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Home » 6 Best Trim Routers of 2023 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

6 Best Trim Routers of 2023 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

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Routing is an important activity in the workshop, especially if you want to create clean and articulate projects. A router packs a lot of power and can do heavy-duty tasks. However, it is difficult to move, set up, and use, which is why a more portable router is essential. A portable router is known as a trim router with most of the features of the router, albeit with reduced power. Nevertheless, it still packs a lot of power to handle most of the tasks a regular user would throw at it.

Trim routers are compact, making it easier to move them; they are also easy to set up and use, among several advantages. The trim router is perfect for you if you want to round edges, duplicate parts, cut hinge mortises, trim shelf lipping, flush trim hardwood edges, and more. However, many different trim routers are available, so how do you know the best trim router to choose?

We understand the challenge choosing trim router poses, which is why we’ve come up with this guide highlighting the best trim routers with their features. There’s also a buyer’s guide and FAQs section to help you make an informed buying decision. This way, you can choose from our recommendations or use the guide to make a quick but accurate selection.

Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router

Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router

Out Top Recommendation for you Trim Routers!

If you’re looking for a compact router with adjustable speed and a high maximum RPM, you should consider this easy-to-use Bosch GKF124CEN palm router.

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Best Trim Routers of 2023

The routers in this section came out on top after going through rigorous testing, reviews from verified buyers, and expert opinions. Here’s a list of the best trim routers, followed by their reviews:

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURESPRICE
Bosch GKF125CEN Palm RouterBosch GKF125CEN Palm Router• New depth adjustment system
• 16,000-35,000 RPM
• Mounting hardware
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DeWalt DWP611 RouterDEWalt DWP611 Router• Maneuverability
• Ergonomic
• Versatility
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Avid Power Compact RouterAvid Power Compact Router• Speed - 6.5-Amp
• ​Dual bright LED lights
• The aluminum body
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Avid Power Compact RouterRyobi P601 Cordless Trim Router• Easy-to-use knob
• Maintain a firm grip
• 18V lithium ion batteries are compatible
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Avid Power Compact RouterDobetter DBTR700 Trim Router• 10,000 to 32,000 RPM
• Easy-to-use knob
• Easy depth adjustments
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Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router KitMakita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit• 10,000 - 30,000 RPM
• ​Comfort and control
• Soft start feature
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1. Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router

Bosch is a popular tool brand with a reputation for producing quality, especially with precision. The Bosch GKF125CEN is a palm router with a palm router edge guide. It offers a decent 1¼ HP of power but has a more impressive torque as it can push up to 7 amps. Speed greatly affects the type of materials it can cut with this trim router cutting through a large variety of materials due to its 16000 to 35000 variable RPM.

Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router review

Trim routers require a maximum plunge rating to determine how deep they can cut, with this Bosch router’s ultimate plunge set at 1 3/16″. It has a soft-start and constant response circuitry to improve its durability, but this doesn’t help as much as it is not the most durable. The handling and usability are some of the strongest attributes of this Bosch GKF125CEN trim router with its rubber grip, long swivel cord, and recessed power button.

The trim router comes with a LED light that provides shadow-free lighting to the surface. Other features like the easy-to-adjust base and red spindle lock make using this trim router easier.

Bosch GKF125CEN Palm Router this is esay to use

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Impressive seven amps torque
  • Easy to use
  • Variable speed of 16000 to 35000 RPM
  • High precision
  • LED light

Cons

  • Poor durability
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Also Read: What are the must-have power tools for woodworking?

2. DEWalt DWP611 Router

The DEWalt DWP611 compact router features a decent 1.25 horsepower rating with a more than proper seven amps torque for handling the mid-level workload. With a standard base, you’ll get a maximum depth of 1.5 inches, helping you cut into small to medium-sized materials. In addition, you can adjust the depth of the cut without the need for a tool by unclipping the latch, turning the base till you get the desired depth, and then clipping the latch.

 DeWalt DWP611 Router review

The compact nature of the router allows you to work in tight corners without feeling overwhelmed, as it weighs 4.6 lbs. In addition, with a variable speed of 16000 to 27000 RPM, you can adjust the speed based on the material to avoid splintering and damaging the workpiece.

