What Is the Best Router to Buy for Woodworking’

Woodworking can be a highly rewarding hobby or profession, but having the right tools is crucial to ensure successful and efficient projects. Among the essential tools for woodworking, a router stands out as a versatile and indispensable tool. However, with so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which router is the best fit for your woodworking needs.

In this article, we will explore the importance of having the right router for woodworking and provide you with valuable insights into selecting the best one. We will discuss various factors to consider before making a purchase, highlight different types of routers available and their specific uses, recommend reputable brands that offer high-quality routers, and review some of the top routers currently on the market.

Understanding how crucial it is to have a suitable router for woodworking is vital. A router plays an instrumental role in shaping edges, cutting patterns, creating joints, carving intricate designs, and much more. It offers precision and versatility that other tools may not provide. Therefore, investing in a quality router tailored to your specific woodworking needs is essential to achieve professional-level results.

Join us as we embark on this informative journey where we delve into all aspects related to routers for woodworking. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced woodworker looking for an upgrade or simply want to expand your knowledge on routers for woodworking purposes – this article has got you covered. Stay tuned as we guide you through making an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best router for your woodworking projects.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Router for Woodworking

When it comes to buying a router for woodworking, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration before making a purchase. By understanding these key aspects, you can ensure that you choose the best router that suits your specific woodworking needs. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Power: The power of the router is crucial as it determines the type of cuts you can make and the materials you can work with. Higher horsepower routers are generally better suited for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting hardwoods or making deep grooves, while lower horsepower routers are suitable for lighter tasks such as trimming or shaping edges.
    Consider the types of projects you will be working on and choose a router that has enough power to handle those tasks.
  2. Base Type: Routers come with different types of bases – fixed base, plunge base, or a combination of both. A fixed base router is great for edge profiling and dadoing tasks, while a plunge base router is more versatile and allows for depth control during cutting. If possible, consider getting a router with interchangeable bases so that you have more flexibility in your woodworking projects.
  3. Variable Speed Control: Having variable speed control on your router allows you to adjust the rotational speed of the bit according to the type of material being cut and the desired finish. This feature is particularly important when working with different wood species or when using larger bits that require slower speeds for optimal performance and safety.
  4. Bit Collet Size: The collet size refers to the diameter of the opening where you insert the bit into the router. Most routers come in either 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch collet sizes. While smaller routers tend to have 1/4-inch collets, larger routers often come with both collet options. Choosing a larger collet size gives you more versatility and options when selecting bits.
  5. Dust Collection System: Woodworking can generate a lot of dust, so having an efficient dust collection system is important for both your health and the cleanliness of your workshop. Look for routers that have a built-in dust extraction port or can be easily connected to a shop vac or dust collector. This will help minimize the amount of debris in the air and keep your workspace clean.

By considering these factors before making a purchase, you can ensure that you choose a router that suits your woodworking needs and preferences. Remember to also read reviews and seek recommendations from professionals or fellow woodworkers to get additional insights on specific router models. With the right router in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any woodworking project with precision and ease.

Types of Routers for Woodworking

There are several different types of routers available in the market, each designed for specific woodworking tasks. Understanding the different types and their specific uses is crucial for selecting the best router for your woodworking needs.

  1. Fixed Base Routers: Fixed base routers are the most common type used in woodworking. They are versatile and provide stability and precision for a variety of cutting tasks. With a fixed base, the cutting depth remains constant throughout the operation.
  2. Plunge Routers: Plunge routers are ideal for making interior cuts, such as mortises or dadoes, where the router bit needs to start at a desired depth within the material. The plunge feature allows the user to lower the bit into the material while it is still spinning.
  3. Trim Routers: Trim routers, also known as laminate trimmers or palm routers, are lightweight and compact. They are used primarily for small-scale routing tasks such as trimming laminates or veneers, rounding edges, or creating decorative profiles.
  4. Combination Kits: Some manufacturers offer combination kits that include both fixed base and plunge base routers. These kits provide added versatility by allowing users to switch between bases depending on their specific routing needs.
  5. CNC Routers: CNC (Computer Numerical Control) routers are automated machines that use computer programming to control their movements and operations. These routers can create intricate designs with high accuracy and precision.
  6. Table-Mounted Routers: Table-mounted routers are permanently attached to a router table, providing stability and control when working on large pieces or performing repetitive cuts. They are commonly used for making moldings, raised panels, and other complex woodwork.
  7. Handheld vs Stationary Routers: Handheld routers offer portability and flexibility since they can be used in various positions and angles. On the other hand, stationary routers are mounted on a workbench or table and provide more stability for precise cuts.

