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Best Budget Router Power Tool

by BestBudgetAdmin
best budget router power tool

DIY enthusiasts love tools, and if you love working with wood, you may need a router to help you finish your projects neatly.

Routers are easy to use and require little setting up, but you will need to be able to guide them in the right direction. If you’re looking for a router power tool, then we have a guide to help you and some suggestions for routers you can try.

Best Budget Router Power Tool: Our Top 10 Recommendations

1. VonHaus Compact Deluxe Palm Router

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Our first router power tool is from VonHaus.

This is a Palm Router and it is corded, so you will need to use it close to a socket.

The collet can be used with ¼” or 3/8” bits and it also has variable speed control to give you more options for materials to work with.

It has two bases so you can trim the edges of your work, or use it to profile on wood, plastic, metal or laminates. You can also use the plunge base to work with different depths for more intricate patterns.

The router comes with a free tool bag so everything can be kept neatly together and in once place.

Key Features
  • Collet size ¼” or 3/8”
  • Variable speed control
  • Plunge and trimmer bases
  • Corded
  • Works with wood, metal, plastic and laminate
  • Tool Bag included

Verdict

This is a nice all round router, which is easy to use thanks to its compact size. It has two bases and can be used with two bit sizes, so it’s a great router for anyone new to woodworking.

2. VonHaus 1600W Router

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Another great router from VonHaus, which has a plunge base.

It features soft start, so you can make sure you have complete control over the router from the moment you turn it on. It has a variable plunge depth to a maximum of 50mm, and also features micro adjustment so you can cut to your exact specifications.

The collet is adaptable and can use ½” or ¼” bits, and you can alter the speed depending on the size of the bit you are using and the material you are working with.

The handle has an ergonomic design to help you grip better and it comes with brush guides, spare carbon brushes and a dust collection adapter.

Key Features
  • ½” and ¼” collet
  • Soft start
  • Variable speed
  • Variable plunge depth
  • Corded

Verdict

This router offers lots of options for you to work with different materials and use different depths. We like that you can alter the collet to use any bits, which makes it a good choice for beginners and more experienced woodworkers alike.

3. Ryobi R18TR-0 ONE+ Router

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Ryobi have designed this Router to create smooth edges for all your project.

This trim router is cordless, so you don’t have to worry about cords getting in the way, and you have the option to work anywhere. You can also use it for grooving and shaping.

It has a 1/4“ collet, but will also take bits which are slightly smaller, so you have some variation in style. The depth can be adjusted to 38mm, and allows you to make micro adjustments to get the exact measurement you need.

You can also see your working area more clearly as it has LED lights to give you better visibility.

Key Features
  • ¼” collet
  • Cordless operation
  • LED lights
  • Trim Router

Verdict

If you want clean or decorative edges, this trim router can be programmed to a depth of up to 38mm. It has LED lights so you can see the area you are working on clearly and is very easy to set up and use.

4. COSTWAY Trimmer Router

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The COSTWAY Trimmer Router comes with 2 bases, so it is a versatile router.

The fixed base is a great way to trim or tidy up edges, or you can switch to a plunge base if you want to create a more decorative pattern for your project.

It has both ¼” and 3/8” collets so you can use any bits you want, and it is a lovely compact size. There are 6 speeds to choose from so you can adjust it to any size of bit and work on any material.

Key Features
  • ¼” and 3/8” collets
  • Fixed and Plunge Base
  • Palm Router
  • Variable speed control

Verdict

With 6 speeds and a choice of bases, you can easily create sharp edges on any project. This is a compact router with makes a good choice for any beginner, particularly as it has two different collets.

5. Wolf Plunge Router

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This Plunge Router from Wolf offers you many options for different projects.

It has a ¼” collet, as well as 6mm and 8mm ones. The plunge depth on this router is a maximum of 52mm, so you can get a good deep groove for any project you are working on. If you change the bit or start working on a different material, it has variable speed control so you can alter the speed to make sure you get a clean cut.

The router also comes with a spanner, guide brush ad a spare brush set.

Key Features
  • ¼” collet
  • Plunge router
  • Variable speed
  • Cutting depth 52mm

Verdict

We like the depth of this router. A maximum of 52mm gives you plenty of options to create deeper grooves or any decorative pattern.

6. Silverline 329863 Plunge Router

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The Silverline Plunge Router will help you work with a choice of materials and any wood.

The plunge base has a maximum depth of 40mm, so you can create any design with precision. If you change material or alter your bit size, you can change the speed so that you get a perfect cut every time.

