Top 16 Best Wood Routers 2017

Buying Guide

Wood Routers typically have either a fixed base or a plunge base, with a few models that allow you to swap between the two.

Best Wood Router

1. Plunge routers

  • The housing allows for controlled vertical movement during a cut, so you can plunge the bit into the surface of your work piece without worry.
  • Make it easy to make through cuts, deep grooves and mortises, as well as pattern and template work.

2. Fixed base routers

  • Great for edge shaping as they are easy to maneuver.
  • Considered a good, all-purpose router.

Power, Capacity and Applications

Horsepower determines how powerful your router will be, and collets determine the size of bit it can take.

  • Most routers deliver horsepower in a 1 ½ to 3 ½ range, with a range of 3 to 15 amps. Maximum HP should only be attained and used for a short period of time.
  • Routers are available with ¼-inch and ½-inch collets, which indicate the size of the bit shank they can accept.
  • Routers with ½-inch collets are more versatile as ½-inch shank bits are available in larger diameters, and some routers come with adapters that can accept ¼-inch or 3/8-inch bits.
  • If you work with larger bits, make sure your router is capable of working with slower speeds.
  • A soft-start feature brings the router speed up gradually so the tool won’t jerk out of position.
  • Some routers offer electronic variable speed (EVS) control, which allows you to select the ideal speed for different applications and bit sizes.

Woodworkers get a lot of mileage out of routers because they are a great tool for making cutouts, duplicates from a pattern, sharp edges, cut joints, decorative surface cuts and more.

Check out the 16 Best Wood Routers on the market right now:

1. Festool 574342 OF 1400 EQ Router


Festool 574342

Highlights

  • The most versatile router; the OF 1400 Router provides 1400 watts of power in a machine that weighs less than 10 lbs
  • It accepts 1/2″, 1/4 inches or 8 mm bits
  • With enough power to handle most routing tasks and small enough to be extremely maneuverable, the OF 1400 is the one router every tradesperson should own
  • With a category-leading 2-3/4 inch plunge depth, precise to 1/256 inch (1/10 mm), this router gives you the power, precision, depth of cut, and dust extraction capabilities that will simplify your routing tasks
  • A feature dense router that answers almost every need for the most versatile tool in the workshop
  • The OF 1400 has a unique handle with an integrated, lock-able power switch and variable speed control at the thumb
  • The upfront handle acts as a locking knob which applies a lock to both columns for an extremely rigid and secure depth setting without deflection between the router motor and the base for precise and repeatable cuts
  • A 3 position depth stop turret provides incremental steps to plow through the deepest routing tasks or create repeatable and accurate depth stop points
  • A micro-adjustable depth control features 1/256 inch (1/10 mm) depth control with ball bearing detents for precise depth control
  • The ratcheting spindle lock makes bit changes quick and easy
  • Simply select the lock or unlock position, place the wrench on the spindle and rotate
  • No need for two wrenches or re-seating the wrench which prevents slippage and protects the collet nut
  • A quick release dust extraction hood allows for full bit access, yet quickly resumes position for optimum dust extraction at the bit
  • A single rotary knob lock system for attaching accessory guides is quick and secure
  • For those routing tasks with edge forming bits that tend to throw dust across the shop, the OF 1400 is provided with a swiveling chip deflector that has tool-free connection to the router base and swivels 360 degrees for improving dust extraction
  • Made in Germany

>> Festool-574342-OF-1400-EQ-Router

 

 

 

2. PORTER-CABLE 7539 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router


PORTER-CABLE 7539

Highlights

  • This may be the most powerful router you’ll ever own
  • Its 3-1/4-horsepower, 15 amp motor makes quick work of anything you can feed it
  • I expected it to tear out of my hands at startup, but for its heft, it has an amazingly soft start at every speed: 10,000, 13,000, 16,000, 19,000, and 21,000 rpm
  • This kind of power doesn’t come without some noise, so be sure to wear hearing protection
  • The handles are comfortable and offer a secure grip, but at 17-1/2 pounds this is a heavier unit than most routers
  • The plunge depth range is 3 inches, and there’s no doubt this guy can handle it
  • The ball bearings are 100 percent sealed, and a six-position depth-stop turret is a nice touch
  • It takes 1/2-inch shanks, so it could double as a shaper in a smaller shop
  • Here’s another nice plus: a cool auto-release collet system that ends stuck bits–no more wrench-tapping and pleading!
  • It’s a beauty of a machine for heavy routing or production use

