The Makita RT0701C compact router is an affordable option for those that want a capable router tool without breaking the bank. There are plenty of accessories available to keep it’s capabilities high, but there’s also some drawbacks as well. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Cutting Power & Motor
The Makita RT0701C is pretty powerful for it’s size and it’s motor generates a max of 1.25 HP and can run at variable speeds from 10,000 to 30,000 RPM. That is nice cutting power for an affordable router like this with a 1/4 inch collet – and as a result this router is capable of handling just about any type of trim work you throw at it.
There are some negatives with this router, but the cutting power isn’t one of them. People who own this and use it frequently find it to be plenty powerful for the jobs they use it on. Of course, keep in mind that is it a compact router meant more for smaller cuts and trim work.
The motor has a soft start feature which keeps the torque to a minimum during startup. This helps make the router more controllable during use and also more safe.
There is also an electric speed control which will keep the motor speed constant even under load, which helps to smoothly power through cuts.
The collet size on this router is 1/4 inch and this router can only use 1/4 inch bits.
The basic version of this router is packaged with a fixed base which will be enough for many if you are buying this for trim work.
The fixed base uses a quick release clamp to fasten to the motor. This clamping system can take a little of tweaking during setup to get it to clamp at just the right tightness for a solid attachment to the motor. Once that is setup properly, the base can be quickly adjusted, removed or attached back onto the motor with ease.
The base plate is actually kind of small compared to some other routers, so if you need a router with high stability that might be something to consider. People who own this router have mentioned adding different, larger bases to make this easier to control and keep level during use.
The adjustment of this base seems to be the weak point, with people not always finding the rack and pinion adjustment to be all that accurate. Some find the adjustments to be sloppy and say it’s hard to dial in a fine-tuned adjustment.
Some versions of this router include the plunge base, or it can also be purchased separately. The plunge base works ok for most people, but does have some hang-ups.
The plunge base offers a 0″ to 1-3/8″ plunge depth, which is good for a compact router in this price range. It uses the same quick clamp design as the fixed base and can be removed or attached easily.
People who own this have mentioned that the base was too tight to properly move the motor all the way through properly, but it’s not a common issue and could be fixed with a little effort if you run into this.
Some also say the rack and pinion adjustment with this base is sloppy, just like with the other bases, which make fine-tuned adjustments a little tedious at times.
A tilt base is available for this router and comes packaged with some of the kits. The tilt base allows for angles from -30 degrees to 45 degrees with positive stops at both ends, which adds to the versatility of this router.
This base attaches with the same quick clamp system as the others, and can be a little finicky to get properly tightened at first. Once it’s adjusted properly it removes and attaches quickly.
An offset base is available for this router which makes it possible to get really close to walls or other barriers when making cuts. The offset base works with the same 1/4″ bits as the main unit, and is available as part of a kit or sold separately.
This router is designed to be used with one hand with a palm grip design. The weight of the router with the fixed base is about 3.5 lbs, which should be manageable for most people. The router is small enough that you don’t need huge hands to operate it. The biggest restriction with maneuverability will be the cord, but that is to be expected with a corded tool.
Makita’s build quality is pretty good here but there are some weak points. The plastic switches and levers are most likely going to be the first thing to break for most people. Some people have also run into quality control issues with the router not fitting the base or various parts not being tightened properly. It’s best to run through the manual and make all initial recommended adjustments and checks to make sure that your unit is setup correctly and not defective. If you run into issues, Makita support is pretty good about quickly helping to replace parts.
This router comes with a few accessories. There are a few different kit versions available that include different combinations of accessories. Here’s what comes packaged with the basic version of this router:
- Fixed Base
- 1/4″ Collet
- Straight Guide
Other Available Accessories
Makita offers some accessories to expand the capabilities of this router, which need to be purchased separately or with one of their available packaged kits. Here’s what’s available.
Offset Base (195562-2)
Trimmer Guide (122703-7)
Fixed Base Dust Nozzle (195559-1)
Plunge Base Dust Nozzle (194733-8)
Straight Guide (164834-6)
Setup & Assembly
This router is fairly straightforward to setup. With some of the issues that people have had with bases that don’t fit just right and nuts that need to be tightened to hold everything properly in place, we’d recommend going through all the recommended setup in the manual and double checking everything before use. Make sure that the base holds tightly in place before making any serious cuts.
Makita offers a 1 year warranty on defective parts or workmanship. They also include a 30 satisfaction guarantee. This is good enough to help you out if you have quality control issues in that first year of use.
- Variable speed motor with good cutting power
- Several base options to expand capabilities
- Affordable for what you get
- Small and maneuverable
- Rack and pinion depth adjustments can feel a little sloppy
- Lots of plastic parts
- Bit changes are a little tedious
10,000 – 30,000 RPM
7.9 in x 3.5 in x 3.5 in
Yes with attachment
The Makita RT0701C compact router is a good affordable option for those that need a capable router for trim work with options for various types of base attachments. There are a few issues that can crop up with build quality and setup that can trip up new owners, but if you get a good unit and set it up correctly it will perform well and provide you with a lot of capabilities for it’s price. Make sure to take a look at the kits available as you can get kits that contain all the accessories and bases included or you can get a more basic model with just the fixed base.