Did you know that the US woodworking sector is valued at 8.6 billion USD? Wood is certainly one of the preferred building materials as it is affordable.
Besides, woodworking is a popular profession and hobby in the US.
Now, whether you’re a professional or a DIY carpenter, a router is one of the items you ought to have in your toolbox.
With the best router for flattening slabs, you get to not only flatten slabs but also do a whole lot of creative carpentry jobs. From cutting patterns and grooves to smoothening out edges, the possibilities are endless.
If you’d like to get a suitable router, the guide below is for you. I’ll help you avoid confusion from the numerous models on the market by telling you about the seven top-rated wood routers.
Let’s get started.
Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Router
5 out of 5
DeWalt DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
5 out of 5
Makita RP2301FC Router with Electric Brake
4.5 out of 5
Bosch 1617EVS Electronic Fixed-Base Router
4 out of 5
Skil 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router
4.5 out of 5
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
5 out of 5
Our Recommended Top 7 Best Router for Flattening Slabs 2021
1. Triton TRA001 Dual Mode Router
The first time I heard about Triton as a brand, I was seeking a good workstation. I have to say, the brand did not disappoint me. Since then, I have gone to Triton for a number of tools, among them, the Triton TRA001 Dual Mode.
Heavy, well-constructed, and feature-rich, this unit is worthy of being called the best router for flattening slabs.
The most notable feature is the rack and pinion plunge, which is fitted with a micro-adjust winder. This feature allows you to perform precise changes to the depth while operating in fixed-base mode. Conveniently, you get to push a single button to swipe to plunge mode.
I find it really amazing that switching back and forth between the rack and pinion mode to the traditional plunge-free mode is a breeze. You’ll love how smooth the operation is!
For those who have used a router for a while, accidental is a familiar issue. What makes the TRA001 so cool is that it comes with features to prevent the problem from occurring. The first feature is the shaft lock, which keeps the power switch locked out when the router is plunged at full depth.
By preventing an accidental start, the shaft lock allows you to change the bits using one hand. What a friendly and helpful feature! The removable plunge spring also makes bit adjustment easy.
The depth stop comes with three stop points, which makes it useful and versatile. I like how easy to use it is.
Also, I love the versatility offered with regard to the bits you can use. The little machine will handle a ¼ and 1/2” bits. Moreover, it takes 3.5” raised panel bits with no issues.
- Single-button switching from fixed-base mode to plunge mode.
- Easy bit adjustment, thanks to the removable plunge spring.
- Effortless dust extraction as the guard is fully enclosed.
- Automatic spindle lock disengages power to make bit changing safe.
- Uses a 3 ¼ HP motor – power, gliding through tough wood.
- Bit change is a breeze – single wrench through the base.
2. DeWalt DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
If you’re looking for the advantage of versatility, the popular brand Dewalt will not disappoint you. Its product, the DeWalt DWP611PK, comes with both a plunge base and a fixed base.
Both bases have innovative designs and ergonomic features that bring performance to a whole new level.
Whether you’re a DIYer or a professional woodworker, you will appreciate the way this little machine combines versatility with power.
Speaking of the power, this machine comes with a powerful 12-amp 2 ½ hp motor. The motor produces enough juice to rout smoothly through hardwood.
I like the soft-start feature, which prevents power surges and protects the electronic components. During soft start, the router is able to cut through walnut, maple, and other hardwoods without a problem.
That is unlike some machines, which experience trouble cutting wood during the soft-start stage.
Adjusting the depth is a breeze, thanks to the depth adjustment ring that works flawlessly. The ring allows you to make precise vertical adjustments of as little as 1/64th of an inch.
Comfort and ease of use are indeed Dewalt-quality. The handles feature a rubber overmolding, which makes them super comfortable to hold and use. Additionally, the center of gravity is low, giving you a lot of balance and control.
Changing bits is safe and comfortable with only a wrench. You can do it single-handedly, thanks to the spindle lock button, which prevents accidental start.
- 2 ¼ hp motor – supplies enough power to cut wood smoothly.
- Variable speed dial – allows you to cut at the right rate.
- Has a depth adjustment winder that provides incredible precision.
- Has a column dust collector – keeps workspace clean, boosts visibility.
- ½ and ¼ inch collets for versatility.
- Handles have rubber overmold for comfort.
- Spindle lock for safe and easy bit changing.
3. Makita RP2301FC Router with Electric Brake
When it comes to finishing wood, you want to invest in a machine that is easy to use, and that delivers excellent results.
The Makita Router is a plunge router that offers you ease of use and plenty of versatility.
