With the advancement in technology, everyone prefers getting their job done in the simplest way possible. By using innovative tools and technology, people can save plenty of time and increase productivity.
The same applies when it comes to woodworking. Unlike simple jigs, dovetail jigs offer more convenience because they can be easily used to make strong dovetail joints for drawers and cabinets. A dovetail joint features a pin and a tail that are glued together without the help of fasteners.
Because dovetail jigs have a unique design, not all routers are capable of working perfectly with this type of jig. You should be looking for only the best router for dovetail jig.
Now if you’re wondering where to find one, you’re at the right place! We have compiled a list of our top picks that are bound to give outstanding results.
4 Best Router Recommendation for Use With Dovetail Jig
1. BOSCH 1617EVS Electronic Fixed-Base
Since a fixed-base router is mostly preferred by woodworkers for dovetail jigs, the renowned manufacturer, Bosch has one to offer.
The 1617EVS fixed-base router allows you to make different types of dovetail joints with ease. It operates at 2.25 HP and offers a variable speed ranging between 8000 rpm and 25000 rpm. You can simply turn the dial to select the speed suitable for routing.
A great thing about this machine, it doesn’t start at full speed! Every time you turn on the router, the motor will start slowly and then reach the selected speed. Moreover, it makes less noise compared to most of its competitors, which is worth appreciating.
When it comes to using templates and dovetail jigs, this router maintains the cutting lines. That’s because the bit is installed right at the center. This is an important feature you should look for in the best router for dovetail jig. If you ever need to change the depth of the bit, you have the option of making coarse adjustments as well as fine adjustments.
For easy mounting to the router table, this device has threaded holes on the underside. It also allows for easy grip with its wooden knob-shaped handles.
Other than that, the 1617EVS does come with a drawback that isn’t really a major one. Since its body is made of soft magnesium, it is prone to scratches.
- The router can reach a whopping 25000 rpm
- Allows coarse and fine adjustments for bit depth
- Makes less noise during operation
- Centered position of the bit allows for precise cutting with jigs
- The wooden, knob-shaped handles ensure a comfortable grip
2. DEWALT DW618B3 Fixed/Plunge Base Kit
If you’re looking for a combo kit that comes with both a fixed base and a plunge base, you can check out the DW618B3 by Dewalt.
This versatile kit will surely come in handy for varied woodworking applications, starting from smoothing the edges to making dovetail joints. Besides the two bases, you’ll find a D-handle base, a motor, and collets- all nicely packed in a hard shell case.
Starting with the motor, it has a horsepower of 2.25 and can reach speeds ranging between 8000 rpm and 24000 rpm. Whether you’re working on softwood or hardwood, you can rest assured the machine will maintain the selected speed for the optimal output. Like the previous router, this one is quiet as well!
While the fixed base and the D-handle base allow you to make slight adjustments for precision, the plunge base offers both five-position depth adjustments as well as fine adjustments. The notable features you’ll find common in these three types of bases is that they offer enhanced precision, smooth sliding on a wooden surface, and comfortable grip.
Whenever you need to change the bit or the base, you don’t have to look for wrenches. All you need to do is lift the latches and the motor will be released.
One thing you need to be aware of, the fixed base and the D-handle base feature four threaded holes instead of three. So, that means there’s a limitation when trying to fit them in some router tables.
- Includes three types of bases for versatility
- Allows precise adjustments for optimal output
- Can reach at the highest speed of 24000 rpm
- The handles ensure a firm, comfortable grip
- The fixed base and the D-handle base features four threaded holes
3. SKIL RT1323-00 Router for Dovetail Jig
If you don’t mind not investing in a combo set, you can try out the SKIL RT1323-00 fixed-base corded router.
The motor of this router operates at a horsepower of 2, which is the lowest on this list. Despite that, it allows smooth routing particularly on softwood, such as pine. If you’re a beginner who’ll be working on simple projects, this low-HP router is a perfect choice!
Apart from that, you have the option of setting the speed from zero to as much as 25000 rpm. All you need to do is turn the dial based on the type of wood you’re working with. Regardless of the value of rpm you’ve adjusted, this router will ensure you remain calm every time you switch it on.
When it comes to changing the depth of the bit, you aren’t limited to coarse settings. Depending on your requirements, you’re free to make coarse adjustments with three settings as well as fine adjustments.
What’s more, the rubber-coated handles prevent your hands from slipping as you focus on making dovetail joints.