>> PORTER-CABLE-7539-3-1/4-HP-Plunge-Router

 

 

 

3. Makita RP2301FC 3-1/4 HP Plunge Router


Makita RP2301FC

Highlights

  • Oversized ball bearing construction for longer tool life
  • Built in twin LED lights illuminate the work area for increased visibility
  • Ergonomic rubberized handles with built in large two finger switch for added control and use.
  • Shaft Lock for easy bit changes
  • Lock on trigger switch for continuous operation
  • Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 9,000-22,000 RPM for smooth routing
  • 0″” – 2-3/4″” plunge depth capacity for easy penetration into work piece
  • Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
  • Variable speed control dial enables user to match the speed to the application

>> Makita-RP2301FC-3-1/4-HP-Plunge-Router

 

 

 

4. DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 HP Plunge Base and Fixed Base


DEWALT DW618B3

Highlights

  • Offering excellent versatility and professional grade quality, the DEWALT DW618B3 router kit includes three bases that can tackle a wide variety of jobs: a fixed base, a plunge base, and a D-handle base for more precise handling
  • The 2-1/4-horsepower, 12 amp motor allows the router to cut through the toughest hardwoods
  • The router’s electronic variable-speed trigger lets you select from between 8,000 and 24,000 RPM for specific applications
  • And because this system employs full electronic feedback, you can trust the router to provide constant speed under load
  • In addition, the motor’s soft start reduces start-up torque for optimum control
  • The router’s fixed base features a micro-fine depth-adjustment ring that provides precise bit adjustments in 1/64-inch increments
  • Because the ring–not the motor can–turns to adjust bit depth, a constant switch/cordset location is maintained when you are using the router in a table
  • This minimizes difficulty in turning the unit on and off and keeps operation consistent
  • The D-handle base also offers 1/64-inch micro-fine depth adjustments, but it’s complemented with a two-position, rubber overmolded handle
  • Combined with a low center of gravity, this D-handle base provides excellent balance and control as well as comfort during long routing jobs
  • The plunge base features an adjustable five-position turret stop for use when making repeated plunge cuts
  • It offers a micro-fine depth adjustment of 5/128-inch per turn for precise routing in veneer and inlays
  • The easy-to-reach plunge-release lever and switch keep control at your fingertips during routing

>> DEWALT-DW618B3-12-Amp-2-1/4-HP-Plunge-Base-and-Fixed-Base

 

 

 

5. Makita RF1101KIT2 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Plunge Router Kit


Makita RF1101KIT2

Highlights

  • The Makita 2-1/4 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router Kit features an ultra-quiet motor along with convenient fixed and plunge bases
  • It also has a variable speed control dial of 8,000 to 24,000 RPM, matching the speed to the materials
  • This router sports aluminum motor housing with a slender 3-1/4-inch diameter for easy handling, and a durable flat top design that allows stability when changing bits
  • For longer life, it has all ball bearing construction, and for convenience, it boasts externally accessible carbon brushes
  • Even better, the soft start allows smooth and safe start-ups
  • A fixed base, plunge base, and multiple wrenches come included with this router kit

>> Makita-RF1101KIT2-2-1/4-HP-Variable-Speed-Plunge-Router-Kit

 

 

 

6. Makita RD1101 2-1/4 HP Variable Speed D-Handle Router


Makita RD1101

Highlights

  • Quietest (81dB) and lowest vibration router in its class
  • Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
  • Soft start feature for smooth start-ups
  • Rugged aluminum motor housing with small 3-1/4″ diameter for easy handling
  • Sub-base accepts industry standard template guides for convenience
  • Powerful 11.0 AMP motor for the most demanding applications
  • Low noise (81dB) and low vibration for operator comfort
  • Variable speed control dial enables user to match the speed to the application

>> Makita-RD1101-2-1/4-HP-Variable-Speed-D-Handle-Router

 

 

 

