Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

9 Best Trim Routers of 2023 Tested

As far as precision and power are concerned, the WEN RT1460 6-Amp is the best option. But if you’re looking for lightweight maneuverability, then the DeWalt Router DWP611 is ideal. However, the BOSCH PR20EVS is also a good option. 

Best Trim Routers

A trim router is a versatile woodworking tool designed for precision trimming and shaping of wood edges and surfaces. It operates using a high-speed rotating cutter, allowing for detailed and controlled cutting actions. Trim routers find widespread use in woodworking projects, enabling craftsmen to achieve fine finishes, bevels, and decorative profiles on wooden pieces. 

Precision, versatility, and ease of use - these are qualities you should be looking for in your ideal trim router. And to make it easier for you. I've compiled a handpicked selection of the best trim routers to make your life easier. 

Here are summaries for the best trim routers for woodworking at home:

  • WEN 6-amp laminate trim router: The WEN 6-amp laminate trim router comes equipped with a 6-amp soft-start motor for quiet power, adjustable straight base, and transparent base plate for maximum visibility. It offers variable speed control from 12,000 to 30,000 RPM. The lack of a button lock is a minor consideration.
  • DeWalt router: The DeWalt router is notable for its manageable noise level, easy swapping of router bits, and powerful 1-1/4 HP motor with a variable speed trigger. The big, flat, clear base provides exceptional visibility, although holding it with just your hand might be challenging.
  • BOSCH PR20EVS palm router: The BOSCH palm router is a lightweight and compact router with a 5.6-amp variable speed motor. It features a rugged and precise aluminum fixed base, a fast depth adjustment system, and accepts bits up to 15/16 inches in diameter.
  • AVID POWER 6.5-amp trim router: The AVID POWER 6.5-amp trim router boasts a 6.5-amp motor with 1.25 horsepower, a quick locking system, and dual bright LED lights for illuminated precision. The rubber-covered handle ensures a comfortable grip, and the aluminum body adds durability.
  • Ryobi One+ 18V lithium-ion router: The Ryobi One+ 18V lithium-ion router is known for its aluminum base, easy depth adjustment, LED lights for enhanced visibility, and lightweight, compact design. Compatible with Ryobi's ONE+ system, it offers cordless freedom but lacks variable speed control.

1. WEN 6-amp laminate trim router: Best for precision and power

This trim router is equipped with a 6-amp soft-start motor that delivers some great performance. It's surprisingly quiet too, which is a big plus. The variable speed dial will allow you to have full control over the cutting speed, which ranges from 12,000 to 30,000 RPM. You can adjust the speed according to the task at hand, ensuring smooth and precise cuts every time.

While trying it out in person, one of the standout features for me was the adjustable straight base. It provides ample travel, and the transparent base plate will give you a clear view of the line of cut. Trust me, having that visibility makes all the difference in achieving precise and accurate work. And with a 1-inch scale and 1/16-inch markings, you can easily measure and make adjustments on the fly.

It comes with a guide fence for those clean and straight cuts that we all strive for. Plus, the trim guide for curvatures opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

While the trim router performed flawlessly, there was one small thing that I would have loved to see - a button lock to keep it turned on. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but having that feature would have been the icing on the cake.

On the bright side, this trim router runs like a dream. The human factors and ergonomics are on point, and it fits comfortably in the hand. And with the two-year warranty, you can feel confident in your purchase.

Motor Power: N/A | Variable Speed: 12,000 to 30,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Router base has depth adjustment | Collet Size: 0.25" | Ergonomics and Grip: Designed for comfortable handheld use | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Guide fence, trim guide | Visibility and Lighting: Transparent base plate

2. DeWalt router: Best for lightweight performance

What catches your eye immediately about this unit is the big, flat, clear base. This trim router provides unparalleled visibility of your workpiece. It excels in working with medium-sized pieces of wood and soft metals.

With 1-1/4 HP, 11-amp power, and the variable speed dial, it allows you to adjust the cutting speed effortlessly. Swapping trim router bits is also simple, saving you time and effort.

And the best part? It doesn't demand excessive strength to hold down or move it horizontally, making your work more efficient and enjoyable.

Now, let's address a couple of considerations. While the DeWalt trim router is easy to use, holding it with just your hand may not be the most comfortable experience during extended periods. Additionally, if you require deeper cuts, you might want to consider a separate attachment, as the depth capacity is not the deepest among corded trim routers.

