5 Best Wood Routers on the Market – Plunge Routers Models For 2018

We know that you need a wood router, but we wanted to make sure that you will findthe best possible option for your needs. That is why we have done extensive research to identify the five best options that are available right now.

Best Wood Routers

After testing and reviewing a number of wood routers on the market, we have identified the Dewalt DW618PK as the overall best one, and we found the Generic to be the best budget option. 

Best Wood Routers - Reviews

1. Dewalt DW618PK 12-AMP *Editor’s Choice*

Dewalt DW618PK 12-AMP

In general, Dewalt usually makes great tools,and this router kit is a pretty prime example of that—due to its features and the amount of value that it offers, we have selected it as our top choice on this list. Let’s see what you think.

Quality Motor

This unit features a high-quality 2 ¼ horsepower 12-amp variable-speed motor that allows users to approach a wide variety of hardwoods with confidence. Even if you don’t plan on working much with hardwoods, that little extra power is a nice thing to have. And on the occasions where you do need it, it will make the process go much smoother and you won’t need to worry about damaging the workpiece while chipping away with an inferior motor.

The motor also features a variable speed trigger that allows users to select from between 8,000 and 24,000 RPM. The wide variety of options allow you to apply a precise approach to each work piece. The unit even features a digital reader that gives you exact feedback on your speed setting so you can know exactly what you are working with. 

Comfortable Operation with Integrated Dust Port

I also love the intuitive, user-friendly design of this unit. The Dewalt features a low center of gravity, ergonomic handles, and a dust port that is conveniently located to ensure that you can safely extract dust without compromising your line of sight.

The patented design makes using the router as comfortable and convenient as possible, and it also encourages woodworkersto use the ever-important dust extraction feature, which is good for both your health and the cleanliness of your shop.

Dust-Sealed

Finally, this product has been built to last. Because of the way that they operate, routers are known to produce a lot of dust. Dust is notoriously hard on woodworking equipment—it has a way of getting into cracks and disrupting electric and other key functions. 

You aren’t going to have to worry about that with the Dewalt. This unit has been dust-sealed to ensure that it stays going strong for many years to come.

That aside, this tool is just all-around built to be sturdy, featuring heavy-duty metal housing and other key construction components that will have it working well for many years.

There is really not very much in way of cons for this tool, and that’s sort of why it is our pick for the top router. It can get a little noisy, which may be a little bit irritating after hours of use, but that aside it’s a really great buy.

What we liked

  • Great motor
  • Intuitive design
  • Dust-sealed

What we didn't like

  • A little noisy

2. Generic Plunge Wood Router *Budget Choice*

Generic Plunge Wood Router

This next tool isn’t quite as feature-rich as the Dewalt, but it is still of a highquality and falls on the lowend of the price range when it comes to wood routers. The quality mixed with the value make the Generic our top pick for shoppers that are looking for a good tool at a great price—let’s take a look at its features.

Depth Adjustment

This unit allows you to adjust the depth of your routing bits so that you can take as precise an approach as possible to your woodworking. Depth adjustment is a fairly standard feature in the world of woodworking but it is still nice to see here, especially given the bargain that you are getting with this tool. Basic or not, precision-based features are always a great thing to look out for when you are shopping for a power tool.

Easy Bit Replacement

Another basic, but nevertheless appreciated feature. When you work with a router, the need to replace your router bit arises fairly often. There are plenty of routers that make the process of changing out your bits a lot more complicated than it needs to be, but this tool has made a point of making it a simple experience. Again, it’s a pretty basic feature,but on the plus side the less time you spend messing around trying to change your bits,the more time you can spend on your workpiece!

Affordable

It’s affordable. That’s what makes this tool stand out the most. More experienced users are probably going to want a router that is a little bit more rich in features, but if you are new to woodworking or doing-it-yourself, this tool represents a great opportunity to get started without breaking the bank.

If you can forgive the lack of premium features, the Generic is going to be a great option for you.

What we liked

  • Affordable
  • Easy bit replacement
  • Depth adjustment

What we didn't like

  • Very basic

3. Bosch 1617EVSPK Router 

Bosch 1617EVSPK Router

Like Dewalt, Bosch is another company that has firmly established itself as a maker of good tools. And like the Dewalt tool that we looked at, this router is a very good example of why Boschhave the reputation that they do—it’s powerful, full of good features, and given the quality it represents a good value for the woodworker that is able to take full advantage of its offerings. Let’s take a look.

Good Build

The Bosch features an aluminum frame and wooden handles that keep the tool both lightweight and comfortable to use for long hours on the job. The plunge base, meanwhile, is also of an aluminum construction, but it features a soft grip that will prove comfortable when you find yourself in need of making plunge cuts.

Aluminum is a great material for tools like this because it benefits from being highly durable without being too heavy. All the sensitive parts of the tool are still being kept safe, and it is even dust-sealed to further extend its life expectancy—but these benefits do not come at the price of this tool’s mobility nor its user-friendliness.

