The question you’re probably asking yourself is, should you go with the DeWalt or the Makita? Pitting the DeWalt DWP611 vs Makita RT0701C shows us that they’re similar in many ways, but this in-depth comparison will tell you precisely what you’re getting with each tool.
The DeWalt DWP611 and the Makita RT0701C are some of the best budget wood routers on the market. Pound for pound, the two routers are almost the same. Any of them would make a great first router for an amateur woodworker. Most carpenters buy them as a secondary router for lighter jobs.
The DeWalt DWP611 Review
The DWP611 is a compact router with a 5-star rating on Amazon. It’s a lightweight 1.25-HP fixed-base router with entry-level specs, and where it lacks power, it makes up with a slim and ergonomic build that you can operate with one hand.
It has an innovative LED-lit transparent sub-plate that allows you to see everything you’re doing. Up top, there’s a variable speed dial that takes the motor from 16,000 – 27,000 RPM (no-load speed) and a soft start button.
The soft-start feature works in combination with electronic feedback to regulate the vibration and speed of the motor. As a result, switching on the tool does not vibrate its body, risking your work. In addition, the motor speed stays consistent under load to guarantee repeatable results.
The fixed base supports fine depth adjustments in intervals of 1/64 inches. The base is interchangeable with any compatible DeWalt Plunge Bases, and if you’d like to have both types of bases, consider getting the DWP611K kit variant instead.
The router feeds easily and accurately without guides. Its motor runs so smoothly that you can use a ruler and some tape to guide it along. Even so, deeper cuts and grooves will require several passes as it only chips off small amounts of material (like 1/32 inches) at a time. A ¼-inch dado will likely take you twenty passes at 40 mph.
The DWP611 is a beginner’s dream because it’s built for convenience. Bit changes are quick and comfortable with the help of shaft-lock detents and a low-pressure spindle lock button. The fixed base ensures that the motor stays fixed using the combined power of the depth ring and a clamping mechanism. That helps a lot to keep it vibration-free. The base itself is easy to remove using spring-loaded tabs.
Everything about the DeWalt DWP611 tells you that it is a quality tool for lightweight use.
The Makita RT0701C Review - a DeWalt 611 Alternative?
If you search “best-selling wood router” on Amazon, the Makita RT0701C will come up. Even though a modest 1.2-HP motor powers it, it’s certifiably good at light tasks and surprisingly adept at creating complicated designs.
A high visibility base gives you an unparalleled view of your work for added accuracy. The motor, albeit powerful, stays in check with the help of a soft start, which provides you with a jolt-free ignition. Under load, the speed remains constant thanks to an electronic feedback system.
Combined with its slim ergonomic build—which you can handle with one hand, by the way—the electronic speed control ensures that the RT0701C stays smooth and consistent throughout the job.
As the rival DeWalt, this router also comes with an interchangeable fixed base. The RT0701C router kit comes with all the bases (fixed and plunge) guides and attachments necessary to turn it into a versatile router. With the fixed base, you can rely on rack and pinion action to provide fine depth adjustments. Furthermore, it is compatible with a wide range of industry-standard template guides.
The quick-release cam lock also helps with depth adjustments, but its primary purpose is to allow you to swap out the base. Removing the bottom reveals heavy-duty aluminum housing around the motor, engineered for extra durability. The variable-speed motor can achieve between 10,000 to 30,000 RPM depending on where you set the dial.
The RT0701C takes ¼-inch shank bits, which you can swap out easily since it has a quick-release shaft-lock. It weighs less than four pounds and offers superior handling and performance compared to other models at this price point.
High visibility transparent base
Speed: 10,000 – 30,000 RPM
LED-lit transparent sub-plate
Speed: 16,000 – 27,000 RPM
Base is interchangeable
DeWalt DWP611 vs Makita RT0701C: Strengths and Weaknesses
The DeWalt DWP611 has a unique feature: an LED-lit base plate. It’s a dramatic upgrade for visibility, especially if you’re learning how to handle the tool. The Makita RT0701C has a transparent base plate, but no illumination. Users report the visibility to be just fine under normal lighting, but it’s clear which of the two corded wood routers would have the upper hand in a dark environment.
Both routers come equipped with soft start and electronic speed control. A similar 1.2-HP motor powers them, but there’s a difference in the two models’ no-load RPM rates. The DeWalt is rated at 16,000 – 27,000 RPM, but the Makita has a range of 10,000 – 30,000 RPM. That gives it a slight edge over the DWP611 since more speed options mean added versatility.
Both models have interchangeable bases and kit variants that come with both fixed and plunge bases included. The DeWalt’s base is held by spring-loaded tabs, whereas the Makita uses quick-release cam locks. Both support fine depth adjustments, the DWP6100 at 1/64-inch increments, and the RT0701C using a rack-and-pinion system.
Most importantly, both of these handheld wood routers are safe for one-handed use. They are slim and operate smoothly, thanks to the features that keep the motor running with minimal vibrations. They may very well be the same tool, except for a few details here and there.
Our Winner: DeWalt DWP611
The DeWalt DWP611 has a unique feature: an LED-lit base plate. It’s a dramatic upgrade for visibility, especially if you’re learning how to handle the tool. Power and speed are quite similar between the two, and so is price. For that reason, we're a big fan of DeWalt tools simply for the reliability that we tend to see on all their products.
Which One Should You Buy Makita RT0701C vs DeWalt DWP611?
Do you trust the solid DeWalt DWP611 to handle your wood routing, or do you swing with the trusted Makita RT0701C?
Regardless of where you stand, you’re not missing much. Both models are equally matched when it comes to the features that matter. You might get a few more attachments with a Makita router kit, but there’s no shortage of bits and accessories from DeWalt either.
The price difference is minimal—negligible even. So, for your first wood router, or for that second model you just can’t resist buying, both the DeWalt DWP611 and the Makita RT0701C make excellent options.