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If you are a professional in woodwork or an individual based in a workshop, you should have crossed paths with a cordless router. This versatile tool is used to cut channels in materials such as wood. You can also use a cordless router to design ornate patterns, edges, and grooves. Adding onto its function bag, the cordless router can make smooth dadoes, flutings, and mortises, helping you achieve exemplary décor on your woodwork.
This unit is an essential upgrade from the corded router version, which was troublesome to use with the cable mostly dragging behind and getting entangled in corners. Besides, the battery-powered router models are characterized by brushless motors. The brushless router models have enhanced efficiency and performance as there is no energy loss through friction. Besides, the brushless motors reduce their susceptibility to mechanical wear compared to the brushed models.
Read on to learn about the best cordless router units available in the market. I have also attached an incredible buyers’ guide to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Best Cordless Router Reviews 2023
1.DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router – Best Overall
On top of my list is the highly-rated Dewalt 20V Max XR. The unit has an exclusive motor for maximum efficiency. The motor has a soft start, implying it can be powered non- violently, guaranteeing your safety.
Other than the soft start, the motor has an exemplary electronic braking system. This is a very effective feature that slows down the motor at a spectacular speed soon after it is shut off, minimizing the risks posed by a running motor that you thought was shut down.
You can also set the unit’s height to your liking, thanks to its depth adjustment ring.
Dewalt 20V Max XR bears a plastic base complemented by a brilliant LED light for enlightening the workspace, enhancing visibility for quality work results. Creaming these extravagant features is the variable speed dial function that enables you to set the router’s speed to match the task you are undertaking.
In addition, being a cordless unit, it is powered by a top-notch 20V Dewalt battery which makes its delivery match an electricity-powered router and hence an extended run-time. The lightweight of this tool will wow you despite having a litany of specs.
- Release clamp for efficient and fast replacement of the bit and base.
- Powered by a top-notch 20V Dewalt battery.
- Soft starting motor with an efficient braking system.
- Plastic base complemented by a brilliant LED light?
- Variable speed control dial.
- The 20V Dewalt Battery is substitutable with 20V batteries of some different brands.
- Slight motility of the depth adjustment ring
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The Makita Cordless router is the quintessence of greatness you want to have a hold on. This unit is the very definition of a smooth operator accentuated by a soft startup. The unit’s brushless motor machines fast cuts with ultimate precision on a variety of materials.
The brushless motor backs the tool with an incredible mechanical forte and channels energy matching the rpm and torque to the application’s varying impositions.
The on and off functions are fitted with distinguished lock buttons to avoid precedent startups or shutdowns for safety purposes.
This tool is inclusive of the variable speed control function that allows you to adjust the speed concerning the application at hand. The speed control feature helps to sustain a consistent speed relevant to the execution of the task. It boasts of being powered by an 18V lithium battery, which has above-average battery life.
- Bases available in tilt, plunge, and offset forms.
- Powerful electrically controlled BL brushless motor.
- Delivery of fast and accurate cuts.
- Distinguished lock functions fitted on the power functions.
- Has a variable speed control function for speed adjustment.
- A vast range of rpm (rotations per minute); 10,000 to 30,000.
- Powered by 18V lithium battery with excellent battery life.
- Cumbersome depth adjustment feature
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3.M 18 FUEL Compact Router (Bare Tool) 2723-20– High Accuracy and Speed
M 18 Fuel Compact Router is an embodiment of forte, accuracy, and speed. By leveraging the POWERSTATE brushless motor, the power delivery is comparable to that of corded 1.25 horsepower trim routers. In addition to a high rpm of up to 31,000 graces you with impressive sleek quality cut results. This also makes the unit suitable for use on hardwoods.
This unit’s design has incorporated REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology, which plays a big role in protection from overheating, overloads, and over-discharge. You will not miss the variable speed control dial, which helps speed adjustment concerning the application being undertaken.
This unit bears two intelligently fitted functions; a macro adjustment dial used for major adjustments and a micro-adjustment screw for concise adjustments over 1/64” increments. It also features a dual-LED light for illumination and visibility of the bit while in use. It is powered by a reliable REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery, which will minimize the need to visit the charger frequently.
- Suitable for routing on the hardwood.
- Very potent POWERSTATE Brushless motor.
- High range of rpm ranging from 10,000 to 31,000.
- Incorporates REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology.
- Congruous with either a plunge or offset base.
- Inclusive of the variable speed control dial.
- Bears a micro-adjust and macro-adjust dial for precise depth adjustments.
- Powerful REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery.
- Dual LED lights for illumination enhancing safety.
- Features a dust shroud significant for dust collection.
