Best Compact Router: (Updated July 2021) – 10 Top Picks

We published this post on the best compact router reviews in 2019, and from then, we made changes to our earlier selections several times. Today is the swipe of the latest update of the post.

A compact router is an excellent option for any DIY hobbyist or craftsman who wants a lightweight small-size router kit for their small workshop. Two things you must consider before you go for choosing a router – especially if it is a compact router. These are – the range of speed and the ability to use variable speed. These two key options can easily cope with hardwoods and softwoods.

By nature, a compact router is lighter than the large; and for its cutting expertise, it is popular to the novice and expert craftsman as well. We have specified the key qualities in each product below to make your way easy.

10 Best Compact Router Reviews

Here’s the best compact router reviews(Tested and reviewed)


DEWALT DWP611PK Variable Speed Router Combo Kit

Key Points
  • DEWALT Router Combo Kit

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    More resources: Powerful Router Reviews

    If you intend to do any kind of carpentry, you would definitely need a reliable wood lathe or router on hand. One of the most recommended router kits these days is the DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP. Let’s briefly tackle why it’s among the top.

    Variable Speed

    When it comes to speed, DW11PK is a winner. It goes from 1-6 steps; plus, it produces 16000-27000 RPM. Another great thing about this product is its electronic speed control feature that allows users to regulate the speed according to their needs. This reduces the risks of start-up twisting and burning.

    Besides, it has a depth ring and clamping mechanism which will allow the motor in a fixed and locked in position. It will help the easy access control for precise cuts. Base removal is a risky and laborious task and DEWALT is offering you a release tab with spring for quick base release. LED light is its added facility.

    Plunge and Fixed Base

    The DEWALT DWP611PK also has Plunge and Fixed Bases, which are perfect for edging and trimming. Its plunge base is great as you can turn it into a totally functional plunge router. With these two bases, you can craft more carpentry masterpieces in your home workshop.

    Product Highlights

  • Both fixed base and plunge base
  • The highest range of speed up to 27000 RPM
  • Controllable via the variable speed control
  • Maximum visibility
  • A simple, easy, and quick bit change
  • Pros

  • A handy shaft lock
  • Spring-loaded movable base
  • Large and stable plunge base platform
  • Extended sub-base for better control
  • Cons

  • Some users, especially the aged, don’t find it user-friendly

  • Verdict:

    The DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP is one of the worthwhile options in the market. Feel free to explore any other alternatives you need. But if you want something that brings the best bang for the buck, DEWALT DWP611PK 1.25 HP is definitely a great choice.


    DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base Router Kit

    Key Points
  • DEWALT DWP611 Router Kit

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    Also read: review on affordable tools

    Definitely, you expect decent horsepower from your compact router which will provide you the torque you need for the job done. DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router with LEDs comes with 1-1/4 hp motor that produces powerful torque for the toughest applications. The variable speed control system and LED light will help you do your job with ease.

    Consumers want versatile user experience in terms of the variations of tasks. Considering customer satisfaction, DEWALT router with LEDs comes with variable speed control that can adapt speed ranging from 16,000 – 27, 000 RPM. It also includes LED light, spindle lock button and adjustment ring to control bit depth. This router can function for small cuts to large and heavy flush trimming. Though it comes as a fixed based router, you can use it as both fixed base and plunge bases.

    Powerful Features and Performance

    This powerful router is superior in performance and comes with ergonomic functioning to ensure smooth operation and precise cutting experience. It produces more power compared to its nearest models and allows you to control with ease. You’ll also like its variable speed indicator that helps for safety of your hands.

    The depth of drilling hardwood may vary depending on the projects, and you can do it easily replacing the height of the bits. LED light will ensure maximum visibility and precision. It provides stability and comfort when you need at work.

    A nice thing about this router is 1/4 inch collet that has good contact with the shaft. It helps to bring a perfect shape of your work piece with little or no vibration. You can access a firm grip on the handle. The heavy-duty rubber handles allow you to hold and control the router with ease.  It’s durable and undoubtedly constructed with heavy metals. The producer of this compact router is renowned to DIYers.

    Product Highlights

  • A variable speed control system
  • Spindle lock with 12 variable levels
  • Dual LEDs and sub-bases
  • Best for both fixed base and plunge bases
  • Controllable bit cutting depth
  • Durable and heavy 1.25-hp motor
  • Pros

  • Handling a lot easier
  • Access to quick release without tools
  • Variable ranges of speed at 12 different levels
  • No need to purchase separate LED lighting
  • Cons

  • The motor may overheat but it has a cooler system
  • No electric brake to stop instantly

  • 3.

