The Best Routers for Woodworking

I love routers. In fact, they’re used in almost every single wood project that I do from cabinetry to even the simplest picture frames. In short, you’re going to be using your router a LOT so you might as well buy the best that you can afford.

the best router for woodworking

That’s where this post comes in. We’re going to show you some of the best routers on the market today and explain why we chose them.

Here’s our short list of the best routers below:

DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit

The 1.25 horsepower motor on this router delivers prime cutting performance at a reasonable price. The motor has a soft-start and gives full-time electronic feedback to keep the speed constant while you work.

An adjustment ring on the base gives you precision depth control to within 1/64th of an inch, and the dual LEDs provide maximum visibility. Available with optional edge guide and sub round base for an additional cost.

The motor range is set from 16,000 to 27,000 RPMs, depending on the job, and it comes with DeWALT’s 3 year limited warranty. It’s a compact router and a plunge base, all in the same order. Total weight is about 8 pounds. DeWalt is pretty hard to beat in the world of all-around good routers these days. For the money, this one is a really good value right now.

Black & Decker RP250 10-Amp 2-1/4-Inch Variable Speed Plunge Router

This router from Black & Decker features a 10 amp motor and a 2-1/4 inch variable plunge. The handles are tilted to be more ergonomic, allowing you to work long hours without fatigue.

The quarter-inch collet comes with a wrench, and the base is included as part of the device itself, rather than a separate piece. The motor is variable speed, from 8,000 to 27,000 RPMs, and the setup is fairly heavy at 10 pounds, but that’s just more stability to make smoother cuts.

A simple design for the budget minded hobbyist who won’t be using it every day to earn a living, but would like to do basic work from time to time. Go slower on hard materials. If you are planning on using ½ inch collets, then this one isn’t for you. If you’re new to routers and want a good budget router, this is the one.

Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router

If you want something that’s a little more heavy duty, this router from Bosch might do the trick. The router itself comes with a fixed base for easy attachment to a table, and a plunge base for artistic work.

You can even order it with a bench-top table, if you like, or and edge guide, or a combination. The motor adjusts from 8,000 to 25,000 RPMs, and the construction is all aluminum, with wooden handles on the fixed base and soft grip on the plunge.

Includes everything you need, even the carrying case and chip shields. At almost 20 pounds, this is a sturdy router, built to last a lifetime for the serious woodcarving enthusiast or professional. If you want something that’s high-quality, the price is pretty reasonable considering that you’ll probably never have to buy another router again.

DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router

For the best mix of power, versatility, and price, this mid-range DeWALT router is perfect for almost any job, small or large, and is ready to make trimming corners a breeze. While not as powerful as some professional designs, the 11-amp motor puts out more than enough for basic jobs, and with plow through denser materials with ease, provided you have sharp bits.

A simple design, this doesn’t feature a  plunge base, so you will need to pick that up separate, but for a locked base design, adjustment and base changes are a snap. It will accept both quarter and half inch collets. This is a basic router, so you can get the tool you need now, and when you decide you need a table or a plunge base, you can buy them and have all your bases covered as your workload increases.

If you’re in need of a good router table, you should probably check out this article we recently wrote as well.