After checking the product, I found that this trim router operates at 120 volts and weighs a mere 5.5 pounds. It relies on corded electric power for operation. With a horsepower of 1.25 and a maximum rotational speed of 27,000 revolutions per minute, it packs a punch. The amperage is 7 amps, and it offers both plunge and fixed base options for added versatility.

While it may come with a higher price tag, the enhanced visibility and impressive power make it a worthy investment. Just keep in mind the comfort factor and consider additional attachments for deeper cuts.

Motor Power: 1.25 HP | Variable Speed: ‎27,000 RPM | Base Type: Plunge, fixed | Depth Adjustment: Micro-fine adjustment | Collet Size: 0.25" | Ergonomics and Grip: Minimal strength to hold down or move horizontally | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Standard base | Visibility and Lighting: Clear sub-base, dual LEDs

3. BOSCH PR20EVS router tool: Best for precise routing precision

The BOSCH PR20EVS palm router is a lightweight and compact router designed to fit perfectly in your hand. It's incredibly comfortable to hold and gives you great control and maneuverability. The rugged aluminum fixed base not only adds durability but also ensures precise and accurate cuts every time.

With speeds ranging from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM, this 1-horsepower, 5.6-amp, variable speed unit delivers the power and flexibility to handle a wide range of woodworking tasks. Whether you're working on delicate trims or more demanding projects, this compact router works well.

After putting it to the test, I absolutely loved the fast and smooth depth adjustment system. It's a breeze to set the desired depth with both macro and micro adjustments. This level of precision allows you to achieve perfect cuts without any fuss or frustration. It's a game-changer when it comes to fine-tuning woodworking projects.

The angled cord exit is a small but thoughtful detail that I really appreciate. It keeps the cord out of the way while working, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable routing experience.

It accepts bits up to 15/16 inches in diameter, giving you the freedom to work with a wide range of trim router bits.

And when it's time to switch bits, the bit-changing system is extremely simple. You can quickly swap them out using either 2 wrenches or the spindle lock and a wrench. It's fast, easy, and saves you precious time.

Motor Power: 1 HP | Variable Speed: 16,000 to 35,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Macro- and micro-fine adjustments | Collet Size: 0.25" | Ergonomics and Grip: Palm-shaped motor housing, rubber over-molded grip | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: PR001 fixed base, 0.25" self-releasing collet chuck | Visibility and Lighting: N/A

4. AVID POWER 6.5-amp trim router: Best for illuminated precision

The first thing that caught my attention was the sheer power of this trim router. It has a 6.5-amp motor with 1.25 horsepower.

But power is nothing without precision, right? The smooth rack and pinion depth adjustment system on this trim router allows you to make precise adjustments with ease, ensuring that every cut you make is spot-on.

But what sets this trim router apart is the attention to detail. The dual bright LED lights illuminate your router table like a spotlight, making it easier to see every detail, even in low-light conditions.

When I tried this product, I found that the brand offers a rubber-covered handle for a secure and comfortable grip, reducing fatigue during those long hours in the workshop. Plus, the quick locking system is very useful. It allows you to make effortless depth adjustments and change the base in no time.

Speaking of convenience, the included dust hood keeps your workspace clean and free of debris, so you can focus on your craft without interruptions.

And let's not forget about the build quality. The aluminum body not only makes this trim router durable and sturdy but also gives it a premium feel. It's a tool that's built to last, which is essential for any serious woodworker.

Motor Power: 1.25 HP | Variable Speed: 32,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Rack and pinion depth adjustment system | Collet Size: 0.25", 0.375" | Ergonomics and Grip: Rubber-covered handle | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Edge guide, roller guide | Visibility and Lighting: Dual bright LED lights

5. Ryobi One+ 18V lithium-ion router: Best for cordless freedom

The P601 features an aluminum base, which not only makes it lightweight but also provides stability during use. The grip is comfortable thanks to the GripZone Overmold with its rubber coating.

The LED lights illuminate your workspace, allowing you to work with precision, even in low-light conditions. It's a small but handy feature that I found to be quite useful.

Now, it's important to note that this cordless router is part of Ryobi's ONE+ system, which means it's compatible with several lithium-ion battery models like the P100, P102, P103, and more.

However, do keep in mind that the battery is not included with this machine, so make sure you have a compatible one on hand.

One aspect that I think could be improved is the absence of variable speed control. This trim router only has a simple on/off switch, so you don't have the option to adjust the speed based on your project requirements.

