Once a quite difficult task, routing wood has become faster and easier to execute. The technology used by brands like Dewalt has made huge advances in CNC router technology. Today’s router bit spins faster and is more accurate than routers used to be. With faster and more precise cuts, the more advanced router will not only weigh less, but it will have sturdier construction, and it will be more powerful in your hand.
DeWalt routers are not only useful, but some of their routers are some of the best on the market. Dewalt is a leading power tool manufacturer of high-end routing tools and routers that uses technology and science to develop a wide range of advanced routers. Which Dewalt router is best for your needs? Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best Dewalt router for your next woodworking project.
Top 6 Best Dewalt Routers
DEWALT DW616 Router – Best Overall Dewalt Wood Router
Featuring a fixed base, the Dewalt DW616 Router comes with an 11.0-amp motor that provides 1 3/4 HP for enough power to smoothly rout through tough hardwoods. It includes a tool-free and adjustable steel motor cam lock that makes base changes and depth adjustments fast and solid. This router also includes a detachable cordset that eliminates having to buy a short cord motor pack.
Durability and Safety
The clear sub-base gives you improved base durability along with bit visibility and will accept any standard template guide bushings. The dust-sealed switch helps to protect the unit against dust from damaging the switch so it will last longer. Plus, the nickel-plated motor housing gives you long-lasting and smooth depth adjustments.
The Dewalt DW616 Router features a flat top for easy depth and bit changes while the micro-fine depth adjustment ring gives you precision depth adjustments in increments of 1/64-inches and vertically adjusts for consistent cordset and switch location. This router also includes a quick-release motor latch for easy and fast motor pack removal for base and bit changes.
Accurate and Comfortable
For best-in-class accuracy, the Dewalt DW616 Router includes a sub=base concentricity gauge that ensures bit concentricity while the overmolded rubber handles along with the low center of gravity designs give you best-in-class control, comfort, and balance. This router comes with a precision-machined, heavy-duty die-cast aluminum motor housing and base for low weight and durability. You can also set them for either left or right-handed use.
- This is a very comfortable tool to use
- It isn’t very heavy
- You can set it for either right or left-handed use
- It doesn’t come with mounting holes to fit it onto a router table
- The baseplate is too small for decorative bits
DEWALT DW618 Router – Most Powerful Dewalt Router
Quiet and powerful, the Dewalt DW618 Router is a full-size and cordless router that comes with a 12-amp motor that gives you 2 ¼ HP. Designed for speed and power, this router includes a die-cast machined aluminum base making the tool lighter and durable. It also includes which means a lither weight router and more durable. Featuring a soft start, the DW618 also includes electronic variable speed that helps you to maintain speed under load with speeds ranging from 8,000 to 24,000 rpm.
Including a handy detachable power cord, the Dewalt DW618 Router includes a dust-sealed switch preventing the on and off switch from becoming clogged with dust as well as protecting it from an accidental shutoff. With its micro-fine depth adjustment, you can easily make 1/64-inch changes, and it will also vertically adjust for consistent cordset/switch location.
The soft-start provides better control and less start-up torque while the tool-free adjustable steel motor cam lock allows you to make base changes and depth adjustments quickly. The DW618 also includes a dust collection feature allowing you to have excellent visibility as you work. And the quick-release motor latch offers easy and fast motor pack removal for base and bit changes.
- It comes with a soft start
- This router features a handy detachable cord
- You can use it on multiple bases
- It’s not the best choice to put on a router table
- Sawdust can get pushed towards your motor requiring you to keep cleaning it out
DEWALT DW616PK Router – Best Combo Dewalt Router
This router includes a fixed and plunge base combo that features an 11-amp motor that will give you 1 ¾ HP. This woodworking tool routs smoothly through tough hardwood and comes with a micro-fine depth adjustment ring that gives you precise depth adjustment in 1 /64-inch increments. Plus, the Dewalt DW616PK Router will vertically adjust for consistent cordset/switch location.
The tool-free motor cam lock is adjustable making base and depth changes fast and easy. The Dewalt DW616PK also includes a quick-release motor latch for easy and fast motor pack removal for base and bit changes.
Accurate and Safe
The integral dust collection system picks up 85 percent of the dust giving you great visibility as you work. The Dewalt DW616PK also includes a detachable cord and a subbase that ensures bit concentricity to provide best-in-class accuracy. The best part of this model is that it gives you more power, which allows you to work on more projects. The model DW616PK is a version with a more powerful motor.
