You are among the first to see DeWalt’s all-new fixed-base Compact Router (Model DWP611) and fixed/plunge base combination kit (DW611PK). At the same time, say hello to Porter-Cable’s fixed-base Compact Router (Model 450) and fixed/plunge base combination kit (Model 450PK).
Alright, I know what you’re thinking, so let’s cut right to the chase—the outward differences between these two machines isn’t night and day. But this time, seeing double is a good thing. Both machines have 1 1/4 peak HP motors—a larger motor than other trim routers on the market, plus soft start and electronic feedback circuitry that helps the motor maintain torque output under load. Large spindle lock buttons and 12 internal “detents” on the motor shaft should help make it easier to engage the collet and change bits with a single wrench. Longer 1/4” collets are provided to grip larger bits better. Depth settings on the fixed bases are accomplished with twist rings. A buckle and a pair of release tabs separate the motors from their bases quickly.
The plunge bases have features you already appreciate in larger plunge routers: a sliding and locking depth stop rod, five-position, rotating depth turrets and detailed scales. Both companies include clear subbases and rubber handles on the plunge base. The trimmers weigh about 6 lbs. with their motors installed in the plunge bases; they’re a couple pounds lighter in the fixed bases.
These half pints accept template guides and other accessories, too.
DeWalt and P-C do part ways on a couple things. DeWalt’s 611 comes with two internal LED lights to help illuminate the cutting area as well as variable speed control. The P-C is single speed. DeWalt provides a D-shaped subbase on the fixed base; Porter-Cable is sticking with a square base.
DeWalt says the new Compact Router will be available in October. The fixed-base DWP611 will retail for $139 and the DWP611PK fixed/plunge combo kit will sell for $199. Porter-Cable will have the 450 on store shelves in November for $10 less than the DeWalt’s new offerings (fixed: $129; two-base kit: $189).
Way to kick the bar up a notch, guys.
Lots more to come from IWF—so stay tuned!
Chris Marshall, Field Editor