Choosing the right router for woodworking is insufficient to get the job done efficiently. You must also look up some essential features while choosing the best-suited router for your work. We will take some expert opinions published in Wood Magazine about the elements of a router. They have emphasized some of the points described below as the must-have considerations for any woodworking job.
Routers are supposed to do problematic jobs like cutting specific shapes and making persistent contact between the bit and the material you want to shape. It means the routers must have the excellent muscle power to do the job. If you have come this far into the woodworking profession that you spend on a router, you are planning to build more than softwoods.
Routers usually come in some power levels, which are also related to their size. Trim or palm routers will come in with a power level of 1-1/2 hp or below. The mid-sized routers hover around 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hp. It is about 3-1/2 hp, generally left mounted on the CNC machine or the router table for full-size production routers.
When choosing a router, horsepower is not only an accurate indicator of the motor’s power, as these numbers may be inaccurate. To get a better bet, look at the amperage the router needs.
LED work light
Having a LED work light in the router is a great feature to get behind. An LED work light is a small flashlight with the router turned on while the switch is engaged. This LED makes it much easier to follow your mark if you’re somewhere other than outside on a sunny day. Even in the well-lit workshop, you can have a shadow thrown on the workpiece if you stand in the wrong place, making the line difficult to see. It might seem gimmicky, but the LED work lights deserve to be praised for those situations when you need one.
Soft Starting is another feature you would love to have in your tool. If you fire up a woodworking router without the soft-start function, you’ll see that the kick from the router is spinning up to the full RPM instantly. It may feel like you are trying to hang onto one angry Tasmanian Devil. If you are someone new to routers or have a difficult job, this might seem a bit scary for you.
Soft-start is a great feature that eases the router up to speed over one or two seconds, making it easier to control by keeping it less intimidating to fire up. This makes it smoother and softer on both; you and the equipment.
Electronic Motor Feedback
This feature is meant to increase or decrease the router’s torque depending on the load on the router motor. If you have too difficult a cut to make, it will increase the torque, and it will just back off for smoother cuts.
This feature makes the router feel and behave evenly from one cut to the next and allows for smoother and cleaner cuts in all types of wood. Since the router is responsible for exerting the maximum torque when needed, it will also add to its lifespan. This feature adds excellent value to the overall price of the router.
Fine Depth Adjustment
The more sophisticated the task you have upfront, the more critical the feature you need in the best router for woodworking. One such feature is the subtle depth adjustment you need while doing any complicated job like wood joinery or producing consistent cuts to line up later.
If you want to use the router for trimming or cutting out dadoes and rabbets, this feature will probably give you the maximum mileage in the woodworking job.
Variable speed means the ability to adjust the router’s rate can spin the bit is one of the essential features. All the bits cannot perform well at the highest speed. It is counter-intuitive, where the more significant bits perform better at lower rates.
This speed is also an essential feature since all the woods do not have the same hardness, nor do they require a similar effort to move through them. In this case, you can run it at full tilt without being bothered about the type of wood and still be okay. However, doing so will reduce the lifespan of the router. So the best practice is to run the tool at a precise speed for the bit and lumber to ensure the machine has a longer life.
Mainly, there are two sizes of the collet for woodworking routers – 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch. The volume also makes a bit of a difference. But to get the most efficiency out of your router, you must get a 1/2-inch collet. Because the 1/2-inch collets provide a better grip for their larger surface area on the shank and include an adapter that allows the 1/4-inch colleagues, this particular size of collet will give you more options and better control. It’s like a win/win for you anyway.
This spindle lock is a simple feature that can come in handy but not something that allows you to break or make a router. To change a router bit, you can use two ways; firstly, you can use two impact wrenches on the motor shaft and another on the collet to loosen it this way. Else you can depress a button that locks the pole while using the wrench to loosen the router collet.
Both ways are better in their approach and capable of getting your job done. Having the spindle lock eases the process and saves you from putting effort into the second wrench that walked off some way.
Above Table Adjustments
You may have your router living on a router table for most of your woodworking job. In this case, it becomes beneficial to quickly make the above table adjustments for any height with a handle or a knob.
Another feature closely related to this is how capable it can change the bits without pulling the router out of that table. This feature may seem a small benefit, but while working in full swing, it may feel very annoying when you need to pull the router out for any adjustment orbit change.
Many routers come with different dust collection solutions. Routers are designed to eliminate dust and flying chips for everyday operations like grooving or dado cuts and edge-forming applications. However, this is not a high-priority feature, as you are supposed to end up with a notable quantity of dust around you afterward.
It is essential to have a sense of safety while using this powerful tool that contains sharp metal pieces running around at thousands of RPMs. Although routers are safe compared to other power tools, accidents can still happen. So, it’s essential to always keep the safety factor in mind.
