Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by James Walton

A handheld compact router is necessary for any new or professional woodworker. But finding the best compact wood router can be demanding among the variety of options. So, we are about to illuminate the best compact router and compact router reviews to help you find the right one.

The compact router is essential for carpentry projects. However, it’ll be tough to work on projects that require cutting grooves, profiling, and engraving, making recesses without a compact router.

You might have different considerations for your compact router, such as handle base, adjustments, corded or cordless, fixed or plunge, etc. Don’t worry, because we will show you the best choices for all your different considerations along with buying guidelines.

What Is a Compact Router

Let’s begin with what a compact router is. A compact router is a machine used for profiling, cutting, and creating decorative edges on carpentries. This versatile tool will allow you to decorate and shape your projects uniquely.

A compact router can bevel edges, level uneven wood, and profile concealed joints. This means that it will help you with any type of shaping and detailing you want. Small handheld routers are also easier to use than most other tools so, you will get better results with a compact router than with other tools.

Types of Compact Routers

There are various types of compact routers according to different woodworking needs. You need to know which type of router is suitable for your work. So, here are the type of routers and the tasks they are suitable for:

Palm Router

The palm router is the smallest type of compact router, also known as a mini router tool. Palm routers have a very small collet, making them ideal for any type of detailing, trim laminating, and edging. Being small and lightweight, palm routers are the easiest to use and a very good option for beginners.

Fixed Base Router

Fixed-based routers have a fixed base just as the name implies. You must set the base at a certain level to work with these routers. Routers are excellent for edging. In addition, these routers provide better control and stability when moving the router over the wood.

The fixed-base router’s depth adjustment will help you get constant precision. These routers are also a good choice for beginners, even though they aren’t good at cutting from the middle.

Plunge Router

Plunge base routers are fixed in their position for accuracy. In addition, these routers are placed vertically on top of the wood for accurate cutting depth.

You can easily work on different cutting depths precisely with a plunge router. These routers can also cut wood in the middle. However, plunge routers can be challenging to use for beginners.

You may read also: Fixed Base vs Plunge Router: Which Is The Best

Top 10 Best Compact Routers Reviews For Both Beginners & Professionals

1. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP* Compact Router tool Kit

1. Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP* Compact Router tool Kit

The RT0701CX7 model is one of the best corded compact routers from Makita. You will get every feature you might look for in this fixed-based router, from soft start to shaft lock. The 1.25 HP motor and variable speed control options of Makita RT0701CX7 deliver power with the ability to control.

The speed control dial of the rt0701cx7 router will allow you to adjust speed accordingly (10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM). You can get a constant and accurate speed with a smooth startup, making your trimming tasks easier. Makita compact router also features a smooth rack and fine depth adjustment system pinion. This system presents better precision controls, making it one of the best compact routers for beginners.

Makita RT0701CX7 compact router slim and ergonomically frame provides comfortable hand fit and control. The durable flat-top design offers more comfort for changing bits. This means that you can easily remove and install bases. The heavy-duty body frame of this router is made of aluminum which is highly durable even though it is very light weighted (3.9 lbs).

The base design of RT0701CX7 will help you improve your handling precision and comfort. Unlike other compact routers, Makita’s design ensures high visibility. The depth scale is also easy to read and adjust. It will be very convenient while change this router’s bits for the shaft lock which is specially engineered for this purpose.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Light-weighted & easy to maneuver
  • Variable speed controls with soft start feature
  • Easy base removal and quick installation
  • Increased workpiece protection & visibility
  • Durable aluminum robust motor housing for long-lasting performance

 Keep In Mind:

  • This router is quite expensive
  • You have to buy its compatible bases & bits separately
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2. AVID POWER 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router with Trim Bits

2. AVID POWER 6.5-Amp 1.25 HP Compact Router with Trim Bits

Avid power 6.5 Amp compact router is similar to Makita RT0701CX7 but comes reasonably priced. This 1.25 HP router comes with a fixed-base, speed controls, edge guides, and all other facilities that you might look for. The avid compact router can make your woodwork even more precise with its dual LED lights.

The1.25 HP motor of the avid compact router delivers constant power enough for trimming and wood routing. You can adjust the speed as you want with its variable-speed operation, which offers 6-speed options. The powerful motor can provide constant torque between 10,000 and 32,000 RPM.

The motor housing of the avid compact router is made of heavy-duty aluminum. This means that you can trim without worrying about stability and durability. The avid trim router can also fit a wide range of bits since it comes with both ¼ and ⅜-inch collets. Just like the previous premium quality router, avid also features a smooth rack and pinion depth adjustment system. It means that you can get a very precise depth adjustment option.

