The wood you purchase from your local mill or lumberyard is usually rough and inadequately milled. While you can purchase milled lumber for more money, you may still need to work on it before it's usable.
To avoid these expenses and inconveniences, you should consider using a wood router for flattening slabs. This tool offers you the most effective means to level out uneven slabs. Even though a planer might work for small wood pieces, it would be best to invest in a wood router as it will work for both large and small slabs.
To assist you in flattening slabs like a pro, here is my review of the best wood router for flattening slabs:
My Top Pick: Makita RP2301FC Wood Router
One of the main issues surrounding routers is the mystery of how small and mid-size routers are powerful enough to handle the more demanding tasks which were mainly left aside for the larger routers. Though this is true, it's not a good enough reason to purchase a small-size router for your workshop or job site.
Furthermore, regardless of how potent small routers are, their functioning will never match that of a full-sized wood router like the Makita RP2301FC. In addition to being manufactured by one of the most trusted brands worldwide, this power tool has several features that perfect what other plunge routers do.
Here's what it has to offer:
Dimensions: 5 by 12 by 12.2 In
Speed range: 9000 to 22000 RPM
Voltage: 110 Volts
Depth range: 0 to 2.75 In
Power source: Corded electric
What I liked
Flawless plunge action
Handy soft-start feature
Ease of use
Consistent speed under load
Variable speed control
What I didn’t like
It is somewhat heavy
You'll seldom find a plunge-base wood router delivering more power than the Makita RP2301FC. This is sufficient for even the most demanding applications on the toughest material for long hours with zero chances of inaccuracy or inefficiency. At 15-amp and 3.25hp, what more could you ask for?
One of the things that make the Makita RP2301FC router unique is the soft start feature. Once you turn it on, this power tool won't instantly operate at the chosen speed. Alternatively, it will begin at a slower speed and gradually accelerate to your selected speed.
This feature helped me make complex cuts on the hardwood with ease. Also, it ensured that I couldn't mistakenly ruin my workpiece due to a sudden power blast. Since there isn't an unexpected jolt when you switch it on, the chances of injury are very low.
We all want a power tool that offers us control over our work, and what achieves this better than variable speed?
The RP2301FC's speed begins at 9000 RPM, the most secure speed range for sizable bits of 2.5 to 3.5 inches. The highest speed is 22000 RPM, ideal for the smaller bits of 1 in. This generous speed range facilitates working with almost all bits, which allows you to create a wide range of cuts and designs.
As an intermediate woodworker, I have worked with plenty of power tools, and I can confidently say that this model's user-friendly design is unmatched. Further, it makes for a perfect power tool for both beginners and professionals. Plus, the LED lights help light up your workpiece for better accuracy and visibility.
Also, it features a dual-insulated build which adds to its durability. With all these handy features, this wood router can easily work on all sorts of projects.
The Makita RP2310FC wood router comes with a 0.25-inch collet sleeve insert, wrench, extended-depth modification knob, user manual, and 0.5-inch collet cone.
Cost and Comparison
The Makita RP2301FC wood router goes for $370 to $400 or $390 to $420 if it comes with a template guide adaptor. While this might be expensive, it is worth mentioning that this model is among the top-rated power tools on amazon, with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
When it comes to its top competitors, the BOSCH MRC23EVSK wood router retails for $250 to $270, while the Triton TRA001 router sells at $305 to $315. Both these power tools are cheaper than the Makita RP2301FC, but they won’t deliver as much power or perform as impressively.
Triton TRA001 Plunge Router
When it comes to versatility, this is the only power tool that beats Makita RP2301FC. Besides, this router has two modes; you can utilize it as a hand plunge router or mount it on a table. You won't find any other routers with this feature within its price range. That's not all; this model has more handy features.
First, it comes with a prolonged base plate, wrench, 0.5-inch collets, 0.25-inch collets, table-height winder, and modifiable fence. Besides, it includes a user manual to aid set up and run it.
Moreover, it has a 2400-watt motor and delivers up to 21000 RPM. It offers five variable speeds for maximum control over your work. Plus, you can set it as low as 8000 RPM.
This wood router weighs 7.7 kg, making it one of the weightiest routers. For additional safety, it features a transparent plastic guide that hinders contact with the cutter; hence, no wood chips will fly all over your workspace.
Something else to love about the Triton TRA001 is the three height adjustment options. Each option has different accuracy and adjustment. The free plunge technique is the swiftest and most effortless means though it has the least precision.
You can utilize the micro winder for the best accuracy. It allows you to modify the height by using the plunge grip switch and undoing the plunge stop. For improved precision, you can alter the height using the winding handle.
Regarding safety, the power switch is equipped with a spring door that prevents you from turning the router on by mistake.
BOSCH MRC23EVSK Combo Router
The Bosch MRC23EVSK router weighs a whopping 25.8 lbs., which is somewhat heavy but not like the TRA001. Its horsepower stands at 2.3, which is less than the Makita's 3.75. Nonetheless, it has a maximum RPM of 25000, which is more than what the triton and Makita offer.
This model also has a trigger-control mechanism, a power switch in the plunge, and base handles for unmatched control. Besides, every base has a micro-fine bit-depth system so that you can be sure you won't make any inaccurate cuts or weird designs with this power tool by your side.
Like the Makita model, this has a soft start feature and a 15-amp motor. You can retain accurate motion along dovetail templates and fixtures with the assistance of an accuracy-focused system and base holes in the two bases.
For improved firmness, the permanent base features thread holes connecting the router tables in a three-hole assortment. Lastly, this model comes with two LED lights for maximum visibility when working.
Why buy the Makita RP2301FC Wood Router?
As technology advances and power tools become smaller and more powerful, there are still some tasks that should be left to the big boys. The Makita RP2301FC full-size router, being one of those big boys, delivers incredible results.
It has a potent motor, making it ideal for demanding and light tasks. The variable speeds give you control over your work, while the user-friendly design makes it perfect for professional and beginner woodworkers.
With all these features, I can with certainty recommend the Makita RP2301FC for your next project.