While not as well known as other power tools like the electric saw or drill, routers are an extremely handy tool used in woodworking to precisely shape, level, and trim furniture, cabinets, and surfaces. Although primarily used for cutting wood, they can also be used with plastic and other soft materials like laminates and acrylics, but finding the right type of router for your needs can be difficult without knowing what to look for.
Whether you're looking for a small router to add some intricate designs to a carpentry project or are after a set that can stand up to the rigours of a professional working environment, we've picked the best router tools in the UK from some of the top brands in the business like Makita, Bosch, and DeWalt. Take a look at our Amazon picks below, and you'll be surprised at how many difficult jobs are made easy with a wood router!
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If you're a beginner looking to do some home DIY or plan on learning some woodworking and carpentry skills, a fixed base router is the best way to go. As the name suggests, you simply set a fixed depth and get to work, making it a great option when needing to create several holes to the same standard.
Fixed base routers also make excellent options when smoothing edges and creating curved shapes, making them the perfect choice for joinery as they can make precise cuts with ease. These types of routers also tend to be more lightweight than their plunge counterparts, meaning that even a novice shouldn't have any trouble using them!
For those with a bit more woodworking experience looking to try more intricate and elaborate designs in furniture, a plunge based router gives you much more control over your work. It's easy to spot a plunge router thanks to the two spring-loaded columns on either side of the base that allows you to raise and lower the tool manually.
While difficult to control for beginners, the amount of designs possible to a skilled user is practically limitless, offering a level of versatility a fixed base router cannot match. Plunge routers are ideal when working on the surface of the wood (or other material), making grooves, mortises, and fluting without difficulty, thanks to the ability to adjust the depth on the fly.
Depending on your working environment, it's important to choose between a mains-powered or cordless router as both have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks. If you find yourself moving around a lot while you work, then a portable cordless option is preferable and is especially good if you're working outside.
If you have a workshop or garage where you spend most of your time, it's worth picking up a corded option as they tend to be more powerful than their cordless counterparts. You also won't have to worry about your batteries giving up halfway through an intricate design!
Similar to an electric drill, routers use different bits to create a variety of shapes and sizes of cuts into surfaces. The bit you would use to create a pattern on a wooden frame or piece of skirting will be different to the one you use to bore holes.
You'll want to make sure your router is able to fit the bits you want to use, and you can work this out by checking the collet size. We've listed the metric sizes in our product descriptions below, but these translate to 3/8" for 6 mm, 1/4" for 8 mm, and 1/2" for 12 mm in imperial measurements.
If you've researched power tools, you'll have likely come across brushed and brushless motors but may not know exactly what they mean. A brushless motor uses simple electronics to run more efficiently than their brushed counterparts, plus, they produce much less heat.
Brushless motors are more long-lasting than a brushed option but come at a much higher cost, so if you're using your router in a professional capacity, it's worth investing in a brushless router. For hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts, a brushed option is a more affordable proposition.
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A Lightweight, Brushless Router That’s Powerful for a Compact Design
Brushless Router Set｜DRT50ZJX3
A Bundle That Includes the Best Router Around and Four Different Bases
Cordless Brushless Router Kit｜DCW604NT
A Clear Base and LED Lights Make Using This Router a Breeze
A Budget Friendly Option With a One-Year Warranty, Perfect for Home DIY
Home and Garden Router
The Best Value Plunge Router From a Well-Known Brand
A Heavy-Duty Router With a 12 mm Collect That’s Best Suited to a Workshop
A Reliable and Lightweight Corded Option to Have Around the Home
Deluxe Palm Router
A Solid and Robust Router With Both a Fixed and Plunge Base Included
ONE+ Cordless Trim Router｜R18TR-0
A Cordless Router Than Delivers a Professional Quality End Product
Variable Speed Laminate Trimmer｜DWE6005-LX
A Lightweight and Easy to Use Trimmer Featuring LED Lights From DeWalt
If you're looking for a lightweight, compact router to use on furniture, door jambs, and pieces of skirting, then this offering from Makita is one of the best of the bunch. It has a variable speed dial and a soft start function to minimise vibrations when turning on.