Dual LED working lights, an edge guide, roller guide, etc., facilities of an avid compact router will make your routing so easy and precise. There is also a dust hood for keeping your machine and workplace clean. Dust hood will also protect your device from debris and maintain smooth performance.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • A good value for money
  • Includes collets, extra bits, and a lot more accessories
  • Comes with dual LED working lights & roller guide
  • A very handy and easy-to-use compact router

 Keep In Mind:

  • Doesn’t include a base in the package
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3. Milwaukee’s Cordless Compact Router,18.0 Voltage

3. Milwaukee's Cordless Compact Router,18.0 Voltage

Milwaukee m18 fuel router is one of the best cordless compact routers because of its powerful battery-powered motor. You can grab this little tool for any type of work in your workshop. Milwaukee router m18’s controls and adjustments are also very convenient.

If you are looking for both comfort and precision, then Milwaukee compact router is an excellent deal. 1.5 inches depth adjustment, switch push button, and lightweight body of this router is very comfortable for long-term use. It also features LED working lights for improved visibility while trimming.

5.0 AH battery capacity and 900-watt power of Milwaukee’s compact router produce enough power to trim up to 250 feet per charge. You can use this router for a long time with one charge. The li-ion type battery of the router is also long-lasting and works flawlessly with the brushless motor. In addition, the variable speed control option of the Milwaukee router will allow you to easily change its speed from 0 – 31,000 RPM.

A compact router that is not limited by cords can be used anywhere. Besides, Milwaukee’s router offers a very long battery life in a convenient mechanism. This eco-friendly router is also compatible with plunge and offset bases. Therefore, m18 compact router is an excellent deal if you are looking for a cordless router at a reasonable price.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • 2723-20 Milwaukee m18 fuel compact router with long-lasting battery life
  • 900-watt power output with a speed control feature
  • Easy controls with depth adjustment settings and base compatibility
  • LED working lights for better visibility

Keep In Mind:

  • You have to buy its battery and base accessories separately
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4. Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Compact Router

4. Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Compact Router

Here is another brushless, cordless compact router from the Makita brand featuring all premium facilities and value for money. Makita XTR01Z battery-powered router comes with a soft start, precise adjustment settings, comfortable hand grip, durable housing, and great visibility facilities. It can provide a 50% longer battery cycle than most other cordless routers with its 18v text brushless motor.

XTR01Z is designed with separate on/off/lock buttons to prevent accidental presses. The soft-start feature of this machine will help you with accuracy and smooth start-ups. The power output of this mechanism is also much more than its competitors. You can adjust and control the speed within the range of 10,000-30,000 RPM, which is ideal for a wood workshop.

Because of its smooth rack and pinion fine adjustment system, you can finish any type of woodwork with Makita XTR01Z. This precision setting and comfortable rubber-gripped handling facility will allow you to work conveniently. This 18v router has also provided dual LED lights to improve your visibility of the working area.

Depth adjustments of Makita routers have always been up to standard. This model also comes with a quick-release cam lock system to get the most acceptable adjustment system of depth options and astounding precision. It is also up to standard in terms of durability with its aluminum housing and sturdy body design. The base compatibility of this model is similar to the RT0701CX7 compact router kit.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Separate & easy control switches with speed adjustments
  • LED work lights & quick release cam lock depth adjustment for better precision
  • Easy base removal & installation with vast compatibility
  • Long-lasting battery-powered motor with increased speed

 Keep In Mind:

This router is more expensive than most other cordless trim routers.

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5. Bosch Colt 1 HP Router, laminate trimmer(PR20EVS)

5. Bosch Colt 1 HP Router, laminate trimmer(PR20EVS)

Bosch router tool is the best compact palm router on our list. This small router with a moderate power supply delivers a good speed output. The Bosch colt 1 hp variable-speed palm router is ideal for precision woodworking in tight spots. Its durable frame design is also a plus point because it will help improve your stability while trimming. Bosch routers’ tools quality and astonishing precision at such a low price are admirable.

1HP electronic motor with a variable speed control of bosch power tool provides from 16,000 to 35,000 rpm torque output. The rugged aluminum fixed-base of the bosch palm router is solid and precise. It also has unique finger support pockets which are beneficial for hand grip and precision. You will get astounding stability while trimming because of these finger support pockets.