- Can reach a staggering speed of 25000 rpm
- LED indicator lets users know that the router is switched on
- The machine starts slowly every time you turn the machine on
- The bit’s depth can be set to three positions and be finely adjusted
- The rubber-coated handles prevent your hands from slipping
4. Wood Router Tool Combo Kit By Bosch
Another router by Bosch, the 1617EVSPK combo kit adds versatility to your woodworking journey.
This set consists of a motor, a fixed base, a plunge base, collets, wrenches, and chip shields packed in a hard shell case. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, these tools will allow you to perform various woodworking tasks, including dovetail cutting, edge forming, and slab flattening.
Like most routers in this list, the motor of the 1617EVSPK has a horsepower of 2.25. Plus, you are free to turn the dial and adjust the speed depending on what your project calls for. This device is capable of reaching a staggering speed of 25000 rpm.
Coming with both the fixed and plunge bases, it allows you to make even the slightest adjustments of the bit. This outstanding adjustability makes it the best router for dovetail joints. Not only that but also the bit is aligned in the center, so you can rest assured you can slide the router over the dovetail jig with accuracy.
Whenever you need to transfer the motor from one base to another, you can do so instantly using the convenient clamping system present in both bases. When using a dovetail jig, you can easily mount the fixed base to the table with its threaded holes.
Your hands won’t feel exhausted as you’re sliding the router because the ergonomic handles are there to provide comfort. With high-performance routers like this, you can’t go wrong.
What’s more, the chip shields that come with this machine prevent wood chippings from ruining your outfit!
- Features both plunge base and fixed base
- Can reach a maximum speed of 25000 rpm
- Allows users to make precise cuts even with dovetail jigs
- Ergonomic handles prevent the user’s hands from getting exhausted
- Chip shields prevent wood chippings from flying towards the user
[Comparison Chart] Router for use with Dovetail Jig
BOSCH 1617EVS Electronic Router for Dovetail Jig
8000 - 25000
8000 - 24000
SKIL RT1323-00 Corded Router
0 - 25000
Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
8000 - 25000
Tips For Using A Router For Dovetail Jig
When you’re setting up the best router for dovetail jig for the first time, you might not have an idea about how to make the process more convenient. Here are some tips that you can follow.
- Apply a little amount of paraffin wax on top of the jig’s comb. The wax acts as a lubricant to let the router slide smoothly around the template.
- To prevent the bit from catching anything when you’re not using the router, you can perch the router on a router nest. For making the nest, you will need a thick block of wood having the same thickness as your router’s base with the sides nailed and a hole drilled on the center.
- If there’s a tearout on any corner, make sure to score it before routing.
- To prevent damage to the unglued dovetail joint, it is recommended you stand it on a non-slip fabric, such as a router mat.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Make Dovetails With A Router?
Dovetails can be cut using woodworking hand tools, such as a backsaw, as well as power tools, including a router.
2. Can You Use A Plunge Router With A Dovetail Jig?
It is recommended you use a fixed base router for a dovetail jig. That’s because the plunging motion of a plunge router can distort the shape of the tail.
3. What Angle Should A Dovetail Be?
The angle of a dovetail depends on the type of wood you’re working with. For example, if you’re working on hardwoods, you can use lower angles ranging between seven and nine degrees. If you’re working with softwoods, higher angles ranging between 10 degrees and 14 degrees are recommended.
4. What Kind Of Joints Can You Make With A Dovetail Jig?
With a dovetail jig, you can make different types of dovetail joints, including through dovetail, secret mitred dovetail, half-blind dovetail, and sliding dovetail.
5. Can You Dovetail Plywood?
Plywood is made of several layers of thin wood veneers that are glued together. When you make dovetail using this type of wood and dry-fit the pieces, there’s a greater chance of the veneer peeling off. Therefore plywood isn’t suitable for dovetail joints.
6. Are Dovetail Joints Hard?
Dovetail joints are very strong because of the interlocking position of the pins and tails. As long as the wood is neatly cut and the pieces are glued well together, it is almost impossible to dismantle the joint.
When you’re building furniture or other objects, your primary concern would be whether the wooden pieces would strongly adhere to each other.
While it is possible to make wooden joints using various methods, most woodworkers prefer implementing dovetail joints into their projects. That’s because this type of joint is so strong that it is nearly impossible to pull the wooden pieces apart.
To make a precise dovetail joint, you’ll need a dovetail jig. And to cut out wood using the template, you’ll need a router suitable for the job. All of the above routers have gone through enough research, so whichever router you pick, that will be the best router for dovetail jig.