Best Cordless Router

Best Cordless Router – Cordless tool technology has come a long way in a short time. Five years ago, I tried a first generation cordless router and hated it, thinking some tools just weren’t meant to be cordless. But I’ve been proven wrong. Today’s cordless routers can handle 90 percent of my routing tasks.

ROUND UP

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1.Makita XTR01T7

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Makita notches a win for the best cordless router value thanks to its combination of a quality design and $129 bare tool price. For $279, you get a charger, 5.0Ah battery, and an interlocking hard case to store it all in.

It’s not everyday one of the premium brands wins the best value, but Makita’s is too good to pass up! There are a lot of routers bits to choose from. We frequently turn to Bosch for our router bits because of how long their carbide cutting edges last and the wide variety of bits they make.

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2.Bosch 12V Max EC

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Bosch’s 12V router is specifically designed for light edge routing. Because of this, it’s able to get away with a 12V power source and a slower 13,000 RPM bit speed. Don’t try to push this one into other tasks—there’s not enough power for that by design.

For what Bosch developed this to do, it’s excellent. We love how easy it is to see the bit engage your material and the ergonomics are dialed in for edge routing.

On the convenience side, we really like Bosch’s pullout collet lock that doesn’t require you to hold a button down while you’re tightening or loosening.

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3.DEWALT 20V Max XR

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DeWalt builds their cordless trim router on the foundation of the popular DWP611 corded model. It steps out from the rest of the group thanks to a full barrel twist adjustment instead of using smaller dials. It takes a little getting used to if you’re moving over from another brand, but it’s effective. The downside is that macro adjustments take longer.

It has one of the slower top speeds at 25,500 RPM, but the power level is right up there with the rest and it seems to make more efficient use of its battery.

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4.Kobalt 24V

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Kobalt’s cordless router is less expensive than all but one of the routers on our list and doesn’t sacrifice performance to give it to you. With 30,000 RPM on the top end, it’s just slightly behind the top models in power and certainly not underpowered.

It has a good sightline to the bit and the controls are easy enough to use. However, the micro-adjustment’s free movement might be an issue for some folks. On the other hand, it matches Makita in scoring top marks for its ergonomics.

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5.Ridgid 18-Volt OCTANE

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Ridgid stakes its efforts in pursuit of the best cordless router title by relying on Octane’s improved performance. What actually sets it apart, though, is how lightweight it is. Weighing just 2.3 pounds, it’s more than 1/2 a pound lighter than any of the other 18V/20V max models.

The Octane boost does help. It wasn’t quite hit the same level as our top performers, but its 30,000 RPMs were certainly capable of the routing we tested it on.

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6.Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+

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Ryobi is by far the least expensive of our cordless router. That’s great for getting into cordless routing, but it does come with some trade-offs. The most obvious is that it’s a single-speed brushed motor router dialed in at 29,000 RPM.

It’s fairly lightweight as a bare tool, weighing 2.8 pounds. However, the stem pack design adds quite a bit of height and gives it a top-heavy balance when you have a battery inserted. It also creates a more off-center profile around the top.

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7.Milwaukee’s Cordless

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As we said above, Milwaukee pulled together the best aspects of the other routers and made a complete package that doesn’t have any major downsides in our opinion. It takes the RPMs a little higher to 31,000 and feels as powerful as DeWalt and Makita at the top of our charts.

The base cutout provides the best sightline to the bit. The dial-based micro-adjustment and push-button macro adjustment are the easiest to use and its controls are well-placed for easy use as well.

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WRAP UP

Best Cordless Router – If you own a router and are considering a second, I recommend a cordless. Light edge profiles make up most of my routing, so a compact is perfect for me, and cordless is even more appealing.

I grab my full-size corded router only for heavier jobs. Compact cordless routers are also a good choice for a first router. They’ll do everything a corded compact can.

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