Precision system of the Bosch palm router allows both micro and macro depth adjustments. There is also a quick clamp that will adjust or switch the motor from one base to another. Bosch has designed an angled cord exit on this router to prevent the cord from getting in the way of trimming.

The compatibility of the pr20evs router versatile bits of up to 1 5/16 inches makes it ideal for edge trimming and precision wood routing. The bit-changing system is also speedy and smooth. A straight edge guard can also help you on edge works up to 3-⅝ inches from the edge.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Angled cord exit and edge guide for smooth edge trimming
  • Durable and accurate aluminum fixed base
  • Finger support pockets for stability improvement
  • Features both macro & micro depth adjustment systems

 Keep In Mind:

  • Only 10 inches cable length
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6. DEWALT 20-Volt Max XR Lithium-ion Cordless brushless Router

6. DEWALT 20-Volt Max XR Lithium-ion Cordless brushless Router

Dewalt has been presenting some of the best compact electric routers in the market at a very reasonable price. The DCW600B model is powered by a brushless motor that delivers constant electronic response. In addition, this portable tool is extremely lightweight, which makes it the perfect option for small projects.

 20 volts electronic motor of Dewalt DCW600B compact router produces moderate speed and power. Moreover, the router will maintain its speed during trimming because of its constant electronic response system. This means that you can efficiently work on your home projects with the DCW600B router, even if you are a beginner. Dewalt xr router also featured a soft start function in this router to make your tasks smoother.

Weighing only 2.6 lbs, dewalt compact router 20v is easy to maneuver while trim. The Dewalt 20 volt router is also a great benefit for comfortable woodworking. You can work anywhere you want without any hassle of cords with this portable router. The depth adjustment ring of Dewalt DCW600B will allow you to make fast and easy depth changes. Working LED lights are also installed in this tool to improve your workplace visibility.

Speed control adjustments of Dewalt DCW600B will allow you to change speed between 16,000 -25,500 RPM. The speed dial is easy to control, and its consistency is also highly reliable. However, an electronic brake feature will slow down the machine faster after your work is done.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • A Brushless motor provides a constant electronic response
  • Comes with a speed adjustment dial and brakes
  • Fast and easy height adjustments with depth adjustment ring
  • Portable design and lightweight

 Keep In Mind:

  • You have to buy the edge guide and many other components separately
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7. Ridgid Corded Power Trim Router With Micro Adjust Dial (R24012)

7. Ridgid Corded Power Trim Router With Micro Adjust Dial (R24012)

Ridgid 5.5 QMP compact router might be your ultimate choice if you are looking for a trim router. It features exact adjustment settings and the most straightforward bit of changing. Power, speed control, built material, and everything you might need is available and up to standard in the Ridgid trim router. In addition, this plunge router has one of the most comfortable grippings, making it reliable for precise routing.

The plunge-base that comes with a Different rigid r24012 is square-shaped. This type of base shape is convenient for more versatility. A quick-release lever will also allow you to remove the motor housing easily. This means that you can easily change Ridgid routers bits & bases.

You will experience no jerking or tearing away from the Ridgid power trim router motor. The speed control feature will allow you to select from many speed variations. A soft start facility also prevents the machine from kickstarting, which might damage your smooth woodwork. Instead, the motor will gradually start and increase its speed at a constant pace with constant power output.

A micro-adjust dial is located on top of the r24012 rigid laminate trimmer, which offers highly precise depth adjustments. The adjustment settings are so accurate and versatile that you can use them without concern, even if you are a beginner. Ridgid compact router holds the set depth no matter how roughly you are using it.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Lightweight and easy to adjust
  • Constant power output with an RPM control feature
  • Flat-top design with micro depth adjustments
  • Excellent stability & comfortable gripping

 Keep In Mind:

  • The sander that the sellers advertise has to be bought separately.
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8. Makita 196094-2 Compact Router Plunge Base

8. Makita 196094-2 Compact Router Plunge Base

Looking for a versatile compact router plunge base? 196094-2 is the ideal option for you. It has a universal plunge-base capacity and a variety of depth adjustment settings. In addition, this router has made this base with premium materials and unique features like a plunge lock lever. All these features are admirable to get at such a low cost.

The Makita plunge set is suitable for the 18V LXT cordless and XTR01Z corded models. It can work with any type of compact router no matter how much power output they produce. Being rectangular-shaped, the plunge-base is a perfect option for in-depth trimming. The thickness of base is 10 centimeters.

