Let Us Help You Find the Best Router for A Router Table
Wood routers that attach to your table allow for more power than, say, a palm router, and these may include a fixed-base or plunge router. Sometimes, there are kits where the one router can act as both a fixed-base and plunge router. These models allow you to have the most versatility possible for your next woodworking project.
Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets
Our favorite for 2017
PORTER-CABLE 690LR 11-Amp Fixed-Base Router
A great value option
PORTER-CABLE 892 2-1/4-Horsepower Router
Great router offering smooth and reliable operation
Trying to compare models can be very difficult, but there are a few points that you’ll want to keep in mind when making your choice:
- Electronic Feedback: The feedback that is offered can make a big difference when working on your next project. Continual electronic feedback will adjust the motor’s power for those times when you’re working with wood that is harder to cut through.
- Adjustments: You can make adjustments under the table or over the table. It’s always best to be able to make quick and easy adjustments without needing to slouch over. If you can’t make adjustments above the table, it will slow down every project you do that needs adjustments often.
- Grip: Always ensure that the grip is comfortable. Wooden grips are surprisingly comfortable and seem to absorb shock and vibrations very well, which allows you to work on longer projects without aches or pain. Molded grips do the same, too, and should be considered. Ergonomic grips that fit the contour of your hands are also a great option due to a higher level of comfort.
We’ll be reviewing a handful of the best wood routers. When coupled with the best wood router table, all of these models will work well for all project levels.
Reviews of the Best Wood Routers
Bosch 1617EVSPK – The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a plunge and fixed base router that comes in a kit along with 1/4” and 1/2” collects. And with a 12 amp, 2.25 horsepower motor, this is a powerful router that will last for years. It’s a wood table router, and variable speeds between 8,000 and 25,000 rpm are offered.
Wooden handles allow for comfort when using the fixed base, while soft grip handles are present when using the plunge router option.
Weighing 19.5 pounds, this router comes with a one-year warranty, collet chunks, chip shields, carrying case and wrenches to get started.
And as mid range model this is a versatile and affordable model.
PORTER-CABLE 690LR – The 690LR is a fixed base router, and it’s a single speed motor that offers a staggering 27,500 rpm. The 11-amp motor offers peak performance levels of 1.75 HP, and the cam-lock lever allows you to make precise and simple adjustments with a motor release, too.
When you want to make accurate adjustments to depth, you can choose 1/128-inch depth adjustments – talk about precision.
Dust sealed components protect the router from damage, and the grips are molded with an ergonomic design that is stable and comfortable. A fast bit removal is also present. The affordable price and the ability to use 0.25” and 0.50” shank bits make this an ideal router for all user levels.
DEWALT DW618PK – If you want a superb mid-range wood router then the DEWALT DW618PK is an optimal choice. This model is powerful with a 2.25 HP motor, 12-amps and motor speeds that can be adjusted for precise cuts when you need them most.
Featuring the ability to use 1/4″ and 1/2” collets, this model can have its height adjusted in 1/64” increments, and the tool-free steel cam lock allows you to switch between base and depth adjustments rapidly.
There is an advanced dust collection feature that eliminates 955 of the dust that most other routers miss.
For a great plunge and fixed-base router, this is one of the best in the industry.
Bosch 1617EVS – Bosch offers the 1617EVS, which is slightly less high-end than the last Bosch router on our list. But this doesn’t mean this isn’t a great overall router. This model offers variable speeds of 8,000 – 25,000 rpm, and a monitoring system ensures that the RPM speeds stay consistent even when working through difficult woods.
Horsepower is rated at 2.25 HP, and it features a 12-amp motor for power when you need it the most.
A fixed base router, this model offers mounting hardware, wooden grips and 1/4” and 1/2” releasing collets as well as a chip shield. Adjustments can be made above the table.
PORTER-CABLE 892 – The 892 is a powerful wood router that is soft-starting to allow for a more precise start to your project, and the motor is 2.25 HP with 12-amps of power. Electronic feedback is given to the motor at all times to allow for automatic adjustments to keep the speed of the router constant at all times.
Users can do it all from above the table: adjust the bit height, clamp the motor and release the motor.
Variable speeds range from 10,000 – 23,000 rpm, and over-molded grips provide great control for long-term usage. When your hands ache and hurt after a long project, these grips are able to alleviate all of these unnecessary pains.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Right Router for You If Have a Router Table
You’ve read all of the reviews, and now you’re left scratching your head: Which router should you choose? Keep in mind that all of these routers will require you to have a router table, so this needs to be a consideration, too.
But there are a lot of features that can also be compared to make your choice a little easier.
- Type: A fixed-base router will provide single speeds in most cases, and if you have a kit, you’ll also find a plunge router with variable speeds, which is another great feature. If you’re not sure which router you’ll need most, a combo kit will provide you with the most flexibility.
- Price: If you haven’t done so already, it’s recommended that you make a budget before making your purchase. You can spend anuything from a mid-range to a high price on a router, and if you don’t have a budget, you may be buying a router with a lot of features and power you won’t be using.
- Size: The size of the router won’t matter as much when it’s meant to attach to a wood router table, but if you’re thinking of a palm router, the weight or size of the router may be a consideration.
- Reviews: Online reviews help people save tons of money each year. What are others saying about the router you’re interested in buying? A bad overall rating is a clear sign that something is wrong with the way the router works or is constructed.
Think long and hard about the projects that you’ll be working on when using your router. If you find you need versatility, a combo kit (we listed a few) is highly recommended, and can save you money and headaches in the future.