FIND THE PERFECT WOOD ROUTERS IN MINUTES
We have reviewed our top 10 choices below and also done in-depth reviews by brands, but if you are in a rush:
Here’s our top choice: PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router (View on Amazon.com)
A good wood router can help you create cut outs in any wood board and add accents and decorations that you cannot add with a traditional saw. Though these tools typically come in two primary designs, either plunge or fixed, we looked at all models and included some of both designs on our list. After careful consideration and lots of research, the PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router(View on Amazon.com) got our nod as the top wood router because it comes with a 21,000 RPM motor and because it lets you easily release and replace the current bits with new bits.
Contents Table - Click to expand
Top Wood Routers On The Market
|1||PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router||8.4||View on Amazon|
|2||Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge ||7.5||View on Amazon|
|3||DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge ||7.8||View on Amazon|
|4||Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge ||7.6||View on Amazon|
|5||DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque ||7.4||View on Amazon|
|6||PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed Base Router||7.3||View on Amazon|
|7|| Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit||7.2||View on Amazon|
|8||DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router||7||View on Amazon|
|9||Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Grip 5.6 Amp 1-Horsepower||7||View on Amazon|
|10||SKIL 1817 120V 1-3/4 HP Fixed Base Router
||6.9||View on Amazon|
How to Choose the Perfect Wood Router
Start by asking yourself the following five questions...
Does it have a Fixed or Plunge Base?
The first choice you must make is between a fixed and plunge base. A plunge router has a design similar to a plunger and lets you apply pressure to push the tool down and go deeper into the wood.
Fixed base routers limit your control and are more suitable for beginners.
How Big is its Motor?
While 15 amp motors are available, keep in mind that using these tools at the highest output for an extended period of time can burn out the motor. You also want to look at the amount of horsepower produced to get an idea of how long the tool will last and how quickly you can make cuts.
Does it have a Spindle Lock?
Though not available on all wood routers, a spindle lock is a great feature to have. The spindle lock makes it easier for you to swap out blades and make changes to the tool’s settings. Some tools feature a locking mechanism that you must unscrew and remove to reach the blade.
Is it Variable Speed?
Consider looking for a wood router that comes with a variable speed design. This lets you increase and decrease the speed at will based on the type of wood you use. A variable speed setting can also help you get through knotholes and knobs on wood boards.
What is its Cutting Depth?
In addition to looking at the overall cutting depth, which will tell you how deep the router can go in the board, you also want to look at how easily you can adjust the depth. The best routers are those that have an easy to use clamp or lever on the side.
The 10 Top Rated Wood Routers
PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router
With a 15-amp motor that produces 21,000 RPM, it’s no wonder why this PORTER-CABLE wood router became our top choice.
That powerful motor makes working with the hardest of woods a breeze, and its RPM production can help you get through tough knots and other problem spots on your boards. It also comes with an auto-release system that lets you easily gain access to the bits inside for switching or replacing those bits without dealing with screws or any other parts.
You’ll also like that it weighs 22 pounds, which adds to its overall stability and keeps the router in place.
- Built-In Quality Plunge Mechanism
- Dust-collector Must Be Bought Separately
Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower
Bosch is a name you can trust, and this wood router from the manufacturer is available as a standalone product or with an attached bench.
The standalone product is great for those who want to create cut outs and decorations in home or professional projects. It comes with two different collets that attach to the top. You can apply a small amount of pressure to open the top and reach the inside for changing your bits.
This wood router, which uses a plunge design, also comes with wood handles and a variable speed motor that can produce up to 25,000 RPM.
- Easy to Switch Between Plunge and Fixed Bases
- Bad Customer Support
DEWALT DW618PK 12-AMP 2-1/4 HP Plunge
Why choose between a fixed or plunge wood router, when you can buy this kit from DEWALT that comes with both?
A variable speed motor produces more than two-horsepower and uses a 12-amp design that will definitely help you get any job done. The collets at the top do a great job of holding your bits in place while working, but you can just as easily pull off those collets when you need to change the bits.
An integrated collection system inside collects more than 90% of the dust that your projects produce to keep your work space clear.
- Power, Strength and Consistency
- Plunge Feature could be improved
- Not Very Quiet
- Issues with Variable Speed settings
Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower
This kit from Hitachi is similar to the one from DEWALT because it comes with both a fixed and plunge router.
