For many years, routers have gained a lot of attention and reputation as one of the best and most versatile woodworker tools. However, there are many options of routers in the market, and one is a trim router.

Trim routers were first introduced as laminate trimmers, and now they have become woodwork tools because of their versatility and size.

A trim router is handy such that you can hold it with one hand while using it. For a woodworker, you can easily change an ordinary project into fantastic work.

For instance, you can decorate a house using trims made of a trim router.

This article will help the people interested in getting a trim router because it will provide information on things to consider when purchasing the best trim routers, give recommendations on the best product on the market, and answer some of the frequently asked questions.

Top 7 Trim Routers Comparison Table

ImageNameSpeed RangeMaximum HorsepowerRating (1-5)
1. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit10,000 - 30,000 RPM1.25 HP4.8
2. DEWALT DWP611PK Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit16,000 - 27,000 RPM1.25 HP4.8
3. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router20,000 - 30,000 RPM1 HP4.6
4. Bosch GKF125CEN Colt Variable-Speed Palm Router Tool16,000 - 35,000 RPM1.25 HP4.8
5. SKIL RT1322-00 14 Amp Plunge and Fixed Base Router Combo10,000 - 25,000 RPM2.5 HP4.7
6. Bosch PR20EVSK-RT Colt Palm Grip 5.7 Amp Fixed Base Variable Speed Router15,000 - 35,000 RPM1 HP4.6
7. DEWALT DCW600B 20V Max XR Cordless Router16,000 - 25,500 RPM1.25 HP4.8

What to Consider When Choosing The Best Trim Router

When you go out to look for a trim router to purchase, there are several factors you need to look at. Like other products, a good trim router is supposed to have some features and, if possible, come with some accessories to make the work easy for the user.

These factors include:

Depth Control

Depth control helps the user to adjust the device depth easily. Therefore, it is important to find yourself a tool with a good range of depth. Moreover, a good trim router should have a depth that can adjust the cutting height from the top of the table.

This feature is known as above the table adjustment and can stop the process whenever you need to change the depth.

Vacuum Port

The vacuum port of your trim router is where it connects to a hose that has a vacuum source. This vacuum source helps in picking up the dust particles and making them go to the desired place – you won’t even have to do the cleaning.

It is very important to have a dust collector that you can attach to your trim router. This will allow you to ensure that all the dust collected through the work process is removed and your device remains clean. The vacuum port helps in removing the unwanted dust from the top of the table.

Circuitry Electronic Feedback

Most people would want to have all their concentration on the project to achieve the desired results in the end. If you need this, you should always go for a device with this feature. A trim router with this design can adjust the torque of the motor.

In this case, the user is freed from the task of adjusting the tool’s speed. Your speed and the amount of work you will do in a single day are entirely determined by this feature.

Controllable Router Speed

Controllable router speed will make sure that the trim router has the ability to work well. A trim router with a controllable speed is very useful since it offers enough accuracy and support.

Controllable speed is the best way to get better control over the trim routers. In a number of trim router products, you will find that the speed is fixed and cannot be modified.

This forces the user to work at a fast, uncontrollable speed, which may lead to making mistakes at work and it makes handling the device hard for most people.

Collet Size

When you look at your router, you’ll see the shank of the bit sticking out of it. That’s not where the bit goes in — that’s where the collet is. The job of the collet is to hold the router bit in place and spin it at high speeds.

When choosing your router bits, you’ll also need to choose a collet size. The router collet holds the shank of your router bit and can be changed to fit bits with different diameters.

The most common router bit collet sizes used are 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch router bits.

Top 3 Best Trim Router Reviews

Most people consider a trim router the best tool to use for decorating edges. Others think it is perfect for straightening curved joints and hiding them.

Either way, if you need a trim router, it is important you make it your goal to get the best trim router the market could offer, especially if you are into woodworking. Below are the three best trim routers we recommend.

1. Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

We this trim router the best overall, given the many good qualities it comes with. It delivers high performance, and it is of great design.

The Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit has an electronic speed control ranging from 10,000 – 30,000 RPM making it easy for the user to concentrate on the project because this maintains a constant speed when the machine under load.

As the user, you also benefit from the easy operation offered by the soft starter feature. The design is slim and comfortable to handle and control while using it.

Moreover, there are other accessories such as the carrying bag, edge guide, template guide, and dust nozzles which are useful for the users.

Pros
  • It is of slim design, making handling easy
  • It has a parallel metal guide
  • It is used for woodworking and around the house
Cons
  • Its power switch does not have a dust shield

2. DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit

The DEWALT Router Fixed/Plunge Base Kit is among the best products the company has marketed so far. The router comes with amazing features that make it a perfect product for the job. It can do various things, including edge cutting, bevel cuts, and flush trimming.

The designers concentrated on making the use of the device easy while creating it. In addition, it comes with a control feature.

