11 Best Routers For Sign Making And Lettering 2021

When talking about versatility, it’s no doubt that a router is one of the tools that sit top on the list. Other than making those fancy edges, there’s much you can do with a router. A case in point is sign-making and letter cutting.

Do you remember that beautiful sign that direct you to that classy restaurant? Well, you don’t need to be a professional to come up with something of the kind. With a decent router and a little skill in the art,  you too can rout signs and letters into wood.

However, like any other job, the router you choose can go a long way to define your experience and the quality of your outcome. So, what makes a perfect tool for the job? Well, we will be reviewing the top 11 routers for sign making and lettering. Follow closely to know the right piece for your needs.

11 Best Router For Sign Making And Lettering

1. DEWALT DCW600B 20V Max XR Cordless Router

DEWALT DCW600B 20V Max XR Cordless Router

When talking about durability and performance, we all know that Dewalt tools speak for themselves. And yes, topping the list is one of the tools from the brand. As we all expect, this router packs several desirable features professionals and hobbyists want in a tool of its kind.

Here, you are getting a cordless version but with the power of a corded version. The cordless design means you can use it even in areas without a nearby power source. Also, since there are no wires, there’s no hassle.

The 1-1/4-HP brushless motor allows you to tackle challenging jobs with minimal hassle. One more thing to know about its engine is that it’s a brushless version, so it’s efficient and requires minimal maintenance.

The speed here ranges between 16000 RPM and 25500 RPM. That’s a pretty decent range. The speed-adjustment dial lets you pick the setting that works perfectly for the kind of material you are handling.

The full-time electronic feedback ensures consistency in the performance of the motor. Consistent speed means a consistent level of aggression. With that said, expect the letters you cut to appear more uniform throughout the entire wood.

What’s more, this router comes with dual LED lamps. The two work lights illuminate your workpiece when cutting. Therefore, no matter the time of the day when you want to use the tool, expect accurate cuts all the time.

Pros
  • The variable speed dial is easy to use.
  • The weight is well-balanced.
  • Ideal for compact spaces.
Cons
  • The positioning of the speed adjustment knob isn’t that great.

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2. Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

Like Dewalt, Makita is a famous brand in the power industry. The manufacturer focuses on producing high-quality tools that meet the budget needs of most professionals and home DIYers. That means if you are looking for a high-performance but affordable compact router for lettering, you can count on this model.

This unit compares to the predecessor in several ways. For instance, as the name suggests, this is a 1-1/4-HP router, similar to that of the previous Dewalt model. Hence, no matter the toughness of your workpiece, cutting letters is easy.

The Makita RT0701C also comes with an adjustable speed dial for speed regulation. The speed range here is 10000 and 30000 RPM. The wide range means that this unit can accommodate a large variety of projects.

If you aren’t new to woodcraft, you can attest that letter-cutting and sign making need patience. That’s why you should pay attention to the ergonomic of the router you buy. Now, this option comes with a slim and ergonomic design. Hence, you will find it less demanding to wield for extended periods.

The cam lock system provides you an easy way of adjusting how deep you want the bit to dig into the workpiece. The quick-release latch lock also makes it a breeze to remove or install the base.

Pros
  • Wide speed adjustability range.
  • Slim and ergonomic body.
  • Comfortable to handle for extended periods.
Cons
  • It doesn’t give you the best sight of what you are doing.

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3. Bosch PR20EVS Router Tool

Bosch PR20EVS Router Tool

Although this unit comes with a 1-HP motor, it is still powerful enough to handle most projects. It comes from Bosch, also one of the big names in the industry. That means it’s a professional-grade unit that will deliver impressive results in lettering and sign making.

The 5.6-amp motor boasts a variable speed of 16000 to 35000 RPM. With that said, no matter the type of lettering you want to make, Bosch PR20EVS Router Tool will always offer the setting that suits it best.

While cordless routers are more convenient, corded versions are more powerful. This compact router is one of the corded models. Hence, before you buy it, ensure that there’s a nearby wall outlet where you want to use it. It’s angled cord exit keeps the power cable out of the way to give you ample time to focus on what matters.

When it comes to durability, this unit neither comes shy. The sturdy construction of the body and base ensures prolonged service life. The depth adjustment range lets you finetune how deep you cut when sign making.

One of the things you will like most about this router is that it handles a wide variety of bit sizes. With the ability to work with bits up to 1-5/16-inches in diameter, it should accommodate your favorite bits for letter cutting and sign making.

Pros
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Smart cord exit is a plus.
  • Compatible with a wide variety of bits.
Cons
  • Not the most powerful motor.

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4. DEWALT (DWP611) Router

DEWALT DWP611 Router

The Dewalt DWP611 Router is not only one of the most preferred options for lettering. It’s also a high-performance unit, and that’s why it’s one of the top-rated routers out there. Like the earlier sibling, there are plenty of features to talk about this unit.

Firstly, it features a 1-1/4-HP brushless motor. Hence, it should power you through the majority of your letter cutting projects. Also, you can increase or decrease the speed depending on the stage you are in your projects.