Else, the plunge depth capacity of the plunge set is from 1 inch to 1-⅜ inch. This amount of depth capacity is enough for efficiently working with the small workpiece. There is also a plunge lock lever for more stability and precision. The good depth adjustment feature has 3 different presets, which makes makita 196094 2 compact plunger the most versatile plunge router.

The Sub-base of 196094-2 perfectly fits the industry-standard template. This means that you will be able to fit almost any base you want. There is also a removable dirt shield. This plastic dirt shield will prevent your router from harmful airborne debris.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Variety of fine depth adjustment presets for extensive precision
  • Comes with a plunge lock lever for stability improvement
  • Includes a plastic-made removable dust shield
  • Industry-standard sub-base ensures base versatility
  • Perfect plunge depth varies for any type of workpiece

 Keep In Mind:

  • Makita plunge-base set is not a good value for money.
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9. DEWALT Plunge Base for Compact Router (DNP612)

9. DEWALT Plunge Base for Compact Router (DNP612)

Dewalt DNP612 is another plunge base set that you can go for. It comes with many necessary and additional features that you would like. Adjustability, precision, sub-base compatibility, handling comfort, durability, and every other factor of this plunge-base is top-notch. Besides, it comes at a very reasonable price compared to its features.

Heavy-duty aluminum-built material of Dewalt DNP612 is exceptionally durable and light-weighted. The plunge set comes with precisely machined brass bushing. This will help the guide rods to provide a precise and smooth plunge stroke. You can also order this plunge-base set with a dust collection adapter if you are willing to pay a little more. This dust collection adapter will protect your tool from airborne debris.

The adjustability and depth settings of the Dewalt DNP612 plunge set are highly reliable and convenient. The tool-free cam lock motor of the plunge set will allow you to make fast and easy depth adjustments. You can also change the bases very quickly without any hassle. The solid locking system is amusing in terms of improving stability and precision.

Rubberized handles and low center design of the DNP612 plunge router are incredibly beneficial for balance, stability, and precision control. Sub bases of this plunge set are also enhanced with high strength, comfort and durability. These subbases are good for visibility and also provide versatile compatibility.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Adjustable cam-lock for precision depth adjustments
  • Heavy-duty aluminum plunge-base and steel guide rods
  • Rubber molded hand gripping for additional comfort and balance
  • Low center of gravity structure for stability improvement
  • Sub bases accept standard templates

 Keep In Mind:

  • Dewalt DNP612’s down action isn’t very smooth
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10. CtopoGo Hand Edge Trimmer, Joiner, Cutting ,Palming Tool

10. CtopoGo  Hand Edge Trimmer, Joiner, Cutting ,Palming Tool

CtopoGo Compact Wood Palm Router is an 800-watt high-power electric tool. This last option of our leading compact router list also comes with some incredible features, just like the previously enlisted ones. It is highly used among professional and beginner woodworkers for its premium build quality, easy operation method, versatile usability, base accuracy, etc. features.

 High-quality aluminum and plastic built materials of CtopoGo palm router are very durable and reliable for long-lasting service. Its maximum torque output is 30,000 RPM which is enough for trimming projects. Moreover, the CtopoGo palm routers’ whole body is waterproof and rustproof. This means that you can use this palming router tool in any rough conditions.

 The transparent base and sawdust design of the CtopoGo router will let you easily observe your workpiece. Transparency will improve young visibility and allow you to recognize the processing even if you stop in the middle. The kit is also very lightweight and easier to handle. CtopoGo also equipped their palm routers with a suitable rotary.

 Despite being undersized and handy, this Hand Edge Trimmer can be widely used for many purposes. You can use the CtopoGo palm router for the cabinetry process, wood process, plastic sheeting, grooving, finishing, DIY, edging, and pattern processing. To do so many tasks, CtopoGo includes a lot of accessories. You will get 12 pieces of bits, a straight guide, a trimming guide, adjustment and switch buttons, a dust shield, and wrenches.

 Our Favourite Things:

  • Durable, Dust, and waterproof aluminum-built materials
  • Clear visibility with a transparent base, scale, and sawdust
  • Variety of accessories included with the package
  • Usable for almost any trimming/routing project
  • Easy to use and adjust depths

Keep In Mind:

  • Bit tightening of the CtopoGo router takes effort and time
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How To Choose The Perfect Compact Router tool – Buying Guide

All compact routers are naturally small and lightweight with great portability, which is a common factor. But do you know how to determine which compact router is ideal for you? We have analyzed every feature you might need for your compact router to get the most out of it.