- The plunge base and offset base are sold separately.
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4.Ridgid R86044B Cordless Brushless ¼ inch Compact Router– depth adjustments
You do not require extra tools to make depth adjustments as the unit avails the means even to make the micro-adjustments. It also features built-in LEDs that automatically light up when the tool is running. The brushless motor also employs a soft start-up preventing any damage on your woodwork item that would be resorted to if the start-up was in full spin vigorous mode.
It includes the important variable speed control function that enables you to adjust the speed so that it falls anywhere within the 17,000 and 25,000 rpm range. You should note that this tool uses slide-style batteries (RIDGID 18V li-ion battery). It is designed in a very suitable way to fit your hands just right for smooth operation.
- Adopts Brushless motor technology for a soft start-up.
- Brushless motor technology resulting in outstanding speed and run-time.
- Effective depth adjustments avenues.
- On-board LEDs for brightening the work surface.
- Inclusive of the variable speed control dial.
- Designed in a comfortable hand holdable size.
- The RIDGID 18V li-ion battery and its charger are sold separately.
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The Ryobi P601 Trim Router is a stellar performing unit. The most conspicuous characteristic of this tool is the onboard depth adjustment knob. The effortless use knob annihilates the hassle of acquiring extra tools to set a drilling depth of your liking. ID bearings on this unit is a bonus as you get to know the accurate depth of your project.
A sufficient Ryobi 18V li-ion battery powers this unit. However, say you have either of the other battery models of the Ryobi brand like P100, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and the P108, you can use either to power up this tool. It is also designed with a hardy aluminum base for stability purposes.
The ergonomic design used to craft this tool provides you with a sturdy grip even when working in a slippery environment. The handle is rubberized to enhance the grip empowering you to assume control and work dexterously. Its intricate design also features LED light sets that project light on your working space.
- It is a compact router making it easy to handle and use.
- Onboard adjustment knob for fine-tuning the drilling depth of your choice.
- ID bearings for accurate measurement of the depth of cut.
- Powered by a reliable Ryobi 18V li-ion battery.
- Compatible with other Ryobi Ryobi brand battery models.
- Hardy aluminum base for stability.
- Ergonomic design that is inclusive of a rubberized handle for sturdy grip.
- Bears onboard LED light sets for enlightening the work surface.
- The Ryobi 18V li-ion battery and the tool purchased separately.
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The GKF12V-25N BOSCH Cordless router is a unit designed with superior artistry on matters of ergonomics. Its idyllic model makes it the most felicitous cordless router for edge-based applications. The tool’s components and the grasping section are located just above the workpiece for exceptional stability and control.
This unit just doesn’t have an ordinary motor. Its motor is inclusive of the EC Brushless technology that grants it an incredible speed scoping to 13,000 rpm. The battery is as crucial as the motor. This unit’s battery is mighty, granting it with a dependable 23 minutes runtime per charge.
The depth adjustment system is quintessential. Micro-adjustments and macro-adjustments are achieved with utter precision. Once you have adjusted the depth to your liking, implement the integrated depth adjustment lock to avoid interference on the setting you made. The grasping section is rubberized for comfortable handling.
- Fitted with a battery indicator to exhibit battery status.
- The Idyllic model pilots it for excellence in edge-based applications.
- Its motor has adopted the EC Brushless technology.
- Has an incredible speed scoping to 13,000 rpm.
- Has an accurate depth adjustment system.
- Features a depth adjustment lock.
- The grasping section is rubberized to enhance handling.
- The tool is sold separately from its battery
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This is sold as a package inclusive of two tools: an orbital sander (DCW210B) and a cordless router tool (DCW600B). The sander is fitted with a variable speed control dial for speed regulation. The grip of the sander tool rubberized to provide you with a comfortable grasp.
Now, delving into the germane tool, the (DCW600B) cordless router, it is an example of a tool that is included in the 20V Max Li-ion battery community. This means that it is compatible and feasible with any other 20V max battery in that community.
The router tool is fitted with double LED light to illuminate your work area. The depth adjustment feature is very articulate and is integrated as a ring that eases up the process of adjusting drilling height and enables you to carry out the process quickly.
- This package deal is inclusive of two tools.
- Both tools are compatible with any other 20V max battery in that community.
- The router tool has an articulate depth adjustment feature.
- The router is fitted with double LED lights to illuminate your work area.
- Despite being sold as two tools, they are not delivered with carrying cases.
- Both tools are sold as bare tools exclusive of their batteries
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This is yet another exemplary unit perfect for woodworking. The unit guarantees maximum efficiency for accurate and fast cuts, thanks to its brushless motor that can generate up to 30,000RPM. You can apply this unit to different speed settings with a 6-mode speed control dial. The speed variation guarantees the use of this tool in different applications.
