A wood router is a handheld tool that helps you make perfect wood work surfaces and various woodworking tasks. It can also do some plunging. If you are new to woodworking, it is crucial that your first wood router is the best wood router for beginner.
A wood router is one of the most important equipment you need for your woodworking jobs. As a newbie, it is best to start off with a wood router that is easy and convenient to use. A powerful motor capable of about 8,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) or more is sufficient enough to start with.
Below are some of the best wood router for beginner woodworkers to familiarize yourself with wood routers. This guide will also show you the best features you need to look for when shopping for your first wood router.
Table of Contents
- Top 8 Best Wood Router for Beginner Review
- Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit – Best Value for Money
- DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router (DCW600B) – Best Cordless Router
- AVID POWER Compact Router (MW104) – Best Fixed Base
- Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router – Best Overall
- BOSCH PR20EVSNK Colt Installers Kit – Best Palm Router
- Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake– Best Upgrade Pick
- WEN RT6033 Plunge Woodworking Router Kit – Best Plunge Router 15-Amp Variable Speed
- How To Best Wood Router For Beginner
- Final Words
Top 8 Best Wood Router for Beginner Review
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit – Best Value for Money
The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router is slim and lightweight making it a good option if you are looking for a router you can use in your home workshop. This lightweight and handy router is easy on the budget, comes with an eye-catching appearance, one of the finest features that can make your woodworking projects successful.
This Makita router comes with a heavy-duty 1 ¼ HP aluminum motor that guarantees its power and durability. It may not be able to handle heavy-duty projects but it still is a handy tool ideal for several woodworking tasks.
This beginner router comes with variable speed ranging from 10,000 – 30,000 RPM. It also has a rack-and pinion adjustment so you can optimize the tool’s speed. Its electronic speed control is engineered for a wide range of tasks.
Many beginner woodworkers love that it has a smooth start feature for smooth start-ups that allows you to have full control of your work from start to finish. It comes with a long-lasting flat-top design for more convenience when you need to change bits.
The Makati RTOCX7 features quick-quick release tabs allowing a smooth base removal and depth adjustment. The depth adjustment has 3 preset depth stops. This allows you to save a lot of time and energy when you switch them.
This Makita router is a good buy because it is a handy tool that offers precision in a slim and compact design. Its ergonomically designed body offers comfort while allowing you to have full control of the tool.
This router has a plunge base with full 0” - 1-3/8” plunge depth capacity as well as an offset base allowing you to easily work on tight corners.
This wood router allows the beginner woodworker to achieve an excellent woodworking job.
The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router weighs 2.9 pounds. The kit includes a compact router, plunge base, ¼” collet, straight guide, and (2) spanner wrench. This router accepts standard template guides.
DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router (DCW600B) – Best Cordless Router
The DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router (DCW600B) provides the convenience of a cordless wood router yet has the power of a corded compact router. Its brushless motor extends power, runtime, and durability.
This router features a D-shaped base making it super stable when radius referencing and edge profiling. You can easily change the base of the tool with the quick release tabs. This tool also comes with a ¼-inch collet.
The soft start motor that comes with a full-time electronic feedback ensures the speed of the router during cuts. Adjusting the height of the tool is easy and through its adjustable rings. After the tool is turned off, the motor is slowed down by its electronic brake.
This cordless router is equipped with variable speed controls so the bit speed matches the application. It has a cutting speed of about 16,000 to 25,500 RPM. It is easy to change its bit and base change because the tool comes with a release clamp. The speed of this router allows smooth routing even with hard materials.
The soft-start motor application of this tool ensures the speed is maintained while you are working. You can monitor the speed of the motor with electronic feedback working full time.
This DeWalt wood router comes with a plastic fixed base and dual LEDs to illuminate the workspace and provide better visibility. Its spindle lock is easy to use because its large button is easily triggered.
The DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router (DCW600B) weighs a light 2.6 pounds. While this tool requires batteries, no batteries are included in the box, just to router, the fixed base, a wrench, and the manual.
DEWALT Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (DW618PKB) – Best Combo Base Router
The DEWALT Router with Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (DW618PKB) is equipped with a powerful 2 ¼ HP motor with a soft start and variable speeds to allow routing at your desired speed. The motor power allows the tool to rout smoothly even the toughest hardwoods
This DEWALT router comes with a fixed-based and a plunge base. The plunge base dust collection system makes the bit visible. The depth adjustment features allow the easy removal of the motor for base and bit changes.
The electronic variable speed of this router ranges from 8,000 to 24,000 rpm. The soft start characteristic of the motor reduces start-up torque for better control of the router.
The steel motor also comes with an adjustable and tool-free cam lock for solid locking and quick depth adjustment and base changes (from fixed to plunger and vice-versa). Quick-release motor latches also allow the easy and quick removal of the motor for base and base changes. A depth –adjustment ring ensures accurate depth adjustment in 1/674-inch increments.
The dust collection system of this router collects up to 95% of the dust to allow superior visibility of the bit.
