What to look for when choosing a trim router
When trim routers first came out they were only used for one purpose – trimming laminate, which is why they’re still called laminate trimmers. But that’s all changed in the 20 years that they’ve been on the market and they are now one of the most versatile tools in the workshop. They can be used for a wide variety of tasks including routing for inlay cavities and hinge mortises, rounding over edges, flush trimming hardwood edging, and a whole lot more. In fact, trim routers are so lightweight and easy to maneuver you can easily hold it with one hand while you hold the workpiece with the other.
Best Trim Routers
The three trim routers demonstrated in the video are three of the best trim routers on the market – the market-leading Dewalt DWP611PK, the Bosch PR20EVSK and the Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router.
The Dewalt DWP611PK is Dewalt’s fantastic router combo kit in the 1.25 hp trim router class. Most router manufacturers have a fixed-base trim router but Dewalt is the only one to produce a router combo kit in this class. In fact the Dewalt DWP611PK is the only plunge router available in this power bracket, meaning if you want a small, lightweight plunge router, the Dewalt DWP611PK is it.
The Bosch PR20EVSK is Bosch’s excellent entry in the 1.0 hp trim router market. With its light weight, superb ergonomics and variable-speed motor, it sets the standard for small routers. The small size and light weight means it’s very agile and easy to control, and can even be used one handed, offering the perfect balance of power, precision and control. Once you start using it you’ll find yourself using it for more and more jobs.
Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
With both round and square clear bases for added versatility and visibility, an easy access micro-adjust dial for precise depth control and a quick release lever for easy removal of the base from the motor, the Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router has a lot of useful features for an incredible price. It’s even got a flat top so the router can sit upside down for even easier bit changes.
Questions to ask before you make your final choice
Our Top Pick - Best Trim Router 2017 - Dewalt DWP611PK
We think the Dewalt DWP611PK is the clear winner. In fixed base mode it’s got a clear base and dual LEDs for maximum visibility which is especially important when you’re doing fine detail work. And it’s the only one of the three trim routers that has a plunge base and that alone makes it stand out.
Though it behaves like its larger cousins, the DWP611PK is not suitable for heavy-duty jobs, such as excavating large mortises in hardwood or making miles of molding, where you need more power and mass to handle the larger bits. But it’s more than able to handle most other routing tasks typical in a home shop like putting on edge details such as chamfers and roundovers, flush-trimming, and mortising for hinges. Plus, its unique plunge base makes the DeWalt DWP611PK ideal for inlay work.. Bottom line, you’d use the heck out of this little router.