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We love palm routers. There is something about the size versus the power that makes them perfect for many applications in the shop. We’ve put our Bosch Colt to the test without fail for over 5 years now and been impressed each time. Now Makita is moving in with a compact router of their own in the RT0700C and its 3-base, combo kit RT0700CX3. It seems Makita is taking direct aim at the Bosch. Their model is roughly the same form factor, same power, RPM range, and pricing at just north of $130. I want one.

Not because I’m displeased with my Colt in any way — I’m not, but because the winner in these product dominance battles is normally us, the consumers. Check out these specs and see if they sound vaguely familiar.

With the 3 base kit, which we’re sure will add a Jackson or two, it’s around the same price as the Colt all dolled up, and has the same power with possibly more options. Unless it is junk construction (and coming from Makita, we doubt it) this looks like a hat thrown in ring. It also boasts a quarter of a horsepower more than the Bosch; we’re curious if that translates to torque and real power or if it’s just a paper numbers game.

Either way we hope to find out — soon.

RT0700C [Makita]
RT0700C in Action [YouTube]


8 Responses to Preview: Makita Compact Router

  1. Johna DeRosier says:

    I want one!!

  2. Hamilton says:

    Makita posted a video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aown39VZSLU

  3. Rick Reimundez says:

    Sweet.. I’m a couple of weeks away from buying the similar DeWalt compact router – fixed + plunge base… This is looking really compelling though. Depending on price. The DeWalt was about $180 at Amazon, but if this comes in around the same neighborhood with three bases… well.. I’ll have to see….

  4. Jaquandor says:

    I have a coworker who scoffs at these types of routers; he basically considers them laminate trimmers and insists that they’re simply the wrong tool for any kind of woodworking beyond laminate trimming or edge routing. As the only router I own is a cheap laminate router, I like the idea of these compact routers, because my impression is that one of these would give me a lot more routing options. But is my coworker right? Am I best served sticking with my laminate trimmer (a Ryobi I got for $60) and getting a full-sized router? I’m not doing a lot of very serious woodwork yet…right now, and for the foreseeable future, my woodworking is limited to small projects and finish work for my job. Anyone?

    • browndog77 says:

      My concern with these small-form-factor routers is the limitation of the collet to 1/4″ shank bits. They may have the power needed to do some serious deep routing/shaping, but the best cutters for that have 1/2″ shanks. My Porter-Cable 693LRP is small enough to do trimming without struggling to control the torque, but also accepts larger shank bits for heavier work. I also have a Craftsman C3 cordless trimmer for intricate stuff & quick touch-ups.

  5. ShopMonger says:

    I like these small routers, great for pattern routing, and really controllable. I would respectfully disagree that they are only used or useful for trim routing. I use this size for most of my routing..


  6. James C says:

    Dang it. I just about had my mind set on the Bosch Colt. Now I may need to reconsider…

  7. Aaron Gough says:

    I actually highly recommend everyone check out the Dewalt DWP611 trim router if they’re in the market. I use one on my CNC router and it is amazingly powerful, sturdy and accurate.

    The spindle in this thing is so accurate that I can’t measure any runout, and I have run it for more than 8 HOURS continuously while cutting a job in some aluminium and it was barely even warm at the end of the run… The speed control is great too as the RPMs never change even under relatively heavy loads.

    To be honest I’ve never used it by hand, but the mechanics in it certainly are sturdy! I can’t say enough good things about it!

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