When choosing a router type, consider the specific woodworking tasks you will be performing and the level of precision required. It is also important to evaluate your budget, as different types of routers vary in price. Ultimately, selecting the right type of router will greatly enhance your woodworking capabilities and allow you to achieve professional-quality results.

Router TypeSpecific Uses
Fixed BaseVersatile and stable for a variety of cutting tasks.
PlungeIdeal for making interior cuts like mortises or dadoes.
TrimUsed for small-scale routing tasks like trimming laminates or veneers.
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Top Router Brands for Woodworking


Bosch is a well-known and reputable brand in the woodworking industry, offering a wide range of high-quality routers suitable for both professionals and hobbyists. Their routers are known for their durability, precision, and versatility. Bosch routers are equipped with powerful motors and advanced features that allow for smooth cutting and precise routing.

Some popular models from Bosch include the Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router and the Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router. These routers are praised for their exceptional performance and user-friendly design. They come with adjustable speed settings, depth control, and ergonomic handles, making them ideal for various woodworking projects.


DeWalt is another leading brand that is highly regarded in the woodworking community for its top-notch router offerings. DeWalt routers are known for their ruggedness, reliability, and professional-grade performance. They are designed to handle heavy-duty tasks while maintaining precision and accuracy.

The DeWalt DW618PK Plunge Base Router Kit is a popular choice among woodworkers. It features a powerful motor with variable speed control, allowing users to adjust the RPM according to their specific needs. The plunge base provides easy penetration into the workpiece while ensuring accurate cuts.


Makita is a trusted brand that has been providing innovative power tools to woodworkers for many years. Their routers are appreciated for their excellent build quality, efficient performance, and user-friendly features. Makita routers are designed to deliver maximum power and precision while minimizing vibration.

One of Makita’s highly recommended models is the Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit. This router offers convenience with its compact size without compromising on power or functionality. It comes with a variable speed control dial and electronic speed control to maintain constant speed under load.

By choosing reputable brands like Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita, woodworkers can have confidence in the reliability and performance of their routers. These brands prioritize craftsmanship, precision, and durability in their products to meet the specific needs of woodworking professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Reviewing the Best Routers for Woodworking

When it comes to woodworking, having the right router is crucial for achieving precise and high-quality results. In this section, we will provide detailed reviews and comparisons of the top routers currently available in the market for woodworking enthusiasts.

  1. Bosch 1617EVSPK: The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a versatile router that offers both fixed and plunge bases, making it suitable for a wide range of woodworking applications. With a powerful 2.25 horsepower motor, this router can handle even the toughest tasks with ease.
    It features variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the cutting speed based on the material and project requirements. The micro-fine depth adjustment ensures accurate and precise routing, while the soft-start feature reduces start-up torque for smooth operation.
  2. Makita RT0701C: The Makita RT0701C is a compact yet powerful router that is perfect for smaller woodworking projects or those who prefer a lightweight tool. With a 1.25 horsepower motor and variable speed control, this router offers flexibility and versatility in terms of cutting speeds. The quick-release cam lock system allows for easy depth adjustments, while the durable aluminum housing ensures long-lasting performance.
  3. DeWalt DW618PK: The DeWalt DW618PK is known for its durability and reliability, making it a popular choice among professional woodworkers. With a 2.25 horsepower motor and electronic variable speed control, this router delivers consistent performance regardless of the application. The plunge base features precise depth adjustments with rack-and-pinion adjustment controls, while the fixed base offers micro-fine depth adjustment capabilities.
Router ModelMotor PowerVariable Speed ControlSpecial Features
Bosch 1617EVSPK2.25 horsepowerYesFixed and plunge bases, micro-fine depth adjustment, soft-start feature
Makita RT0701C1.25 horsepowerYesCompact size, lightweight, quick-release cam lock system
DeWalt DW618PK2.25 horsepowerYesPrecise depth adjustments, fixed and plunge bases, micro-fine depth adjustment capability

These are just a few examples of the best routers currently available for woodworking. Each router has its own strengths and unique features, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences before making a decision. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional woodworker, investing in a high-quality router will greatly enhance your woodworking experience and ensure precise and accurate results.

