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Best Cheap Wood Routers

Expert Reviews & Buying Guide

quadcopter reviewsBest Cheap Wood Routers

Our Recommendations

In a hurry? Here are the best products at a glance.

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How to Choose the Best Wood Router

If you do a lot of woodworking, you know how important it is to find the best wood router. It’s one of the most versatile tools you can own and can help with a broad range of projects. There are a lot of models to pick from, though. So we researched over 40 new and bestselling models to find the top product for you. Before we dive into the woodworking router reviews, let’s take a quick look at what you need to know before buying yours.

Best Cheap Wood Routers

Base: There are several bases to choose from including fixed, interchangeable, and plunging. Fixed-base routers are easy to maneuver. Interchangeable routers are more versatile and quick to transport, and plunging routers are best for making interior cuts.

Best Cheap Wood Routers

Horsepower: You should choose a router with a lot of horsepower if you are going to be doing a lot of work with hardwoods. Don’t skimp on a low horsepower router because it will burn the motor out faster if you run it at max HP often.

How to Choose the Best Wood Router

Amp: Related to horsepower, you will want to choose a router with plenty of Amps. The more power your router has, the less it has to work. If you are planning on doing a lot of high-speed work on hardwood, look for a high-Amp router.

Best Cheap Wood Routers

Speed: The speed of the router is another important spec to keep in mind. Some routers only operate at one speed, but better routers will run at variable speeds. This will allow you to adjust the router to meet the needs of each project.

Best Cheap Wood Routers

Collet Size: As the saying goes, size matters, especially in the case of collet size. You want the collet size to match the project you will be working on. Smaller collets can do more intricate work, but a larger collet might be necessary for jointing work.

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Warranty: If you are a person who plans to use their tool often, consider the warranties offered with different routers. They vary by length of time, coverage, and use. Look for the one that will serve you best for the longest amount of time.

Top 10 Products

All right, time for our real-world wood router reviews! You will notice that there are several other features that set the best wood routers apart from average routers. We wanted to make sure we found a variety of routers to meet a range of needs. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive router to do an occasional project, or you are planning on doing serious woodworking, we feel confident that you will be able to find a great router in this buying guide. Tip: Take a look at our top pick and budget pick for the best wood router, which are great fits for most buyers.

Bosch 1617EVSPK

Top Pick
Though we found several fantastic wood routers, the Bosch 1617EVSPK deserves the top pick spot in this review. It has several impressive features that make it one of the best wood routers. First and foremost, this router has a lot of versatility since it comes with interchangeable plunge and fixed bases. The plunge makes it perfect for detailed interior cuts while the fixed base is more compact and easier to maneuver for general routing. The Bosch router has a powerful 12-Amp, 2.25-HP motor. It is right in the range where it’s not too heavy for detailed work, but it also has the power to work without being bogged down. It can run at variable speeds between 8,000 and 25,000 RPM. We also like that it comes with a soft-start feature, which allows the bit to work up to speed gradually. This will keep the router from jerking in your hands and causing you to gouge your project. It comes with both a 1/4" and 1/2" collet, so you can do smaller, more detailed work and also make larger cuts. Lastly, this router is backed by a one-year limited warranty. We highly recommend it!
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Black & Decker RP250

Budget Pick
Since woodworking equipment can get expensive, we always like to find a great budget option. The Black & Decker RP250 is a smart choice for anyone looking for an excellent, cheap wood router. For a very reasonable price, you can own a pro-grade plunge router that will do a great job on a wide variety of project. With its 10-Amp, 1.75 HP motor, you will have enough power to do a lot of routing without quickly wearing your router out. You will be able to work on a range of projects that require different routing speeds because this router runs between 8,000 and 27,000 RPM. It comes with a 1/4" collet so you will have no problem making small, detailed cuts. You will also get a 2-year warranty when you buy this woodworking tool. Even though it is a budget option, it still comes with must-have features including soft start, turret stops, a sightline base, and a spindle lock. The turret stops let you set up repetitive depth cuts while the sightline base gives you better visibility. Lastly, the spindle lock will make it easier for you to change bits. All this makes the Black & Decker RP250 a great budget choice.
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Dewalt DWP611PK

We wanted to make sure to include the Dewalt DWP611PK in our wood router reviews for several reasons. It is another router with interchangeable bases so you can get the functionality of both a fixed and plunging base without purchasing two separate routers. While the router has relatively low horsepower and amp, the 7-Amp, 1.25 HP motor can still move the bit between 16,000 and 27,000 RPM after a soft start. This router comes with a ¼” collet so you can do a lot of intricate designs in the wood. You can quickly change bits with the shaft-lock detents. It is also backed by a three-year limited warranty. We haven’t gotten to the best part yet. This router features dual LED’s that help improve visibility when you are working. To make it even better, the sub-base of this router is clear, so you can get the maximum amount of visibility and make the cleanest cuts. If that doesn’t convince you that this is a great router, you should be impressed by the adjustment ring with the fixed base. It allows you to have more control over the depth of the bit by making changes in 1/64” intervals.
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Makita RT0701C

The Makita RT0701C is another great, budget-friendly wood router. Since it is such a cheap option, you will only get a fixed base with this router. It is a compact version so you will have an easy time maneuvering it to do general routing. If you wish to purchase additional bases, you also have that option because this router is interchangeable and can accept a plunge, tilt, and offset base. Since it is compact, it has a much smaller motor than other larger products. It features a 6.5-Amp, 1.25 HP motor that moves the bit at variable speeds between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM, which is an impressive range for a small motor. When you purchase this router, you will get a 1/4" collet and a 1-year warranty. Even though it is a budget router, you won’t miss out on several of the must-have features that more expensive options have. You will still get the soft start feature, so you don’t have to worry about the router jerking. You can also adjust the router depth quickly and accurately, and the electronic speed control will ensure that the router maintains the same speed no matter what the load is.
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Dewalt DW616