Kobalt 24V is characterized by fine height adjustment and a tool-less rack that gives maximum convenience when using the model. You can adjust the tool to the appropriate height, depending on your working bench.
Your safety is another exemplary consideration by this unit’s design. You do not need to worry about working on dimly lit surfaces as the unit is integrated with an LED light to illuminate the work surface for enhanced visibility.
- 6-mode speed control to match the speed to the application
- High-efficiency brushless motor for fast and accurate cuts
- Tool-less rack and pinion fine height adjustment
- LED lights for improved visibility
- Battery and charger sold separate
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Best Cordless Router Tool 2021 Buyers’ Guide 2022
Wood and plastic are popularly used to craft quite a several things ranging from houses to furniture. Décor is an impetus to acquire yourself the best cordless router to achieve a desired sleek woodwork product result.
A cordless router is an intermediate handheld or mountable tool that is battery powered and used in routing a portion in hard material (mostly wood or plastic). This unit is an advancement of the corded routers, which were cumbersome to use by forcing you to seek enough reach to avoid entangling and trapping the cable.
Uses of Routers
If there is anyone who appreciates the explicit role of best cordless trim router are the woodworkers. Any individual who does the woodworking is well versed with the myriad uses of the routers. You can put a router into countless projects ranging from decorative to functional. The tool also boasts much power that can help you work on various activities, including trimming and cutting.
The fact that the tool is cordless ensures that you are not limited to a specific workstation by the cords, and this adds to its portability when executing different tasks. Thus, if you have the following roles, you intend to execute but do not know the most ideal tool for the work, do not think twice about choosing the best cordless router models.
Shaping Stylish Molding
One of the most exciting tasks executed by the battery powered router is creating decorative molding. A cordless router allows you to craft everything ranging from simple rounded moldings to the more elaborate Roman ogee, baseboards, and windows, thanks to routers’ ability to use different bits.
The changing of the bit systems in the routers is pretty simple. Most of the manufacturers provide the users with an instruction manual to help you change the bit systems, depending on the type of role you intend to execute.
Another imperative role of the battery powered router is cutting and smoothening of wood edges. For most woodworkers, realizing clean-cut and smooth edges on narrow pieces of wood can be a total nightmare. However, choosing any of the best cordless trim router units can help ease the pressure and bring convenience in realizing perfect smooth cuts for the woodworkers.
The best battery router models can produce even and level cuts on different types of wood, whether curved or straight edges. You are also guaranteed the same design on the multiple pieces of wood as long as you can reset the bit systems to the initial one used for the cuts, a practice that results in consistency in woodworking.
Carving out Rabbets
Sometimes, as a woodworker, you may be obliged to cut into the edge of wood a groove or recess, often utilized on the back edge of cabinets, called a rabbet. The rabbets can be used with a dodo to establish strong joints you can use in your doors or make the casement window jambs. The rabbets have specific bits, and most of the cordless router units can accommodate the bits, enabling the woodworkers to cut grooves and make the desired width.
Most individuals fancy the pleasance that they see when they go for bookshelves or when finding an item in a kitchen or bedroom cabinet but have not been keen to establish how these beautiful arrangements are realized from woodworking. Dodoes are trenches or slots utilized to support cabinets or shelves in a bookcase invisibly.
The dodoes are of two primary types. A stopped dodo or blind ends before one or both of the cuts meet the edge of the surface and a through dodo that runs through both edges of a surface, leaving the ends open. Routers effectively make both types of dodoes, and this makes it an ideal tool when you want to install shelves in a bookcase or when making cabinets.
Door Hinge Recess
Routers have proved pivotal when recessing the hinges. You can utilize a router with a jig to cut space for recessed door hinges or lock faceplates. The best battery powered router units enable you to realize a more smooth and finished appearance. Also, through the establishment of the recessed hardware, you can be assured of a smooth operation of the door hinges.
Cordless routers can also be used in;
- To trim veneers.
- To cut round overs and rabbets.
- In joint creation.
- To shape or flush edges.
- To mold fancy patterns and frames.
- To produce dovetails and tenons.
This tool is technically very suitable for use in decorative molding as a fine tuner and cabinetry.
The below video shows how to use the best cordless router especially when you are using it for the first time
Types of Cordless Routers
There are two types of cordless routers; fixed-base routers and plunge based routers. The difference is that plunge base routers are more versatile than fixed base ones. Fixed base routers require the setting of drilling depth to precede the startup of the router.
