Router recommendations? (for wood not WiFi)

Hi, I’m looking to buy a router for some woodworking projects. To get maximum versatility I’d look for something that can be used both as a plunge and fixed base router as I may want to buy or build a table for it later. I’m also looking for something under £300. So, anyone got any specific recommendations?

There is a small 1/4inch Makita router in the woodshop that does both and works fine as a plunge and fixed base too and is within the budget.

1 Like

Thanks, do you remember the model number? I don’t live in London anymore so I won’t really be able to visit the space often :joy:

Just realised its not plunging, but you can set up the depth.

Don’t remember the model, but Screwfix is selling them.

I think plunge would be preferable because the first project I have in mind would involve cutting slots into a fairly large sheet of ply or MDF to make a desk type thing to hang off a chest high wall in my new flat, but I’m sure I can achieve similar results with a fixed base

You can get a plunge base for it, it’s top notch, highly reccomend!


I bought one of these Katsu routers for £30 (not a typo)

There are some reviews on YouTube which seem positive and for that price it seemed like it was worth a shot.


Did you do much with it yet? How is it to use?

I was looking at getting one of these as I like the one in the space. But by the time you get a fence for it and/or the plunger attachment it’s pretty expensive (it says fence included but if I remember that’s not a proper parallel fence with rods).
I have a cheap Hitachi router which is OK but a bit heavy for my purposes. I did bolt it underneath an old workmate bench for a while and that worked pretty well.

This looks good! Can you replace the brushes on the motor?

Not used it yet. Bought it as an impulse buy without a project in mind. Was worried it wouldn’t be available for long as the larger router on the website was already out of stock.

I think so. Ill have a check when I get home this evening.

1 Like

Make a list of the kind of work you hope to carry out. Then you have to decide if you will be able to carry out the work with a trim router 1/4 inch collet, fixed base, plunge base, variable speed, 1/2 inch collet. Only when you have a realistic idea of the work you will be doing, will you be able to choose a suitable router. I have a Katsu and I have been able to get decent work out of it. However you will be advised to replace some parts and as the Makita parts fit everything on this router you can pick and choose. If you want a slightly better quality base, or one which will accept guide bushes for instance, upgrade with genuine Makita parts. Definitely replace the collet immediately. The collet supplied is very low quality. It’s not properly balanced or centred. However, once inside the router I think it’s the Makita in every respect. I decided to replace the sealed bearing with a quality bearing. The bearing was identical to the one I purchased as a replacement. If I was after a slightly better quality small router I think I would get a trend box set. It’s a small router with some useful additional bits and pieces in a case. Bosch make some very nice entry level routers. If I was after my first half inch shank router, I think I would get a triton. I have read some good reviews and they are very powerful, nice quality, and cheaper than other brands with equivalent features.
The Katsu is a great entry level router and the option is there to upgrade and add on as you go. I use mine in a table fairly often. As long as you remember this is a trim router, treat accordingly.


I also have the Katsu, recently bought the Makita plunge base to work with it which is great too.

My big Erbauer plunge router hasn’t come out of its case since I bought the Katsu, which is so much easier to control and handles everything I’ve tried with it just fine.

My next project is to build a simple jig to turn it into a ‘poor-man’s domino’ (aka loose-tenon mortiser)

I have a DeWalt 625 that I can recommend for most things.

Its a 1/4 / 1/2" router but is surprisingly smooth and is great for in the table or hand held operations (unless the workpiece is so small a laminate trimmer may be required)

Additionally it has a converter plate to use the trend guide bushings if that’s your thing.

I do have a trend T5 router as well but the DeWalt pretty makes that one redundant as it’s not much bulkier and is much smoother in operation

I haven’t seen the DeWalt version. I am going to check it out. I know that many people love their DeWalt routers. Back in the day Marc the router to own was the Elu, what on earth happened to them?

I got the Katsu plunge base. I haven’t used it yet. Everything I have used it for has either been fixed base or table.
Check out a couple of my favourite bits. I have a 3/4 inch diameter straight for template routing. Because of the large diameter the cut is super smooth with no ripple. I used it for the semi circular cut out.Then the half inch pattern bits, set of three on Amazon. Really useful for all kinds of cuts, especially rebates etc. Just clamp a straight edge and crack on, super useful. I won’t get the spiral bits involved, I would need a lie down. I am thinking anorak, don’t know why…yeah anorak?

This is my Katsu plunge base, how does it compare to your original?

That Katsu base looks VERY similar to the Makita one.

1 Like