The best wood routers, buyer’s guide and reviews

Last updated on April 14th, 2022

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Several of the carpenters, carvers and woodturners are self-initiating, DIY enthusiasts with a special love and passion for woodworking. If you are one of them or rather if you are a professional woodworker, you would naturally be possessing a working arsenal. Among the most important craft supplies and tools necessary for your beloved wood-crafting activity is a wood router.

Keeping that in mind, we have curated this list comprising the six of the best wood routers to help you plan and invest wisely before executing your woodworking plans so that you can avoid purchasing a model that isn’t quite right for your circumstances. The best wood router not only enables intricate, multi-functional performance but also enhances the creativity of the crafting professional’s mind.

In the following article, some of our carefully hand-picked choices are mentioned with enlightening descriptions about their specifications and functions. We have also included frequently asked questions that are relevant to the topic in order to facilitate your queries and concerns. We hope that some of these picks can be right up your alley. So, without further ado, let’s embark on pre-planning your wood crafting journey! 

First of all, let’s bring to your attention our best pick which is the amazing Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router. It boasts some top-of-the-range features including cutting depth fine adjustment with a 1/10mm scale, parallel guide with minimal adjustments in 1/10 steps, a spindle lock and Bosch’s innovative SDS system for tool-less insertion of template guides. Moreover, this tool is one of the most affordable models on the market and is even backed by a 2-year warranty.


Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router
Having an advanced, ergonomic design with a constant speed option for increased smoothness and consistency, this tool ensures precision and enhanced quality. Its speed adjustment option comprising the accelerating switch and the pre-setting wheel is material-specific and surface-friendly. This functionality improves the end-result and enables convenient usage. With a 28,000 revolutions per minute speed, it is quite fast indicating powerful motor support.

There is a spindle lock that allows you to change the routing bit conveniently without much hassle. The dust extraction port is an adapter socket attached to the base plate which can be further connected with a vacuum cleaning machine enabling quick clean up. The chip guard feature prevents wooden chips from flying around obstructing the view. With all these added functions and performing options, it is no wonder that the POF 1400 ACE from Bosch has won the best pick nomination from us.

The best wood routers that we have reviewed are listed below:

  1. Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router – BEST PICK
  2. Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router – RUNNER UP
  3. DeWalt 230c 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/Fixed Base Router – PROFESSIONAL PICK
  4. Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router
  5. Makita RP2301FCXK/2 Plunge Router
  6. Hitachi M12VE/J6 Variable Speed Router

There is a lot that you must know before you go out in search of a wood router. Wood routers come in different designs and they work differently to deliver different results.

Below is a quick overview of what to think about when choosing a new wood router and you will find our detailed full buyer’s guide and our extensive reviews below.

Importance of a Woodworking Router

  • Diversity – a router enables you to work on various kinds of furniture including desks, racks, furnishings and the sky is the limit from there.
  • Versatility – with a router, you can cut a wide range of shapes that a craftsman frequently needs to cut effectively and rapidly. These include circles, mortise cuts, and many more. They likewise allow you to duplicate patterns and wood tracings.
  • Efficiency – a router gets the job done faster and your work is additionally more precise and consistent. Accuracy is a carpentry quality that no experts should be willing to gamble with.
  • Quality – routers enable you to make straight, smooth and adorable shapes that you can’t accomplish in any other way.
  • Strength – a router is an absolute necessity if you are hoping to make furniture with solid joints. It is integral to ensuring strength and furthermore gives your wood an incredible finish making them extra durable.


Triton TRA001 - 2400V Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router
Bearing a powerful motor with enhanced functionality, a spindle lock for quick bit transitions, and a plunge-to-fixed adjustment switch, this is a great alternative to our best pick. This router can be mounted easily on a router table and can be handled comfortably due to its precise, 3-step adjustment mechanism. The incredible versatility provides user-friendliness and multi-functionality which is ideal for any wood workshop out there.

