Standard wood routers can take on the toughest and thickest materials, but there are applications and materials when these powerful tools just won’t do. If you want to trim or chamfer thinner or more delicate workpieces, then you definitely need a trim router.

Trim routers (also known as laminate trimmers) are more compact, but that doesn’t mean they can’t perform just as well as standard wood routers when it comes to rounding edges, trimming, chamfering, and more. They can also be used for jointing, dovetailing, and cutting mortises and tenons. Woodworkers also use them to cut dados and grooves.

There are a lot of trim routers in the market, so it can be hard to look for the one that fits your budget and your needs. A high-end laminate trimmer that’s a favorite of experienced woodworkers might be too powerful for hobbyists. Or you might be a DIYer who occasionally has some projects at home, but you’re not sure if you want to splurge on an expensive tool because it might not be worth it in the long run.

Let’s take a look at some of the best corded trim routers available online, and see which one’s perfect for your home projects or your jobsite. We also have a buying guide so you’ll know what to look for when shopping online or at your favorite hardware store.

1.
Bosch PR20EVSPK 5.6-Amp Colt Palm Grip 1-Horsepower Fixed and Plunge Base Variable-Speed Router Combo Kit
  • Contoured Soft Grip Area: Most ergonomic router in its Class for exceptional comfort
  • Variable-Speed Dial: for matching speed to work piece and task
  • Quick-Clamp System: Move motor from base to base without tools
  • Aluminum non-cantilevered fixed base: Durable, solid and precise
  • 7-Step adjustable depth stop turret plus micro fine adjustment on depth rod: for fast, accurate bit depth setting
2.
DEWALT Router, Fixed Base, 1-3/4-HP (DW616) , Yellow
  • 1-3/4-hp, 11-amp motor provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods
  • Micro-fine depth adjustment ring provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments
  • Adjustable, tool-free steel motor cam lock makes depth adjustment and base changes quick and solid-locking
  • Quick-release motor latches for fast and easy motor pack removal for bit and base changes
  • Sub-base concentricity gauge included to ensure bit concentricity for best-in-class accuracy
3.
PORTER-CABLE PCE6430 4.5-Amp Single Speed 1/4-Inch Laminate Trimmer, Router
  • 31,000 RPM, 4.5 amp motor
  • Precision-machined, cast-aluminum fixed base
  • Extra large locking clips allow for a quick motor release and/or course depth adjustment
  • Depth ring enables quick and accurate bit height adjustments
  • 31,000 RPM, 4.5 amp motor
4.
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Bosch GKF125CEN Colt 1.25 HP (Max) Variable-Speed Palm Router Tool
  • Ease of use: Revolutionary new woodworking depth adjustment system for easy and precise depth adjustment
  • Power: Featuring a 1.25-Hp, 7.0 amp motor for compact versatility with speeds of 16,000-35,000 RPM
  • Convenience: Wide-bit capacity - fixed base accepts bits up to 1-5/16-in wide
  • Consistency: Constant response circuitry - monitors and maintains speed under load for consistent performance - provides overload protection and soft start for reduced start-up torque
  • Comfort: Palm-grip design with soft grip and finger support pockets - provides exceptional comfort and control
5.
Ridgid R2401 Laminate Trim Router
  • Round and Square Bases - for added versatility and convenience
  • Easy Access Micro Adjust Dial – for precise depth control
  • Flat Top – router sits upside down for easier bit changes
  • No Mar Top – Overmold on top of router prevents marring of work surface
  • Quick Release Lever – allows for easy removal of motor from base
6.

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7.
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HOTSTORE Palm Router, Laminate Trimmer Wood Router Joiner Tool Device 30000RPM 1/4'' 800W
  • ✔【RELIABLE】- It features a robust speed palm router construction, advanced electronics, rugged base and proven ergonomics are reliable.
  • ✔【POWER DESIGN】- The Input Power 800W, 30000RPM 1/4'', motor delivers abundant power for routing and trimming applications.
  • ✔【MULTIFUNCTION】- Transparent base, processing accuracy easily to be recognizable. External carbon brush, universal carbon brush easy to replace. The scale is clearly visible, easy to operate.
  • ✔【PRECISION】- Dressing guide, roller running along the curve, ensuring cutting is exact; Straight guide, thicker models are stable and not deformed which makes straight processing easier.
  • ✔【WIDELY APPLICATION】- Can be used for wooden processing, cabinet processing, handicraft production and DIY. Easy to wood trimming, grooving and drilling.