Comprehension of this unit is a necessity for you to choose your perfect fit. The task you wish to fulfill with a cordless router should also drive your purchasing decision.
What to consider when choosing the best cordless router models
The variable speed control function
This function should be an ingrained factor of consideration when purchasing the best cordless router. You need to scrutinize the tool of interest for the presence of this function that empowers you to have absolute control in terms of speed.
You get to set a speed that is in line with the task being undertaken for clean cuts. Some brands have the dial integrated on the reverse side. Other brands have the dial roughened on the surface, providing a steadfast grip. It is also important to note the dial’s location about the proximity of the thumb for smooth adjustment of speed while still in application.
Most routers base the variable speed adjustment on the rpm (rotations per minute) range of the tool. The rpm of most routers fall within 10,000 to 31,000. The rpm does not necessarily interpret to speed but instead is a gauge for control. For instance, say you are using a 1 to 2 inches bit, you will use the dial to adjust the speed in rpm terms to a matching 18,000 rpm for smooth operation and control.
Power is an essential consideration when purchasing the trim routers. When determining the routing power, consider the amp rating and RPM of the router. The higher the RPM and amp rating, the greater the performance.
The cordless trim routers with 1 HP or less would be perfect for occasional and light projects. However, when you are considering applying your cordless router on cordless laminate trimmer daily, you must invest in a model with a higher HP rating.
Being cordless equipment, these routers are powered by batteries making them an important element of consideration. Battery power exhibited in terms of voltage is an element worth bethinking. To put this in perspective, heavy and enormous applications demand a lofty battery power model.
This means that batteries with a high voltage guarantee you with a consistent runtime of the tool with minimal trips to the charger. Fortunately, most leading cordless router brands appreciate the essence of equipping their units with high battery models, with most ranging between 18V and 20V.
That range is pretty assuring and confirming that your brand of interest has its battery model within that range should give you the go-ahead. It is refreshing to know that some router brands are battery-flexible with their tools being compatible with other batteries in the line of their brands. You do not necessarily require the tool’s specific battery to get it running.
The package of a brand should not escape your attention as some brands sell the tool, battery, and charger while others sell the three separately. However, if the latter is the situation, you can still purchase the three elements for maximum performance.
The depth adjustment feature is another requisite characteristic for adjudgment. Drilling depth on various projects varies, raising the need for adjustment. The adjustment feature may be integrated as a knob or a macro-adjustment button and a micro-adjustment screw. Some brands integrate a rack-and-pinion feature that allows intuitive and flush adjustments.
The significance of touting for the depth adjustment option is to enable you to make accurate drilling height adjustments without looking for extrinsic tools to help you do the adjustment. This option also makes it easy and fast to do the adjustments.
Working in close conjunction with this feature is the quick-release lever system. This system is present in most, if not all, routers as a release lever clamp that provides swift removal and installation of the bit and base. Before purchasing either of the top cordless routers, it is important to consider the efficiency brought by the depth adjustment function and quick-lever release system.
Electronic brake system
This system plays a pivotal role in stopping the tool from running. You should consider a tool that is affirmative of the system for an instant halting of the bit soon after you shut the tool down. You don’t want a router that will have the bit perilously running, thinking that it stopped after shutting down the tool.
Adoption of extra technologies
Extra technology means more momentousness for the tool. For instance, some routers have integrated brushless motor technology that merits the tool with an extended run-time and greater motor health. This technology gifts the motor with high power enabling the tool the related tool to route in hardwoods.
Other router brands utilize the REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology or Star Protection technology, which offer protection against overheating, over-discharging, and overloading. This is a plus for a tool, and considering a tool that has adopted either of the extra technologies is a boon for you.
Although not as basic as the other features, the power options hold an equally important weight, among other consideration factors. Your safety is a top priority ushering in the power options feature.
Routers integrated with discrete on and off lock buttons are safer to use. This is because the lock buttons help avoid unforeseen startups of the unit, eliminating any accidents that would be posed by accidental startups.
All the routers reviewed in this piece have an onboard LED light. This presents a basis for consideration before purchase. It is recommendable you get yourself a tool that illuminates your workspace and makes the bit visible for smooth operation and safety.
The efficiency and convenience realized during router’s operation are determined by its plunge depth. Some routers allow the collects to be plunged through their bases. However, such a practice is not effective for regaining the depth of the cut lost when the router is used in a table or with a guide bush and template. As much as this is an effective element of consideration when buying the routers, most manufacturers do not give an insight into this vital consideration.
