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DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router:

The Complete Buyer’s Guide

an image showing the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router

an image showing the DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router in use

Model Number:DWP611Sub-Base Design:Clear
Motor:7ALED's:Yes (x2)
Power Source:Corded ElectricVariable Speed Control:Yes
Collet Size:1/4"Depth Adjustable:Yes
No Load Speed:16,000 - 27,000 RPMWarranty:3 Year Limited
Maximum Horsepower:1.25Tool Dimensions5.6" x 11.5" x 7.3"
Base:FixedTool Weight:4.6 lbs
What’s Included?
  • 1x DEWALT DWP611 1.25 HP Variable Speed Compact Router
  • 1x Standard Fixed Base1x Standard Fixed Base
  • 1x Wrench
  • 1x Instruction Manual
Detailed Info

If you’re serious about woodworking and you want to achieve the best possible finish on a variety of different projects, a wood router is a must-have tool in your woodworking arsenal.

Nowadays, there is a massive selection of small-scale, compact routers available that pack more than enough punch to help you handle anything from creating routered edges or patterns to creating various types of joint including dadoes, rabbets, and dovetails.

Today, we’re going to be looking at the DEWALT DWP611 1.25 horsepower variable speed compact router, a power tool that is in direct competition with the Makita RT0701C that we looked at previously.

So how does the DEWALT DWP611 stack up? And more importantly, is it the right choice for you and your woodworking needs?

Let’s find out by looking at everything you need to know about this DEWALT router…

an image of the dewalt dwp611 compact router

Who It’s Aimed At

While the DEWALT DWP611 probably lacks the power needed to consistently handle more demanding tasks, for example, routing of harder woods or commercial-grade jobs, it’s a good option for anyone from hobbyists to homeowners, and even professional woodworkers, looking for a quality finish on smaller-scale projects and softer timber.

Professional tradespeople and serious woodworkers would likely fare better with a model with a larger collet size (for example, 1/2″ as opposed to the DWP611’s 1/4″), but there’s no getting away from the fact that the maximum 1.25HP output will still be more than enough power for most casual users, while features like the motor’s soft start capability also help to make it a good choice for beginners.

What It Can Be Used For

Depending on the various bits, attachments, and accessories used, the DEWALT DWP611 is a good choice for the following types of task:

  • Creating routered edges, e.g., profiled or rounded edges.
  • Creating patterns or signs (ideally when used with a plunge base).
  • Cutting dado joints.
  • Cutting dovetail joints.
  • Cutting rabbet joints.
  • Forming recesses for door hinges.
  • Cutting straight grooves.

Power and Performance

One of the most important factors to look at when choosing a router is the horsepower of its motor, as the more powerful it is, the larger diameter bits you can use and the tougher the materials you can work on.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should choose the most powerful router you can find, though. While there may be routers on the market that dwarf the DWP611’s 1.25 HP output (for example, the 3 HP DEWALT DW625), these come with some serious drawbacks including the fact that they’re bigger, heavier, and more cumbersome making them harder to use and maneuver, especially on more fiddly tasks.

The fact is, the DWP611 isn’t explicitly aimed at professionals, and hence its power output is more than sufficient for a wide range of users and the general-purpose routing tasks for which it’s intended, all in a package that is light, easy-to-use, and very affordable.

an image of the dewalt dwp611 compact router in use one handed

Another important consideration when choosing any router is to check that not only can you vary the speed in the first place (this will nearly always be the case with a modern router), but also to review the various speeds which are available.

The general rule of thumb with any router is that the larger the bit size, the lower the speed should be, and the smoother the finish that is needed, the faster the router’s speed should be.

Therefore, a router with the lowest bottom speed and the highest top speed will probably be the most useful, as the lower and higher outputs, along with the greater overall speed range available will provide much more flexibility to perform different types of tasks, use different sized router bits, and also to achieve the best finish possible.

The DWP611 has you covered in this regard given its variable speed output of between 16,000-27,000 RPM, and this is selectable via six different settings using the speed control dial located at the top of the router.

Dial positions 1-3 are primarily for large diameter bits and cutters, while positions 4-6 are intended for smaller diameter bits and cutters, and when working on softwoods, plastics, and laminates.

an image showing the variable speed control dial on the dewalt dwp611 compact router

The DEWALT DWP611 also comes fitted with some features to help users improve the quality of finish of whatever they’re working on.

