5 Best Fixed Base Router for Home Use [Top of 21st Century]

best fixed base router for home use

You will hardly find a woodwork shop without a router. A router allows you to make a hollow in a hard material such as wood and sometimes plastic. It is a hand-held tool or power tool and is usually used in woodworking and cabinetry. 

There are many brands and variants of fixed-based routers in the market. This makes it a problem for users to make decisions on the best brands to buy. This article seeks to solve this problem. This article focuses on reviewing the best-fixed base router for home woodworking, discussing the features of different fixed based routers. 

Also, there is a buying guide at the end of the review, explaining important considerations in buying a router. At the end of this article, you will have enough information to make an informed decision when buying a router.

Quick Comparison of 5 Best-Fixed Base Routers

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base Router – Perfect for Small Projects & Low Budget
DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base Router
Max. Speed: 27,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 4.1 lbs.
Dimension: 9"x6"x11.1"
Price
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router – Suited to Trimming Edges
Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router
Max. Speed: 30,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 3.9 lbs.
Dimension: 17"x10"x7"
Price
DEWALT DW618 Fixed Base Router – Suited to Heavy-Duty & Professional Routing
DEWALT DW618 Fixed Base Router
Max. Speed: 24,000 RPM
Motor Power: 2-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/2"
Weight: 9.83 lbs.
Dimension: 10.75"x9.5"x7.25"
Price
DEWALT DCW600B Cordless Router – Best Light-Weight Plunge Router
DEWALT DCW600B Cordless Router
Max. Speed: 25,500 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/2"
Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Dimension: 8.38"x5.82"x5.75"
Price
Avid Power 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router
Avid Power Compact Router
Max. Speed: 32000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 7.48 lbs.
Dimension: 11.6"x9.9"x4.7"
Price

Top Rated 5 Fixed Base Router Short reviews

Here’s a little sneak peek over the top choice of 2021 and most probably coming years as well – the five best valued compact wood router combination fixed and plunge base routers! Should groove as just suitable for your fine woodworking workspace and home use.

So, to find out which are the best, keep reading and we’ll help you to make the best buying decision:

1. DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base Router – Perfect for Small Projects & Low Budget

DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base Router – Perfect for Small Projects & Low Budget

Speed: 27,000 RPM
Motor: 1-1/4 HP
Collet: 1/4″

Major Features
  • 1.25 HP of Aluminum motor
  • Variable speed controlling feature
  • Soft-startup enabled
  • Adjustment ring
  • Dual LED lights
  • Spindle lock button

DEWALT and supremacy go well along together with the name of DWP611. With the premium quality construction, this small fixed base router blends with a professional like nothing else… The sturdy, small motor of 1.25 HP makes it toughened for general-purpose woodworking on usual material surfaces within compact space.

The Aluminum motor in this DWP611 has got a compact and solid feel to it, without making any unprecedented noise. An excellent interior and exterior cover the enormous RPM range – to work with different materials for multi-fold outputs. A unique feature is a visible Plastic cover the ON/OFF switch thoroughly, protecting it all the way from dust particles and debris.

We loved this little machine because its soft startup allows increasing the speed slowly and gradually, rather than all in one go. This way, it protects your working material and amplifies your functional mobility.

An electronic circuit system backs up the variable speed control feature. Assuring the fact – the machine will always run at the pre-set speed and not fluctuate. Moreover, this little guy’s upper portion is covered with ultra-thickened and toughened ABS plastic to prevent any unwanted loss in case of accidental falling down.

To sum it up,

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

Inclusive accessories consist of the 1.5-inch plunge stroke, ¼ inch collet diameter, 4-inch dimension base, wrench, and detailed instructions. The DEWALT manufacturers claim to provide a generous 3 years of warranty for this compact machine of theirs.

Note to Enthusiasts

The Dewalt DWP611PK motor has got a soft start to it. But it’s not the strongest motor out there. We consider it apt for usual routing on wooden materials. And would certainly like to recommend trimming edges, dados, mortising, cutting depth, etc. – mostly on not-so-hard material surfaces (such as metallic sheets). In addition to that, its compact size of 5.5 pounds makes it apt for a tight space’s keeping. Exactly the reasons which make up it a small project’s favorite for the homeowners and DIY-enthusiasts!

2. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router – Suited to Trimming Edges

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router – Suited to Trimming Edges

Speed: 30,000 RPM
Motor: 1-1/4 HP
Collet: 1/4″

Major Features
  • Base made of visible outer design
  • Aluminum motor of heavy-duty
  • Variable speed control (10,000 – 30,000) RPM
  • Soft start-up
  • Flat-top design
  • Shaft lock system
  • Double insulation system

A trusted brand in the name of the mechanical world – Makita has brought to the market the people’s favorite compact router of the present time – the RT0701CX7. Want to discover the secret behind its soaring popularity? It’s the precision, versatility, and performance of this compact-sized machine! The additional plunge base and a robust motor of 1.25 HP make it more appealing for numerous routing tasks.

As you go on with using, you are going to find some pleasant surprises. To start with, the motor cleans up fine – spins nicely around the exact area of your project – without going all over the working surface. The wood engraving gets a lot easier with its feathery-like-weight… So LIGHT that you are almost going to experience the childhood feeling of holding a fancy huge pencil on hand! The cam lock system also ensures quick releasing. But better if you first set the depth and then go on to the dropping.

If you’re a hobbyist or home mechanic, then the most pleasant thing you’re going to experience is – this compact Makita tool operates at minimal noise. It doesn’t make much of a hue and cry… And lets you peacefully carry on with the insidious homework.

To sum it up,

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

Inclusive accessories consist of the router, the plunge base, a ¼ inch collet, a straight guide, two spanner wrenches, and a detailed instruction manual. The Makita manufacturer mentions providing a 1-year guarantee for this RT0701CX7 compact router of theirs.

Note to Enthusiasts

As the Makita RT0701CX7 compact router has a swiftly spinning motor, it can be used greatly for achieving ideal trimming results on wooden edges and lamination. You can also master groove-cutting, mortising, and inlay pattern work with it. It’s one of the smallest compact routers. For its perfect edge nailing, this compact router is widely used on bathroom and kitchen installations too.

3. DEWALT DW618 Fixed Base Router – Suited to Heavy-Duty & Professional Routing

DEWALT DW618 Fixed Base Router – Suited to Heavy-Duty & Professional Routing

Speed: 24,000 RPM
Motor: 2-1/4 HP
Collet: 1/2″

Major Features
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • 25 HP of Aluminum motor
  • Electronic variable speed with full feedback control
  • Nickel-plated motor housing
  • Soft-starting torque mechanism
  • Rotations per minute (RPM) within 8,000 – 24,000
  • Steel-made motor cam lock
  • 8-slot collets

Often termed as the elder brother of the previous model, the Dewalt DW618 is considered the prodigy of the enormous project world, including site duty, construction works, and not mentioning workshop jobs. If you need a beefy motor – this 12-Amp motor with 2.25 Horse Power – is the perfect service for it!

On the first go, we liked how its handles were “handled”! A Rubbery texture double-molded the sturdy handles to excel balance and control. The cord set was detachable and thus, removed the need for any shorty cord pack. Additional sub-bases such as the plunge base was clear and LEXAN. It gave its kinda best to enhance bases’ durability and bits’ visibility.

The depth stop’s highlight was the micro-fine depth adjustment ring. And this has always been our favorite because its precise adjustment measures up to 1/64 inch increments. Not to skip an important note (or free advice as you call it!!), you can adjust the ring vertically – for a constant switch location.

Die-Cast Aluminum base and motor housing have been machined with precision to carry out heavy-duty projects. But continues to manage a comparatively low weight. Dust-sealed switch protects from harmful micro-particles. A most loved feature of ours was the long, EIGHT slot collets, which make space to eliminate frozen bits conveniently!

