The 6 Best Trim Routers – Most Powerful, Resilient, and User-Friendly Tools for 2021

Trim routers are a must-have power tool in any professional or DIYer toolbox. These handy tools are used in various ways, from cutting hardwood edges and skirting over edges to routing hinge mortises. Robust but small, the tools have powerful motors that operate quietly.

The best trim router will provide you with the desired portability and maneuverability, thanks to the sturdy and lightweight constructions. There is no shortage of powerful trim routers with mighty manufacturers such as Makita, Dewalt, Porter-Cable, and Bosch as the key industry players.

Unfortunately, finding the best trim router for your specific needs is easier said than done. We know the impact that a few hours spent online looking for the best trim router can have on your business or finances. As a result, we researched, compared, and reviewed the 6 best trim routers to make your search easier.


Stand Out Features and Qualities of the 6 Best Trim Routers

1. DEWALT DWP611 Router with Fixed Base

Dewalt has a long history of producing powerful, efficient, and comfortable power tools for woodworkers. The DEWALT DWP611 is no exception, as it combines comfort and power to make woodworking projects easier to complete. It has a fixed base, variable speed, and preset depths, making it our most recommended palm trim router. It’s simply the power tool you need to make it easier to shape edges and create mortises.

  • Elite Features You Will Love 

In terms of ergonomics and durability, the Dewalt DWP611 outperforms its competitors. The D-shape clear sub-base and dual LED illumination provide clear visibility when hand-held routing, making it more convenient.

Moreover, its variable speed control makes it easier to regulate and monitor the speed to ensure smooth cuts and routing. Its soft starting motor with electronic speed control also maintains your chosen routing speed regardless of the amount of resistance it encounters. This allows you to make the most intricate cuts without worrying about twisting.

  • Power and Performance 

Dewalt DWP611 runs on a powerful 6.5 amp motor that outputs a maximum horsepower of 1.25. The motor has enough power to reach a minimum of 10,000 RPM and a maximum of 30,000 RPM. That much power is more than enough to get you routing and laminating almost any trimming job thrown your way. When combined with the variable speed control, it enables you to handle large and small projects with ease and bravery.

  • Durability and Construction

This power tool is made of industry-grade aluminum, thanks to Dewalt, the manufacturer. The robust construction can withstand any rough and heavy use. Despite its sturdy build, the router is small and compact. It has an ergonomic design with a sleek and compact profile. Furthermore, its rubber handles provide a comfy and secure grip, allowing you to trim routing projects for an extended period.

  • Other Great Features 

The Dewalt DWP611 is undoubtedly an excellent compact trim router with an advanced locking system similar to Avid Power MW104. This quick locking system keeps your depth or base change adjustment settings unchanged for the duration of your routing. You won’t have to worry about dust building up and interfering with your routing experience because the dust hood collects dust, keeping the workspace clean.

Pros

  • Robust and durable motor for handling complex applications 
  • Soft starting motor to minimize twisting issues 
  • D-shape sub-base to optimize hand-held routing visibility 
  • Variable speed to let you adjust your speed as per the project requirements

Cons

  • It gets hot and loud when used for an extended period 
  • Relatively small for completing large-scale projects

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2. Avid Power MW104 by Masterworks Tools

Avid Power MW104 comes second in our best trim router reviews, and for good reasons. It’s the best handheld trim router you can get for your money in 2021. This trim router stands out in durability, quality, performance, and user safety. As the perfect power tool for woodworkers, it comes with a slew of accessories, including two edge guides, a vacuum attachment, and a dust hood.

The tool also comes with a box of high-quality router bits for everyday use. You’ll love its unique features, such as dual LED lights that light your workspace to optimize visibility.

  • Power and Performance 

Under the hood, AVID power MW104 comes equipped with a 6.5-Amp motor capable of generating 1.25 horsepower. That’s enough power to complete dozens of trimming and routing projects soothingly. As for its variable speed control, it can reach a maximum torque of 32,000 revolutions per minute. The speed adjustment function enables you to change the speed to your liking, depending on the material you’re trimming or routing.

