Best Compact Router (September 2020) – Top Picks By Expert

A compact router is a handheld tool that a worker uses to empty an area with a comparatively tough material such as wood or plastic. It is mainly used in woodworking, especially for making cabinets and tables.

It is right to say that a compact router is one of the best options for anyone passionate about craftsmanship because it can help you turn old or broken objects into better things. In short, it is a splendid item for anyone who has a thing for home decor.

Let’s follow this article below to know the top 10 best compact routers in 2020 and some exciting buying guides.

Top 10 Best Compact Routers In 2020

First off, let’s take a look at this list of 10 best trim routers reviews that we have collected for you right here.

#1: Bosch Colt PR20EVS Palm Trim Router

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Engine: 5.6 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 16,000 – 35,000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.4 x 4.7 in
  • Horsepower: 1 HP
Bosch Colt PR20EVS Palm Trim Router

This is a model to consider as it puts routing power and precision in the palm of your hand. It comes with  a convenient handle design with SoftGrid, which creates a comfortable feeling when you hold it.

Also, it has ample power with a 5.6 amp variable speed motor, which helps it to reach speeds of between 16,000 and 35,000 rpm. That makes it easier to use than other routers of large sizes.

Besides, Bosch Colt PR20EVS provides a straight edge guide to lead the router along edges of the workpiece or up to 3-5/8 inch from the side.

This router also has an angled wire outlet to keep wires away from work, and it will give you the ability to make more complex and beautiful cuts.

Moreover, it has a fast and accurate depth adjustment system that enables both macro and micro-adjustments. Meanwhile, the quick clamping system allows the engine to easily adjust or move from one facility to another, helping you get things done faster and more efficiently.

However, this model does not come with a solid  sole. It only features a fixed aluminum base. Therefore, you will need to purchase a compatible bottom separately if you decide to buy this product.

Pros.Cons.
  • Fast and precise depth adjustment system.
  • Unique finger support pockets.
  • Versatile bit-changing system.
  • No solid base.
  • Strong vibration.

#2: Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Compact Router

You can use this versatile router for many purposes including precision bit cutting, slot cutting, edge shaping, dovetail cutting, and wood trimming. Thus, it is voted as one of the most best-selling routers on the market today.

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 18.2 lbs
  • Engine: 12 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 8,000 – 25,000
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 11.5 x 11.6 inches
  • Horsepower: 2.25 HP

Thanks to the aluminum structure, it is regarded as one of the most endurable routers with a fixed wooden handle on the base. That helps users to control this model most effectively when using it.

Besides, with the integrated constant feedback circuit, your router will conserve an unchanged-speed during the cutting process so that you will get more reliable results.

With the integrated soft-start feature, the motor reduces torque at startup for smoother transitions. It also makes it easier for you to get a handle on any unexpected situation

However, the metal edges on the router still have extremely sharp edges, so the risk of cutting your fingers  in the first days of using it is high. Plus, Although controllable, the device still generates vibrations under heavy load.

One more thing, Do not be surprised if you have to purchase a dust collector, an edge guide, and bushings separately because this product will not include them

Pros.Cons.
  • Very smooth plunge action.
  • Variable speed.
  • Versatile uses.
  • High precision cutting.
  • Vibrations under heavy load.
  • No dust port, edge guide, and bushings.

#3: Makita RT0701C Compact Router

RT0701 is one of Makita’s top picks. If you are looking for a powerful and accurate compact router at a reasonable cost, then this model is the perfect choice for you.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 3.9 lbs
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 10,000 – 30,000
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 6 inches
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
Makita RT0701C Compact Router

It has additional performance features, including electronic speed control, to maintain a constant speed upon loading and a soft start feature for a smooth startup.

In addition, the RT0701C includes a smooth depth adjustment system, a stable stand, and an easy-to-read depth scale, giving users greater accuracy and higher performance. It is also double insulated with heavy aluminum motor housing for increased durability.

The sleek and compact design combined with light weight makes this router as a great friend for carpenters both at work and at home.

However, you may find its vibration during use all but a pain. And some basic parts are not included with the product. Base screws seem to be located in Loctite, and they are difficult to adjust without distorting Phillips screw slots. This may put a damper on your  experience.

Pros.Cons.
  • Lightweight product.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • High precision.
  • The basic parts are not attached.

#4: Porter-cable 690LR Router

Porter-cable 690LR RouterSpecifications

  • Item Weight: 9.4 lbs
  • Engine: 11 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 27,500
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 8 inches
  • Horsepower: 1.75 HP

Meticulously crafted from advanced technology, this router features speeds of up to 27,500 revolutions-per-minute, providing the most robust and optimal performance in the processing of wooden panels.

It has a plastic outer shell and handles designed to fit the user’s hand. Great roughness handle with the anti-slip effect not only creates a sense of firmness and smoothness but also ensures safety for you, even if you have sweaty hands or your hands are contaminated with oil while working.

Furthermore, the ergonomic molded handle also keeps your hands and wrists in the most comfortable position, even when you have to work for a long time.

