As we continue our quest to build the perfect woodworking shop in the world, today we take a look at some of the most useful types of tools available today — power routers. The price range isn’t too bad as compared to some other tools we need for versatile work flow, and their longevity and stability (if you grab a great model) will allow us to call it a wise investment for the now and future. Let’s check out the top 10 best power routers for the money.
What is a router?
A power router is a useful tool when working with plastic and wooden materials. A router is usually used for carpentry applications. Its shaped cutter can be used to create decorative moldings, joint grooves and more unique details you’ll need for wooden furniture, cabinets, etc. They’re often found in various types and sizes and there is a broad base of blades that can accomplish certain tasks with a motor driven spindle. Carpenters like to keep this tool handy as it is a versatile tool — we know many who accompany this with their power planer and others,
The idea of routing is to shape an item to produce certain edges or shapes. Some of the materials are difficult to be shaped, and this is when a power router is needed. Some materials that a router can be used on are fiberglass, wood, or graphite. Normally users would wear gloves, eye goggles and a mask to avoid the debris of the materials. The brand and type preferred depends on the type of work required. For some help in using your router more effectively, we love Popular Mechanics’ workshop router secrets article. Otherwise, continue on down to find the 10 best models in the market worth looking at.
Deciding on the best power router tool
- Price tag – We think power router tools come in at a decent price as compared to other popular power tools in the market. The most budget friendly routers will be under $100, while others can above that depending on where you look. How much cash do you have handy?
- Router type – There are a few different types to take into consideration, and which router you’ll need really depends on what you’ll be using it for.
- Plunge: You can preset the cut depth and then decrease the bit into the cut with plunge routers.
- Fixed Base: The position of the router is relatively constant, so if you keep a cut depth at 1/4″ it will stay there until you change it yourself. We like the plunge vs. fixed base router article here for a few more sentences on the differences. Some say to grab a router that has a plunge attachment for just in case scenarios.
- Variable Speed: These come with additional capabilities of allowing you to have some more custom speeds when working — it isn’t necessarily a must, but some may find them attractive depending on the type of projects you foresee yourself coming across.
- Compact: These are relatively self-explainable and a bit more rare, but are more preferred by those who want a smaller router that they can travel with.
- Power – There are some options when it comes to overall router power. The average horsepower of power routers ranges from 1 to 3.0 HP. Getting a router within this range is recommended, although going higher is always better, of course.
The top 10 best power routers for the money
The DeWalt DWP611PK is one of the best power routers in the game, and this one delivers great results in woodworking to fulfill those shaping needs. It features a controllable speed that allows users to perform maximum work on the application. Powered by a 1.25 horsepower motor, the router is also equipped with an LED light and a sub base for great visibility during the working process. The electronic tool is versatile and there is a plunge base that can be adjusted to set the precise sizing giving you options for both types of routers. The comfortable grip, low pressure spindle and lock button are among notable features as well. The bit changes are quick due to the multiple shaft lock and the motor is transitioned quickly, allowing for various angles and movements. In terms of construction, it’s a DeWalt tool so we know we’re getting top-of-the-line build here — the motor housing is made from aluminum material with a long lifespan. If it’s within your budget, we’d consider this one of the best router tool kits out there.
This Bosch 1617EVSPK is another one of the best power routers with a 2.25 horsepower motor. It’s a bit more expensive than the previously listed model but for justified reason — It is a fixed base router that can help users obtain maximum results and while armed with a 12 Amp motor, the setting of the speed can be adjusted according to your needs. Using a dial pad, you can change the operator and control the movement. This power router also features constant speed for less fatigue in completing the job. The plunge base also smoothly runs and the tool is designed for comfortable use. Bosch equipped the router with a precision centering design so that the bit will have super accurate measurements. What’s lastly great about the tool is the dust sealed power switch that allows you to have a tidy working area with less debris — grab it if you want a step up from the previous best router pick and have some lee-way in your budget.
Black & Decker RP250
This particular router offers great performance with various speeds up to 27,000 rpm and is great for those wanting a price that goes under one hundred bucks. The Black & Decker RP250 uses 10 Amps for great performance and the versatile plunge action allows easy stops that will be useful for repetitive measurement cuts. The base is transparent and uses ‘Sightline technology’ that will help users to look at their working surface with clear visibility. The dust extraction port allows for a clean working area with less debris. Who doesn’t want less mess after tiring work? The variable speed plunge of this best router has an adjustable speed feature for easy control. It is ideal to work on small details like hinges, door knobs, or decoration cuts. This is one of the best budget-friendly power router tools for woodworking in the market today.