- It comes with a dust collection system
- This router is easy to adjust
- You can change the base for added versatility
- The case could have a better design
- It doesn’t include an alignment tool
DEWALT DW625 Router – Most Affordable Dewalt Router
Only equipped with a plunge base, the Dewalt DW625 Router comes at a cheaper price than if you buy the entire kit. Plus, you won’t have to worry about changing out the base. This variable speed router has a 15-amp motor that will give you 3 HP and is one of the most powerful routers available.
Lots of Features
An electronic sensor controls the motor speed, which has a range between 8000 and 22,000 RPM. With this package, you get a ½ inch collet, a ¼ inch collet, a template guide, and a dust extraction adapter. The Dewalt DW625 Router is a smooth and powerful tool that comes with a three-warranty.
Equipped with full-wave electronic variable speeds, the Dewalt DW625 Router includes an accurate bit depth setting, a micro-fine bit depth adjuster, a magnified scale, and a rack and pinion depth adjuster. Weighing only 11.2 pounds, this router also comes with a wrench for handy adjustments.
- This is a powerful router with variable speed
- It’s lightweight and easy to adjust
- It comes with a lot of features
- The on and off switch has an awkward location
- The bits are difficult to change
DEWALT DW618K Router – Most Precise Dewalt Router
This variable speed router comes with a fixed base and a 12-amp motor that gives you 2 ¼ HP. Powerful enough to smoothly rout tough hardwood, this router gives you full feedback control, thanks to its variable speed feature, giving you consistent speed when under load from 8,000 to 24,000 RPMs.
With its micro-fine depth adjustment ring, the Dewalt DW618K Router gives you precision depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments, plus you can adjust it vertically. The steel motor cam lock features tool-free adjustments to make base changes and depth adjustment fast and easy. Plus, the quick-release motor latch makes motor pack removal for base and bit changes easy and fast.
- The depth adjustment ring makes changing the height super easy
- This powerful router does not get bogged down
- The motor is very easy to remove
- It is pretty cumbersome to change the bits
- The spindle lock could have been designed better
DEWALT DW618D Router – Most Versatile Dewalt Router
Featuring a unique motor that includes a D handle, the Dewalt DW618D Router offers you several ways to use the tool in various verticals. With this electronic variable speed router, you get 2 ¼ HP as well as smooth routing on both soft and hardwoods. Plus, this motor has a soft start feature that gives you better control when routing and decreases start-up torque.
You always want smoother operation right when your tool starts when you use a palm or trim router on workpieces. The Dewalt DW618D Router gives you a soft start as well as more stability from the beginning of the project. This router also includes 30 router bits that are ideal for forming joints or cabinet making.
Powerful and Smooth
Equipped with a 12-amp motor, the Dewalt DW618D Router gives you the power to smoothly rout through tough hardwoods. You also get full feedback control thanks to the electronic variable speed feature for consisten control hen under load between 8,000 and 24,000 RPMs. And the D-handle includes a trigger switch that has a lock-on feature.
The Dewalt DW618D also includes a micro-fine depth adjustment ring that provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments as well as vertical adjustments for consistent cordset/switch location. The steel motor cam lock has tool-free adjustments that make base changes and depth adjustment fast while the quick-release motor will quickly latch on for easy motor pack removal and base and bit changes.
- This router is easy to adjust
- The detachable cords are a nice feature
- The variable speed is a great feature
- It’s on the heavy side
- The collet lock button is in an awkward location that can be hard for users to get to
Considerations When Choosing a Wood Router
If you are doing home improvements or own a woodworking business, there are just a few things you need to think about when choosing a wood router besides the manufacturer.
Anyone that does a lot of woodworking knows that you use a lot of different tools in order to get your work done. Besides saws and hammers, you will need tools like routers that can do all that intricate work. Here are a few tips to ensure that you find the best woodworking router for the types of projects you have planned.
Fixed Base Routers
Basically a wood router that has a fixed position of a router bit, a fixed base router is a good choice for anyone that works on projects that requires precision on a cut depth protrusion for the router’s bit. If you do a lot of projects in your workshop, it’s recommended to use a fixed base router, however, you can also use it for projects around the home with just a little extra work.
Working differently than a fixed base router, a plunge router is a good choice when you’re dealing with top surfaces of a board that will need insets, rebates, mortices, grooves, fluting, or dados. It also allows you to easily deal with the edges on a board, but it would need some help from you as far as accuracy and precision. However, it is often recommended for beginners just starting out with a wood router tool since it is so versatile.