While it comes with a fixed trimmer base, it is compatible with other Makita base options, including plunge, if you're looking to try more advanced techniques in the future. It even comes in a sturdy Makpak case for storage and protection!
You may notice some similarities between this and our number one pick, and the router is actually the same. The big difference here is that you get an assortment of bases and accessories on top of the tool itself and the case.
On top of the usual plunge and fixed bases, this bundle comes with an offset base for working in tight corners and a tilt base which allows you to work at an angle. If you're after the most versatile option, you've found it here!
DeWalt is one of the world's leading brands for power tools, and this cordless, brushless router kit is one of the best on the market. It comes with both a fixed and plunge base and a parallel fence with guide rods for straight grooves, all fitting neatly inside a hard carry case.
With a 55 mm maximum plunge depth, this is one of the deepest on our list, and the clear trimmer base and built-in LED lights allow you to see what you're working on with ease, Whether you're looking for something for simple edgework or complex grooves, this won't disappoint.
If you're planning on picking up an affordable little router for home repairs and other DIY projects, then the Katsu Hand Trimmer represents excellent value for money. It has a collet size of 6-8 mm, meaning that it can fit all your standard bits without issue!
Although cheap, it comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty, so you won't have to worry about any faults developing within that period. If you want to play around with some woodworking projects or need to spruce up the skirting boards, this is well worth picking up!
Although originating in Germany, Bosch is one of the UK's most popular brands for professional and home power tools. This budget-friendly option is aimed squarely at the home enthusiast thanks to its easy to use plunge base.
Whether you have a home carpentry workshop for large projects or just a small work surface in a garage, this router will allow you to create grooves and intricate designs. Let your creative side loose with this affordable and easy to use option!
The next plunge router on our list is this heavy-duty option from VonHous with a 12 mm collet for larger bits. It features a soft start function and variable speeds, so you'll still be in complete control even if you're working with bigger materials.
As a more robust option, you will find this router is noticeably heavier than other tools on our list, combined with the fact it is corded makes it best suited to a workshop. If you already have the space set aside to work, this is a great pickup for a low cost.
This compact and corded option from Makita is an incredibly reliable tool to have around the home. It also packs a punch for a small package, thanks to the fact it is mains-powered and is compatible with Makita vacuum cleaners.
It's incredibly light at only 1.8 kg, and the ergonomic grip makes it easy to use, making it great for those who struggle with heavier tools. The only issue is that it sits in a strange position regarding price, as investing a little more can get you a brushless option, yet going the budget route can result in serious savings.
The VonHaus Deluxe Palm Router comes with both a fixed and plunge base making it a fantastic option if you're looking to have both bases covered! It also comes with a tool bag to keep your pieces together if you're working remotely.
While it is a versatile option at a very reasonable price, unless you require both a fixed and plunge router for the projects you have in mind, it's a bit of a false economy. More of a jack of all trades than something best suited for a specific job.
The Ryobi ONE + Cordless Trim Router is an excellent choice if you already own other Ryobi power tools, as they all share batteries and chargers. If you're an amateur looking for a professional quality finish, you'll be more than happy with this option.
For professionals, however, this doesn't really live up to the quality of its price bracket as you'd expect from a brushless motor of this cost. Still, if you're going to use this occasionally rather than regularly, you won't be disappointed with the results.
There's a lot to like about this laminate trimmer from DeWalt; it is lightweight, the LED lights and clear base make seeing your work easy, and the manufacturer is one of the most reliable in the business.
It pains us to put such a good DeWalt product at the bottom of our list, but the price for a corded, brushed router just shouldn't be this high, even with a few accessories thrown in. If you're a big fan of DeWalt, though, you can justify this purchase, but there are better options for the price.
No. 1: Makita｜Brushless Router｜DRT50ZJ
No. 2: Makita｜Brushless Router Set｜DRT50ZJX3
No. 3: DeWalt｜Cordless Brushless Router Kit｜DCW604NT
No. 4: Katsu｜Hand Trimmer
No. 5: Bosch｜Home and Garden Router
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