Compact router.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 02-13-2013 01:15 AM 2418 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


904 posts in 1943 days

02-13-2013 01:15 AM

Afternoon all. I was reading through the router reviews. There seem to be a lot of post re: compact routers. Specifically the Dewalt 611PK. As I’m starting to shop around I’m kinda hoping some one could shed a bit of light on the subject. I’m kinda keen on the 618PK, but maybe lighter is better? ( for a hobbiest). Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Mark

20 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2601 days

#1 posted 02-13-2013 01:21 AM

I thought about getting a compact router, but now have my doubts. A conventional router is more powerful and a laminate trimmer is more nimble. I don’t see where a CR fits into the mix? Not for me anyway.

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2415 days

#2 posted 02-13-2013 01:23 AM

I have the Bosch Colt and tend to use it for most projects. I have 6 routers and use them all but reach for the colt the most. Dont know if that helps.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View AandCstyle's profile


3027 posts in 2225 days

#3 posted 02-13-2013 01:51 AM

I recently bought a Ridgid r2401 and have been quite happy with it. It is limited to a 1/4” shank, but it works very well for rounding over edges and making mortises for hinges, etc. Ir comes with round and square clear plastic bases and has a light. I got a reconditioned one for $70. The thing that I like the most is that I feel comfortable holding it with one hand while using my other hand to hold it square to the work piece.

-- Art

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2254 days

#4 posted 02-13-2013 01:57 AM

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I own both the Dewalt 611 and 618 kits. They are both good tools and I have never had a problem with either.

The 611 is very handy to use as it is lightweight and compact, and the LED lights in the base really help illuminate the work surface. Downside is that it can only use 1/4” shank bits. I use this router the most when hand routing.

The 618 is heavier, more powerful, and can spin 1/4” and 1/2” shank bits. I use this tool in my router table pretty much exclusively.

If I was buying my first router, I’d get a 2.25 hp name-brand tool that can use both size bits (and with a fixed base and plunge base). After that I would consider a trim/compact router. My two cents! Good luck.

-- John, BC, Canada

View gawthrrw's profile


207 posts in 2415 days

#5 posted 02-13-2013 02:00 AM

Thats good advice nwbusa. Def get at least a 2hp router before you get a compact. I would even say try to get a kit that has both plunge and fixed base.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2217 days

#6 posted 02-13-2013 02:14 AM

I have a lot of routers. I also recently got the Ridgid R2401. I freaking love that router. It’s small but plenty powerful for handheld work. The height adjustment is awesome, and accurate.

I think one important fact often goes unnoticed with these little guys – speed. It is variable speed, but 22k to 30k. That 30k speed leaves a mirror smooth burn free finish – even in end grain. As long as you have a sharp good quality bit and pay attention to your feed rate. I reach for it every time I need to put a roundover on something or I have to use a 1” or smaller flush trim bit.

It would never be my first or only router though.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2587 days

#7 posted 02-13-2013 02:23 AM

The smallest router I have is the Stanley #271:

Sorry, I’ll leave your thread quietly now. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28963 posts in 2306 days

#8 posted 02-13-2013 02:44 AM

I use the Bosch Colt extensively. Love it. I have 6 routers, it’s my favorite

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3127 days

#9 posted 02-13-2013 02:48 AM

As I said in another thread, I love my DW611. But if I had to keep only one of my routers it would be my Bosch 1617. That class and size of router is the most versatile, IMO.

-- jay,

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2336 days

#10 posted 02-13-2013 01:52 PM

+ 1 bosch 1617 evs…


View Mark's profile


904 posts in 1943 days

#11 posted 02-13-2013 05:30 PM

I like that Smitty. :) Thanks for the excellent advise gents.

-- Mark

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2587 days

#12 posted 02-13-2013 05:35 PM


-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jakelb's profile


8 posts in 1925 days

#13 posted 02-13-2013 05:59 PM

I have been researching compact routers. I have always been pleased with Dewalt. Then I came across the Makita RT0700CX3. I would want an edge guide which adds about $36 to the Dewalt. So for an extra $30 over the price of the Dewalt with edge guide the Makita offers a lot more. The reviews of each are about equal. Just my thoughts. Jerry

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 1988 days

#14 posted 02-13-2013 06:10 PM

I’m in the same boat as a lot of other people in this thread. I have a Bosch 1617 and Dewalt 611 and they both have their places. The compact router is nice for quick round over work and the like. When I am really trying be precise, I like the base size and the weight of the 1617. If I had to pick one to keep, it would be the 1617. Luckily I dont have to pick juse one though, because it sure would be hard getting rid of the 611.

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3146 days

#15 posted 02-13-2013 06:11 PM

I to have the Bosch Colt and after using it for a couple of years it did develop a nasty habit where it appeared the bit was slipping. I had read that this was an issue with this router and made it a point to thoroughly tighten the bit. Last time I used it it slipped again and I got a bit overzealous with the wrenches and cracked the nut….after the fact I discovered that it wasn’t the bit slipping but the motor itself slipping within the motor housing. This to seemed to have been a common-ish problem with the Colt but really I should have checked it before I went all gorilla with the wrenches.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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