This DEWALT router has a detachable cordset removing the need for a cord motor pack.
The DEWALT Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit (DW618PKB) weighs 16.34 pounds. The set includes the router, a fixed base, a plunge base, collet, wrench, large hole sub-base, a vacuum adapter, and a soft carry bag.
AVID POWER Compact Router (MW104) – Best Fixed Base
The AVID POWER Compact Router (MW104) is equipped with a powerful 6.5 Amp 1.25 HP motor that comes with a fixed base. The motor comes with variable speeds from about 10,000 – 32,000 rpm allowing woodworkers to choose the speed appropriate for different materials.
This AVID POWER router comes with an aluminum body and base to ensure stability and long-term durability. Motor release and height adjustment is enabled by the quick locking system.
This router is ergonomically designed for your comfort and convenience when doing your routing tasks. This durable router can accept ¼-inch and 3/8-inch collets.
The router’s smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment mechanism allows accurate depth adjustment which woodworkers love in a router. Although this tool tends to heat up quite easily, it is a good option for small woodworking tasks.
This AVID POWER router comes with dual LEDs for easy visibility especially when working in tight corners. It also has a dust hood, edge guide, and roller guide to ensure precise routing and trimming operations.
The AVID POWER Compact Router (MW104) set includes the compact router, roller guide assembly. Straight-edge guide assembly, wrench, dust hood, (2) straight bit, round over bit, flush trim bit, cove bit, (2) collet, and a tool bag.
Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router – Best Overall
The Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router is one of the best wood routers for beginners. It comes with features that are easy to use and control. More importantly, it can easily handle several woodworking tasks making it the best router in this list.
The 2.25 HP motor of this plunge router has enough power to do most of your tasks. It comes with 6 variable speeds ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 rpm so you have the right speed for the different materials you will be working with.
Its powerful motor and adjustable speed settings allow the smooth operation of this tool along cutlines. Its fixed base comes with threaded holes so you can mount it to a router table with 3-hole patterns if you wish. Its fixed-based system allows easy height adjustment from above the router table.
This router is not only powerful, it also provides comfort and convenience. It has a one-button operation which most beginners, amateurs, and professionals love. Best of all, it comes with a rugged aluminum structure to protect the motor so you can get the best out of it.
This Bosch router is lightweight and comes with ¼-inch and ½-inch self-releasing collets. Its template guide adapter set allows you to change from Bosch quick-release template guides to regular threaded template guides.
A set of the Bosch 1617EVSPK Router includes the router, fixed-based, (2) collets, drop-forged wrenches, above-table height adjustment wrench, chip shield, and mounting hardware.
BOSCH PR20EVSNK Colt Installers Kit – Best Palm Router
The Bosch PR20EVSNK Colt is a palm wood router. It is one of the best wood router for beginner. It is a great entry-level wood router. It is a sturdy, portable, and affordable wood router perfect for beginners. This tool puts the routing power in the palm of your hand.
This Bosch palm wood router is equipped with a powerful 5.7-amp 1 HP motor. It comes with aluminum construction allowing the tool long-lasting. This tool comes with a palm-grip design putting the routing power in the palm of your hand.
This wood router comes with a fixed-base with depth adjustment. The tool also comes 3 assorted based and an edge guide. The tool’s variable speed is from about 16,000 to 25,000 rpm.
This versatile wood router is not just a laminate trimmer. It is also an ideal tool for mortising, slot cutting, and a lot more. Its motor comes with variable speed, a soft start, and Constant Response circuitry so you can maintain its speed under load.
The Bosch PR20EVSNK Colt Palm wood router kit includes the router, fix base, collet, wrenches, tilt base, edge guide, roller guide, offset base with roller guide, and a tool case.
Makita RP2301FC Plunge Router Electric Brake– Best Upgrade Pick
The Plunge Router Electric Brake (RP230IFC) is manufactured by Makita. It delivers powerful precision and accuracy through a smooth plunge action. It is equipped with a 15-amp 3-1/4 HP motor that comes with variable speed of about 9,000 to 22,000 rpm. An electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load.
The motor has a smooth start feature for smooth start-ups and along with electric brakes increase the tool’s productivity.
The plunge depth capacity of this tool is 0-2-3/4 inches allowing it to easily penetrate the work piece. The tool’s quick plunge depth adjustment with 3 presets depth stop allow it to work with precision. Its linear ball bearings ensure a smooth plunge action.
The tool’s easy to use features combined with its plunge capacity for a wide range of applications such as woodworking, cabinetry, doors, windows, and more. The power and precision of this tool can withstand even the most demanding routing tasks.
This Plunge Router Electric Brake from Makita weighs 14 pounds. The router comes with an instruction manual.
WEN RT6033 Plunge Woodworking Router Kit – Best Plunge Router 15-Amp Variable Speed
The WEN RT6033 Plunge Woodworking Router is equipped with a 15-amp soft start motor. Its variable speed is from 8,000 to 23,000 rpm. It is compatible with 1/4-inch and ½-inch router bits with 2-3/8 inches plunge depth.
