The Best Router Setup for Woodworking (2022 Review)

The router is one of the most versatile tools a woodworking shop can ever have. We’re very lucky to have these modern-day lifesavers. A router can do edge cleanups, trim, copy templates or just make intricate designs for your woodworking projects.


On this list, I’ve narrowed everything down to 3 with the exact same routers I use at my own woodworking shop. I also included a trusty router table for a precision cutting setup. And of course, I threw in my favorite router bit kits because you’re going to have to buy one anyway. Here goes...


 


DEWALT Router, Plunge Base, Variable Speed, 3-HP (DW625)

$289.98


This is my main workhorse in the shop since it has a variable speed function from 8,000 - 22,000 rpm. The DeWalt DW625 has a powerful 3HP motor to handle the most demanding jobs. This tool has been in existence for more than a decade. It works, it lasts and it is definitely value for the money. If you’re going to buy only one router, this is it. It’s a DeWalt. The DW625's build quality is superb without breaking the bank. The materials used to manufacture this router is solid. My only gripe with it is its plastic handles. I prefer rubber since it offers a better grip. You can easily remedy this by manually adding a rubber grip or just get the hang of using the stock grips.


 


Makita RP1800 Plunge Router

$298


For the same price range, the Makita RP 1800 offers a slightly more powerful motor but with a nonvariable speed system. It doesn’t have a slow start so be very careful when using it. This router is industrial grade so you don’t have to worry about abusing it. In contrast to the DeWalt DW625 router, the Makita RP1800 has rubber grips that makes it a lot easier to handle. I find this very useful, especially for precision work. For jobs that require a powerful motor without a need for variable speed, this is my go-to router. It’s also a Makita. Makitas are known for quality parts internally and externally.


 




Makita 1-1/4HP Compact Router

$99


For precision work, the Makita RP1800 Compact Router is the electric tool to buy. DeWalt is my go-to brand but for a compact router, I prefer this particular model. The Makita RP1800 Compact Router comes with a wide range of attachments for various jobs. It’s ergonomic to hold. Setup is very easy and the motor is powerful enough for most intricate jobs. There isn’t much to say about this router other than it does the best job for the money. You won't need any other compact router for precision woodworking.


 


KREG Precision Router Table System

$599


The KREG Precision Router Table System is a no-nonsense product. It will cost you more than your router but it will more than make up for its quality and use. This router table is built tough and will probably be the only table you’ll ever need for generations unless they make a significant innovation in the far future. The assembly is straightforward. The materials used for the KREG Precision Router Table System quality. It comes out straight square after the out-of-the-box assembly. This table comes with casters too for extra mobility. The casters hold tightly when I lock them. The fence included is always locked in place. There is absolutely no unwanted vibrations when I use it. Everything comes out straight and precise.


You can experiment on what router would feel right in your hands but for a router table system, Kreg is the brand to buy.


 

Router Bit Sets


For router bits, I have a few sets to recommend. For most of my work, I find the first two ¼” sets the most useful. The round edging and straight flush-trim set do maybe 90% of my workload. The last set I recommend is a 70-piece ½ inch set for the miscellaneous odd jobs (and experiments!) that need a versatile set.





KOWOOD Plus Round-Over Edging Router Bit Set

$14.79


For router bit sets, my go-to brand is Kowood. They make the best quality router bits that won’t break the bank. The Kowood Plus Round-Over Eding Router bits are extra sharp and hold out their edge for a very long time. Wood is cut like butter! You can’t go wrong with this set.


 


KOWOOD Plus Straight Flush Trim Router

$11.99


For less than twelve bucks, this trim router set is a steal!


 


KOWOOD Router Bits Set 1/2 Inch Shank

$159.099


If you’re willing to spend a little extra to get a set to use for frames, molding, edging strips, etc. this is the set to buy. It comes with a poster explaining all the bits and pieces to save you the trouble of looking for each bit's use. It comes in a wooden box that fits the pieces snuggly. So be very careful when removing these to avoid getting cut.


There are other Kowood sets with fewer pieces and of course, cheaper. It can get expensive if you keep buying bits and pieces every time you need one. Instead of buying a lot of bits and pieces, then you might as well go for the one with the most number of pieces. The Kowood 70-pc Router Bits Set offers the most value for money.

 

There you go. That’s my whole setup. I have no need to buy anything else for now. Routers aren’t complicated and there's other more expensive stuff out there. The ones I recommend can do heavy-duty work with no problems at all. You can splurge on other tools but these ones are bang for the buck already.


Enjoy!









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