To sum it down,

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

Inclusive accessories consist of a motor pack, a fixed base, a plunge base, a ¼ inch collet, a ½ inch collet, a wrench, and a detailed instruction manual. DEWALT manufacturers claim to provide a backup for the entire 3-years along with it.

Note to Enthusiasts

Trimming, template working, mortising, dados, tongue cutting, groove cutting, round overs are a few of this DEWALT DW618’s highlights. Its meaty, touchwood motor surely makes an apt choice for larger projects and larger sites. Also, as the durability is long-way protected, you don’t have to worry about breaking down in mid of any heavy-job. Not for the home mechanics or DIY-ers, but certainly should work for the professionals and garage owners.

4. DEWALT DCW600B Cordless Router – Best Light-Weight Fixed Base Router

DEWALT DCW600B Cordless Router – Best Light-Weight Plunge Router

Speed: 25,500 RPM
Motor: 1-1/4 HP
Collet: 1/2″

Major Features
  • Cordless & compact
  • Brushless motor
  • Soft start-up mechanism
  • Rotations per minute (RPM) within 16,000 – 25,500
  • Dual LED system
  • Electronic brake

While Dewalt’s reputation doesn’t need anymore, bragging comes their new small weight product – the DCW600B. With a weight of nothing more than 2.6 pounds, it surely tops as one of the smallest routers out there! It provides you two-in-one comfort: hassle-free like a cordless router and powers like a compact corded router.

The best part about this router is – no strings attached! It is a cordless router with mobility but still accommodates all the essential attributes of a corded router. With no cord blocking the way, chances of getting tipped over and jeopardizing the precious woodwork – comes down to a null point.

The startup with a brushless motor is something to love. A soft start paves the way to a long life without jerking off the machine too often. The nominal voltage stands at 18, whereas the maximum ‘initial’ battery voltage without workload asserts at 20.

Worksurface is brightly illuminated with dual-LED lights. The electronic brakes make through a safer shutdown. It slows down the motor as fast as possible after shutting down the unit.

To sum it down,

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

5. Avid Power 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router

Avid Power 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router

Speed: 32,000 RPM
Motor: 1-1/4 HP
Collet: 1/4″

Major Features
  • Powerful 6.5-Amp motor
  • Fixed-base compact
  • Quick locking mechanism
  • Rotations per minute (RPM) within 10,000 – 32,000
  • Variable speed operation
  • Compact LED work light

This is another router with enough emphasis on ergonomics and ease of use. The router comes with an ergonomic design, making it very easy to use. This design informs the use of rubber on the handle. Also, the router comes with every part and piece that you can ever ask for. These pieces then come in a case, ensuring that you do not only find these pieces easily; you also get to carry them about easily.

More importantly, this router is relatively strong as it allows continuous use for one hour. This is possible because of its 1.25 HP power and its 32000 rpm revolution. This means that beginners looking for a suitable router will find the Avid Power 65 best suited for their use.

The router also has an integrated locking system that allows you to easily release the router’s motor, in conjunction with height adjustment features.

What We Liked Most:

What Could Be Better:

Considerations Before Choosing a Fixed Base Router for Woodwork

Choosing the best and most suitable wood router depends on a lot of factors and considerations. These factors make it possible to streamline your choices when it comes to wood routers. This section will discuss some of these considerations and their implications on the type of router you choose.

The Type of Router

The first consideration you need to make while choosing a router is the type of router you need. Your needs and uses will inform this decision. There are basically two types of routers; plunge and fixed base routers.

While the plunge base router allows you to make vertical cuts on the wood, the fixed base router works around the edges and top of the wood, allowing hollow cuts only. Thus, the type of cuts you need to make will determine the type of wood router you get.

Also, the level of experience determines the type of wood router you get. As against plunge base routers, fixed base routers are easy to use. Thus, beginners and DIY enthusiasts will find the fixed base wood router a better option than the plunge based router.

Speed Variability

Another important factor that you must consider when choosing a fixed base router is the variable speed feature. Some routers have variable speeds while others don’t.

