Dewalt Compact Router: Not a Review

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Blog entry by Blair Helgason posted 01-07-2013 05:30 PM 4426 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Everyone, I haven’t posted anything in a while so I thought I’d get something down just so people know I’m still alive.

I recently bought the Dewalt Compact Router and I have to tell everyone that I absolutely love it. I said at the beginning that this is not a review because I honestly think that after using one I would love any high quality compact router on the market.

I know that I’m probably the minority on the subject but I hate using routers! Despite their amazing capabilities I find myself dreding lugging out my router. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my particular router, it’s a Bosch 2.25 HP and it performs great I just find routers to be heavy, loud and insane dust creators. I usually end up using any other method other than a router to complete tasks that its specifically made for… not good.

I had the chance to use my compact router for the first time this weekend and right off the top I love how I can hold it easily with one hand and still feel like I have full control. I was in the process of making a toddler bed for my daughter and there are quite a few curves that need to be duplicated so I would be stupid not to use some sort of router. I made some templates, rough cut the curves and used the templating bit on my compact router. Keep in mind that the material is MDF so the smaller router had no difficulty cutting. The router performed incredibly well and was a joy to use.

Anyways, I realize that compact routers have limitations and that eventually I’ll have to “man up” and get some proper use out of my Bosch but in the meantime, I can’t wait to use the Dewalt on the next project weather I have to or not. Thanks for reading, new projects will be posted soon!

-- Blair

7 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6543 posts in 4274 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 07:21 PM

I guess I have the opposite set up as you. I have the 2.25 hp Dewalt, and the Bosch trim router.
I like them both, but the Dewalt gets a lot more use. It’s interesting to hear which router you reach for, when you have more than one at your disposal.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4344 days

#2 posted 01-07-2013 07:49 PM

I have the same router and I agree, it is awesome. I’m not a huge fan of using my router either, but the Dewalt almost makes me enjoy routing. I just bought a couple of optional DC collection attachments that I think will make it even better…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 01-07-2013 08:13 PM

I’m a big fan of compact routers myself… I have the DeWalt, and have used Ridgid and Bosch Colts belonging to others. The compacts are very handy tools. In my eyes, it’s one of those places where enough power, in the right sized package, is a lot better than too much.

I have 9 routers, including the compact DeWalt, PC 690’s, Bosch 1617’s, a Bosch laminate trimmer, a StewMac base with a Dremel, and a Milwaukee 5625 mounted in a table. They all get used, but the compact DeWalt seems to be the first thing I reach for in typical handheld situations.

With the compact and a dedicated table motor, my mid-sized and laminate trimmer have been reduced to very specific uses.

View Blair Helgason's profile

Blair Helgason

169 posts in 4875 days

#4 posted 01-07-2013 08:17 PM

Thanks for the comments guys, I thought I was going to get chewed out for speaking badly about The Router.

-- Blair

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 01-07-2013 08:31 PM

I love compact routers as well. I wish I held out for the DeWalt with the plunge base. Some people prefer big and heavy for inlay/template work, I like small and light. One other bonus not many people mention is speed. My Ridgid is a variable speed, but 20k to 30k. Obviously you don’t want to chuck up huge bits, but for flush trim operations and smaller edge profiles, I always reach for the compact router. The extra speed leaves a VERY smooth surface (with a quality bit).


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4619 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 08:55 PM

I love this DeWalt. I’ve had mine a few months now and really enjoy it. I used it the other day with 1/2” straight bit and a jig to make indents in the legs of a G&G table I’m making. It’s very versatile in that regard since it weighs almost nothing.

-- jay,

View pintodeluxe's profile


6543 posts in 4274 days

#7 posted 01-07-2013 10:00 PM

The midsized Dewalt 618 has excellent dust collection with the plunge base. Does the compact Dewalt offer dust collection?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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