The soft-start is another desirable feature that you will more likely appreciate concerning this router. And after it reaches your set speed, a unique mechanism retains the setting throughout your project. Hence, all your cuts will look uniform and consistent as you want them to be.

Depth adjustability is also a feature of this router. The tool allows depth adjustment to within 1/64 inches. The small height-setting intervals come in handy for detail-oriented projects like sign-making and letter cutting.

The clear plastic base ensures enhanced bit visibility. That means you can now work on your workpiece with a high level of accuracy. Finally, we appreciate that it comes with LED lights for illuminating dark and poorly-lit environments.

Pros
  • Precise adjustments.
  • It retains the bit height setting.
  • The metallic body is durable.
Cons
  • Not the most affordable.

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5. Milwaukee 2723-20 Compact Router

Milwaukee 2723-20 Compact Router

With the right tool, you will find sign-making and lettering to be easy and fun. And yes, as you think about investing in a router, think about the Milwaukee 2723-20. This fantastic tool offers lots of features to allow you to tackle your wood crafts with a high level of convenience.

The hardworking motor works ideally for softwood and hardwood alike. Therefore, no matter the kind of wood you are cutting, you will like how this unit powers you through the projects.

You can adjust the speed of the bit to range anywhere between 10000 RPM and 31000 RPM. That’s wider than you will find in any of the previous options. The broader speed setting comes with additional versatility.

Additionally, we like that this compact router allows the user to select how deep the bit gets into the wood. The maximum depth adjustment of 1.5 inches is pretty decent and higher than you will find in some models. The fine adjustment screw lets you increase and decrease the depth to within 1/64-inches.

While it packs lots of impressive features, we must also face the fact that this compact router also has a few drawbacks. For instance, you have to buy the battery, plunge base, and offset base separately.

Pros
  • The build quality is impressive.
  • The weight is good.
  • Easy to operate
Cons
  • You have to buy some accessories separately.

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6. Brisunshine Compact Electric Hand Wood Trimmer

Brisunshine Compact Electric Hand Wood Trimmer

Although it comes with the lowest price on our top-notch list, this unit is one of the top-performing models out there. Its durably-constructed motor withstands heavy abuse in the most rugged jobsites.

Additionally, the motor of this high-quality router for sign-making and lettering has high heat-resistance. This capacity means that you can use it for extended periods without any troubles at all.

The base of this unit adopts a transparent design. The clear bottom ensures that you have a clear view of what the machine is doing. The maximum speed of 30000 RPM means you can use it for the most demanding projects.

Here, you are getting a compact tool. Hence, you can use it for tight areas where a larger version cannot fit. Also, you will notice that this router weighs less than the majority of other models. The lightweight design is helpful for projects that take time like sign-making.

The package includes the router, trimming wheel, and more. You should also find a user manual in the package. Therefore, even if you are using the tool for the first time, expect to get started like a pro.

Pros
  • The package contains lots of components.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • The user manual is easy to understand.
Cons
  • Not the most powerful router.

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7. PORTER-CABLE PCE6435 Router

PORTER-CABLE PCE6435 Router

When talking about top-notch power tools, the list is never complete without a product from Porter-Cable. That’s because Porter-Cable is one of the famous and well-established manufacturers in the industry. In the time she’s served the market, Porter-Cable has slowly found her way into the hearts of many professionals and hobbyists.

Now, the seventh tool of our coverage comes from this decent manufacturer. As we all expect, it’s a top-performing unit when it comes to sign-making and lettering, thanks to the superb capability and the lots of fantastic features.

This Porter-Cable compact router will handle nearly any sign-making job, thanks to the powerful 5.6-amp it has. The design of the engine ensures consistent performance throughout the project. Therefore, expect consistent cuts when using this machine.

This router will also allow you to perform lots of adjustments. For instance, you can vary the speed anywhere between 16000 RMPs and 35000 RPMs. Also, the depth-adjustment ring lets you adjust the depth of the cut to match your needs.

Lastly, we appreciate the extra-large locking clips of this router. That’s because this feature helps maintain your select depth settings. Hence, with this tool, expect to get the results you were expecting right from the beginning.

Pros
  • It comes from the United States.
  • Router bits are easy to change.
  • The price is fantastic for the quality.
Cons
  • The speed dial shakes a little due to vibration.

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8. Ridgid R860443B Compact Fixed Base Router

Ridgid R860443B Compact Fixed Base Router

The next product on the list is one of the wireless models. Therefore, if you are working away from a power source, you can count on this fixed-base router. The 18-volt batteries provide enough power to give you going for hours.

In fact, if you have any other tool running on Ridgid 18-volt batteries, you will be excited to learn that it can also work for this router. You should find that helpful, especially if you want to keep going for long with minimal trips to the charger.

The state-of-the-art wiring ensures outstanding performance throughout battery use. In other words, unlike some tools that lose power and aggression with the decrease in battery level, this accessory works powerfully when the battery is about to run out as it does when full.

You can use the micro-adjust dial or the quick release lever to adjust the depth of your cut. Hence, with this unit, you will find adjustments to be easier to perform than the majority of the competing models.