  • Comfort and Durability 

AVID power MW104 has a heavy-duty construction, characterized by an industry-grade aluminum body. The rubber handles are ergonomic and sturdy, offering a firm and comfortable grip to let you complete multiple trimming gigs in a day. As one of the best trim routers for buyers in 2021, the tool is lightweight enough to be handled with one hand.

  • Convenience and Ease of Operation

One standout feature in the AVID power MW104 trim router is its smooth pinion and rack depth adjustment system. This smooth system lets you complete a range of woodworking and cabinetry projects with high precision levels.

As for the dual LED lights, they brighten your workspace, ensuring you can precisely handle even the most delicate details. It lets you cut sharp and complex mortises and trim edges with minimal to no effort. The dust hood collects all dust particles to leave you with a clean work area.

Pros

  • Variable speed adjustment function to ease trimming different materials 
  • Rubber hood to carry all dust, keeping work area clean 
  • Dual LED lights to light your workspace to boost cutting precision 
  • Sturdy aluminum construction and comfortable handles

Cons

  • Rough base finish 
  • High vibration and noise when running in high speed

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3. Makita RT0701C Compact Router

Makita RT0701C is the perfect description of a high-power trim router disguised in a small yet durable body. It’s one of the most precise compact size trim routers you can get in 2021. There is a lot we found worth mentioning about this ultra-light and power-intensive trim router.

  • Design and Construction 

Looking at the Makita RT0701C, it’s clear that this trim router is built to last. Its heavy-duty aluminum construction screams quality and long-lasting performance. The ergonomic and slim exterior makes it feel and look ultralight.

This router’s ergonomic yet simple design makes it easy to maneuver and comfortable to use. A look at its glossy silver finish covered in black and blue colors gives the impression of a woodworker-friendly, low-maintenance tool.

  • Motor and Handling 

One thing is certain: the Makita RT0701C is a workhorse in terms of performance and handling. Despite using the same 6.5 Amp motor as the other products we reviewed, it produces a maximum of 1.25 horsepower and torque at 30,000 RPM. The motor is built to last and is housed in a double-insulated aluminum housing.

Adding to its performance and handling power are the electronic speed control, soft start feature, and rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system. Depending on the project, you can adjust the routing speed and cutting depth of the machine. The easy release cam lock system and base removal function further add to its performance and handling.

  • Other Features We Like 

With this trim router, you’re getting super-easy-to-read depth scales, 0.25-inch shank router bits, and a no-marring high-strength base insert. You’re also getting a solid shaft lock to ease the changing of bits. Moreover, the soft-start function lets you start the router in seconds and with ease.

Pros

  • Dual-insulated and powerful aluminum 1.25H motor 
  • Robust construction to offer lasting performance 
  • Soft start feature, easing the use and control of the router 
  • Slim and ultralight size

Cons

  • It doesn’t have LED lights 
  • It gets pretty hot and uncomfortable when used for an extended period

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4. Bosch PR20EVS 5.6 Amp Palm Router

If you’re looking for the best palm router in 2021, look no further than the Bosch PR20EVS. The Bosch PR20EVS Colt combines versatility, power, and precision in a small handheld tool. Its 1.0HP 5.6 Amp motor has a variable speed range of 16,000 to 35,000 RPM. Furthermore, its constant response circuitry detects heavy loads and increases power to keep the RPM consistent.

  • Notable Features You’ll Love 

The Bosch PR20EVS also has a soft-start circuitry that helps to keep the startup torque low. Its depth adjustment is relatively simple. All you should do is align and lower the router’s motor before locking it into a clamping level. It’s also pretty easy to align the micro-fine adjustments as the router’s back-located wheel makes it possible.

You can use this router with standard 1/4–inch bits. The router delivers an incredible maximum cutting diameter of 15/16-inch. Adding to overall comfort and usability is the palm-shaped rubber grip that lets you comfortably operate the router for an extended period.

The router is housed in a rugged and precise aluminum base. It’s only 3.2 lbs. heavy, making it lightweight enough to be carried around with ease.