Its automatic spindle lock, lift-able spring, and the safety cover represent careful design and effective control over accidental activation. There is a dust port for minimal mess and side fence to prevent unplanned cuts, slips, or misses while trimming or profiling. With a fine winder and variable speed, Triton TRA001 ensures intelligent, in-depth routing and plunging. A soft-start switch facilitates maximum control over the process from the beginning while its powerful motor can handle even the firmest of timbers with effortless ease and finesse.


Dewalt 230V 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/ Fixed Base Router
Woodworking experts will usually want a tool that is capable of getting a variety of jobs done, big or small, and the Dewalt 230V 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/ Fixed Base Router is such a good example. Apart from functioning both as a plunge router and a fixed base router, it comes with a range of accessories that would really benefit any professional woodworker. The tool itself has a compact design for increased user comfort.

The routing speed is adjustable from 16,000 rpm up to 27,000 rpm and it can be set at a constant level for uniform results. Another precision-enhancing feature is the dual LED light, which increases visibility around the router bit area. Lastly, the router’s price is just fair and it can be covered by a 3-year warranty if registered.

Top 6 Wood Router Reviews

1. Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router


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Bosch Home and Garden Router POF 1400 ACE (1400 W, in carrying case), Design 2019 | Pale Green

The heart of the Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router is its motor that makes the cutter turn at speeds of up to 28,000rpm. The motor is located on top of the milling confine, a sort of edge that allows the switch bit to enter the material accurately from above with the most extreme stroke of 55mm.

The cutting depth has a fine alteration knob, which is accurate to 0.1mm and allows exact depth settings, even in the plunged position. The easily noticeable depth pre-adjustment with zero point setting is outfitted with a scale in millimetres and inches for accurate marking.

The depth stop of this router can also be adjusted in three stages. This way, you can pre-program progressive cutting depths at once. A spring-born lever guarantees that the processing cage can be securely and effectively loosened and tightened with ease.

The Bosch POF 1400 features an electronic pre-selection of speed. The speed selections ensure the accurate setting of the cutting speed, particularly when working with hard materials like aluminium or hardwood.

The Bosch POF 1400 features electronic pre-selection of speed. The speed selections ensures the accurate setting of the cutting speed, particularly when working with hard materials such as aluminium or hardwood.

The parallel guide permits fine modification in 1/10mm steps. The Bosch SDS framework allows speedy template guide changes without the need for extra tools, providing you with extra convenience.

There is a guide rail connector as an accessory and it allows accurate work and secure guidance when dealing with larger workpieces. Just like all other Bosch routers, the POF 1400 features a unique SDS bayonet fitting for template guides, which lets you work with pre-fabricated templates with ease and little effort.

An extraction adaptor is usually a prerequisite for clean work, so this machine’s dust exaction adaptor is a great addition. The adaptor connects to the base using two knurled screws and it then links up to a vacuum cleaner via a hose. This connection also works with the Bosch all-purpose vacuum cleaners or even any ordinary household vacuum cleaner. Dust is specifically extracted at the router bit through the extraction pipe using the vacuum cleaner.

As an extra safety precaution, there is a transparent chip guard that shields you from chips flying around and leaves an unmistakable view of the workpiece.

The durable aluminium footplate comes with an advanced removable plastic gliding shoe that guarantees frictionless working. There is also a convenient lamp for illuminating the working area to ensure only the best results.

Finally, the ergonomic design (with its soft grip handles) helps you to adjust the focal point of gravity. This ensures the safe direction of the machine and higher convenience. The on/off switch is incorporated with the handle grip for safe and agreeable handling and counteracts incidentally moving the machine off track as you work.


  • Enhanced ergonomic shape with soft grip and work light for convenient, safe and secure working.
  • Incorporates a dust extraction port and routing depth of 55mm accurate to 1/10mm.
  • Features constant electronic that maintains the selected speed constant at all times and guarantees a high-quality finish.
  • Easy and precise router bit changes due to incorporated spindle lock.
  • Comes with Bosch SDS system that enables easy insertion of the template guide without tools.
  • Features electronic pre-selection of speed with setting wheel and accelerator switch.
  • 2 year warranty that can be extended to 3 years by registering your purchase online.