The base plate in this DEWalt DWP611 router is a clear plexiglass that allows you to see your work area and the bit as it cuts through the material. Visibility is not a problem, with the dual LED light providing enough light to make precise cuts on the workpiece. One of the few cons to this scope is the base’s unstable attachment, as it slightly wiggles when you move it in a different direction which can affect precision.

DeWalt DWP611 Router i clicked a picture when i do set up this tool

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Variable speed of 16000 to 27000 rpm
  • Good maximum depth of 1.5 inches
  • Dual LED light for visibility
  • Clear plexiglass base plate for improved visibility
  • 12 spindle lock positions
  • Tool-less depth adjustment

Cons

  • The base plate wiggles slightly
  • Poor limited 3-year warranty
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3. Avid Power Compact Router

Avid power, a Chinese manufacturer of carpentry and gardening tools, makes this compact router. Some of this router’s parts are compatible with the more popular Makita routers, so finding replacement parts will be easy. It sports a 1.5 hp rated motor and churns out 6.5 amps of torque. That torque produces an impressive variable speed range of 10000 to 32000 RPM and has a 120v rating.

Avid Power Compact Router review

The Avid Power compact router is affordable but has many accessories like five router bits, edge and roller guides, ⅜” and ¼” collets, a dust collector, and a vacuum attachment. Its aluminum body is durable, while the handle area is covered with rubber to improve grip. The dual LED lights improve visibility, while the smooth rack and pinion system makes depth adjustment easy.

With the low cost of the router comes a few challenges, like its overheating body that requires a break every 30 to 45 minutes of usage. Also, regulating the bit at the maximum depth can be a problem with the unstable rack and pinion adjustment system.

Avid Power Compact Router i clicked a picture after unboxing

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Dual LED light for visibility
  • Added accessories
  • Good grip with rubber around the handle area
  • Wide variable speed range of 10000 to 32000 RPM
  • Compatible with Makita parts

Cons

  • Overheats and requires frequent stops
  • Difficult to regular the bit at the maximum depth
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4. Ryobi P601 Cordless Trim Router

This Ryobi P601 cordless trim router is battery-powered and uses an 18V lithium-ion battery. It is a simple router for pet projects and light usage as it features a single speed. Adjusting the bit’s depth in this router is easy with a depth adjustment knob that does not require using a tool. Even though the battery attached to the top is the router seems obvious, it does not obstruct the user. You can change the bit without moving the base to the spindle lock position. However, the spindle lock button obstructs the base removal, so you must press it to remove the base.

Ryobi P601 Cordless Trim Router review

The shape of the base does not obstruct your line of sight to the workpiece. Without a battery, this Ryobi P601 cordless trim router is one of the lightest at 2.9 pounds, but with a battery, it gets heavier. There’s rubber around the handle zone to improve the user’s grip, with an additional free grip zone above the base plate area for when you want to hold with two hands.

The collar of the router is made from durable die-cast aluminum. You’ll notice that the power switch sports a weighty action to prevent accidental movement. The LED lighting on the trim router is vital to provide visibility and ensure accuracy. One obvious improvement area is the loose micro adjustment dial that makes rattling sounds when the router is in use.

Ryobi P601 Cordless Trim Router is give me perfect cut

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use micro-adjustment system
  • Cordless design for extra reach
  • Lightweight design without a battery
  • LED light 
  • Small base plate for improved visibility
  • Solid design
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Easy-to-use micro-adjustment system
  • Cordless design for extra reach
  • Lightweight design without a battery
  • LED light 
  • Small base plate for improved visibility
  • Solid design
  • Great for beginners
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5. Dobetter DBTR700 Trim Router

With a maximum power capacity of 1.25 hp and a torque output of 6.5 amps, you can comfortably use this router for mid-level tasks. It sports a variable speed design of 10000 to 30000 RPM with an easy-to-use speed adjustment system to adjust to a suitable speed. This Dobetter DBTR700 trim router offers much control with an ergonomic handle covered with rubber for improved handling.

Dobetter DBTR700 Trim Router review

It may not be the lightest trim router at 6.9 lbs, but its other features quickly make the weight less of a problem. Features like the soft start and the smooth depth adjustment system with rack and pinion make using and adjusting this router easy. In addition, with 12 wood router bits, you can make different cuts while maintaining accuracy.

