Finding the Best Compact Router in 2018 – Recommended Day-to-Day Brands

Finding the Best Compact Router in 2017 - Recommended Day-to-Day Brands

The compact router is a multi-functional handheld tool that people use in numerous ways. Whenever you are decorating edging, for instance, it is one of the best tools to use. It is also perfect for concealing joints and straightening crooked joints whilst building cabinets. The quality of the product that you use matters, though. To work like a professional without using a lot of energy, look for a well-engineered product that you can use effortlessly.

The demand for quality compact routers is high among both contractors and individuals. Even though most brands claim to have the best products, we have identified a few top-rated ones that never disappoint. Made of steel, the 10 routers that we have reviewed are durable items. They also have portable and well-balanced designs that work seamlessly.

Check Price
  • Motor
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Weight
Dewalt DWP611PK
DEWALT DWP611PK
  • Motor1.25HP
  • Speed16,000-27,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight8 pounds
Bosch Colt
Bosch Colt
  • Motor1.0HP
  • Speed15,000-35,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight8 pounds
Bosch 1617EVS
Bosch 1617EVS
  • Motor2-1/4HP
  • Speed8,000-25,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight11 pounds
DEWALT DWP611
DEWALT DWP611
  • Motor1.25HP
  • Speed16,000-27,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight6 pounds
Makita RT0701CX7
Makita RT0701CX7
  • Motor1-1/4HP
  • Speed10,000-30,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight10 pounds
Check Price
  • Motor
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Weight
Ryobi ONE+
Ryobi ONE+
  • Motor2.0HP
  • Speed29,000rpm
  • PowerBattery
  • Weight3 pounds
PORTER-CABLE
PORTER-CABLE PCE6430
  • Motor0.6HP
  • Speed31,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight5 pounds
Ridgid R2401
Ridgid R2401
  • Motor1.6HP
  • Speed20,000-23,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight4 pounds
Porter-Cable 450
Porter-Cable 450
  • Motor1.25HP
  • Speed27,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight5 pounds
MLCS 9056
MLCS 9056
  • Motor1.0HP
  • Speed10,000-30,000rpm
  • PowerElectric
  • Weight6 pounds

1. DEWALT DWP611PK

DEWALT DWP611PKThe benefits of having a compact router in your garage or at work are diverse. Their multifunctional designs, for instance, handle most types of jobs well with minimal effort from people. They are also durable, easy to use, and have reliable systems that offer value for money always. DEWALT DWP611PK is such a product. Fitted with a 1.25HP electric motor, it generates the power needed to handle the toughest of applications easily. The motor also has a durable and power-efficient design that serves people well for long.

Different types of jobs require different power to do correctly. For the best results, you should also optimize the bit depth of your router as required. With DEWALT DWP611PK, you will never struggle with these. The variable speed control feature that it has, for instance, has a load speed range of 16,000-27,000RPM. This enables you to handle most types of jobs efficiently. You can also adjust its bit depth to within 1/64 inches without using special tools.

The performance of this compact router is admirable. Whenever you are planning an edging or compacting job, for instance, you will not struggle to start its system. The soft starting motor that it has starts well every time. Because of its full-time electronic feedback, it also maintains a constant speed as you work on materials. This not only improves its accuracy, but also the quality of the results that people get. Its wide plunge base (2-inches), on the other hand, enables you to work faster.

Do you work in dark areas often? Do you have a hard time monitoring your projects and or how your router is performing? This product will come to your aid. The dual LEDs on its sub-base enhance its visibility whilst in operation. This boosts not only the performance of people but also their safety.

Our Verdict

DEWALT DWP611PK is a powerful compact router that with a soft starting 1.2HP motor. Its performance is incredible. Its price and ease of use also appeal to both professionals and individuals. Buy yours. With the help of its two LED bulbs, you will handle most projects safely.

