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Top 10 Best Wood Router For Beginner

Choosing the best wood router for a beginner is essential to ensure safety, ease of use, precision, versatility, and value for money. It is important to research and compare different models before making a purchase to find the one that meets your needs and budget.

While there are a lot of woodworking tools you may want to have in your arsenal, having a good wood router is a necessity. Armed with the best wood router you can afford, you will be able to bring the majority of the woodworking creations you have in your head to life.

When you read wood router reviews, it is clear that amateurs and professionals benefit from this versatile tool. Without a good wood router, you must resort to archaic and sloppy methods to attain the cuts you want.

Working with a top wood router will not only improve the quality of your work, but it will also allow you to work faster. This is important whether you are working on a hobby project or completing a professional job for a client.

This guide is designed to give you the basic information you need to make a conscientious decision when deciding what the best wood router is for your needs.

What is a Wood Router and How to use it?

What is a router tool? A router is a versatile tool that every woodworker needs in their arsenal. It is designed to route, or hollow out, a space in a piece of wood or plastic. It is an excellent tool for making cutouts, joint cuts, and decorative surface cuts.

Still, you may be wondering, what does a router do? What types of routers are available? And what is the best wood router for my needs?

What Does a Wood Router Do?

A wood router is useful for more than just cutting intricate edges on a piece of wood. It is a powerful tool that can create almost flawless wood patterns. It is used extensively in carpentry and cabinetry.

At the outset, routers were solely hand tools. Now there are many styles of electrically powered spinning routers on the market today. Routers have an electric driven motor and spindle. The router has a flat plane and a shaft or a bit that sticks out at the bottom. The electric motor causes the bit to spin rapidly, allowing it to cut wood to a desired shape.

Learning how to use a router tool effectively will take some time. This is because the best wood router will have versatile speed controls and other settings that need to be mastered before you are able to produce the woodworking results you want.

What Size Router Will You Need?

Before selecting the best affordable router and before learning how to use a plunge router, you first need to decide what size router you will need. The power of your router is determined by its horsepower. The horsepower along with the collet will determine how large the bit you can use can be.

While these are not hard and fast rules, the following are some guidelines to consider.

When looking for a general all-purpose router, it may suffice to purchase one that has:

  • A Fixed Base
  • 1.5 to 3.5 hp
  • 8 to 15 A
  • Weighs Between 8 to 10 Pounds

A model of this sort is going to be compact and easy to maneuver.

If you want a model with more flexibility, the best wood router for you will be one with similar specifications to the above-mentioned model but one that has an interchangeable base. This will allow you to have flexibility and at the same time versatility to meet your changing needs.

There are a lot of budget routers on the market. It is worth it to take the time to find the best budget router on the market by reading the reviews in order to get one that has the power and versatility to meet your needs.

Types of Best Wood Router For Beginner

Each router style has its pros and cons. Understanding a little bit about these routers helps in making a good choice when selecting the best cheap router for your needs.

There are five basic styles of wood routers. They are:

Fixed Based Router

With a fixed base router, the position of the router is constant. This means that if you set the router bit to cut at 3/8 of an inch, the bit will extend past the base 3/8 of an inch and provide a consistent cut depth throughout the job until you change the position of the bit.

Plunge Routers

What is a plunge router? A plunge router is similar to a fixed base router, but it allows you to set a preset cut depth. However, you can lower or plunge the bit deeper into the material you are working on, adjusting the depth of your cut while you are working.

Fixed based and plunge routers are among the two most popular styles of routers available. When determining fixed base versus plunge router, consider the type of work you are planning on doing now and the possible woodworking jobs you will have in the future. For most people, a plunge router is the best choice because it offers greater flexibility.

Interchangeable Base Routers

These routers offer the freedom to go between a fixed base router and a plunge router. Most are designed with an easy to detach base. It saves you money because you have the benefit of using two styles of routers in one product.

Combination Router Kits

These kits have a single motor with a fixed base and a plunge router base.