The plunge length effectively lets you know how far the router body travels up and down on the plunge legs. You cannot complain when the collect can be plunged to touch the benchtop. It would be a significant bonus if it can be plunged even deeper. However, if it is shorter than the benchtop, it can cause massive problems with some operations
Plunge lock mechanism
Routers utilize two types of lock mechanisms for the plunges; a separate clamping lever or a twist-knob handle. For the light-duty routers, the twist-knobs are preferred, while the separate levers are effective for the heavy-duty routers and the medium-duty routers.
However, with consistent usage of the routers, regardless of their purpose, you will appreciate the effectiveness and convenience of the separate clamping lever, which makes it the most ideal for most of the best cordless routers for woodworking.
Routers have two primary handles; side levers and knobs. However, when it comes to effectiveness in the application, the side levers provide more leverage and are the most dominant in the heavy-duty levers. Thus, you should ensure that when you consider purchasing a new router for woodworking and intend to purchase a medium to heavy-duty model, consider one with a side lever handle.
Cordless Router Maintenance
You obviously want your router tool to be of service for the longest time possible, right? What practices should you adopt to help you achieve just that? Below are maintenance practices to help you keep the tool in its perfect functional condition
Regular cleaning of equipment after application – Debris such as fine dust easily penetrates the tool’s interior. Larger sized debris from routing such as chippings may get wedged in the tool’s structure. Failure to frequently clean this debris will result in accumulation over time, which interferes with the tool’s performance
Lubricate the components that are capable of moving before you proceed to store the unit. This prevents rusting and ensures smooth operation of the components without eating into each other.
Proper storage practices – once you have cleaned and lubricated your unit, you can now proceed to store it in its case for those that are delivered with a case. If your unit has no case, store it in a clean and dry compartment in a way that it does not pose the risk of tripping over for unaware individuals
Don’t overcharge the tool’s batteries. Follow the designated recharging time.
Heed and observe the offered guidelines from the manufacturer. For instance, if the manual discourages the use of certain accessories or batteries, stick to the regulations provided.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Festool make a cordless router?
Yes. Festool is launching the DSC-AGC 18 FH cordless freehand cutting system to ensure precise, efficient, and robust cuts. The router is cordless with an 18V Bluetooth Battery Pack. You will benefit from this tool because it offers a dust-free cutting of mineral-based materials to your advantage if you own a construction site.
Can you plunge cut with a palm router?
Yes. Some routers are equipped with a plunge feature to allow you to dip the router into the work peace and spring back to a preset distance. This is, however, not the case with all palm routers.
Is a trim router the same as a palm router?
No. The trim and palm routers vary, especially in their applications. For instance, the trim routers are used for bigger projects such as wood fencing, shelving, and creating large signs. Conversely, the palm routers are handy during small projects like engraving, decorative molding, and beveling or rounding edges.
Which is better; fixed base or plunge router?
Again, it is a question of the nature of the work or project you intend to execute. If you have a project requiring you to begin cutting in the middle of your workpiece like making the decorative designs, go for the plunge routers. However, if your project entails smaller trims or if you need greater precision, consider the fixed-based routers.
Can I use a laminate trimmer as a router?
Yes. The current laminate trimmer models can perform the same task as the battery-powered routers.
Is a cordless router worth it?
The cordless routers are the perfect units you may consider as a woodworker. I’d go for the cordless models anytime, anyday, mainly due to their compact and lightweight designs that allow for mobility and work even in the smallest spaces.
Besides, most of these units are fitted with brushless motors to improve efficiency and performance. Unlike the brushed motors, the brushless motors in the cordless units eliminate wear and tear through friction, ensuring no energy is lost, hence the efficient performance.
Being cordless, the risk of cords to your small crawling children or pets is eliminated, offering protection and security. The absence of cords also means you are not limited to a single workstation, hence worth every penny.
Cordless routers are an epoch-making lot in the woodwork industry. They have proved to be the recipe for perfection in this industry and fill a void that troubled DIYs and professionals in previous years.
In this article, I have assessed and evaluated the top rating cordless routers in the market to positively influence you in choosing the best cordless router that will ultimately satisfy your needs. The insight on each of the top cordless routers will help you arrive at an informed decision.
The Makita XTR01Z Brushless Cordless Compact Router rates highest for me. Featuring a soft start, a 50% greater run time, and high accuracy due to the courtesy of the rack-and-pinion intricate depth adjustment setting, an aluminum base and cover to promote durability, and a fast-charging 18V li-ion battery, the unit is spectacular.
This is not to imply that the other listed units are any less good, they are all high-quality pieces of equipment inclusive of all the primary features that will serve you in an exemplary way. As you delve into this piece, I hope it will offer the guidance you wish to choose a tool that will satisfy your needs.