Pros
  • Broad base (2-inches)
  • Dual LED lights
  • Soft-starting motor (1.25HP)
  • Adjustable bit depth (1/64 inches)
  • Variable speed (16,000-27,000RPM)
Cons
  • Melts parts often

2. Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK

Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSKThe demand for quality compact routers is high among both Do It Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts and professional contractors. Even though many suitable products are available online, Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK stands out in many ways. If you are looking for a compact router that handles most jobs, for instance, this is the product for you. The powerful electric motor that it uses has a variable speed system that works flawlessly. It also has a quick lock system for safety and a soft start technology that rarely disappoints.

Fixed base routers such as Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK are reputable for their toughness. They also have solid and reliable systems with a wealth of interesting features. The 5.6amp motor that it uses, for instance, has an adjustable speed (15,000-35,000rpm). Depending on the material you are working on, you can customize its performance to satisfy your needs. It also has finger support pockets and a depth adjustment system for customizing its performance further. You will like it.

Does the heavy and or bulky router in your possession frustrate you whenever you are working? You will enjoy using this 11.8-pound one. Many people can use it light and portable design effortlessly. Moreover, even though cheap, you get a plethora of add-ons that will improve how you work on your projects. These include a straight edge guide, a drop-forged collet, and a one-year limited warranty on its defects.

Our Verdict

Once you have learned to contain this router’s slipping motor, you will enjoy using it every day for many reasons. Its power, for instance, is impressive. The soft start motor that it comes with reaches speeds of up to 35,000rpm. It also has a quality base and well-engineered add-ons that boost its performance.

Pros
  • Lightweight design (11.9 pounds)
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Adjustable speed (15,000-35,000rpm)
  • Powerful motor (5.6 amperes)
  • High-quality add-ons
Cons
  • Motor slides occasionally

3. Bosch 1617EVS

Bosch 1617EVSIn the construction industry, Bosch products are among the most reputable because of their performance. If you are shopping for a compact router, for instance, a model such as Bosch 1617EVS will never let you down. Even though compact, it is one of the most powerful products in this niche. The 12-amp motor that it has, for instance, generates up to 2.25HP at full capacity. It also has an adjustable speed (8000-25000RPM), which enables you to handle most woodworking projects at home well.

In addition to its power, you will like the versatility of this product. The speed dial that it comes with, for instance, is convenient. As you work on a project, you can customize its performance on demand to deliver your preferred results. Finally, even though its 6-inch base has a standard depth (6-11/16 inches), its performance on most types of surfaces is admirable.

Consistent routers such as Bosch 1617EVS improve the performance of people on most types of materials. Popular all over the world, for instance, you will like the advanced speed control technology that it has. Whilst in use, it monitors the performance of this router in real time. It then maintains your desired RPM automatically and therefore your performance. This improves the quality of the results that people get.

You will like the structure of this compact router. Made of rugged aluminum, for instance, its sturdy base withstands the test of time. It does not break and or chip, as most low-grade ones often do. The risk of it rusting or corroding over time is also slim. Bosch 1617EVS has a one-year limited warranty and 30-day money back guarantee from its manufacturer.

Our Verdict

Save for the scratches that it develops over time; this is a decent router for personal or professional use. Both its frame and motor (12 amperes) are durable. They do not break down as easily as come cheap brands available online often do. Its speed is impressive, while its ability to handle most jobs efficiently has made it a sought-after router globally.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty aluminum base
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Adjustable speed (8000-25000RPM)
  • Advanced speed control
  • Powerful 12amp motor (2.25HP)
Cons
  • Scratches easily

4. DEWALT DWP611

DEWALT DWP611As Bosch does, Dewalt is home to many quality tools that satisfy the demands of most people. This DEWALT DWP611 model, for instance, is a well-engineered product with many impressive features. If you are looking for a router that handles the toughest of jobs easily, this is one of the best in 2018. The 1.25HP motor that it uses is both durable and powerful. It also has a variable speed control for customizing its performance on demand. This enables you to do most types of jobs with a single router.

