Many may say that a trim router is one of the best tools to use when decorating and beautifying edges. Others think that it is perfect for hiding joints as well as straightening crooked joints while building but either way, getting the best trim router is the goal if you are into woodworking. Customers are demanding quality products from companies. When it comes to the category of the trim router, a number of brands claim to have the products.
In this article, we are going to compare and contrast various trim routers, look into the mechanics behind the trim router, and also what to look into when getting a trim router.
- Best Overall: Makita XTR01Z Trim Router
- Best for Beginners: DeWalt DWP611 Trim Router
- Best with Edge Guide: Bosch Colt 1HP Trim Router
- Best for Laminate: Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
- Best Value for Money: Makita RT0701CX7 Trim Router Kit
- Best with LED Light: MLCS 9056 Rocky Trim Router
- Best for Aluminum – with 1/2″ collet chuck: Hitachi KM12VC Trim Router
- Best for Carving: Porter-Cable PCE6430 Trim Router
- Best with Plunge Base: Makita RT0701C Trim Router
- Best for Plywood: Harvet R0700 Trim Router
🔎 Trim Router Buyer’s Guide
Compact, palm, and trim routers are compact small devices that are handheld and also used in woodworking applications. They are simply smaller versions of normal routers which are mostly used to smoothing the edges of a project after veering operation. It is used mostly in workplaces where precision cutting is applicable. The main job of the trim router is to cut pieces of plastic laminate into smaller measured sizes.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Trim Router
Several factors are to be considered when you want to decide on the type of trim router you want to buy. These factors may include:
➡️ Depth Control
This feature helps its users adjust the depth of the tool. For any device you want to purchase, it is very important that each tool should have a decent range for depth to expand its applications. It is also advisable that you buy a trim router that allows you to adjust the cutting height from above the table using a manual or dial handle. Also known as “above the table adjustment”, this feature is responsible for stopping the process any time the depth needs to be changed.
➡️ Vacuum Port
This design allows the device to get rid of unwanted sawdust from your tabletop. This system of mechanism should be one of the features you ensure should be smooth and efficient since it handles the removal of unwanted sawdust particles.
➡️ Electronic Feedback Circuitry
This part of the trim router is designed for adjusting the torque by the motor based on the output of the device and the load it takes from its users. With this brilliant feature, the customers are freed from adjusting the speed of the tool while focusing more on the project. The rate at which work is done is determined by this feature.
➡️ Motor Speed and Controller
The speed of the motor is important when it comes to determining the trim router you want to buy. A normal controllable speed is required since most users lose control when it is too fast or put too much effort when it is too slow. Controllable motor speed is used in different uses at different bits. Cleaner cuts at very high speed are gotten with small bits while on the other hand, large buts are required for slower speed to avoid accidents.
➡️ Arbor Size
The collet size which is also known as the arbor size determines the minimum diameter of the bit which will be used for your project. Usually, collects are about ¼” in diameter and some routers can take up to ½” of the collet.
Best trim router list in 2023
- 10, 000 – 30, 000 RPM
- Makita BL Brushless Motor for up to 50% longer run time
- A full charge in only 45 minutes
The Makita XTR01Z is a very powerful router device that is perfect for any woodworking thinking function. It has a powerful motor performance which can give variable speeds of up to 30,000 RPM.
This device also comes with a speed adjustable dial which helps its users change the speed of the motor for various applications.
One advantage that makes this router perfect is its wireless feature. The Makita XTR01Z is made out of heavy-duty aluminum which makes it very durable.
- Features a soft start mechanism which improves and makes startup easy.
- Features a variable speed dial where users can control the speed of the motor.
- The Makita XTR01Z features overload protection in case of a surge.
- Features a 3 year warranty.