Lightweight, durable, and comfortable is a difficult combination of features for a single tool to nail, but the Bosch is accomplishing it quite nicely.

It’s Accurate and Convenient 

Naturally, accurate is another buzz word to look out for when you are looking into power tools. This kit, which is designed to empower you to make both base and plunge cuts, is adjustable up to one inch and is accurate to 1/64 inch.

The tool is designed with precision in mind to allow you to make ultra-fine adjustments to the depth of your bits, and it even helps you stay on your intended cutting line by centering the bits directly in the middle of the base.
Another nice aspect of this tool is the convenience with which the changeable base is utilized. A changeable base is a pretty standard component of a router kit, and it is indeed necessary if you plan on making plunge cuts. However, it can also often be quite difficult and inconvenient to change out.

Fortunately, with this unit, there is no need to bust out the tool box to change the base—the switch can be made quickly and easily without the need for any tools. While most do-it-yourselfers probably wouldn’t have any problem bringing out their tools to change the base, this is a great time-saving feature that will ultimately save you from plenty of frustration.

Powerful

Finally, this tool also benefits from a lot of power. The 2 1/4th horsepower, 12-amp motor is about as powerful as anything else that we will be looking at on this list—and like all high quality motors, it is also very adjustable.
This tool will allow you to choose from speeds of 8000 to 25,000 RPMs, and it even features “Constant Response Circuitry” that will ensure your router maintains a constant speed for the duration of the cut.

The power is going to help ensure that you get clean, accurate cuts, while the adjustability helps to ensure that the tool is as versatile as possible. A great motor is always one of the most important aspects of any tool, and fortunately, this router has one.

This tool does not suffer from any major setbacks, but there is a regrettable defect that seems to affect a surprising number of users involving the switch—on some units, it has been known to very abruptly stop working. Of course, it is difficult to know when this is the result of regular wear and tear or simple misuse, and when it is the result of a more serious problem.

What we liked

  • Great build
  • Accurate
  • High-quality motor

What we didn't like

  • Possible defect in the switch of some units

4. Ryobi R1631K Router 

Ryobi R1631K Router

I’ve always been a fan of Ryobi because they consistently produce equipment that is both affordable and of pretty high quality—that mix of quality and value is exactly what you are getting with this product. Let’s take a look.

LED Light

WhileLED lights are not a necessary feature on a power tool, they are always appreciated—they help to give you a better line of vision on your workpiece which, in turn,will improve the accuracy of your work. It’s a simple, but much appreciated touch.

Bits Included

Router bits are usually not expensive, and you are probably going to need to buy more of them somewhere down the road, but it is still nice that this package includes three bits to get you started. The inclusion of these bits ensures that, no matter what, you will be able to start using your new router the day you open the box.

Affordable

I try not to overstate the affordability of a product, both because the word itself is extremely subjective, and because price changes very frequently. However, it is fair to say that this product falls on the very lowest end of the price spectrum for a tool of its nature, and I believe it is also fair to say it is of a higher quality than most similar products available at a similar price.
Of course, this tool is also not without its drawbacks—the motor isn’t of quite the same quality as some of the other, higher-end routers that we have looked at, but given the affordable price that is somewhat to be expected. 

What we liked

  • LED light
  • Bits included
  • Affordable

What we didn't like

  • Motor not as powerful as higher-end tools

5. Makita XTR01Z LXT Compact Router

Makita XTR01Z LXT Compact Router

Last but not least, the Makita—a quality tool with a great motor that is designed to make short work of whatever materials you throw at it and to keep you safe as it does it. One last time, let’s take a look at a few of its choicest features.

Safety First

This tool is designed in a way that makes it almost impossible to accidentally start it. The power button is located separately from the locking mechanism that must also be activated in order for the machine to start. This is a great feature for anyone to have, but it is particularly beneficial for people with children in the house.

Constant Speed Control

Tools with inferior motors may struggle to maintain a constant speed as you use them—and as a result, the work suffers. That isn’t a concern with this tool. This unit has an electrically maintained speed control component that helps ensure a consistent RPM as you work. 

Highly Adjustable

The variable speed dial on this tool allows you to adjust your speed anywhere from 10,000-30,000 RPM. Since we have already seen a few units with this capability, you are well aware of how useful that is—the more adjustable your tool is, the more use you will be able to get out of it. 

What we liked

  • Safe
  • Consistent
  • Highly adjustable

What we didn't like

  • Buying the entire kit will set you back more than most similar tools

Conclusion:

As you can see, there are plenty of great options out there—whether you are looking for a really high-end router like the Dewalt or the Makita, or you just want to get a great deal on a product like the Generic or the Ryobi, there is truly something out there for everyone. 

The good news is that it is a pretty stress-free decision. No matter what you choose, you will wind up with a tool that changes the way you work. 

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