Do you have a compact router that fails to start when needed? Does it cut power or fail to maintain your desired speed whenever you are working on a project? Instead of wasting money repairing it, buy a new DEWALT DWP611 router instead. The soft starting motor that it has is very reliable. Overheating and other performance issues are not common. The motor also has a full-time electronic feedback, which maintains the correct operating speed. You will enjoy using one daily.

Whenever you are working, you can easily customize the performance of this compact router to satisfy your needs. Buy adjusting is speed, for instance, you can work on most types of materials without issues. By adjusting its ring, you can also customize its depth (up to 1/64 inches) to get your desired results. This is a simple process. You do not need tools to do it.

With this compact router, working in the dark will never be an issue for you. The two LED light on its sub-base illuminates work surfaces well. They are also durable. You do not have to worry about replacing them over the life of this compact router.

Our Verdict

Whilst shopping for compact routers, many people order random brands that fail to deliver. DEWALT DWP611 is not one of them. With a new one, you get an all-in-one compact router with a powerful motor. Its base is broad and powerful, while the dual LEDs it comes with illuminate job sites well.

Pros
  • Bright LED bulbs (dual)
  • Powerful motor (1.25HP)
  • Adjustable depth (up to 1/64 inches)
  • Adjustable speed
  • Full-time electronic feedback
Cons
  • None

5. Makita RT0701CX7

Makita RT0701CX7If you make a lot of cabinetry or handle woodworking jobs often, you will enjoy using this compact router. Like most of the best chainsaws that Makita has manufactured over the years, this is a powerful item. Once you have set its speed between 10,000-30,000RPM, you will handle most types of jobs easily. This is unlike some cheap brands that often disappoint.

While working on wood, people cut holes of different depths often. They also finish edges to produce smooth and eye-catching products for personal or commercial use. To handle such projects efficiently, Makita RT0701CX7 is one of the best compact routers to use. The fine adjustment settings that it has enable you to customize its performance on demand. This is a simple process. Most people can do it even whilst working.

Some brands of compact routers are frustrating to use. Because of their vibrating frames, for instance, they irritate joints and shoulders. They also have heavy and poorly engineered designs that frustrate people over time. With Makita RT0701CX7, these are non-issues. Its slim and ergonomic design is comfortable to use. You can also control it easily whenever you are working on a personal or commercial project.

This compact router does not slip out of tune over time. The powerful motor that it comes with has an electronic speed control that maintains the correct speed whilst in use. Under load, therefore, you do not have to worry about it slowing down, as some cheap routers often do.

Our Verdict

With this compact router, you will handle most woodworking projects like a professional. Its lightweight design, for instance, is comfortable to handle. Its motor, on the other hand, is not only powerful but also has an electronic speed control that maintains a consistent operating speed.

Pros
  • Electronic speed control
  • Soft start feature
  • Heavy-duty base (fixed)
  • Easy to handle/maneuver
  • Quality motor housing (aluminum)
Cons
  • Clogs with wood dust

6. Ryobi ONE+ Trim Router (Bare-Tool)

Ryobi ONE+ Trim Router (Bare-Tool)In the past, people depended on saws to trim and shape wood. Even though effective, these are cumbersome tools to use. People also have to exert a lot of effort to get fast and quality results at home or in their workplace. If you are looking for a quick fix for this, buying this Ryobi ONE+ Trim Router is a good decision. Its 18-volt electric system is powerful. You do not need Hulk-like muscles to make or finish wooden items well.

With this trim router, working on delicate projects will no longer be a chore for you. Its cordless fixed base, for instance, secures it well on most surfaces. Its tool-free depth adjustment system is very easy to customize, while its compatibility with most router bits is notable. With a little effort, you can easily customize its cutting bit. You can also adjust its speed (up to 29,000 RPM) to deliver your desired results.