Trim router

These routers are small and lightweight versions of a traditional router. They are primarily used for flushing the edges after applying a laminate or a veneer.

Keep in mind the following when thinking about different types of routers. Trim routers are light-duty use routers. You will use them on some inlays and to form veneers. Most have a one horsepower motor.

From there, you will have medium-range plunge routers, fixed base routers, and a combination of the two. These will have a horsepower range of 1.5 to 2.3. These products are going to be what most do-it-yourselfers and some professionals will use. They come with ¼ inch or ½ inch collets.

Finally, you will have fixed routers and some plunge routers that have a 15 amp 3.25 hp motor. These are heavy-duty beasts. They are pro-routers that most average users will have little use for.

Wood Router Accessories

When you read the reviews, it becomes clear that having a powerful and well-designed router is pointless without having the proper accessories and knowing how to use them. The following is a list of the most important router accessories as well as a bit of information about their use.

Router Bits

Router bits come in many profiles. Profile refers to the shape of the cutting edge of the router. Some of the most common profiles include:

  • Straight Bits are designed to make a straight cut in the material or to form a groove.
  • Rabbeting bits are designed with a spinning pilot bearing at the tip. This allows you to cut a shoulder in the edge of the piece you are working on. These are often used when creating a joint.
  • Flush trim bits are used to trim the edge of a piece of wood so that it matches with the edge of another piece of wood.

Other bits include chamfer bits, edge forming bits, and specialized bits.

Router Tables

A router table is stationary. It is a machine that allows a router to be mounted underneath it with the spindle pointing vertically. Different router bits may be added to the spindle chuck, changing the results you get on the project you are working on.

Most router tables have a vertical fence that allows the wood piece to be guided while at the same time determining the depth of the cut. A router table improves the versatility of a handheld router, making it easier to work with larger pieces. By reading wood router reviews, you can get a good idea of which router table will work best with your machine.


A router fence is a must-have for guiding your work through router bits. A good router fence is going to be completely flat and slide across the router table in a smooth manner. Some router fences are designed with a dust extraction or collection system.

When looking for a router fence, find one that has a micrometer adjustment feature. This will allow you to make accurate adjustments.

You want your router fence to be sturdy and square to your table. A good fence will be the right size for the router table.


In the most basic terms, a router jig is designed to make your woodworking easier. It is used in conjunction with the router as a way of speeding up repetitive tasks and ensuring that your measurements, your cuts, and the position of your workpieces are uniform.


Clamps are essential for any woodworker. They are a way to hold the pieces of wood you are working on in place and prevent them from slipping. They also can hold a jig onto your worktable. All of these things make your project more uniform and safer. When you speak to any long time carpenter, they will tell you that their clamps are among the most valuable tools they have.

There are a variety of clamps available, including those made for use on rough wood and for finished projects.

Speed Controls

Some speed control features include:

  • Electronic feedback circuitry that monitors the amount of stress placed on the motor, adjusting the torque to match it.
  • Soft start that prevents the router from gorging the material by surging to full speed when you turn it on. Instead, the router gradually gains speed, protecting your work material.
  • Switches on a router are pretty straightforward. All routers have a switch to turn them off and on. Some routers have what is referred to as a variable speed trigger.

These speed controls when used in conjunction with a footswitch can make it easy for you to do two-handed router work.

D-Handle Bases

If you were to ask most carpenters what they feel defines the best wood router, the majority will say that it has a D-handle base. These routers are excellent for working freehand.

They will allow you to have a weak grip to perform a wide range of techniques that are very difficult to perform with a traditional grip.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into getting the most out of your wood router. It all starts with buying the best inexpensive router, adding on necessary accessories, learning how to use the machine, and then creating wonderful functional and art wood pieces.

Best Wood Router For Beginner


best wood router for beginner

The DEWALT DWP611PK is a variable speed router that has been designed for ease-of-use while at the same time having enough power to be used by amateurs and professionals.