- Lightweight and portable
- Powerful motor design
- Reasonable price
- Heavy-duty aluminum body which improves durability
- Since it is battery powered, it tends not to last for long and replacement batteries need to be purchased separately
Where to buy
DeWalt DWP611 Trim Router
- Durable 1.25HP motor
- 16,000-27,000 RPM
- 12 position spindle lock
This trim router from DeWalt is a heavy-duty router that everyone in woodworking should own by now. Boasting of high performance, the DeWalt DWP611 has a powerful 1.25 HP motor which is capable of delivering speeds from 16,000 RPM to 27,000 RPM making this a perfect fit for heavy-duty jobs. Despite this router’s powerful design, the DeWalt DWP611 is ergonomically designed and made to be extremely lightweight so that portability won’t pose a huge problem.
- Features a lightweight structure weighing only about 4.4 pounds.
- Features an ergonomic design which enhances its functionality.
- Has a very powerful motor which can deliver speeds of up to 27,000 RPM.
- Has a dual-LED lightning system which helps uses the drive and maneuver their work projects.
- Transparent sub-base which improves visibility
- Comes with spindle lock which 12 levels
- Ergonomic design
- Highly durable
- No electrical breaks
Where to buy
Bosch Colt 1HP Trim Router
- 16,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM
- 1.0 Horse Power 5.6 amp
- A self-releasing 1/4 In. collet chuck
Being one of the cheapest trim routers sold for under $100, the Bosch Colt 1HP is no doubt one of the best trim routers in the market offering a splendid performance, unlike most pricey devices. The Bosch Colt features a 1HP motor which can boast of speeds about 16,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM. This router comes with a straight edge guide which helps its users to effectively lead the router along with their projects for increased precision and accuracy. This trim router also has a depth adjustment feature in which you can make micro or macro adjustments to achieve precision.
- Features a convenient straight edge guide technology which improves accuracy.
- Features a versatile bit changing mechanism.
- Ergonomically made trim router which is designed to improve functionality.
- Features a conveniently positioned cord exit and variable speed dial.
- Dependable router
- Easy to operate
- Very durable design
- Lightweight and compact design
- The mechanism that handles clamping needs to be redesigned
Where to buy
Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
- Easy Access Micro Adjust Dial
- Quick Release Lever
- No Load Speeds: 20,000 – 30,000 r/min
I personally like this trim router because although Ridgid is not famous like the DeWalt and Bosch, it still has a superior performance that surpasses most notable brands. The Ridgid boasts of a fine micro-adjustment dial which allows its users to control the speed of the motor as well as adjust the depth for more precise cutting. This trim router has a flat top while it sits upside down making bit replacement fast and easy. It also comes with a quick-release lever which helps users remove the motor from the base.
- Features a 1.6 HP motor which delivers from about 20,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM.
- Features a quick-release lever and LED light to get a more precise cut.
- Features round and square bases.
- Features a soft start feature and also an easy micro adjustment dial.
- Requires little or no maintenance
- Easy to use
- Compact and lightweight design for easy functionality
- A little limited in performance due to the absence of various features
Where to buy
Makita RT0701CX7 Trim Router Kit
- 10,000 to 30,000 RPM
- 1.25 HP motor
- Uses ¼” shank router bits
The Makita RT0701CX7 is a compact router that is worth a lot of recognition when listing the best trim router kits. This device from Makita features a 1.25 HP motor which is capable of giving its users variable speeds from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM. Bit changing and height adjustment are made easy when it comes to the Makita RT0701CX7 thanks to its smooth depth adjustment system.
The body of the Makita RT0701CX7 is made up of heavy-duty aluminum which not only provides stability but makes this trim router as resilient as possible.
- Features a quick-release cam lock system for enhanced control.
- Designed with a soft start-up capability for easy start-up.
- Features a motor with variable speed of 10,000 to 30,000 RPM.
- The Makita RT0701CX7 features Fine depth adjustment system and a smooth rack for precision cutting.
- Powerful performance rate
- Easy to use
- Ergonomically designed to enhance comfort and control
- Delivers a more accurate result when in use
- Very short warranty period
Where to buy
MLCS 9056 Rocky Trim Router
- 1/4″ Collet
- 10,000 rpm to 30,000 rpm
- 3/8-Inch Chuck
The MLCS 9056 Rocky Trim Router is suitable for woodworking enthusiasts who work with a budget. Although this trim router is one of the cheapest we have seen, this doesn’t mean that it lacks all the required features needed to make it the complete package. It boasts of a high performance 1 HP motor which is capable of delivering speeds of up to 30,000 RPM.