For the necessary safety measures, go through the owner’s manual and always take eye and ear protection. One lousy instance is enough for you to appreciate the importance of eye protection. Some of the other safety measures you should take are:
- Do not start a router while the bit and the material are in contact. Since these are powerful tools and the consequences can be unexpected.
- Remove a large amount of stock in multiple passes if possible because more minor keys are more comfortable and safer to avoid the router kicking back at you.
- Ensure you continually operate the router or feed your material in the opposite direction to the bit rotation. If you run the stock in the same direction as the bit rotation, the router can run back on you, and you may lose control over the tool quickly.
- While running a stock using a router mounted on the routing table, always keep your hands far from the spinning bit. If you have a part of a smaller share to run through, it is safe to use a block or push stick to ensure your hands are far enough.
- If the router for woodworking is not mounted onto the routing table, ensure it is securely clamped, and do not use your hands to hold it in place of a clamp.
- If you need to adjust the router or swap out a bit, ensure the router is unplugged. In this situation, the switches can be flipped accidentally, adversely affecting you.
About that Extension Cord
The extension cords can vary based on the amperage they rated for work. Depending upon the router you want to choose for your job, it needs to ensure that you have an extension cord that can meet the power requirements of your router.
If the router does not get enough power, it will underperform and overheat, which will shorten the router’s lifespan. However, there is room to go bigger on the extension cord since the router can only draw the maximum amps. No way you want the router to be power-starved.
A Little Bit On Bits
As we mentioned earlier, the most versatile tools are routers for woodworking jobs. The reason for such versatility is the vast assortment of multifunctional bits you can have for your router. We must inform you about the kinds of bits you can buy and the benefits they can carry for you.
- Straight Bit – Mostly used to cut out a groove in a workpiece with a varied diameter.
- Chamfer Bit – Used to make any beveled edge on things like the table corner, intended for decorative purposes.
- Flush-trim Bits – Good for trimming the edge of any material flush. One side is cutting a veneered surface flush using a pattern or substrate to create various identical pieces. They usually have one pilot bearing with the same diameter as the cutter. The bearing can be at the base or the tip of the bit.
- Edge Bits – Ogee and cove belong to this category to cut different kinds of edges for multiple decorative uses.
- Rabbeting Bits – Used when you need to cut a shoulder to make joinery of two pieces of wood together like straight bets, available in various sizes.
Something else you need to know about bits is the shank size. Each router can handle specific shank sizes. Few of the expensive routers can include up to four distinct shank diameters.
Before purchasing bits, make sure you know the correct size of your router for woodworking (Check the owner’s manual) to know the specific length of the shank required to find in the bits. The commonly used sizes are 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch.
While checking it in the owner’s manual, you should also find the maximum diameter of the bit cutting edge of your router.
Read the Full Article: Choosing The Best Router For Woodworking Jobs
If You Already Understand the facts and have decided to purchase some, here are our suggestions:
- VERSATILE: kit can be used for a broad range of applications, including precise bit plunging, edge forming, slot cutting, laminate trimming and dovetail cutting, making it one of the most widely used routers for wood working
- DURABILITY: aluminum construction makes this one of our most durable wood routers yet with wooden handles on a fixed base and a soft grip handle on a plunge base
- EASE OF USE: rounded hardwood handles maximize user control; microfine bit-depth adjustment
- CONVENIENT: with the built-in constant response circuitry, our 1617EVSPK wood router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results
- 12 AMP MOTOR AND ADJUSTABLE SPEED DIAL: user can set the optimal speed (8,000-25,000 RPM) for more or less power
- INCLUDES: plunge base, fixed base, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collet chucks, shaft wrench, collet nut wrench, chip shields and carrying case
- Dual LED lights help illuminate the work surface
- Depth adjustment ring allows for fast and easy height adjustments
- Electronic brake slows the motor down faster after the unit is shut off; Speed 16,000 to 25,500 rpm
- Variable speed dial allows the user to match speed of the router to the application
- Soft start motor with full time electronic feedback allows the motor to maintain speed during cuts
- LED LIGHTING: A set of LED lights onboard this unit allow you to see your project clearly in less than optimal lighting conditions
- GRIPZONE OVERMOLD: Maintain a firm grip with the rubber coating that allows precision handling, even in slippery conditions
- DEPTH ADJUSTMENT KNOB: Don’t worry about having to use a tool; fine tune the depth of your cuts with the onboard, easy-to-use knob
- ALUMINUM BASE: This sturdy base will keep this compact power tool stable while you perform a variety of tasks around the home or jobsite
- ONE+ COMPATIBLE: A variety of Ryobi 18V lithium ion batteries are compatible with this tool. Compatible battery models include the P100, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and P108
- Variable speed control dial (10,000 to 30,000 RPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
- Smooth rack and pinion fine depth adjustment system for more precise settings
- Slim and ergonomically designed body for increased comfort and control
- Quick release cam lock system for easy depth adjustments and base removal/installation
- Electronic speed control maintains constant speed under load
- Soft start feature for smooth start ups
- Fixed base accepts industry standard template guides for convenience
- High visibility base design for improved handling and performance
- Base can be removed quickly to install other bases
- Heavy duty aluminum motor housing engineered for increased durability
- 10 AMP FIXED BASE ROUTER TOOL—Powerful 10 Amp, 2.0 HP motor provides smooth and accurate routing from start to finish.
