Choosing the Best Router for Woodworking: A Beginner’s Guide
Woodworking can be a great hobby or an amazing way to earn a living, but it requires the right tools to get the job done correctly. One of the most important tools in any woodworker’s toolkit is the router. Routers help woodworkers create intricate designs, make joints, and shape wood perfectly. So, it’s important to choose the right router for your woodworking projects. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the 10 best routers for woodworking in 2020, as well as everything you need to know to choose the right one. So, let’s get started!
What to Consider When Buying a Router for Woodworking
Before we get into the best routers for woodworking, let’s dive into what you should consider when buying a router. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Power: The more powerful a router is, the better it will perform. Look for routers with at least 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 horsepower, but more power is always better.
- Variable Speed: A router with variable speed controls allows you to adjust your router speed according to the work being done. This is especially important if you plan to work with different types of woods or want to change the router’s depth of cut.
- Base Type: There are two main types of bases: fixed and plunge. Fixed bases are better for making light cuts, while plunge bases allow for more depth control.
- Dust Collection: When working with wood, sawdust is inevitable. Look for routers that come with dust ports or can be easily connected to a shop vacuum.
- Comfort: Look for routers that are ergonomically designed and comfortable to hold, especially if you plan on using them for long periods of time.
- Price: Routers range in price from around $50 to over $500. Consider your needs and budget before making a purchase.
Top 10 Best Routers for Woodworking 2020
Now that you know what to look for when buying a router, let’s dive into the top 10 best routers for woodworking in 2020:
1. DeWalt DWP611PK Compact Router
The DeWalt DWP611PK is a versatile and powerful router that is perfect for any woodworking project. With a variable speed control (from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM) and a 1-1/4 horsepower motor, this router can handle any cutting, trimming, or edging job. The plunge base is great for precise depth adjustments, and the fixed base provides stability for intricate work.
2. Bosch 1617EVSPK Router
Another great option is the Bosch 1617EVSPK Router. This router features a powerful 2.25 horsepower motor, a variable speed control with a range from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM, and a fixed base for stability. It also comes with a plunge base for more precise cuts, and the dual-handle design makes it comfortable to use for extended periods of time. Plus, the motor is designed to be quiet, making it a great choice for those working in a home workshop.
3. Triton TRA001 Dual-Mode Plunge Router
The Triton TRA001 router is a powerful and reliable machine that can handle any job. It features a 3.25 horsepower motor, a soft start function, and a variable speed control with a range from 8,000 to 21,000 RPM. The plunge base allows for precise depth control, and the unique safety switch prevents accidental powering on. Plus, with the included multi-functional fence, this router can also be used as a table router!
4. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
The Makita RT0701CX7 is a compact and lightweight router that packs a punch. With a 1-1/4 horsepower motor, variable speed control from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM, and ergonomic design, this router is perfect for beginners. The easy-to-use depth adjustment makes precise cuts a breeze, and the transparent base allows for better visibility when working.
5. Porter-Cable 690LR Router
The Porter-Cable 690LR is a classic router that has stood the test of time. With a 1-3/4 horsepower motor and a single-speed control of 27,500 RPM, this router is perfect for light to medium jobs. It also features a precision-machined aluminum motor housing and base, which provide durability and stability. Plus, the ergonomic handles make it comfortable to use for long periods of time.
6. Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Grip Router
The Bosch PR20EVSK is a palm-grip router that is perfect for small woodworking tasks. With a 1 horsepower motor, variable speed control from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, and a depth adjustment system, this router is great for precise cuts and trims. Plus, it’s easy to handle and maneuver, thanks to the palm-grip design.
7. Porter-Cable 892 Router
The Porter-Cable 892 router is a powerful and versatile machine that can handle any woodworking job. With a 2-1/4 horsepower motor and a variable speed control from 10,000 to 23,000 RPM, this router can handle anything from small trims to large grooves. The soft start feature reduces torque when starting the router, and the easy-to-use depth adjustment system ensures precise cuts. Plus, the dust-sealed switch enhances durability and longevity.
8. Festool 574342 Router
The Festool 574342 router is a high-end router that is perfect for professional woodworkers. With a 1-1/4 horsepower motor, soft start function, and variable speed control from 10,000 to 23,000 RPM, this router provides precise cuts and trims. The unique dust-extraction port reduces sawdust and promotes clean work areas. Plus, the ergonomic design makes it easy to handle and use for extended periods of time.
9. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
The Ridgid R2401 laminate trim router is a great option for those who need a small, compact router. With a 1-1/2 horsepower motor and a variable speed control from 20,000 to 30,000 RPM, this router is perfect for laminate trimming and other small tasks. The micro-adjust dial allows for precise depth control and the LED light enhances visibility. Plus, the clear base provides better visibility when working.
10. Black+Decker RP250 Router
The Black+Decker RP250 router is a budget-friendly option for beginners. With a 10-amp motor and variable speed control of up to 27,000 RPM, this router is perfect for small to medium jobs. The depth adjustment ring allows for precise cuts, and the spindle lock makes bit changes easy. Plus, the ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use.
Finding the perfect router for your woodworking projects can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering the factors outlined above, you can narrow down your options and choose the best router for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, any of the routers on this list can help you achieve smooth, precise cuts and trims. Happy woodworking!