Porter-Cable 690LR router has a compact design, lightweight, and does not take up much space, giving you absolute convenience. Also, you can store it easily without worrying about it being damaged.

Besides, this router includes an auto-release collect system for easy bit removal, providing high performance and consistency.

However, this compact router will not last very long . It will  be in good working condition for roughly three to four years. But after that, its system can get cranky and it might shut down , and you will have to spend a significant amount of money to fix it.

Pros.Cons.
  • Automatic collect system to change bits easily.
  • Large capacity and high precision.
  • Easy to use.
  • Short lifespan.

#5: DEWALT Max Torque (DWP611) Router

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Engine: 7 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 16,000 – 27,000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 11.5 x 7.3 inches
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
DEWALT Max Torque (DWP611) Router

DEWALT DWP611 wood router is always the top choice of factories and households. It is designed from high-quality materials, so it possesses absolute rigidity, optimal heat resistance, and resistance to abrasion due to external factors.

The outer shell of the device is made of eye-catching yellow synthetic resin, which has a functional bearing capacity and anti-deformation.

In addition, potent operating capacity brings surprising productivity. And the device does not vibrate when using, so it helps you to avoid numbness and fatigue during work.

Combining power; innovative design for overall visibility, control, performance; and convenient features; the compact DEWALT DWP611 router can handle a wide variety of jobs from small bevel cutting to tremendous edge profiles and substantial undercuts.

This device is equipped with an extremely sharp saw blade with an idle speed of up to 16,000-27,000 RPM to give you fast and beautiful cuts. The variable speed control feature allows optimized bit rates to change applications easily.

Also, it has a deep ring and clamping mechanism that will keep the motor in a fixed position, making it easy to control access for precise cuts.

However, the brightness of the dual LED light of a fixed base and auxiliary base can make your eyes feel tired while working. In the long run, should this keeps up, the consequences can be severe.

Pros.Cons.
  • Control variable speed quickly and efficiently.
  • The extended sub base for better user control.
  • Three-year warranty.
  • LED light causes discomfort to the eyes.

#6: DEWALT DW616 Router

If you require a compact router with the desire to choose a good quality product at a reasonable price, DEWALT DW616 will be suitable for you.

DEWALT DW616 RouterSpecifications

  • Item Weight: 10 lbs
  • Engine: 11 amp
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Horsepower: 1.75 HP

With this 11 amp motor, it provides all the power, durability, and flexibility you need to work professionally. The dustproof switch also protects this device from ingress of dirt, giving it a longer lifespan.

With a micro depth control ring, you can count on precise adjustment. Lexan’s secondary facility guarantees durability, visibility, and acceptance of standard model guide bushings.

In addition, the rubber-molded high grip, along with the symmetrical body, will help you work comfortably for hours. The single switch and cord configuration allow you to hold the switch in your right or left hand for convenient work.

However, it seems that after using this device for some time, its parts will begin to have problems. The bit may become loose and then start falling off .

Pros.Cons.
  • Easy to operate.
  • It brings beautiful cuts.
  • The bit is easily removable from the device.

#7: Metabo HPT M12VC

Surely you are familiar with Hitachi brand from Japan – one of the countries with the most significant technology in the world. However, recently, the name Hitachi has been changed to Metabo HPT – keep that in mind so that you will not find the name odd next time.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 10.3 lbs
  • Engine: 11 amp
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 10.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Horsepower: 2.25 HP
Metabo HPT M12VC

Metabo router is compact and easy to use. It can precisely cut small details on a variety of materials such as wood, plywood, plastic, thin metal, with different types of saw blades. Also, you can easily replace the accessories as well as installing or store them when you are not using them.

Another thoughtful feature of this route is the two-stage motor release lever located at the rear. Simply by flipping it, you can adjust the height of the router. To regulate the depth of your cutting height, lock back into place.

When using a Metabo HPT M12VC router, you can adjust to cut complex details on the wood surface easily and accurately. It helps you get things done quickly, saving you time and effort.

However, sometimes, you might fail to  control the rotation speed when using this router because the control button is loose or there is a problem with it. Thus, the machine  only works at the highest level. It will be difficult when you want it to slow down.

Pros.Cons.
  • Highly flexible.
  • Beautiful and strange design.
  • High productivity.
  • The rotation speed is difficult to control.

#8: Tacklife PTR01A Compact Router

Tacklife is a famous brand in the world. They aim to produce the best products that inspire consumers to live a safer and more convenient lifestyle.

The Tacklife PTR01A fixed router is one of its best-selling products. It is suitable for work related to wood processing, such as door processing or edge finishing, etc.

Tacklife Ptr01a Compact RouterSpecifications

  • Item Weight: 10.4 lbs
  • Engine: 5 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 30,000
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Horsepower: 0.8 HP

This router includes a pure 5-amp copper motor, which provides cutting efficiency with a speed range of 10,000 to 30,000 rpm. The 6-speed speed switch allows you to select the correct speed for your various applications.

Besides, it is also equipped with a vacuum dust collection port (inside 35mmm, outside 38mm), which can be connected to a vacuum cleaner, providing a clean and friendly environment with the human.