Moreover, the performance is good, and it is powerful than most similar devices. The presence of the speed control feature allows the user to choose the appropriate speed you are comfortable working.

The soft stater also controls the speed of the motor. Most importantly, the product comes with dual LEDs, which are responsible for improved visibility during the job. It is a quarter-inch router and therefore provides a good bit of contact.

Pros
  • The LEDs offer clear visibility
  • It is well built
  • Adjusting is easy
Cons
  • It does not come with a storage case
  • It is difficult to change the bit without removing the motor first

3. Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router

The Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router uses top-class materials. It contains a rubber-made grip and a case so the user is comfortable handling it. It comes with a quarter-inch collet.

Setting up the entire device and installing its bit is super easy. Also, with the depth control system, the user can use the micro-adjust dial to make fine adjustments.

The power and speed are controlled using electronic feedback. The speed ranges from 20,000-30,000 RPM.

Pros
  • It is well built
  • It is long-lasting
  • Setting up is easy
  • It is versatile
Cons
  • The spindle lock it comes with can be sloppy

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does a Trim Router Work?

A trim router has a handle where you hold using one hand as you work on the piece stabilized by the other hand.

The base is adjustable, and since you can use this tool with different bases, it is possible to go through the tight corners and utilize the offset base. The quarter collet inch limits the bit size a trim can accept.

What Do You Use a Trim Router For?

Trim routers work differently and can perform different tasks, including rounding over the edges. In addition, it does routing for hinge mortises and inlay cavities. A trim router has a quarter-inch collet and can spin the bits up to 30,000 RPM.

What is the Difference Between a Router and a Trim Router?

Trim routers are small and lightweight versions of ordinary routers. Trim routers are primarily used for cutting the edges after you have applied the laminates. Routers are big with a high power rating. It is more like an intermediate of a trim router and a plunge router.

For further details, you can read our in-depth guide here.

Can You Use a Trim Router for Drywall?

No, it is not possible to use a trim router for drywall. A trim router works for the surfaces that are outside and visible.

Can You Trim the Sides of a Door?

The door sides normally contain less wood, and, therefore, if there is a need for trimming, it means less wood should be removed. This is a simple job if you have a steady handy tool like a trim router.

Ensure that you trim an equal amount of wood from both sides. It is recommended to remove about an inch from both sides.

Can You Mount a Trim Router to a Table?

Yes, this is possible, but only if the table you will be using is a trim router table. The table has a predrilled hole in it to allow for mounting of the router.

Alternatively, you can install the router to the table by inserting the plate you chose. However, you will have to mark and drill the holes you will be mounting the router by yourself.

Can You Plunge With a Trim Router?

Plunging can be done with a plunge router and not a trim router. However, even with a plunge router, you will have to be clear on the depth you set to plunge perfectly.

Therefore, this means that you need to have a base router that is fixed so that you set the depth once and cut it. Usually, when you keep reintroducing the router to the piece you are working on, you will get inaccurate depth.

Which Way Does a Trim Router Go?

Most woodworkers make the mistake of advancing the trim router in the wrong direction. However, the first thing you need to do with the router is moving it against the bit rotation. This will allow the bit to cut into the piece as you gain full control of the tool.

If you happen to move the router with the bit in the same direction, you will be running along the edge of the piece and struggle to keep the tool in control.

If you look from the top of the router going down, you will notice that the bit moves in a clockwise direction. Therefore, it means that your trim router should move from left going right.

What is a Fixed Base Trim Router?

A fixed base trim router from the name is a trim router that is secured at one position, thus ensuring that the bit used for cutting stays in the same position. In simple terms, if you set the router at a quarter depth inch, the router bit will work with this unless you change it.

Is a Trim Router Worth It?

Yes, a trim router is worth it for various reasons. When you are beginning your woodworking journey or setting a new workshop, a router, whether a trim router or any other type, should be your number one tool to invest in.

This is because this tool is powerful, and the good thing about it is that it comes in different versions. This means that you can easily get one of your choices and all the important accessories and features.

A trim router will offer you various benefits and make work around your workshop easy. You can use the tool for various tasks, including trimming the hardwood edges and routing for hinge mortises and cavities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a trim router has become an indispensable woodworking tool today. You cannot miss this tool in workshops. This is because of the tremendous benefits and helps this tool offers its users, ranging from duplicating parts, cutting hinge mortises, cleaning veneer to trimming of shelf lipping.

However, the challenge comes in when the market offers a variety of trim routers, and you get confused about which one to pick. The first thing you need to do before you go out to look for a trim router is to know the factors to consider when purchasing one and get a rough idea of what you should expect from a trim router.

Things like depth control, vacuum port, and controller speed are a few of the things you should expect in a good trim router.

With this knowledge, you can know which trim router to pick and which one not to.

Furthermore, the above recommendations should be your priority because they are the best of all. These trim routers have amazing and beneficial features and accessories to help you concentrate on your project and achieve the end goal.