Compact routers are a great choice for jobs like cutting a decorative edge, making a profile for the concealed woodworking joints, or straightening the edge on lumber pieces. Thanks to the mini motors, routers like Makita RT0701C Router are great for tasks that have made the process of routing very efficient at an affordable price.
You may have heard about the brand Makita earlier and they have been manufacturing hardware tools for quite over a 100 years now. Their quality of this router is very good and the latest router is a pretty popular product in the compact router category that many woodworkers vouch for. But, is it really worth investing in? Let’s find out!
We will review RT0701C on the basis of its technical features and price before outlining its pros and cons.
This product comes with a 120V 6.5 Amps motor that is rated at 1.25 HP. It gets the job done, though it is not the most powerful motor around. The power is enough for boring holes, trim jobs, and cuts on both hardwood and softwood.
An important feature of the motor is the soft start system. Small amounts of torque reach the router bit, which gradually increases until the set speed is achieved. It not only makes the router safe to use, but also prevents it from damaging your material.
The versatility comes from the fact that it has a variable speed of 10,000 to 30,000 RPM. You can easily adapt the speed according to the material you are using. Switching between different speeds settings is actually pretty easy on this device.
The electronic speed control deserves a special mention here. It always gives you a linear speed that helps you get a more professional look while boring holes, performing trims, or cutting. In fact, the accuracy of the device stems from this electronic speed, which is also the USP of this router.
Fixed base vs. plunge base
The base plate is fixed and also is the default option for this router, though you can choose a plunge base too. A plunge/fixed base is the best one to go for.
The problem with the fixed base option for Makita RT0701C is that it comes with a really small opening. Otherwise, it is enough for straight cuts or edge trims. The cam lock system even lets you release the router quickly from the base. Another advantage is that when you have a fixed base then it gets easier for operations like guide bushing to make holes or any other design on your wood.
The plunge base has an ergonomic form and comfortable handle on the sides to let you use it for long hours without fatigue. The bit depth of 1-3/8” is good to go for most commercially used boards and wood planks that are usually within one inch in thickness.
Makita only offers ¼” collets for router bits, though you can also use 3/8” as a RT0701C collet size. However, you just can’t use ½” and such larger router bits because it will simply not fit. ¼” is enough for general purpose routing because most router bits have this dimension.
Ease of adjustments
This model lets you customize the depth to any setting and doesn’t limit the work to any preset depths. But, the problem is that it is difficult to adjust depths as the motor drops every time the base remains unlocked. So make sure when you are buying a router table, it can fit easily without much compromises.
The motor housing is made using aluminum, which is lightweight and dissipates heat efficiently. The metal alloy used for the whole housing of the router is also strong enough.
You can see the base clearly while using a handheld router. The bird’s eye view is a great help when you are using it as a handheld router.
The ergonomic and slim design is really commendable. It fits well in the hand and does not give you the usual fatigue while working for long hours.
RT0701C comes with excellent versatility and a good set of features, especially when you buy it as a plunge/fixed base combo kit. For all the value that it offers, it is actually priced pretty reasonably.
However, keep in mind that you are only supposed to use it for casual and general purpose woodworking projects. Anything that needs more heavy-duty action will need you to invest in something with more power and better specifications.
Other Things to Consider
There are a couple of things that you need to consider before buying a RT0701C compact router, and they are:
Different brands use different kinds of materials for constructing the grip, the blade, and other parts of the motor. Metal alloy, aluminum, and pure copper are all decent choices in this regard because they help in reducing dust and friction. A rubber grip is also helpful when it comes to helping you have a better hold on the router.
It is important to check the horsepower on offer before purchasing a router because it is responsible for its variable speed and capacity. For a compact router, power of 1.25 HP is good enough because you are only going to use it for casual and general woodworking projects. But, make sure you don’t go too much below this level because that will make the router useless for even small-time work.
The price of the product is definitely a significant factor to consider. However, do not simply go ahead with the idea that a higher price tag means a better product or vice versa. Compare the price of the product with the features that are offered, and you will have your answer. For instance, we believe the price of this router is highly reasonable given the host of features it comes with.
There are a couple of other things that you need to look into, as well. For instance, the smaller increments of its depth adjustment settings is a really helpful feature for attaining precision in different types of materials. Most compact routers come with LED lights which helps in making it easy to perform trimming.
Makita RT0701C is definitely not the most powerful router in the market. It struggles a lot when trying to route through hard material or heavy-duty projects as it’s not meant for that. But, it is easy to use, versatile, and affordable, which makes it a great fit for casual routing work.
This model is recommended if you are a hobbyist or someone who has just started learning the job. The professionals can get this product for small-time tasks they might need to perform every now and then. For more information on this compact router, or other products like this one, don’t forget to get in touch with us.