You get two routers out of this WEN model. It is equipped with a lock-down knob to shift your plunge router into a fixed-based router.
This tool comes with a 7-stop turret that increases or decreases cutting depth by 1/8-inch increments. A parallel guide fence helps create perfectly straight designs.
This is a simple tool and even a beginner woodworker can easily start working with it. It is powerful, durable and versatile. Its maximum speed of 23,000 rpm is beyond what you can expect from a low-priced router.
WEN RT6033 Plunge Woodworking Router Kit with accessories comes in hard-shelled case
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How To Best Wood Router For Beginner
Browsing through a wide array of wood routers, you may think that they all look the same. This is the dilemma of many less-experienced woodworkers. Truth is, the difference between wood routers lies in the smallest details.
In deciding which wood router to pick, scrutinize each feature of the tool to know if a particular router can do the job or not. Here are the features you need to look for when shopping for the best router tool for beginners.
The power of a wood router is measured in horsepower (HP). Routers with sufficient power get the job done. The more power the wood router has, the heavier it becomes. That is why it is important to know how much power is enough for your woodworking jobs.
You should be able to find the right balance between the power and weight of the wood router because it will determine the success of your tasks. As a beginner, you do not need a handheld wood router with the most power. However, if you are getting a table-mounted router, you can choose one with as much power as you wish.
The speed of a wood router is determined by its revolution per minute (RPM). The router with the best revolution is always a great option. A router with variable speed is always a sought-after feature. It makes the router more versatile allowing it to cut many materials at the right speeds.
The best wood router for beginner has variable speeds. It keeps you from making mistakes because you have full control of the tool. Choose a router with speeds of between 8,000 RPM to 15,000 RPM.
Before shopping for a wood router, check if you have enough space in your workshop for the tool. If you have a small space, consider choosing from among small and portable wood routers.
Pick a moderately heavy wood router because it gives you better control of the tool. Remember, though, that the weight and power of a handheld router goes hand in hand.
Despite being a beginner woodworker, you want to have a router you can use for many years. Biases aside, the more popular router brands are the more long-lasting. They come with reliable warranties, too.
The spindle lock is extremely important in changing the router bit. There are two ways to change the bits: loosening the shaft and collet or pressing a button that keeps the motor shaft in place. The spindle lock makes changing the bit easier because you do not need to look all over the tool to lock the motor.
For starters, you can pick the best wood router for beginner with a collet that touches the top of the bench. Deeper plunges are just “decorations” without much function. Shorter collets, on the other hand, often create issues while you are using the tool.
Fixed Base or Plunge Router
You may be a bit confused when choosing between a fixed based or plunge router. Fixed base routers are ideal for simple and smaller trims. They can handle edge work with more precision.
The plunge wood router is better than other types of wood routers. This is so because plunge routers can manage huge and even complex wood materials. You can even make wood decors with plunge routers.
Make sure the collet of the router is made from tempered steel. They should also be tapered and precision made to perfectly fir with the motor shafts. Be wary of collets that are made from cone-shaped lumps of steel. They are of low-quality and have faster wear and tear. They also more chatters.
Most heavy-duty wood routers have ½-inch collets. They do not have corresponding sizes for smaller shanks, though.
A switch is an important component of a single router and needs to be simple. Only a few woodworkers can easily work with a complex switch system while doing a task. Make sure the switch locks when it is on “ON” mode. Many handheld routers do not lock while the tool is on “ON.”
Most wood routers have plastic-facing plates. You should opt for removable base plates so they are easy to replace. It is also good to opt for base plates that have threaded holes. They come in handy if you choose to fix your router to a woodworking table.
Wood router handles are either knobs or side levels. Side level handles are common in heavy-duty machines because they give more leverage. As a beginner, focus on making sure that the handle is comfortable so you can fully control the tool. As much as possible, avoid routers with extra features such as locks, switches, plunge, etc.
Many router manufacturers today are giving dust extraction for importance than ever before. Almost all routers have some kind of a dust extraction system. The best dust extraction system is an integrated dust extraction connection.
Ease of Use
As a beginner, opt for a wood router that is not too complicated to use. Make sure the bit is easy to remove and replace. Choose a model that you can completely control so that you will get the best results with your tasks.
It is also important to choose a wood router you can operate with one hand and especially with reachable switches.
The features of the best wood router for beginner should be commensurate with its price. You do not have to buy an expensive router to ensure the best performance. There are some routers that are less costly but very effective in getting the job done.
After going through the reviews of the best router tool for beginner’s reviews and knowing what features to look for in a router, you can now confidently make the right choice.
Thanks to modern technology, many beginner woodworkers have made well-trimmed wood edges, perfect wood surfaces, etc.
Choose any of the wood routers mentioned above and ensure the success of your woodworking projects.
The Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Based Router leads the pack as the best wood router. It has all the features you need in the best wood router for beginner and at an affordable price.