It is ergonomically designed with innovative features, giving it an attractive appearance as well as features not found in other routers of the same price range. It comes with a plunge base and a fixed base in the combo set.

The router has a 1.25 peak horsepower motor. In this respect, it is smaller than some of the other routers on the market, but it has high torque.

This means that it’s powerful enough for all of your small woodworking projects. It is the best compact router in this price range.

The D shape fixed base on the router increases its stability and visibility, making it easier for you to see what you are doing when you are edging or doing radius cuts. It has a spring-loaded quick release tab on each side, making it easy to remove and switch the base. The majority of the reviews about this product are positive.


  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 10.2 x 19”
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Horsepower: 1.25

Product Features

  • Soft Start: This is the best inexpensive router when it comes to the soft-start feature. It is designed to minimize the torque on the motor when the router starts up. The AC motor temporarily minimizes the powertrain and electrical current surge of the motor when it gets going.
  • Variable Speeds: The router has a dial for variable speeds that goes from 1 to 6 with an RPM range of 16,000 – 27,000 RPM. This allows you to better manage the speed, picking a speed that is best for the project that you are doing.
  • Dual LED and clear base design gives you maximum visibility when working on your project.


  • Compact
  • Ergonomic Grips to Minimize Arm Fatigue
  • Powerful and Smooth
  • Adjustable Clamp Design
  • Easy to Change Bits
  • Sealed on and off Switch


  • Not Cordless
  • No Edge Guide
  • ¼ Inch Collet
  • No Side Handles

This is a good wood router for someone looking to get their feet wet as a wood craftsman and who wants to add some nice special touches to their projects. It is also good for the intermediate user who might have a larger router in their shop but does not want to take it out every time they need to do little jobs.

2. Bosch 1617EVSPK

best wood router for beginner

When you look at the Bosch 1617EVSPK and when you read wood router reviews about the product, it is very clear that this unit was designed to be full of features that carpenters would use. It is a Bosch plunge router/fixed router combo.

It has a very powerful motor and a lot of features that increase your ability to work efficiently while at the same time creating a stellar project. The router is cased with solid aluminum. The bases are sturdy and well-built, not to mention attractive to look at.

There are multiple knobs that you can use to make minute adjustments. It is clear to see that with this unit, Bosch was striving to make top wood router on the market.


  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 19.5 x 14.5”
  • Weight: 18.2 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Aluminum Body/Wooden Handles
  • 2.25 hp motor

Product Features

  • The router is equipped with a powerful 2.25 hp motor with variable speeds, allowing it to handle just about anything you throw at it.
  • Equipped with 2 different bases, so you have the convenience and flexibility of both a fixed style router and a plunge style router.
  • The soft start mechanism prevents this Bosch router from destroying your wood.
  • Constant response circuitry keeps the router at a consistent speed with optimal efficiency. This results in cleaner cuts.
  • Variable speed mechanisms allow you to choose from 6 RPM ranges, starting at 8000 RPM’s and going all the way up to 25,000 RPM’s.


  • Durable Construction
  • Multiple Base Combo
  • Powerful Motor
  • Wide Range of Speed Options
  • Relatively Lightweight


  • It Is Cumbersome to Change the Base
  • The Switch Might Collect Dust, Resulting in Mechanical Dysfunctions
  • The Motor Might Be Too Powerful for Beginners

Most wood router reviews agree that this is a well-designed, finely crafted, powerful machine. Since it comes with both a plunge and fixed base, it is flexible enough for you to use it on a wide range of projects.

This unit is perfect for intermediate or advanced users. Because of its power, it may be a little bit too much for someone who is just starting to get a feel for how a router works. So it is not recommended for beginners.

3. DEWALT DW618PKB Professional Wood Route

best wood router for beginner

DeWalt wood tools are renowned around the world for their durability and performance. The DEWALT DW618PKb more than lives up to this reputation. This is a variable speed router that has 2.25 hp.

It is a mid-range router with, according to the reviews, a surprising amount of power and functions. It’s designed to be used by the professional woodworker as well as the at-home do-it-yourselfer.