Understanding Router Features

When it comes to choosing a router for woodworking, understanding the essential features and functionalities is crucial. The right router can greatly enhance your woodworking projects by providing precision, versatility, and ease of use. Here are some key features to consider when selecting a woodworking router:

Power and Speed

Power is an important factor to consider when choosing a router. Higher horsepower routers are generally more powerful and capable of handling larger bits and tougher materials. Additionally, routers with variable speed control allow you to adjust the speed according to the specific task at hand. This feature is especially useful when working with different wood types and using different bit sizes.

Base Type

The base of a router determines its stability and maneuverability. There are two main types of bases: fixed base and plunge base. Fixed base routers are commonly used for edge profiling, dadoing, and mortising, while plunge base routers are ideal for tasks that require plunging the bit into the wood, such as creating grooves or cutting through thick materials.

Bit Compatibility

The versatility of a woodworking router greatly depends on its compatibility with various bits. Make sure to choose a router that supports a wide range of bit sizes and shank diameters. Additionally, consider routers that offer easy bit changing mechanisms, such as tool-free collet changes or quick-release systems.

Ease of Use

Using a router should be comfortable and ergonomic to prevent fatigue during long hours of woodworking. Look for routers with adjustable handles or grips that can be adjusted according to your preference. Additionally, routers with smooth depth adjustment mechanisms make it easier to achieve precise cuts without any hassle.

By prioritizing these essential features in your search for the best woodworking router, you can find a tool that meets your specific needs and enhances your woodworking experience. Remember to consider the types of projects you will be working on, your skill level, and budget constraints when making your final decision.

Tips for Beginner Woodworkers

When it comes to selecting a router for woodworking, beginners may find themselves overwhelmed with the options available in the market. However, there are several key factors that beginners should consider before making their first router purchase.

One important factor to consider is the power of the router. The power of a router is measured in horsepower (HP) and determines its ability to handle different applications. For beginners, it is advisable to start with a router that has a minimum of 1 to 1.5 HP. This power range is suitable for basic woodworking tasks such as rounding edges and cutting dadoes.

Another crucial consideration for beginners is the size and weight of the router. A compact and lightweight router is generally easier to handle and maneuver, especially for those new to woodworking. It is recommended to choose a smaller-sized plunge or fixed base router as they offer more control and precision during use.

Additionally, beginners should also pay attention to the availability of accessories and attachments for the router they are considering. Many routers come with interchangeable bases or guide systems that enhance versatility and expand the range of applications possible with the tool. Having these options available can greatly benefit beginner woodworkers as they explore different techniques and projects.

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Budget-Friendly Options

Woodworking can be an expensive hobby or profession, and purchasing tools like routers can quickly add up. However, there are budget-friendly options available that still offer reliable performance for woodworking enthusiasts on a budget. These routers may not have all the bells and whistles of high-end models, but they can still get the job done effectively.

One option to consider is the This router offers a balance between affordability and quality. It has a durable construction that ensures it can withstand heavy use, and its motor provides enough power for most woodworking tasks. Additionally, it features adjustable speed settings, allowing users to customize their cutting speed based on the material being worked on.

Another budget-friendly option is the This router offers excellent value for money with its solid build quality and reliable performance. It has a strong motor that delivers consistent power, enabling smooth cuts with precision. The ergonomically designed handles provide comfort during extended use, making it an ideal choice for those who spend long hours in their workshops.

Lastly, the is another affordable router worth considering. Despite its lower price point, it still boasts impressive features such as variable speed control and easy depth adjustments. The router’s lightweight design makes it easy to handle and maneuver, reducing user fatigue during prolonged usage sessions.

While these budget-friendly routers may not have the advanced features found in more expensive models, they offer reliability and functionality at a fraction of the cost. They are suitable options for beginners or those looking to expand their tool collection without breaking the bank.

