The only thing that makes the difference between a compact and a standard router is the dimension. The best compact router is a lot smaller compared to a full-sized one which adds a lot of comfort and control to the routing process. It would also make you a lot more versatile because you would care smaller tasks a lot easier than before. However, it is important to know that it is not that easy to pick the unit that is going to be appropriate for your demands. You have to determine what kinds of projects are you normally dealing with and whether or not you have a use for a smaller device. In order to determine the qualities and capabilities of these units, we have compiled a concise list of the best compact router reviews for the current year. It should enable you to make a thorough comparison and it should allow you to reach the right conclusion.
- DEWALT DWP611
- Motor: 1.25 HP, 16,000 - 27,000 rpm
- Includes: compact router with LEDs; standard fixed base; wrench; operating instructions
- Makita RT0701CX7
- Motor: 1.25 HP, 10,000 - 30,000 rpm
- Includes: 1/4 inch Collet, Tilt Base Set, Straight Guide, Wrench 13, Spanner Wrench
- Bosch PR20EVSK
- Motor: 5.6 amp, 1 HP, 15,000 - 35,000 rpm
- Includes: palm router, drop-forged collet and shaft wrenches, collet, fixed base, straight-edge guide, case
- PORTER-CABLE 450PK
- Motor: 1.25 HP, 27,000 rpm
- Includes: motor, standard base, plunge base, wrench, carry bag, and instruction manual
- Bosch PR10E
- Motor: 5.6 amp, 1 HP, 35,000 rpm
- Includes: 1/4-inch self-releasing collet chuck; collet wrench ; shaft wrench; PR001 fixed base
- Makita RT0700CX3
- Motor: 1.25 HP, 10,000 - 30,000 rpm
- Includes: 1/4 in. Collet, collet but, straight guide, template guide, fixed base, dust nozzle, wrench, plunge base, tilt base, offset base, side handle, trimmer guide, tool bag
Top 6 Compact Routers
Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Grip
This unit in particular is surely something that your workshop is going to significantly benefit from. Right of the bat, the unit comes with a powerful 5.6 amp motor. Not only is it capable of providing enough working force to handle the toughest undertakings, it also provides you with a variable rpm speed. You will be able to set it to a speed between 15,000 and 35,000 rpm which should be more than enough to accommodate even the hardest routing tasks.
The unit also has a depth adjustment system in order to allow you to carry out cuts in accordance with your particular demand. The finger support pockets ensure maximum safety as well as protection while you are using the device. The router comes in with an aluminum construction which makes it rather lightweight and easier to operate with. This would allow you to execute more precise cuts and to carry out some decorative undertakings as well. The soft-grip ensures that you won’t feel excessive fatigue on your hands after prolonged usage.
The units comes with a variety of additional features such as a drop-forged collet as well as shaft wrenches, another collet, a fixed base and a case to ensure easy portability. To add to this last advantage, the unit weighs only about 11.8 pounds, which makes it rather easy to carry around. It also has a straight-edge guide which means that you could easily execute perfectly edge cuts with little to no effort at all.
The DEWALT DWP611 is without a doubt one of the most reliable units on the market for this current year. This is due to a variety of good reasons. First of all, you should take a look at the motor – this powerful 1 ¼ HP rotor is capable of delivering enough power that should be able to handle the toughest routing jobs with ease. The device also offers the user a variable speed control in order to handle a wide abundance of applications. This is mainly because different kinds of wood would require different bit speed.
Something very important about this wood router is that the motor, apart from being soft-starting, also features full-time electronic feedback. This means that if the bit comes across an obstacle that requires additional speed or that would lower the speed, the motor would react in accordance. This would allow you to carry out the entire cut with maintained speed, which would also increase the precision of your cut.
The device also features dual LED lights as well as a clear sub-base which is specifically designated to provide you with a visible and clear working area. If something impairs your direct view to the bit, you might make a mistake that could cause the entire enterprise to fail. On top of that, the router comes with adjustment ring which would enable you to control the bit depth with increments as little as 1/64 of an inch. This ensures maximum precision.
Being one of the best routers on the market during this current year, the Makita RT0701CX surely does have a lot to offer. It comes with a 1.25 HP motor with variable speed control dial. You would be able to preset the speed of the rotating bit between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM. This feature is specifically intended to provide you with enough versatility because different work pieces require different bit speed. You can be sure that you will have enough speed for all kinds of applications.
The router is also equipped with a specially designed depth adjustment system which has the sole purpose of providing you with excellent and precise cuts. The unit is quite compact as well as slim and it is ergonomically fashioned in a way that will increase the overall comfort. The special design also allows exercising more control over the cutting process. The device features a quick release cam lock system which is intended to allow you to make rapid and easy depth changes. This system will also enable you to remove the base or install a new one. The Makita RT0701CX also comes with electronic speed control to ensure constant speed throughout the entire process, regardless of the pressure applied.
