A trim router or laminate trimmer is a tool used for a wide range of woodworking tasks, including cutting joinery, trimming edges, laminating countertops, flush trimming plugs and routing inlay cavities and hinge mortises, among other tasks. The tool has become a mainstay in most workshops thanks to its exceptional versatility. The fact that it is available at a relatively reasonable price makes it a viable option for woodworkers and DIYers.
Like any other tool, selecting the best trim router will always be a headache considering the fact that there are so many options to choose from. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top ten trim routers worth checking out.
10. MLCS 9056 Rocky Trim Router
The MLCS 9056 Router is the perfect choice for woodworkers running on a tight budget. Do not be fooled by the price tag, as this router comes with dozens of features that can handle both light and heavy-duty woodworking projects. It features a high-performance 1HP motor that delivers speeds of up to 30,000 RPM. Like most routers in our review, it comes with a control dial on the top of the motor that you can use to set your preferred speed. The double insulated motor also features a spindle-lock for fast bit changes.
The aluminum metal base comes with a rack and pinion system that you can use to adjust the height of the motor. Once you set your desired height, you may lock the motor using a flip lever attached to the metal base. The rubber padding provides sufficient grip for maximum comfort and control when working on your projects.
9. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
The Ridgid R2401 may not be as popular as the mainstream brands, but it still offers a superior performance all the same. It comes with round and square bases that make the router as versatile and convenient as possible. The easy access micro adjust dial allows you to control the speed of the motor and make the necessary depth adjustments for more precise results.
With a flat top, the router sits upside down allowing for fast bit replacement. What is more amazing is that this router comes with a no-mar top that prevents marring of your work surface. You can also remove the motor from the base easily using the quick release lever. The highlight of this trim router is that it is very easy to use and maintain thanks to its simplistic design.
8. Makita XTR01Z18LXT Lithium-Ion BrushlessCordless Compact Router
The Makita XTR01Z is another serious contender worth checking out. It features a powerful high-torque motor that can handle variable speeds of up to 30,000 RPM. The router also comes with a variable speed control system that you can use to adjust the speed of the machine, depending on the task.
The rack and pinion system allows users to make modifications for enhanced precision. This router from Makita also features Dual LED lighting system that conveniently light your workstation. The fact that it is cordless makes it ideal for tasks that require you to move from site to site.
With a solid aluminum housing and base, the Makita XTR01Z is exceptionally durable. It comes in an ergonomic design with rubberized handles for enhanced control and comfort. As far as safety is concerned, this router features a lockable on and off button that prevents accidental startups.
7. DEWALT DW616 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router
The DEWALT brand does not need any introduction as the company has been in the business of manufacturing high-quality power tools for close to a century. Featuring an 11-amp motor, this router delivers sufficient power of up to 1-3/4 HP, which is more than enough to rout through the toughest of lumbers. The router also features an adjustable, tool-free motor cam lock that you can use to make quick base changes and depth adjustments.
The Lexan sub-base is not only durable but also designed to ensure clear visibility for optimum accuracy. The sub-base also features a concentricity gauge for enhanced precision and eight-slot collets that provide exceptional bit retention for enhanced dependability.
The tool requires very little maintenance as it comes with a detachable cord set for easy servicing. In addition, the ergonomic rubber handles and the well-balanced body provide optimum control allowing you to work comfortably for longer. Backed by a three-year warranty and one-year free service, you can rest assured that this router will service you for years to come.
6. Hitachi KM12VC Router Kit
The Hitachi KM12VC is the ultimate routing kit designed to undertake both light and heavy-duty woodworking tasks. It features a powerful 2.25HP, 11-amp motor that can handle variable speeds of 8,000 to 24,000 RPM. The electronic dial control allows you to adjust the speed of the router to suit your needs. The centering gauge offers precise control for more accurate results.
The machine comes with a 2-stage motor release clamp that allows for quick and easy base changes and depth adjustments. It also includes several other accessories such as chucks, wrenches, sub-base plate and template guide adapter that you may use to achieve precise routing results.
