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Trim routers, which are also referred to as laminate trimmers, are the smallest in the router family. These machines are designed to be easy to hold. The fundamental purpose of this machine is to trim veneer laminate or trimming plastic. You can also use them to carry out light routing tasks with the appropriate bit attachment, especially detailed work. They are a very useful tool for woodworkers.
However, there is a wide range of them in the market, different sizes, shapes, and features. For you to settle for the best, you need to carry out extensive research. Nevertheless, we have decided to take that stress away from you by providing you with reviews of some of the best trim routers and a guide on how to choose one.
Table of Contents
- Top Choice
- Best Trim Router Reviews
- Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
- DEWALT Router, Fixed Base Variable Speed Router – DWP611
- Bosch Colt 1-HP Electronic Variable-Speed Palm Router PR20EVS
- Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
- Ryobi P601 One+ Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router
- MCLS 9056 1 HP Rocky Trim Router
- PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 4.5-Amp Single Speed Laminate Trimmer
- Buying Guide: Key Considerations When Buying a Trim Router
The Makita RT0701C is one of the best trim routers in the market because of its amazing features and design. This machine comes with an ergonomically designed and slim body, as it was built with the user in mind.
Last update on 2020-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Trim Router Reviews
The Makita RT0701C features a durable flat top and easy to read depth scales. The design of this machine also makes it very easy to change the bits. It comes with a 1.25 HP variable speed motor. The variable speed range of this device is from 10,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM. This is more than enough power to cut through any kind of material.
Furthermore, this device features a soft start system. With this feature, you do not have to worry about unwanted jerks whenever you turn on the device. It would start gradually until it gets to your desired speed. It also comes with an electronic speed control feature that helps to maintain the same speed under load. You can remove and install the base with ease, thanks to its quick-release cam lock system. This also allows for easy depth adjustments.
This machine uses 1/4-inch router bits. This trim router from Makita is not compatible with standard templates. Another downside of this product is that the four-hole pattern on the base plate is not compatible with many accessories. This trim router is designed with both professionals and hobbyists in mind. It is made with long-lasting materials and it comes with a one-year warranty.
If you are looking for the best portable trim router, then the DEWALT DWP611 is one of the best options you should consider. This product stands out from the rest in the market because of its quick and accurate performance over and over again. This trim router also comes with a 1.25 HP motor. The motor offers variable speeds, allowing you to choose the speed that best suits your needs. It also features electronic feedback that helps to make sure that the bit rotates at a constant speed regardless of the resistance of the material.
This machine also comes with clear sub-base and inbuilt LEDs; this allows for greater visibility as you are trimming. It also comes with an adjustment ring, which allows you to control bit chances to 1/64th of an inch. To prevent kicks whenever you switch on this machine, it comes with a motor that features a soft start system. Due to the level of trust, the manufacturers have in this product, it comes with a three-year warranty.
The DEWALT DWP611 is a bit heavier than some other trim routers in the market. However, the weight of this machine is great for added power and stability. Nevertheless, it might slightly contribute to arm and hand fatigue. It is also on the higher end of the price spectrum, but it is worth every penny. This machine will satisfy even the most serious woodworking professionals. It is versatile, durable, and it comes with an adorable design.
The Bosch Colt 1-HP Electronic Variable Speed router is another great contender in the market. Its amazing features and build make it one of the best trim routers out there. This unit features a straight edge guide, which helps in guiding the machine parallel to the edge of the material up to 3-5/8-inch away from the edge. With this feature, you have the opportunity to do a wide range of cuts. It comes with a 5.6-amp, 1 HP variable speed motor. The motor of this device offers a variable speed range of 16,000 RPM to 35,000 RPM.
It comes with a variable speed dial that lets you choose the speed range you want, and the dial is positioned on the top of the device for added convenience. One of the major selling points of this machine is its angled cord exit. It also allows for easy and quick bit changes. This means less hassle while changing bits and it would also help you complete projects quicker. It also comes with a fixed base, shaft wrench and collet wrench, and 1/4-inch self-releasing collet chuck.
It does not come with a plunge base, but you can buy that separately. This product is extremely lightweight and the base is made of aluminum. It is one of the best routers for trim and detailed works. It is also very affordable, despite its amazing features. The downside of this machine is that it vibrates a lot. It is a great option for both beginners and professionals.
The Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router is one of the most powerful trim routers on our list. This router has a motor with 1.6 horsepower. It also comes with electronic feedback that keeps the power and speed constant, regardless of the material you are trimming. For added control, this device features a soft-start system. This device also comes with an easy to reach micro-adjustment dial that provides you with precise control over the depth setting while using the device.
You can even separate the motor from the base quickly and easily, thanks to its quick-release feature. This device also comes with LEDs to enhance work area visibility. For more stability, while changing bits, this unit features a flat top. It also comes with square and round bases for added functionality. You can use this machine for a long period of time without any issues because of its soft-molded grip.
The device also includes an edge guide, collet wrenches, guide bars, 1/4-inch collet bit, storage bag, and operator’s manual. This trim router is versatile and rich, and it is very comfortable to use. It is a small, yet very powerful trim router that you can use on any project. It is also very portable, for easy mobility. This machine also features a variable speed motor with speed range from 20,000 rotations per minute to 30,000 rotations per minute. With this feature, you can adjust the speed of the machine to the material type and application.
This is the most inexpensive trim router on our list. The Ryobi P601 Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router comes with several unique features that make it stand out from the rest in the market. This high-quality and highly functional tool comes at an extremely affordable rate. It also comes with all the functionalities that woodworkers look for in trim routers. It comes with a very powerful motor that can produce speeds of up to 29,000 rotations per minute.
