Milwaukee 2 1/4HP EVS Router

By Robert Robillard on Tool Review Videos, Tool Reviews

Milwaukee Heavy Duty Router Review:

The folks at Milwaukee recently send me their Milwaukee 2-1/4 EVS Router to review.   I recently took this router to the job site as well as used it it the workshop to see how she fared.

What attracted me to this router was the versatility of the 2 1/4 horsepower motor, it has enough power for anything I do.   As a carpenter or someone who is looking for one router to do everything they need – this is the one.  Its powerful enough to run in a router table for medium to light shop applications and plenty powerful for hand operations on the job site.

First Impression:

Milwaukee has added what they call “Body grip” to this router. The Body Grip is a real nice rubber hand grip with a Velcro strap to hold your dominant hand securely in place and in control of the router.  The two side handles on the 5616-20 are similar to other routers but are slightly over sized and also rubberized. I immediately liked the location and feel of both handle options.

The router’s 6 in. base diameter and low center of gravity design also make this an easy maneuvered, well balanced unit.  Hey, let’s face it, many people are not comfortable using a router.   The more comfortable and less fatigue a router is the easier it will be to operate.

Milwaukee engineers  submerged the routers circuit board in a protective, flexible compound that protects it from drop-shocks, vibration and damaging contamination. For added protection when the router is table mounted there is a shield feature that protects the motor from contamination and keeps damaging debris out without sacrificing airflow.

The Milwaukee 5616-20 router comes with two 1-1/8″ Collet Wrenches, 1/2″ Collet, 1/4″ Collet and a T-Handle Wrench.  Disappointingly it did not come with a tool box or carry bag.  I prefer the tool box as it truly protects the tool as it stores and stacks better in the tool trailer.

Milwaukee 2 1/4HP EVS Router Video Review:

Using the Milwaukee 5616-20 Router :

The first thing I did was to run the router through some maple, cherry and oak.  It cut effortless, smooth and had plenty of power.  The 5616-20 router was super comfortable to use.   I like the soft start motor which ensures that the router does not jerk in your hand as well as prolongs the longevity of the bearings and brushes.   Hmmm, I wonder if they will they make a brush-less router?

The variable speed worked well and the 5616-20 ran quieter than I expected it to be.

Adjusting the 5616-20 Router:

I really like the depth adjustment.   To make any adjustments you first need to “UN-clamp” the motor locking lever then you have three options of adjusting this router:  Rapid adjustment, micro-adjustment or with a T-handle through the base when in a router table.

One nice result of the three adjustments is that all three can be accomplished without having to rotate the the whole motor assembly.   The 5616-20 has what I call a “lazy man” button to rapidly adjust the router or to remove  the motor.   My favorite adjustment is the  mico-adjust dial that easily adjusts the depth of cut to within 1/64″ which I found impressive and accurate.

What I did not like:

When installed in a router table you need to reach under the table is to release the motor lock to allow the motor to move up and down with the T-handle.   I felt the 5616-20 fell short in this application and think Milwaukee may want to look at a tool-less shaft lock so all adjustments can be made top side of the router table.

Overall Impression:

The Milwaukee 2 1/4HP EVS Router is a job site workhorse with the versatility and power to be a table mounted shop favorite router.   I enjoyed using and reviewing the router, the price vs. value is indeed worth the purchase.  If your in the market for only one router but want to be productive and have the versatility of many routers than 5616-20 has what you need!  Recommended.

How Much and Where To buy:

The Milwaukee 2 1/4 HP EVS Router sells online for $ 179.00 here:  Milwaukee-5616-20-Max-Horsepower-BodyGrip-Router



  • Exclusive BodyGrip design
  • Powerful 13 amp, 2-1/4 max hp Milwaukee motor
  • Premium electronic motor feedback maintains speed and power under load
  • Electronic variable speed with soft start (10,000-24,000 rpm)
  • Micro-fine linear depth adjustment to within 1/64 in.
  • Exclusive above-the-table depth adjustment system
  • Exclusive motor contamination shield minimizes damage, maximizes airflow


  • Voltage 120 AC
  • Amps 13.0
  • Max HP 2.2
  • No Load RPM 10,000-24,000
  • Collet Diameter 1/4″-1/2″
  • Plunge Stroke N/A
  • Depth Adjustment Range 1-21/32″
  • Base Type Body Grip
  • Base Dimensions 6″
  • Cord Type 8′ Fixed
  • Construction Type Double Insulated
  • Switch Type Rocker
  • Dial Speed Control Yes
  • Electronic Feedback Yes
  • Height 8-1/2″
  • Tool Weight 8.8 lbs
  • Shipping Weight 11.35 lbs







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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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