The Best Wood Router Review — A Woodworking Essential

A wood router is a power or hand tool that woodworkers use to rout out an area in a hard material such as wood. These devices are mainly used in woodworking such as cabinetry. Routers are a handheld device. You can also fasten them with the cutting end-up in a routing table. There is a wide range of routers, from different brands, in the market. Choosing the best wood router can sometimes be difficult. To take away the stress of extensive research, we have reviewed some of the best wood routers in the market, as well as a guide on how to settle for a great one by yourself.

Top Choice

The PORTER-CABLE 690LR is one of the best wood routers as it provides you with a fast tool and powerful system that offers up to four peak horsepower.

Last update on 2023-01-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Wood Routers

PORTER-CABLE Router, Fixed Base – 690LR

PORTER-CABLE Router, Fixed Base, 11-Amp (690LR)

The PORTER-CABLE 690LR offers more than 27,500 revolutions per minute, with this lightning speed; you will be able to hollow out any wood without stress. With this product, you will not have to worry about fiddling around with the settings for long, as it makes it pretty simple to adjust the height.

This product is a great budget option and it comes with an 11-amp motor that allows you to work on even harder materials. It is dust-sealed, which means you do not have to worry about dust entering and damaging the electrical components even when you use it regularly. This product does not come with the refinements of modern designs. However, it is guaranteed to continue to operate for years. Furthermore, this unit features precision-machined aluminum motor housing and base.

It also features a cam-lock lever that allows for simple coarse height adjustments and motor release. This product is ideal for medium use and small router bits. It is also one of the most reliable and durable wood routers in the market. This means you do not have to worry about the machine breaking down after a few uses. It is also light enough to carry and move around pretty easily. The downside to this product is that it is a bit loud and it vibrates a lot.


DEWALT Premium Plunge & Fixed-Base Router Combination – D26204k-GB

DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, Variable Speed, 1.25-HP Max Torque (DWP611PK)

The Dewalt Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Combination is a very powerful router, as it features a variable speed motor of 900W that produces between 16,000 to 27,000 RPM. It also comes with a soft start facility. This machine features an excellent build quality, and it also feels very sturdy when using it. It is also pretty comfortable to use, as it features an ergonomic design. For consistent results, this wood router comes with full-wave speed control.

This tool is also extremely versatile for a wide range of woodworking projects, as it features a two-in-one design that makes it the best router to be used as a plunge or fixed router. The plunge depth of this wood router is 55 MM. The plunge base also comes with a fine-tune rod that lets you adjust the depth of the plunge precisely. It also features a 5-position adjustable turret that allows for repeated or stepped plunge cuts.

This model also comes with LED lights to light up your work. Changing the bits of this unit is also pretty easy, thanks to the spindle lock. This powerful tool also features an extremely quiet operation at 88 dB. The packaging comes with 1 plunge and 1 fixed base, ¼-inch collet, dust extraction adaptor, centering cone, 2 parallel fences, guide brush, and a spanner, and they all come in a sturdy box. This wood router is very easy to use and it is equally powerful.


Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router

Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Electronic Fixed-Base Router

If you are looking for a versatile and powerful wood router that will not leave a hole in your pocket, you should consider the Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router. This is one of the best wood routers in the market, as it comes with many amazing features at a reasonable price. It features a soft start motor of 1400 watts that produces between 11,000 and 28,000 RPM. This model also comes with great build quality. The machine is sturdy and it has an excellent balance.

This tool is lightweight and it is pretty easy to control. It also comes with a soft-grip handle and ergonomic design that makes it very comfortable to use. The machine also comes with a working light that makes working in certain conditions a lot easier. The settings of this device are easy to adjust and accurate. The process of changing the bits is also simple. This power machine is a bit noisier than the aforementioned product, at 106 dB. However, it is still not bad, considering how powerful the tool is.

In terms of performance, this router does a great job of chewing through wood and getting the job done quickly. The depth of the plunge is 55 MM. It also comes with 8 mm, 6 mm, and ¼-inch collets. This model also includes an 8 mm straight bit, spanner, dust extraction adaptor, parallel guide, and a sturdy plastic case. If you are looking for a comfortable and powerful wood router, then this is one product you should consider.


Makita RT0701C Compact Router

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

The Makita RT0701C Compact Router is another powerful wood router that comes with advanced features. This router also comes with a very powerful motor with a variable speed control option. With this feature, you have more control over the device. The overall design of this router is awesome, and many woodworkers love it. This tool was created to provide you with additional levels of support and comfort. The sturdy and sleek design of this tool also helps you to work for several hours with the device without any pains or aches.