The fixed router is great for using on jobs where you need to have exact and precise cuts, but the plunge model is perfect for jobs where you want more control over your designs and cut outs.
The 11-amp motor, which produces more than two-horsepower, uses the same amount of RPM regardless of how you use it to create the precise and accurate cuts that you need. It also comes with a knob on the plunge base for easy depth adjustments.
- Value Buy!
- Adjustable Depth Feature
- Collet Issues Reported
- Not Very Quiet
- Switch Location is awkward
- Plunge base sticks
DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque
Whether you need a fixed or plunge based wood router, you’ll love this kit from DEWALT.
It comes with a dependable motor that produces 1.25-horsepower with a speed range of between 16,000 and 27,000 RPM, but it also comes with two different bases that you can use based on the project at hand. Use the fixed base when you need to make exact measurements, or use the plunge base when you need to cut out pieces in a thick board.
DEWALT added LED lights and created a clear base that you can see through to help you better keep a handle on your projects.
- LED quality
- Easily Adjustable Plunge Base
- Smooth Handling
- Quality Build
- Screw Issues Reported
- Collet Issues Reported
- Router Issues
- Not for Beginners
PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed Base Router
With this PORTER-CABLE wood router, you can enjoy the comfort of its ergonomic design and the power of its 11.1-amp 1.75-horsepower motor.
It has an impressive RPM rating of more than 27,000 rotations and a locking lever on the front. You can rotate the dial to reach the depth measurement that you need and then lock that measurement in place for the duration of your project.
It lets you adjust that depth up to 1/128 of an inch, which is one of the smallest we saw. Made from aluminum, the router also has soft handles for holding the tool in place.
- Value Buy!
- Not as sturdy as some other Wood Routers
Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
Makita created this router kit for those who prefer tools that take up less space. Its compact design is perfect for storing on a shelf or in a drawer and for carrying to job sites.
The variable speed motor produces between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM, and you can use the speed dial on the very front to adjust that speed based on the type of wood you use or your project.
It also comes with a locking system that lets you lock in the depth measurement you selected and lets you remove and replace the base or the bits.
- Value Buy!
- Issues with Plunge Base reported
DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque
Dual LED lights are just one of the features we like about this DEWALT model. Those lights illuminate the area underneath the router and work with the clear base to help you see all the way through the tool to the wood beneath.
Its 1.25-horsepower motor is perfect for working on even the largest of projects because it can cut through almost any wood with minimum effort.
Instead of using a depth adjustment lever, this model comes with a ring that you can turn to reach depths as accurate as 1/64 of an inch, which is one of the most precise measurements possible.
- Value Buy!
- Easy to Use
- Issues with Overheating reported
Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Grip 5.6 Amp
With a unique soft start technology, this Bosch model lets you reach the exact speed that you need quickly without feeling like the power is out of your hands.
It features a 5.6-amp motor that can produce 15,000 RPM up to 35,000 RPM based on what you need. A depth adjustment finder on the front lets you quickly find and set the exact depth based on the size or shape of your wood.
Made from heavy-duty aluminum, this wood router also has a soft-grip design that lets you keep a comfortable grip on the top of the tool.
- Quality two stage locking mechanism
- Excellent speed control
- Easy to Use
- Locking mechanism needs constant tightening and adjusting
- Bad depth adjustment
- Material Quality
SKIL HP 1817 120V 1-3/4
For those on a budget, this SKIL wood router can help them get the job done at an affordable price.
It features a new system that lets the motor slowly come up to speed, which reduces the risk of the motor overheating and lets you get more control over the router.
Its larger collet can accommodate larger bits for working on heavier or thicker pieces of wood, and it has a power switch that you can adjust to better fit the way you use the tool. Use its precise depth measurements to reach the exact depth you need.
- Value Buy!
- Solid entry level router
- Soft start feature
- No plunge capability
The Winner for Wood Router
Good reviews and a great price are just two of the reasons the PORTER-CABLE 7538 Speedmatic 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router ranks as our top choice. Weighing in at right around 22 pounds, this is a router that can stand up to any job without tipping over or sliding across your table. Its plunge design lets you push down on the top to go as deep into the wood as you need, and its 15-amp motor, which produces 21,000 RPM, is perfect for using on any type of wood. Other features let you easily adjust your depth and replace or remove bits.