Features to Look for in a Wood Router
First, you need to consider how strong the motor is. Remember that a stronger motor will get your projects done faster, and it will help you get through different wood strengths as well as different materials. The strength of the motor will definitely tell you about the router’s overall quality.
If your router comes with variable speed, that means that you can easily control the speed of the blade. Plus, it will give you a ton of control over your project’s end result.
You also want to consider how large a collet your router is able to hold. At the very least, get a router that can the size of the piece that you are working on. Remember that if the collet is too small, you won’t be able to finish the job while a collet that is too large may not work at all.
Also check on the weight of the router. Remember that a lightweight router will let you take it pretty much anywhere with you, plus it will be easier to move around your workshop or garage.
Durability and Quality
As far as quality and durability, it’s important to look at the materials the router is made out of to see how long-lasting it will be. It also helps to read reviews to see how others have experienced the quality and durability of the product you are interested in.
With a router, you will have a few considerations since these tools rotate at a speed that is measured in the tens of thousands. There is a lot of stress that is applied to the shaft bearings and motor, plus these tools tend to get knocked around a lot, so you want to make sure the motor housing and base are made of resilient and strong material.
You want a router that is capable of ripping through pretty much any type of material ranging from soft metal to wood to laminates. Rated by their draw of HP or amps, a power tool provides more torque the higher their rating is. Often, it’s the power of a router that is the deciding factor.
It can take a lot of skill and concentration to operate a wood router, so it’s nice when your router has some handy features to make it easier.
When you work with materials that have different hardness levels and a large range of bits, it is nice to have the variable speed feature to allow you to control the motor’s speed.
A router can develop pretty high torque, so it can be easier to handle with a soft start feature that slowly brings the router up to speed so you can maintain control of the tool. Otherwise, you may have a hard time holding onto the tool and your project if it starts at full force when you switch on the power.
A built-in light will illuminate your work area to provide better accuracy as you rout.
Other handy features to look for are control that is easy to reach, easy bit changes, and easy-to-read markings. You can’t rout what you can’t see. A built-in light is a huge plus.
Like any other tool, a router can come in different shapes and sizes, plus they will come with different features. If you choose a palm router, it will be a small size that can be adjusted to fit in the palm of your hand. They are perfect for small-scale projects, but they cannot be used for large-scale routing. Remember that every router has a different shape and can be used for different applications. Remember that you will need to choose which is best for the tasks you have planned as well as what will fit your storage capacity.
Tools are always better when they are easy to maintain without a lot of extra effort.
Allowing you to maximize your efficiency, electric brakes will stop the router on a dime. This can be very important if you need to stop the router in order to avoid an accident.
Benefits Of Using a Wood Router For Woodworking
There are lots of benefits of using a wood router if you are in the woodworking industry or even a DIYer. Not only do they give you more operational proficiency, but it also helps you to maintain complete accuracy. Here are a few other significant benefits when you use a wood router:
- A wood router can quickly perform tasks while also helping you to maintain absolute accuracy. It can smoothly cut surfaces and allow joints to fit accurately while creating a stronger bond.
- The table-mounted or hand-held router is very easy to use, especially if you plan to make a lot of duplicate joints. Wood routers also help you save a lot of time thanks to their precision.
- A wood router is also designed to help improve the safety of its user. It lets you perform hard work without putting you in danger.
- It offers a lot of versatility in comparison to other joinery appliances. Allowing you to cut multiple joints, a wood router will also allow you to develop several different designs according to your needs.
- A wood router gives you a cost-effective way to provide mass production for an industrial purpose, so you won’t need to spend as much time on manual labor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does a router allow you to cut wood?
Absolutely! A router will allow you to cut wood with more precision than any other woodworking tool. However, it does use a very different style than a regular jigsaw will. Routers give you a more accurate application when cutting or shaping wood in many different ways.
Does a router work on plywood?
It does work on plywood, and it will leave an exact spline that you can use to bind two joints of plywood together if you rout it correctly.
Do you need a router table in order to use a router?
If you are a professional woodworker, then you will need a router table to use with your wood router. However, it’s not necessary for those that only use their wood router to trim or cut edges. But you will need to have a router table if you have a woodshop that is operating multiple businesses.
Any woodworker knows how valuable a wood router is in your workshop. Make sure you look for a quality manufacturer like Dewalt to ensure your wood router has the power, sturdy construction, and durability you need.