    Bosch Colt PR20EVSK Fixed-Based Router

    Key Points
  • Bosch Colt PR20EVSK Router

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    People intend to purchase based on their needs and the versatility of tasks, but in all cases, they want a good return against their investment. Bosch Colt PR20EVSK stands with versatile functionality and does a lot more, which means it will not be the cause of being disappointed for anyone after purchase.

    Compact Router Performance And Features

    It comes with the highest ratings among the small size router for its decent performance with the 1.0 horsepower motor. It spins ranging from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, which is decent for such small size router kit to compete with its family kits available online.

    It still exists in competition with its family tools because of its user-friendly, straightforward and versatile quality functions. DIYers want smooth and accurate operations of their tool-kits on the one hand and expect ease of use, reliability, flexibility, and comfort on the other. Bosch Colt PR20EVSK Fixed-Based Router facilitates craftsmen with all the amenities.

    This best buy Bosch tool includes 1/4” bits with 1-5/16” diameter and a spindle lock on the motor, which allows you to run it with ease and precision. It is a rubber coated, palm-gripped motor router that makes it possible – one-handed operations. It has electric circuits to monitor motor speed consistency during overload.

    This is an easy-grip hand-held compact router that does extremely well at small projects and requires no router tables at all. Bosch Colt PR20EVSK is the best option for you to begin your DIY projects.

    Product Highlights

  • A compact package with big power for small projects
  • It has 12 variable speed dial to adjust the speed
  • This compact router is easy to handle and provides maximum accuracy at work
  • Aluminum frame with hard plastic, so it’s durable and reliable
  • High speed (max 35,000 rpm) from a 5.6 amp motor
  • For precision and depth adjustment, this kit has a micro-fine depth adjustment
  • A fixed base router with finger support pockets, so user-friendly
  • Pros

  • Suitable for small projects
  • It generates the highest horsepower
  • 1 hp variable speed control kit
  • Rubber molded grip
  • Compact package and fixed base
  • Cons

  • Tool-kits like 10 mm wrench need to a separate buy
  • It vibrates a bit more compared to its class

  • 4.

    Bosch 1617EVS Fixed-Base Router Kit

    Key Points
  • Bosch 1617EVS Router Kit

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    You might know the name Bosch, a renowned designer, and producer of router kits. Before designing the Bosch 1617EVS, a lot of thought was put into its productivity and accuracy throughout the cuts. It is manufactured in Mexico maintaining the global manufacturing strategy; so it’s trustworthy for its quality and adaptability. This global standard router kit is available in many countries including Germany, China, and the United States which means it has huge demands; and you will definitely be benefited if you buy one.

    Powerful Features and Performance

    Its 2.25-horsepower, the 12-amp motor produces highest speed up to 25,000 RPM allowing you the maximum opportunity for accurate results. You will be happy to know that it doesn’t rotate during creating holes in high speed, and reduces the torque. So, it allows working with consistency and precision. Its bits are adjustable and you can fix them considering the depth of wood holes you want to make without any intricacy.

    This fixed base compact router includes two griped handles; you can fix it on the router table easily. Both of these two options will reduce your time and make your every cut accurate with precision. The most striking feature is that the operating system monitors its speed and maintains its desired RPM for smooth operations. It does not fail to cut when a huge load appears; the variable speed control system automatically increases or reduces the RPM when what needed.

    Though it has T wrench attached you can install and uninstall without any use of wrenches. It has self-releasing collets and predrilled plate so you can put it on the router table without any hassle.

    Product Highlights

  • 6” Diameter, 6-11/16” Plunge and rounded handles maximize user control
  • Aluminum frame and dust-sealed power switch
  • 12-amp motor with 2.25-horsepower produces speed 8000 to 25000-RPM
  • Adjustable above the router table
  • An automatic speed control system
  • Pros

  • Not so annoying as it comes with micro-fine adjustment
  • Not so heavy and portable
  • Cuts accurate with precision
  • Versatile and user-friendly
  • Cons

  • Though it’s controllable, produces vibrations during heavy load
  • No dust port and need to buy separately

  • 5.

    Makita RT0701CX3 Compact Router Kit

    Key Points
  • Makita RT0701CX3 Router

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    Makita is another nice router kit you know; which is an excellent option for the craftsman and hobbyist. It is considered as the complete router kit since it has included everything an ideal compact router should have. We selected it as our overall best pick because it has a maximum horsepower and delivers the highest performance compared to other family kits.

    The RT0701CX3 has included a 1-1/4 hp powerful motor that produces speed ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM, which is the highest. The variable speed-control quickly adjusts with the soft and hardwood crafting. Depth change is an important part for woodworking and for that it has the quick release cam lock system that will help you remove or install the base as easily and faster as you can. A shaft lock will help you during changing router bits.