It also has a turret stop with 3 height adjustable steps to help you create an even groove.

Key Features
  • ¼” collet
  • Plunge Router
  • Variable speed control
  • 40mm Plunge depth
  • Turret stop

Verdict

If you like creating designs on different materials, this router has variable speed control and good depth. It is easy to set up and also has a turret stop.

7. FERM PRM1015 Router

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If you are looking for precision depth, you need this FERM PRM1015 Router.

It features micro adjustment and this can be increased, or decreased, in increments of just 0.1mm. The plunge base helps you create any design or groove you like and there is an LED light so you can see your workplace clearly at all times, to make sure you keep the router on the right track.

It comes with 6 router bits, so you can start practicing as soon as you get it home.

Key Features
  • Micro depth adjustment
  • Plunge router
  • LED worklight
  • 6 router bits included
  • Corded

Verdict

This is a good plunge router if you work with precision designs. It has micro depth adjustment and 2 clear LED lights so you can get pinpoint accuracy no matter what you are working on.

8. Silverline 124799 Plunge Router

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If you like mixing up your projects, this Silverline Plunge Router has many good features.

It has a choice of 5 different collets, giving you a great variety of bits to choose from. If you change bit, you can alter the speed to make sure your cut stays clean and precise. The plunge depth can be increased to 50mm, to help you create grooves and patterns in most materials.

It has a safety switch, so you can change the bits in confidence, and a 7 stage turret stop.

Key Features
  • 5 collets: ½”, ¼”, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm
  • Safety switch
  • Variable speed
  • 50mm plunge depth
  • 7 stage turret stop

Verdict

This plunge router offers plenty of choice when it comes to the bits you can use. With an impressive 5 options to choose from, you will find it easy to create any project you are working on.

9. Einhell TE-RO 1255 Router

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This is a good router if you work with different types of wood.

You can adjust the depth to your exact requirements using the precision adjustment feature, and there are also pre-set turret stops. The speed control is variable and is controlled electronically, so if you switch materials or bit, you can quickly alter the speed to match.

The handles have been ergonomically designed to help you grip firmly, and it has 3 different sizes of collet.

Key Features
  • ¼”, 6mm and 8mm collet
  • Electronic speed control
  • Spindle lock
  • Adjustable cutting depth

Verdict

This is another router which comes highly recommended for those who like to work with different materials. The cutting depth can be set precisely and with an easily adjustable speed setting, you can work with confidence.

10. KATSU Electric Wood Trimmer

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KATSU have designed this router to give you excellent control over everything you cut.

It has 2 collets, ¼” and 3/8” so you can use a wider selection of bits. The depth adjustment goes down to 20mm, which is deep enough for any slot cutting or decorative work.

It can also be used to trim edges to make them smooth, and with variable speeds, it can handle most woods and other materials too. For extra functionality, this also comes with a tilt base, so you can form edges or create designs which really stand out.

Key Features
  • ¼” and 3/8” collets
  • Trim, plunge and tilt bases
  • Variable speed control
  • Depth adjustment to 20mm

Verdict

If you like to experiment and get the best from your router, then this router from KATSU is the one. It includes bases to trim, plunge and even tilt so you can add that extra dimension to all your projects.

Buyers Guide: What To Look For

Woodworkers need accurate and reliable tools, so when you purchase a router, you need it to be able to do exactly what you need it to. Most routers can be adapted to work with any type of wood, and they can also work with other materials such as laminates.

Before you begin with any material, try a test piece first to make sure you have the right bit and it is set to the right speed.

Routers have many functions in woodwork and you can use them for:

  • Trimming edges to create a smooth finish
  • Cutting slots, hinges or shapes in to woods and other materials
  • Creating decorative edges
  • Engraving or creating a decorative cut such as in a wall panel.

Classifications

The first thing you need to decide is the type of router you need.

  • Trim or palm router

These are smaller, compact routers which are designed to soften sharp edges or create a small profile. They are usually small enough to sit in one hand, but they are still powerful to work with any wood. They use smaller shank bits, so they are only suitable for smaller operations, such as trimming, edge forming, window cut-outs and decorative inlays.

  • Mid-size routers

These routers are popular because they are versatile, easy to use and don’t take up too much space. When it comes to functionality, they can carry out all the same functions as a Trim Router, as well as large scale dovetailing, circle cutting, template designs and panel cutting.

These usually range from 13/4 HP to 21/4 HP.

  • Full-size routers

These routers are usually in the range from 3HP to 3 ¼ HP and they are mainly for professionals or for those who simply love their woodwork. Due to their size, they need a router table and for most home woodworkers they often take up too much room.

