DeWALT DW618B3 Three Base Router Kit Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

DeWALT 2-1/4 HP Three Base Router Kit

We recently got our hands on the DeWALT DW618B3 2-1/4 HP Three Base Router Kit to test and evaluate. Routers are an essential power tool for any shop or woodworker and today there are countless models to choose from. The DW618B3 is a router kit that offers the benefits of a fixed base router, a plunge router and a D handle router at a very attractive price point.

DW618B3 Features

  • 2-1/4 HP (maximum motor HP), 12.0 Amp electronic variable speed motor provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods
  • Electronic variable speed with full feedback control for constant speed under load from 8,000-24,000 rpm and soft start to reduce start-up torque for enhanced control
  • D-handle incorporates trigger switch with lock-on feature
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment ring provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64″ increments and adjusts vertically for a constant switch/cordset location
  • Adjustable, tool-free steel motor cam lock makes depth adjustment and base changes quick and solid-locking
  • Integral, through-the-column dust collection collects 95% of the dust and provides superior bit visibility
  • Quick release motor latches for fast and easy motor pack removal for bit and base changes
  • Detachable cordset offers cordset serviceability and removes the need for a “shorty” cord motor pack
  • Sub-base concentricity gauge included to ensure bit concentricity for best-in-class accuracy
  • Precision machined brass bushings and case-hardened steel guide rods provide a smooth and accurate plunge stroke
  • Spindle lock button allows for single-wrench bit changes
  • Clear, LEXAN sub-base provides enhanced base durability, bit visibility, and accepts standard template guide bushings
  • Rubber overmolded handles and low center of gravity design provide best-in-class comfort, balance, and control
  • Dust-Sealed Switch protects against dust ingestion for longer switch life
  • Heavy-duty, precision machined, die-cast aluminum base and motor housing for durability and low tool weight
  • Nickel plated motor housing for a smooth, long-lasting depth adjustment
  • Right or left switch and cordset location provides the ability to have the switch in your right or left hand
  • Flat top for easy bit and depth changes
  • Self-releasing, long, eight slotted collets for better bit retention and elimination of frozen bits
  • Five position, adjustable turret stop assists in stepped or repeated plunge cuts
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment on plunge base 5/128″ per turn for precise routing in veneer and inlays
  • Easy to reach plunge lever and switch for superior control while routing

DeWALT DW618B3 Router Kit Review

First of all routers can be purchased in many different sizes and set-ups to fit a variety of tasks. However, if you’re looking for a “one size fits all” type of router then kits like this one are a fantastic price. The DW618B3 offers all the great features of a fixed base router, D-handle router and a plunge router. As you can see in the photos the kit includes a single router motor that fits into three separate router base configurations.

Power

The DW618B3 Router Kit includes a 12 amp, 2-1/4 horse power variable speed motor. The motor can be adjusted from 8,000 to 24,000 rpms to match up with different materials and cutters. We found the 2-1/4 HP motor to be very robust and up to the challenge of some tough tasks. We tested the router using several bits and wood species including 3/4″ straight fluted bit cutting into southern yellow pine and some Brazilian cherry. The router had no problem cutting those materials with that large bit.

Versatility

The DW618B3 really shines when it comes to versatility. The motor is very easy to switch between all three of the bases (fixed base, plunge base and D-handle base). Each of the bases has a simple locking lever that holds the base firmly to the motor. This feature makes the changing process simple and fast. The entire router, all three bases and all the accessories easily fit in a nice storage case that makes this router kit easy to transport from job to job.

Depth Adjustment

Over the years we’ve learned that depth adjustment is one of the most important features in a router. The DW618B3 is very easy to adjust the depth of cut. The fixed and D-handle bases both use a “Depth Adjustment Ring” which easily spins around the motor houses and adjusts the depth of cut. The plunge router base offers a very nice depth adjustment rod that has easy to use fine adjustments. The ease of use for this plunge router base was one of our favorite features for this router.

Misc Features

We also like two other features that the DW618B3 offers. The dust extraction feature is something we’ve not used before and it worked nicely. The plunge router base comes with a built-in dust extraction port that allows you to hook up a vacuum to the router. It worked very well for us and it’s a nice extra feature. The other feature we like is the built-in spindle lock button which allows you to use a single wrench to change bits. This router also comes with a centering tool which makes centering the router base to the shaft a real easy task.

Overall Thoughts

The DeWALT DW618B3 Three Base Router Kit offers a top notch router in a very versatile kit at a great price point. The DW618B3 can be purchased for under $300 which makes it a fantastic value. As usual DeWALT impressed us with the quality of the product, ease of use and reputable power. If you’re looking for a multi-base router kit then we highly recommend this one.

The DW618B3 is available at hardware stores across the country or you can buy it online at several locations including:

  • here for$255 with FREE shipping.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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1 Comment

  1. Deborah says:

    Looks good. I don’t think hubby has ever used a D-Handle before.

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