Deciding on which compact router is not something that should be done off the cuff. We recommend doing research online as well as speaking to any friends, family, or colleagues for their advice. For the online part of your research we are helping you by comparing two of the best compact routers currently out there from two of the biggest power tool brands – Dewalt and Makita.
For Makita we will be taking a look at their RT0701C compact router, and for DeWalt we are looking at their DWP611PK compact router.
By the end of this review you should know what the main functions and features are of each model, along with some particular pros and cons for each one. Based on all of this we will select which one is our favourite, and thus which one you should purchase out of the two.
So let us begin by looking at the Makita.
Makita RT0701C Compact Router
The Makita has a compact design, with a slim exterior which means the power tool fits better in your hand and can be transported from job to job much easier. It is also very easy to control and comfortable to use. The motor has been constructed out of a heavy duty aluminium.
This helps the compact router to be highly durable. It has a variable speed control setting with points ranging from 1 to 6. This provides an RPM speed range of between 10,000 and 30,000. With this feature you have a greater range of freedom when it comes to setting the speed to meet your needs.
The electronic speed control system means that this speed is maintained even when the power tool is under load. This, in turn, helps to minimize cases of start up twist and prevents it from burning out. The torque on the motor is minimized thanks to its soft start feature.
The RT0701C’s cam lock system is quick and easy to release. The system lets you adjust the router’s depth with ease, allowing for easy removal and / or installation of the base. Switching between fixed and plunge base is an easy thing to do. The motor on this model is capable of delivering enough horsepower on just 6.5 amps.
When lowering the DeWalt into the wood it produced nice clean cuts. But, whenever you open the lock lever the motor drops, making adjustments to the fine depth more difficult to position as the motor does not stay in place.
DeWalt’s most popular, and best selling, compact router is the DWP611K. It is a variable speed power tool that combines being easy to use with an abundance of power, thus making it perfect for both commercial use by a professional tradesman and home DIYers.
The way in which the power tool has been designed adds to its control, visibility, and overall performance. Within its price range the DWP611PK has a lot more features than most other compact routers currently available on the market. The DeWalt has a horsepower of 1.25, putting it on the smaller side when it comes to other compact routers currently available on the market.
However, you should not be put off by its small size. The DeWalt comes packed with plenty of torque and power, which makes it the perfect power tool for any small to medium sized word working jobs you may have. It has a soft start function.
This helps to reduce the amount of torque on the motor. It has an RPM range of between 16,000 and 27,000 at its maximum. You are able to adjust the speed at any time by simply moving the speed dial between points 1 and 6. This enables you to better manage the power tool as you can determine the speed that you need for the job you are working on.
TheDWP611PK’s electronic speed control keeps speed under load in order to reduce any start up twisting and to prevent burning. When the speed is set between points 1 and 3 you have up to 20,400 RPM of speed at your disposal. Between point 4 and 6 you have between 22,600 and 27,000 RPM.
Some of the accessories you can purchase for the DeWalt (at an additional cost) include a guide edge, a dust collection adapter, and a variety of different bits to create a range of different cuts.
Perfect for both commercial use by a professional tradesman and home DIYers
Lack of side handles
So now we have looked at the two models and at this point you should have a good idea of which one is best for you and your needs. However, based on this review and our own experiences of using compact routers, our favorite of these two models is the Makita RT0701C compact router.
This is because not only does it have a greater speed range, but it also has the same level of horsepower, all while being over 2 pounds lighter than the DeWalt DWP611PK. Despite all of this, the DeWalt still makes for a good corded compact router.
Regardless of our opinion, it is up to you to read through the above and make your own decision on which one, if any, would best suit your needs. We wish you luck with this task.
Before buying any power tool, what you need to do is work out which brand is best for you. Two of the most common brands out there are DeWalt and Makita. Both are well established and respected brands that produce a whole range of different power tools.
To help you decide which one is for you we have compared a selection of their best drills, saws and planers.
