operated switches are convenient since the router needs both hands while it is on
  • Compatibility with other manufacturer’s accessories – You might want the router to work with additional bases made by the same or different manufacturer
  • Ergonomic features that make the router easy to handle – like grips and bit depth adjustment features

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