The Dobetter DBTR700 trim router is highly affordable with the level of control it offers to help you to work on projects in award positions. One downside to this router is the poor durability of the router, which is understandable considering its price.

Dobetter DBTR700 Trim Router i clicked a picture when i tested this tools

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great control with a rubberized handle
  • 12 wood router bits so you can make different cuts on wood
  • Six variable speeds between 10000 and 30000 RPM
  • Soft start feature

Cons

  • Heavy router
  • Poor durability
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6. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

This Makita RT0701CX7 compact router kit features the router, a router edge guide, and a handle. With the handle kit, you can comfortably use the router where the space is not tight. The router sports a power rating of 1.25 hp for improved performance. Routers with variable speeds help you adjust the speed according to the material, so this variable-speed Makita router is vital. The speed in the scope ranges from 10000 to 30000 RPM.

The router has a maximum depth of 1⅜” with a smooth rack and pinion adjustment setting to choose the correct depth. The quick-release cam lock system makes it easy to adjust the cut depth and change the base to install other bases. However, the base sports high visibility features that make it easy to handle the router.

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit review

The Makita RT0701CX7 body is portable and easy to handle as it weighs 3.9 lbs. In addition, with a heavy-duty aluminum body, the router’s durability is improved significantly.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extra kit including handle
  • Wide variable speed range from 10000 to 30000 RPM
  • Quick-release cam lock system for depth adjustment and base removal
  • 1.25 horsepower motor
  • High visibility base plate

Cons

  • Expensive as it comes with extra accessories
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Read More: 7 Best Furniture Waxes to Buy (For Every Wood Type)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Trim Router?

Choosing the best trim router depends on many factors since needs vary. With this guide, you can select the best for your particular needs.

1. Power

Even though trim routers have reduced power for smaller projects, you shouldn’t buy a trim router with less than one hp. It’ll highly limit its usage to minute trimmings. A power rating of 1.5 hp is typically the go-to for trim routers. However, you can settle for slightly less if you only use this router for small pet projects.

2. Speed

The speed of the bit in the router can be fixed or variable. Fixed speeds offer less control since you cannot adjust them based on the project. In contrast, variable speed routers allow you to adjust the speed to a required level depending on the task. Routers typically have speed levels of 10000 to slightly above 35000. Therefore, choosing a router with the speed level for your intended use is vital here.

Also, consider speed control, as electronic speed control routers maintain the router’s speed no matter the resistance.

3. Fixed Base Vs. Plunge Base

Fixed Base trim routers are easier to handle and use with their lightweight design. They are perfect for rounding off edges and shaping corners. While plunge bases plunge base trim routers are generally used for routing. It requires more precision, like dovetailing, engraving, and more, since they offer great versatility with depth adjustment.

4. Precision

Precision is important for routers that make detailed cuts, so you must consider the precision of any trim router you intend to buy. The precision of a trim router is tied to your ability to set the drill bit accurately. You want to see how far up and down you can adjust the but and its sensitivity to adjustments. Small sensitivity to change allows you to make more precise bit adjustments faster too. But adjustment sensitivity can range from 1/16th of an inch on low-end trim routers to up to 1/64th of an inch on high-end trim routers.

5. Type

Do you want a corded or cordless router? Cordless trim routers are not powered by electricity but by batteries, so do not use cords. Cordless trim routers are less common but offer great maneuverability. On the other hand, corded trim routers are the more common types with direct cords to electrical power. It means you can use them as long as there’s electricity. However, the corded trim routers are limited, as you can only move as far as the cords can reach.

FAQ’s

Here are common questions about trim routers and their answer:

Q. When should you buy a trim router?

Buy a trim router if you want to work in tight spaces and on small projects.

Q. How deep can a trim router cut?

It depends on the type of router but typically between 1 to 3.5 inches maximum depth.

Q. What happens when you trim wood with too much speed?

Using too much speed to trim wood will splinter the wood leaving burn marks and tear outs.

You May Also Read: 8 of The Best Wood Fillers to Buy (Complete Buyers Guide)

Summary

Routers can be too big and difficult to handle, especially for small tasks in tight spaces. This is why trim routers have become popular. These portable routers offer comfortable usage and maneuverability as you route wood. Selecting the best among them becomes easier with some guidance.