Our recommendation

The Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router is a very good quality router that has been made incredibly well and efficiently.

It is powerful and very easy to use thanks to the ergonomic firm design and well-balanced weight. This wood router gives you the ability when used with router bits to create engravings, skirting boards and even on a flash-looking set of furniture.

In terms of performance, reports confirm it cuts really well without too much effort, the easy depth adjustment is really useful and the built-in illumination light makes what you are doing clear.

Unfortunately, the supplied bit and collet don’t work well which is the only real downside of this model and means you will need to buy separate bits that require the smaller collet, however, this isn’t a big issue and most will want to buy new collets anyway. 

All in all, this Bosch 1400W is a worthy tool to take care of your furniture needs and has plenty of power when compared to cheaper models and is still good enough to contend with some of the more expensive models.

Don’t forget there is a 2-year warranty on this product for further peace of mind, on we noticed this model has over 3000, mostly exceptional reviews, which is something we always like to see. Because this model is so impressive while still being affordable, we decided to name this model our ‘Best Pick’ because it appeals to all woodworkers, both beginners and experienced alike, whilst offering excellent value for money without compromising on quality or performance.

Read next: The best woodturning lathes for beginners and experienced DIY enthusiasts

Read next: The best biscuit jointers for joining two pieces of wood

2. Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router


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Triton 2400W Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router TRA001 (330165),Orange

The Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunger Router comes with a hefty 2400W motor giving it more than enough power for any woodworking job. The most significant feature of this machine is the ability to transform from a conventional plunge router to a fixed-base version router. For this functionality, it comes with quick-fit pins for quick attachment of the fence and compatibility with the router table (RTA300).

It has electronic speed control with adjustments between 8000-21,000rpm and this provides the ideal speed for all cutter types. In addition, it includes a 3-stage turret with direct reading scales which ensure precise pre-set cut depths.

The Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunger Router comes with a hefty 2400W motor giving it more than enough power for any woodworking jobs.

For information, the plunge range for this machine is 0-68mm. It also includes a micro winder that enables continuous fine depth adjustment. There is an automatic spindle lock for single wrench bit changes with the maximum cutter shank of 1/2″.

A soft start button on this router ensures it doesn’t jerk into operation when starting up. Safety has also been carefully considered when working with the router and you can see this from the safety switch that locks the router, making sure it doesn’t accidentally switch on during the bit changing process. This reduces the risk of damage and potential user injury.

Accuracy is at the very heart of the Triton TRA001 with the integration of a 3-stage turret that has direct reading scales for precise pre-set cutting depths. The router includes an excellent dust extraction port to ensure a cleaner and safer working environment. The port can easily connect to most ordinary home vacuum cleaners.

Worth mentioning is that a 3-year guarantee is offered on this product that covers repair and replacement of any faulty parts. Be aware that you have to register your model with within the first 30 days of your purchase for the warranty to apply.


  • Dual-function router with plunge and fixed-base versions.
  • Comes with a powerful 2400W electronically controlled motor.
  • Features soft start and variable speeds that provide the perfect speed for all cutter types.
  • Includes micro winder that enables consistent fine depth adjustment.
  • Includes 3-stage turret with direct reading scales for accurate pre-set cut depths.
  • Automatic spindle lock included for enabling wrench bit changes.
  • 3-year guarantee for extra peace of mind.

Our recommendation

You will certainly appreciate the features of the Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router. The multi-functionality between working as a plunge router and a fixed-base router is the major selling point here, as well as the extra power it offers the user. If you plan to use it with a router table, then we would recommend it 100%. 

Overall, the Triton TRA001 is fantastic for table-routing; easy to install, has brilliant ergonomics and has got stacks of power.