DeWalt vs Makita Power Tools Comparison
1. Dewalt vs Makita Cordless Drills
Makita XPH10Z Drill
This drill combines both high torque and speed, delivering a highly impressive performance to ensure a great level of convenience to the user. It operates via a motor that is four pole and that has been designed to put out as much as 480 pounds of torque. It is powered by Makita’s 18 volt lithium ion batteries.
As part of its increased versatility, the XPH10Z can operate as a driver drill and hammer drill as well. It also has a dual speed feature which means it can run at speeds of between 0 to 600 RPM or 0 to 1,900 RPM. It has an ergonomic design and is very light weight so it provides the user with an increased level of comfort. This also helps to minimize fatigue in the hand when using the drill for extended periods of time.
The XPH10Z comes with two LED lights which prove particularly useful when drilling at night or in dark conditions as they light up your work space.
This DeWalt drill comes with an efficient motor and a metal transmission with 3 speeds. With these features you can rest assured that it will perform above and beyond what you need. Its three speeds run between 0 and 600 RPM, 0 and 1,250 RPM, and 0 and 2,000 RPM. This means it has a greater speed capacity than the Makita XPH10Z drill.
The battery on the DC985B is also superior to the Makita. It is powered by a 20 volt lithium ion battery which will give as much as a 35% longer running time than the standard 18 volt battery used on most other drills. They are also more durable. It has a metal ratcheting chuck that is half an inch and accepts a number of bit sizes and types, as well as carbide inserts that reduce slippage of the bits.
The DC985B has been designed with a handle that is both slim and soft that ensures maximum comfort for the user. However, its brushed motor means that it weighs in at slightly more than the Makita XPH10Z does. This drill too has an LED light built in which has a delay of 20 seconds and so aids visibility in work spaces with low light conditions.
This model of impact driver by Makita is highly versatile and can be used within a number of different applications. The XDT11Z has a variable speed setting of between 0 and 2,900 RPM and 0 and 3,500 RPM.
This drill has an impact driver that is quite powerful and delivers 1,460 pounds in torque. This is thanks to an innovative 4 pole motor developed by Makita to deliver large amounts of power meaning no fastening job is ever too big for this power tool.
Weighing in at only 2.8 pounds, the XDT11Z is relatively lightweight compared with other impact drivers currently available on the market. Along with its ergonomic and compact design, this is a comfortable power tool that you can easily use for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue.
It has a quarter inch hex chuck which makes changing the bit easy and fast, ensuring time is not wasted when using the impact driver. With an LED light that is built in it means that you can use the XDT11Z in poorly lit and dark work spaces.
This is a lightweight and compact power tool that never disappoints. As is the case with most other DeWalt products, it uses a 20 volt lithium ion battery that will guarantee a longer run time and greater durability. Just like the Makita XDT the impact driver uses a hex chuck that is a quarter of an inch, so it means changing the drill bit with one hand is possible. This helps to speed things up as it minimizes down time when having to change bits.
It produces a maximum torque of 1,400 pounds which is less than that of the Makita but is still very high and more than enough for most tasks you will work on. The DCF885B has variable speeds of between 0 and 2,800 RPM and 0 and 3,200 RPM. This makes it perfect for a number of different applications.
This DeWalt impact driver has an LED light with 20 second delay that comes built in as standard. This means it can be used in low light or in dark work spaces.
These two models are very similar. Not only do they weigh the same but they also have many features that are similar. However, with its higher speeds and maximum torque the Makita XD11Z is our favourite.
This particular model of circular saw has a highly powerful motor that is capable of putting out a maximum output of 460 watts, generating as much as 3,700 RPM. It has a maximum cutting capacity of over 2 inch and can make bevel cuts at an angle of up to 50 degrees.
The DCS393 boasts a carbide cutting blade that is 6.5 inch and is sharp enough for immediate use. This sharpness is maintained for many hours of use. It has an ergonomic design which includes a magnesium shoes that is lightweight. The DCS393’s handle is optimized to make it easy to control and comfortable to use without experiencing fatigue in the hand.
Pretty much most of the performance, functions and features of the Makita XSS02Z are a replica of that of the DeWalt DCS393. The weight of the two circular saws is almost the same, so no matter which one you go for you will still have a good power tool on your hands.
