DWP611PK 2-1/4 HP Router Combo Kit
The DWP611PK router combo kit from DeWalt has smooth plunge action, is inuititve and very accurate, and comes equipped with dual LED lights.
As I get older, weaker, and lazier, I keep looking for ways to lighten the load of tools I need to carry to the job site every day. If a company makes a smaller or lighter version of a tool that I use daily, you can bet I’m going to take a serious look at it. DeWalt has done exactly that, taking its 2 1⁄4-hp router kit (a top pick when I reviewed this category in FHB #204) and shrinking it down nearly to the size of a laminate trimmer.
I ran the 1 1⁄4-hp DWP611PK kit through the same battery of tests that I used to evaluate its larger sibling: template routing, freehand mortising, plunging shelf-pin holes in cabinet sides, and plowing 5⁄8-in. by 1⁄2-in. dadoes into a scrap piece of hardwood. I also used the router for everyday finish-carpentry tasks like edge-profiling and hinge and hardware installation.
The fixed base has a solid, toggle-style lock and a simple graduated ring for depth adjustment. This system is intuitive to use and is very accurate. The router is slightly larger in diameter and taller than my Bosch Colt, but any weight difference wasn’t noticeable.
The plunge base functions just as nicely as the fixed base. The motor drops in and locks securely, the handles are comfortable in use, and I can reach the power switch without letting go. The plunge action is smooth, without any play, and the router produced perfect shelfpin holes. A standard multiposition depth stop is supplemented by a nice microadjustment on the depth-stop rod. A nice perk is the inclusion of a couple of LED lights that shine on the bit.
Bottom line: Will this little $200 router kit replace your larger model or your trim router? For my purposes, the DeWalt will fit anywhere my Bosch Colt will, with a noticeable increase in power and ease of use. If you routinely plow large dadoes, plunge huge pockets, or run your routers for hours on end, stick with a larger router with a 1⁄2-in. collet. But if most of your tasks involve light cuts, shallow mortises, or flush-trimming, I recommend taking a serious look at this light, maneuverable little router.