The warranty given on this model is quite generous and speaks volume about the trust Triton have in their product. Overall this is probably one of the best models for DIY enthusiasts and professionals. There are cheaper alternatives but if you are looking for the very best performance from a wood router, this ticks all the boxes.

After much consideration, we decided this model deserved to be named our ‘Runner-up’ model despite it being a little more expensive than most other models. It is a good choice for someone looking for something that has a little more to offer than our more affordable best pick by Bosch.

3. DeWalt D26204K 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/Fixed Base Router


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DEWALT D26204K-GB Premium Plunge & Fixed Base Router Combination, 900 W, 240 V, Yellow/Black, 1/4 Inch (8 mm), Set of 9 Pieces

The Dewalt 230V 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/ Fixed Base Router is one of the best-rated 1/4″ plunge routers available in the UK for DIY routing applications. It comes with a 1.25HP motor with plenty of power and with variable speed that allows cutting of materials at appropriate speeds. The use of full-wave technology speed control allows you to maintain a selected speed to leave a consistent finish on the material. It has been well built with an aluminium housing protecting the motor and a sturdy base that provides stability during routing.

With a compact and lightweight design, you will find it comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver. The featured dual LED lights increase the visibility of the workpiece directly around the bit. It has a fine depth adjustment and comes with only one collet (1/4-inch), meaning it can only be used with 1/4-inch bits. Also, an important component of this router is a spindle lock, which allows safe and easy bit changes.

This router benefits from a number of accessories, these include 2 parallel fences, 2 dust extraction adapters, 17mm spanner, 17mm guide bush, centering cone and kit box. This router is going to be your best bet for jobs such as trimming veneers, etching designs, cutting inlays and rounding or chamfering edges.

With a compact and lightweight design, you will find it comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver. The featured dual LED lights increase visibility of the workpiece directly around the bit. It has a fine depth adjustment and comes with only one collet (1/4-inch), meaning it can only be used with 1/4-inch bits. Also an important component of this router is a spindle lock, which allows safe and easy bit changes.


  • Variable speed control from 16000rpm to 27000rpm, enabling the router to be optimised for the task at hand.
  • Features full-wave electronic speed control provides feedback to ensure the selected speed is maintained for a uniform finish on the workpiece.
  • Compact and lightweight design that increases ease of use and user comfort.
  • Has an aluminium motor housing and base construction that provides long term durability.
  • Outfitted with a 1.25HP motor to deliver the power to meet demanding applications.
  • Comes with a spindle lock button that allows easy, single wrench bit changes.
  • Includes a twin LED and clear sub-base that ensure proper visibility in operation.


  • Changing the base involves a lot of little screws and accessories. These could have been better off too with a storage slot in the kit box because they are very easy to lose.

Our recommendation

The Dewalt 230V 1/4-inch Combination Plunge/ Fixed Base Router is primarily designed to provide versatility in cutting because it comes with both a fixed and a plunge base. A fixed base usually keeps the position of the router bit constant and the plunge base comes in handy when the depth cut needs adjustment, thus having 2-in-1 has a lot of great benefits.

Variable speed control will allow you to optimise your tool as per the application and the ability to maintain a constant speed is a plus. The tool’s design allows single hand operation and its little weight ensures stress-free operation. Depth adjustment is simple and LED lighting increases the visibility of the material. This tool also excels in the accessories department, making it ideal for the experienced woodworker. It is available at the higher end of the price bracket, however, you will never feel like you’ve overpaid for such a quality wood router.

4. Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router

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Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router (Zero Tool), 18 V, Hyper Green

As the title suggests, the Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router is ideal for trimming work but can also be used for creating rabbets, dadoes and grooves. As part of Ryobi’s ONE+ battery system, this tool can be bought as a bare tool only and then powered by your already existing Lithium-Ion battery. The ONE+ system is designed to save you money by only buying Ryobi’s Starter Kit, which includes an 18V battery, charger and tool. That means you may only need to purchase the battery if this router happens to be your first product from Ryobi. 

the Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router is ideal for trim work but can also be used for creating rabbets, dadoes, and grooves.