It has a mixture of easy to use functions and more advanced functions suited to the intermediate or professional user.

The combo kit has a fixed base and a plunge base, increasing the flexibility and usability of the unit.


  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 24 x 9.1”
  • Weight: 22.3 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Horsepower: 2.5
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Product Features

  • Power and soft start features help keep the router’s torque in check. It temporarily minimizes the power load on the motor, thereby preventing the motor from surging when you start it up. This protects the wood you are working on from damage, as well as protects the motor from sudden stress.
  • Variable speed options allow you to set the device’s RPM’s from a range of 8000 – 24,000 RPM’s. You are able to better manage the tool using the right speed for the project you are working on.
  • The plunge and fixed bases that come with the unit give you the flexibility of either setting one depth and using it throughout the project or changing the depth as you go.
  • The ergonomic design of the router’s handles makes it safer for you to use. It has two rubber handles that are attached at a low centralized point, giving you greater control over the movement of the router.
  • The router comes with the option of a ¼ inch or ½ inch collet. This determines the size of the bit you can use when working with the router. The spindle lock and wrench make it easy to change bits at will.


  • Benefits from DeWalt’s Stellar Reputation
  • Powerful Motor
  • Smooth Functionality
  • Attractive/Ergonomic Design


  • It Can Be Difficult to Switch between Bases
  • Not Designed for Beginner Use

While an adventurous beginner looking to add nice touches to their project can use this router, it is the best wood router for intermediate and professional woodworkers. It’s fixed and plunge base options give it flexibility not found in other units.

4. PORTER-CABLE 690LR Modern Wood Router


The PORTER-CABLE 690LR has a very unique design and casing. It looks modern and stands out as being different than the DeWalt plunge router or other routers like the Bosch MRC23EVSK. In fact, some people say that it looks like a coffee maker.

This impressive fixed base router is powered by a 1.75 hp motor. It has the ability to generate up to 27,000 RPMs, putting it right up there with some of the most powerful hand routers in this price range.

It is designed to give you precise cuts and routing action. The fixed base motor allows you to take advantage of every drop of horsepower this unit has.

It is a great tool for woodworking, construction, or making furniture repairs.

The motor is so powerful that it requires two handles to effectively maneuver it. Thankfully, the handles on this device are strategically placed to give you the maximum control over the router.


  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 8”
  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
  • Color: Silver and Black

Product Features

  • 1.75 Hp Motor Generating 27,500 RPM.
  • Spiral Cam Design and Cam Lock Lever
  • Fast-Paced Course Adjustments
  • Easy Bit Removal via Auto Release Collet System
  • Consistent Steady Performance


  • One of the biggest pros is how easy it is to shift from a fixed base to a plunge base. This gives you complete control while you work on wooden furniture.
  • Steady performance.
  • Base and motor housing is made from precision-machined aluminum.
  • Includes 0.25 and 0.5-inch shank bits accepted by router collets.


  • The major complaint you hear about this product is that it is not as durable as its predecessors. Previous models of this router were designed to last for decades, while newer models have been known to break down with less than one year of use.

Wood router reviews resoundingly agree that this is a powerful and precise router. It is the best wood router for someone who focuses on cabinetmaking or someone who wants a powerful yet precise cut. This is a durable, simple, basic device. It can work with the most commonly used bits and production setups. It is one of the best-rated routers for woodworking in this price range.

Its 1.75 hp motor makes it powerful enough to get a lot done but not so powerful that novices will have a difficult time figuring it out. We feel confident in recommending this product for general use.

5. Festool 574342 Best Router for Woodworking

Festool 574342

The Festool 574342 is a powerful unit designed to handle the toughest task you throw at it.

It is a tool that is designed to be flexible while at the same time creating a minimal amount of dust.

The Festool 574342 has been exceeding expectations for many years. It works well on hardwoods and is also perfect for trimming laminate.

When coupled with a CT dust extractor, it provides a level of performance that most routers at this price range cannot meet.


