We know that having the right tools is essential for any woodworker, and a great wood router is no exception. That’s why we’ve found seven of the best wood routers out there for you to choose from. When shopping for a router, it’s helpful to know what varieties are available to aid you in your selection, so we’ve outlined the three types of routers up for consideration:
Plunge routers: These can be adjusted, allowing for a variety of depths when cutting. Some models can even be attached and used as a fixed base router.
Fixed base routers: These are great for edge work and are often considered more precise and easier to control than plunge routers. They can be affixed to a table or modified with an adapter.
CNC routers: These are most often found in factories, and use programming languages to dictate how and where the tool moves and functions.
Now, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best wood routers in 2023:
Best Palm Router: Bosch Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Tool | Check Price
Best Compact Router: Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router | Check Price
Best Plunge Router Set: Bosch 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router | Check Price
Best DeWALT Router: DeWALT Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit | Check Price
Best Fixed Base and Plunge Router: Skil 14-Amp Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Combo | Check Price
Best Budget Router: Avid Power 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router with Fixed Base | Check Price
Scroll down to read more about each of these top wood routers and find out what reviewers love most about each product. Please note that the prices listed in this article were as shown in US$ on amazon.com (USA) as of April 2022.
We hope this guide has been helpful in your search for the perfect wood router. If you have any questions or want to learn more about other woodworking supplies, be sure to check out our additional guides. Happy woodworking!
Best Palm Router—Bosch Wood Router
When it comes to power tools, ergonomics can make all the difference. If comfort is a priority for you, then Bosch’s palm-size router might be just what you need. This router is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, making it easier to move around than traditional routers. Although it might not be as powerful as a larger router, its small frame still offers 16,000–35,000 RPM, and reviewers noted that changing out the bits is a piece of cake.
“This tool is straightforward, easy to use and control, and gets beautiful results,” explained one reviewer. “The router starts and stops very smoothly, which reduces the chance of accidentally nicking the piece you’re working on. And it’s very lightweight, not a clunker at all.”
Best Compact Router—Makita Wood Router
Makita’s RT0701C model is another great option for those who need a smaller router. Its narrow body is easy to maneuver, and it’s engineered to maintain a constant speed even when under pressure. Its depth can also be adjusted, and the drill bits and base can easily (and quickly) be swapped out.
“I have owned several routers over the years; this one is by far better built and designed better than most,” wrote one reviewer. “Most routers try to torque twist out of your hands, this one does not and is well balanced. Most of us do better work with tools that feel safe in our hands, this one does.”
Best Plunge Router Set—Bosch 1617EVSPK Router
If you’re looking for a router with extra bells and whistles, then Bosch’s 1617EVSPK model might be perfect for you. This kit comes with two collets, an edge guide, a dust extraction hood, and a vacuum hose adapter, making it a great value. The dust extraction setup alone is worth it to keep wood particles away from your eyes and lungs.
As for the tool itself? “This unit is smooth as silk running half-inch bits and much stronger than my older, but similarly powered router,” explained one reviewer. “The fixed base went directly into my router table, and I’m using the plunge base for tabletop and free handwork.”
Best DeWALT Router—DeWALT Router Set
DeWALT’s router is one of the most versatile on the market. Its micro-fine depth adjustment and ability to switch between a plunge and fixed base router make it stand out from the crowd. This model is slightly larger than the Max XR cordless version and doesn’t require recharging thanks to its cord.
DeWALT also sells this router in other sets, including one with a D-handle base and another with an edge guide.
“The plunge base is good for making holes or cutting dados, while the fixed base is good for edging,” wrote one owner. “The router itself is very heavy and sturdy and feels very well-made.”
Best Fixed Base and Plunge Router—Skil Router Combo
If you’re looking for a router that can handle a variety of projects, then Skil’s router combo might be just what you need. This router has been compared to top competitors such as Festool and Makita, and it’s equipped with an LCD screen to help you make controlled and exact cuts.
The brand also sells a corded fixed-base router with a 10-amp motor. One reviewer also noted, “The transparent base and integrated light make it easy to see your work, and the vacuum fitting on the plunge base gets rid of debris effectively.”
Best Budget Router—Avid Power Router Set
If you’re on a budget, Avid Power’s wood router covers all the bases for smaller-scale projects. It’s small, easy to move around, and works great for things like trim. Plus, if you ever need a more flexible plunge router, this model can be mounted onto a table for plunge-like cuts, and you can also contact the manufacturer for a plunge adapter.
Reviewers have used this convenient wood router for all sorts of tasks, including making wooden desks, routing deck flooring, and crafting tables.
We hope that our review of the best wood routers has helped you find the perfect tool for your next woodworking project. Be sure to check out our additional guides for more information on woodworking supplies. Thanks for reading, and happy woodworking!