Firstly, it features a soft start motor to help ease you into whatever routing task you’re performing. The main benefit of this is that you’ll enjoy more control over the router and its output while the speed increases gradually, instead of the typical lurching into life which occurs with other power tools that go from zero to one hundred percent output pretty much instantly leading to errors and workmanship issues.

Secondly, it also comes fitted with full-time electronic feedback to enable the router to maintain a consistent speed while under load (applying a load usually slows down a motor’s output), and this ultimately helps to deliver a better quality finish regardless of what you’re working on.

Easily Adjusted & Customized

Aside from the handy speed control dial which we’ve discussed and shown above, the DWP611 also comes with some other handy features to help you quickly and easily adjust and customize its output.

The first of these is the simple depth control mechanism that features a secure locking lever (see image below) and quick depth adjustment ring, as well as a micro-adjustment system that allows for fine depth adjustments to within 1/64 inches. The DWP611’s depth mechanism allows for up to 1.5 inches of depth travel overall, all while ensuring the motor remains locked in position at whatever depth you’ve selected during use.

an image showing the locking lever height adjustment mechanism of the dewalt dwp611 compact router

Another part of what makes a router so useful is the ability to change the bit depending on whatever task you’re completing, and in the case of the DWP611 not only is this an extended 8-slot 1/4″ collet which maximizes surface contact with the router bit’s shank for a tighter grip during use, but it features multiple shaft-lock detents and a large, low-pressure spindle lock button to help you change bits quickly and simply on the fly using a single wrench. All told, this allows you to spend more time routing and less time fiddling around with changing bits.

Lastly, while the DWP611 comes as standard with a fixed base, there’s built-in flexibility to change this out depending on your needs. So, for example, if you wanted to change to a plunge base to allow for quick depth adjustments during use, you’d use the router’s spring-loaded release tabs to remove the standard base in seconds ahead of installing the plunge unit.


Easy to Use

Want a router that’s as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible? You’re in luck when it comes to this particular DEWALT router.

Aside from only including control options that are 100% necessary (for example, the power switch and the variable speed dial are the only controls on the motor’s housing), the DWP611 includes some other helpful features to make it as easy-to-use as possible.

an image showing the dual LED feature and clear base of the dewalt dwp611 compact router

The router’s sub-base, for example, includes dual LED’s as well as a clear sub-base as shown below to provide as much visibility as possible during use, of particular benefit when working on smaller, more fiddly tasks. Another helpful feature of the sub-base is the fact that it is oversized to provide as much stability and work surface contact as possible, helping to make the router easier and more predictable to control especially in the hands of a beginner woodworker.

A Compact, Lightweight & Durable Design

User comfort was clearly high on DEWALT’s list of priorities when it came to designing the DWP611, as it features an ergonomically designed body which helps to make it as comfortable as possible to use, even over prolonged periods – an essential requirement for any handheld router.

Part of this comes down to the fact that the router’s body is very compact (measuring just 5.6″ x 11.5″ x 7.3″) and easy to grip one-handed as shown in the image below. This makes it an excellent option for smaller, more fiddly tasks given that it is much easier to maneuver and control compared to larger-bodied routers that require two hands for operation.

an image of the dewalt dwp611 compact router in use cutting a profile into wood

The DWP611 also features a heavy-duty aluminum motor housing and base construction which is designed for increased durability while keeping the overall weight of the tool down (it weighs just 4.6 lbs overall).

The use of aluminum provides a welcome contrast versus the endless supply of plastic power tools on the market today, and it gives you the peace of mind that it will be sturdy enough to be used for years to come.

In Summary

DEWALT has a stellar reputation for producing quality power tools, and the DWP611 more than lives up to this, all while offering great value for money.

Would we recommend it to professional tradespeople and serious woodworkers? Perhaps not. There are plenty of other routers on the market that offer more than the DWP611’s 1.25 HP output for more serious routing tasks, and the 1/4″ collet size on this model may prove too restrictive.

For the average or casual woodworker, DIYer or hobbyist who is in the market for a router that’s well suited to handling smaller-scale projects though, the DWP611 is still an excellent choice. From its variable speed to its easy depth adjustment, the handy LED’s and clear sub-base that make it easier to use, and its durable aluminum construction that’ll handle years of abuse, there isn’t much more you could ask for from a router at this price point.

