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Woodworking Tool News - Compact Router, Big Features


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 full-size router.

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,, 800-462-5482, 1-1/4 HP Compact Router, #RT0700C; 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit, #RT0700CX3.