  • Product dimensions: 15.5 x 12.5 x 12.5”
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Voltage: 120
  • Warranty: Three Year Limited Warranty

Product Features

  • Ergonomic Handles: This router is designed to give you maximum control as well as reduce your fatigue. Uniquely designed handles and switches allow you to accomplish even the most complicated tasks using just one hand.
  • Dust Extraction: This router comes complete with a uniquely designed integrated dust extraction system. It attacks debris at the point of creation. This improves your visibility as you work, minimizes your clean up time, and gets rid of unnecessary clutter.
  • Swivel Chip Deflector: This is a powerful feature, especially when you are using forming bits. It allows you to minimize the formation of wood chips and maximize their extraction.
  • Easily Integrated into Other Systems: This system is designed to be used with an FS guide rail system. However, it can be used with other routing templates to increase your options when making the perfect wood product.


  • Efficient Dust and Chip Removal System
  • Unique Holding Pattern
  • Ratcheting Spindle Lock
  • Self Extracting Collet Nut
  • Ergonomic Design


  • This device has a unique handle positioning that is different from traditional routers. It can take a few tries to get used to this, but once you master it, most agree that it is the most comfortable and ergonomic option.

There are many professional and amateur carpenters who agree that this is the best router for woodworking. It has a powerful motor, it is well-balanced, and based on what we have seen from numerous router reviews, it has a reputation for longevity.

It is a little bit more expensive than some of the other models we have reviewed, but it makes up for its cost with stellar performance and features that other routers do not have.

6. Bosch MRC23EVSK Combination Wood Router

best wood router for beginner

Bosch is a company that is constantly pushing itself to create new, innovative, and unique products that are perfectly designed to address the needs of their customers.

This desire to create something the customer can use is clearly seen when looking at the MRC23EVSK.

This unit features a 2.3 hp motor. It comes equipped with a fixed base and a plunge base. It also has the option of a quarter-inch or half-inch self-releasing collet. The kit also has a T handle hex height adjustment wrench.

Bosch leads the industry when it comes to manufacturing quality. With this unit, they have taken it a step further with with their precision centering design. This guarantees that the centerline of the spindle is aligned with the center of the base opening. Precision and accuracy are a lot easier with this product.


  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 5.2 x 22”
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: One Year Limited Warranty
  • 2.3 hp
  • 10,000 – 25,000 RPM

Product Features

  • Soft start circuitry minimizes the kick feel when the machine is flipped on.
  • The Constant Response feature maintains the motor’s RPM’s even though the load varies.
  • Ten-foot long cord allows you to do more work without needing to look for a new outlet.
  • Six numbered dial control allows you to determine the RPM range.
  • LED lights, which are on anytime the motor is plugged in, make it easy to line up the start or end of a cut.
  • ¼ inch and 1/2 collets provide versatility. Both collets are self-extracting.


  • Versatile thanks to the plunge base and fixed base option
  • ¼ inch and ½ inch collets allow you to use a larger range of bits
  • The trigger on and off switch provides an added level of safety


  • Price. At over $250, this unit may be more expensive than what a beginner will want to pay.
  • Switching bases with this unit can be a challenge. However, once the change has been made, the base is very steady.

Thanks to its always-on LED lighting, variable speed dial, and trigger control system, the Bosch MRC23EVSK is a unit that stands above the rest. It is easy to see why this is one of the best-rated routers by the reviews.

7. Black & Decker RP250 Variable Speed Plunge Router

Black & Decker RP250

If you have a passion for wood design, you are going to appreciate some of the unique features of the Black & Decker RP250.

This Black & Decker plunge router is the best plunge router for a craftsman focused on creating stellar woodwork.

Features such as its 10 amp motor, gradual start function, and quarter-inch collet are just a few of the things that make this product stand out above the competition.


