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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am looking to buy a compact router and I am undecided on which way to go, yes, paralysis analysis, I recognize this.

Based on my research I had pretty much decided on the Bosch GKF125CEPK Kit. I like the Bosch reputation, I like the LED, cord relief, finger placement, clear round base, and other upgrades. The review at; https://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/bosch-colt-router.html was very helpful. I like the upgrades over the older Bosch PR20EVS model.

I am also looking at the Makita RT0701CX3 Kit, I like the fact that the kit is so inclusive, I like the tilt and offset base, which I don't believe is available on the Bosch, it seems to me that even if you do not use the tilt and offset base regularly, when the specific project arises they would be handy. I do not like that Makita did not include the LED light. I have a Makita tracksaw with 39 and 55 inch rails so that also factors in to the decision to some extent.

As far as intended use, nothing specific, maybe some sign work, woodworking, household projects here and there.

I have looked at the threads in the archives and both seem well liked. I know opinions change over time and hope to get some updated input. Then there is the DeWalt which I haven't looked at in depth. It seems to be well liked too.

One of the reasons I am posting this is also to see if I overlooked some obvious considerations.

Thanks to all for any help.

Edit To Add; Forgot to mention, I have a full size Craftsman router (which I will likely replace or supplement with a full size Bosch soon), so I am buying this as my second router for smaller projects.
 

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If Harry likes the Makita, it's probably very good. I agree that hands on feel is probably in order. Switch location is the only thing I don't like about the 1617 but it's livable, and I like the knobs. I don't like the feel of the DeWalt raising and lowering mechanism. So the subjective is pretty much the deciding factor for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all for the comments!

I have HD/Lowes local to me, and a few independent stores and I am going to try and put my hands on the different models to get a feel for the tool.

.
 

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I like Bosch..
good tools and great CS/TS
 
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Robert I have the older complete laminate trimmer kits with offset base, tilt base from Portor Cable and Bosch. Dewalt also made a kit with those bases. I have used those two bases a lot but you can get by without them.

The Makita RT0701CX3 Kit does have those 2 bases and the plunge base included. You can still get the older model Bosch PR20EVSNK kit with the bases but it is not as powerful as the newer trimmers. You can find offset and tilt bases available for Dewalt and Bosch but they are only for use with the older model routers.
 

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One of the reasons I am posting this is also to see if I overlooked some obvious considerations.

Edit To Add; Forgot to mention, I have a full size Craftsman router (which I will likely replace or supplement with a full size Bosch soon), so I am buying this as my second router for smaller projects.

One obvious consideration that wouldn't have been 30 years ago, but is a very much viable option now, with lithium ion, is the convenience of cordless.

If you do get the Makita trim router, you will find that Makita's LXT 18v XTR01 Cordless Router easily and perfectly interchanges will all of the accessories, bases, guides, and parts that Harry shows on his workbench in the photo above. I in fact have both the cordless and corded version of this Makita trim router, and can personally attest to the interchange of all bases and parts at the working end of the router. Plunge base, tilt base, offset base, etc... all work seamlessly between the cordless and corded Makita.

I had purchased the cordless first, for the freedom and convenience of not having to dance around with a cord getting caught or cut. I ended up buying the corded kit because, as Harry illustrates, it included so many doo dads and accessories, it was cheaper to buy the entire kit on sale than it was to buy each individual accessory base, as accessories are rarely discounted as deeply as competitively priced tools and kits. So essentially, I got a free corded router and case, for the price of the accessories I would have purchased to outfit my cordless router anyway.

Rob Robillard, who runs A Concord Carpenter and Tool Box Buzz, did a comparison of five cordless trim routers, and found the Makita to be the smoothest and most precise. It was not the most powerful or fastest in the tests he conducted. It was however, the second highest in value, and the third highest overall. It lost points for not being as cheap as the Ryobi, or as powerful as the DeWalt. The Bosch Colt was not compared.

If you do go with the convenience of cordless, the battery platform that you are already on will likely weigh heavily in your selection.

But the ultimate litmus test is how the router fits in your hands, as the tool becomes an extension of your hand when doing the work.

To any and every extent possible... try before you buy. Don't forget to seek out smaller independent tool stores, rather than just look to what Lowes may have. Lowes doesn't carry Makita or Milwaukee or Ryobi. Neither Lowes nor Home Depot stock much in the way of Bosch, although they do carry a limited selection of Bosch branded products, mostly in the hammer drill and bit line. It will take some effort to get your actual paws in contact with the routers you may be considering.

