Best Small Router for Woodworking

The Best Small Router for Woodworking will significantly enhance your woodworking projects, allowing you to achieve precise and intricate designs with ease. A small router is a versatile tool that every woodworker should have in their arsenal, as it can handle a wide range of tasks such as shaping, bevelling, edge profiling, and joinery work.

When choosing the best small router for woodworking, there are several key features to consider. These include the power and speed of the router, its ergonomic design and maneuverability, the availability and compatibility of router bits, and additional features such as dust collection systems and depth adjustment mechanisms.

In this article, we will compare and evaluate some of the top small routers available on the market today. We will discuss their pros and cons, highlighting their unique features that make them stand out from the rest.

Whether you are a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, this comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision when selecting the best small router for your woodworking needs. So let’s dive into our review and find the perfect tool to take your craftsmanship to the next level.



Key Features to Consider when Choosing the Best Small Router for Woodworking

When choosing the best small router for woodworking, there are several key features that you should consider. These features will not only determine the performance and functionality of the router but also how well it meets your specific woodworking needs. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when making your decision:

  1. Power and Motor: The power and motor of a small router play a significant role in its performance and versatility. Look for a router with sufficient horsepower to handle your woodworking projects. A more powerful motor will allow you to work with different types of wood, including hardwoods, without strain or bogging down.
  2. Size and Weight: Since we are focusing on small routers, size and weight are crucial considerations. Opt for a compact and lightweight router that is easy to handle and maneuver. This will allow you to work comfortably, especially during prolonged use or when working on intricate details.
  3. Depth Adjustment Mechanism: The depth adjustment mechanism determines the precision and control you have over the router’s cutting depth. Look for a small router with a smooth and accurate depth adjustment mechanism that allows you to make precise cuts at varying depths easily.
  4. Collet Size: The collet size refers to the opening where the bit is inserted into the router’s spindle. Different routers may come with different collet sizes, typically either 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch. Consider the type of bits you intend to use in your woodworking projects and make sure the collet size matches.
  5. Dust Collection System: Woodworking can be a messy task, but having a dust collection system in your small router can help keep your workspace clean and improve visibility while working. Look for routers that come with effective dust collection systems or ones that have compatibility with external dust collectors.
  6. Ergonomics and Comfort: Lastly, consider the overall ergonomics of the small router, such as grip design and handle comfort. A comfortable grip and ergonomic design will reduce hand fatigue and provide better control over the router, allowing for precise and accurate cuts.

Remember, it is essential to consider your specific woodworking needs when selecting a small router. Evaluating these key features will help you find the best small router that suits your preferences, budget, and enhances your woodworking craftsmanship.

Comparison of the Top Small Routers for Woodworking

When it comes to choosing the best small router for woodworking, there are several key features that woodworkers should take into consideration. In this section, we will compare the top small routers for woodworking and explore their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router

The Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router is a reliable and powerful option that deserves recognition. Its compact size and ergonomic design make it easy to handle and maneuver, perfect for both beginners and experienced woodworkers. One of the standout features of this router is its variable speed control, allowing users to adjust the speed according to the specific requirements of their projects.

Additionally, it offers precise depth adjustment with a micro-fine bit depth adjustment system, ensuring accuracy in cuts. However, some users have reported that the depth adjustment can be a bit finicky at times.

DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router

For those seeking precision and versatility in their woodworking projects, the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router is a top contender. This router boasts a variable speed control feature that enables users to match the speed to the application at hand. With its soft-start motor, it provides smoother start-ups and reduced torque fluctuations for consistent performance.

Another noteworthy feature is its depth adjustment ring with large clear markings, making it easy to set and maintain accurate depths. However, some users have expressed concerns about the durability of this router over extended periods of heavy use.

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

If you’re looking for a compact router that combines power with convenience, look no further than the Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit. Equipped with a reliable 1-1/4 horsepower motor, this tool delivers high performance while maintaining ease of use. The kit includes various bases and accessories that add versatility to your woodworking projects.

