Best Wood Routers Under $100


Finding a good quality wood router under $100 can be extremely difficult these days. While there are several available if you look hard enough, they may not always be the best option for heavy-duty use or professional applications.  Remember, you get what you pay for, so a router for less than $100 is generally going to be for smaller jobs and DIY projects.

Don’t get me wrong, these routers can certainly do the job and serve you well, I’m just saying it’s tough to find a wood router in that price range…

Here are some options to keep in mind, their specifications, along with some pros and cons:

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router:


  • Variable speed control dial (10,000 to 30,000 RPM) for precise adjustments.
  • Smooth rack and pinion fine depth adjustment system.
  • Slim and ergonomically designed body for comfort and control.
  • This router provides 6.5 amps of power and generates a maximum of 1.25 HP. It’s suitable for various profile cuts and guided work of shallow and medium depths.


  • Variable speed dial for versatility.
  • Additional base options available (plunge base and tilt-base).
  • Quick-release cam lock for depth adjustments.


  • The straight guide won’t connect to all available bases (e.g., plunge base).
  • Some bits may become loose during work.

Bosch PR20EVS Colt 1-Horsepower 5.6 Amp Electronic Variable-Speed Palm Router:


  • 1.0 Horsepower motor with speeds from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM.
  • Straight edge guide for precise routing.
  • Angled cord exit to keep the cord out of the way.
  • Ideal for signs and detailed work.
  • Soft Start: Provides a smooth and controlled start, reducing torque during startup.
  • Depth Adjustment System:  Allows both macro and micro adjustments for precise routing depths. Quick and tool-less adjustments for convenience.
  • Neoprene-Sheathed Power Cord:  The 10-foot long SJ-type cord is tough, pliable, and resistant to cold conditions. Angled reinforcement boot keeps the cord out of the way during routing.
  • Versatility: Ideal for tasks like flush-trim routing, roundovers, chamfering, and profiling edges.
  • Compatible with various accessories


Variable Speed Motor:

  • The variable speed feature is handy for different woodworking applications.
  • Allows customization based on the task at hand.

Lightweight and Well-Balanced:

  • The Colt is comfortable to use, even during extended periods.
  • Its balance ensures better control and precision.

Accessories Available:

  • Numerous useful accessories are compatible with the Colt.
  • Enhances its versatility and functionality.


Shaft Lock Button Challenges:

  • Some users find the spindle lock button difficult to operate.
  • May require extra effort to lock the spindle.

Non-Transparent Aluminum Base:

  • The base is not see-through, which can affect visibility during routing.
  • Users need to rely on external guides or markings.

Depth Adjustments Can Be Tricky:

  • Fine and coarse depth adjustments may be confusing for some users.
  • Requires careful attention to achieve the desired routing depth.

PORTER-CABLE Router, 4.5-Amp, Single Speed 31,000 RPM (PCE6430):


  • 4.5-amp motor with a single speed of 31,000 RPM.
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Ideal for basic routing tasks.


  • Compact and lightweight: This router is easy to handle and maneuver, making it suitable for detailed work and tight spaces.
  • Powerful motor: The 4.5 amp motor provides enough power for laminate trimming, small edge forming, and hinge routing applications.
  • Easy to use: With a single speed and a simple design, this router is ideal for beginners or those who need a straightforward tool for occasional use.
  • Affordable: This router is priced under $100, making it a budget-friendly option.


  • Limited speed control: The single-speed design restricts its versatility for working with different materials.
  • Limited depth adjustment: The plastic depth adjustment mechanism may not be as precise or durable as higher-end models.
  • No LED light: Low visibility can be an issue, especially when working in dimly lit areas.
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks: Due to its lower power and limited adjustability, this router may not be suitable for larger projects or hard materials.

Ryobi P601 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router:


  • Cordless design (requires Ryobi One+ battery, sold separately).
  • Fixed base for stability.
  • LED lighting for improved visibility.
  • Great for small projects and trimming.


  • Cordless convenience: Eliminates the hassle of dealing with cords, offering greater portability and maneuverability around your workspace.
  • Affordable: Priced under $100 for the bare tool (battery and charger sold separately), making it a budget-friendly option for basic routing needs.
  • Compact and lightweight: Easy to handle and use, especially for smaller projects and tight spaces.
  • Ryobi One+ battery compatibility: Works with Ryobi’s 18V One+ battery system, which can be used with other Ryobi One+ tools if you already own them.
  • Tool-free depth adjustment: Allows for quick and easy adjustments during operation.
  • LED work light: Illuminates the work surface for better visibility.


  • Limited power: While sufficient for soft to medium woods, it might struggle with harder materials or deeper cuts.
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty projects: This router may not be powerful enough for demanding tasks that require extended use or precise control.
  • Single speed: Lacks the versatility of variable speed control, which can be crucial for working with different materials.
  • No dust port: Requires a separate dust collection system to manage sawdust, which can be a nuisance.
  • Limited base compatibility: The unique bolt pattern on the base might not be compatible with some router plates.
  • Battery and charger not included: Needs to be purchased separately, adding to the overall cost.

Ryobi 8.5 Amp 1-1/2 HP Fixed Base Router (Green):


  • 8.5-amp motor with 1-1/2 HP.
  • Fixed base design.
  • Suitable for various woodworking tasks.


  • Affordable: Compared to professional routers, this Ryobi model offers a decent power rating at a considerably lower price point.
  • Powerful motor: The 8.5 amp motor delivers enough power for various routing tasks, including laminate trimming, edge forming, and even light plunging applications.
  • Durable construction: The die-cast aluminum base provides stability and accuracy during operation.
  • Easy to use: Features like micro-adjustments for depth and a comfortable grip make it user-friendly, especially for DIYers and hobbyists.
  • Comes with basic accessories: Often includes a carrying case and starter router bits in the kit, eliminating the need for immediate additional purchases.


  • Limited to fixed base: This model cannot be plunged into the material, restricting its use to straight cutting applications.
  • Lacks variable speed: Only one speed setting might limit its versatility for working with various materials and achieving optimal results.
  • Corded design: While powerful, the corded nature restricts mobility and requires access to an outlet.
  • Bulkier and heavier: Compared to smaller trim routers, it might be less suitable for intricate work or tight spaces.
  • Limited dust collection: Doesn’t have a dust port for direct connection to a vacuum, requiring separate dust management solutions.


The routers mentioned above are great options for someone on a tighter budget, as well as for:

  • DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists: Looking for a powerful and affordable router for various routing tasks around the house or workshop.
  • Straight cutting applications: Well-suited for projects requiring precise straight cuts, edge forming, or light decorative routing.

However, it might not be ideal for:

  • Professional use: May lack the precision, versatility, and dust collection capabilities needed for continuous heavy-duty applications.
  • Intricate work: The bulkier size and fixed base design might make it less suitable for delicate projects or tight spaces.
  • Advanced routing techniques: The single speed setting limits fine-tuning cuts for different materials.

If you’re a DIYer or hobbyist tackling projects that require a step up from a basic trim router, any of the models offer a balance of power, affordability, and user-friendliness. However, for professional applications or tasks demanding more control and dust management, consider investing in a router with variable speed, plunge functionality, and dust collection capabilities.


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