But the consideration that I thought you might be overlooking is the convenience and nimbleness of cordless.
 

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per amp hour
OK; my bad. Even so, not interested. I'd go with the Colt. May happen sooner than later...my old standby Ryobi trim router is making me crazy now; it won't hold a depth setting. The body moves in the cast frame, ruining a cut.
So, here's the thing. It wasn't particularly expensive when i bought it well over 30 yrs ago (maybe 40?), so following my own oft offered advice time to just bite the bullet and buy new modern technology!
The Ryobi doesn't owe me anything; paid for itself decades ago.
 

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I am looking to buy a compact router and I am undecided on which way to go, yes, paralysis analysis, I recognize this.

Based on my research I had pretty much decided on the Bosch GKF125CEPK Kit. I like the Bosch reputation, I like the LED, cord relief, finger placement, clear round base, and other upgrades. The review at; https://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/bosch-colt-router.html was very helpful. I like the upgrades over the older Bosch PR20EVS model.

I am also looking at the Makita RT0701CX3 Kit, I like the fact that the kit is so inclusive, I like the tilt and offset base, which I don't believe is available on the Bosch, it seems to me that even if you do not use the tilt and offset base regularly, when the specific project arises they would be handy. I do not like that Makita did not include the LED light. I have a Makita tracksaw with 39 and 55 inch rails so that also factors in to the decision to some extent.

As far as intended use, nothing specific, maybe some sign work, woodworking, household projects here and there.

I have looked at the threads in the archives and both seem well liked. I know opinions change over time and hope to get some updated input. Then there is the DeWalt which I haven't looked at in depth. It seems to be well liked too.

One of the reasons I am posting this is also to see if I overlooked some obvious considerations.

Thanks to all for any help.

Edit To Add; Forgot to mention, I have a full size Craftsman router (which I will likely replace or supplement with a full size Bosch soon), so I am buying this as my second router for smaller projects.
.For what it's worth, I bought the Makita model, for essentially the same reasons you mentioned. I posted the manual in the Manuals section. Quillman (posthumously Honored Member Pat Warner) ripped into me about what he called defects and posted a link to his web site (no longer available) where I could spend money on his "improvement". I did not purchase it and see no reason why it would help.

The Bosch MRC23EVSK is a superb router.
 
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I would give a round base negative marks...if the router is to be used to follow a straight edge or template.

The part of the base that rides on the edge/template must be kept absolutely perpendicular to the bit or gouging will occur. Whether the base contact point leads or lags the bit even a little it will decrease the distance to the bit...gouging...

A square base will provide more surface area (for the same diameter to the bit) and better holding power for your hand (thumb and forefinger at corners).

...just thinkin' out loud...

Good luck with your search...feel them in your hand before you buy...you may find others that suit your hand better...
 

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I have a dewalt 611 and like it. I have it on a CNC Router and they also offer the Makita. The Makita has a larger speed range over some others. The newest Makita is brush less and that is important long term.

If you choose a cordless router consider that when the batteries run out of power they basically slow a little and then stop. As long as you are not going to route all day this may not be an issue. Many battery routers use a brake when turn the router off and that uses a lot of battery power.

If you are going to buy I would definitely get the kits with plunge and regular bases. You may be surprised how often a plunge base can be used. But the Dewalt, Bosch, Makita and Porter Cable routers are all good routers concentrate on the value add of the number of accessories offered for each model. The Porter Cable and Dewalt are the same router. (Trim Router).
 

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I would give a round base negative marks...if the router is to be used to follow a straight edge or template.

The part of the base that rides on the edge/template must be kept absolutely perpendicular to the bit or gouging will occur. Whether the base contact point leads or lags the bit even a little it will decrease the distance to the bit...gouging...

A square base will provide more surface area (for the same diameter to the bit) and better holding power for your hand (thumb and forefinger at corners).

...just thinkin' out loud...

Good luck with your search...feel them in your hand before you buy...you may find others that suit your hand better...
That really isn't correct, when routing an outside edge a bearing bit is used, not the base, and if routing around a template either a top bearing bit or a template guide is used.
 

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I stand corrected for templates...but not for straight edge.

When following a straight edge it is critically and absolutely necessary to keep the contact point of the base perpendicular to the bit or gouging will occur...
 

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When following a straight edge it is critically and absolutely necessary to keep the contact point of the base perpendicular to the bit or gouging will occur...
how's that in plain english
 
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