It runs on a motor that is high torque motor and can run up to as much as 3,700 RPM. This means it will always deliver fast cuts that are strong enough to go through wood with ease. This is also, in part, due to its 6.5 inch cutting blade. The circular saw has a cutting capacity of over 2 inch at its maximum and has a bevel capacity of up to 50 degrees, which is the same as the DeWalt DCS393.
With an 18 volt lithium ion battery, the XSS02Z will have a long run time and charge up really fast. It has been designed with a precision machined base with heavy gauge to ensure you always get an accurate and smooth cut. This makes it perfect for use in the harshest of work conditions.
As it utilizes a soft rubberized grip it is both comfortable and easy to use. It is prevented from over discharging, overloading and overheating thanks to the circular saw featuring a star protection system.
A 6.5 inch cutting blade
Up to 3,700 RPM
An 18 volt lithium ion battery
Bevel cut of up to 50 degrees
A maximum cutting capacity of over 2 inch
Motor is high torque
Soft rubberized handle
Star protection system
Accurate and smooth cuts
Lightweight and compact design
Cutting blade prone to quickly dulling
Most aspects of these two circular saws are the same which makes it difficult to choose our favourite. For that reason it is a draw. Our recommendation is to go for the one of the brand you most prefer.
This is a powerful planer that is at the lower end of the price bracket for such a power tool. Even with its small and compact design the aluminium built 2012NB still delivers all the productivity needed by both home DIYers and professional tradesmen. The 15 Amp motor of this Makita power tool is highly powerful and can generate up to 8,500 RPM.
It operates whilst producing less noise than most other models and comes equipped with Makita’s Interna-Lok head clamp system that works to prevent snipe. This means that your chance of wasting materials is minimized. Turning the handle at the top counter clockwise allows you to adjust the finished dimensions.
The 2012NB features an LED light to indicate whether or not it is connected to a source of power. As standard, the Makita comes with a cutting blade that is easily changeable should it dull and need replacing. It boats a 28 feet per minute feed rate and you can pass your work piece through multiple times until you achieve the desired result.
It is clear to see from the build quality alone that this planer is a high quality power tool that will deliver great performance as well as being super durable and easy to use. This particular model comes equipped with 2 extension shelves that are metal along with a replacement set of knives. To adjust the height of the Dewalt DW735X you can simply adjust the wheel on the side. You can set this up to 6 inch.
With 2 speed options, you are able to choose between either a slow or fast setting. This will help you in reaching your desired outcome. The dial to switch between these two maximum speeds is on the front of the planer.
To achieve a smoother finish use the slower setting where the cutting blade will operate at a rate of 179 cuts per inch. When operating at the faster speed the DW735X will make just 96 cuts per second and will cut through a piece of wood much quicker.
In order to be able to consistently deliver these speeds the planer is equipped with a highly powerful 15 Amp motor that is capable of generating up to an impressive 20,000 RPM.
A 15 Amp motor
Up to 20,000 RPM
A cutter head with 3 knives
A gear box with two speeds (96 & 179 CPI)
A 6 inch depth capacity
A 13 inch width capacity
A feed rate of 14 feet per minute
Can handle large cuts
Knives last a long time
Both of these planers are good at what they do. However, the one that has the best features in our opinion, and thus our favourite, is the DeWalt DW735X. This is mainly down to the fact that it has two speed settings.
This is a compact and highly portable miter saw that is easy to set up any use. It features Makita’s rail sliding system that is made from steel to improve the quality of the cut and rigidity. It is capable of making precise cuts and has a large capacity.
The Makita is powered by a 15 Amp direct drive motor which has the capability to go through aluminium, wood, plastic and even steel. The no load speed of this particular model is 3,200 RPM. This should stay consistent over time as it is not belt driven.
The cross cut capacity of the LS1216L at 90 degrees is 15 inch and has a maximum thickness of over 3 inch. For cutting crown molding it has a vertical cutting capacity of 6.5 inch. Cuts can be aligned accurately with this miter saw thanks to a built in laser guide. It can easily make bevel cuts at 45 degrees, as well as at 22.5 degree and 33.9 degrees.
