DeWalt DWP611PK Compact Router Kit:

So much more than a “laminate trimmer on steroids”.

 

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                        Click the thumbnail pictures to enlarge.
 
If you’re in the market for a compact router kit that’s loaded with features, you owe it to yourself to check out DeWalt’s new DWP611PK.
This compact router kit easily exceeded my expectations for a compact router kit of this size and price range.
 
The Motor:
 
 The 7amp, 1 1/4HP soft-start variable speed motor delivers plenty of power for a myriad of routing tasks and the full-time electronic feedback maintains motor speed throughout every cut I’ve made with this router. And speaking of motor speeds; this router’s variable speeds, range from 16,000rpm to 27,000rpm and are easily adjusted by turning the speed dial conveniently located right above the on/off switch. The clear rubber protected on/off switch was a little difficult to use in the beginning because it is shielded in the motor housing but the benefits of not inadvertently turning the router on when handling it or the fact that dust and debris will not enter the electronics through this area are benefits that I can appreciate. The aluminum body is well machined and the electronics are housed in DeWalt’s tough ABS plastic.
 
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The dual LED lights located on either side of the router’s spindle do an excellent job of illuminating the area being routed. Along with the clear polycarbonate sub base, visibility was greatly enhanced when I was using this router for inlay work, edge work and cutting mortises. The LEDs are an idea that is long overdue and very much appreciated when using this router, they are a feature that is definitely here to stay.
 

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The large, low pressure spindle lock button is easy to engage, making single wrench bit changes an easy task. There are 12 shaft lock detents on the spindle making for faster spindle lock ups and quicker bit changes. The extended 1/4″ collet is a full 7/8″ long and has a total of 8 slots cut into it maximizing surface contact with the router bit shank providing a tighter grip on the bit and less vibration in use.
 

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The Fixed Base:
 
Installing the motor into the fixed base is a simple matter of aligning one of the two slots that are cut into the motor housing with the registration pins found on the inside surface of the fixed base and sliding the motor into the base. Engaging the large black depth adjustment ring with a resounding “snap” and clamping down the motor locking lever rounds out the installation. A completely tool-less operation which takes mere seconds. Removing the motor from the fixed base is equally as easy. Unlock the locking lever, squeeze the spring loaded release tabs on the depth adjustment ring and the motor slides effortlessly out of the fixed base.

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The fixed base allows up to 1 1/2″ of depth travel using the large adjustment ring and coupled with the yellow fine adjustment ring, facilitating depth changes to within 1/64″, it’s easy to quickly “dial in” and fine tune depth adjustments. The fixed base has a raised textured surface machined into it which provides a positive, slip-free grip on the router’s body. A real nice safety feature when working in a dusty environment. I found the fixed base to be very stable in use with its extended (4″x4 3/4″) clear polycarbonate base which provides greater work surface contact for improved stability and control. The bit opening in the sub base is 1 7/16″, which is large enough to handle the router bits used with this router.
 
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The Plunge Base:
 
Installing the motor in the plunge base requires the removal of the depth adjustment ring on the motor, lining up the registration pins located on the inside surface of the plunge base with the slot in the motor body and sliding the motor into the base. The motor bottoms out with a resounding “thud” and you’re there. Actually, there is a small lip in the plunge base that the motor bottoms out on that creates that thud. Lock the locking lever on the back of the plunge base and you’re ready to route.
 
The footprint of the plunge base is a large 4 3/8″x5 3/4″ which provides stability when performing various routing operations and the sub base has been made to accept universal (1 3/16″) template guides, commonly referred to as Porter Cable style template guides.
 

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 The plunge base travels very smoothly and effortlessly through its 2″ of plunge travel on firm but not, stiff springs.  The large, easy to locate plunge lock lever operates well and doesn’t require much hand movement off of the router’s handle to engage or release it. The plunge lock lever is exactly where it should be and locks the router firmly in place when engaged. Although this router doesn’t come with adjustable handles, I never found myself wanting to change their position. The placement of these handles make it easy to manipulate the router and the molded rubber handles provide a comfortable and secure grip even when my hands are covered in sawdust.
 

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Another nice feature of this router is that the base has been designed with two flat sides insted of a completely round base or a single flat sided base. I can use either flat side of this router base to ride up against a straight edge when the need calls for it. It’s one of those features you don’t realize you need until the day that you need it.
 
Plunge depths are controlled by a 5 position rotating turret stop (4 fixed & 1 adjustable) and there is a 2″ depth scale that features 1/32″ increments located at the top of the plunge base housing for referencing plunging operations. There is also a micro adjustment feature on the plunge adjustment rod located at the bottom of the adjustment rod nearest the turret stop. The bottom knurled portion of this rod can be turned clockwise or counter clockwise to “dial in” that very precise adjustment frequently needed.
 
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The Final Word:
 
The DeWalt DWP611PK was once described to me by a fellow woodworker and friend as being nothing more than a laminate trimmer on steroids”, he has since changed his opinion of this router after he borrowed mine for the weekend. This feature packed router is the only router I now reach for when doing light to medium duty work. It’s a powerful, versatile and user friendly router that has exceeded my expectations of a compact router kit the first day I used it and it continues to impress me every time I use it.   
 

 

                 Specifications

Amps

7.0Amps

HP

1.25HP

No Load Speed

16,000 – 27,000rpm

Collet Diameter

1/4″

Plunge Stroke

2″

Depth Stop

5

Base Dimension

4″ (standard),4 3/8″ x 5 3/4″ (plunge)”

Spindle Lock

12 Position

Tool Weight

4.1 (fixed) , 6.2 (plunge)lbs

           Street Price  $200.00            

 3 Year Limited Warranty 

Visit the DeWalt website here.

 3 Year Limited Warranty information found here.