Smooth start ups are also taken care of thanks to the soft start feature. The unit has a fixed base which is compatible with the industry standard template guides. This feature adds a lot of convenience.
Now, the PORTER-CABLE 450PK might be a bit more expensive than the units reviewed up to now, but it is definitely worth the extra money. This combo kit router comes with both Fixed and Plunge base. This means that you could use it as either one, depending on your particular working demand. As you may imagine, this is an incredibly convenient possibility. It is incredibly compact and features a lightweight design which would enable the user to utilize the device comfortable and with more precision and control.
However, let’s talk a bit about the technicalities. The device is equipped with a powerful 1.25HP motor which is capable of delivering just about the right amount of power to satisfy even the hardest undertakings. Regardless of this, the motor is soft-starting and it comes with electronic feedback. This specific feature is there to ensure constant working speed of the rotating bit in order to deliver perfectly executed cuts. The device also comes with an adjustment ring which would allow the user to control the depth of the bit in increments as short as 1/64 of an inch.
On top of that, the depth ring and the clamping mechanism combine in order to make sure that the motor is going to remain locked into position. Overall, this definitely is a device worth spending your money on. It is excellent for both skilled professionals and amateur do-it-yourself guys. In any case, you are definitely going to get a faster return on your investment if you use the machine professionally.
Bosch PR10E is a unit that is more affordable than those that we have described so far, but it surely does bring a lot of advantages. Right of the bat, you are going to have at your disposal a machine equipped with 5.7 amp motor capable of delivering 35,000 RPM. While this is incredibly high routing speed, the device does not offer the possibility to offer it as it is a single-speed router. This means that you are likely to find it a bit harder to undertake jobs that require slower speed of the rotating bit.
On the other hand, it comes with a rugged aluminum fixed base which is specifically intended to provide you with all the stability and durability you need. This undeniably and inevitably translates to more precise cuts. The router is also equipped with an incredibly accurate depth adjustment system which is one of the best in its entire class. The router is going to enable you to precisely take care of your cutting tasks without a lot of effort.
On top of that, the machine ensures one of the most convenient finger support pockets. This means that you are going to be able to rest assured that your fingers are properly protected. Of course, this feature also brings a lot of versatility because you are going to be able to execute even the tiniest cuts such as trimming an edge, for instance. The fixed base is capable of accepting bits up to 1 and 5/16-icnes in diameter which is incredibly convenient.
This is the most expensive unit that we are going to look at. Now, the high cost is generally an indicator that the unit is specifically intended for commercial or professional use. However, the Makita RT0700CX3 is going to do you just as much good if you use it in a domestic environment. Of course, you won’t get the return on your investment as fast, but if you could afford it the unit is a great choice indeed. It comes with an incredibly 1.25HP motor, capable of delivering 6.5AMPS which is literally the maximum in this class of units.
The device would also allow you to adjust a proper routing speed between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM which means you could accommodate a variety of different undertakings, regardless of the material of the work piece. The router comes with a complex and innovative depth adjustment system which would enable you to precise set it to fit your current demands. This would inevitable translate to cuts executed to perfection.
On top of all that, the Makita RT0700CX3 is incredibly compact. It is fashioned in a slim and ergonomic manner which adds to the increased comfort. This would also allow you to exercise better control over the machine during the working process. You are also going to be able to quickly change the depth of the bit thanks to the quick release cam lock system. This would also allow you to properly remove or install the base.
Compact Router Benefits
It is important to understand that compact routers are incredibly beneficial to a certain extent. You are unlikely to be able to handle heavy-duty routing undertakings with such an ease as you are to do with a full-sized machine. However, there are numerous advantages of the compact routers.
- They are compatible with accessories meant for full sized routers. This means that you won’t be limited in terms of the accessories that you would be able to install on your router. It certainly does add a lot of utility.
- Compact routers are mobile. You could use them on a variety of different applications, but most importantly, you could even use them as a table router. You could install the unit right underneath the router table, punch a hole where the bit is and you are literally good to go. If there is a project with a lot of repetitive routing tasks, this is the way to go.
- They are perfect for tiny routing applications. You could easily create smaller dados or mortises. At the same time the compact routers are perfect for roundovers and inlays. These are generally tasks that would be a lot harder to carry out with a large table router.
It is without a doubt that the best compact router is going to provide you with a lot of advantages. You are going to be able to handle most of the routing applications easily and without a lot of effort. They are especially good for taking care of small wooden pieces. Also, if you are not a professional and you don’t need a heavy-duty machine – this is the way to go. At the same time if you are a wood worker and this is your 9 to 5 job, a compact router is going to make you a lot more versatile. Regardless, choosing the most appropriate one is still going to be rather tricky. This is why we have compiled a list of some of the best compact router reviews that you could take a look at and decide for yourself.