It has a double insulated motor which has a spindle lock for faster bit changing and a control dial located at the top which can be used by its users to set a preferred motor speed.
- Features a snap-in dust extraction port for easy removal of dust particles.
- Features a quality 1 HP motor which can give speeds of up to 30,000 RPM.
- Has a pinion and rack high adjustment system.
- Features a flush trimming attachment and edge guide to increase precision.
- Quiet during operation
- Ergonomic design
- Made with heavy-duty aluminum
- Extremely cheap
- Versatile in use
- Most likely to break down when equipped to handle heavy-duty projects
Where to buy
Hitachi KM12VC Trim Router
- 11 Amp motor (2 1/4 Peak Horsepower)
- 8,000 to 24,000 RPM
- Includes: 1/2 inches Collet Chuck, 1/4 inches Collet Chuck
The Hitachi KM12VC Trim Router is one of the best routers to be used for both light-duty and heavy-duty woodworking projects. It features a very powerful 2.2HP motor which can handle speeds from 8,000 RPM to about 24,000 RPM. The variable speed control dial and the centering gauge allow you to adjust the speed control while offering precision for a much more accurate result. The Hitachi KM12VC is also very quiet compared to most routers in it’s category and Hitachi backed this trim router with a whopping 5-year warranty making every dime spent a worthy one.
- Features a very powerful 2.25 HP motor which can reach speeds of up to 24,000 RPM.
- Features a protective carry case to prevent and keep the device safe.
- Features a compact lightweight design.
- Features a fine-depth adjustment knob and also a 2-stage motor release clamp.
- Surprisingly quiet
- Worth the value of money
- One of the longest warranties
- Can handle both heavy and light woodworking applications
- A little bit bulky
- The off/on button was not placed well
Where to buy
Porter-Cable PCE6430 Trim Router
- 31,000 RPM, 4.5 amp motor
- Extra large locking clips
- Precision-machined, cast-aluminum fixed base
One of the best advantages of getting this trim router is that it costs little but also has all the features a normal trim router has. This Porter-Cable device boasts of a powerful 4.5 Amp Motor which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 31,000 RPM.
It is made up of heavy-duty aluminum and you can also get quality parts with this product. Most users also prefer the motor of this device as it is sometimes referred to as the trim router with the best motor in the world.
- It features one of the most powerful motors in the world reaching speeds of up to 31,000 RPM.
- It is made up of heavy-duty aluminum to increase authenticity and durability.
- It also features a micro depth adjustment system.
- Light in weight
- Easy to operate and use
- One of the cheapest trim routers you can get
- Durable and strong
- The depth control system may be faulty at some point
Where to buy
Makita RT0701C Trim Router
- 10,000 to 30,000 RPM
- Heavy duty aluminum motor
- 1-1/4 HP
Makita products have inherited a great name and the Makita RT0701C is a great for users who are looking for precise cuts and powerful motors. This device has a very powerful 1.25 HP motor which is capable of giving out speeds of up to 30,000 RPM.
The Makita RT0701C has a variable speed dial which you can change the speed of the motor and an electronic speed dial which you keep your desired speed on default. It also comes with a soft start feature which improves the functionality of the product.
- This machine features a soft start feature which is important for smooth start operation.
- Ergonomic design for improved performance and handling.
- Electronic and variable speed dial to control the speed of the motor.
- Features a shaft lock making bit changing easier for it’s users.
- Soft start feature
- Made up of heavy-duty aluminum for durability
- Powerful motor
- Nice depth adjustment system
- Not compatible with standard templates
Where to buy
Harvet R0700 Trim Router
- Fast and accurate depth setting
- Collect chuck capacity: 1/4 inch
Although it is not a popular product, the Harvet R0700 has some tricks up the sleeve.
This machine is designed with a powerful 1.25 HP motor which is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 32,000 RPM.
