You may have a compact high quality CNC but you certainly need a router to unleash its full potential. Handheld routers are a very good example of the multiple applications you can do with a good router for your CNC. When you use a router alongside your CNC, you are able to work with more precision and accuracy that may otherwise not happen if you are working manually. We have compiled a list of the best routers available for CNC machine.
While choosing these routers, we made sure they were not expensive and come under a budget. We also used extensive research and hands-on experience of Bill Baum and his woodworking workshop when picking a router. There were multiple parameters kept in mind like size of the router, RPM of the router, horsepower and collets when compiling the below list.
Variable Speed Control Dial (10,000-30,000 RPM) And Great For Variety Of Applications
Variable-Speed Control Feature (10,000 - 23,000 Rpm) Enables Bit Speed For Changing Applications
Comes With Variable Speed And Self Starting Motor
Table of Contents
Best Routers For CNC Machine
1. Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit : Best Product Overall
Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit is a complete kit that delivers top-notch performance. It is versatile and precisely made to fit a compact size. The router ensures the maximal horsepower ranging 1-1/4. There are three bases present inside the kit. You can utilize these bases with the Makita router in multiple routing applications with precision.
The router motor has a variable speed control system (10,000 to 30,000) RPM, enabling you to match your required speed while routing. Furthermore, the router facilitates electronic speed control to maintain a constant motor speed under load, and has a smooth start-up feature.
The motor is double-insulated with heavy-duty aluminium metal to make the router long lasting. The RT0701CX3 has easily readable scales to measure depth. Plus, it has a precise depth adjustment setup made of smooth rack-and-pinion.
The cam lock system of the router facilitates easier base installation and depth adjustments. The high-visibility of the router base ensures better control and performance.
Other than the above, the sleek look and ergonomic design manages the router weight within only 3.9 lbs. The flat top durable surface delivers extra convenience while changing bits.
Lastly, you can instantly remove the existing router base and install another one.
2. Dewalt DWP611 Compact Router : Best Alternative to Makita RT0701CX3
The DWP611 Router delivers much power to meet heavy routing applications. You can easily set variable speed and control it to an optimal range as per your requirement. This, in turn facilitates quicker base and bit change. The router comes with LED light and a clear plastic coated base to allow maximum bit visibility.
The 1-1/4 peak horsepower motor of DWP611 offers comparatively better power supply than the other competitors’ routers. Also, this power range helps you increase your work productivity as much as possible. The variable speed control feature gives a wider speed setting option that can suit your application at hand. Plus, you can handle and operate the tool much easily. The contoured grip is low to the work surface so that you can maintain absolute precision and deliver quality productivity on the work site.
The motor is smooth starting and gives full time electronic update regarding its speed range during the cutting process. The bit depth change is precisely controlled by the adjustment ring to within 1/64 inch.Lastly, the router contains two tabs for easier and faster base release, and an adjustable clamp to keep the motor in a fixed location during the toughest routing jobs. You can learn more about some of the best Dewalt routers here.
3. PORTER-CABLE Router, 2-1/4 HP (892) : Best Premium Pick
PORTER-CABLE 892 2-1/4-Horsepower Router is another great option for doing your woodworking projects. It has a fixed router base with 2-1/4 horsepower. The kit as a whole delivers reliable, smoother, and powerful functioning.
This tool allows easy base unlocking, and it lets you make cuts of various depths, right above the router table. The router motor is versatile, and moves smoothly between the router bases, thereby saving your time while doing above-table changes.
You can instantly release the motor, make bit height adjustments, lock the motor spindle, and fix the motor above the routing table.
The dual-position switch not only lets you cut power, but also maintains control over the router, having your hands fixed on its rubber-coated handles.
The router starts up softly at 12 amp. Its 2-1/4 horsepower motor constantly gives electronic feedback regarding the motor’s speed status under load. The router can efficiently cut through hard woods and molding with greater speed.
If you are looking for a regular routing device, then this is it. PORTER-CABLE 892 is developed to meet productivity and offer the user with a list of useful, user-friendly applications.
The router does not weigh more than 9 pounds with a minimum height of 12.81 inches. It is easy to hold and operate. The router kit contains a collet wrench, 1/4- and 1/2-inch collets, and a carrying case to enable portability.
Bit changes feature, as discussed earlier, is facilitated by the router’s spindle-lock system, allowing quick release of the collet by a single-wrench. The sturdy cam lever offers quicker motor release feature and rough depth adjustment.
4. DEWALT DWP611PK : Best Budget Pick
DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit, (DWP611PK) has a 1.25 horsepower durable motor, supporting the toughest routing applications. Its variable speed control system lets you optimize the bit speed quite easily, to meet your requirements.
This router also has a smooth-starting feature , whose motor speed is constantly recorded electronically throughout the cutting process. Additionally, it has dual LEDs along with a clear sub-base to provide high visibility during the task.
Bit depth change is managed by the adjustment ring to within 1/64 inch. It is applicable for fixed base only. The fine-tune rod of the plunge base is used to adjust the depth setting with absolute precision.
The low-pressure, large spindle lock switch lets you do the bit changes comfortably with a single wrench. The bit change is even more facilitated by the multiple shaft-lock detents. The router detents lock the motor from moving until you are done doing the bit changes, any number of times.
The depth adjustment ring and clamping mechanism, as a whole, keep the motor in a locked position on a fixed router base only. Again, the spring-loaded release tabs lets you quickly remove the base (only for fixed base).
The router allows easier and quicker motor transition between both plunge and fixed bases. For plunge base, the overmolded rubber holders offer a secure and comfortable grip over the device.
Allows depth adjustment upto 2 inches with plunged base followed by 1.5 inch with standard base. Lastly, the motor speed ranges between 16,000 to 27,000 RPM, under no load condition.
5. Bosch 1617EVS : Best in Terms of Power and RPM
Bosch Variable-Speed Router (1617EVS) is again a durable cum powerful motor supplying 1.25 horsepower to fulfill heavier applications.Its variable speed control system lets you set the bit speed to an optimal range for varied tasks. 1617EVS supports the speed ranging between 16,000 to 27,000 RPM, under zero load condition.
The smooth-start feature of the router motor gives full time electronic status of the motor speed throughout the routing process. Other than that, the dual LEDs of the router at the sub-base gives you a clearer view during operation.The adjustment ring manages the bit changes into 1/64 inch (only for fixed base). Plus, the tool allows a depth travel of about 1.5 inch with standard and 2 inches with plunge bases.
If you are looking for the most powerful routing tool, then Bosch Router (1617EVS) is for you. It is capable of undergoing hard woodworking tasks at 12-amps and 2.25-horsepower, at a speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. The advanced speed-handling technology helps you monitor and control the RPM to a desired level so as to maintain a consistent performance.
Overall, the kit contains all prerequisites for fixed-depth routing. The microfine bit-depth changing range of 1 inch and 1/64 of accuracy allows faster and accurate bit changes.
You now have a clarity of the benefits of owning a router for CNC and also the number of different options available. As far our experience is concerned, we think
When it comes to choosing one of these two, we can assure that the Bosch router has better RPM, horsepower and collets when compared to Makita. However the specs sheet may tell you a different picture but our experience tells us Bosch has always outperformed Makita. With RPMs ranging from 8,000 till 25,000 means you can get work done pretty fast.