    The most striking part of this kit is that it has three bases (plunge base, tilt base, and the offset base) that work differently when needed. Plunge base has the plunge capacity of 0” to 1-3/8”. Besides, when you need routing from different angles, tilt base will come to your assistance. You will be able to turn your router at -30° to 45° angles. And when it becomes very hard to reach any areas, offset base will be the option to perform this task. It will allow up to ¾” close to a wall. So, it’s a nice versatile router kit.

    Product Highlights

  • Easy and convenient way to change bits for shaft lock
  • Slim and comfortable design
  • Industry-specific standard guides
  • Variable speed control allows softwoods to hardwoods
  • Works as plunge base, tilt base and offset base
  • Heavy-duty aluminum motor, so it’s durable
  • Pros

  • You can trim laminated board or things like that
  • Durable, easy to handle and powerful
  • A plastic shield that protects users from debris
  • Cons

  • It’s not perfect to mount on a router table
  • It doesn’t include any light in the base

  • 6.

    Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

    Key Points
  • Makita RT0701CX7 Router

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit is a perfect option for those intending to buy for the precise and controlled cuts. It includes a powerful motor that can be used for plunge base routing opportunity. It works better for precise wood-cutting without creating huge sounds and vibration. It has a motor release clamp, speed control system and many more that add value to any workshop.

    It is a slim and well-designed toolkit that is considered for portability – only 3.9 lbs. The electronic speed control system provides necessary freedom to produce precise cuts as it reduces the motor speed when needed. For this variable speed control system, this router doesn’t vibrate more so it’s easy to handle and give you a noise-free environment.

    When you need to cut in a deeper hole, it becomes a hustle to reinstall your router manually; which is time-consuming also. Makita RT0701CX7 will assist you in this regard with its two-stage motor release clamp. This will allow making a quick and easy depth adjustment and base change.

    This is not so heavy but durable. It weighs only 3.9 lbs., so it’s portable and comfortable. The flat top design will help you change bits. The RT0701CX7 router kit is well-matched with the bits size-1/4-Inch shank router bits so you can find them anywhere around you.

    Product Highlights

  • Quick release clamp and heavy duty
  • Good range of speed from a powerful motor
  • Excellent depth adjustment system
  • Adjustable for the plunge base
  • Pros

  • Bits release system
  • Flat top suitable for bit change
  • Comfortable and easy to handle
  • Cons

  • The only shortcoming is that it lacks the light with it

  • Also Read: The Bosch Ra1171 Review


    PORTER-CABLE 450PK Compact Fixed/Plunge Combo Kit

    Key Points
  • PORTER-CABLE Combo Kit

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    Consumers want to accomplish a wide range of tasks in the workshop. In most cases, compact router fulfills their demands for its versatile workforce and comfort levels. Porter-cable 450pk is a versatile, lightweight and comfortable compact router which is ideal for the craftsman who loves to have it for their wide range of tasks.

    450pk is the best option for the toughest applications. With its 1.25 hp motor can run on the table as a fixed base, and plunge base as well. It can be said that you can use this kit for constructing almost everything. It is ideal for chamfering, wood crafting and inlay design; and even suitable for cabinet construction. It is adjustable to the dust port for vacuuming fine dust.

    Nice palm-gripped design of 450pk weighs almost 4 pounds and it works with its 1.25 horsepower motor for better and improved results. It can function with ease and precision for its controlled soft-start functionality that allows heavy load when needed. It has a good furnishing over the surface to hold tight. You will get the maximum controlling over it for accurate and precise cuts.

    Product Highlights

  • Lightweight, portable but sturdy for Aluminum frame
  • 1.25 horsepower motor is moveable between fixed base and plunge base
  • The electronic speed control system allows heavy load for hardwoods
  • It’s better for gripping for the extended 8 slot ¼” collet
  • Fit for precise and accurate cuts
  • Pros

  • Durable and controllable
  • Fixed base and plunge base at a time on the table
  • Speed control system
  • Depth adjustment
  • Cons

  • No LED lights
  • Its fixed does not take guide bushing

  • 8.

    PORTER-CABLE 450 Compact Router with Dust Collection Adapter

    Key Points

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    The most striking feature of any router is the precision of its cuts, accuracy, and ease of use. Beyond this key function, you will find many more with Porter-Cable 450, we have tested and reviewed.