Pros
  • Longer battery life.
  • You can use any 18-volt battery on it.
  • Multiple ways of adjusting depth.
Cons
  • Adjustments can be a little complex for beginners, especially those intending to dodge reading the operator manual.

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9. Ryobi P601 Cordless Fixed Base Router

Ryobi P601 Cordless Fixed Base Router

If you want a professional-grade outcome in your sign-making or lettering projects, having the right tool for the job remains an absolute necessity. You have to opt for what professionals use, and the Ryobi P601 is one of these tools.

The powerful motor of this outstanding model is capable of delivering a whopping 29000 RPM. With this setting, tackling your professional or DIY woodworking projects is with ultimate ease.

Whether you want to use a tool for extended or short periods, pay attention to its level of ergonomics. And yes, this router is one that comes with ergonomics as a priority. The small size and the well-balanced weight makes it comfortable to maneuver for extended periods.

Additionally, this hardworking router also has an easy-grip rubber coating for a sure grip. That’s an essential factor for projects that need high level of precision like letter cutting and sign-making.

Generally, Ryobi P601 works incredibly well. One thing to note here, however, is that it doesn’t come with the battery. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t trouble you as it can work with an 18-volt battery from your existing Ryobi collection.

Pros
  • Setting the cut depth is easy.
  • It needs minimal storage space.
  • Efficient in terms of energy use.
Cons
  • You have to buy the battery separately if you don’t have one already.

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10. Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router

Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router

Sitting tenth on the list is yet another reliable tool from one of the industry leaders. The Bosch GKF125CEN has a powerful 1-1/4-HP motor. With this rating, there isn’t any letter cutting or sign-making project the palm router can’t do.

Like the predecessors, this unit allows for speed variability. The range of between 16000 RPM and 35000 RPM lets you choose the setting that works ideally for the type of material you are handling.

When it comes to the bit capacity, you will appreciate that Bosch GKF125CEN offers the best-in-class compatibility. With the ability to work with bits up to 1-5/16 inches, it will support all your favorite bits for letter cutting.

The soft-start feature is also another essential feature that’s worth noting about this model. The constant response circuitry monitors and maintains a constant speed. This feature ensures that you achieve consistent cuts in your projects.

When it comes to ergonomics, the Bosch GKF125CEN router neither comes shy. The palm-grip design alongside the finger-support pockets ensures that you get superior control over the tool for greater accuracy.

Pros
  • Soft-start circuitry is a plus.
  • Small but powerful.
  • Base comes out easily.
Cons
  • On/off switch may not work best with gloves.

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11. PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 4.5-Amp Router

PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 4.5-Amp Router

The last product on the list is from Porter-Cable. That means it’s not by any means an inferior tool. Like any other top-tool, Porter-Cable PCE6430 comes equipped with a powerful motor to make letter cutting and sign-making activities simpler than ever.

The 4.5-amp motor gives a whopping 31000 RPM when unloaded. That’s a pretty impressive capability, especially for a router of its price. One thing to note about this speed, however, is that you can’t adjust it. That means you have to stick to the same setting throughout your sign-making project.

In terms of bit-depth adjustment, this unit still allows you to control the depth of the cut. The depth ring is easy to use and provides precise regulation. What’s more, after you do this setting, the bit will remain at the exact position throughout the project.

When talking about durability, we all know that Porter-Cable products don’t disappoint. And yes, the rugged body alongside the aluminum-cast base means it’s one of the most durable routers out there.

The compact design has an impressive in-hand feel for a great user experience. Additionally, we like the lightweight design of this tool as it makes it more manageable to wield for many hours.

Pros
  • The clear base gives a clear view of the work area.
  • Built-in LED light is a nice feature.
  • The instructions are dependable.
Cons
  • The corded version is less convenient.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the best router for sign making?

Although we have different types of routers, not all work best for sign-making and lettering. If you want one that can tackle these jobs perfectly, consider CNC routers or palm routers.

Q2: What company makes the best routers for sign-making and lettering?

When buying a power tool, one of the things you should factor in is the manufacturer. While some may argue that the company doesn’t matter, the fact is that it does. After all, the well-reputed manufacturers out there aren’t famous for nothing. Some of the brands worth giving a priority include Dewalt, Porter-Cable, Bosch, Ryobi, and more.

Q3: What is the best wood to make signs?

How good your signs are going to appear on that wood depends on several factors—the quality of the tool, skill level, and of course, the type of wood you use. For sign making and lettering, pine and Medium Density Overlay (MDO) are the most preferred. They are durable and can stand up to harsh weather conditions with proper treatment.

Q4: What makes a good router for sign-making and lettering?

When buying a router for these jobs, ensure that you consider factors like the size and weight of the tool, speed variability, accuracy level, adjustments, bit compatibility, build quality, and more. In terms of cost, remember that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to power tools.

Q5: How deep does a router cut?

The cut depth of your router will depend on the model you buy. However, most models cut to about 1/4  of an inch deep.

Final Verdict

When buying routers for sign-making and lettering, the model you choose matters a lot. Before you opt for any, ensure that it has everything you need for your projects. All the options covered in this article have a spectacular array of features.

The ideal combination of features will depend on your requirements. After going through it, I believe it’s now easy to handpick the right model for your needs.

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