After giving it a go, I felt that the P601 was a bit top-heavy as compared to other cordless routers after attaching the electric battery. This can affect the overall balance and maneuverability of this trim router. It's something to keep in mind if you prioritize a well-balanced tool.

The P601 delivers a maximum rotational speed of 29,000 RPM, which is impressive for a cordless trim router of this size. However, be aware that it can be a bit aggressive in throwing table saw dust and wood chips, so having proper dust collection or working in a well-ventilated area is recommended.

Motor Power: N/A | Variable Speed: 29,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Onboard knob for fine-tuning the depths of cuts | Collet Size: N/A | Ergonomics and Grip: GripZone Overmold | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: N/A | Visibility and Lighting: LED lights

6. THINKWORK compact router: Best in powerful performance with bonus bit set

This compact router comes with its 6.5-amp motor, delivering a maximum horsepower of 1.25. It can handle cutting tasks on various materials and provides full control over the speed with the variable speed control dial, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM.

The smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment system ensures that you can dial in your desired depth with ease. The compact router comes with a rubber-covered handle that feels comfortable in your hand. It's all about that firm grip and reducing fatigue during those long routing sessions.

I also like how the THINKWORK compact router comes bundled with a 15-piece shank trim router bits set, with options for all your routing needs. Plus, you get handy accessories like sandpaper, a guide, and a bag to keep everything organized.

Let's now address a couple of minor downsides. Some users have mentioned that the speed adjustment wheel can be a bit finicky. It can throw you off a little, but with practice, you can work around it. And a word of caution, the power switch is not recessed, so keep an eye on it to avoid any accidental starts.

Lastly, one thing to note is that the clear plastic base can get clogged with sawdust over time. It's not a deal-breaker, but it does require regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance.

Motor Power: 1.25 HP | Variable Speed: 10,000 to 30,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Rack and pinion depth adjustment | Collet Size: 0.25", 0.50" | Ergonomics and Grip: Non-slip rubber grip | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Straight guide, guide plate, trimming guide | Visibility and Lighting: Clear plastic fixed base

7. Raoendis compact wood palm router tool: Best for precision at fingertips

When you first lay your eyes on this trim router, you'll notice its sleek design and high-quality build. The transparent and adjustable base immediately stands out, allowing for precise visibility and easy depth adjustment.

This tool has a powerful 650 to 800W all-copper motor. Not only does it deliver ample power, but it also handles high temperatures well, ensuring long-lasting performance.

The high-quality rubber handle provides a comfortable and secure grip, minimizing fatigue and allowing for more control. Plus, the anti-skid pad adds an extra layer of stability, giving you peace of mind as you work.

In terms of functionality, this trim router doesn't disappoint. The no-load rotation speed of 3,000 RPM ensures smooth and precise cuts. And with the 6.35mm trolley chuck diameter, you have the versatility to use a variety of trim router bits to tackle different projects.

While this trim router has many positives, I must address a couple of potential drawbacks. Some users have reported issues with the chuck not securely holding the bit, which can be frustrating during operation. Additionally, the depth setting may not stay consistent, requiring periodic adjustments.

And although the rubber handle provides decent grip, handle grips would have added an extra level of comfort and control. It's a small detail that could make a big difference.

Motor Power: 650 to 800W | Variable Speed: 3,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Features a knob for scale adjustment | Collet Size: N/A | Ergonomics and Grip: Rubber handle | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Straight guide, trimming guide, and more | Visibility and Lighting: Transparent base

8. PORTER-CABLE router: Best for accurate trimming

First impressions matter, and this laminate trimmer doesn't disappoint. The precision-machined and cast-aluminum fixed base speaks of quality craftsmanship. It's not only durable but also provides the utmost accuracy, ensuring clean and precise cuts every time. Plus, the extra-large locking clips securely hold everything in place for added stability.

With its 4.5 amp motor and impressive 31,000 RPM, it tackles laminate trimming tasks with ease. Whether you're working on a professional project or a DIY endeavor, this trim router has the power to get the job done efficiently.

When it comes to versatility, the PORTER-CABLE trim router shines. The depth ring allows for quick and accurate bit height adjustments, ensuring you achieve the desired cutting depth effortlessly. And with the convenient spindle lock button, you can easily change bits with a single wrench, saving you time and effort.

One of the standout features of this trim router is its suitability for laminate trimming. It excels in this area, providing clean and precise cuts that are essential when working with laminates.

Another thing worth mentioning is the trim router's relatively quiet operation. While power tools can often be noisy, this model keeps the noise level down, making for a more pleasant working experience. Additionally, its manageable weight and maneuverability make it a breeze to handle, reducing fatigue during extended use.