Moving on to the design, this model has a robust aluminium base that not only makes it lightweight but also stable and durable. It’s equipped with a ¼-inch shank that accepts a variety of router bits, thus enabling you to perform a wide range of applications. It also provides a depth adjustment system plus a micro height adjustment wheel for fine-tuned accuracy. This router runs at a no-load speed of 29,000 rpm and has a maximum plunge depth of 38mm.

An essential feature of this router is a LED work light because it increases precision when you are cutting. Supplied with three different collets, finding the right bit for the job shouldn’t be a problem at all. The 6mm collet, for instance, is the most common diameter for bits. There’s also a parallel guide for making those straight cuts. Ryobi offers a 3-year warranty on this tool but bear in mind that product registration is required for this to be applicable.


  • Features micro depth adjustment for precise cutting.
  • Has a lightweight design with a solid aluminium base for stability.
  • Includes LED work light for better visibility of the work area.
  • Perfect for trimming edges to enhance any woodworking project.
  • Cordless operation offers flexibility for precise woodworking.
  • Comes with ¼ inch shank that fits a wide range of router bits.
  • Supplied with 6mm collet, 6.35mm collet, 6.35mm straight cutter and a parallel guide.
  • Part of the ONE+ system, meaning it can be powered by an already existing Ryobi Li-Ion battery. 
  • Covered by a 3-year warranty.


  • The only unavoidable thing is top-heaviness. That’s because the battery attaches to the top of the tool instead of the bottom; consequently, giving the tool an awkward shape too.

Our recommendation

Well, the build quality is superb. We really like the cordlessness because it gives you the flexibility to move within your workshop as well as for trimming your workpieces from any angle. The LED light is a great addition and it’s important to note that many routers lack this feature. Its depth adjustment is easy to use and accurate. This tool works with a variety of router bits and will enable you to perform a variety of applications. It is also a lot easier to set up than a full-sized router but still offers enough power to undertake the big jobs.

That said, the Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router makes a great addition to any collection of Ryobi tools and it’ll be primarily useful for creating smooth finishes on edges. We do recommend it to any woodworking DIYer.

5. Makita RP2301FCXK/2 Plunge Router with Carry Case

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Makita RP2301FCXK/2 240V 1/2' Plunge Router Supplied in A Carry Case

The Makita RP2301FCXK/2 Plunge Router is a well-built ½” wood router that houses a powerful 2100watt motor with variable speed control that runs the spindle rotation from 9000rpm up to 22000rpm. It comes with both ¼” and ½” collets, allowing a variety of router bits to be used with it. Linear ball bearings provide the smoothest plunging action, unlike other cheaper models without this feature. This wood router is also relatively quiet compared to other competitors in its class. 

The router’s ergonomics are perfectly designed with grip handles that are particularly comfortable to the user. Featuring a soft start function, this router activates smoothly to reach the required speed and it can be safely brought to a halt by pressing the incorporated electric brake. This router has a cutting depth of 70mm which is on the higher end for a tool of its size. Furthermore, it has a well-designed depth adjustment scale that can be set in 0.1mm increments and it’s a pleasure to use.

This Makita router also integrates its own LED lighting to illuminate the workpiece as well as a lock-on facility for inverted routing. There’s a built-in fan with labyrinth construction meant to prevent the ingress of dirt and the router can be connected to a dust extraction system through an optional dust nozzle. Other supplied accessories include a wrench, straight guide and a carry case.


  • Equipped with a powerful 2100W motor to cut through workpieces with ease.
  • Features a linear ball bearing which provides an ultra-smooth plunge-action without too much play or tightness.
  • Has ergonomic grips for single-handed operation.
  • Includes an easy to read depth adjustment scale for precision cutting.
  • Has twin LED job lights to illuminate the workpiece.
  • Variable speed control from 9000-22000rpm with a constant speed control dial to match the cutting speed to the job at hand.
  • Integrates an electric brake for instant stopping if necessary.
  • Soft start function for smooth start ups.
  • Comes with a blow-moulded carry case for securing all tool components.
  • An adjustable lever allows easy setting of depth on the table.