You may find that you end up with more than one router as you’ll find some are better than others on particular things.

Base

Routers also come with different bases, and you may need to check how each one operates.

  • Fixed base

A fixed base has handles on opposite sides of the base and start cutting from the edge. You hold on to these and direct the router along the wood and the depth remains the same throughout the cut. These are best for dovetail and box joint jigs, but they are not very good with edge routing.

  • D-Handle base

These are the same as a fixed base, but instead of two handles or knobs, it has one knob and a D-shaped handle. This has a locking on and off trigger switch and pistol-grip control.

  • Plunge Base

These routers are better for blind grooves, fluting and dado cuts and can start cutting from anywhere on the material. The bit is plunged in to the wood away from the edge and it allows you to alter the depth settings so it can be fine tuned for exact measurements.

If you think you may need both bases, you can also get routers with combination kits, so you can utilise either a fixed or plunge base.

Collet size

This will be either 1/4” or ½” and you must make sure that your bits are the right size to fit. Not all routers have the option to alter the collet.

Speed

When looking for a router, check whether it has different speeds. Unless you work with the same wood or carry out the same process repeatedly, you may want to alter the speed.

If you’re working with different bits, and on different pieces of wood, then you will need to work at different speeds. Small bits are better at faster speeds, while larger bits work best at slower speeds. If you can’t change the speed, you may burn the wood or end up with a jagged edge.

Most routers come with the option to adjust the speed, but always check this first.

Electronic Feedback Circuitry

This feature monitors the load on the motor for you, and then automatically adjusts the torque output to match. Simply put, the motor won’t labour or stall, so you’ll get a smooth cut.

Soft start

If you’re new to using a router, get one with soft start. With this function, when you turn it on, it will start up slowly so you keep control over it at all times. If your router doesn’t have soft start, it will start immediately, and the sudden noise combined with the motor starting can mean you temporarily lose control of the router and this could cause a nasty accident.

Spindle lock

This makes changing the bit that much easier. Instead of needing to hands to change the bit, you can hold the motor shaft in place so all you need is one wrench for the collet.

Adjustment

Above the table adjustment makes it easier to change the bit or adjust the cutting height. You can adjust the height above the table with a handle, so you don’t have to keep lifting the machine to alter it.

Bits

You will also need bits for your router, and you can get these in different shapes as well as sizes. Just make sure they fit the collet on your router.

You will need several different bits for your router and these can include:

  • Straight bits
  • Flush trim bits
  • Edge forming bits
  • Moulding bits
  • Joinery bits
  • Rabbeting bits
  • Chamfer bits

There are others available too, and whatever project you are working on, you will find a bit to match.

Safety

As with all power tools, you need to operate routers safely.

  • Always read the manual. You may be experienced in using a router, but that doesn’t mean that your new model works exactly the same as your old one.
  • If it is a corded router, be aware of the power cable at all times so you don’t accidentally cut through it.
  • Make sure the router is switched off when you change the bits.
  • Don’t develop bad habits such as trying to use one hand with a larger router. You need both hands at all times to keep control.
  • At the very least, make sure you are wearing protective goggles when you operate a router.

FAQ’s

What can I use my router for?

Once you start practising with your router, you’ll probably want to start designing new things and with a router, there is so much you can do.

  • Trim the edges of any woodworking project
  • Create decorative mouldings
  • Make dadoes
  • Create door hinges
  • Engrave in to wood to create decorative panels.
  • Make dovetails

This is not the full list. You can use your router to cut any pattern in to any kind of wood.

What materials can I cut?

While many people use routers for wood, you can use them with an umber of other materials too.

You can also use your router to work with laminates, rubber and plastics, but always test a small area before you start. When it comes to wood, you can use it with anything, including plywood and MDF.

If you want to cut metals or work with ceramics and glass, you will need a CNC router.

Can I cut wood with my router?

Routers are designed to work with wood, but if you simply want to cut wood, you’re better off with a proper saw. You can tidy up your cut bits of wood, but you won’t get a clean, straight cut if you use a router and you will find it very difficult too.

Conclusion

Once you start using a router, we know you’ll start to experiment with it. They are simple to operate and you can create so many designs with them.

The bits are all shaped so you can trim straight edges, or even create a Roman style finish to a project.  While you will need a steady hand to guide your router, you’ll find that with the right bit and speed, you will soon get the hang of it.

As with all power tools, make sure you follow all safety guidelines, and always test a piece if you work with a new material.

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