When it comes to woodworking, cabinetry work and even cutting fancy edges, patterns and grooves, a router would be your tool of choice. Great for cutting hard materials such as wood or plastic, these are typically handheld power tool devices that come in both corded and cordless options.
Below are some compact versions of these tools that make for easier transportation around the work area and can also get into the smaller areas for more detailed work that are too big for many larger routers. Our picks are all tried and true brands that have made a name for themselves in the tools and home improvement industry and are ready to get the work done.
With these top of the line routers, you are also getting smooth performance and precision and a slew of different features including variable speed control (not included on all models), powerful motors ranging from 1.25-2.0 horsepower, lightweight and ergonomically designed bodies for comfort and some options even provide L.E.D lights to ensure maximum visibility.
1. Dewalt DWP611PK Fixed Router
Dewalt’s Fixed Router is know for combining power and performance with comfort and convenience and has a durable 1.25 horsepower motor to deliver the power for even the most demanding applications with ease. This compact router is loaded with features including a soft-starting motor with full-time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed throughout the cut, dual L.E.D’s to ensure maximum visibility during operation and plunge bases that include rubber handles for a comfortable and secure grip. This router is especially sturdy, stable and built to last, and is ideal for heavier applications.
Pros: For its price point, this is an exceptional router that is heavy-duty and built to last.
Cons: The instruction manual might take a little getting used to.
2. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit
Makita’s Compact Router Kit is a slim and ergonomically designed, compact machine that delivers performance, versatility, and precision and is engineered for a full range of routing applications. This router has a durable flat-top design for added convenience and the base can be removed quickly to install other bases. For the price, this router comes with everything you need for the easy and not-so-easy woodworking jobs, as well as some additional performance features include electronic speed control to maintain a constant speed and a soft-start feature for smooth start-ups.
Pros: This router is double-insulated with a heavy-duty aluminum motor housing for increased durability.
Cons: This does not come with L.E.D. lights.
3. Bosch 1617EVS Wood Router Tool Kit
The Wood Router Tool Kit by Bosch allows you to handle a wide range of routing applications and comes with all features necessary for fixed-depth routing. It includes a fixed base, two self-releasing collets, drop-forged wrenches, a chip shield, an above-table-height adjustment wrench and additional mounting hardware. Its high-performance features also include a powerful, 2.25 horsepower motor, a variable-speed dial with advanced speed-control technology and a soft-start feature.
Pros: The power switch on this router is completely dust-sealed for added durability.
Cons: This is a larger router than our other options.
4. Makita RT0701C Compact Router
This option by Makita is similar to the Makita Router Kit mentioned above, however, it only includes the router tool. This router is compact and has a slim, ergonomically designed body for increased comfort and control while delivering powerful performance and precision for a range of routing applications. Similar in size to many of our other options, this router delivers medium power with its 1-1/4 maximum horsepower and versatility with a single unit. Other features include electronic speed control, a soft-start feature for smooth start-ups and it boasts a double-insulated motor housing for increased durability.
Pros: This router weighs in at a slim 3.9 pounds.
Cons: Additional bases are sold separately.
5. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Router
The Dewalt Cordless Router gives you the convenience of a cordless tool while providing the power of a corded router. This router is equipped with all of the performance features of a great router and includes a plastic fixed base and dual LED lights to help illuminate the work surface and provide superior visibility. There is no cord to get in the way and you don’t have to be tied to an electrical outlet to get your job done.
Pros: An electronic brake slows the motor down faster after the unit is shut off.
Cons: You will need to invest in batteries.
6. Avid Cart Fixed-Base Wood Router Kit
The Compact Wood Router Kit by Avid Power is our last pick and may be lesser known than our other branded picks, however, its power, durability, and versatility make it a worthy opponent and one of the better compact routers on the market. It has one of the most powerful HP’s of our other options and features 25,000 RPM for fast, easy and efficient cuts through the toughest of hardwoods. This router is perfectly suited for a broad range of routing applications and will last for a long time.
Pros: For its price point, it’s a great option and is compatible with bits of almost all sizes.
Cons: It does not come with variable speed adjustment.