Are you looking for a compact router for doing fine routing jobs on a day-to-day basis? This is one of the best brands for many reasons. Its compact design, for instance, works well in most areas. These include benches and cluttered spaces such as closets. Its lightweight (3.35 pounds) battery powered design, on the other hand, is convenient. You can travel with it easily. You can also use it for long without issues.

Our Verdict

Are you looking for a battery-powered compact router that delivers good results always? Ryobi ONE+ Trim Router is one of the best in 2018. Perfect for traveling, its portability is admirable. Its powerful and compact design, on the other hand, is among the best for doing fine routing jobs. Whilst in use, it reaches speeds of up to 29,000RPM.

Pros
  • Perfect for fine routing
  • Portable design (3.35 pounds)
  • Adjustable speed (up to 29,000 RPM)
  • Tool-free depth adjustment
  • Battery-powered system (18 volts)
Cons
  • Sprays dust everywhere

7. PORTER-CABLE PCE6430

PORTER-CABLE PCE6430Did you know that the type of results that people get depends on the tools in their possession? If you buy one of the low-grade routers to save money, for instance, expect poor results. Buy this well-designed PCE6430 model from PORTER-CABLE instead to get value for your money. Powered by a 4.5-ampere motor, it reaches speeds of up to 31,000RPM whilst in use. This enables you to handle most types of projects effortlessly.

Most of the cheaply designed compact routers that people waste their money on do not last for long. Others have low-grade components that not only compromise the performance of people but also their safety. PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 is different. Buy one to get a quality item with quality parts. Its cast aluminum base (fixed), for instance, withstands abuse well. Breakages and other issues are not common. Its motor is also one of the best in 2018.

Whenever you are working, you will never struggle to customize the performance of this compact router. Using is locking clips, for instance, you can easily lock and remove its motor when needed. Its well-built coarse depth adjustment feature also works well. Devoid of the type of project that you are working on, you can customize its performance easily.

Our Verdict

PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 is a versatile router that delivers memorable results in most settings. Its power, for instance, is on another level. Whether you handle light or heavy-duty woodworking projects often, expect good results from this product. You can maneuver it easily and adjust the depth of its bits on demand to get your desired results.

Pros
  • Adjustable bit depth
  • Comfortable to handle
  • Lightweight design
  • Durable base (cast aluminum)
  • Powerful motor (4.5-ampere)
  • Impressive speed (31,000RPM)
Cons
  • Depth control slips as it ages

8. Ridgid R2401

Ridgid R2401Even though not common like Bosch and Dewalt products, Ridgid compact routers deliver memorable results. Ridgid R2401, for instance, is a versatile trim router that supports both round and square bases. If you handle many specialized projects, therefore, this router will not let you down. Because of its versatility, you can handle most projects with ease. Its well-balanced design, on the other hand, is easier to operate than other comparable routers.

Whilst working on different types of projects, people have to change bits or customize their machines to get good results. With Ridgid R2401, these are non-issues. Its unique flattop design, for instance, stands upside down for easy bit changes. The risk of it rolling and injuring you is slim. The Easy Access micro dial that it has is also ideal. When needed, you can adjust its depth precisely to delivers excellent results.

Do you have a router that mars and or damages your surfaces when working on a project? Such products often lead to tremendous losses. Replace yours with Ridgid R2401 today to get memorable results. The over-mold that it has on top, for instance, prevents it from marring your work surfaces. Devoid of your skill level, thus, expect professional-grade results.

For easy maintenance, you can easily remove the motor from this compact router. All you have to do is flick its quick lever to remove its motor from its base. Some models require complex procedures to do this.

Our Verdict

Ridgid R2401, even though less known, is one of the most versatile compact routers in the market. Its performance (non-marring) is laudable. Both its base and motor are durable, while the Easy Access Micro Dial that it has enables you to change its bits fast and safely.

