Best Compact Router | Best 5 Compact Router Reviews

Best compact router

Routers were heavy machinery till late 2005 when Bosch launched the revolutionary Colt series of compact routers, which revolutionized the Best Compact Router market.

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Best Compact Router

The Dewalt DWP611PK Compact wood router is very silent in comparison to other compact routers available in the market.

The colt series has some of the great Compact Routers along with a wide number of other manufacturers which joined the club. The Compact Router are handheld light weight and compact. These routers do a little sacrifice on the stability and precision, but they bring in a lot of benefits with their maneuverability.

These popular Compact Router are easy to move and give artistic freedom to a lot of professionals who want a little freedom while cutting and carving designs on wood. Ease of use and mobility were the major offerings of these routers until the companies found out that their maneuverability is an even bigger advantage for the users. Before a compact router review, let us see the features that make a great compact wood router.

Best Compact Router


Based on the recommendations, we selected the top five models for recommendations.

DEWALT DWP611PK Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s 

This interchangeable base Dewalt DWP611PK Compact wood router offers both plunge and fixed base applications with a light yet powerful 1.25 HP motor. The motor offers variable RPM’s from 16000 to 27000 RPM’s with a speed control for a greater adaptability. The router is very silent in comparison to other compact routers available in the market.

The Dewalt DWP611PK router has LED guiding lights and transparent acrylic base that enhances the ease of use.


  • It offers great stability in both plunge and fixed applications.
  • It has a silent motor.
  • RPM adjustment for great precision.
  • Soft start for high precision cutting.
  • Adjustment ring is a great feature for better applications.
  • Multiple shaft lock for quick and easy bit change.
  • Three year warranty is a great advantage.


  • The Dewalt DWP611PKrouter is not good for heavy usage on the router table.
  • It works with ¼ inch shanks only.
  • There is no edge guide for beginners.
  • No carrying case.

User Reviews

Most of the users are highly satisfied with the router. The users must understand that it is a compact router made for usage at different places, so it cannot be as powerful as a fixed router table of the routers. The LED lights make the Dewalt DWP611PK router very easy for the users to make precise cuts as the users are able to continuously monitor the cutting process.

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DEWALT DWP611 Variable Speed Compact Router with LED’s

The light yet powerful Dewalt DWP611 is equipped with a 1.25 HP motor that offers a wide range of speeds for precise cutting. The router comes with a high precision adjustment ring that ensure that every cut is made with great precision and accuracy.

The LED lights give a very clear view of the surface being cut. The silent operations and lightweight design are the features that earned this router a position in Best router for woodworking reviews.


  • Very stable design.
  • Precise cutting using the adjustment rings.
  • High quality transparent acrylic base for improved visibility.
  • The small motor ensures lower power consumption and very silent operations.
  • The LED’s make it very easy for the users to have a close look at the cut.
  • It comes with a three year warranty.
  • Soft start and adjustable RPM’s are great features.


  • The motor is fairly weak in comparison to the table routers. Dewalt DWP611 router is a small 1.25 HP motor while the industry average is above 2 HP.
  • Some users find the motor a little bulkier than other models available in the market.

User Reviews

Although some users find the router a little less powered, most of the users find it an amazing compact wood router for all kinds of applications. The machine is light, easy to maneuver and works very quietly.

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Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit

The dual application Makita RT0701CX7 works well with both plunge and fixed bases. Powered by a 1.25 HP motor with an RPM controller dial that enables the users to fix the speed of the motor anywhere between 10,000 to 30,000 RPM for a wide array of applications and high precision.

The high visibility base design enhances the ease of use. It has a heavy duty aluminum motor housing for longevity.


  • Durable router with aluminum body.
  • Comes with a large number of accessories for enhanced usage.
  • Double insulated motor for safety and durability• Slim and ergonomic design.
  • Variable vertical angle accessory base is a great advantage


  • No carry case or bag.
  • Small router not suitable for heavy usage.
  • Guide holder is not there in the model.
  • The brand offers only one year warranty while competitors offer three to five year warranty.

User Reviews

Most users found Makita RT0701CX7 very useful and a great product. Customers who look to cut at an angle find it very difficult to cut using a compact router, but this router is equipped with vertical angle accessory that allows users to cut at different angles.

