DeWalt DW618PK Wood Router Review
The wood router is a popular power tool you often find in the workshop. They are very versatile woodworking tools that allow you to make a wide selection of professional edges, dados, mortices amongst others in wood.
One of the current affordable champions of wood routers is the Dewalt DW618PK. This “old-school” wood router released 15 years ago is used by many professionals and beginner woodworkers alike. But how well does it stack up against the competition and is it a worthwhile investment for you? That’s what we are going to find out!
Table of Contents
1. Techincal Feature
Motor Power/Soft Start:
The DeWalt DW618PK did not become such a popular power tool because it has a weak motor. The 120V 2.25 HP motor rated at 12 Amp is considered the sweet-spot in terms of router power. It is not too overpowering for your material or hand and performs heavy-duty routing on any wood material with great ease. You can even use it for metal cutting and milling.
This model is one of the first routers on the market to have a soft-start mechanism, which is now almost a de-facto feature in many modern wood routers. It starts slowly so as not to damage your material and gives you enough time to position your hand or material if necessary.
You can easily adapt to the material you are routing with the DW618PK. Its electronic variable-speed control can perform anywhere between 8,000 RPM - 24,000 RPM. Furthermore, the electronic feedback system guarantees that the torque sent to the router bit is always linear - so regardless of speed, this router will always produce the same routing result throughout your material. This feature is vital when making professional and smooth edge trimmings for home or commercial purposes.
Fixed Base vs Plunge Base:
- Fixed Base: With a fixed base, this unit can perform micro-fine adjustments that extend to 1/64” router bit accuracy. The 7” fixed base diameter is large for more stability and it sits perfectly flat on your table compensating the 1/64” bit micro adjustments. Of course, as with any wood router, this unit can either be handheld or affixed to a router table lift. The base plate obeys industry-standard hole placement so it should be compatible with most branded router tables.
- Plunge Base: At no cost to you, the DW618PK comes with a plunge base. To power on the unit, simply gently press down on the handles. It is soft and does not require much force. This makes it more comfortable to use as a plunge router, something other models still have difficulty with. In both the fixed and plunge base, the handles are coated with a thick elastomer making it even more comfy to hold. Lastly, you can use this unit with equal ease regardless of being left-handed or right-handed by simply reversing the motor-pack in the base.
It uses both 1/4” and 1/2” collets making it even more versatile. This unit is 100% with all commercially available router bits. Most people may prefer to use the 1/2” collet with a standard linear router bit for better stability, but it is really up to you. It comes with a single-wrench to tighten the collet. You do not require a secondary wrench and can easily secure the collet with only one hand.
Ease of Adjustment:
The router bit can be adjusted to 1/64”. Nothing exceptional as most routers can do this. Where this model shines is the ease of doing so. Dewalt uses a spring coil depth adjustment ring to get your desired bit depth. It is very handy and intuitive to use and people who need to make lots of adjustments throughout their routing will appreciate this feature.
The motor-pack can be removed in a tool-free manner with a simple twist motion. It can even be reversed so as to offer more maneuverability to left-handed or right-handed users.
If you want to fix this router to a router table, no problem. The base plates make provisions for it and adjusting this router to a table plate is child’s play. Simply place the router upside down the router table and bolt it.
- Dust Sealed Switch: Routing produces a lot of sawdust. This model has a dust-sealed switch that prevents sawdust from clogging it over time.
- Ergonomics: The form factor of this unit is very ergonomic. The large handles and low profile of this router make it comfortable to use. The low profile also helps the unit remain stable and not topple to one side, especially when doing trim work.
- Durability: The materials used in the construction of this unit is superb. It has an aluminum housing, brass brushings along with a steel rod guide for the plunge base.
- Sub-Base Centering Gauge: The centering gauge is very handy to recalibrate the router bit center when changing the sub-base.
Out of the box, this unit is delivered with a fixed base, plunge base, collet wrench, 1/2” and 1/4” collet, centering gauge, a vacuum adapter, and a carry case. That’s a very decent number of accessories. Most manufacturers today simply do not provide enough accessories to our liking. This is not a problem with the DW618PK.
2. Price of DeWalt DW618PK
This model is one of the most competitively priced wood routers, especially considering its power, build construction and rich set of accessories. This model is a little more expensive than the excellent Bosch 1617EVSPK, that competes against it almost neck to neck. We’re glad Dewalt didn’t inflate the price of this model considering its huge popularity and still remains relatively competitive for a wood router of this caliber and reputation.
3. Expert Reviews
A few years ago, Matt Vanderlist of ToolSelect.com made an excellent review of the DeWalt DW618PK. Matt is one of the world’s first woodworking podcaster and he is a pretty well-known figure in the woodworking industry.
Matt expresses his feelings on how easy it is to use this wood router. The power and ergonomic shape impressed him and he even went ahead and said: “it’s a nice and solid piece of equipment”. He uses this tool a lot for his woodworking projects that he share freely on his podcasts and site. Of course, in his own words, this product is at the top of his list and he highly recommends it.
Watch the video below:
4. Pros/Cons of DeWalt DW618PK
- Excellent build quality.
- Variable Speed Control: 8,000 RPM - 24,000 RPM with electronic feedback for consistent speed during routing.
- Collet: Accepts both 1/2” and 1/4” collet size. Can easily be replaced and tightens with only 1 hand.
- Motor Pack Position: This router can be used by both right and left handed users by simply reversing the motor pack.
- Soft Start Mechanism: Does not damage your material and provides more starting maneuverability.
- Not found
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5. Who Should Buy?
If you require a professional router equipment that will last you for years, look no further. This model has the power, accuracy, and versatility that will allow it to tackle any common routing task quickly and easily. It can perform heavy-duty routing jobs very easily and is compatible with most router tables for even more versatility. Many professional reviewers have no problem recommending this router to anyone because it is a very reliable router and it simply works, regardless of experience level.
Bottom line, if you can afford it - buy it! It will serve you well.