If you are a professional woodworker or aspiring to be one, a router is a very useful tool to have. Of all the wood routers out there, for the price and for its incredible usefulness, I like to introduce the Makita RT0701CX3 1.25 HorsePower Compact Router Kit that routs like a boss many types of routing jobs!
Personally, I LOVE the RT0701C (this is the name for the router tool) because this compact router is so versatile and strong it offers anyone with creativity a full range possibilities on wood and metal materials. More importantly, with its controllable speed settings and three plates to help you rout, you will be able to perform precise routing jobs. It’s mainly about precision when it comes to routers so with the supplied plates, this router will undoubtedly provide precision cuts for many tasks at hand.
Remember that although we call it a compact router, this is actually more of a laminate trimmer… but a damn fine trimmer pumped up with steroids! The Makita RT0701CX3 is able to do up to 90% of most kinds routing jobs.
What kind of routing jobs can it do?
As a modern compact router, the modern router can do almost any job a large router can do. These jobs include:
- Jointing (mortise and tenon)
- Rounding /smoothing edges
- making grooves
- creating dovetails
- and more!
“It’s mainly about precision when it comes to routers…”
What can the Makita RT0701C Compact Router not do?
What limits a compact router is its size and limited horsepower. Therefore a compact router is not ideally suitable for heavy duty work.
Pros will most likely use a large router most of the time to save time especially for very heavy duty applications but for smaller jobs, the RT0701C will suffice.
My opinion is that if both pros and the DIYers were to have one type of router, a compact router is to my opinion much better to have because it is smaller and that it allows better control and usability than the big routers. Don’t forget that a compact router is much cheaper!
The Power of the RT0701C?
Although small, the RT0701C is relatively strong with a maximum horsepower of 1.25HP. Some pros will say that 1.25 HP is not enough, which is true in some cases but I beg to differ for most tasks.
If time is not a factor, any good quality compact router will perform ideally any routing job. However, if you were to force the router beyond its limits, any excessive cutting may cause overload and damage on the motor. Therefore, if you were to cut a deep groove which will be more than an 8th of an inch (3 mm), it would be best to make several passes (with each pass utilizing deeper bit settings).
Making several passes is a bit time consuming for the pro but for the average DIYer, it should be no big deal. It’s noisy and FUN!
Working fast with a Compact Router?
In order to save time, the operator especially a novice operator will probably force and speed up the movement of the router. Speeding up work, or in other words, moving the router forwards much faster will likely increase damage to the bit or the motor (or both). Besides, it’s not worth working at rapid paces because routing very fast will reduce the fine quality of the cuts you make.
On the other hand, if you work too slow, you will cause blackening of the wood (burns).
The proper speed for moving the router forward will depend on the type of bit used and the selection of the speed. It is strongly suggested that before working on an actual piece of work, run a couple of routs on some spare wood (samples) to get a feel and look for the cuts you are about to perform. Choose the optimal speed setting on the router and you should be golden!
I don’t think nothing is impossible with this router if time is not a factor.
Different Speeds for Flexibility
Likewise, the RT0701CX3’s has a speed control dial that enables the user to control the RPMs (from 10,000-30,000 RPMs ) to meet a ton of applications. Makita RT0701C has 6 speed settings.
- Speed 1 = 10,000 RPMs.
- Speed 2 = 12,000 RPMs.
- Speed 3 = 17,000 RPMs.
- Speed 4 = 22,000 RPMs.
- Speed 5 = 27,000 RPMs.
- Speed 6 = 30,000 RPMs.
Furthermore, starting up this router is unique for two reasons. First it has a feature called constant speed control, a feature that keeps constant speed at any load conditions so you can get that nice smooth finish.
Second, when you turn this router on, the router starts out slow to keep the router from jerking from the torque shock of the motor. This feature gives you more control but I regard this as a nice safety feature.
