If you’re aiming to dive deeper into the world of woodworking, there’s no doubt you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone to pick up new skills.
That being said, the low-HP router that you had been using for edging wood won’t be suitable enough for performing complicated tasks, like creating dovetail joints and making decorative cuts.
To be able to do those perfectly, you’ll need to get your hands on the best 3HP router. These routers function just like any other router except for greater horsepower for tackling a range of complex jobs.
In case you’re wondering where to find one, look no further than this guide! Here, we have listed some of the top 3HP routers that are bound to help you level up your woodworking skills.
3 HP Router Comparison Table
Brand & Base Style
DEWALT 3HP & Plunge
8000 to 22000
Festool 3HP & Plunge
10000 to 22000
Triton & Fixed/Plunge
8000 to 21000
Makita & Plunge
9000 to 22000
Milwaukee & Fixed
10000 to 22000
Hitachi & Plunge
8000 to 22000
Porter Cable & Fixed
10000 to 21000
What Is A Good Horsepower(HP) For A Router?
If you’re wondering how much horsepower you need for a router, we can say it depends on the tasks you want to perform.
Generally, routers have a horsepower ranging between 1 and 3.5. The higher the number, the more powerful the router. If you’re going to do simple tasks, such as edging a wooden piece or flattening a slab, a router having a horsepower of up to 2.25 will be sufficient enough.
On the other hand, if you want to perform complex tasks such as creating inlays and dovetail joints, you should go for a router having an HP of 3 and above. Such routers are versatile, which is why they are preferred by professional woodworkers.
Best 3 Horsepower Router
1. DEWALT DW625 Plunge Base 3 Horsepower Router
Dewalt is top-favorite among many professionals because of its range of reliable power tools, including routers.
The DW625 plunge base router lets you perform various woodworking tasks starting from smoothing edges to creating decorative inlays. This router’s motor operates at 3 HP, which makes it powerful enough to handle those tasks with ease.
The reason why the DW625 is considered the best 3 hp router is that it allows you to adjust the speed ranging between 8000 rpm and 22000 rpm. Regardless of the size of the load you put on it, the router will ensure the job is perfectly done at a constant speed.
Moreover, the machine won’t frighten you with a jerk as soon as you trigger switch it on, rather reach the adjusted speed in a slow manner.
Whatever you do with this router, you can rest assured you’ll be able to get precise results. There’s a bit depth adjuster with a scale that allows you to make even the slightest adjustments for more precise routing.
You can also change the bit without needing multiple wrenches. All you need to do is press the button for the spindle lock and then replace the bit.
- The speed can be adjusted up to 22000 rpm
- The bit depth adjuster can be used to make fine adjustments
- Allows for easy bit replacement without needing multiple wrenches
- Gives a soft start when switched on
- Comes with a dust extraction adapter
2. Festool 574689 3HP Plunge Router OF 2200 Imperial
Festool is another brand dedicated to providing professionals with tools needed in various application areas from timber construction to woodworking.
The OF 2200 router is a plunge base router that you can use to make grooves into any wooden surface, including hard maple. Its motor is powerful enough to reach a speed of 22000 rpm.
Apart from that, the OF 2200 ensures your wooden pieces come out with a flawless structure. The router features a turret stop and an adjustable plunge rod for setting the height of the bit and locking it into place. There’s also a millimeter scale that you can take a look at while adjusting the bit to your desired height.
Not only that, but also you can make small adjustments for more precise routing. With each turn of the knob located on the top, you can adjust the bit’s height to a tenth of a millimeter. This feature is a must-have in any router because it eliminates uneven wooden pieces caused by the limitations of adjustments.
One of the reasons why this machine made it to the 3 HP router review is because of its versatility. Besides the FS guide rail system, you can integrate the device to multi-routing templates, and other accessories.
If you want a clean workspace during operation, there’s no problem because the dust extraction system suctions all the dust particles. Alongside, the chip deflector deflects wooden chips to increase visibility.
- The motor is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 22000 rpm
- Features dust extraction system
- Can be used to make small adjustments
- Can be used to integrate with different accessories
- Comes with a chip deflector
3. Triton TRA001 Precision Plunge 3 1 4 HP Router
Triton aims at offering precision with every tool, including its award-winning routers.
The TRA001 is the best 3 1 4 hp router to choose if you’re looking for dual-mode capability. Instead of using a separate router, you can easily transform this one from a plunge base to a fixed base. It comes with an intuitive button that, when you press it, will allow you to move the router up and down. On releasing the button, the router will be locked into place at the adjusted height.
Apart from that, it is possible to make fine adjustments using the knob located on top of the router. The knob also comes in handy when you mount the device to a router table.