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Porter-Cable 450 1.25 HP Compact Router

Porter-Cable 450 is an ergonomically designed single handed control high precision router with a powerful 1.25 HP motor. The motor operates at a fixed speed of 27,000 RPM’s with soft starting and electronic feedback for high precision cut at full power. The depth ring and clamping mechanism is provided enhanced protection to the users.


  • A very powerful, high speed motor.
  • Single handed use.
  • Soft Start for easy pickup and high precision.
  • Two year warranty for peace of mind.


  • Works only on a fixed 27,000 RPM.
  • Comes with a fixed base only.
  • Requires a wrench to change the bit.

User Reviews

Porter-Cable 450 is the most powerful compact router which operates at 27,000 RPM’s and offers single handed operations. However, the router is not a great choice for artists and creative people as it operates only at a single high RPM limiting the ease of use.

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PORTER-CABLE 450PK Compact Router Fixed/Plunge Combo Kit

The dual base Porter Cable 450 PK is a great router for high power compact router usage. The router uses a 1.25 HP motor to operate at 27,000 RPM’s. The router is ergonomically designed to fit into your palm for easy operations. It is a great equipment for users who require a powerful compact router with both fixed and plunge base applications.


  • Powerful high RPM motor.
  • Offers both plunge and fixed base applications.
  • Comes with a two year warranty


  • Operates only at 27,000 RPM’s making it tough to maneuver for artistic applications.
  • Requires a wrench to change the bit

User Reviews

The router is a high quality dual base router, but is limited to a few applications as it only works at 27,000 RPM’s. The users have mixed reviews as those who operate on 27,000 RPM’s find the Porter-Cable 450 a great equipment while those who want to operate at different RPM’s find it difficult to operate with a single RPM.

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Things to Look For

The Router stand apart in the market because of some standard features. These features must be known to you before making a buying decision and to understand a compact router review.

Interchangeable Bases

Interchangeable BasesMost of the successful compact wood routers come with both fixed and plunge bases which can be interchangeably used according to the application. The interchangeable bases allow you to perform more tasks with a single machine.

Handy Structure

Handy StructureThe compact routers are supposed to be very handy and easy to maneuver. These are essential features of a compact router. Without these features, one cannot classify a router into the compact router category.

Accessories Availability

AccessoriesThe functionality and performance of a compact router can be enhanced by accessorizing it. One must see all the available accessories before selecting a router. There are many accessories which are very useful and available for a particular or a few brands.

Easy Bit Change Method

Bit Change MethodUsing a compact wood router, a lot of users do artistic works. Such users need to change the bit very frequently, so they should pay attention to the procedure of changing the bits. A router with easier bit change is better than one that requires special tools to change the bit.

Who Needs A Compact Router?

Professionals and carpenters who need to do cutting and designing works using a good Compact Router, especially the artistic works need a compact router as it is easy to move and can be used to create designs and patterns with great ease. It is the best machine for creating designs on wood. The perspective of these users is shared with this compact router review.

Why One Needs A Compact Router?

Compact RouterA compact router is an equipment that not only enables the carpenters, craftsmen and artisans to create their art in their workshops, but it enables them to do it wherever they like. They can take their lightweight equipment to their clients and create designs with perfection and great ease.

The compact routers are great equipment which performs various cutting tasks. A compact router review brings to light that there are three types of cuttings that can be done using a router.

  • Straight Cutting
  • Rabbet Cutting
  • Spiral-Up Cutting

How The Products On This Review Were Selected?

Products SelectionWe did several reviews of various professional equipment and over time we developed a methodology for the great reviews. We followed a three step methodology to determine the Best Compact Router for this compact router review.

First, we shortlisted all the popular models in the market and created a list of twenty most successful models available in the market. Secondly, we did a review of these models and created a list of ten top models that made a mark in the market.

Thirdly, we went to the experts like carpenters, craftsmen who use routers and have decades of experience to know their opinion and recommendations on these models.

Final Verdict

Dewalt DWP611PK are the finest Compact Router available in the market. The brand not only provides top quality equipment, but it also ensures that the equipment has some features that no other router has. The LED lights and transparent base are the key features that make this router a great buy.

The ease of use and compact size are other features that help customers in making their mind to buy this compact wood router.
We highly recommend Dewalt DWP611 PK as it not only has all the features provided by the other models. It has some unique features that no other brand provides. The interchangeable base variant 611 PK is one of the Best Compact Router as it works well in both fixed base and plunge base applications.