With a robust 3 ¼ HP motor, this beast has more than enough power to cut through all types of wood from mahogany to maple and oak.
In addition, the RP2301FC comes with other features to make it suitable for a broader range of applications than what other units offer. These include the variable speed settings and the electronic speed regulator.
There’s even an electronic brake feature that allows you to quickly reduce the speed to suit your needs.
Because of all these versatile features, this Makita router is the right device for professionals doing any woodworking from cabinetry to making wooden doors, trim, and windows. If you’re a DIYer, you’ll find it extremely useful.
The speeds vary from 9000 to 22,000 rpm, thanks to the powerful 15amp motor. I appreciate the soft-start feature, which provides safety by preventing power surges in the device.
With this machine, you can dig up to 2 ¾ inches into wood, which means you can handle diverse woodworking projects. The linear ball bearing comes in really handy, continually ensuring the plunge action is smooth.
One of the unique features I have to mention is the LED lights. These illuminate the workspace, making it easier to cut more accurately.
- 3 ¼ hp motor – delivers great power for smooth cutting.
- Electronic speed control and variable speed setting for added precision.
- Soft start feature – protects internal parts from power surges.
- Digs up to 2 ¾ inches – suitable for a wide range of projects.
- Large, rubberized, and comfortable handles.
- Has a shaft lock for quick and safe bit changing.
- LED lights for workspace illumination.
- Continuous operation is possible, thanks to the lock-on trigger.
4. Bosch 1617EVS Electronic Fixed-Base Router | Best Router for Flattening Slabs
For those who want to be able to handle a wide assortment of routing applications, the Bosch 1617EVS Electronic Fixed-Base Router is a reasonable consideration.
This machine comes with a 12-amp motor that supplies 2 ¼ hp, giving the bits the power they need to cut through whatever wood is thrown at them.
The unit has a variable speed dial. Hence, you can set the speed needed for the task ahead of you. Speeds run from 8000 to 25000 rpm, meaning there is versatility for handling a wide array of functions.
If you’re looking for good results when using a router, speed needs to be consistent. Bosch helps you achieve great results by offering you a machine with Constant Response Circuitry built-in.
This advanced technology keeps the speed constant (unless you vary it yourself), ensuring the cut is as even and consistent as you picture it.
Ease of handling and safety are some of the most important benefits we all want to enjoy when routing. With regards to these, the Bosch machine has you covered. For instance, upon startup, the torque is reduced to prevent power surges and keep the internal components safe.
The base is fixed, and it comes with micro-fine adjustment. With increments of as little as 1/64th of an inch, the feature lets you do the most accurate changes. I like the fact that the base has threaded holes cut into it, which allows you to fix the machine to a table.
Also included is a height adjustment winder, coming in handy for adjusting the bit height with minimal effort.
- Fixed base router with over the table bit height adjustment.
- 12-amp, 2.25hp motor – provides adequate power.
- 8000 to 25000 rpm with a variable speed setting.
- Soft start feature is integrated for safety.
- Works with ¼ and ½ bits – collets are included.
- Beautiful rounded hardwood handles that are comfortable to use.
5. Skil 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router
What would you do if I told you there’s an affordable 2 ½ hp router out there that comes with both the fixed and plunge bases allowing you to complete a wide variety of tasks?
If you plan to do serious woodworking, the Skil 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router is a model you should consider. Without being too simple or too fussy, this unit offers both DIYers and professionals the ideal woodworking tool for hollowing and flattening wood.
Let’s jump in and see some of the features that make it such a lovable unit.
Firstly, the machine comes with a robust 2.5 hp motor with a capacity of 14 amps. This is a motor capable of supplying considerably high power to cut wood with great accuracy and smoothness.
A great plus is the LCD screen, which lets you choose the settings with incredible ease. When you select the bit size, the machine automatically suggests the correct speed.
I love the safety features that come with this unit. The most notable of these is the indicator light, which lights up when the power is connected. That way, the light helps you take the necessary precautions.
Another safety feature is the safe-start. This one gives you control over the speed and protects the components from damage. The shaft lock disengages power, making it safe to change the bit.
There’s a lot of guesswork involving routing, whereby some people just move the router without having much control of how the machine is cutting. Well, the Skil router is here to change all that. With its led light, the unit illuminates the work area, letting you see exactly how the cut is going.
The only area that needs improvement when it comes to this machine is the power cord, which should be a bit longer and more flexible. Other than, the device is very pleasing, and it works great.
- 2.5 hp motor with incredible power.
- Comes with both a fixed and plunge base.
- Works with ¼ to ½ router bits.