With a compact and flexible design along with the extra handle, you can easily get the job done without taking on any manual task for long periods.

However, the parts that come with it are often of poor quality. Therefore, if you want to have the best experience, you may have to pay a significant amount of money to buy better add-ons.

Pros.Cons.
  • Versatile transformation.
  • Easy to use.
  • Light-weight product.
  • The quality of the accompanying part is poor.

#9: Avid Power MW104

Avid Power MW104 router has a standard design with a powerful 6.5-amp capacity and speeds up to about 10000-32000 rpm, which helps you get the job done quickly with the maximum performance.

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 7.05 lbs
  • Engine: 6.5 amp
  • Power Source: Corded-electric
  • Voltage: 120 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 10,000 – 32,000
  • Product Dimensions: 11,5 x 10 x 4,7 inch
  • Horsepower: 1.25 HP
Avid Power MW104

The compact and sharp cutting disc gives it the ability to cut quickly, neatly, and beautifully without damaging the surface and structure of the material.

Besides, this product includes a fixed base, variable speed, and roller guide; dual LED working light, an edge guide, and a vacuum cleaner. It is a perfect model for many manual jobs.

What’s more, its smooth depth adjustment system and mounting bracket offer accurate depth adjustment, providing excellent user experience.

However, during long-term uses , this device tends to heat up, causing a sense of insecurity for users.

Pros.Cons.
  • Powerful Motor.
  • Variable Speed.
  • Smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment.
  • The appliance is prone to heat.

#10: Bosch GKF12V-25N

It is a handheld device with high applicability in the mechanical, construction, and repair industries, allowing you to cut both soft and hard materials quickly.

Bosch GKF12V-25NSpecifications

  • Item Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Voltage: 12 volts
  • No Load Speed (RPM): 13,000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 3.1 x 9.9 inches

The Bosch GKF12V-25N router is sleek and eye-catching, with a striking blue shade. With a unique design, this router becomes a great choice for routing and cutting edge. Also, it is lightweight and portable  (only 2.2 lbs), so you can take it with you wherever you go.

In addition, with the EC Brushless engine, this wireless router provides energy efficiency, with a maximum speed of 13,000 rpm, providing the most efficient and safe working hours for you.

The handle is designed to be quiet, handy, with high friction, non-slip to help you fix the machine more firmly. The outer shell of the device is made of plastic with double insulation with good bearing capacity, ensuring maximum safety during use.

However, because the bit is offset and not in the middle, you can only route edges directly in front of you. In addition, the black height adjustment knob is very tight and concave, making it difficult to adjust the height of the machine.

Pros.Cons.
  • Extremely light weight.
  • High flexibility.
  • Modern and beautiful design.
  • Difficult to modify the speed.

The Criteria To Buy The Best Compact Routers

In order to buy a good compact router, you will need to carefully consider your specific needs and purposes. Make sure that you will choose the machine with the most suitable power and function to ensure the best performance of the job.

Compact design

Choose the routers with compact design, light weight for easy handling during use and storage. The handle design of the device also ensures good friction and effective slip resistance to avoid unwanted  accidents.

Sturdy and durable material

In terms of materials, the majority of current line routers on the market are made from solid stainless steel alloy material.

Remember to choose compact routers whose exterior is usually covered with high-grade ABS plastic to ensure good bearing and heat resistance.

Strong operating capacity

If you often cut the surface of hard metal materials, you can choose a large router with 710-800W. Besides, if you regularly cut wood or plastic, a machine with power from 400-500W is more than enough for you..

The adjustment mode

With routers equipped with 5, 6 adjustment modes, it will be more effective when cutting the surface of materials that need great detail and many different angles, such as when cutting at 45 degrees.

Safety structure

In the case of cutting metal materials such as steel, aluminum, the  debris can fly into your eyes, which is very dangerous. Thus, make sure that the front of the router has a protective cover.

Some Notes When Using A Compact Router

In the process of using a wood router, you should also keep in mind the following rules in order not to put yourself at risk.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installing to use the appliance properly.
  • Installing the machine properly. During the installation process, it is necessary to check the parts for safety carefully. Do not turn it on if the saw blade is chipped or the machine parts are damaged.
  • It is recommended to mark the sawing positions and the cutting line first to ensure the accuracy of the saw.
  • You need to choose the right size and type of saw blade. Avoid using overly long saw blades to work on short wood. While the blade is still rotating inertia, never touch or attempt to stop the edge.
  • Put wood in flat and firm positions. When sawing, you should choose a suitable standing position, pay attention to work slowly and evenly.
  • You need to wear protective gear such as glasses, hats, and gloves when working. Plus, make sure to dress neatly and comfortably when cutting
  • Regularly check and maintain the machine to detect problems and carry out equipment repairs promptly.
  • The routers should be stored in a dry, safe place, away from the effects of sunlight, heat, and humidity

Final words

Hopefully, with the useful information in this article, you can choose the most suitable product from our pick of the top 10 best compact routers above. Remember to read the user manual before use to ensure absolute safety for you and others.

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