5 Best Wood Routers Under $100

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Wood routers are one of the most versatile tools in the world. They can cut grooves, profile edges, cut inlays, trim and shape wood, and so much more. Their multi-purpose nature makes them a valuable tool in a woodworker’s shed. Best of all, they’re really not all that expensive.

To help you find the tool that suits your needs without breaking the bank, we’ve reviewed some of the best wood routers under $100. We’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide at the end to assist you with your final choice.

Budget Wood Router Reviews

Among all the wood routers we’ve reviewed, only five made it to this list. Each product was selected for its durability, versatility, and functionality, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. 

1.Best Wood Router Under $100: WEN RT6033 Woodworking Router

The Wen RT6033 boasts a powerful 15-amp that provides speeds of up to 23,000 RPM. It’s compatible with various types of routing operations, further enhanced with the addition of 1/4 and 1/2-inch router bits. It also comes with a fence scale, a straight-edge guide fence, and a template guide for individuals wanting to create more complex shapes.

This wood router has a depth stop adjustment of 5/16 of an inch per quarter. While not the deepest, it’s still impressive at the price it comes with.

Moreover, the Wen RT6033 features a seven-stop turret combined with macro and micro-adjustment dials. With this, you’ll be able to increase or decrease your cutting depth by 1/8-inch margins.

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

Specs

  • Motor power: 15 amps
  • Speed control: 8,000 to 23, 000 RPM
  • Weight:  ‎19.21 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.8 x 14.8 x 7 inches

We also love its 2-in-1 base; a feature rarely seen in routers under $100. The model’s 2-in-1 spring-loaded base locks in a downward position, allowing you to alternate between plunge and fixed router with ease.

To ensure cleanliness while you’re on the job, the Wen RT6033 comes with a 1-½-inch dust collection duct. This feature not only removes particulate matter from your working environment but also improves your workshop’s breathable air quality.

Pros

  • Dual-purpose base; functions as a plunge and fixed router
  • Beginner-friendly operation
  • Dust collection port 
  • Ergonomic grip

Cons

  • Fairly chunky; may not be suitable for small hands
  • Lack of LED light feature

See our reviews on the best plunge router as well.

Runner Up: AVID POWER MW104 Wood Router with Edge Guide

The Avid Power MW104 has everything you need in a woodworking router. It features a 2 HP and 11-amp motor, which is more than sufficient for a variety of trimming and routine jobs.

The MW104 has a variable speed control of up to 25,000 RPM for fast and clean cuts. Thanks to its immense speed, it can cut through even the toughest of hardwood with ease. Its rubber molded handles make it easy and comfortable to use even during hour-long jobs.

It doesn’t disappoint with precision, either. Designed with a micro-fine depth adjustment ring, the MW104 gives users ultra-precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments.

Specs

  • Motor power: 11 amps
  • Speed control: 8,000 to 25,000 RPM
  • Weight:‎ 10.08 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.87 x 7.87 x 11.22 inches

The included edge guide helps you route straight lines and grooves. For this reason, this wood router can be used for meticulous jobs such as edge forming, slot cutting, wood plunging, laminate trimming, and more. 

We also love how durable the MW104 is. The machine’s base and motor housing are made of high-grade aluminum. For added durability, the power switch is completely sealed to prevent dust and other contaminants from entering the device. 

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

The MW104 is compatible with a variety of router bits, including 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch collet chucks. It also comes with height adjustment features, a quick locking system that enables motor release, and dual-LED lights that help you work in dimly-lit areas.

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Precise operation
  • Quick-lock system
  • Dual LED lights
  • Durable aluminum body and base

Cons

  • Heats up fairly quickly

Most Compact Budget Wood Router: Enertwist Compact Router Tool

The Enertwist Compact Router comes with a 7 amp 1-1/4 HP motor that offers six adjustable variable speeds from 10,000 to 32,000 RPM—the highest on this list. It’s fairly small and lightweight, making it the best option for on-the-go jobs.

With up to six speeds, this router cuts through a number of materials like butter. Moreover, it comes with a full electronic feeding system that maintains motor speed through the cut, resulting in super-smooth surfaces.

For accuracy, the Enertwist features a Rack-and-pinion depth control, allowing you to cut in inch or millimeter increments. The quick-release cam lock system also helps with the depth adjustment.

Specs

  • Motor power: 7 amps
  • Speed control: 10,000 to 32,000 RPM
  • Weight: ‎6.16 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 6 inches

Despite its compact size, this model is supremely durable. It’s made with a durable cast aluminum housing with a vibration-reducing soft-grip handle. This not only contributes to the machine’s longevity but comfort, as well.

Finally, the Enertwist features a dust collection duct to ensure cleanliness during the job. Simply connect a vacuum into the duct to suck up debris, dust, and dirt from the workplace.

Pros

  • Impressive speed system of up to 32,000 RPM
  • Comes with overload protection
  • Smooth soft start
  • Dust extractor

Cons

  • Loud operation

Read our compact router reviews to see if you’re looking for those features.

Easiest to Use: Ryobi R1631K Corded Router

Ryobi makes a whole range of power tools that are especially popular among beginners and home DIYers. In this instance, we’ve selected the Ryobi R1631K for its above-average performance and supreme durability.