While it may not have the premium feel of metal, it's still durable and reliable for most woodworking applications. Just be mindful of handling and storing it properly to maintain its longevity.

Motor Power: 1.25 HP | Variable Speed: 31,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Locking clips for course depth adjustment, depth ring for bit height adjustments | Collet Size: 0.25" | Ergonomics and Grip: Palm grip | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Standard base, straight edge | Visibility and Lighting: Clear sub-base, LED light

9. DeWalt 4.5-amp laminate trimmer: Best for enhanced visibility in laminate routing

The DWE6000 boasts a 4.5-amp motor that can rev up to 31,000 RPM. Whether you're working on laminate, trimming edges, or tackling other woodworking tasks, this trimmer has the power to get the job done.

The heavy-duty plastic fixed base provides stability and durability. But what caught my attention were the extra-large locking clips. These clips make it a breeze to remove the motor from the base for quick bit changes or adjustments.

One thing I have to mention is the single-speed operation. While it delivers consistent performance, some users might miss the versatility of variable speed options. So, keep that in mind if you require different speed settings for specific tasks.

Some users have reported issues with the depth adjustment, mentioning that it can come loose and cut too deep. This is something to be mindful of, as it can affect the accuracy of your cuts. Additionally, a few users have expressed concerns about the plastic locking clip, stating that it feels a bit flimsy and could potentially break.

On the bright side, this DeWalt router is packed with some thoughtful features to enhance your experience. An LED light and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility while working. This means you can work with precision even in dimly lit areas. Plus, the spindle lock button enables easy single-wrench bit changes, giving you more control and saving you time.

Motor Power: N/A | Variable Speed: 31,000 RPM | Base Type: Fixed | Depth Adjustment: Depth ring for bit height adjustments | Collet Size: 0.25" | Ergonomics and Grip: Single-handed control for more comfort | Edge Guide and Other Attachments: Straight edge guide, standard fixed base | Visibility and Lighting: Clear sub-base, LED light

What trim router is ideal for your home woodworking project?

Discovering the right trim router for your home woodworking projects can significantly enhance your precision and efficiency. This table compares various trim routers, each with unique features that cater to different needs. From motor power and variable speed to ergonomics and attachments, these routers offer valuable improvements for home woodworking enthusiasts, ensuring you find the perfect tool for your projects.

Trim RouterMotor PowerVariable SpeedBase TypeDepth AdjustmentCollet SizeErgonomics and GripEdge Guide and Other AttachmentsVisibility and Lighting
WEN 6-Amp Laminate Trim RouterN/A12,000 to 30,000 RPMFixedRouter base has depth adjustment0.25"Designed for comfortable handheld useGuide fence, trim guideTransparent base plate
DeWalt Router1.25 HP27,000 RPMPlunge, fixedMicro-fine adjustment0.25"Minimal strength to hold down or move horizontallyStandard baseClear sub-base, dual LEDs
BOSCH Router Tool1 HP16,000 to 35,000 RPMFixedMacro- and micro-fine adjustment0.25"Palm-shaped motor housing, rubber over-molded gripPR001 fixed base, 0.25" self-releasing collet chuckN/A
AVID POWER 6.5-Amp MW1041.25 HP32,000 RPMFixedRack and pinion depth adjustment system0.25", 0.375"Rubber-covered handleEdge guide, roller guideDual bright LED lights
Ryobi One+ 18V Lithium- Ion Router P601N/A29,000 RPMFixedOnboard knob for fine-tuning the depths of cutsN/AGripZone OvermoldN/ALED lights
THINKWORK Compact Router1.25 HP10,000 to 30,000 RPMFixedRack and pinion depth adjustment0.25", 0.50"Non-slip rubber gripStraight guide, guide plate, trimming guide, bit fixed coverClear plastic fixed base
Compact Wood Palm Router Tool650 to 800W3,000 RPMFixedFeatures a knob for scale adjustmentN/ARubber handleStraight guide, trimming guide, and moreTransparent base
PORTER-CABLE Router1.25 HP31,000 RPMFixedLocking clips for course depth adjustment, depth ring for bit height adjustments0.25"Palm gripStandard base, straight edgeClear sub-base, LED light
DeWalt 4.5-Amp Laminate TrimmerN/A31,000 RPMFixedDepth ring for bit height adjustments0.25"Single-handed control for more comfortStraight edge guide, standard fixed baseClear sub-base, LED light

Trim router buyer's guide

1. Speed control

Speed control is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing a trim router. Opting for a trim router with variable speed control, such as the Makita or corded trim routers from Robert Bosch GmbH, allow you to adjust the speed of the brushless DC electric motor. 