Routers with the variable speed feature are those that allow you to control the speed of the router. Hence they operate at both low and high speed. Routers without the variable speed feature have a single speed, and users have to work with that speed while using them.

As bad as they may sound, single-speed routers have their advantages. They work exceptionally well with a small bit of wood. However, they are hard to control. Thus, you need a specific level of technical know-how to operate it effectively.

As a result, routers with variable speed are best suited for beginners and professionals working on a large wood piece. It is easier to handle and control, thus, limiting the errors made while working.

Horsepower

The power of the router’s motor matters a lot while choosing a wood router. The power determines the duration of use and the extent of its functions. The higher the power, the longer it works.

 As a rule, you should go for routers with about 2 horsepower or more. This ensures that the router will be powerful enough to drive through wood pieces. It also means that you will be able to use the router for long periods before it overheats.

Ergonomic Design

This is a significant factor that you must consider if you are to choose a befitting wood router. As with most power tools, wood routers vibrate. One of the ways of cushioning the effect of the vibration on the user is through ergonomic design. Ergonomic designs include adding parts and components that make the power tool easier and less harmful.

With wood routers, ergonomic designs include adding comfortable grips, rubberized handles, and many others. Thus, you must ensure that the wood router you select has enough ergonomic designs to ease its use and reduce the router’s vibration’s adverse effect.

Dust Control

One of the results of a router’s operation is dust; hence, you must consider its dust control features. Many wood routers come with a vacuum port that collects most of the dust produced during use. Getting a router like this will save you the stress of cleaning and protects against health risks associated with the wood router.

The aforementioned factors are some of the fundamental factors that you must consider before choosing a router.

Why Use a Fixed Base Router?

As stated earlier, there are two primary types of a router; the plunge and fixed base router. While we have made a brief distinction between the two routers and their features, we will discuss more this distinction regarding the application of the fixed base router.

Below are reasons why you need to use a fixed base router for your woodwork

Control

If you need more control while working on the wood, then a fixed base router is the best option. This is because the fixed base router allows you to bring your hands close to the wood. By doing so, you get a lot more control of the power tool, and by extension, the whole routing process.

Thus, this makes the fixed base router better for freehand edge work and hollow cuts. Also, it is ideal for jig work.

Repeat Applications

A fixed base router allows you to repeat a specific application without setting the depth all over again. When using a plunge base router, you need to keep an eye out for the depth you have set for the cutting operation. This could be stressful, especially if you have to repeat the application on numerous pieces of wood.

With the fixed base router, all you need to do is set the depth and continue working. The router will cut at the exact depth repeatedly without any error. Thus, the fixed base router is your best shot for repeated cuttings and applications.

Router Table

The fixed base router works excellently well with a router table than a plunge base router. All you need to do is set up the fixed base component on the table, and you are set.

These are three of the reasons why you need to use a fixed base router. So if you have been confused about the type of wood router you need for your woodwork, there goes your answer.

Accessories Used with a Fixed Base Router

Now you have all the information you need about the best-fixed base router for home use. However, a router is not the only tool you need during woodwork. Other accessories allow you to work easier when used in conjunction with the fixed base router.

Some of these accessories include

Router tables and fences: A router table is a platform upon which you set the fixed base router, and the fence helps guide you to make an accurate cut on the wood piece. There are different types of router tables, including freestanding models, tabletop models. More often than not, router fences come with tables.

Jigs and Clamps

Both of these accessories hold the wood down during router use. While the router jigs hold the wood for cuts like dado joints, dovetail joints, and hinge recess, the clamps prevent wood pieces’ slipping. Additionally, the clamp also holds the router jig in place.

These are some of the important accessories that you need to get while working with a fixed base router.

Final Words

With the increase in the rate of DIY adoption worldwide, it is important that you get adequate information on power tools used around the home. One of these power tools is the fixed base router for woodwork. This tool allows you to make different cuts, especially hollow cuts on wood and plastic pieces.

While there are many brands in the market, we reviewed five of the best wood router in this article. We also provided a detailed examination of the important considerations you should make before buying the fixed base router for home use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *