Guide to the Six Best Wood Routers for Beginners

Guide to the Six Best Wood Routers for Beginners

A wood router is a rotary tool with high speeds that connects to other router bits at the end of a motor’s shaft. The different bits can help a woodworker to do almost any task they imagine.

A wood router is an essential and versatile tool that can do a range of applications. Once you master the tool, it can bring you more convenience as there are many tasks that it can do that would otherwise be done by hand.

In this buying guide, we compare the six best wood routers for beginners. They have a powerful motor, the right speeds, and specifications to help you get the most out of it. Here is a quick guide.

1. SKIL 10 Amp Fixed Base Corded Router —RT1323-00

This is a powerful router with 10 amp and a 2.0 HP motor to give you a smooth and accurate routing from start to finish.

It gives you the option of a soft start so that your routing can be safe with a controlled start. With it, you can adjust the speed based on the material you are using.

It also features a live tool indicator that will light up to show the router has a power connection.

It has a die-cast exterior with ergonomic handles to give you more grip and control. It can do both ½ inch and ¼ inch shank router bits.

There are dual LED lights on the motor base to illuminate the working area so that you can have more accuracy.

The unit has a built-in vacuum port to extract dust.

Product Specification

  • Package Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Product Weight: 10.28 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It is powerful with 10amp and 2.0 horsepower.
  • It has a soft start for a safe and controlled start.
  • It gives you the option of adjusting speed depending on the material you are using.
  • It has dual LED lights at the motor base to illuminate the working surface.
  • It has a live tool indicator that lights up when the router is connected to power.
  • It has a built-in vacuum for dust extraction.
  • It is durable with ergonomic handles.

Cons

Cons
  • A user complained that he got it with a broken lid.

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2. Triton TRA001 3-1/4 HP Dual Mode Precision Plunge Router

This is a dual-mode precision router with a single button that can make it switch from a conventional plunge to a fixed-base router but has a rack and pinion mode.

Through the base, you can use the automatic spindle lock to do a single wrench bit change. It is easy to use has it has a built-in router lift to make changing bits easy.

It has a micro winder to help in continuous fine depth adjustment by using the full plunge mode.

It uses both the soft start and variable speed to give the appropriate speed for different cutter types.

The unit is equipped with side air vents to minimize dust intake into the motor casing for a smooth operation.

It is safe to use as it has a safety switch shutter that locks when in bit change mode to prevent the unit from powering up.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.9 x 11.4 inches
  • Product Weight: 19.5 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It is easy to use.
  • It can give you a precise speed to suit different cutter types.
  • It has side air vents to minimize the intake of dust.
  • It is safe to use.

Cons

Cons
  • It has a plastic handle, which some users found to be cheap.
  • Some users complained the unit did not last them long.

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3. DEWALT Router

This is an excellent router with a fixed base for stability. There is a depth ring and clamping system to lock the motor in position. Some tabs are spring-loaded for easy base removal.

It has variable speed to give you the flexibility of working on different projects. It has a no-load speed of 16,000 to 27,000 RPM.

It has a 1.25 horsepower motor that can handle even the toughest applications.

It has been made such that you can have a fast and easy bit and base changes. An adjustment ring to help in controlled bit depth changes while the spindle lock button makes it possible to do comfortable, single wrench bit changes.

It has a dual-LED light at the base to provide more bit visibility.

The motor has a soft start with full-time electronic feedback to maintain the motor’s speed throughout the cut.

It comes in an aluminum housing for durability.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 11.5 x 7.3 inches
  • Product Weight: 5.5 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It has a dual-LED light at the motor base for more visibility.
  • The motor has a soft start with full-time electronic feedback to maintain the speed of the motor.
  • It can comfortably lock the motor in position while it is in use.
  • It has a high variable speed of 16,000 to 27,000 RPM.
    It has a high horsepower.
  • It has an aluminum body for durability.

Cons

Cons
  • Some users complained that it dies after a short time.
  • Some users had an issue with the clamp on the adjustment.

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4. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

It is a router with both round and square bases to give you more versatility and convenience. It is easy to use with a micro-adjust dial that is easy to access and can give you precise depth control.

The router’s top is flat so that the router can sit upside down for easy bit changes. There is an over-mold on top of the router to prevent the work surface from marring.

It features a quick-release lever that makes it easy to remove the motor from the base. There is an LED light at the base that helps to illuminate the work area. It has high variable speed with no-load speeds of between 20,000 to 30,000 RPM.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Product Weight: 4 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It has both round and square bases for more versatility and convenience.
  • It is easy to use and can give you accurate depth control.
  • It allows easy bit changes.
  • It has a quick-release lever for easy removal of the motor from the base.
  • It has an LED light at the base for illuminating the work area.
  • It has a high variable speed with a no-load speed of 20,000 to 30,000 RPM.

Cons

Cons
  • Some users complained that it is poorly designed and so did not last them long

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5. DEWALT Router, Fixed/Plunge Base Kit

This is a powerful router with a 2.25 horsepower and 12amp electronic speed motor that gives it the power to deal with even the hardest wood.

It can give you full feedback control for a constant speed between 8,000 and 24,000 RPM. It has a soft start for a smooth start and control. It is equipped with a D-handle that can trigger the switch with the lock-on feature. With the unit, you can get precise depth adjustments and can adjust vertically for a constant switch.

It is equipped with through-the-column dust collection that can collect 95% of dust and give you visibility. It has a die-cast aluminum base for more durability. The switch is sealed to protect it from dust. The product comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 19.94 x 24 x 7.75 inches
  • Product Weight: 28.1 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It is powerful with 2.25 HP and 12-amp speed motor.
  • It has high variable speed with a no-load speed of 8,000 to 24,000RPM.
  • It gives you full feedback control.
  • It has a dust collection unit and a switch sealed from dust.
  • It has a die-cast aluminum base for durability.

Cons

Cons
  • Some users complained that it did not last them long.
  • Some users had an issue with speed control.

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6. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Router

It is a router with a 15-amp motor and 2.3 horsepower to meet your needs. There is a trigger control system under the handle to give you precision control.

It is easy to adjust with a variable speed dial to help you match speed according to the task you are doing. The router is fast for convenience with a high variable speed of 10,000 to 25,000 RPM.

There is a power switch both in the fixed base and plunge base to give you more control. The fixed base gives you the option of micro-fine bit-depth adjustment. It has ergonomic handles that are easy to handle to ensure comfort.

There is a dual-LED lighting system at the base to illuminate your work. The unit has a hard plastic case to protect the motor. The product comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Product Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches
  • Product Weight:25.8 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • It has a dual-LED lighting system at the base to illuminate your work.
  • It gives you more control and helps you achieve precision.
  • It is easy to adjust with a variable speed dial.
  • It has a high variable speed of 10,000 to 25,000 RPM.

Cons

Cons
  • The router has sharp metal edges, which may be a hazard.

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Buyer’s Guide

All six wood routers are great picks for beginners. If you are trying to choose one of the six, then this section is for you as we focus on what sets the different routers apart.

Highest variable speeds: When it comes to the router’s speeds, the one with the highest variable speed is the Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router with no-load speeds of 20,000 to 30,000 RPM. That means it is the best choice if you want more control and accuracy.

The most affordable router: When we compare the different routers’ costs, the cheapest comparatively is the SKIL 10 Amp Fixed Base Corded Router —RT1323-00 that retails at only $124.99.

Our overall recommendation: As much as all the six are excellent picks, our best advice is the SKIL 10 Amp Fixed Base Corded Router —RT1323-00. It will give you more control and precision and is still at the same time, affordable.

Although you may have an idea on which wood router to settle on, you also need basics on choosing one. Some of the things to keep in mind when choosing one include:

Variable speeds: Most wood routers have a variable speed motor. When you are shopping for a wood router, you will find that most of them have speeds between 8,000 and 15,000 RPM. Variable speed helps users have more control and accuracy. With variable speeds, it is easier to avoid common mistakes. If you are a beginner, it is better to go for the low-speed range until you are more familiar with it.

Weight: As much as weight may be cumbersome when it comes to portability, it gives you more stability and efficiently controls the machine.

Ease of use: Most modern routers have features that make them easy to use. The switches should be conveniently located and have other extra features to make it easy to work on. When it is easy to use, it will give you more flexibility and convenience.

Spindle lock: This is an important feature so that it is easy to change a router bit. With a spindle lock, you do not have to lock the motor as all you will need is to deal with a spindle lock, which is the form of a switch.

Cost: As much as the cost is essential to consider, other features should come first so that you get value for money. Compare the different features against the price and choose one that makes more sense. You can also opt for a high-end second-hand wood router that can do the job well at a fraction of the cost. Beginners shouldn’t go for the most expensive tool when starting out.

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