User Experiences and Recommendations

One of the best ways to determine the quality and performance of a router for woodworking is by hearing from those who have used them in real-life situations. Woodworking professionals and hobbyists have first-hand experience with different routers, allowing them to provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their personal experiences. Here are some user experiences and recommendations to consider when selecting a router for woodworking:

  1. Router A: Many professionals highly recommend Router A for woodworking projects due to its versatility and durability. Users have praised its smooth operation, powerful motor, and precise depth adjustments. They have found that it can handle various wood types with ease, making it an excellent choice for both simple projects and intricate designs. Moreover, users appreciate the ergonomic design of Router A, which ensures comfort during prolonged use.
  2. Router B: Woodworking enthusiasts rave about Router B for its exceptional precision and reliability. With its advanced features such as variable speed control and micro-adjustment capabilities, users find it ideal for creating intricate details on their woodwork. Additionally, many users mention that Router B’s dust collection system is efficient in keeping their work area clean, reducing the need for frequent cleanup.
  3. Router C: Hobbyists particularly enjoy using Router C as it offers a great balance between affordability and performance. Users highlight its user-friendly interface, making it accessible even to beginners in woodworking. Despite its lower price point compared to other routers on the market, many users report that Router C delivers reliable results with consistent speed control.

It is important to note that while these user experiences provide valuable insights, individual preferences may vary based on specific project requirements or personal preferences. To make an informed decision on the best router for woodworking, consider factors such as desired features, budget constraints, and intended usage scenarios.

By learning from others’ experiences in using different routers for woodworking, you can gain valuable information that can help you make a more informed choice when purchasing your own router. Be sure to read multiple reviews, seek recommendations from trustworthy sources, and take into account the specific needs of your woodworking projects before making a final decision.


In conclusion, it is clear that choosing the right router for woodworking is crucial for achieving quality and precision in your projects. Throughout this article, we have discussed the various factors to consider when buying a router, such as power, speed control, and ergonomics. We have also explored the different types of routers available in the market and their specific uses.

When selecting a router for woodworking, it is important to prioritize reputable brands known for their high-quality products. Brands such as Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita have consistently delivered routers that are reliable and durable.

After conducting thorough research and reviewing various routers, our top recommendation for the best router to buy for woodworking is the Bosch 1617EVSPK. This versatile router offers both fixed and plunge bases, allowing you to tackle a wide range of woodworking tasks with ease. It also features variable speed control and excellent depth adjustment capabilities.

For beginner woodworkers on a budget, we suggest considering the Porter-Cable 690LR. This affordable option still provides sufficient power and performance for most woodworking projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to look for when buying a woodworking router?

When buying a woodworking router, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, you should look at the power rating of the router. This is typically measured in horsepower and determines the router’s ability to handle different types of wood and cutting depths. Secondly, consider the speed control options available on the router.

Variable-speed routers give you greater flexibility in adjusting the RPM for different tasks. Additionally, it’s important to look at the ergonomics and overall build quality of the router. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand and that it has sturdy construction for long-lasting performance. Lastly, check for features such as dust collection capabilities and compatibility with various bits and accessories as these can greatly enhance your woodworking experience.

What is the best router for wood carving?

When it comes to wood carving, one of the best routers available is a plunge router with a smaller base size. A smaller base allows for more precision and control during intricate carving tasks. Look for a router that offers variable speed control, as different wood densities may require adjusting speeds accordingly.

It’s also beneficial to choose a router that has a soft-start feature, which gradually increases speed upon startup to reduce any sudden jolts or jerks that could impact delicate carvings. Another important consideration is finding a router with good depth adjustment capabilities so you can achieve precise cuts at varying depths.

How big of a router do I need for woodworking?

The size of the router needed for woodworking depends on the type of projects you plan on undertaking. For general woodworking tasks like making joints or edging boards, a mid-sized router with approximately 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 horsepower should suffice. These routers strike a balance between power and maneuverability, making them versatile tools suitable for various applications.

However, if you anticipate working on larger projects or cutting through thick hardwoods frequently, opting for a more powerful full-sized router with 3-1/4+ horsepower may be necessary. Large routers are generally bulkier but provide greater cutting capacity and stability for heavy-duty woodworking tasks. Ultimately, the size of the router should align with your specific woodworking needs and the scale of projects you typically work on.

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