Trim Router Buyers’ Guide

A trim router can round out edges, clean veneers, cut joinery, and even carve out signs. It can also be used to cut hinge mortises, drill holes, and cut inlays. They might not have the brute force of standard wood routers, but trim routers have a special place in any workshop. It can do what a standard wood router can do, albeit with a little more finesse.

Fixed Base Vs Plunge Base

A fixed base trim router is commonly used for rounding out edges, shaping, and other general routing applications. This compact tool is lightweight, and many first-time users find it easier to maneuver compared to plunge routers.

A trim router with a plunge base, on the other hand, is commonly used for dovetailing, engraving, and cutting grooves. If you want greater versatility when it comes to adjusting depth or you want to make thorough cuts, then a plunge base router is ideal for you. If you’re new to woodworking, it might take a lot of practice before you can master this particular power tool.

In recent years, engineers have developed trim routers with motors that can be attached to a fixed base and plunge base. While these laminate trimmers are more expensive at the outset, the good news is that they will prove to be more cost-effective in the long run because of their interchangeable design.

Trim Router Power

Trim router motors typically produce 1 HP or less, but there are some that can deliver up to 1 3/4 horsepower. If you only work on light projects, then a starter trim router with 1 HP or less will suffice. But if you’re going to use it from 9 to 5, then it’s best to get a tool with a higher HP rating.

Horsepower is not the only important indicator of a tool’s performance. Revolutions per minute (RPM) under different load conditions and amp ratings are still the best indicators of a trim router’s power. Look for a laminate trimmer with a higher amp rating and RPM to get the most out of the tool.

Variable Speed

A trim router with a variable speed lets you control the tool’s operating speed. Adjusting the feed rate is important, especially if you’re using a larger bit size or if you’re working on plastic, acrylic, and thinner/delicate workpieces. Running the router at a lower feed rate will not only extend the lifespan of your bit but also prevent the router from damaging the workpiece. Dialing it down a notch is better for your ears, too.

Soft Start

Routers are powerful machines that can be difficult to control if you’re new to woodworking. A trim router without a soft start can jolt in your hands the moment you turn it on, and that can be startling.

With a soft start laminate trimmer, the machine starts with a momentary pause before slowly accelerating to the desired speed. There’s no unpleasant jerk that can damage your workpiece or startle you the moment you turn it on. 

Bit Change System

With some routers, changing the bit can take some time because you need two wrenches to remove a bit and install another. One wrench is used to hold the shaft, while the other is used to loosen or tighten the collet.

Routers with spindle lock, on the other hand, only require one wrench. This wrench is used to hold and tighten the collet after you push the bit into it. Check out this video for a quick demo on how to change a router’s bit.

Looking for additional tool reviews or home remodeling ideas? Then check out the Sebring Design Build blog!

Conclusion:

The Bosch PR20EVSPK Palm Grip Router Combo Kit is our choice for the best corded trim router in the market. Here are some of the features that make this compact tool the best in class.

Other trim routers are set on either a fixed base or a plunge base. Not with the Bosch PR20EVSPK Palm Grip Router Combo Kit. It comes with both a fixed base and plunge base, so you have the added flexibility of interchangeable bases. The inclusion of the fixed and plunge bases makes it more expensive. But it’s two for the price of one so you’re going to save a lot of money in the long run.

This laminate trimmer is one of the models that has a variable speed control. Plus, making macro and micro-fine depth adjustments on both the fixed and plunge bases is a piece of cake.

The tool is compact enough that it’s easy to maneuver. It is not equipped with a soft start mechanism, but its variable speed control makes up for it.

Overall, this Bosch laminate trimmer is ideal for professional woodworkers and DIYers alike.

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