This machine is very easy and comfortable to handle because it comes with an easy-grip rubber coating. With this feature, you do not have to worry about the machine slipping while in use, even in the more awkward situations. In addition to that, this machine is powered by a battery. This feature further enhances the user experience because there would be no interference from a cable, making it a dream tool for many woodworkers. However, the battery does not come with the package; this means you have to purchase it separately. The cordless nature of this machine gives it an upper hand amongst other trim routers in the market.
For additional visibility, while working, this device comes with LED lights. It also features a depth-adjustment knob that is equally easy to reach. This knob comes in handy when you want to fine-tune the depth of your cuts while working. The cordless nature also makes it easy to maneuver. The downside of this machine is that it vibrates slightly than other models and it lacks the torque of a corded router.
The MLCS 9056 trim router is one tool that many users appreciate because of its extreme use case. This machine is extremely stable and durable, thanks to its height adjustment system. It comes with a 6-amp, 1 horsepower motor that ensures high-quality performance. This machine also has six variable-speed dials. With this option, you can deal with laminates of different weights and sizes. The powerful motor of this device is also made out of aluminum. The base of the router is made of sturdy metal.
One of the most impressive features of this machine is its rack and pinion motor height adjustment, which works on the base. It also features a quick-release flip lever used for locking it, hence making an easy adjustment. This machine offers variable speed that ranges from 10,000 rotations per minute to 30,000 rotations per minute. The flip button for adjusting the speed is on the top of the motor housing, making it easy to reach.
When adjusting the depth of the bit, you can easily see the ruler and the increments. It also comes with a spindle lock button that makes the changing of bits simple and fast. This machine also comes with rubber padding that offers stability; the rubber padding is located around the base. It weighs only 6 pounds and it comes with a removable dust extractor. The rubber padding also means you have a firmer grip, avoiding any marring of the cutting area.
The PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 trim router is the last on our list and it is one of the best trim routers in the market. If you are looking for a classic, reliable trim router, then you should consider this option. This unit comes with XL fastening clips that many woodworkers love, and it helps to facilitate a faster release. It comes with a single speed, 4.5-amp motor that offers up to 31,000 rotations per minute. This is very powerful as far as trimmers go. With this speed range, you can perform a wide range of jobs with this tool.
It also comes with a depth ring for quicker and precise bit height adjustment. This tool ensures quality performance, though it is on the mid-level of the price spectrum. It is one of the best deals you can find in the market. The great speed and powerful motor will offer you great, smooth cutting experience. For withstanding adversity, the base of this machine is made of aluminum. In addition, it comes with locking clips for locking and removing the motor whenever you want.
It also features a slim design that makes it very comfortable while handling and controlling. Another fascinating feature of this machine is its lightweight, making it easy to carry and transport. It also has a moderate height. This machine comes with led light also. When it comes to vibration, this machine produces minimal vibration and sound.
Buying Guide: Key Considerations When Buying a Trim Router
Power is one of the most important things you should consider when buying a trim router. These days, there are many trim routers at considerably affordable rates. Hence, you should not go for anything that you know to be inferior. When it comes to trim routers, you should not go for anything that is less than one horsepower.
If you opt for anything less than that, you might start to discover that the machine does not have the required power for the project at hand, especially when you have lower-quality bits or working on harder woods. You can make a trim router work even harder when you mount it to a high-end router table. With a powerful trim router, you can perform any task and complete any project faster. Hence, you should make sure that the trim router you settling for comes with a motor of at least one horsepower.
When it comes to precision, not all trim routers are created equally. To end up with the best cuts, you need to be able to set the depth of the bit precisely. As such, you need to be able to pay attention to both the sensitivity in charge as well as the overall scale of precision.
The best trim routers often have large total scales, but a very small sensitivity to change. Low quality and cheap options out there only come with 1/16th of an inch sensitivity. Whereas, the best models usually come with as low as 1/64th of an inch sensitivity, providing you with precise cuts.
Some people are skeptical of buying trim routers with extra power because they think it makes the machine more difficult to control. While there is some truth in this, it should not stop you from getting a powerful router, as there is a solution to it. Most of the difficulty in controlling this machine happens when you first switch it on. However, opting for a trim router with a soft-start system can solve this problem.
With this feature, your machine would start gradually and accelerate to the speed you want. It would not jerk or start in full-speed when you turn it on. No matter how powerful the machine is, a soft-start functionality would put it to a slow start.
Variable Speed Feature
Different projects require different speed range. Certain bits also work better with a higher or lower speed. The speed used on softer woods is even different from what harder woods require. Using a higher speed on a softer wood would only crack and splinter it.
To avoid all these, you need to opt for a trim router with variable speed control. With this feature, you can change the speed of the router whenever you want, and this adds a lot of value to the machine. You might also want to put an eye on routers with an electronic speed control feature. Such routers come with an onboard chip that helps to keep the bit spinning at the same speed. You should opt for a router with a very wide range, as it provides you with more speed options.
If you are a DIY enthusiast or a beginner in the woodworking trade, a trim router is a functional entry-level wood unit that would allow you to do a whole lot of things when it comes to woodworking. These tools are versatile, powerful, and many woodwork projects would not be complete without them. However, you need to end up with a great trim router before you can fully leverage the power of this tool. We have carried out extensive research to bring you some of the best trim routers in the market. Our guide will also help you choose the best one that suits your needs.