Wood Router Buying Guide – 2022 Beginner’s Guide

Last Update On: January 25, 2022 // Author:

Needless to say that a wood router is a quintessential tool of any modern wood workshop. However, it has a versatile array of functions, and you should have at least one wood router in your woodworking business.

The powerful tool offers you to develop sophisticated design, shape wood edges, create joints, maintain internal cuts, and many other tasks that you can perform. Precisely, you need to call a wood router for doing any of the operations in your project.

But sometimes it’s tough to find out the right router as there’re multiple options are available in the market. No worries. We’re here to provide a proper wood router buying guide to make your way easier for a better decision.

wood router buying guide


Types Of Wood Routers

When buying a new wood router, at first, you need to determine which type of router is going to meet your demands. Because there’re several options right out there with different purposes, and you should fix the category before purchasing. Let me depict the classifications of them depending on the motor size structure.

Palm Routers

If you want to trim on a small-scale, these powerful and compact palm routers are an ideal option for you. The cost-effective and compact routers offer you to soften edges, cut windows, scale dovetailing, hinge mortising, and some other activities as well.

Though these routers come with impressive performance, they can’t be the right choice for larger routing tasks.

Mid-Size Routers

It’s the category that is combined with power and versatile operations and, of course, the most popular wood router in the lineup. Mid-size routers inherit the applications of palm routers and additionally perform panel and circle cutting, template design, and large-scale routing.

This category offers both one-handed and two-handed model routers and also available in a plunge or fixed style base. Besides, this class of routers is popular for most of the aftermarket router equipment.

Full-Size Routers

In general, these routers are considered as the powerhouse of the router family. More often than not, they are designed for production purposes and equipped with a router table. Due to the full-sized routers, they aren’t handy to operate in everyday routine tasks. However, they’re useful for large diameter routing operations.

Now, we’re going to define wood routers according to base style, which is similarly important as the size of motor routers. Whether there’re various styles available, you need to select the right one needed for your projects.

Fixed Base

These standard base routers come with fixed knobs or handles that let you hold or guide the router. You’ll have precise control for edge shaping with this fixed base router.

However, these fixed bases are ideal options for a router table and are ideal choices for utilizing guide bushings and depth adjustment. Moreover, they have a compact body size that has made them a good choice among many woodworkers.

Plunge Base

The plunge base routers come with versatile applications and inherit everything that fixed base routers offer. They’re good choices for blind grooves, dado cuts mortising, and fluting applications. They also allow you to control the vertical movement so that the bit be plunged into the surface of the wood from an edge.

Interchangeable Base

If you want to utilize multiple bases, then the manufacturers offer you these interchangeable bases that have both fixed and plunge bases. You can interchange them according to your needs. You don’t need to pay extra bucks for two different routers, whether you’re getting these routers in one package.

Wood Router Buying Guide: How To Choose Best Wood Router

Follow our wood router buying guide that will assist you in squeezing the versatility and every bit of value of the routers. So, this section is like a green juice to make your precise decision.

Variable Speed

Some routers come with variable speed settings that are really helpful for making a more customized job. Variable speed control is also beneficial if you want to use your router for all bit sizes. So, this option lets you control the speed for more precise applications.

Soft Start

It’s an important feature to look for before buying your router. You should buy a router that doesn’t intend to start at a full force when you’re just switching the power on. Remember one thing that if it starts slowly, you can cope with the power of the tool.


Like all other tools, routers also come with different sizes and shapes. They also have various features along with their sizes. If we consider palm routers, you might’ve guessed the size of them, and they get adjusted to the palm of your hand. They are suitable for the smaller scale of routing but not for a larger scale.

So, every router has different shapes and different applications. You need to decide which one is best for your tasks and storage capacity.


Whenever you’re likely to purchase a router, make sure that you can easily maintain them without any extra effort. If the router doesn’t have this feature, it’s mandatory to sort it out to change the bits.

Electric Brakes

They offer you to maximize the efficiency by stopping the router on a dime. It’s also an important feature to have in your router to avoid an immediate accident. You need to stop your router from doing so.

Benefits Of Wood Routers For Woodworking

There’re immense benefits of wood routers for the woodworking industry, and that’s why woodworkers prefer to have them for more operational proficiency. These are the significant benefits that are listed below:

  • The wood routers can perform tasks quickly, maintaining absolute accuracy. They can cut the surface smoothly and thus, how the joints fit accurately and leave a stronger bond.
  • The hand-held or table-mounted routers are easy to use while you’re thinking of making many duplicate joints that will worth the effort. So, the wood routers are saving loads of time precisely.
  • The wood routers don’t let the workers under the menace of machinery that might hurt. They are designed to improve the safety of workers. They’ll allow you to perform hard work without sticking you in any danger.
  • You’ll have versatile options with your CNC routers than any other joinery appliance. You can cut multiple joints with any of the wood routers than other tools. Moreover, you can develop various designs according to your demands.
  • These wood routers provide the capability of mass production for industrial purposes within a cost-effective way. So, you don’t need to spend more on manual labor.

Frequently Asked Question

Well, we’ve collected some general questions that always ponder in our minds before purchasing a wood router. Let’s have a look:

Can you use a router to cut wood?

Of course, you can use a router to cut wood more precisely than any other machine tool. But it comes with a pretty different style than a typical jigsaw does. A router provides more accurate applications to cut or shape wood in multiple ways.

Can you use a router on plywood?

Definitely, you are allowed to do it. And hopefully, it won’t be terrible as there’s no void on plywood. It’ll leave a perfect spline to bind the two joints of plywood together after routing it correctly.

Do I need a router table to use a router?

If you’re a professional woodworker, you need a router table with your wood router. It’s not ideal for those who only use wood routers for cutting or trimming edges. You can have a router table when you’ve woodshop for doing multiple businesses.

Here is wood router basics, tips, and tricks to check before you buy

Final Words

Again, wood routers play a vital role in modern woodworking shops. They provide versatile options for processing wood to create different shapes and sizes. Moreover, they offer better applications than table saws in some cases.

So, if you purchase a wood router for a smaller scale of routing or even multiple uses, it will never let you down your expectations. So, to have the right option, remembering the wood router buying guide is a must.

Author - Lee Morris

Hi, I am Lee Morris, I have run a power tools business for woodworking. Where I sell mostly wood router, compact router, trim router, plunge router, wood lathe chuck, and many other power tools for woodworking.

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