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Routers are mainly used in woodworking and are usually handheld or fastened with the cutting end-up in a router table. There are two main types of routers: plunge and fixed. Finding the right router for your needs can be a bit difficult as one can get confused with the large variety of options available. Let us help you out by having a Bosch vs. DeWalt vs. Makita vs. Porter Cable vs. Hitachi face-off and see if anyone of them pique your interest.
1. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
- 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
As ‘EVS’ in the name suggests, this router comes with variable speed between 8000 rpm and 25000 rpm. The speed should be matched with the type of wood you are using. This is a 2.25 horsepower router, which lies pretty much in the mid-range of router powers. It has a soft start in it which means it is not going to be hammered on.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK fits most router lifts, making it an all-round great unit. It has a stationary base and an optional plunge router base. The motor comes off without a hassle. It is quick and easy.
A small locking lever is present for unlocking/locking it. There is another tab that you push in for the coarse height adjustment. If you squeeze that in, it releases the routing unit and you can pull it right out. This unit comes with a quarter-inch collet and is compatible with other measurements.
From a design perspective, the overall construction is made from aluminum. There are wooden handles featured on the fixed base of the router. The plunge base also offers a soft-grip handle.
If you are looking for a good all-round router that fits the widest range of use, you should definitely consider this tool.
2. DeWalt DW618B3 Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
- 2-1/4 HP (maximum motor HP), 12.0 amp electronic variable speed motor of DEWALT router provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods
- DEWALT plunge router features electronic variable speed with full feedback control for constant speed under load from 8,000-24,000 rpm and soft start to reduce start-up torque for enhanced control
- D-handle incorporates trigger switch with lock-on feature
- Micro-fine depth adjustment ring provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments and adjusts vertically for a constant switch/cordset location
- Adjustable, tool-free steel motor cam lock makes depth adjustment and base changes quick and solid-locking
This short-sized router has a 2.25 horsepower with a 12-amp electronic variable speed motor. The speed can go from 8,000 to 24,000 rpm. It has a soft start that allows it to run smoothly.
The edge handles have a strong grip due to which it will not tip or wobble in your hands. It comes with a half-inch and quarter-inch collet that are easy to swap out.
The overall quality of the router is good. Its powerful motor allows easy routing through tough hardwood. The motor itself is solid and will not bog down. It comes with a D-handle that incorporates a trigger switch with a lock-on feature.
The motor latches can be quickly released for fast and easy motor pack removal. That helps tremendously in bit base changes.
In our view, this is almost a perfect router. If you are looking for a high-end wood router that you can trust, this should be the option to consider.
3. Makita RT0701CX3 Compact Router Kit
- Variable speed control dial (10,000 - 30,000 RPM) 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 convenient depth adjustments and base removal/installation
- Accepts industry standard template guides
The Makita RT0701CX3 has a 1.25 horsepower and gives you excellent performance. Optional router bases of types plunge, offset and tilt are available with it. The latch lock makes changing bases a breeze and allows for a lot of options during your projects.
It has a speed control that allows you to exactly match the speed according to the task. The speed range goes from 10,000 to 30,000 rpm.
This wood router has a soft start and cam lock for quick releases. It is relatively quieter than its rivals. It comes with a guide to help you out. But there is no guide with the plunge base.
It has a ¼-inch collet. A micro adjustment system is attached to the base so that you can set your depths. It comes with a high-quality cord that can work at very cold temperatures as well. It has increased durability because of the heavy-duty aluminum motor housing.
The body itself is not bulky so it’s easy to maneuver around. It will feel like you are using a thick pencil.
If you want a small and easy-to-use router that can handle complicated work and gives optimal performance, this tool will not disappoint you.
4. Porter-Cable 895PK Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
- Soft-starting, 12 Amp motor of PORTER-CABLE router features full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the toughest applications
- Variable-speed control feature (10,000 - 23,000 rpm) enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications
- Release the motor, adjust bit height and clamp the motor from above the router table with model #75301 kit (included). Fixed base only.
- Plunge base features machined brass bushings and steel guide rods for a smooth, free-flowing plunge stroke
- Plunge base offers through-the-column dust collection for efficient dust removal and improved bit and cut-line visibility
This router gives 2.25 horsepower with a 12-amp motor. It features a soft start that helps in reducing the torque on the motor. As a result, you get smooth operation. It has a variable speed dial that helps you deal with each application as required. The actual speed range goes from 10,000 to 23,000 rpm.
You can easily access the on/off switch even with both hands on the rubber handles. This router can be installed on the table while also offering the option of using a fixed or plunge base for jobs that do not require a table.
It can use both ¼ and ½-inch collets. This gives you a wider range of bits. It is easy to change the bits as well thanks to a spindle-lock feature that needs only one wrench. The bit height can be adjusted using the height adjustment knob on the back near the locking level. It has a built-in light to illuminate work areas. An edge guide is also offered with the kit.
This is a mid-size durable router that is built to be attached to a table. It is most suitable for jobs that would require table support.
5. Hitachi KM12VC Variable Speed Fixed/Plunge Base Router Kit
- Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- 11 Amp motor (2 1/4 Peak Horsepower), for precise, controlled cuts
- 2 stage motor release clamp, for quick and accurate depth adjustments and base changes
- Electronic speed control, maintains constant RPMs even as load varies
- Class leading noise level, only 79.5dB for a quieter workshop
The Hitachi KM12VC has a 2.25 horsepower with an 11-amp motor and a low 79.5 dB sound level. It has speed control with a range of 8,000-24,000 rpm. It is easy to use and comfortable to hold.
This router is heavier than a palm router but can handle harder woods much easier. Weight adjustments can be made without any hassle as the depth adjustment is smooth and the speed control is electronic. Two wrenches, instead of one, are required for bit changes.
Its fixed base could have been wider and the motor should have been set lower in the base. It comes with a ½ and ¼-inch collet.
A template guide adapter is also provided along with other accessories. If you compare it with its peers, this router comes with more accessories.
Overall, it provides good value for the price but professional users may find its features not up to par.
Bosch vs. Dewalt vs. Makita vs. Porter Cable vs. Hitachi, which is better? Our recommended is DeWalt DW618B3 and Bosch 1617EVSPK. These wood routers are great for most jobs.