Our recommendation

This is an outstanding wood router. It has a solid body and a powerful 2100W motor with variable speed, meaning you won’t have any problem cutting materials at the right speed. It comes with collets that accept both ¼” and ½” shank bits, giving you options in your work.

Like many other expensive wood routers, this Makita operates on a soft start and this prevents the tool from jerking into action during startup. It also has an easy-to-use depth adjustment mechanism, once again a significant feature of premium routers. Safety is another thing that takes a front seat on this router, with a spindle lock facility that comes in handy when changing bits.

In conclusion, the Makita RP2301FCXK/2 Plunge Router is a well-designed tool that has earned itself many positive reviews on Amazon. If you have the money to spend on a professional quality router, you will certainly not be disappointed with this one.

6. Hitachi M12VE/J6 1/2-inch Variable Speed Router

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Hitachi M12VE/J6 1/2-inch Variable speed router

The Hitachi M12VE/J6 Variable speed router is a well-made router that is much bigger and heavier than you may expect and it looks ready for anything that is thrown at it.

Its powerful motor delivers an overwhelming 2000 watts, making it ideal for heavy-duty jobs. Ergonomic adjustable soft-grip handles on this router make it easy to control and ensure optimum comfort, even when working for long hours.

Featured in this router is a variable speed dial located on the side handle for convenient reach. You can easily adjust the speeds between 8000 and 22000rpm depending on the material you are working on to achieve optimum results. It also includes two collet chucks of 1/4″ and 1/2″ for two gauges of router bit shank. The plunge travel on this router is 65mm and it has a spindle lock for the easy changing of the bits.

It includes a parallel fence that facilitates smoothing the edges of workpieces and there is a 30mm template guide that increases the accuracy of bit placement.

A soft start feature is available to prevent the router from jerking into action during start up which is a nice feature, and the router also comes with a large carry case to protect the tool from external damage when not in use.


  • Powerful 2000W router for increased cutting efficiency and performance.
  • Features ergonomic soft-grip adjustable handles for optimum comfort.
  • Includes variable speed dial on the side handle and improved collet chuck for higher bit security.
  • Carry case included to provide storage and easy tool transportation.
  • Comes with a variable speed motor with constant speed control for optimum results when working on different materials.


  • The supplied carry case is somewhat difficult to pack the router into.
  • The speed dial is not marked and it is a bit flimsy because it adjusts itself when the machine starts vibrating.
  • It also does not include a dust shroud.

Our recommendation

What we like about the Hitachi M12VE/J6 1/2-inch Variable speed router is an extremely powerful 2000W motor and ergonomic soft-grip handles that allow you to work comfortably with the machine.

We like where the speed dial is also strategically placed on the side handle for easy operation and this is better than some models we looked at.

It looks solid and we can only hope it provides years of service, however, only time can tell but we don’t see why it wouldn’t.

One of the downsides is the supplied case is difficult to fit the router inside. We also realise this router lacks a dust shroud so you might need to buy a separate one from a spare parts retailer and hope that it fits.

Up to this point, we recommend this router for heavy tasks and it is probably the best 2000W you can get for its price because most models of the same caliber are quite expensive.

We also noted comments during our research in regards to the customer service from Hitachi being excellent in case you need to contact them with an issue. Overall, another very impressive router that is perfect for professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts alike.

The Ultimate Router Buyer’s Guide

Understanding the various types of wood routers

Generally, wood routers come in two basic types; plunge routers and fixed base routers. The router design determines the sort of jobs for which the router is most appropriate and how it works. The router design basics and construction, as well as the distinctive types of routers, are clarified below.

