The Case for the Compact Router

Is it worth it to buy a compact trim router? Here's what we think.


My full-size routers have been gathering a lot of dust since I purchased a compact router for trimming plastic laminate. Compact routers only accept 1/4-in.-shank bits, which limits the size bits you can use. But my compact router can handle about 75 percent of my routing tasks: light edge profiles, shallow dadoes and rabbets, round-overs and chamfers. One-handed operation is a nice bonus.

If you’re new to routers, a compact router is a good introduction. They’re less intimidating than their full-size siblings. You can grab a basic compact router for as little as $30. Or, you can spend about $200 for an entire kit includes various bases and attachments.


Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman