Cuttingdoor hinge mortise with a chisel is outdated now. A trim router is being used to cut door hinges for quite a while.
If you are up to using one of them, let us remind you there are hundreds of models and brands out there with many features and drawbacks.
It is quite a job to pick the best router for door hinges by comparing so many products on your own. Instead, look at our reviews where we have focused on why you should or shouldn’t choose a certain router. Let’s get started.
Usually, door hinge mortises are cut in three ways. But we will only focus on cutting with a router. We have broken the process down into the following simple steps. Make sure you follow along. Presently, if you haven’t router you can cut the door hinges with a Dremel.
Step 1: Place the hinge for measurement
The very first step of cutting the slot for door hinges is to place the hinge on the sides of the door for taking measurements.
You need to place the hinge on the desired side where you want the mortise to be. Usually, three hinges are used on a regular door. The top hinge is placed about 7 inches below the top of the door.
The middle hinge is placed at the center of the door. And the bottom hinge is placed 11 inches above the bottom of the door. After placing the hinge at the right place, hold it firmly with one hand.
Step 2: Outline the hinge with a pencil
Take a carpenter’s pencil and outline the hinge placed on the door. Make sure the outline becomes a perfect rectangle to get an ideal slot for the hinge. Also, measure the mortise of the hinge and outline that too.
Step 3: Adjust the depth of the router
Take the router, and you’ll find depth adjustment settings on the router. The depth is often expressed in millimeters.
Once you have unscrewed the depth setter and placed the hinge in it, tighten the screw until it touches the hinge. Now, you have set it to the desired depth.
Step 4: Turn the router on and make the cut
Place the router on the outline and turn it on. Plunge it until you have reached the right depth. Once the cut is complete, you can remove the wood shavings by hand. Make sure you are cleanly routing through the edges.
If you are a beginner in cutting door hinges with a router, these pro tips can make you much more comfortable at work.
Standard fixed-base routers will be helpful for beginners. But plunge-based routers are also good if you want a more versatile option.
Along with the router, choose a good bit for precision cuts. This is equally important.
Choose a variable speed motor for efficiently controlling the speed.
Get a good door hinge template to start.
A router with an easy depth adjustment setting is a must for beginners.
Top 5 Best Router for Door Hinges Reviews In 2023
1# DEWALT 20V Cordless Router
Motor Type: Brushless
Base Dimension: 4 inches
Collet Diameter: 1/4 inches
Speed: 16,000-25,500 RPM
The contrast of deep black and bright yellow draws attention to the tool on any work surface. But other than the look, for what else is this router a good or bad choice to cut door hinges? We will find out in a moment.
The brushless motor of this router runs on the 20V battery platform, and it has electronic controls. The router can be stopped almost instantly with the electronic controls when you want the bit to stop cutting.
A depth adjustment dial is placed where it should be. By twisting the dial, you can quickly and precisely change the cutting depth.
Two locking clamps on either side make sure the whole thing stands together even when changing the bits or making adjustments.
Then comes the variable speed dial. With large numbers printed on the plastic dial, you can easily set the rotational speed of the router depending on the work surface.
You might already know that this router can run at a speed of 16,000 to 25,500 RPM, but you won’t always need the same speed. So, just a little twist with your thumb, and you have the right speed for your purposes.
You get the benefit of a square and a round base in the unique design of the plastic base of this router. This is also compatible with the plunge base, but you need to buy it separately.
A Brushless Motor With Electronic Controls Ensures Maximum Safety And Performance
Cordless, So You Can Take It Anywhere On The Work Surface
Depth And Speed Adjustment Settings Are Easily Accessible
Unique Base Design
Plunge Base Doesn’t Come With The Tool, So You Need To Spend Extra For That
2# Makita Router For Door Hinges
Power: 1-1/4 HP
Speed: 10,000-30,000 RPM
Collet Diameter: 1/4 inches
Power Type: Corded
When it comes to routing door hinges or any other routing work, Makita can easily work on smaller surfaces due to the compact size of this model.
It comes with a fixed base that can be fitted with template guides. It can be highly beneficial for beginners.
You can even change the base according to your needs because the adjustment is easy here. While changing the bits, you can lock the shaft with clamps.
When it comes to holding the router while working, it gives you the most ergonomic holding posture to work for a longer period.
The rotational speed of the router varies from a very low to a moderately high range which makes this tool suitable for versatile jobs.
But for routing door hinges, you can easily set the desired speed with the help of a variable speed control dial at the top of the router.
Collet housing is suitable for 1/4-inch shanks of bits for cutting. Changing bits is effortless in this router.
Another great plus in this router is it comes with a trimmer base and plunge base. Many other routers in the market don’t come with these accessories, so you save some bucks here.
High-Speed Motor With Variable Speed Control
Precise Adjustment Of Speed And Cutting Depth
Very Ergonomic Design Adds Comfort To Your Works
The Soft-Start Feature Increases The Durability
Various Base Designs Are Included In The Package For Easy Shifting
A Bit Heavier
Corded, So You Can’t Move It Everywhere
3# Compact Router with Fixed Base
Power: 1.25 HP
Speed: 10,000 – 32,000 RPM
Power Type: Corded
Voltage: 120 volts
As the manufacturer of this router is comparatively newer in the market, it is trying to provide the best quality and feature possible in this router. It comes at a very reasonable price that is enough to compete with any newcomers.
But the price isn’t the only factor. Its 1.25 HP motor produces enough power to cut wood. With this much power, cutting door hinges or routing mortises is easier than many other class tools.
It comes with a speed control dial to operate the router at your desired speed based on the work type. The speed range is also bigger than many compact routers.
The precision in the depth adjustment setting you get in this tool is phenomenal. With a rack and pinion system, it counts every fraction.
Handling the device is very easy due to the rubberized grip. Added LEDs improve the working situation even when there is ample light for precision cuts.
You will also get all the necessary accessories included with the package, so you don’t need to spend extra on buying them.
Motor Produces Enough Power For Working On Different Wood
Speed Range Is Bigger But Easily Controllable
Comes At A Very Affordable Price But Has All The Necessary Features
Very Comfortable To Work With
Easy And Precise Depth Adjustment For Errorless Cutting
The Finish Of The Outer Surface Doesn’t Look That Premium, But You Can’t Expect Anything Better At This Price Either
4# Ryobi Cordless Fixed Base Router
Power Type: cordless, battery-powered.
Speed: fixed 29000 RPM.
Base: fixed aluminum base
Tired of having a limited working space because of the fixed cord attached to your router? Well, those freedomless days are over. Let us introduce you to the cordless Ryobi P601.
This router’s power source is a lithium-ion battery. Compared to other battery-powered routers, this one runs much longer, thanks to the energy-saving motor. It also supports a wide range of batteries, so you won’t have to apply rocket science before purchasing one.
The body is made of high-carbon steel, and the fixed base is aluminum. Combining these materials, you get a durable and robust trim router that will accomplish any routing work you throw at it.
Speaking of body, you get a rubber-textured, non-slippery holding area. The rubber texture ensures a tight grip which is needed for trimming. The grip remains tight even when your hand sweats.
Say goodbye to all the depth-adjusting tools because this router has a depth adjusting knob. You can tune how deep you want to cut by simply rotating the knob. Yes, it’s that easy.
Ryobi has used a silent yet powerful 29000 rotation per minute motor to get your job done in a flash. Trimming will never be the same again.
The only minor complaint we have is that the trim router does not have any batteries or chargers. You only get the router and no power source.
To make up for this minor issue, Ryobi, for the first time, has included LED lights underneath the fixed base. This will help you see what you’re doing in dark environments.
Cordless trim router that runs on a variety of different batteries.
Has a depth adjustment knob for adjusting cutting depth.
Rubber textured grip for non-slippery cutting and trimming.
Has LED lights for working in dark places.
You have to buy a battery and charger separately.
5# CtopoGo Compact Wood Router
Suitable for: home and professional usage
rotation/speed: 30000 RPM
Accessories: everything included
As door hinges are narrow areas, you’ll need something small to work precisely. As the previously reviewed Makita router rival, how well does CtopoGo hold against it? Is it better? Let’s find out.
The CtopoGo wood palm router is made of premium quality aluminum. Because of this and the small form factor, the router is very lightweight. The whole body is also water and rustproof.
The bottom is made of ABS transparent plastic. Thanks to the transparency, you can observe the woodworking, resulting in better trims and cuts.
When it comes to holding, the router has a rubber design so that you can get a firm grip while working. The rubber is also very comfortable, which means less hand fatigue.
The 800watt 8-horsepower motor will ensure that you can work on even the thickest door hinges. You can also work on other wood projects because of the 30000R/min rotation power.
The only problem is that the instructions are vague and hard to follow. Beginners will have a tough time figuring out what to do with the included things.
The trim diameter is ¼ inches. Additionally, changing bits is barely an inconvenience, thanks to the stainless steel gear transmission.
To make it easy for you to start wood routing immediately, CtopoGo included 12 ¼ inch router bits ranging from 6mm to 32mm.
That’s not all. You get a straight guide, trimming guide, carbon bush, wrenches, and many more things. These included things will save you a lot of money.
High power 800w 30000 RPM motor that can cut or trim any wood.
Body made with premium aluminum and ABS plastic for long-lasting performance.
The router is water and dustproof.
Comes with 12 different router bits and all the necessary accessories.
Included user manual/instruction is hard to follow for beginners.
6# Palm Router For Door Hinges
Power: 1 HP
Amperage: 5.6 amps
Speed: 16,000 – 35,000 RPM
Collet Diameter: 1/4 inches
The overall feel of this router is extraordinary. When you take it out of the packaging and hold it with your hands, it instantly feels like a tool you have used for years.
The grip contours your hands very nicely to make you feel comfortable while operating. As it is a palm router, comfort is key here. But the 1HP motor is more than enough for a router of this size.
It rotates at 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, an extensive range for a palm router. You can easily control the speed of the router.
It comes with a straight edge guide that lets you cut along the edges. A tricky feature is the angled cord exit so that the cord doesn’t get inside the base by any means. This fixed base router gives precise depth adjustments.
You can adjust the depth in macro and micro settings for precision cuts, especially for door hinges. A quick clamp system can easily unhook the motor from the base and reinstall a different base according to your needs.
A worthy tool at this price range indeed.
Compact And Agile-Looking Save Your Workspace
Compatible With Bit Sizes Up To 1-5/16 Inches For Versatile Work
Exact Depth Adjustment And Speed Control Setting
Powerful Motor And Sturdy Build Quality
Easy Lock Unlock System Of The Base And The Motor Using Clamps
Cord Length Is Short, Which Makes Working On Larger Surfaces Inconvenient
7# Plunge Router Attachment For Door Hinges
Router Type: Plunge
Depth Stop: Two
Power Type: Corded
If you are working in small quantities, buying a large fixed base router for many bucks might be overkill. Instead, you can simply use this attachment to turn your existing rotary tool into a router that can mortise hinges easily.
It is made of metal and plastic. The attachment base is made of plastic and gives a clear view of the work surface for precision cuts.
The depth adjustment system here isn’t like fixed-based routers. It houses two plunging depths that you can lock with hand grips.
The plunge router attachment is compatible with bits of 1/8 inches in diameter, which is pretty standard.
Though you can’t pair it with all models of Dremel rotary tools, there is a list of compatible tools included with the product to know what to use.
This can be specifically good for beginners who are just experimenting with this type of tool. Before you handle a fixed base router, get a good feel of routing with this plunge router attachment.
You will also get the necessary storage for the accessories on the attachment, which is a clever idea to store everything nicely.
Lightweight Plunge Router Attachment Easily Pairs With Compatible Rotary Tools To Turn Them Into Efficient Routers
Two Plunge Depth Adjustments For Quick Interchange
Depth Adjustment Might Not Be As Precise As Other Tools
Buying Guide – What Should I Consider When Buying Router
Routers make cutting slots for door hinges easier but choosing the best router is no easy job. You need to check several things before making the final decision.