Here are the major factors that you should look for in a compact router:


A decent amount of horsepower will allow you to use your router at a higher speed. 1HP – 1.5HP is the ideal power output for a compact router. You can also go for more power if you constantly work on the most complicated types of wood surfaces.

Speed Adjustments

Along with the necessary torque, you will also need speed adjustment options to control your compact routers speed. For example, when working on different types of softwoods and hardwoods, you will need variable speed options varying on the materials’ hardness.

Some trim routers feature electronic speed control. This feature makes it very easy to adjust your router speed precisely.

Battery Powered Or Corded

Compact routers are either battery-powered or need to be connected to a power socket by a cord. Corded routers can produce more power compared to battery-powered routers. Corded routers also feature a smooth start without jarring.

The only problem with cord-powered routers is their working space limitation. In addition, you always have to keep it connected to a power socket while working, which might also create discomfort.

Battery-powered compact routers, Well, you will get less consistent power than corded ones. You will also have to charge the battery frequently, which might be annoying to you. However, battery-powered routers don’t come with any space limitations. You can use it in any place without concern about power sockets.

Power Cord Length & Quality

You need to know how much power cord length will be enough for your working platform. This solely depends on how distant your working platform is from the power socket. If your working platform is crowded, then you should get durable power cords to prevent scratches, leaks, and damage.

Handling Comfort

Having a good handling grip will improve your woodworking accuracy and comfort. There are routers with different types of hand grips for people with varying handling habits. Make sure your compact router doesn’t come with an awkward or uncomfortable grip that you are not used to.

Depth Adjustments

Depth adjustment lets you control how deep your router is going to cut. You can adjust your router’s depth adjustment by changing its cutter height. If the cutter is too big or small for you, you might need to replace the cutter to control your router’s cutting depth easily.

Edge Guides & Bits

If your compact router has edge guide options, then you can precisely position your router for cutting accuracy. Steel-made edge guides that are easy to attach with fixed-base routers are a great consideration for this factor.

Bits are crucial to compact routers as they determine what types of cuts you can make. There are bits of different sizes and shapes that let you make a variety of shapes in the wood.

Dust Collection Adapter

Not all compact routers come with dust collection adapters, so you have to look for them if it’s necessary. This type of adapter will collect and contain dust to keep your woodwork surface and router clean.


While working against solid wood surfaces, your router will deteriorate at a fast pace if it doesn’t have strong durability. The quality of built materials determines a trim router’s durability, so you have to check every part-made material before choosing one.

The Top material for a trim router is highly durable and long-lasting aluminum. However, routers with average built quality will require frequent part replacement, so spending more on built quality at first will be wise.


The noise level of your compact router is crucial if you plan to use it at home. Compact routers that come with brushless motors are generally less noisy.

If the router has a motor with the brush, the contact between the stator and rotor will make a loud noise. The noise rating is measured and described in DB, allowing you to find the quietest compact router.


Woodworkers are often tricked into thinking that smaller trim routers are lighter than bigger ones. Sometimes, you will find compact routers smaller than others but much heavier. Ensure your compact router weighs within 3-5 lbs. to ensure stability and operating comfort.

Additional Features You Can Consider For Your Compact Router

Here are some additional features you might want for more functionality and ease of use:

Right Hand Vs. Left-Hand Balance

The compact router you choose should be comfortable for both the left and right hand. Some routers are designed for a particular hand (left or right) which is hard to use with the other hand. The router must feel like a part of your body and should not concern with whether you are left or right-handed.

Cam Lock System

You can lock your trim routers’ cutting depth with a cam lock system. Some cam lock systems also have a quick release facility which helps them with the fast and easy base installation.

Base Removal

Base removal of your trim router must be easy and quick. Therefore, you should look for a router with a shaft lock designed for rapid bit changes.

Soft Start Feature

Woodworkers often face jarring start-up problems with their compact routers. This makes it hard for them to start working with confidence. Instead, it would be best to look for routers with soft start features that ensure a smooth and vibration-free startup.

Removable Dust Shields

To protect your trim router from sawdust and debris, you will need a removable dust shield for protection. Unfortunately, this feature is also not available in all trim routers but you can easily get it within a decent budget.

Final Words

The compact router is a very important part of a woodworking studio, so you should choose wisely. We have shown you some of the best compact router reviews to help you decide. Our article will help you with a clear picture of everything you need to know about this tool. We hope that you will be able to do so much more with this information. Good luck with your woodworking projects.

Avatar for James Walton

James Walton is an active woodworker & maker who is passionate about all things woodworking. He loves to play with power tools and machines.

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