  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 6.6 x 11.9”
  • Weight: 9.9 Pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Two Year Full Warranty

Product Features

  • 10 Amp Motor for Power. This Black & Decker unit has been designed to give you all the power you need to create excellent work. While not as powerful as some of the other motors we have reviewed, its unique construction makes it feel like it is more powerful than what it really is. The router performs well on a variety of materials.
  • Gradual Start Function. This function guarantees that you will not have to worry about making mistakes cutting your material because the machine starts at full power. This router will gradually increase momentum when it starts, enabling you to completely control the machine’s performance.
  • Adjustable Parallel Edge Guide. This feature is a must, especially for beginners. It serves as a way to minimize the chances that you will make a mistake.


  • Great For Home Use
  • It Is Capable of Doing Decorative Cutting
  • It Has a Two Year Warranty
  • Powerful Motor
  • Gradual Start Function


  • Not for Industrial Use
  • You Cannot Attach Guide Bushings
  • Not Made for Hardwoods like Maple

This machine is perfectly designed for someone who is looking to do decorative on softer woods. While its 10 amp motor is powerful enough for this type of work, it does not have the same power as a machine like the Dewalt DW618B3.

If you use it on harder woods, it is likely that the motor will burn out after just a few uses. There are many reviews of this product that discuss the negative results people have had when they used this product on the hardwood.

That being said, it is lightweight and provides sufficient precision to allow you to add a decorative touch to all of the pieces that you make.

8. DEWALT DW616- Cheap Wood Route


The DEWALT DW616 features a 1.75 hp motor and the ability to accept ¼ inch and ½ inch bits. While it is an entry-level router, it still has the power and features to make it a great buy, especially for someone just learning how to work with wood.

When coupled with a DeWalt router table, this tool provides a new level of versatility. This versatility comes in part thanks to the option to use a fixed plunge base.

The 11 amp motor gives you the ability and power to work on hardwoods.

A unique feature of this router is its micro-fine depth adjustment ring. It provides adjustments that are accurate to 1/64 of an inch. The clear sub-base gives you the visibility you need while working on the most demanding project.

Locking and unlocking the base is easy thanks to the steel motor cam lock and quick-release motor latches. These are just a few of the features that have garnered this unit so much praise.


  • Dimensions: 15.9 x 24 x 9.1”
  • Weight: 6 Pounds
  • 120 V
  • One Year Warranty
  • 1.75 Hp/11 Amp Motor

Product Features

  • 1.75 Hp
  • 11 Amp Motor
  • Micro Fine Depth Adjustment Ring with Adjustments As Small As 1/64 of an Inch
  • Quick Release Motor and Base Changes
  • ¼ Inch and ½ Inch Collets
  • Vacuum Adapter
  • Heavy-Duty Kit Box for Transportation


  • Powerful Motor
  • The Ability to Switch between a Fixed and Plunge Base
  • The Ability to Make Minute Depth Adjustments
  • Easily Switch from One Base to Another
  • The Ability to Use a Wide Range of Bits


  • You Cannot Adjust the RPM’s
  • There Is No Soft Start
  • There Is No Spindle Lock

DeWalt products have a stellar reputation that they have earned over the years. That reputation is reflected in the quality of this unit. It has a very powerful motor, and it is very easy to use.

One of the downsides of this product is that since there is no soft start, you may find yourself, like many individuals who commented on this feature in wood router reviews, ruining your projects more often than you would like. This is especially true if you are accustomed to using a router that has a gradual speed increase when you first turn it on.

Additionally, not to being able to adjust the router’s speed, but being forced to accept the 24,500 RPM single speed, is a major drawback.

9. Hitachi M12VC Variable Speed Fixed Base Router

Hitachi M12VC

The Hitachi M12VC is a solid router. It features an 11 amp 2.25 hp motor. It is well-equipped to handle any task thrown at it.

Couple this machine with some Craftsman router bits and you have a powerful tool for personal or professional use.

The first thing you’re going to notice is how nice the hard-sided case that holds the base and accessories is. It is perfectly designed to transport your router while at the same time providing it the protection it needs.

This router is one of the least expensive routers we are going to review. It is good value for the price, but it does lack some of the professional touches that you would see on comparable models that are a bit more expensive.