When it comes to motor speed, you have the option of adjusting it from 8000 rpm to 21000 rpm. Whichever speed you select for your project, the motor will ensure it remains constant.
The TRA001 also allows for easy bit changing because it requires only a single wrench. There’s a spindle lock that automatically engages during bit changing.
What’s more, this device features air vents on both sides to minimize the intake of dust particles into the motor casings.
- Fixed and Plunge modes add versatility
- The speed can be adjusted up to 21000 rpm
- Tremendously convenient bit changing capability
- Can be mounted to a router table
- The air vents prevent the motor from getting damaged
4. Makita RP2301FC Plunge 3.25HP Router
Makita, a leading manufacturer of power tools has a reputation for offering high-quality products compared to other brands in the market.
The best 3.25hp router by the brand is the RP2301FC plunge router. This router comes with a powerful motor that lets you select the speed from 9000 rpm to as high as 22000 rpm. Whichever speed your project calls for, you can rest assured the router won’t move a step from the adjusted speed.
This router is excellent for professionals working in various fields, such as woodworking, deck building, and furniture making. It is capable of smoothly penetrating as deep as 2.75 inches into wood. You can make precise adjustments to the bit using the knobs and the turret stops.
It can be dangerous when a router gives a sudden jerk every time you switch it on. Thankfully, that’s not an issue with this Makita plunge router because it will always start softly. Besides, you have the option of bringing the machine to a halt with the help of the electric brake.
If you’re working in a dimly-lit room, you can continue working on your project because the router is integrated with LED for visibility.
- Can be used to make grooves up to 2.75 inches in depth
- Offers effortless speed adjustments
- Allows hassle-free bit changing
- The router starts softly after switching it on
- The LED ensures visibility in a dimly-lit room
5. Milwaukee 5625-20 Fixed-Base 3 HP Router for Table
Since the 1920s, Milwaukee has been known for its high-performance and durable woodworking tools, work gear, and accessories. The 5625-20 fixed-base router is no exception.
If you’re looking for the best 3 hp router for table, this hefty router is a perfect choice. When mounted to a router table, the 5625-20 lets you perform various woodworking tasks with ease. It features a powerful motor that gives a soft start and can reach an optimal speed of 22000 rpm.
Apart from that, you can adjust the bit’s height to about an eighth of an inch with each turn of the knob. Plus, you can make fine adjustments about 1/64 of an inch. It also comes with a T-wrench to allow easy height adjustment when the router is mounted to a table.
Whenever you need to change the bits, you’ll need to use a couple of wrenches. All you need to do is lift the clasp, remove the base, place the wrenches on the nuts and squeeze them to release the bit.
Lastly, you won’t find it uncomfortable operating this device as the rubberized handles ensure a firm grip.
- Gives a soft start every time the router is turned on
- Can reach an optimum speed of 22000 rpm
- Can be used to make fine adjustments
- The rubberized handles ensure a firm grip
- The clasp allows easy base removal
6. Hitachi M12V2 3-1/4 Peak HP Variable Speed Router
Hitachi is another reliable brand that holds a long list of electronic products, including routers.
The M12V2 Plunge Router is designed to handle various woodworking tasks, such as smoothing, flattening, and grooving different types of wood. Its motor operates and 3.25 HP and doesn’t start with a jerk every time you switch on the router.
As for the speed, you have the option of adjusting it depending on what your project calls for. You can adjust it from as low as 8000 rpm to as high as 22000 rpm. A good thing about the speed control dial is that it is located right on the handle, so you can stay focused on your work as you turn the dial.
With this device, you can also adjust the bit’s depth effortlessly. You can either make quick adjustments or do some fine-tuning for more precise results.
Alongside smaller projects, you can use this router for larger projects that require a table. However you operate the device, you will still be able to replace the bit without a hassle.
The M12V2 won’t make you feel uncomfortable when using it as its handles are manufactured to ensure a firm grip while eliminating vibration. Not only that but also the dust shield prevents dust and debris from flying towards you.
- Can be used in different woodworking projects
- The speed dial is located on the handle for convenience
- The handles ensure a firm grip while eliminating vibration
- Allows for easy bit change when mounted to a router table
- The dust shield prevents dust and debris from contacting the user
7. Porter Cable 7518 Five-Speed Router
Porter Cable Router, a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker is known to offer high-quality products at affordable prices.
The 7518 five-speed router is designed to tackle various woodworking tasks. As its name suggests, this particular router lets you select up to five speeds starting from 10000 rpm all the way up to 21000 rpm. Whichever speed you select, the motor will maintain the speed. Also, the router won’t start off with high speed as soon as you turn it on.
This particular device uses a different type of bit adjustment system. It features a dial integrated throughout the metal housing of the router. The dial has markings on it and each individual mark indicates 1/64 of an inch. There’s a groove on the housing that lets you adjust the depth by aligning a particular marking with it.
