Best Router for Beginning Woodworker?

What’s the best router for a beginning woodworker? Ask 5 woodworkers and you’ll get 25 answers ;) I found a “best beginner wood router” question in WoodNet today that sums up the beginner router question with: “I dont need anything with a bunch of features I dont have the knowledge or skill to use but I would like something that will be useful to me for some time.”

This got me poking around in other forums using our power tool forum search engine and I dug up a few other “best newbie router” threads. Then I counted all the suggestions and put together this list. I’d value your suggestions for beginning woodworkers in the comments!

Note that most folks recommended he get at least a 1/2″ collet.

Here’s the “Best Router for Beginners” list, followed at the end with links to the forum threads that helped me write this post.

DeWalt: 9 votes
Dewalt 618: 6 votes
DeWalt 621: 3 votes

Pat Warner’s DEWALT 621 review
Pat Warner’s DEWALT 618PK review

Porter Cable: 6 votes
Porter Cable 690: 5 votes
Porter Cable 694VK: 1 vote

Freud: 4 votes
3 1/4″ hp Freud plunge router: 4 votes

Bosch: 2 votes
Bosch 1617: 2 votes

Hitachi: 2 votes
Hitachi M12V2: 1 vote
Hitachi KM12VC: 1 vote

Firestorm: 1 vote
B&D Firestorm FS1200RP Plunge Router

Triton: 1 vote
triton 2 1/4hp plunge router

Forum Router Resources for Newbies:
Recommend a router for a beginning woodworker (WoodNet)
beginner woodworker trying to deside on a router (Woodworking Talk)
Newbie question on Porter cable router (SawmillCreek)
I’m New to Woodworking and… (Woodworking.com)

Other Router Resources:
A Router Buying Guide for the First Time Router Buyer
Router Woodworking (Pat Warner’s router site)

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One Response to Best Router for Beginning Woodworker?

  1. jack says:

    My first router was a Milwaukee molded grip model # 5615-29 a 1 3/4 hp model. I have used that to do just about everything. I have also purchased a skill plunge router (junk), a Ridgid trim router, the 3 1/2 hp Milwaukee #5625-29 for my router table as well as the Dewalt 2 1/4 hp combo kit with extra bases. I vote for the Milwaukee for a first router. It makes you learn how to do things without all the bells and whistles while giving you sufficient power, control and quality…

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