  • What Else Makes Bosch PR20EVS Great? 

Everything about Bosch PR20EVS doesn’t end with quality design, easy handling, and superb performance. You’re also getting a straight edge guide that keeps the router straight as you handle different wooden projects. The angled cord exit keeps the cord away, ensuring it won’t disturb you when you’re routing or trimming wooden materials.

Pros

  • 12 variable speed adjustments to boost speed and precision 
  • Micro-fine and macro-fine depth adjustments 
  • Spindle lock and wrenches 
  • Constant response technology for monitoring speed

Cons

  • You have to buy the straight edge guide separately 
  • It may get hot and noisy

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5. Milwaukee 2723-20 Cordless Compact Router

When it comes to woodworking tools, Milwaukee competes with mighty and time-honored brands. Its cordless 2723-20 compact router confidently represents the brand in the trim router market. When it comes to accessories, control, lights, bit changes, and power, the Milwaukee 2723-20 compact router is simply something else.

  • Control and Power

The Milwaukee 2723-20 compact router is powered by a powerful brushless 18-volt motor and a high-capacity 5-amp-hour battery. The motor pushes 900 watts, which is enough to produce 1.24 horses of power. With this compact router, you can achieve an excellent torque range of 10,000 to 31,000 RPM.

It comes with some of the most refined adjustments ever made and the largest 2-inch plunge depth. The power switch is durable and well-positioned, saving you time when powering it on and off.  Its right-handed speed dial knob features bulging ribs that offer a comfortable grip for ease of handling. 

Milwaukee 2723-20 router also features a quick-release lever with push-button macro adjustments dial micro-adjustments. Designed to be easy to use, the micro screw adjustment knob has a soft rubber design that offers a firm grip to improve operator comfort and precision.

  • Design and Comfort

As for comfort and design, Milwaukee 2723-20 beats the crowd in all aspects. It has a premium construction, significant adjustments, and sturdy aluminum materials. It can withstand daily use without succumbing to premature breakdown. Moreover, its large base opens at 2-1/2-inch and 2-5/8-inch, offering a more precise line of sight.

Pros

  • Larger base opening and bright LEDs for increased visibility 
  • Powerful motor and adequate horsepower to cut for extended periods 
  • Superb ergonomics to protect against fatigue during long routing sessions 
  • Variable speed and well-designed plunge

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy 
  • You’ll need to buy the battery separately

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6. Ridgid R2401 Trim Router

Concluding our list of the best trim routers is Ridgid R2401. This tool is a corded-electric power-packed trim router running on a 1.6hp motor. Its high-power motor is connected to electric feedback that consistently maintains the trimming speed and power, even when handling demanding tasks. The soft-start feature also adds to its maneuverability and ease of use.

Ridgid R2401 also features an easy-to-control micro-adjust dial feature that lets you control the cutting depth. On the other hand, the quick-release motor enables you to separate the engine from its base easily. You get a clear view of your work area, thanks to the advanced LED lights and large square bases. When changing bits, the stability of the trim router is guaranteed, thanks to the flat-top and rounded bottoms. The soft molded grip offers the comfort you desire when woodworking all day.

  • What We Loved Most About Ridgid r2401 Trim Router

Ridgid R2401 has lots of features that make it stand out. The first key point is its variable speed control that works great for both pros and DIYers. Second is its ability to light your workspace, offering you optimized visibility to ensure accurate cuts. Moreover, we can’t forget electric feedback that maintains the cutting speed even when the router is spinning at speeds of 30,000 RPM.

As with its micro-adjust dial, the tool lets you adjust the cutting depths to the specifications of your project. This router is only 3lbs. heavy, so you’re less likely to experience hand fatigue when using it for extended periods. The router is housed in a heavy-duty aluminum-grade body that’s not only strong but also durable.

