Best Compact Router: In 2020 – [10 Top Picks & Reviews]

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 light-weight small size router kit for their small workshop or at home. 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. The best compact router including these two key options can easily cope with the 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.


Product Name


The Item Weight

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DEWALT Combo Kit

19.25 x 10.25 x 6.7 inches

8 pounds

DEWALT DWP611 Router

DEWALT DWP611 Fixed Base

5.6 x 11.5 x 7.3 inches

5.5 pounds

Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK

Bosch Colt Palm Grip Router

15 x 13 x 8 inches

1.03 pounds

Bosch 2.25 HP Router

Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Router


9.9 pounds

Makita RT0701CX3

Makita RT0701CX3 Router

18 x 14 x 13 inches

19.46 pounds

Makita RT0701CX7 Router Kit

Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

17 x 10 x 7 inches

3.9 pounds

Compact Fixed/Plunge Combo Kit


19.25 x 10.25 x 7 inches

10 pounds


PORTER-CABLE Compact Router

11.38 x 7.25 x 5.5 inches

5.4 pounds

Ridgid R2401 Router

Ridgid R2401 Compact Router

6.5 x 3 x 3 inches

4 pounds

Avid Power 1.25 HP Compact Router

Avid Power 6.5-Amp Router 

11.6 x 9.9 x 4.7 inches

7.48 pounds

10 Best Compact Router Reviews

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

 1. DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Combo Kit

Best Compact Router Kit

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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 best compact plunge router. With these two bases, you can craft more carpentry masterpieces in your home workshop. 

Product Highlights

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

What We Liked:

  • It has a handy multiple shaft lock
  • The base can be easily removed with its spring-loaded release
  • Its large plunge base platform makes it all the more stable
  • It has an extended sub-base for better user control

What We Didn’t Like:

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


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.

2. DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router


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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

The powerful router proves itself as the best compact wood router made by the human engineering for its ergonomic functioning and brings it to the top for its performance. It produces more power compared to its nearest models but can be easily controlled with the variable speed indicator.

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.

The best thing about the compact router is 1/4” router collet that has the best contact with the shaft, which means when you need to make a perfect shape of your job with little or no vibration, you can access a firm grip on the bit. 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
  • Dual LEDs and sub-bases
  • Best for both fixed base and plunge bases
  • Spindle lock with 12 variable levels
  • Controllable bit cutting depth
  • Durable and heavy 1.25-hp motor

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

3. Bosch Colt PR20EVSK Fixed-Based Router

Bosch Colt Palm Grip PR20EVSK 5.6 Amp

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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

4. Bosch 1617EVS Router Kit

Bosch 12 Amp 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed 1617EVS

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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

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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

5. Makita RT0701CX3 Compact Router Kit

Makita RT0701CX3

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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

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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

6. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

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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

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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

7. PORTER-CABLE 450PK Compact Router

PORTER-CABLE 450PK Compact Router

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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

  • Fit for precise and accurate cuts
  • It’s better for gripping for the extended 8 slot ¼” collet
  • 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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

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

8. Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router

Porter-Cable 450 Compact Router

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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

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

What We Liked:

  • Speed control system
  • Durable motor
  • Depth adjustment system

What We Didn’t Like:

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

9. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

Ridgid R2401  Router

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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 2x4” wood is not so harder.

Product Highlights

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

What We Liked:

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

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No option for plunge base. Fixed base only

10. Masterworks MW104 Compact Router

Avid Power Router Model

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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

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

What We Liked:

  • Precision and accuracy
  • Lighting facility
  • The versatility of working facility

What We Didn’t Like:

  • 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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Richard K. Christensen

As a hobbyist, I love DIY and want woodworking life better. I took writing as a profession and never looked back.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
ebooks - July 9, 2020

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.

Gary Neville - July 13, 2020

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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