Compact Router, Big Features
By Brad Holden
If you've ever used your laminate trimmer as a
router, you understand why compact routers are
becoming so popular. Their comfortable one-hand
operation makes them easy to use and downright
handy. But there’s a fairly large gap in performance
and capability between a laminate trimmer and a
Makita’s RT0700C Compact Router perfectly
bridges this gap. In addition to functioning as a firstrate
laminate trimmer, features such as its 1-1/4 hp
electronic variable speed motor and accessories that
include a plunge base with a 1-3/8" depth capacity
make the RT0700C a genuine woodworking tool.
A typical laminate trimmer is a pretty bare-bones
affair, limited by a 1/4" collet and a 3/4 hp or 1 hp
motor. With variable speed from 10,000 to 30,000
rpm and electronic speed control to help maintain
constant speed under heavy loads, the RT0700C’s larger
motor has ample power for many common edge treatments,
as well as dadoes and mortises. The extra power
also allows using some heavier, 3/8" shank bits, so the
RT0700C comes with both 3/8" and 1/4" collets.
The RT0700C is loaded with user-friendly features,
to boot. Its soft-start mechanism slowly ramps up the
rpms, eliminating the white-knuckle effect associated
with old-school hard-start routers. Its rack-and-pinion
fine-depth adjustment is another big benefit. On a standard
laminate trimmer, the motor housing just slides up
and down inside the base, so making fine adjustments is
an exercise in frustration—and a real turn-off for general
routing. With the RT0700C, you simply dial a knob.
The RT0700C comes packaged with a straight edgeguide,
a template guide, a dust nozzle and a straight base.
To get the plunge base—for woodworkers, the RT0700C’s
most desirable feature—go for the RT0700CX3 Compact
Router Kit (shown in the photo, above). In addition
to straight and plunge bases for woodworking, the kit
includes tilt and offset bases for typical laminate jobs and
all the other accessories that come with the RT0700C.
The tilt base is infinitely adjustable with positive stops at
30° and 45°. The offset base allows for routing in hard-to-reach areas and as close as 3/4" to a wall.
Makita, makita.com, 800-462-5482,
1-1/4 HP Compact Router, #RT0700C; 1-1/4 HP Compact
Router Kit, #RT0700CX3.