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

The R1631K features an 8.5-amp ball-bearing motor that produces up to 25,000 RPM. Although it isn’t as powerful as the Avid Power MW104, the router can still handle a variety of jobs, including cutting, molding, and detailing.

For a router under $100, the R1631K is a pleasure to use. Its ergonomic “comfort-grip” handle allows you to work for prolonged periods without feeling any discomfort.

Specs

  • Motor power: 8.5 amps
  • Speed control: 25,000 RPM
  • Weight:  6.50 pounds
  • Dimensions:  11.4 x 7.09 x 10.47 inches

This wood router doesn’t disappoint in durability, either. Its die-cast aluminum base increases the tool’s longevity and adds to the overall stability and accuracy of the machine.

Thanks to its integrated polyethylene chip guard system, you won’t have to worry about wooden chips flying out when using the machine. It also has an LED light function to illuminate dimly-lit workshops and dark wood.

Depth adjustment is easy with the R1631K’s quick-release function. You can also set depts of up to 1/128” increments with its zero-reset micro-adjustment knob. Now that’s what we call great precision!

Unfortunately, the R1631K only comes with a fixed base rather than both fixed and plunge. Wood routers with both usually cost over $200, so this doesn’t particularly come as a surprise.

However, unlike other tools on this list, you can’t buy a plunge base separately and equip it to the machine. This isn’t really a major deal-breaker, though, as the micro-adjustment knob does a brilliant job with fine-tuning.

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a plunge base

Best Value Wood Router: Ridgid R2401 Wood Router

The Ridgid R2401 is packed with incredible features, including electronic feedback for consistent speed and power, round and square bases for extra versatility, and a molded grip for maximum comfort. It also has an easy-access micro-adjust dial for precise depth control.

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

The R2401 isn’t your standard low-duty trim router. It’s constructed from professional-grade materials to increase the machine’s long-term performance.

Moreover, this model’s control mechanism is easily one of the best we’ve seen at this price point. Simply adjust the dial to your desired depth and pivot the locking strap to the locked position. Once the base is firmly locked in place, you can start working. It’s as easy as that.

Specs

  • Motor power: 5.5 amps
  • Speed control:   20,000 to 30,000 RPM
  • Weight:4 pounds  
  • Dimensions: ‎6.5 x 3 x 3 inches

Powered by a 5.5-amp motor, the Ridgid R2401 delivers a constant speed of 20,000 to 30,000 RPM. The soft-start feature eliminates startup kickback, making it safe and accurate when used.

Although it isn’t the most powerful machine on this list, the Ridgid R2401 performs surprisingly well under heavy load. It also has two LED lights to help you see the job clearly.

Pros

  • High variable speeds of up to 30,000 RPM
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate adjustment
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Supremely lightweight at only 4 pounds

Cons

  • Not the most powerful

Cheap Wood Router Features to Consider

With thousands of wood routers to choose from, finding the tool that best suits your needs can be challenging. To help with your purchase, consider the below factors.

Size

When buying a wood router, make sure it comfortably fits the palm of your hand. If the router is too big, it’ll be a struggle to use. If it’s too small, it’ll limit your ability to cut precisely.

Compact wood routers are ideal for light jobs and DIYers who love working on the go. For heavy-duty jobs, professional woodworkers recommend full-sized routers as they’re not only powerful but also durable.

Motor and Power

The motor and power of wood routers are measured by amperage (amp) and horsepower (HP). The higher the amp and HP, the more powerful the machine, thus resulting in a smoother and easier application.

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

For small cutting and carving jobs, wood routers with 5 amps and 1 HP are more than sufficient. For medium jobs, search for anywhere between 6.5 to 9 amps with at least 1.5 HP. Heavy-duty jobs often require a motor with at least 10 amps and 2 HP.

Variable Speed Control

Variable speed controls allow you to maintain and operate the machine in a multitude of speed levels.

Certain bits require certain speeds. In general, the smaller the bit, the higher the speed required. Most routers have a range of 8,000 to 24,000 RPM. Avoid inexpensive routers with only one speed. If possible, search for a machine with at least three variable speed controls.

Slow Start

With this feature, the machine won’t start at full force when you switch it on. Instead, it’ll gradually increase its speed and let you get used to its power before using it. It’ll also prevent sudden kickbacks, which often result in dangerous—and even deadly—accidents.

For added safety, search for a machine with this slow start feature.

Other Features

Wood routers come with a variety of useful features you might find handy.

If you’re a stickler for accuracy, search for a router with multiple adjustment dials. With this, you’ll be able to precisely cut and carve wood to the exact measurement you want.

LED lights aren’t necessary but recommended, especially if your workstation isn’t brightly lit. The machine’s LED lights will illuminate the area and help you see your project better.

Christmas Scroll Saw Template Packs for Sale

You’ll also find wood routers with dust collection ducts. As the name suggests, this feature collects dust and debris while you work. This is extremely helpful because it not only maintains your work surface but also prevents you from inhaling dust.

Conclusion

Our top choice for the best wood router under $100 is hands down the Wen RT6033.

It’s powerful, durable, and cuts like a dream. Its accuracy is exceptional, as well. Plus, it comes with a 2-in-1 base—a feature rarely seen in routers of this price.

Depending on the job you’re working on, you can change the base from fixed to plunge. Its dust collection duct is likewise a fine addition.

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!