- SPEED CONTROL—Lets you adjust speed based on the material.
- SOFT START—Provides a safe and controlled start to routing.
- LIVE TOOL INDICATOR—Stay safe and alert with an indicator that lights up when the router is connected to power.
- DURABLE & ERGONOMIC—Die-cast motor housing and shaped handles provide superior grip and control.
- ✅You Will Get: 1-1/4 HP Palm Router with trimmer/fixed base, 15pcs 6.35mm shaft router bit set, straight guide, trimming guide pulley (roller guide), 22mm spanner, carbon brushes, 8.5mm router template guide, dust extracting attachment,1/4" & 3/8" collet.
- ✅Compact Router: Trim router has a powerful motor that can provide high and constant power to meet a variety of applications, and the slim body and soft handle improve perfect comfort and control.
- ✅Large Speed Range: Compact router with variable speed control panel (10,000 - 30,000 RPM), 6 adjustable speed options can be matched with various applications, easy to use.
- ✅Precise Control: The smooth rack, pinion fine depth adjustment system and clear scale can facilitate reading and achieve more precise control and adjustment, and palm router can be used for wood trimming and groove, handicraft production, etc.
- ✅Trimmer Base and Trim Router Bits: Trimmer base can provide greater stability and less vibration during use, and with numerical scale; Trim router bits are equipped with a sturdy plastic case for easy storage.
- MOTOR: 11 Amp motor (2-1/4 peak horsepower), for precise, controlled cuts
- DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: 2-Stage motor release clamp, for quick and accurate depth adjustments and base changes
- SPEED CONTROL: Electronic speed control, maintains constant RPM even as load varies
- LOW NOISE: Class leading low noise level, only 79.5dB for a quieter workshop
- HOUSING: Nickel-plated motor housing allows for smooth depth adjustments
- APPLICATIONS: fine groove cutting, chamfering, window cutting, trimming shaping and cutting patterns
- ERGONOMIC STYLING: For better ease in use and finer precision
- 【Premium Quality】- The wood trimmer is made with high quality Aluminum + Plastic which is durable to use and have long service life.
- 【Easy to Operate】- Trimmer applicable under normal ambient conditions, equipped with the right rotary. Transparent cover to control the flying sawdust. Can clearly observe the processing conditions. Transparent base design is great for accuracy easily recognizable in processing. The scale is clearly visible, easy to operate.
- 【A Set of Accessories Included】- It includes a set of accessories, such as Straight Guide, Trimming Guide, Wrenches, Dust Board, Sample Guide Plate, Adjustable Button, Fast Switch Button and more. The Trimming guide, roller running along the curve, ensuring cutting is exact, curve processing is fine. Straight guide, thicker models are stable and not deformed, straight processing is stable. With the wrenches you can tighten the router bits.
- 【Widely Used】-This electric trimmer is widely used in wood processing, cabinet processing, handicraft production, plastic sheeting, wood veneer and other similar materials chamfering, grooving, surface finishing, curve cutting, planning wood edge, pattern processing operations activities and DIY. Easy to wood trimming, grooving.
- 【What's in the Box】- 12PCS 1/4" Shank Router Bits Set【Including 6mm/12mm/16mm Straight bits,12.7mm 90°"V" Grooving bit,12.7mm Dovetail bit,32mm 45°Chamfer bit, 12.7mm Dovetail bit, 32mm 45°Chamfer bit, 12.7mm Flush trim bit,R6.3mm/R9.5mm Round over bit, R6.3mm Core box bit,R6.3mm Core bit,R4mm Roman ogee bit.】 1x Palm Router, 1 x Straight Guide, 1 x Trimming Guide, 2 x Wrenches, 6 x Carbon brushes, 1x Sample Guide Plate, 1 x Adjustable Button, 1 x Fast Switch Button, 1 x Manual.
- Dust extraction column: placed on the back and extends to the top of the Router and includes a swivel nozzle. Keep the power cord (also top mounted) and dust extraction hose out of your way
- Intuitive Controls: clearly labeled with icons indicating purpose and adjustment direction. Work Smarter without having to locate the Manual to make less common adjustments
- Magnetic spindle brake: faster and more reliable method of retarding spindle motion. The use of magnetic force to stop the spindle also prolongs the service life of the motor
- System integration: designed for use with the FS guide rail system, mfs multi-routing templates, and a wide range of other accessory options
- Precision depth adjustment: micro-adjustability dial allows routing with tremendous precision
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated on this page and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed at the purchase time will apply to this product.