Router Design

Woodworking routers comprise a case that houses a motor that turns the router’s blade or bit. The case protects the motor and comes furnished with handles to control the router over the material to be shaped or cut. A metal clamping sleeve or collet holds the bit set up at the base of the router. The router platform can be either a fixed attachment or a spring-loaded base which is the case for a plunge router.

Wood routers come with different horsepower (HP) motors; common torque capacities with respect to router motors are 7/8 (HP), 1/2 HP, 2HP and 3 1/2 HP. Routers likewise have diverse shank measured bits so collet sizes change; basic sizes are 6mm, 1/4 inch, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 1/2 inch.

Some routers are outfitted with variable speed motors and wood router speeds range from 8000 rpm to 30,000rpm depending on the size of the router and HP of the motor. Quality wood routers have measurement scales that enable the user to accurately set the depth of the router bit without playing out a manual estimation.

Plunge Routers

These wood routers have a spring-loaded base that enables the bit to be pushed down into the wood. The spring-loaded base can likewise be bolted at a particular depth by the woodworker. Plunge routers allow the user to change the bit depth while running by opening the depth discharge and moving the base in or out.

Plunge routers give an advantage when the cut starts amidst a piece of wood rather than the edge. They also provide greater flexibility to the user yet are more costly than fixed-base routers and they can be harder to utilise.

Fixed base routers

With this type of router, the woodworker must set the depth of the sharp edge before using and is not customisable when the router is running. Alterations regularly include twisting the housing to fasten or unscrew the router in the base, in this manner moving the router bit up and down.

Fixed base routers are perfect for cutting edges and moulding designs that require straight line accuracy. They are generally lighter and less demanding, making them a popular choice for woodworking beginners. They even perform extremely well when fitted to a router table.

Woodworking router accessories

Playing out the different tasks that a woodworker has in store for the router requires some accessories. At the very least, one needs a choice of switch bits to perform cuts and make outlines. Router tables, clamps, fences, jigs, speed controls and switches are just a few of the adornments one ought to consider as supportive tools when working with a router.

Router Table

It offers a working surface on which to set your router and other router accessories. Most router tables come in tabletop forms that can be set on a workbench while freestanding tables are also common.


Router bits are ostensibly the most imperative accessory; without them, you can’t in any way use your router. There are various types of bits for a wide range of tasks.

Here are some common bit types and the kind of cut they make:

  • Chamfer: it cuts a straight edge at an angle along the edge of the wood.
  • Beading: places a convex circular edge on the wood just below the level of the sides of the wood.
  • Cove: cuts a concave quarter circle along the side of the wood.
  • Dovetail: cuts a groove across the wood where the bottom of the groove is wider than the top.
  • Dado: creates a box groove across the wood.
  • Rabbeting: places a 90-degree square cut along the edge of the wood.
  • Round Noise: cuts a half-circle groove across a piece of wood.
  • Roman Ogee: creates an s-shaped outline along the edge of the wood.
  • Round Over: creates a circular edge on the piece of wood without the recessed edges.
  • V Groove: forms a V-shaped groove across the wood.

Router Jig

When cutting pivot breaks, dado, box joiners and dovetail joints, the router jig assists with holding your workpiece solidly.

Router Fence

For the non-moving piece, a guide to slide your wood along and desired precision amid cuts, the router fence is an unquestionable requirement to have.


The power switch that comes with your router is not precisely permanent. It experiences the standard wear and tear and its substitution is inescapable.


They assume an indistinguishable part from jigs, except their role is broader. Once again, they can help hold the setup of the jig while you are grinding away.

Speed Control

Speed control helps you adjust the router speed for various applications, especially when your hands are locked in and you would prefer not to continue switching the router on and off.

Things to consider when buying a wood router

Going through wood router reviews is not enough to determine the best wood router, knowing the critical considerations before you buy will go far into helping you settle on an informed decision.

