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.
- Up to 30,000 RPM of speed
- A 6.5 amp motor
- 1.25 horsepower
- A total weight of 3.9 pounds
- Fits in the hand well
- Can be easily transported
- Highly durable
- Motor drops when unlocking the base
And now let us take a look at the DeWalt.
DeWalt DWP611PK Compact Router
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.
The DWP611PK’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.
- 1.25 horsepower
- Up to 27,000 RPM of speed
- A total weight of 6.2 pounds
- An 8 foot power cord
- Two LED lights
- A 3 year limited warranty
- Lots of torque and power
- Easy to use
- Perfect for both commercial use by a professional tradesman and home DIYers
- Lack of side handles
- Not cordless
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.