Best wood router for beginners UK 2024

Trim Router

Wood routers are one of the most versatile woodworking tools and can be used for all sorts of woodworking projects. From edge routing to inlays, a wood router is a tool that should not be overlooked by beginners or more experienced woodworkers.

There are so many different types of wood routers on the market today that it’s easy to get lost without some help. This article will give you a breakdown of the best wood router for beginners UK 2021, as well as what features to look out for when making your purchase decision!

For example, if you need an easy-to-handle wood router for light work, then a palm wood router may be the right choice for you. If your work requires precision and accuracy, then a plunge or fixed base wood router would probably be more appropriate. We’ll explore all these options and provide some tips on how to choose which one is right for you!

What to look for when choosing your first wood router

I would suggest that if you are looking to purchase a wood router for the first time, you start with a wood router kit that contains all the necessary attachments and tools. This way, you can have everything on hand to make sure your woodworking experience goes smoothly from start to finish.

For beginners, the best wood router for beginners would need to be:

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Budget-friendly
  • Include plenty of safety features

Five reasons why you need a wood router

Wood routers are a very versatile piece of equipment to have in the workshop as they can perform a number of important tasks including:

  1. Adding chamfers and radiuses to the edges of workpieces
  2. In-lay work
  3. Engraving (words onto a nameplate for example)
  4. Cut patterns and grooves into the faces of your projects
  5. Flattening / re-surfacing

Are wood routers dangerous?

Wood routers can be very dangerous as they have a cutting bit that rotates at speeds of up to 40,000 RPM (revolutions per minute).

That is why, as with all power tools, you should:

  • Take your time to get to know the tool
  • Understand the different parts
  • Find out the safety and user instructions from the manufacturer
  • Wear the correct safety equipment
  • Practice on sacrificial material, not on your actual project!

What is a good router for beginners?

Below you will find a list of wood routers that I have shortlisted as some of the most suitable for beginners. As with all things, there will be debates about why I have chosen these and suggestions of other wood routers that I may have missed, but in my findings, the following wood routers suitable for beginners all meet the criteria that I laid out at the beginning of this post.

Palm routers vs Plunge Routers

Although palm routers are easy to use, lightweight and offer many of the same abilities to plunge routers, plunge routers are a lot more versatile than palm routers in that they:

  • They can be used in a router table to make routing large workpieces more efficient and safer
  • They can cut much deeper than a palm router
  • They have a larger collet size, meaning they can take a wider range of larger router bits
  •  They are generally more powerful (most over 1000 watts)
  • Plunge routers tend to have large handles on either side for easy manoeuvring (see image below)

However, that being said, I would suggest that for beginners, you may not need to achieve all the more complex techniques performed by plunge routers and as such, a palm router might suit a beginner more.

Trim Router
Trim Router
A plunge router
A plunge router

Cordless Routers vs Corded Routers

Generally when starting out, I would suggest that although corded routers tend to be a lot more budget-friendly, I would recommend buying a cheap cordless router, as they are going to be easier to use in the long run as they obviously don’t have any trailing wires that might get in your way, restrict your movement or in the worst situation, become a safety hazard.

However, there has always got to be a balance between cost and useability and therefore, I always recommend that you buy the best that you can afford – as the old saying goes, ‘buy cheap, buy twice!’

Best wood router for beginners UK 2024

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