For example, the collet is a bit far from the base in the lowest position. This makes it a challenge to use it on a router table, even if you’re using a high-quality Craftsman professional router table.


  • Dimensions: 4 x 8.6 x 10”
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: five-year limited warranty

Product Features

  • This unit features an 11 amp 2.25 peak horsepower motor. It is easy to cut hardwoods with this machine.
  • Electronic speed control allows the unit to produce a no-load ranging from 8000 RPM’s all the way up to 24,000 RPM’s. The router is powerful enough to keep a constant RPM even if its load varies.
  • Producing only 79.5 dB, this router is one of the quietest on the market. These same features that reduce the noise it produces also reduce vibration and improve your control.
  • A two-stage motor release clamp makes it easy to change the base as well as make accurate adjustments.
  • The unit is ergonomically designed for control and comfort thanks to the fact that it only weighs 7.3 pounds and is wrapped in an elastomer compound to reduce vibration.


  • Smooth Variable Speed Motor
  • Excellent Carrying Case for the Motor and Accessories
  • Cheaper Than Comparable Models


  • Both the fixed and the plunge base are a little unstable
  • Its design makes it difficult to use with a router table

For its price, this router provides decent value. It will provide acceptable results on a wide range of products. As you work with this machine, you are probably going to feel satisfied with the results you achieve. That being said, there are many reviews about this product where the user states that they felt that the grip made using the product uncomfortable.

We would recommend that the engineers provide a wider base and set the motor a little lower in the base to increase comfort level and functionality.

10. PORTER-CABLE 7538 Plunge Router

best wood router for beginner

If you are looking for a router that has the elegance of a Porsche but the power of a tank, then this is the model for you. The PORTER-CABLE 7538 is a single speed router that has a soft start.

It has a powerful 15 amp motor that gives you the durability you need to work for a long time and on some very hard materials.

Although the soft start feature does start the router out at lower RPM’s, there is no significant loss in torque, so you can get right to work as soon as you turn the machine on.

Designed to produce less vibration, this router makes you feel like you are in control from the start to the finish of your product.

With a 3.25 hp motor, this is one of the most powerful handheld routers you will be able to use.

Whether you are using the fixed router, doing plunge routing, or you opt to connect this to a Craftsman router table combo or something similar, you know that you are going to get predictable and high-quality results every single time.

As we said, this product is designed to be a tank. It produces unstoppable routing. There is no question that this is a commercial-grade unit.


  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 7 x 13”
  • Weight: 21 Pounds
  • 3.2 Hp
  • Voltage: 120 V

Product Features

  • Powerful 3.25 Hp Motor
  • Single Motor Speed
  • 3 Inch Plunge Base
  • 21,000 RPM Speed
  • Six Position Adjustable Turret


  • A combination of heavyweight, high average, and high horsepower make this a workhorse.
  • Heavy-duty solid construction
  • More powerful than other devices of a comparable size


  • You Cannot Adjust the Motor Speed
  • Poor Instruction Manual
  • Dust Collection Accessory Is Sold Separately

It is easy to understand the power that this unit offers when you compare it to some of the other appliances in your home. With a 3.5 hp motor, this router has more power than your home’s air conditioning system.

It is designed to get the job done without you needing to struggle. You will instantly notice how it overwhelms the materials that you are working on, without producing excessive vibration. This is the best wood router for woodworkers who need power and precision.

Best Wood Router For Beginner Buying Guides

It is pretty clear to see that having a router is essential for anyone who is serious about producing high-quality woodwork. There are some factors that you should consider when determining which router is right for you.


Talk to anyone who has worked with wood for a considerable period of time and they will tell you the quality of the tool you purchase will determine how safe you will be while using said tool. When it comes to a router, there are a couple of safety features that are a must.

Soft Grips

When you are working on large projects, it is likely that you will have your router in your hand for hours on end. While you are working on the project, you may not notice the effect the grip is having on your hands. Once the project is done, if the grip is not ergonomically designed and if it is not soft, your hands will pay the price.