7. Bosch PR20EVSNK Colt Installers Kit 5.7 Amp 1 Hp


Bosch PR20EVSNK

Highlights

  • With its compact size and spirited performance, the 1-horsepower Colt variable-speed palm-grip router kit from Bosch is a very versatile tool
  • It’s not just a laminate trimmer, but is ideal for trimming deck planks, hinge mortising, edge forming, slot cutting, dovetailing, window cutouts and decorative inlays
  • The PR20EVSNK variable-speed palm-grip router kit has a palm-grip design with soft grip to make it the most comfortable router in its class, yet it also has enough power to do the job and is more comfortable and easy to use than larger routers
  • The softstart reduces start-up torque while the Bosch constant response circuitry monitors and maintains speed under load for consistent performance and overload protection
  • Easily move the motor from base to base with the quick-clamp system to work on other areas of your project
  • A convenient Front Spindle Lock on the motor was designed for easy, one-wrench bit changes, and a shaft wrench is also included for those who prefer to use two wrenches to change bits
  • Bosch even covered the small details by angling the cord to help keep it out of the way
  • The contents of this kit make it ideal for all router users

>> Bosch-PR20EVSNK-Colt-Installers-Kit-5.7-Amp-1-Hp

 

 

 

8. Makita RF1101 2-1/4-Horsepower Variable Speed Router


Makita RF1101

Highlights

  • This 2-1/4 hp router from Makita is one of the quietest (81dB) routers in its class
  • And, being one of the smoothest in its class, too, this router won’t vibrate your hands numb
  • Its electronic speed control maintains constant speed even under load for smooth routing
  • This Makita features variable speed 8,000 – 24,000 rpm, and a rugged aluminum motor housing with a small 3-1/4-inch diameter
  • It also has a sub-base that accepts industry standard template guides, and a durable flat top for stability when changing bits
  • There’s also soft-start for smooth start-up, and an industrial cam-lock for fast and easy depth adjustment and motor removal
  • Your purchase includes a 1/4- and 1/2-inch collet and collet wrenches

>> Makita-RF1101-2-1/4-Horsepower-Variable-Speed-Router

 

 

 

9. Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Variable Speed Router Kit


Hitachi KM12VC

Highlights

  • Plunge and fixed base router kit with 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets
  • 2-1/4-horsepower, 11 amps; variable speed (8,000 to 24,000 rpm)
  • Nickel-plated motor housing for smooth depth adjustments
  • Includes plunge and fixed base router; 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch collet chucks, template guide adaptor, centering gauge, sub-base plate, 3 wrenches

>> Hitachi-KM12VC-11-Amp-2-1/4-Horsepower-Variable-Speed-Router-Kit

 

 

 

10. Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-HP Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit


Bosch 1617EVSPK

Highlights

  • Handle a broad range of routing applications with the versatile Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit
  • This router kit includes a powerful motor with advanced speed control technology, precision bases, and plenty of advanced features to help get a variety of jobs done quickly and accurately
  • Take care of even tough routing jobs with the powerful 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor and its versatile speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM
  • The variable speed dial allows you to set the optimal speed for the routing task and material
  • And with built-in Constant Response Circuitry, your router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results
  • With the integrated soft-start feature, the motor reduces torque upon start-up for a much smoother transition and easier handling on your part
  • This versatile kit provides all the components necessary for fixed-depth routing and plunge routing, as well
  • Microfine bit depth adjustment systems on both bases allow for accurate and fast bit depth adjustments
  • The microfine adjustment has an overall range of one inch and is accurate to 1/64 inch
  • Both bases also feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design, which allows the bit to be centered with the subbase or optional template guides (sold separately)
  • This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guidance devices such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures
  • Both of the included bases, fixed and plunge, feature quick clamp systems for quick tool-free conversions, so moving the motor between the two bases takes only seconds and requires no tools
  • The plunge base features soft grip handles for easier operation, and the fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting it to router tables
  • The fixed base’s advanced bit height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table
  • The Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit is durable and built for years of use
  • The motor housing and bases are now made of aluminum, and the power switch is now completely dust-sealed for added durability
  • The rugged carrying case keeps all of the components protected

>> Bosch-1617EVSPK-12-Amp-2-1/4-HP-Plunge-and-Fixed-Base-Variable-Speed-Router-Kit

 

 

 

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


DEWALT DWP611PK

Highlights

  • Combining power, ease-of-use, ergonomic features and innovations designed for visibility, control and overall performance, the DEWALT DWP611PK compact router can handle a variety of applications–from small bevel cuts to large edge profiles and heavy flush trimming
  • This package comes with both fixed and plunge bases, but it’s also available just with a fixed base
  • Durable 1.25hp motor delivers the power to meet the toughest applications
  • Soft-starting motor features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the cut
  • Dual LED’s and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility in operation
  • Adjustment ring enables controlled bit depth changes to within 1/64-inch (fixed base only)