Apart from that, you can rest assured of this device’s durability. The router not only prevents dust from entering inside but also protects itself from wear and tear.
- Operates with a soft start every time the router is turned on
- Five different speeds to choose from
- The dial allows for easy bit depth adjustment
- Aluminum housing ensures durability
- Prevents dust from damaging the internal components of the router
8. Bosch 1619EVS 15 Amp Plunge Base Router
Bosch is a popular brand that focuses on both convenience and quality in its products.
A good example is the 1619EVS plunge base router. While you can use this router for a range of woodworking applications, you will also feel comfortable using it.
Starting with the motor, it is capable of offering speeds from 8000 rpm to a whopping 25000 rpm. This wider speed range is what makes this device the best 3.25 hp router because you can always adjust the speed according to your project’s requirements. Besides, it will start softly instead of frightening you with a jerk.
Apart from the speed range, it is possible to adjust the bit’s depth for precise routing. Along with the adjustment knobs for coarse and fine adjustments, you’ll also find a turret stop. The router has a centered design that ensures the bit is perfectly centered. Therefore, you can always expect precise results.
While you can use this device free-handed by holding the ergonomic handles, you can also mount it to a router table. Plus, you can change the bit whenever you need without using double wrenches.
- Reaches up to a whopping 25000 rpm
- Starts softly each time the router is turned on
- Ergonomic handles ensure a comfortable grip
- Allows precise bit depth adjustment
- Can also be used on a router table
What Features to Look For Before Buying a 3HP Router?
1. Fixed Base Router
A fixed-base router is a perfect choice for beginners because it is lightweight and allows for easy maneuverability. With it, you can perform basic woodworking tasks, such as smoothing the edges and making precise cuts for door and window frames.
Since the base of this router remains locked in a single position, you can use it in conjunction with a router table.
2. Plunge Base Router
A plunge base router is mainly used by professionals for performing complicated tasks. Because of its plunging motion, you can make deeper cuts on wood and also create intricate designs.
3. Combo Router
A combo router features a single router with a swappable fixed base and a plunge base. With this router, you can easily switch between modes depending on the woodworking task.
An important aspect to consider when looking for the best 3HP router is the motor speed.
Routers typically feature a variable speed control that allows you to select the speed depending on the bit size. For example, if you’re using a smaller bit, you’ll need to adjust the speed to a higher range, such as 20000 rpm and above. If you’re using a larger bit, you’ll need to go for speeds lower than that to ensure safety.
Other than that, you’ll find some high-end routers featuring a sensor that senses the load and then suggests a suitable speed.
The motor housing of a router is either made of metal or plastic. While metal housing prevents wear from long hours of operation at a greater horsepower, plastic housing offers less durability under the same situation.
However, if you’re looking for convenience, you might want to choose plastic motor housing because it is lighter than metal.
Another crucial factor you might want to take a look at is the router’s handle. As you’ll be operating the router for long hours, the handles should give you enough comfort.
Handles are either made of wood or rubber. While wooden handles tend to get slippery at some point, rubberized handles ensure a firm grip.
This is a handy feature worth appreciating since woodworking involves the scattering of dust particles.
Most routers feature a port where you can connect the hose of your vacuum cleaner. When you turn on both the router and the vacuum cleaner, dust particles will be suctioned through the hose and into the vacuum. As a result, your workspace won’t get messy and you can save time.
Bit Changing System
Different routers offer different bit-changing systems. Some routers allow you to change the bit using a single wrench while others don’t require any tool at all!
Depending on how frequently you need to change the bit, you can look for a router with a particular bit-changing system.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Bosch Make A 3 HP Router?
Bosch usually offers routers whose HP is on the lower side. However, the Bosch 1619EVS Plunge Base Router is the only high HP router having a horsepower of 3.25.
2. What Is The Most Powerful Woodworking Router?
The Bosch 1619EVS Plunge Base Router is the most powerful woodworking router as it offers a greater range for motor speed starting from 8000 RPM to 25000 RPM. Also, it is capable of penetrating into different types of wood.
3. Can Any Router Be Mounted To A Table?
It is possible to mount any fixed base or plunge base router to the table with the help of an appropriate router plate.
It can be difficult to pick up new woodworking skills without the required tools. As long as you have them and know how to use them, nothing can stop you from creating eye-catching wooden pieces.
When you’re looking for a router you can be more creative with, you should choose not just any high-HP router but the best 3HP router. Doing so will benefit you in the long run as you wouldn’t have to deal with faulty components.
Speaking of which, none of the above routers will break down easily because they have been thoroughly researched. Once you pick the one that meets your requirements, you’ll be good to go!