If you are looking for a wood router that you can use with frames for hinges or wood doors, this is one of the best options you have. This tool is also versatile, and you can use it for a wide range of projects. The router is lightweight, making it easy to move, carry, and operate. This makes it a great option for businesses and DIY (do it yourself) junkies. This model also comes with almost all the guide attachment and base that you could need, providing you with a high level of flexibility.

It is also flexible when it comes to settings, as you can tweak it to suit your requirements. The device is easy to set up and it comes with a latch lock that provides additional benefits and more options. The slim design also makes it easy to work on more complex routing jobs. For instance, you can use this tool for highly intricate jobs such as designing a chessboard.


Avid Power 1.25 HP Compact Router MW104

11-Amp 2 HP Fixed-Base Wood Router with Edge Guide, 1/2-Inch, 3/8-Inch and 1/4-Inch Collets and Carrying Bag

If you are looking for a cost-effective wood router that comes with a lot of accessories, then the Avid Power 1.25 HP Compact Router is what you need. This router comes with several parts that you could need or want. The parts are stored in a wooden carry case, making them quick to find and easy to access. This wood router is also built for ergonomic support, which is a big bonus for many users, thanks to the material used for the design.

It features a rubber covering that makes the handle easy to grasp. This unit also boasts of great performance, as it allows for continuous use of up to one hour. It is recommended to give it a 15-minutes break after one hour of use. It is also one of the best options for beginners. So, if this is your first time of routing, this tool is a great choice. It comes with advanced features for pros and basic levels of support for beginners.

This router is also designed to work with a wide range of router tables. The largest bit available for this router is half an inch and it comes with almost all the fittings you could need. To help you see the routing process clearly in a difficult condition, this router provides you with LED lights. The device is portable. It is very powerful, and this makes it a little bit loud during operation. For durability, this router features an aluminum body and base.


Bosch Colt 1 HP Router PR20EVS

Bosch GKF125CEN Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Tool

The Bosch Colt Router is the best option for you if you are looking for a heavy-duty wood router that provides a high level of durability while working on any project. This router is built to last, it features a rugged build, and it can serve you for years. It is a bit bulky and big. Nevertheless, it is a great option for precise operation and work. This product does not come with bits. However, you can buy the bits from Bosch at a great price.

The Bosch Colt also offers a high level of versatility. Nevertheless, it is more suited for working on furniture such as countertops and cabinet installation. You can also use it to finish edge forming tasks such as chamfers and covers, thanks to its size and design. You can also use it to install stringing on furniture. The bits of this router can also be removed easily, without wasting any time. This means you do not have to spend much time setting up this tool. This edition also features clear markings which makes it easy to make fine adjustments.

This device does not come with LED lights. To compensate for that, it comes with a dial that is easy to use and quick to work. It also has a micro-adjustable feature that is way more accurate than many routers in the market. The precise and fast adjustment system of this unit allows for both micro and macro adjustment. You can also move or adjust the motor from base to base easily, thanks to its quick clamp system.


Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Wood Router

The Size of the Router

Wood Routers come in different sizes and shapes. There are palm routers, which are designed for smaller jobs. There are compact routers, which are quite larger with heavy-duty performance. We also have full-sized routers, which are mostly stationary, as they are pretty heavy to move around.

The size of the router you choose will depend on the requirements of the job. Therefore, if you are looking for something that you can transport, carry and move around much easier, then you should go for a smaller-sized router. If you are looking for something that would spend the majority of time in your shop, then a full-sized or compact router is what you should buy.


This is another vital thing you should consider when looking to buy a wood router. Ergonomic routers are specifically made for the human hand.

Routers with ergonomic designs are made for your comfort. They are also optimized to prevent long-term injury.

If a router comes with a poor design, it could cause muscle tension, which could cause inflammation and then painful, chronic conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. To prevent this, you need to opt for a wood router with ergonomic design.

Easy to Use and Maintain

You also want to make sure that the router is easy to use. Some routers come with complex configurations, which can eat into your working time. You should also make sure the product does not have complex parts that would make it difficult to maintain.

Dust Collection Port

These devices naturally kick up a lot of dust. Hence, you need to make sure that the router you invest in has a dust collection port where you can connect a dust collection system like a shop vacuum.

Final Thoughts

Routers are very handy tools. It is one tool that many woodworkers cannot do without. The market is full of routers from different brands and manufacturers. They also come in different sizes, shapes, and features. In all, settling for the best wood router is very important, as there are many low-grade products out there. Fortunately, we have reviewed some of the best products in the market, so you can choose the one that best suits your budget.

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