This is a lightweight and compact miter saw that you will find easy to use. Its design means that it is easy to transport from job to job. In order to change the cutting blade two bolts need loosening and then you can switch them over.
The miter saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor and so can deliver a good amount of power when needed. It is able to generate up to 3,800 RPM meaning it is able to cut through the toughest of materials. This is helped by the fact that it comes with cutting blades that are sold and robust.
It boasts an impressive cutting capacity of a maximum of 16 inch at 90 degrees, making it highly versatile. The DWS780’s versatility means it can be used for a range of different jobs, including cutting through a 2 x 12 work piece at a 45 degree angle.
A positioning system to make accurate cross cuts comes built in to the DeWalt miter saw. It works by shining a light (LED) right over the cutting blade. As the blade comes down it creates a shadow at the exact width and location.
A 15 Amp motor
Up to 3,800 RPM
A cross cut capacity of 16 inch at 90 degrees
An LED positioning system
Easy to transport from job to job
Changing the cutting blade is easy
Can cut through the toughest of materials
Table does not come as standard
This is a close one, but we would have to say that our favourite is the DeWalt DWS780. This is because it has the greater portability of the two miter saws and also has a maximum speed which is higher than that of the Makita LS1216L.
This particular model comes equipped with a 60 volt battery pack, operating as a brushless motor. It has a speed dial that can choose a no load RPM of either 1,750 or 4,000 to make cuts that are over 2 inch thick. The DCS520T1 can bevel to an angle of 47 degrees and can cut at a depth of over 1 inch at 45 degrees. The track saw’s clamps sit along the whole length of the track making you secure short work pieces along all the length of the track.
The clamps can be clamped to any cutline angle. This makes it more versatile than a table saw as its fence can only be parallel to the cutting blade and that is it. You also have the option to use a miter gauge with the DCS520T1.
Its cutting blade sits almost entirely covered by a metal shroud which provides a higher level of safety and also acts to reduce the amount of dust and debris. It boasts a dust collection system that works really well meaning the power tool can be used indoors.
The guide rails on the Makita allow you to make perfectly straight and level cuts. It is powered by a 12 Amp motor, generating all of the horsepower you would ever want for cutting through thick work pieces.
Its motor has variable speeds which allow you to change the RPM depending on what you require. This can be done via a speed dial which provides you with a greater level of control, picking between an RPM of 2,000 through to 5,200. This helps to stop the motor from overheating.
Using the SP6000J1’s guards will allow you to cut through wood without splintering any of the edges. With its attached handle you can easily push down on top and squeeze the trigger to power the track saw. The handle has been rubberized to provide extra comfort.
The depth at which the SP6000J1 cuts at can be easily determined by using its plunge gauge. Although the gauge uses the metric system, these measurements can be easily converted so you can get the correct depth.
A 12 Amp motor
Up to 5,200 RPM
A cut capacity of 1 inch at 45 degrees and 2 inch at 90 degrees
A soft start system
A total weight of 9.2 pounds
A 3 year warranty
Perfectly straight and level cuts
Easy to use
Dust extraction capabilities
Guide rails slightly warped
Although these two track saws differ in their functions and features, they are both high quality power tools. For its higher RPM and lower overall weight, the Makita SP6000J1 is our favourite.
This angle grinder is powered by an 18 volt lithium ion battery and runs on a highly efficient brushless motor. As well as increasing the power tools efficiency, the brushless motor also increasing the XAG06Z’s longevity.
It boasts an automatic speed change feature that seamlessly makes adjustments to the torque and speed when the grinder is in use. If the rotation all of a sudden stops or slows down then the built in electronic torque control system automatically turns the motor off.
The handle can be attached to either side of the XAG06Z but not on its top. It has a paddle trigger that either turns the power tool on or off – there is no variety in speeds. It has an RPM of up to 8,500 meaning it makes quick work of cutting through metal.
It is light weight which means it can be used for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue. The soft start feature is another thing that makes this grinder easy to use. Rather than it twisting when starting up it instead does so nice and smooth.
