What is an adept tool for fast and precise woodcutting? A router.
Now to achieve equal cuts in woodworking, a router template comes in handy to ensure impeccable and identical cuts. And once the template guide is perfected, you can do it countless times.
It is vital to get the correct shape of the template guide to create an excellent job. And there are only a few products that could give the level of performance that carpenters trust.
This router templates review will tackle four different brands of templates to help you find the brand that fits your needs.
Top 4 Best Router Templates Review
As we all know, these are very useful in woodcutting, especially with multiple identical cutting. The diverse kinds of cuts can be tricky, and if you are using the wrong tool, then you will have a hard time perfecting the template guide that you need. Below is a list that could help you sort your needs.
Guide bushings can cut dovetails, lettering, inlay work, and sometimes duplicating a furniture part.
The DCT is designed to have maximum resilience with a router bit cutter and different templates. A standard bushing size fits perfectly with routers that have a 1-3/16-inch or 1-1/4-inch base, which makes it popular in the wood crafting industry.
Included in the package is an 8-piece set with two bonus lock nuts, a Porter-Cable guide bushing of 5/16″ to 1″ inch, and a great range of bushing sizes.
With the Porter-Cable guide, it is designed to fit a wide range of models. You just have to use a screw-on locking ring to hold the tube to the router base. The area where the bit comes through the bushing is relatively short, which gives you the ability to use a thinner template material that is 1/4-inch and thinner.
Each bushing is constructed with clean, sharp threads making a cleaner and precise cut. It is also designed as a solid brass so it could resist loose vibration and resist water and moisture.
- Good for beginners, with the price and numbers
- The Porter-Cable design can fit a various range of models
- Can resist loose vibration, water, and moisture
- Allows to use a thinner template
- Ability to withstand several uses
- It is a standard-sized bushing, but it doesn’t fit on some routers
- You can’t easily change bushings when using a Porter-Cable guide
This type of bushing only fits with Bosch routers. But with these quick-release routers, it is easy to use and easy to set-up. The quick-change template guide adapter allows you to change the template guides by moving the lever in it.
Inside the case, it has the RA1126, which is the quick-release template guide adapter; a very useful tool for saving time and a hassle-free work environment. It is usually used by woodworkers who constantly change the template guide bushings.
The RA1103 and RA1108 are template guides for dovetail joints. RA1103 is a guide for small dovetail joints, and RA1108 is for the large dovetail. Let’s be honest, making dovetail is not that easy for a beginner woodworker, especially with a hand router. With the RA1103 and RA1108, it makes dovetails easier to work on. Hinges are an essential part of woodworking, especially if you’re working on a cabinet or a door. Within the case, it also includes a 1/4-inch and a 5/8-inch radius hinge, the RA1113, and RA1121.
- Has a quick-release template guide to change the template guide easily
- Includes an adapter or also called threaded guide that allows Porter-Cable templates to be used on the Bosch router
- Very useful for woodworkers who change template guides all the time
- Easy to set up, you just have to secure the template guide adapter with a screw or two
- Because of the quick-release or the easy changeability, the quality of the template guides are flimsy and can easily be worn off or broken.
Cutting a perfect circle is hard if you don’t have a guide. Other than the router template guide, you could also have a guide for cutting perfect circles. With this type of template guide, you get everything that you need for cutting circles from 1-1/2-inch to 52-inch.
Included in the packaging are a circle jig, a large circle jig, an offset base, turnlock TM base plate, router bit, drill bit, centering pin, bushing, and mounting hardware.
The circle jig can measure and cut 1-1/2-inch to 12-inch circle, while a large jig can cut 10-inch to 52-inch circle. Both jigs are built with measuring scales, the metric and imperial. It also has an easy small window that is marked as I and O. I for inside cuts and O for outside cuts.
In case you are wondering about the I and O writings on both sides of the readout window on both sides of the scales, they are the inside and outside diameter. It will give you the exact diameter of the cut that you need.
With the CircleGuideKit, you can easily create circle tops, coasters, stereos, and round tables that you have always wanted.
- It can cut a perfect circle.
- Easy to use for cutting once the router base is assembled and positioned correctly.
- Great product for a good amount of price.
- Possibility to use it in any type of router as the base.
- The router base is big, so when cutting a small circle, you will not be able to see the circle that you’re cutting.
- You will have to use many routers to make the jig fit for small and large circles, which made it bothersome and frail to use.
- It is only for circular cutouts.
When you are working with large boards, there are tendencies that the board splits, depending on how much moisture content there are in the environment. Early woodworkers provided a solution to the problem, they have created a butterfly that can be inlaid into that board and help prevent it from splitting.
Other than securing crack tops, it can also be used to hide blemishes on the surface to give it a different design element.
They are placed in between grains to prevent the board from breaking apart in the long run.
Butterfly inlays are easy to produce with the help of POWERTEC 71105.
It is a variety of clear hardened acrylic, molded into butterfly inlay templates. Due to the convenience and hassle-free feature of the butterfly template, it is user-friendly, especially for beginners.
Inside the box is a 4 piece-set of hardened acrylics in butterfly inlay patterns. The butterfly inlay templates are 1/4-inch thick with 7 individually sized butterfly that ranges from 1-inch x 1-5/8-inch to 4-1/2-inch x 5-3/4-inch.
In terms of the template quality, the POWERTEC butterfly template inlay is a hardened acrylic. It is an absolute material for woodworking, which makes it a sturdy template guide.
The compatibility is a factor in most template guides. If the tools used are not compatible with each other, it would be difficult to maneuver. As with the POWERTEC, it is compatible with any brand of the router bit.
- Easy to use.
- Durable than other plastic and DIY templates.
- Produces impeccable and precise butterfly inlays.
- Convenient as you don’t need to change your current power tool to fit the butterfly inlay template.
- The template guide is specifically made for butterfly inlay usage.
What to Look for Before Buying?
There are different brands of bushing guide that is available in the market, and you really must do your research to know what you need before buying. Below are the factors that you must consider before making up your mind on buying bushing guides for your router.
If you plan on buying a router template, you should make sure that it would fit your router, else you will be throwing your money away. To have a safer choice of size, it is better to buy the router template that is manufactured by the same brand.
Considering the material used for the template guide is also essential, there are only a few materials for bushings when it comes to the durability of the bushing guide.
Brass bushings are popular and highly used, as most of the bushings are made in brass. They reduce friction between the bushing itself and the end of the template. It can also resist loose vibration, water, and moisture. As brass bushings are trusted by most manufacturers because of the high performance.
Center and Diameter
If you plan on buying a piece and not the set of a bushing guide, you should consider the center diameter that you need. If you plan on using it for a pattern bit, you should consider the amount of offset that you need to make the patterns.
You would also want to consider buying a template guide that has minimal loose vibration when using the bushing. It will easily wear off if it can’t resist vibration.
When buying something, may it be a tool for your router or something else, never just buy the most expensive among the rest in a supermarket. Always check the reviews if they are worth the price or not. Freud, MLCS, CMT, and Whiteside are the top brands for guide bushings that you could choose from.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a router template guide?
The router template guide is mounted into the router’s subbase with a tube that extends through the router base. It is the outer of the tube, which rides against the edge of the guide or the template. At the same time, it keeps the bit in distance to avoid damaging the bit.
- How do you use a router template guide?
There are two types of guide bushing: Porter-Cable, and quick-release. Porter-Cable has a screw-on locking ring that you mount at the router base by securing it with the screw lock.
The latter is only used for Bosch routers, which has a quick-release adapter. Secure the adapter to the base with screws. In the quick-release adapter, there is a lever that holds the guide bushing.
- What is a template offset?
The offset is the distance from the outside edge of the guide bushing to the edge of the router bit. In other terms, offset is the space between the router bit and the edge of the tube part of the guide bushing.
- How important is the guide bushing?
It is important because it is your guide when making a pattern in a board or template. The cuts are precise and accurate, and they protect your bits.
- Should I still use a guide bushing with the pattern bit?
Not likely. You can ignore the guide bushing when using a pattern bit or flush-trim bit.
If you are the type of person who does not like to haggle the quality but still wants to get a good price, then you should choose the ones that are made in brass but are not that expensive. But if you don’t mind spending to get the quality that you want, then you can choose among the top brands of the router template guide.
Whichever type or brand of guide bushing you’ve picked; I hope this router template review helped you with your needs.