Which is the best wood router for beginners?
You don’t need to be doing woodworking very long before you decide that you want a router, but the question is how to choose the best one out of the enormous choice. As a beginner there are a couple of major considerations that will influence your choice:
- You probably don’t want a high end router with a bunch of features that you don’t yet have the skill to use
- You do want a router that has sufficient features and capabilities that will last you for some time – you don’t want to be looking to replace it as soon as you progress a little bit.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Router For Beginners
The features that you want to look for as a beginner are obviously the same as what an experienced woodworker would want (after all, a good feature is a good feature whoever you are), but you’re perspective is a little bit different. Since you’re only looking to buy one machine, you’re looking for a good all-round router that gives you maximum versatility and will last you for some years to come:
- A mid-range motor around 2 HP will give you enough power for most jobs
- Variable speed – the rule is, the larger the router bit, the slower the speed, so you need a router that allows you to vary the speed for different sized router bits
- Soft start – easier to control on start up and helps the motor last longer
- Comes with 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch collets so that you’ve got all the bases covered
- Facility for both fixed base and plunge routing
- Reasonably priced
When you look at the list above, it doesn’t take long to work out that what you are looking at is one of the excellemnt router combo kits that are so popular – they offer the best mix of features, versatility and value for money.
Top 2 Router Choices For Beginners
Bosch 1617EVSPK 2-1/4 HP Router Combo
The Bosch 1617EVSPK Router Combination Kit is Bosch’s bestseller in the router combo market. One motor and two bases (fixed and plunge) means you don’t have to buy two dedicated machines – two routers for not much more than the price of one. Features that make the Bosch stand out include its micro-adjust dial for setting cutter depth on the fixed base, comfortable wood handles and easy bit changing in fixed-mode.
DeWalt DW618PK 2-1/4 HP Router Combo
The DeWalt DW618PK 2-1/4 HP Router kit is Dewalt’s complete router kit which gives you the router motor plus both a fixed and a plunge base all in one cost-effective package. Some of the excellent features include a clear LEXAN sub-base, precise, rotating depth adjustment ring and patented through-the-column dust-collection system, all of which add up to an innovative, versatile router kit.
Which One To Go For? And Why?
When it comes to choosing between them, we would go for the Bosch 1617EVSPK. It’s got all of the important features that we identified for beginners and it’s such a good, versatile all-round router system that it’s actually the best selling router combo on the market for all woodworkers – so you know that it’s capable of any routing job you’re likely to want to do, and you’re not going to grow out of it any time soon.