But as a beginner, you might not know what to look for when buying a router. Here are our suggestions for you, take a look.
Base of Router
The base of a router is the bottom part that sits on the work surface. You will see different base types, including fixed base and plunge base routers.
Fixed base routers are just standard routers with a flat base attached to the router. In this case, the base can be detached from the motor to attach a different base type.
But in the case of plunge base routers, there is no fixed base. These routers are versatile because you can pair them with rotary tools and use them for different jobs.
Fixed base routers are suitable for beginners because these can be used without much effort to keep stable.
Plunge base routers need some expertise and experience to use. But you can make vertical cuts, fluting, mortising, blind grooves, etc., with plunge base routers.
Motor Type and Power
Well, most routers in this class come with a brushless motor that can produce 1 to 1.5HP.
This power is good enough for making cuts at the edges of the wood surface of slots for door hinges. It is better to have a powerful motor that makes the router quickly cut through tough wood.
Speed and Speed Type
The speed of the motor varies from brand to brand or model to model. But most common models run at a speed of 15,000 to 30,000 RPM. You will have options like single-speed or variable-speed routers.
Single-speed routers aren’t that versatile. You can’t change the speed of the motor according to your work type.
So, it becomes inconvenient sometimes. But with variable speed motors, you can easily adjust the necessary speed depending on your purposes.
Compatible Bit Size
It is a major factor that you need to focus on before buying. Different routers are compatible with different bit sizes.
But the router you purchase should be compatible with standard-sized bits that are most commonly used.
So, check for the bit size in the specification of the router before buying it. It will reduce a lot of hassle later.
Edge guides help users route the tool along a straight edge. Experienced professionals can make straight edges easily, but beginners might face difficulty in making straight edges. Edge guide and templates help a lot in this regard.
These accessories are often included in the package of most routers. But some routers don’t contain these accessories, and you need to buy them separately.
To keep from spending extra on these accessories, choose a model that comes with an edge guide and templates.
As routers will be used for a long time per project, they need to be ergonomic to have a good grip on them. If the holding gesture of the routers isn’t fitting, you might face wrist pain after working a few days.
Choose something that has grooves or finger rests to easily hold the router and have a firm grip while working. This is also crucial for precision cutting.
An ideal router shouldn’t exceed 4 lbs because maneuvering them will be more difficult. Choose a router that is easy to move around. It will reduce fatigue and let you work longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What router bit do I use to mortise hinges?
Answer: Router bits come in different sizes and shapes. But as we are talking about door hinges, we should choose 1/2 inch bits. Though smaller bits will also work fine, 1/2-inch bits are more stable on the surface and give easier cuts.
Question: Can I cut acrylic with a router?
Answer: Yes, you can. Routers can be used to make curved or straight cuts in acrylic. It is better to have a variable speed router to cut acrylic.
Question: Can a wood router cut aluminum?
Answer: The general answer is yes. A wood router can be used to cut aluminum. But every material has its sweet spot for cutting with routers. Also, wood doesn’t stick to the router while cutting.
But if you use the same router for cutting aluminum, it will do its job, but aluminum can be sticky while cutting. Cut pieces can weld themselves or with the router if you are not doing it correctly.
Question: Will a router cut metal?
Answer: Well, the answer depends on several things. If you are using the correct bit with a powered-enough router, you can cut metals like aluminumwith the router. Ferrous metals like steel shouldn’t be cut with a router.
Question: Can I cut Corian with a router?
Answer: Corian is highly dense and durable. But you can cut Corian with a router if you use carbide-tipped router bits.
Before drawing the curtain, a quick tip for you, just open the door of your room and observe how hinges are flush with the door surface. It is possible because a precise cut is made beforehand for the hinge to sit perfectly in place.
Mastering this technique is essential, so is buying the best router for door hinges that will reduce the hassle of mortising hinges.