A Solid and Convenient Build
Compared to many types of routers, Makita’s RT0701C is made with a tough heavy duty aluminum housing to protect the motor from drops or similar types of accidents. Add the plate kits and you have a solid power tool.
Another feature that I like about the router is that it contains a fluid rack and pinion depth adjustment system. This simple gear system enhances precise measurements when adjusting the depth. Add that to a very visible measurement scale you have the ability to use this power tool for meticulous tasks. Not many routers that I know of provide such precise adjustment features right out of the box so Makita beats them. I’m a stickler for details!!!
Anyway, the Makita RT0701C can be easily set up and adjusted with a few tweaks.
Quick Release System
Furthermore, this router raises the bar with its quick release cam lock system. Unlike other routers that use a difficult way of removing or installing base plates (you usually need an extra tool to take out the plate), Makita solves this inconvenience with a quick release.
Nice Opening For Visibility
Finally, the base design actually has a big opening that allows for good visibility. As a bonus, there is an exhaust port that will blow out trimmed debris and dust particles away from the cutting area so you can continue to follow your guidelines without stopping.
Better visibility always means better usability by either a professional or an amateur user.
When compared with an actual plunge router, this compact router is actually ergonomic and light! Like previously stated, this compact router is more of a trimmer. The RT0701C router weighing at only 3.9 lbs might make you underestimate its capabilities but the compactness and lightweight tool body actually is an advantage for many types of uses. The build of the router is actually very convenient in that it not only reduces user fatigue, it’s designed so the operator can remove and replace the base and router bits as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, since the router utilizes 1/4″ shank router bits, you get to spare your wallet and save some dough as 1/4″ shank router bits are way cheaper than 1/2″ shank router bits.
The Awesome Base KIT!
One reason why I recommend the Makita RT071CX3 router is not because the router itself is boss but because the kit includes a heavy duty plunge base, an angle base cutter, an offset base, dust nozzles, a neat tool bag for storage, and wrenches! For the price, I think its a steal!
The Removable Plunge Base
The plunge base has a full 0” – 1-3/8” plunge depth capacity, and an easy-to-use fine depth adjustment with 3 preset depth stops. It actually is awesome that is has some nice depth stops can be adjusted to your preferences just like what you see with the REAL big routers!
The Tilt Base
On the other hand, the tilt base (angle base) is quite handy for trimming angles on edges, which is actually cake once the angle base is installed. You can rout from angle -30 degrees to 45 degrees.
The ability to rout an different angles allow you to perform different styles to your work.
The Offset Base
The offset base is good to have. It may not be a necessity so I consider this as a luxury!
What the offset base does is that it offsets the routing to the edge. This is useful as it allows you to rout hard-to-reach areas such as corners on a countertop.
With the offset base, you can actually rout as close to three quarter on an inch to the corner. The offset base is very useful for building countertops and cut outs for bathroom and kitchen sinks.
The tool bag that the router kit comes with is actually not bad! Not only does it give you a place to securely store your power tool and the accessories, it actually is roomy enough to add extra tools in there if you wish.
The other accessories that are handy are the dust nozzles that can attach to the fixed and plunge base plates.
These nozzles are easily attached to the base plate and once connected to a vacuum, the dust is sucked out when you are running the router. This helps keep your workplace clean and the cutting area optimally visible.
The Makita RT0701CX3 is really nice! It is solidly built and the kit is awesome! The router itself feels really strong yet relatively light and easy to handle. Better yet, the installation of the plates is not difficult and the soft start feature on this little mighty power tool is a nice feature to have. This compact router can be used for trimming, rabbeting, dadoing, and much more. As a 1.25 HP compact router, this mighty power tool maybe more than enough for the DIYer or hobbyist. Better yet, this tool is strong enough for the pros to so don’t underestimate this power tool! I don’t think nothing is impossible with this router if time is not a factor.
The bottom line is the Makita RT0701C is very precise, well-built, very durable, easy to deploy, very reliable, accurate, and smooth to operate. That’s why I have one!