The Dewalt DW616 is a great fixed-base router for anyone looking to save some cash. Though it’s smaller than some other options, the 11-amp, 1.75-HP motor is powerful enough to work on tough hardwoods. Since it is a more affordable option, this router does not operate at variable speeds. Instead, it operates at 24,500 RPM without a load. If you are planning on working on a range of projects, you will be happy to know that this wood router comes with both a 1/4" collet and a 1/2" collet. The router is backed by a three-year warranty, but it should last you far beyond that thanks to its durable build. Dewalt makes sure to use nickel plating to house the motor, and the switch is sealed to keep out any dust. Even though it is an affordable option, it still has several of the must-have features you’ll find on more expensive routers. In fact, one of our favorite features is the clear sub-base designed to improve visibility. You can also easily adjust the depth of the router without any tools in 1/64” increments. The bottom line is this: for a great price, this wood router will do an excellent job on a variety of projects.
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Porter-Cable 892

We also wanted to include the Porter-Cable 892 fixed-base router in our product reviews. Since it is a full-sized wood router, it comes with a powerful motor. The 12-Amp, 2.25 HP motor can easily turn the bit at variable speeds between 10,000 and 23,000 RPM. We love that the motor has an electronic feedback system that ensures consistent speed no matter what project you are working on. This router also comes with a soft-start feature, so you don’t have to worry about all of the power in this tool getting away from you. Though it is extremely powerful, you will find that the motor is quiet, and the router does a good job of eliminating vibrations. You will easily be able to hold and control this tool to get some excellent routing done. When you need to turn the router off, you can easily reach the dual-position switch while you are still controlling the router. This wood router comes with both 1/4" and 1/2” collets, and you can easily change bits with a single wrench thanks to the spindle lock. You can also adjust the bit height in a matter of seconds. Lastly, you will be happy to know that this tool is backed by a three-year warranty.
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Ryobi R1631K

If you are more of a hobby woodworker, the Ryobi R1631K would be a great option for you. It is affordable because it has a smaller motor and doesn’t run at variable speeds, but that should work just fine for general routing. This wood router comes with a fixed base and an 8.5-Amp, 1.5 HP motor. The motor is locked in place with a secure cam lever so you can get incredibly accurate cuts. It only operates the bit at a rate of 25,000 RPM, so it is perfect for any projects that require fast and clean cuts. While you are operating the router at such high speeds, you will be glad to have a base made from die-cast aluminum so you will get a lot of stability. This wood router comes with a 1/4" collet and three different router bits that can easily be changed with the spindle lock features. To protect yourself from flying pieces of wood, the router also has a chip shield. The best part of this wood router is that it comes with LED lights, which will improve visibility and accuracy. Lastly, you will be able to work worry-free for three years thanks to the manufacturer’s warranty.
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Skil 1817

With the Skil 1817, you will be able to own a solid wood router for a low price. It is perfect for doing a casual DIY project on occasion. Since it is a budget option, it has a smaller motor, which also means that it is lightweight. You will have no problem handling this router even though it’s 8-Amp, 1.75-HP motor runs the bit at a maximum speed of 25,000 RPM. You will still get the soft-start feature, which is a must-have for anyone wanting smooth start-ups. It will also help to prolong the life of your motor. When you are ready to shut the router down, you will be able to reach the conveniently located dual-position power switch so you can continue to have great control over the router. Both of these features are incredibly useful for beginners because they will prevent gouging while you get a feel for how the tool operates. This particular router has a collet capacity of 1/2" but it also comes with an adapter so you can use a 1/4" collet. You will also be happy with the improved visibility from the LED lights and the fact that your tool will be backed by a one-year warranty.
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Bosch 1617EVS

If you are looking for a top-of-the-line, fixed-base wood router, you will definitely want to check out the Bosch 1617EVS. It is very versatile, much like our top pick, but it does not come with a plunging base. If you are planning on doing some general routing, this tool will be perfect for you. Like our top pick, it features one of the most powerful motors that you will find on a router. It is a 12-Amp, 2.25-HP, and it runs at variable speeds between 8,000 and 25,000 RPM. The router has a soft start, so it will gradually build up to the speed you choose on the variable-speed dial. It also has a great feature that will monitor the speed, so it can consistently maintain the desired RPM no matter how tough the work gets. This router will also give you a lot of control over the routing depth. You can easily adjust the depth down to 1/64”, so you get an accurate measurement. The router comes with 1/4" and 1/2" collets to give you, even more, versatility, and they can be easily changed because they are self-releasing. Lastly, you’ll be able to have your router repaired for up to a year with the one-year limited warranty.
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Porter-Cable 690LR

To wrap up our woodworking router reviews, we wanted to include the Porter-Cable 690LR. The fixed-base router comes with an 11-Amp, 1.75-HP motor that moves the bit at 27,500 RPM. The motor height can easily be adjusted with the cam-lock lever, and it is housed in aluminum. The base is also made out of aluminum so you will get a lot of stability while you are routing at high speeds. It’s also going to hold up well to wear and tear because it is constructed with sealed ball bearings. If you are going to be doing a lot of work where you need to adjust the depth of your router accurately, you will love that this particular tool will allow you to make adjustments down to 1/128 of an inch. When you purchase this router, you will also get 1/4" and 1/2" collets. You can easily change bits because this router comes with an auto-release feature. The best part of this tool is that it comes with an under-table stop. This feature is great because it will keep your motor from coming out of the base while you are working. Lastly, this durable router is covered by a three-year limited warranty.
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