- Comes with an edge guide that works with both bases.
- Has an LCD screen that makes the settings a breeze.
- Built-in LED lights illuminate the working area.
- Adjustable speeds and depth of drive.
6. Hammerhead 10-Amp Plunge Woodworking Router
Are you looking for an excellent entry-level plunge router that will not break the bank to purchase? You got to check out the Hammerhead 10-Amp Plunge Woodworking Router.
Being a plunge router, the unit can be set to the lowest level, and thus used as a fixed-base router. That makes it a versatile machine suitable for a wide array of tasks.
This machine comes with a ¼” collet, and it works with ¼” bit, and although the bit is not included, it is very cheap on amazon. What is included, though, is a wrench for changing the bits.
Another useful accessory that comes with this machine is a cutting guide. There’s a parallel guide for making clean straight cuts, as well as an attachment for cutting circles and arcs.
Many budget routers out there present lots of problems with the dust. With no built-in way of clearing the dust, the operation becomes a hassle. On the other hand, the Hammerhead comes with a vacuum attachment, allowing you to remove the dust and maintain a clear view.
If you want a router that gives you control over the depth, you will appreciate what this one has to offer. It comes with an adjustable stop, allowing you to determine the bit depth.
The speeds range from 11,000 to 28,000. What is impressive about it is that you can set the speed to the level you want, thanks to the variable speed dial.
Looking at the Hammerhead router, one thing is obvious – it is a beautiful piece of equipment. It also features excellent craftsmanship and feels like a machine that will last. The handles and big and comfortable, yet firm.
- 10 amp 1 ½ hp motor – strong and reliable.
- Adjustable depth of drive.
- Fine-adjust bit depth dial.
- Spindle lock for safe bit change.
- 1/4” collet.
- 11,000 to 28,000 rpm with variable speed setting.
7. Lotos ER001 Electric Plunge Wood Router
Finally, we have the Lotos ER001 Electric Plunge Wood Router, which makes an excellent choice for both DIYers and professionals.
The first fantastic quality of this unit is the abundant amounts of power it’s able to give, thanks to its robust 1.6 hp motor.
With speeds ranging from 16,000 to 30,000 rpm, as well as a feature for choosing the right speed, the machine lets you complete wide-ranging projects.
Do you find yourself handling a broad range of tasks that require varying bit depths? You might find the ER001 very useful. This unit comes with variable bit depth, made possible by a stop featuring seven levels.
Both micro and macro adjustments are possible with this router, meaning you have a lot of controls in your hands to make the pieces of woodwork you want.
Making clean cuts is the dream of everyone using a router. Lotos is serious about helping you accomplish this dream, offering you two guides – a straight one and a circular one.
The collet capacity is 1/4”. You get a free collet, and in addition, you’re given a nice set of carbide bits to get you started immediately.
Dust is not an issue when you’re using the Lotos ER001. A 1.5” dust collection dust is included in the package, which allows you to clear the dust as you go.
- 1.6 hp motor – supplies abundant cutting power
- 16000 to 30000 rpm variable speeds for a range of needs
- ¼” collet size – you get free carbide bits
- Stop turret with seven levels
- Straight and circle edge guides
- Rubberized handles for comfort
- Free dust collection duct size 1.5”
Comparison Table Router for Flattening Slabs
Max Bit Depth (inches)
Adjustable bit depth
¼ and ½
8,000 to 21,000
Fixed and plunge
¼ and ½
8,000 to 24,000
¼ and ½
9,000 to 22,000
¼ and ½
8,000 to 25,000
Skil 14 Amp
Plunge and Fixed
¼ and ½
10,000 to 25,000
11,000 to 28,000
16,000 to 30,000
Best Router for Flattening Slabs Buying Guide
With numerous routers on the market, finding the best router can be exhausting. You got to consider quality, comfort, and suitability for your needs in your search for the best router for flattening slabs.
To help you arrive at the right decision faster, I have compiled a list of the exact considerations you need to make.
Let’s dive in.
Fixed vs. Plunge Base
A router can have either a fixed or plunge base.
A fixed base is exactly as it sounds – the base is fixed at a particular position, whereby it doesn’t move up or down. That is why fixed base routers only cut from edge to edge.
If you’re a beginner or you’re looking to do only simple tasks, such as smoothing and shaping edges, this is the right base style for you. The upsides are simplicity, compactness, and ease of maneuvering. On the flip side, you cannot handle any complicated projects like creating patterns, making cut-outs, or engraving.
A plunge router is the more versatile option. If you’re an experienced woodworker, or you’re looking to expand the scope of the projects to accomplish, you need a plunge-base router.
