Trimmer vs Router

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Forum topic by bronxtale posted 03-24-2020 02:39 PM 536 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1964 days

03-24-2020 02:39 PM


Need help.

Which router do I buy?

Main purposes:

Edging charcuterie boards, some coffee tables, table bench

No furniture at all.

Will the trimmer be more than enough as it comes with a plunge (Makita) and I like that its handheld vs having to hold the knob base.

Or do I just purchase the 2.25Hp makita right now and be done?

Just a hobbyist having fun.

Thanks for any advice

22 replies so far

View Heyoka's profile


57 posts in 657 days

#1 posted 03-24-2020 02:54 PM

For trim work a trim router is easiest. I use my trim router more than any other one I have in my shop.

-- Heyoka

View pintodeluxe's profile


6175 posts in 3617 days

#2 posted 03-24-2020 03:00 PM

A trim router will limit you to 1/4” shank bits only.

I use my 2hp DeWalt more than anything. I have a few trim routers and they’re okay for light duty work. One compact router kit that comes close to meeting all my needs is the DeWalt 611.

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

View JackDuren's profile


1258 posts in 1764 days

#3 posted 03-24-2020 03:10 PM

Trim router work well for laminate and small things like 1/8,1/4 round over amongst other small tasks. 3/8, Roman ogees, etc I would usd a regular router…

View tvrgeek's profile


1007 posts in 2453 days

#4 posted 03-24-2020 03:46 PM

Must be why so many folks have so many routers. So the answer is “yes”.
One in the table, one for hand held, my old 1/4 for circle cutting.

View DaveMills's profile


21 posts in 203 days

#5 posted 03-24-2020 04:00 PM

Given that we all know that eventually you’ll have more than one router, I say start with the trim router because it’s a very handy tool. Dealing with various edges on cutting boards and small tables – I’d be using a trim router. And then if (and likely when) you need to do something only a larger router can do, then make that decision.

View Andre's profile


3622 posts in 2610 days

#6 posted 03-24-2020 04:00 PM

I use a Ryobi 18v cordless trimmer all the time, even built a small sled to do 1/8” to 1/4” groves for boxes.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View kkaucher's profile


24 posts in 1124 days

#7 posted 03-24-2020 04:11 PM

From your description, a trim router is what you want for now. Once you use it for a while and discover how incredibly useful it is, you’ll want a bigger one. That Makita 2 1/4 will be following you home soon. You’ll put both to good use, and you’ll have a backup.

As with so many other implements, two is one and one is none.

-- A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5803 posts in 3155 days

#8 posted 03-24-2020 04:14 PM

Well in the end you can’t have just one router. It sounds like the trim router will suit your needs. I have found that a trim router will work for most hand held routing tasks.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ChefHDAN's profile


1700 posts in 3654 days

#9 posted 03-24-2020 05:12 PM

As a fellow hobbyist I would offer another perspective, since you’ll find the limitations of a trim router, FAR quicker than you would with a good 2 base starter kit. My first router was the PC690 2 base kit, but PC isn’t what it once was, If I was in your shoes, I would look at these;
Bosch Kit
Dewalt Kit
As you get deeper into the hobby and learn what you can do with a router, you’ll soon be looking to put the fixed base into a table and shopping for more bits and learning that 1/2” shanks are what you’ll find on most of the bits. I recently, (15 years into hobby), did buy the Dewalt 611 trim router with the 2 base kit and I do love it, but there have been times when I’ve tried to use it for a quick job just to realize I don’t have the profile I want to use in 1/4” shank.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View bronxtale's profile


10 posts in 1964 days

#10 posted 03-24-2020 05:55 PM

Most of the wood is black walnut, spalted maple.

Does this change anyone’s opinions?

Can you plunge good with the trim router?

View JackDuren's profile


1258 posts in 1764 days

#11 posted 03-24-2020 06:04 PM

What are you plunging?

View clin's profile


1114 posts in 1800 days

#12 posted 03-24-2020 06:09 PM

I really like my Dewalt DWP611, 1-1/4 HP compact router. It’s handheld but you can get a plunge base for it. It’s bigger than a trim router and smaller than a full size. Yet it’s big enough for most everything I’ve needed to do. Yet works great as a trim router. It will do edging very well.

If I were to get one router or a first router, this is the one I would get. I have an old full-size router, but that just stays installed on a router table. So the Dewalt is what I use for everything else.

It sometimes sells in a bundle with a bag and the plunge base.

-- Clin

View TechTeacher04's profile


447 posts in 2336 days

#13 posted 03-24-2020 06:34 PM

+1 for the DWP611, I also have the DCW600B. They share a common motor diameter, the bases including the plunge and fixed bases are interchangeable.

View bronxtale's profile


10 posts in 1964 days

#14 posted 03-24-2020 07:55 PM

What are you plunging?

- JackDuren

Same type of wood to make handles etc…

Nothing fancy over here.

View bronxtale's profile


10 posts in 1964 days

#15 posted 03-24-2020 08:00 PM

What are you plunging?

- JackDuren

- bronxtale

Same type of wood to make handles etc…

Nothing fancy over here.

Was comparing the Makita RF1101 vs the Trim Router Kit.

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