    You will get more stability for its locking-in position that will help you for depth adjustment. With its 1.25 hp motor, it’s able to produce the highest speed up to 27,000 rpm, which is enough to face the most hard-hitting jobs. And it maintains its speed range up to the end of cutting any hardwood. This compact router is portable, comfortable, and you can control it with the single hand. Though it does cost a bit more compared to some other router kits, you will definitely be benefited for the money you have invested.

    Product Highlights

  • Precise and easy to use
  • Never reduces the speed under pressure
  • 1.25 HP hard-hitting motor
  • Single-handed operation
  • Pros

  • Durable motor
  • Depth adjustment system
  • Speed control system
  • Cons

  • No more collet size but ¼ inch
  • No LED light

  • 9.

    Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

    Key Points
  • Ridgid Affordable Router

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    Rounded and squire base Ridgid R2401 trim router is another addition to our collection. You might notice that the R2401 laminate trim router has a LED light, which is an added value to the router. The LED light focuses on the work area and makes more visible to work. If you are cutting and making any custom wood furniture or creating a decorative pattern, you will need a good range of speed. R2401 Trim Router has a nice range of power and produces the highest speed you will love.

    This small size compact router produces speed up to 30,000 rpm with a 5.5 amp and ¼” horsepower motor. The motor weighs not more than 4 lbs. It has also the micro speed-dial and spindle-lock so that you can control the motor speed and change the bits easily. You can make its upside down so it becomes easier for changing bits.

    It has two types of bases – rounded and squire and has a quick release-level which means you can change the motor from the base easily and comfortably. It is comparatively a more free-hand tool and not so heavy router kit. You can definitely use this trimmer for versatile purposes. You can create a decorative pattern on the wood. Not only is that, but biscuit-joint cut with this laminate trim router also possible. You can also use ¼” bits for usual thin wood but 2×4” wood is not so harder.

    Product Highlights

  • Includes spindle lock for easy bit change
  • Includes LED light
  • Not so heavy and portable
  • Depth control with precision
  • Two types of bases – squire and rounded
  • Easy bit release as sits upside down
  • Pros

  • Portable and easy to handle
  • Easy bit release system
  • Squire and rounded bases
  • Cons

  • Fixed base only
  • No option for plunge base

  • 10.

    AVID POWER Compact Router with Fixed Base Option

    Key Points
  • AVID POWER Compact Router

    Click here to Check Latest Price

    If you search out compact router in any search engine, you will find some most popular brands like Dewalt, Bosch or Makita. But this time, we’ve brought to you Masterworks MW104 compact router though it has some less popularity compared to other kits. It’s because we have tested and observed that the router kit is an excellent one for its multifarious qualities. If you go through the product details, you won’t definitely disagree with my opinion.

    What Masterworks MW104 includes together, many of its competitors might not possess at a time. You will observe that one of its family kits will be best for trimming projects only. But Masterworks with its 6.5 amp 1.25 HP routers, is perfect for a variety of trimming applications and routing projects at a time. In addition to other features, it has roller guide and dust hood, you’ll find missing with some other router tools.

    So, if you consider its working facilities, you’ll get the job done with an affordable tool without any discomfort. Ultimately, you’ll be benefited getting one at a reduced rate for the same job done by the other router kits.

    The dual LED lights and rack-and-pinion depth adjustment will help you control the router for an accurate depth and precise cut. The router speed up to 32,000 RPM will never stop for any hardwood loads. The Masterworks MW104 is accurate and well-designed.

    Product Highlights

  • Compatible with other router brand’s bit
  • No loss of speed during heavy pressure for variable speed control
  • Accurate cuts with precision
  • Dual bright LED lights
  • Aluminum body and rubber hood for a clean workspace
  • Highest horsepower with 6.5 amp motor
  • Pros

  • Lighting facility
  • The versatility of working facility
  • Precision cuts with accuracy
  • Cons

  • The only claim of its lock adjustment

  • Final Verdict

    You have down and found that most of the routers have some same kind of features. You’ve also noticed that some of the routers are missing some features which other routers include. This is because they were designed based on your needs.

    We spent our best effort to find the best compact router these days with powerful and high-quality features. Considering their performance and quality features, you’ll now definitely be able to find your deserving one. Hope this will help you decide on the right choice.

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    2 thoughts on “Best Compact Router: (Updated July 2021) – 10 Top Picks”

    1. Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this web page daily, this website is really
      fastidious and the users are truly sharing good thoughts.

    2. Hi Richard,
      I’m Gary the owner of woodworkingtoolhub[dot]com/. I am here to share my experience as a woodworker to you about DEWALT DWP611PK & Bosch 1617EVS. I used both of them & found Dewalt faster, easier then Bosch. I loved to work with the Dewalt. I think every woodworker should use this. By the way, thank you very much for your honest review, loved it.

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