With a plunge router, you can do intricate designs, engravings, grooves, and more. The upsides include the ability to move up and down and being able to cut deeper. Moreover, with its stop system, this router lets you cut the same designs repeatedly.
Just like your car, your router has its power being measured in horsepower. It is actually the motor’s power that is measured in this case.
Regarding horsepower, routers come in two classes – low and high hp.
Low hp routers are those with a hp rating of below 3. These are suitable for smooth cuts, and they’re not meant for rugged or continuous use. Once again, if you’re a rookie or looking for a DIY machine, a low-hp router will suffice.
High-hp routers are those with a 3+ rating. These are meant for the more rigorous applications and can be use on a continuous module. For experienced users and professionals, a high-hp router is more appropriate.
Your router’s speed is an essential factor that is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
If you’re using a small bit, say 1-inch or ½-ich, higher speeds of around 24,000 rpm will produce cleaner cuts and complete the tasks faster. On the other hand, if you’re using larger bits, say 2 inches, lower speeds of around 16,000 will produce better results safely.
To have the best shot at producing quality woodworks and handle a wide range of projects, consider going for a unit with a variable speed feature. Also, invest in a router with a broader speed range, like 8,000 to over 20,000 rpm.
The collet is the metallic piece that holds the bit, keeping it securely attached to the router as it cuts. Be sure to check the collet bit size of the router you’re interested in, keeping in mind the bit size has to align with the collet size.
Most of the small-scale routers come with ¼ and 1/2 -inch collets, though some come with only one of these sizes.
When it comes to stability and longevity, ½-inch collets are better. They vibrate less, and their cuts are cleaner.
The smaller size, ¼-inch, is better in terms of affordability, and it also cuts thinner and with higher precision.
The handle is the part you hold onto when pulling the router back and forth. If it is uncomfortable or too big, or too small, the work will be quite a headache due to the discomfort and exhaustion.
On the other hand, a comfortable handle will make things easy and render it possible to complete the task faster.
When thinking about comfort, look for a rubberized handle.
Aside from comfort, you also want to mull over the construction. A good handle made of quality materials won’t break easily and can give you service for a long time.
Sure, you can use a router without an edge guide, but having it helps you cut more accurately.
It is not a must for a router to come with a guide, and in fact, most people get a guide separately. However, when there is a guide, that’s an added advantage.
A guide should be of high-quality to help move the machine smoothly and speedily.
This is another feature you might want to look for when buying a router for flattening slabs. A router attached to a vacuum cleaner is preferred by many because every particle from the surface is collected immediately. Thus, the surface remains clean.
It’s also important because there won’t be dust particles in the room's air when the work is being done. This is helpful because even folks with dust allergies can operate the machine without much of a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Should I get a router for woodworking?
Ans: If you work with wood a lot, you should consider getting a router. Why? For instance, it can be quite tricky to cut clean and smooth edges on narrow wood pieces, but it will be a breeze with this tool.
A router lets you cut evenly on curved and straight edges and even enables you to replicate cut designs on many wood pieces. If you do cabinetry or other woodworking jobs, the tool will certainly come in handy. You should get it.
2. Can you use a router like a jigsaw?
Ans: No, a router does not work the same way as a jigsaw. That being said, it cuts wood. You can use a router with a pattern or jig. But when you’re cutting on an edge, you’ll need to use the router with a fence or guide.
3. Can I use a router to cut plywood?
Ans: Plywood contains glue, which can dull the router's bits at a higher rate than regular wood would. If you want to preserve your router’s bits, avoid using it on plywood. If it’s one time, there’s no problem, but repeated use on plywood will definitely dull the bits.
4. How much hp do I need?
Ans: Horsepower (hp) indicates the power of a motor. When it comes to routers, there are two main categories based on the motor’s hp – low and high hp. Low-hp routers have a 1-3hp motor, capable of smooth cuts.
These are mostly DIY machines that can’t handle hefty jobs. High-hp routers are those with 3+ hp rating. These can make deeper cuts and handle more demanding jobs.
Whether you’re in woodworking professionally or as a hobby, a router will make your days brighter. With the machine, you’ll be able to flatten slabs, make smoother edges, and complete a range of other carpentry tasks.
If you’re only a beginner, you could invest in a fixed-base model for small projects such as basic edge work. Otherwise, choose a plunge-base unit that will offer more flexibility and let you complete a broader array of projects.
To get the best router for flattening slabs, be sure to consider the other factors I talked about earlier – speed, horsepower, and more. The review above is comprised of affordable routers that offer you the best combination of features.