The quick-release cam lock system allows for convenient depth adjustments and base changes. Nevertheless, some users have reported that the plunge base can feel a bit loose during operation.

Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ

When it comes to unparalleled precision and performance, the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ stands out among its competitors. This router offers smooth operation, high power, and exceptional dust extraction capabilities, making it a favorite among professional woodworkers. Its smooth plunge action and accurate depth control allow for precise cuts every time. However, its higher price point may be off-putting for some hobbyist woodworkers who don’t require such advanced features.

Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router

For those on a budget without wanting to compromise on quality, the Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router is an excellent choice. Priced affordably, this router still delivers reliable performance with its durable motor and variable speed control feature. It also boasts an easy-to-use depth adjustment system for consistent accuracy in cuts. However, some users have noted that this router can produce more noise compared to other models on the market.

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Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router

The Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router offers a combination of versatility and control that is sought after by woodworking enthusiasts. With its powerful motor and variable speed dial, you can tackle various tasks with ease and precision. One standout feature of this router is its electronic feedback circuitry that maintains constant speed under load for consistent results. On the downside, some users have found the placement of the power switch inconvenient during prolonged use.

Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router

The Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router is a reliable and powerful option for woodworking enthusiasts. This small router offers an array of features that make it ideal for various woodworking projects.

One key feature of the Bosch PR20EVS is its compact and ergonomic design. This palm grip router is lightweight and easy to maneuver, allowing users to have better control and precision in their work. With its comfortable grip, users can handle the router with ease even during long hours of woodworking tasks.



Another notable feature of the Bosch PR20EVS is its powerful motor. This small router has a 1 horsepower motor that delivers consistent and efficient performance. Whether you’re shaping edges or making intricate cuts, this router can handle various tasks with ease.

Additionally, the Bosch PR20EVS offers variable speed settings, allowing users to adjust the cutting speed according to their specific woodworking needs. It has a speed range of 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, providing versatility for different types of wood and cuts.

Pros:

  • Compact and ergonomic design for better control.
  • Powerful motor for efficient performance.
  • Variable speed settings for versatility.

Cons:

  • Some users find the depth adjustment mechanism slightly difficult to use.

For woodworking enthusiasts who are looking for a reliable and powerful small router, the Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router is definitely worth considering. Its compact design, powerful motor, and adjustable speed settings make it a versatile tool that can enhance your craftsmanship in various woodworking projects.

DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router

The DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router is a top contender when it comes to finding the best small router for woodworking. With its precision and versatility, this router can handle a wide range of woodworking projects with ease.

One key feature of the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router is its variable speed control. This feature allows woodworkers to adjust the speed of the router based on the type of material they are working with. Whether you are working on hardwood or softwood, this router can be adjusted to provide optimal cutting performance and prevents any burning or chipping of the material.

Another notable feature of the DEWALT DWP611 is its compact size and ergonomic design. The small size and lightweight construction make it easy to handle and maneuver, even in tight spaces or for intricate cuts. The ergonomic design also ensures that users can work comfortably for extended periods without straining their hands or experiencing fatigue.

In addition to its precision and ease of use, the DEWALT DWP611 is also compatible with a variety of accessories and attachments, further enhancing its versatility. It has a quick-release motor latching system that allows for easy removal and installation of the motor pack, making it simple to switch between fixed base and plunge base options.

Overall, if you are looking for a small router that offers precision and versatility for your woodworking projects, the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router is an excellent choice. Its variable speed control, compact size, ergonomic design, and compatibility with various attachments make it ideal for both beginners and experienced woodworkers alike.

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit is a top choice for woodworking enthusiasts due to its exceptional combination of power and convenience. This router kit is known for its reliability, precision, and versatility, making it suitable for a wide range of woodworking projects. In this section, we will explore the key features that make the Makita RT0701CX7 stand out from other small routers in the market.