An 18 volt lithium ion battery
Up to 8,500 RPM
A soft start system
A total weight of 5.6 pounds
A 3 year warranty
Makes quick work of cutting through metal
Can be used for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue
Handle can only be attached to the side
No variable speed
DeWalt DCG413B Angle Grinder
This cordless angle grinder has a durable steel guard that is adjustable and can be locked into any position you require. This means you can direct any chips and sparks away from yourself and others.
The DCG413B is powered by a 20 volt battery that rotates a 4.5 inch wheel. In order to stop this in cases of emergency and to avoid accidents the angle grinder has a brake feature. Through the motor all power is cut and the gears cease moving in less than 2 seconds.
This kicks in whenever you experience any stalling, binding or pinching. This is a handy feature when the wheel could possibly be spinning at 9,000 RPM. This means the DeWalt can handle most things you put in its way.
It can also withstand the harshest of work environments thanks to the DCG413B’s plastic shell that is reinforced with glass fiber. To further aid the grinders robustness and to provide grip, it has a thick over mold made of rubber placed over it.
A 20 volt MAX 5mAh battery
Up to 9,000 RPM
A 4.5 inch wheel
A reinforced plastic shell
Chips and sparks can be directed
Tough outer shell
Trigger can not be locked in place
It is clear from our review that both the Makita and DeWalt angle grinders would more than deliver no matter what your requirements are. However, our favourite is the DeWalt because it has a longer run time and can generate a higher RPM.
DeWalt’s DWP611 is capable of generating up to 27,000 RPM and has a maximum horsepower of 1.25. Although this is not as powerful as some other compact routers currently available on the market, it means it is compact and light weight – weighing in at just 4.6 pounds.
The speed of this power tool can be varied via a speed control dial at the top of the DeWalt. It has six different speeds to choose from, with 16,000 RPM being the slowest. It comes with a soft start feature which lets you ease into a job, rather than having to fight the power tool.
This provides you with a greater level of control and means less workmanship issues or errors. The electronic feedback system that is built into this compact router works to keep the speed constant, even when under load.
The sub base of the DWP611 is clear and features two LED lights to provide greater visibility. This is particularly helpful when working on smaller, more tricky jobs. It is also oversized which gives increased stability as it has lots of contact with the work surface. This makes it more predictable and easier to control.
Up to 27,000 RPM
A maximum horsepower of 1.25
A soft start feature
A total weight of 4.6 pounds
A 3 year warranty
Compact and lightweight
Easy to control
Does not come with a carry case
No dust extraction port
Makita RT0701C Compact Router
This power tool has a maximum horsepower of 1.25 meaning it is capable of routing, boring holes and trimming both soft and hard woods. It boasts a variable speed of between 10,000 RPM and 30,000 RPM.
It too has an electronic feedback system that ensures a linear speed no matter what material you are going through and what task you are performing. This massively contributes to the overall accuracy of the RT0701C.
Just like the DeWalt, the Makita also has a clear base which provides greater visibility as you have a birds eye view of the routing as you are using the power tool. Its motor is housed in an aluminium case dissipates heat well and is light weight.
The rest of the compact router’s housing is made from a robust alloy of metal. This means that even if it is used a lot, it should still stand the test of time. The whole power tool feels good and fits in your hand really well thanks to its ergonomic design.
A 6.5 Amp motor
A maximum horsepower of 1.25
Up to 30,000 RPM
An electronic feedback system
Good build quality
Not enough horsepower for heavy duty jobs
Both these compact routers lack the power to consistently deliver on those tougher jobs. Neither is aimed at professional tradesmen. With this in mind we cannot decide our favourite and so it is a draw.
Buying your power tools from a reputable brand such as Makita or DeWalt is a sure fire way to ensure you get a product that is both high performing and high quality. That is why they are trusted by home DIYers and professional tradesmen across the globe.
As for which brand is our favourite, it is clear to see from our recommendations of the different power tools that it is DeWalt. However, this was a very difficult decision as Makita do manufacture some of our favourite power tools.