Noise Level

Just about every professional woodworker understands the importance of using hearing protection as they are going about their tasks. At the same time, just about every professional has had a time or two when they worked on a project without wearing sufficient hearing protection. A quieter router minimizes the damage done to your hearing when you work. At the same time, a quieter router is usually designed to produce less vibration, giving you a better end product.

LED Lights

These allow you to clearly see what you are working on and also see if there any obstacles in the way that could pose a potential safety hazard.


The best router for woodwork is a router that produces high-quality end results. Never compromise the quality of your router for price. A good router is going to be made of high-quality materials, and it is going to have certain features that will improve your end product. Some of these features include:

Variable Speed

The speed that your router operates at should vary depending on the materials that you are working on and the end goal. While a one-speed router may be less expensive, it is not necessarily the best router for woodworking.


Horsepower combined with amperage and the weight of your router is what gives you the power you need to get the job done. There is no point in spending money on an under-powered router that does not allow you to work on hardwoods. Generally, it is a good idea to purchase the most powerful router within your budget. It gives you the flexibility to increase power when needed and decrease it when you are working on more delicate projects.

Soft Start

There are countless stories of individuals with completely ruined beautiful pieces of woodwork because they were using a router that did not have a soft start. A soft start allows you to start working on the wood without losing control of the router because you are not prepared for the motor to rev all the way up in less than a second.


When you read a router buying guide, one of the things you see over and over again is the importance of stability. Using a router is a very delicate thing, especially if you are trying to do an intricate design. For this reason, when looking at a router focus on the following two things:

Balance and Comfort

If the router that you use is not balanced and if the router is not comfortable, it is going to affect the end result. If you are not comfortable, you’re going to be more focused on how you feel and not focused on producing a high-quality product. Newcomers to routing may become discouraged if their router is not balanced because it makes it harder for them to produce high-quality work.

Base Type

The base type you select determines what you will be able to do with the router. If you purchase a router that has a fixed base, until you adjust the cut depth level, you will only be able to cut at one depth. Conversely, with a plunge base, you will be able to make adjustments to the depths of your cut, but you will sacrifice some stability.

Where to Buy Best Wood Router

After reading some of our fixed base and plunge router reviews, you no doubt are asking yourself, where you can get a router power tool? You might even be considering buying a cheap router table.

When purchasing routers for woodworking, it is not enough to simply ask, what is the best router to buy? You also need to ask yourself, where you should buy the router?

There are a lot of brick-and-mortar stores that will offer you a wood router for sale. And there is nothing wrong with going down to your local hardware store and looking for wood routers for sale. However, we feel that the best option is purchasing your router online.

Purchasing a router online from a site like or from the manufacturer’s website allows you to look at router tool reviews written by other people just like you. It allows you to decide which router you want to buy from the comfort of your home.

Most importantly, when you purchase a router online, you are likely going to be able to find discounts that are a lot steeper than what is offered in brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, you will be able to examine the top-rated routers side-by-side in one virtual location.

The Conclusion

Throughout this guide we have tried to answer questions like: What is a router used for? What is a good router? And what are the top-rated routers? Now the ball is in your court.

There is no doubt that a router is one of the best woodworking tools a carpenter can have. It provides a level of flexibility and versatility that very few other handheld tools offer.

Whether you are looking to purchase the most expensive router or if you are looking for the best router under 100 dollars, one thing is true, having an inexpensive router is better than having no router at all.

Owning a router opens up a world of woodworking opportunities you would not otherwise have.

So what are you waiting for? Hop online, read some more reviews, do your due diligence, and then purchase the best wood router in your price range. Once you have the machine in your hand and once you look at the amazing work it has allowed you to produce, you are going to be so happy you made the decision to buy.

Charles Larson

Hi, I’m Charles Larson. We do everything we can to support our readers with hundreds of hours of research and comparison testing to ensure you find the perfect tool for your workshop.

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