By Robert W. Lang
Small routers are easy to handle, and the addition of multiple bases makes them good all-purpose tools. The basic 1⁄4″-collet router that comes in the new Makita compact kit (RT0700CX3) has good power and variable speed. The motor slides in the base and clamps firmly, with rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment. A plastic shield contains chips, and there’s a fitting for hooking up a shop vacuum.
The kit we tested included the standard base, a tilting base, an offset base and a plunge base. Swapping bases is easy – no need for any tools. The plunge mechanism was a bit stiff out of the box, but a squirt of lube fixed that. The handles are comfortable, but due to the motor orientation, the switch and plunge lock are reached with the left hand.
Overall, this little router compares favorably with others of this size. My only complaint is with how this router is sold. The choices are the fixed base only, or the full kit with all the bases. I’d like to see the plunge base as an accessory, or perhaps Makita could offer a two-base kit for those who don’t work with plastic laminate.
From the August 2012 issue #198
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