Pros
  • Non-marring top (over molded)
  • Quick release lever
  • Easy bit changes
  • Easy Access micro dial
  • Fits round and square bases
Cons
  • Bits loosen easily

9. Porter-Cable 450

Porter-Cable 450Do you struggle to fix rough edges whilst working on cabinets and other wooden accessories? Replace your worn out compact router with Porter-Cable 450 to have an instant improvement. Perfect for day-to-day use, its ergonomic design is comfortable to use. It is also light and well balanced. As such, devoid of the project you are working on, you can operate it with one hand without issues. Order yours today.

Even though light and compact, this routers heart-stopping power ranks it among the best for heavy-duty use. The 1.25HP motor that it uses, for instance, has a fixed speed of 27,000RPM. This is enough for powering through the toughest of applications without compromising its system.

This router’s technologically advanced design satisfies the needs of most people. To get a reliable product that does not require a lot of skill to operate, for instance, this is one of the best routers to buy. Its soft starting motor is convenient. Like most products that we have reviewed, it also has a full-time electronic feedback that optimizes the performance of its motor. While working, the risk of it losing power, for instance, is slim.

Our Verdict

Ranked among the best compact routers in 2018, the performance of Porter-Cable 450 is on another level. The soft start motor that it has, for instance, generates up to 1.25HP whilst in use. Speed is around 27,000RPM (fixed), while its electronic feedback keeps it working optimally always.

Pros
  • Soft-starting electric motor
  • Powerful motor (1.25HP)
  • Fixed speed (27,000RPM)
  • Electronic feedback (full time)
Cons
  • None

10. MLCS 9056

MLCS 9056MLCS 9056 is slightly heavier than some compact routers that we have reviewed herein. However, if you are looking for a reliable tool that handles heavy-duty jobs well, this is one of the best in 2018. The pinion and rack adjustment system that it has, for instance, is very efficient. You do not require skills to use it well. Its compact and well-balanced design is also easy to operate. You will enjoy using one daily.

Whilst in use, compact routers undergo a lot of abuse. Buying a low-grade model that will break down under stress, therefore, is one of the worst decisions that you can make. If you are conscious of your spending, look for a reputable brand such as MLCS 9056 instead. Made of heavy-duty aluminum, this is a durable product. The material absorbs shock well. It also has a light and well-finished design that does not rust or corrode over time.

Many people think that the best tools are the most expensive ones. This is not always the case. MLCS 9056, even though cheap, delivers memorable results in most settings. Its compact design, for instance, is easy to operate. You will also like the edge guide and the flush trimming attachment that it comes with. Set up well, they boost its performance further.

Our Verdict

Even though cheap, MLCS 9056 is a reputable compact router that works like a charm. Its compact design is light and easy to use. It also has a durable frame with an adjustable height system that works well.

Pros
  • Easy to operate
  • Compact and portable design
  • Free flush trimming tool
  • Free edge guide tool
  • Durable aluminum frame
Cons
  • Fussy depth adjustment lock

Buying Guide for the Best Compact Routers

Longevity: Many times, people have wasted money on cheap compact routers that have broken down whilst in use. Avoid this the next time you are shopping online. Check the longevity of the product that you are planning to buy before reaching for your pocket. Brands made of heavy-duty aluminum are the best.

Ease of Use: Do not buy a compact router that will frustrate you whilst working at home or in your office. To work like a professional, look for a product that you will enjoy using every day. It should have a light and portable design. Brands with adjustable speeds and heights are also ideal. Look for a well-engineered model that you will enjoy using.

Power Source: Are you planning to buy a battery-powered or electric compact router? Both models have their pros and cons. Battery-powered routers, for instance, have portable designs. Even though they are not as powerful as electric ones, many people can use them without issues.

Conclusion: If you are having a hard time finding the best compact router online, we have done the legwork for you. Our top 10 picks are versatile items that handle most types of woodworking projects well. They also have durable and easy-to-use designs for personal and professional use.

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