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

 

 

 

12. PORTER-CABLE 691 11 Amp 1-3/4-HP D-Handle Router


PORTER-CABLE 691

Highlights

  • Porter-Cable’s D-Handle, fixed base 691 1-1/2 HP, 27,500 RPM router is ideal for woodworking, remodeling, trim and home improvement projects
  • Its D-Handle delivers a low center of gravity and a trigger lock-on feature for increased tool control in hard and soft woods and engineered material like melamine and PVC trim
  • Macro-adjust the tool with the cam-lock lever for simple edge-forming
  • Use the micro depth adjustments for bit depth changes accurate to 1/128 of an inch
  • It accepts collets for 1/4 and 1/2 inch shank bits and features an auto-release collet system minimizing frozen bits

>> PORTER-CABLE-691-11-Amp-1-3/4-HP-D-Handle-Router

 

 

 

13. Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router


Bosch 1617EVS

Highlights

  • Handle a broad range of routing applications with the versatile Bosch 1617EVS Variable-Speed Router
  • This router kit includes a powerful motor with advanced speed-control technology, a fixed base for upright use or use in a router table, and plenty of high-performance features to help you get a variety of jobs done quickly and accurately
  • Features the most powerful motor in its class at 12-amps, 2.25-horsepower, and 8000-25000 RPM
  • Match speed to work piece and task with variable speed option
  • Monitors and maintains desired RPM for consistent performance
  • Built to last with rugged aluminum base and housing, does not include template guide adapter
  • The blade finish will vary because of the heat treating process to harden the blade.

>> Bosch-1617EVS-2-1/4-HP-Variable-Speed-Router

 

 

 

14. DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router with LED’s


DEWALT DWP611

Highlights

  • Combining power, ease-of-use, ergonomic features and innovations designed for visibility, control and overall performance
  • The DEWALT DWP611 compact router can handle a variety of applications–from small bevel cuts to large edge profiles and heavy flush trimming
  • In addition to its beefy 1-1/4 horsepower motor, the DWP611 is equipped with dual LED lights for ample illumination
  • This package comes with a fixed base, but it’s also available as a kit with both fixed and plunge bases

>> DEWALT-DWP611-1.25-HP-Max-Torque-Variable-Speed-Compact-Router-with-LED’s

 

 

 

15. Hitachi M12VC 2-1/4 Peak HP Variable-Speed Router


Hitachi M12VC

Highlights

  • The Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Fixed-Base Router features a powerful motor and electronic speed control for making smooth cuts in a variety of materials
  • A welcome addition to any workshop, this precision router features electronic speed control, quiet operation, easy depth adjustments, and more, making it ideal for fine groove cutting, chamfering, window cutting, trimming, shaping, and pattern cutting
  • 11 Amp motor (2-1/4 Peak Horsepower), for precise, controlled cuts
  • 2-stage motor release clamp, for quick and accurate depth adjustments and base changes
  • Nickel plated motor housing, for smooth depth adjustments
  • Electronic speed control, maintains constant RPMs even as load varies
  • Class leading noise level, only 79.5dB for a quieter workshop

>> Hitachi-M12VC-2-1/4-Peak-HP-Variable-Speed-Router

 

 

 

16. PORTER-CABLE 7518 Speedmatic 15 Amp 3-1/4 HP Fixed Base 5-Speed Router


PORTER-CABLE 7518

Highlights

  • The Porter-Cable 7518 Five-Speed Production Router provides five speeds between 10,000 and 21,000 rpm, so you can tackle a variety of jobs with ease
  • This Porter-Cable router can help improve productivity by saving you time and effort–even when you’re dealing with big bits or making heavy cuts
  • Soft-start feature reduces torque at start-up
  • Five-speed router with 15 amp electric motor lets you tackle a variety of jobs
  • To save time and effort, an auto-release collet system allows for easy bit removal after use
  • Its sealed ball-bearing design keeps the dust out of the vital components for longer life, while its precision-machined aluminum motor housing and base stand up to rough-and-tough jobsites
  • Additionally, integrated cast handles provide stability during operation, improving precision and preventing wear and tear on the machine

>> PORTER-CABLE-7518-Speedmatic-15-Amp-3-1/4-HP-Fixed-Base-5-Speed-Router

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