Despite having a powerful motor, this trim router produces noise levels of just 79.5 dB, which is one of the lowest within its class. Backed by a 5-year warranty, there is no doubt that the Hitachi KM12VC is worth every penny.
5. Bosch 12 Amp Variable Speed Router
The Bosch 12 Amp Variable Speed Router is one of the most powerful trimmers in its class. It comes with a 12-amp motor that supports speeds between 8,000 and 25,000 RPM. What is more amazing is that you can conveniently adjust the speed to suit the task you are undertaking. The rounded hardwood handles are not only comfortable, but also offer sufficient grip for maximum user control. With an overall weight of 11.25 lbs, this router is reasonably lightweight for reduced user fatigue.
The consistency of this wood router is unquestionable as it uses advanced speed-control technology to deliver desirable results with utter precision. The tool allows for micro-fine adjustment of up to 1/64 for optimum accuracy. It also has a chip deflector that keeps your line of cut clean and visible. Even though it only has a one-year warranty, the router is extremely durable thanks to its rugged aluminum design.
4. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit
The Makita RT0701CX7 is yet another router kit worth mentioning. The tool features a 1.25 HP motor that delivers variable speeds between 10,000 – 30,000 revolutions per minute. You can easily make bit changes and fine adjustments thanks to its smooth rack and pinion depth adjustment system. Furthermore, it has a high visibility base design that allows for improved handling and superior performance.
The heavy-duty aluminum motor housing not only provides sufficient stability, but also ensures that the router is as resilient as possible. It also has a durable flat-top design that allows for fast bit changes. When it comes to safety, this router has a soft start mechanism with a lockable button that prevents accidental starts while allowing for smooth operation.
3. PORTER-CABLE 690LR Fixed Base Router
PORTER-CABLE is a world-renowned manufacturer of exceptional power tools, and the 690LR Fixed Base Router is a good example of some of their top products. This router has an extraordinary 11-amp motor that is capable of producing 1.75 horsepower. Furthermore, the motor can handle speeds of up to 27,500 RPM, ideal for tough woodworking projects. The cam lock lever efficiently enables coarse height adjustments and motor release for enhanced accuracy and precision. In addition, the auto-release collet system allows for fast and easy bit removal and replacements.
This router is extremely safe to use as it has an under table stop that prevents the powerful motor from accidentally rotating out of position. It also has overmolded rubber grips for maximum comfort and control. Backed by a 3-year warranty, there is no reason to search for a router somewhere else.
2. DEWALT DWP611 Variable Speed Compact Router
The DEWALT DWP611 is a heavy-duty router that every professional woodworker should own. It features a high performance, Max torque 1.25HP motor that can tackle the toughest of hardwoods with relative ease. The motor can handle no-load speeds ranging from 16,000 to 27,000 RPM making it ideal for heavy-duty projects. The router also comes with an adjustable ring that allows for controlled bit depth changes of up to 1/64”.
Despite its powerful performance, this router is extremely lightweight and ergonomic, making it ideal for jobs that require you to move from one site to the next. The soft start mechanism maintains power throughout the cut while producing minimal noise and vibrations. Like most DEWALT routers, this trimmer also features Dual LED light system that illuminates your work area for enhanced visibility and optimum precision.
1. Bosch Colt 1HP Palm Router
The Bosch Variable-Speed Palm Router is one of the cheapest trimmers under 100 bucks, available in the market today. Despite the low, this router offers a splendid performance that is way above some of its more expensive competitors. It features a 5.6 amp motor that is capable of handling speeds between 16,000 and 35,000 RPM.
The trimmer comes with a straight edge guide that works effectively to lead the router along with your workpiece for increased accuracy. It also features a depth adjustment system that you can use to make macro and micro modifications for optimum precision. The quick clamp system and bit changing system allows for fast base adjustments and easy bit changes.
Choosing the best trim router for your workshop entirely depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. You may opt for an all-in-one router like the Hitachi KM12VC or go for the cordless option like the Makita XTR01Z. Regardless of your preferences always look out for features such as speed. The power of the motor and type of base, safety features. Warranty to make a more informed decision.