Powerful Motor and Variable Speed Control

One of the standout features of the Makita RT0701CX7 is its powerful 1-1/4 horsepower motor. This motor provides ample power for a variety of woodworking applications, allowing woodworkers to work efficiently and effortlessly. Additionally, this compact router kit offers variable speed control, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). This feature enables users to match the speed of the router with the specific task at hand, resulting in cleaner cuts and better overall performance.

Ease of Use and Convenience

The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit is designed with user-friendliness in mind. It features a smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system that allows for precise depth settings with ease. The quick-release cam lock system makes bit changes quick and straightforward, saving valuable time during projects. Additionally, this router kit includes an ergonomic design with rubberized grips that enhance comfort during extended use. The conveniently located on/off switch adds to the ease of use of this tool.

Durable Construction and Versatile Applications

Durability is another standout aspect of the Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit. It is constructed with high-quality materials that are built to withstand heavy use over time. The slim and compact design not only enhances maneuverability but also makes it suitable for various applications, including trimming laminate edges, routing grooves, and decorative inlays. The included plunge base and tilt base further expand the versatility of this router kit, allowing users to tackle a wider range of woodworking projects.

Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ

The Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ is a small router that offers unparalleled precision and performance. It is a versatile tool that can handle a wide range of woodworking tasks, making it a favorite among both professionals and hobbyists.

One of the key features of the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ is its exceptional precision. It is equipped with a micro-adjustable depth control system, allowing for precise and accurate cuts. This feature is particularly useful when working on intricate designs or when creating joints that require exact measurements.

Additionally, the router also has an electronic speed control system, which enables users to adjust the speed according to their specific needs. This level of control ensures clean and smooth cuts every time.

Another standout feature of the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ is its powerful performance. It is equipped with a high-powered motor that delivers ample power for even the toughest routing tasks. Whether you’re working on hardwood, softwood, or even aluminum, this router can handle it all.

The motor also has a soft start function, which means it starts up gradually instead of abruptly. This not only extends the lifespan of the motor but also provides more control during operation.

In terms of convenience, the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ does not disappoint. It has an ergonomic design that allows for comfortable handling over extended periods of use. The router is also equipped with dust extraction capabilities, keeping your work area clean and free from dust particles that can affect accuracy and visibility. Additionally, it features easy-to-use depth adjustment mechanisms and a spindle lock for quick and hassle-free bit changes.

Overall, the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ stands out in terms of precision and performance in the realm of small routers for woodworking. Its quality construction, powerful motor, and precise adjustments make it an essential tool for any woodworker looking to enhance their craftsmanship.

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Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router

Porter-Cable is a well-known brand in the woodworking industry, and the Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router lives up to its name as a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality. This compact router offers a great combination of power, versatility, and user-friendly features that make it an excellent choice for both beginner woodworkers and professionals on a budget.

One of the standout features of the Porter-Cable 450 is its powerful motor. With a 1.25 horsepower motor, this compact router is capable of handling a wide range of woodworking tasks with ease. Whether you need to make precise cuts or shape edges, this router has enough power to get the job done efficiently.

Another key feature that sets the Porter-Cable 450 apart is its ergonomics and ease of use. The router features a comfortable and easy-to-grip handle, allowing for better control and reducing fatigue during long hours of woodworking. Additionally, it has a convenient depth adjustment mechanism that allows for quick and accurate depth changes, making it suitable for both through-cuts and plunge cuts.

While the Porter-Cable 450 may be more affordable compared to other options on the market, it doesn’t compromise on quality. It is built with durable materials and designed to withstand heavy use without sacrificing performance. Woodworkers can rely on this router to deliver consistent results over time.

In summary, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router is an excellent choice. With its powerful motor, user-friendly features, and durability, this compact router will enhance your woodworking projects without breaking the bank.

FeaturePorter-Cable 450 Compact Router
Horsepower1.25 HP
ErgonomicsComfortable handle for better control and reduced fatigue
Depth AdjustmentQuick and accurate depth changes
DurabilityBuilt with durable materials to withstand heavy use

Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router

The Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router is a top choice for woodworking enthusiasts who prioritize versatility and control in their projects. This router offers a range of features that make it an excellent tool for a variety of woodworking tasks.