The Makita RT0701CX7 is considered by many to be the best power router — it provides users with a long list of features and we’re (and many others, of course) a big fan of their brand overall. The motor is improved from the previous generation with 1-1/4 HP. The speed is controllable with various choices that will let users switch speeds up to 30,000 RPM. The smooth work allows less fatigue even during heavy-duty jobs. The fine depth adjustment system lets you have more precise measurements as well as the design is flexible and versatile with a slim figure that will offer easy handling. To show off more of the impressive construction, the body is ergonomic and there is also a cam lock system for installation. For constant speed, Makita equips its tool with controllable buttons. It also has a smooth start that every user will enjoy — we love this if you weren’t feeling the other few within this price range.
This Porter-Cable 690LR allows users to work impressively using 27,500 rpm. The ergonomic tool includes collets and a single speed router on the fixed base router. With a nifty 3 year warranty (check with PC for that), the power router produces great horsepower that can handle heavy jobs, but it also offers a tidy work environment. It uses a micro-depth system to adjust the precision, allowing users to have precise measurements. For a quick fix the router is also packed with steady performance and accurate sizing. It features a sealed ball bearing that will prevent any tearing, especially when it performs heavy duties. There is also an auto release collect for bit changes that doesn’t hurt to have. For construction highlights, the grips are made with molded rubber to help with firm handling and the aluminum motor housing offers great performance.
This is an awesome power router with user-friendly performance. The Triton TRA001 has an adjustable speed and if you can afford this higher-end price point it is plunge router that cannot be beat. You can rely on its precise measuring system to make accurate cuts for each specific project. The handle uses a dial for free plunge adjustment or other various settings and the soft starting along with its smooth gliding will surely be a help on tiring jobs. There is a spindle lock that helps to do better work. The shield is made of plastic material for protection — this will aid with any debris collection and prevent messes. The fence is also multi-functioned and the removable winder handle supports the versatility of the tool. Take a look at this one if it’s within your budget — you won’t be disappointed in the quality it brings.
Remember the first model listed that provided a kit alongside the power router? Well here’s the version with just the important piece itself to save you some money. The DeWalt DWP611‘s motor is durable enough to deliver a horsepower of 1.25. It is great for tough jobs because of its variable speeds. Furthermore, the starting of this router is smooth enough without any kickback. It is also able to maintain consistent speed so that your hand won’t experience any fatigue after heavy-duty jobs. Like previously stated, there is an LED light attached for maximum visibility on your working surface. The ring is adjustable for controlling the bit, multiple shaft lock also helps to fasten the changes in bit and the motor housing uses aluminum material. The purchase includes a standard base, a motor, a wrench and an instruction manual. This is definitely the best router tool if you have the money.
The Hitachi KM12VC power router is one of the best in stores if you were looking for a kit with some additional accessories alongside of the unit. It has a 1/2 inch of collet chuck, and with the 7 template guides and gauge this tool will deliver maximum result on your wrench work. The purchase also includes 10 hex socket bolts and case. Powered with an 11 amp motor, the power router is able to control cuts consistently with adjustable speeds for woodworking. There is a 2-stage motor release clamp which allows for accurate depth measurements. The motor housing is nickel-plated with smooth operation. The speed control provides constant RPM that will definitely be ideal for heavy-duty projects in long hauling hours and the noise level is reduced so that workers can have a quiet working environment — a solid bang for your buck package here.
The Festool 574342 is obviously the most expensive power router out there but wait just one second if you were planning on skipping over it because of this. The brand has made itself known as one of the leading power routers in the market when it comes to top-of-the-line product. Weighing only 10 lbs., the router can handle routing jobs, light or heavy. It can be used for a 1/2 inch to 8 mm bit. The power gives enough energy that will enable users to plunge depth in precise measurements. The cut and the dust extraction simply are practical and less hassle. All is simplified with this tool because of the easy gripping and specific design for controllable speed – you will find that you can tackle a variety of projects with the router. It has a smooth start that features micro adjustable depth control and t he MMC electronic also provides consistent speed that will help to make precise cuts. We’d consider this the best router tool in the market if money didn’t exist.
The Bosch PR20EVS is another one of the best routers from this brand that will precisely handle the job. The ergonomic features help to handle everything without fatigue. It is also used on many surfaces of working areas because of the motor feature. People love the macro fine depth feature that can be adjusted — this will also create more comfortable bit changing. As part of its solid specs, the Bosch power router uses a finger support pocket — this is especially great for additional constant speed that’s stable and comfortable, especially when you need to trim edges with full concentration. The model also enhances the bit capacity with a 1-5/16 inch diameter. The quick clamp system allows the motor to be easily moved from one base to another base. The design of the grip is definitely great with the angled cord exit that will keep away any cord distraction.