Take a look at the most important factors to consider when choosing a router for your woodwork:

  • Variable speed – the router ought to be able to adjust its speed to various levels of flexibility. Note that single speed routers can be somewhat limiting.
  • Collet measurement – router bits come in 1/4inch and 1/2inch diameters and you should get one that can work with both sizes.
  • Power switch – it is critical that this switch is sufficiently accessible for your thumb to reach it effectively for a snappy on and off turn.
  • Comfortable grip – this is especially important in the event that you work as often as possible or for extended periods. A comfortable grip, usually termed as ergonomic, goes a long way to make your work easy and convenient.
  • Dust extraction – wood routing and smoothing workpieces involves a lot of wood dust, so it is essential to find a wood router with a built-in dust control system to save you time when it comes to cleaning up.


What are routers used for?

Routers originated as simple machines, used to hollow out or rout a particular surface area or spot on a wooden object or plank. It is one of the most popular and commonly used tools, they evolved as a must-have electronic device that can be used in several carpentry disciplines, such as cabinetry, mould carving, ornamental furniture making, etc. The mechanism of a wood router is governed by its structure that comprises a motor house, a base plate, a routing bit or cutter and a metal clamp to hold the bit into place above the base. This base can be either spring-adjusted as in the case of plunge routers or it can be fixed. The metal clamp or collet is used to change the bit thus the sizes vary and so does the design.

As far as the function and usage of wood routers are concerned, they are an essential tool to cut, profile, chip, rout out or trim the wood you are working on. As a craftsman, accuracy, efficiency, quality and precision are all equally important standards to ensure the best results. Therefore, wood routers are a regular part of a carpenter’s toolkit.

Can a plunge router be used on a router table?

A router table mounted with a wood router actually acts as a work surface for a woodworker, providing various angles for complex dimensions and a flexible approach towards handling seemingly impossible cuts. As a plunge router uses the manual lever to adjust and lower down the bit so that it delves deeper into the surface, some might hesitate to use them on a router table. However, they are quite safe and usable while being mounted on it just like their fixed-based counterparts. Similarly, nowadays, the combination routers comprising both styles i.e. plunge as well as fixed based with variable speed are a very common choice for table mounting.

Can you use a router bit on plywood?

Considering the surface of a plywood material, tear-out can be a concern while using a wood router over it. However, with precision, practice and careful direction of the blade bit, i.e. the cutting style makes a huge difference and minimal tear. The sharpened bit also helps and a blunt router bit must be replaced or sharpened further before working on the plywood. Some other handy tips include the moderate-to-high speed of the router, hot-steaming and ironing the ply surface before routing.

What is the difference between a router and a plunge router?

Among the various styles of wood routers, some are plunge routers while others are CNC, combo, fixed-based or variable speed routers, etc. The main characteristic of a plunge router that sets it apart from other regular routers is that the base is not fixed but adjustable. Once you have decided and preset the depth to which you want to cut or rout the surface of the wood, you can plunge the bit (the shaft) deeper into the material so that it can be hollowed out easily. However, you need to manually drive it to delve into the material of the wood. On the other hand, a fixed-base router can be adjusted once and then it’s set in place so it is easier to handle for beginners.

What is the advantage of a plunge router?

Plunge routers are an ideal choice when it comes to handling precision-based, manual woodworking. The woodworker is free to set and adjust not only the shaft of the router onto the wood, but also decide the desired depth and arrange or move the wooden piece accordingly before plunging in the bit.

Final Conclusion

Purchasing a wood router is most likely far less demanding than figuring out how to use it to its full potential. Yet, once you have mastered the skills, the furniture and designs you can create with a router are worth the effort you input into refining the skill. It’s probably one of the best power tools you will purchase.

By utilising the diverse router bits that are available, one can cut intricate designs, build wood joints, cut table and furniture edges to style, and hollow out wood for a wide range of projects. They are truly amazing tools.

Understanding the different types of wood routers help a buyer to choose the router that best meets their ability level, needs and budget.

Using the different router accessories designed to facilitate the routing process helps to deliver excellent outcomes even for those with insignificant carpentry experience.

Hopefully, our guide and wood router reviews will help you land the best wood router.

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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