Pros

  • The quick-release lever lets you remove the motor easily
  • High-power motor to power different project types 
  • Micro-adjust dial to ease adjusting cutting depth 
  • LEDs to improve your workspace visibility

Cons

  • The router becomes quite hot when used for extended periods 
  • It doesn’t have enough power to handle bigger, more demanding projects

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Features and Qualities of the Best Trim Router for You: Buyers’ Guide

Trim routers are tools that professional and DIYer woodworkers can’t live without. Surely, the absence of these small but mighty handheld tools can delay costly woodworking projects.

The right trim router gets the job done fast and efficiently. That’s the reason you should differentiate between must-have trim router features and essential ones. The following are features your trim router must never lack.

  • Depth Control

Every complete trim router must have an adjustable depth to ease handling different types and sizes of routing projects. Look for trim routers with cutting height adjustments that can be adjusted with a dial or manual handle.

You should also consider routers with an above-the-table adjustment feature. That is to ensure that you can always stop the cutting process to adjust the cutting depth to match the project requirements.

  • RPM Rating and Variable Speed Feature

One indispensable feature of the best trim router you can’t neglect is the RPM {revolutions per minute}. Most premium models and brands of trim routers have RMP ratings in the range of 10,000 to 35,000. Remember that the higher the rating, the more powerful a trim router is and the faster you can complete your project.

Additionally, look for the best trim router with a variable speed feature, with either a fixed or plunge base. The purpose of the variable speed feature is to change the RPM to the project’s specifications.

  • Is the Trim Router Corded or Cordless?

Most trim routers are either cordless or corded. Corded options have long cables that connect to your power sockets. They give you consistent power all day to complete your wood routing projects. However, they’re not convenient since you have to deal with the cable clutter.

Cordless units have rechargeable batteries that supply you with limited power to complete your woodworking projects. These trim routers are super convenient and user-friendly, though their operation is limited to the substance in their batteries.

  • The Weight and Size

The best trim routers must have manageable weights and sizes. You don’t want a heavy and sizable trim router that makes you feel fatigued after using it for some time. As a result, you should consider handy and user-friendly trim routers that have easily manageable weights.

  • Clear View to Ease Routing Work

Woodworking projects such as routing hinges and inlay mortises require you to cut within the layout lines. That’s where the need to have a clear view of your workpiece comes in. Look for the best trim router with a clear sub-base and large cutout to offer you the visibility you desire while routing.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Trim Routers (FAQs)

       1. What Can I Use the Router Guide Bushings For?

The trim router bushings are the outcropped plastic or metal collar mounted on your router’s base. The bracket or flange rests on your router’s base area while the collar rests a little underneath it. The collar moves against the router’s template, enabling the router bit to create template-guided workpieces.

      2. What Precisely Can I Use My Trim Router For?

A trim router has dozens of possible applications. You can use it to profile laminate and wood edges, drill holes, cut hinge mortises, or even mortise inlays. Additionally, you can use the best trim router in routing out template-guided woods to clean veneer, cut joinery, or even round over edges.

      3. Is a Palm Trim Router Worth It?

Palm routers have dozens of features that make them the perfect choice for your next woodworking project. These units are portable and easy to handle, requiring minimal effort to control while completing woodworking projects. There are dozens of palm trim routers at your disposal, so decide which one to add to your portfolio.

      4. Is It Possible to Plunge With a Trim Router?

Yes, it is. You can precisely and quickly plunge your router bit into the workpiece. You can also trim veneers and other wood materials using router bits with bearings.


Conclusion 

The best trim router must blend lightweight design, high-power output, and user-friendly design. Each of the six products we’ve listed above meets these qualifications.

However, we’re happy to announce DEWALT DWP611 as our winner after thorough research and comparison. It ticks all the boxes of premium design, outstanding performance, lasting durability, and incredible operator comfort. Alongside high power, Dewalt DWP611 is light enough to be handled with one hand.

Our second winner on this list is Makita RT0701C. It boasts an ultralight construction, impressive power output, and excellent handling. It offers you a soft-start and LED lights to add comfort to the way you complete different projects. For those on a low budget, we can confidently tell you that Bosch PR20EVS is the best bet for you. It has the features and power found with more costly options but has a relatively lower price tag.

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