For precise and intricate tasks such as line trimming inlay or working with lamination, slower speeds are essential to achieve clean and accurate cuts. Conversely, tasks such as flush trimming or hinge mortising may require higher speeds to enhance efficiency. 

The ability to match the trim router's speed to the specific needs of each project ensures better results and expands the range of tasks that you can tackle with the tool. 

2. Base options

A fixed base is particularly well-suited for tasks that require stability and precision. Fixed base trim routers are perfect for edge trimming or flush trimming, where maintaining a consistent depth and achieving clean, straight cuts are essential. The fixed base provides a solid foundation and ensures accurate results. 

On the other hand, a plunge base is designed to allow controlled vertical movement of the trim router bit. This makes plunge base trim routers suitable for creating dadoes, mortises, or through cuts that require starting the cut in the middle of the material. 

The plunge base allows you to lower the trim router bit into the material at a desired depth and then raise it back up, offering more flexibility and control during these types of cuts. 

By opting for a trim router with interchangeable bases, you can easily switch between the fixed and plunge bases, depending on the specific task at hand. This expands the capabilities of the trim router, allowing you to tackle a wide range of projects without needing multiple specialized tools. 

3. Size and weight

Achieving precise and accurate results in woodworking often depends on having good control over the tools you use. By selecting a trim router with a compact and lightweight design, you enhance your ability to handle the tool with precision and achieve the desired outcomes in your projects. 

A trim router with a lightweight design offers multiple benefits. Firstly, a compact router reduces user fatigue, allowing you to work for longer periods without experiencing excessive strain or discomfort. This is particularly important when undertaking projects that require prolonged routing or when working on intricate designs that demand steady and precise movements. 

Secondly, a lightweight, compact router provides better control over the tool. It allows you to navigate tight corners, maneuver around curves, and perform delicate cuts with greater ease. The reduced weight minimizes the chances of the trim router slipping or becoming unwieldy, ensuring more accurate and controlled routing. 

4. Dust collection

Dust collection is an often-underestimated factor that plays a crucial role in maintaining a clean and healthy work environment. Many modern cordless trim routers feature effective dust collection systems or the ability to connect to an external vacuum. 

Having a reliable dust collection feature minimizes airborne particles and debris generated during routing. This not only keeps your workspace cleaner but also improves the visibility of the cutting area, allowing for more accurate cuts and reducing the time spent on post-routing cleanup. 

What are the advantages of using a cordless trim router?

The advantages of using a cordless trim router include enhanced mobility and freedom of movement, as there is no power cord required. This facilitates work in areas where power outlets are not easily accessible. Furthermore, cordless trim routers are generally lighter in weight, improving their ease of handling and maneuverability during use.

Can a palm router be cordless?

Yes, a palm router can be cordless. Cordless palm routers, available in the market, offer mobility and freedom from power cords, hence providing more flexibility in workspace and usage. These tools are usually powered by rechargeable batteries, ensuring a practical balance between portability and functionality.

Can a trim router be used for both hardwood and softwood?

Yes, a trim router can be used for both hardwood and softwood. That being said, choose the appropriate bit and adjust the speed and depth settings according to the specific material you are working with. 

What are the advantages of using a compact router over a full-size router?

The advantages of using a compact router over a full-size router lie primarily in its easier handling and portability due to its smaller size and lighter weight. These features allow for greater control during operation and make the compact router more convenient for on-the-go or job-site use.

How do I maintain and care for a trim router?

Maintaining and caring for a trim router involves regular cleaning of the base, collet, and housing to eliminate dust and debris. Lubricating the moving parts as specified by the manufacturer is also recommended. Prior to each use, always ensure that the bits and fasteners are properly tightened for secure operation.

As we reach the end of our exploration of the best trim routers. You must have definitely realized that trim routers, with their ability to shape, refine, and add intricate details, are compact powerhouses that have become indispensable companions these days. 

My top picks for today will be the DeWalt DWP611 and WEN RT1460The DeWalt DWP611 and its compact design and variable speed capabilities deliver unparalleled control. While the affordable WEN RT1460 trim router offers adjustable features, variable speed control, and impressive power, making it an unbeatable choice for budget-conscious people.