It is also ergonomically designed that one of the best advantages of this trim router is that it fits perfectly into the hands. Control and precision are almost inevitable with this tool.
- Features six variable speed dials which can reach up to 32,000 RPM.
- Features an ergonomic design making handling easier.
- It has a depth adjustment mechanism which is much more important to woodworkers.
- Easy and convenient to use
- Nice ergonomic design
- Variable speed dial control
- Very durable
- Some users complain that the bit is not right enough
Where to buy
|Product Name||Weight (pounds)||Type||Horsepower (HP)||Variable Speed Control (RPM)|
|Makita XTR01Z Trim Router||20||Cordless||<1.0||10,000-30,000|
|DeWalt DWP611 Trim Router||5.5||Corded||1.25||16,000-27,000|
|Bosch Colt 1HP Trim Router||3.3||Corded||1.0||16,000-35,000|
|Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router||4||Corded||1.6||20,000-30,000|
|Makita RT0701CX7 Trim Router Kit||9.8||Corded||1.25||10,000-30,000|
|MLCS 9056 Rocky Trim Router||5.6||Corded||1.0||10,000-30,000|
|Hitachi KM12VC Trim Router||17.2||Corded||2.25||8,000-24,000|
|Porter-Cable PCE6430 Trim Router||3.6||Corded||<1.0||10,000-31,000|
|Makita RT0701C Trim Router||6.0||Corded||1.25||10,000-30,000|
|Harvet R0700 Trim Router||6.04||Corded||1.25||10,000-32,000|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a trim router used for?
A trim router has recently been a versatile tool that is used in most workshops. They can be used for various uses such as rounding over edges, flush trimming hardwood edging, routing for inlay hinge mortises and cavities, and a ton of more uses.
How to make trim molding with a router?
First off, prepare your stock for milling. Hardwood is best for trim molding and when molding with a router, make sure that the wood is completely free out of metal objects so you will not cause the machine to break down. Set up the wood stock and hold it firmly in place (some people try to drill a hole and hold it down with a table saw). Avoid running narrow pieces through the table saw. Use the router to insert the desired shape on wider practice boards first. When that is done, carefully adjust and test the height of the bit before milking. Keep that height till the end of the molding. To make the molding process faster, you have to put the desired profile on both sides of the board. Finally, run the piece through the table saw with the profiled edges against the fence. Repeat the sawing and routing until you get to the required amount you need.
What kind of router bit to trim laminate?
Trim routers or laminate routers have evolved and as their names suggest, they are specialized for a particular skill. Trim routers normally require smaller bits for laminate trim. Each trim router comes with a ¼-inch bit collet and they can’t use a larger blade diameter at all.
How to trim laminate countertop with a router?
First off, start by cleaning the countertop with whiskbroom then brush off the router’s base plate as well. Place a single layer of transparent tape on the surface which you want to laminate along the router’s path to prevent the base of the router from scratching the finished product. Insert your bits and adjust the depth of your router. Place the router base flat against the laminate surface. Hold the device tight against the edge of the cabinet and move it using the direction in which the bit travels to. Trim the entire edge with consistent cuts.
Selecting and purchasing the best trim router forgive a woodworking project solely depends on your preference, budget, or needs. You may end up getting the Dewalt, Makita, or Bosch models which have great features and wonderful designs.
Irrespective of your choice, always go for trim routers which can boast of speed, the safety feature, the type of base, the power of the motor, and warranty to make a more informed decision.
You called the Makita RT0701CX7 the best that used a 1/2″ collet, but it uses a 1/4″ collet and it does not appear to be able to handle a 1/2″ collet. I bought one based on your suggestion, now I have to take it back, as I only have 1/2″ bits (a lot of them) and don’t want to buy more just to fit 1/4″. Did I miss something? Can this router handle a 1/2″ collet?
Sorry, we made a mistake here. The Makita RT0701CX7 only has a 1/4″ chuck collet.
The Metabo KM12VC both has a 1/4 and a a 1/2″ collet
Apologize for the inconvenience.