One of the standout features of the Hitachi M12VC is its variable-speed control. With a powerful 11-amp motor, this router allows users to adjust the speed from 8,000 to 24,000 RPM, giving them the flexibility to work with different materials and achieve precise results. Whether you’re working on intricate detailing or removing material quickly, this router can handle it all.

In addition to its variable-speed control, the Hitachi M12VC also offers a soft-start feature. This feature gradually increases the speed of the router upon startup, preventing any sudden jolts or movements that could damage your workpiece. The soft-start feature ensures smooth and controlled operation, allowing you to maintain accuracy and safety throughout your woodworking project.

Another key feature of the Hitachi M12VC is its ergonomic design. With comfortable handles and well-placed controls, this router is easy to grip and maneuver, reducing fatigue during extended use. The router also comes with a convenient depth adjustment system that allows for precise cutting depths, ensuring consistent results every time.

Overall, the Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router is a versatile and reliable tool for woodworking enthusiasts. Its variable-speed control, soft-start feature, and ergonomic design make it an excellent choice for achieving precision and control in your woodworking projects. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist looking to enhance your craftsmanship, this router is worthy of consideration.

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the best small router for woodworking is crucial for enhancing your craftsmanship. A small router offers several advantages such as precision, versatility, and power that can greatly improve your woodworking projects. When selecting a small router, it is important to consider key features such as motor power, speed control, ergonomics, and durability.

The comparison of the top small routers for woodworking provided in this article gives a comprehensive overview of each option’s pros and cons. The Bosch PR20EVS Colt Palm Grip Router stands out as a reliable and powerful choice, while the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router offers precision and versatility.

The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit provides the perfect balance of power and convenience, while the Festool 574692 Router OF 1400 EQ excels in precision and performance. Additionally, the Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router proves to be a budget-friendly option without compromising quality, and the Hitachi M12VC Variable-Speed Router offers versatility and control.

Ultimately, the choice of which small router to invest in depends on your specific woodworking needs. Consider factors such as the projects you typically work on, your level of experience, and your budget.

Whether you prioritize power or precision, there is a small router available that can enhance your craftsmanship and take your woodworking skills to new heights. So go ahead and choose the best small router for woodworking – it will surely make a noticeable difference in the quality of your finished products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size router do I need for woodworking?

The size of the router needed for woodworking depends on the specific tasks and projects you plan to undertake. Generally, for larger woodworking projects like building furniture or working with thick stock, a full-size router with a powerful motor and a bigger base is preferred. These routers provide greater stability and power for heavy-duty cuts, allowing you to handle larger bits and workpieces more efficiently.

However, if you primarily work on smaller projects or need a router for precision trimming and detail work, a mid-size or trim router can suffice. It’s important to consider your specific woodworking needs and preferences when selecting the right router size.

What is the smallest wood router?

The smallest wood router commonly available in the market is typically referred to as a palm or laminate trimmer. These compact routers are designed for light trimming tasks such as edge routing, lamina te trimming, or small-scale decorative routing.

Their compact size makes them easy to maneuver and control, allowing for precise cuts in tight spaces or delicate workpieces. While these small routers might lack some of the power and versatility of larger options, they offer convenience and portability that can be beneficial in certain woodworking applications.

What is the difference between a trim router and a compact router?

Trim routers and compact routers are similar in many ways but also have some slight differences that set them apart. A trim router is specifically designed for edge trimming operations, as indicated by its name. These routers typically feature lower horsepower compared to other types of routers but are highly maneuverable due to their compact size and lightweight construction.

On the other hand, compact routers offer more versatility by providing additional features such as plunge bases and variable speed control options that allow them to handle a wider range of routing tasks beyond just trimming edges. Compact routers generally have slightly more power than trim routers while still maintaining portability and ease of use. Ultimately, the choice between a trim router or compact router depends on the specific woodworking tasks you plan to tackle and your preference regarding portability versus additional functionality.



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