Still not convinced? We’ve included a summary of the various advantages and disadvantages of this DEWALT compact router below to help you make up your mind.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router

DEWALT DWP611 – The Pros
  • It offers good value for money.
  • Handle the bulk of your general-purpose routing needs with ease thanks to the DEWALT DWP611’s mid-powered 7A motor capable of up to 1.25 horsepower.
  • Easily adapt the router’s speed to suit whatever task you’re completing using the simple speed control dial at the top to vary the output between 16,000-27,000 RPM.
  • Enjoy greater visibility with whatever you’re working on given the DWP611’s dual LED’s located in its base and its clear sub-base design.
  • Achieve a better quality finish thanks to this model’s soft-starting motor which builds up the speed more gradually to reduce the common jerkiness associated with starting up a power tool which can lead to errors and a poorer quality finish.
  • Enjoy an even better quality finish thanks to the DWP611’s full-time electronic feedback which helps it maintain a consistent speed while under load.
  • Change the router bit quickly and easily using the DWP611’s large, low-pressure spindle lock button which allows for comfortable, single wrench bit changes.
  • Spend less time fiddling with height adjustments and more time on the task-at-hand as a result of the DWP611’s simple lever lock and turnable depth adjustment ring mechanism.
  • Don’t worry about the DWP611’s ability to handle the bulk of whatever you can throw at it given its heavy-duty aluminum motor housing and base construction which is designed for increased durability versus comparable plastic models.
DEWALT DWP611 – The Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a carrying case to keep it protected during transportation or storage.
  • The DWP611’s fixed base doesn’t feature a dust extraction port as standard. You need to purchase a separate adapter (see accessories section below) in order to use a form of dust extraction with this model.

Popular Comparison

DEWALT DWP611 vs Makita RT0701C

The most apparent difference between the DEWALT DWP611 vs Makita RT0701C is their respective manufacturers, although both brands have a good reputation for creating quality power tools so it would be difficult to make your decision based on brand alone.

They also have different output speeds too despite their similar 1.25HP outputs, with the DEWALT featuring a smaller speed range with a faster bottom speed and a slower top speed than the Makita (16,000-27,000 RPM vs. 10,000-30,000 RPM).

Another key difference is the fact that the DEWALT DWP611 comes with dual LED’s to boost visibility during use, and when combined with it’s clear base, likely makes the DWP611 a better choice for more intricate and small-scale tasks.

The DEWALT DWP611 also has the added advantage of featuring a three-year limited warranty versus the Makita’s one-year warranty.

Don’t forget to check out our full in-depth guide of the Makita RT0701C.

Here is a summary of the key details for each model:

(Scroll table if needed)

image of the DEWALT DWP611 compact router
Makita RT0701C 1-1-4 hp compact router
Model Number:
Brushless Motor:
Power Source:
Corded Electric
Corded Electric
3 Year Limited
1 Year Limited
Collet Size:
No Load Speed:
16,000 - 27,000 RPM
10,000 - 30,000 RPM
Variable Speed Control:
Depth Adjustable:
Tool Dimensions:
5.6" x 11.5" x 7.3"
10" x 8" x 6"
Tool Weight:
4.6 lbs
3.9 lbs

DEWALT DWP611 Accessories

As standard, the DWP611 is best-suited to routing edges or profiles across the entirety of a piece of timber due to its fixed base. You wouldn’t be able to make height adjustments during use given this model’s depth adjustment mechanism that features a lever lock and depth adjustment ring that needs to be turned to vary the height.

To overcome this to make it easier to route in central areas of pieces of wood, and to allow depth adjustments during use, one of the most popular DEWALT DWP611 accessories is a plunge base. You can purchase this particular DEWALT router in a kit with the plunge base included, or you can pick up it separately as shown below.

Another popular accessory is the adapter that is required to allow you to hook-up a form of dust extraction to the DWP611 to minimize mess during use, hence why we’ve included it below.

DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Combo Kit

an image showing the DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Combo Kit

The DWP611PK combo kit includes both the DEWALT DWP611 and the DNP612 plunge base unit.

See It on Amazon

Check Price

DEWALT DNP615 Router Dust Collection Adapter

an image showing the DEWALT DNP615 Router Dust Collection Adapter

The DEWALT DNP615 dust collection adapter is specifically designed to fit the DWP611’s fixed base.

See It on Amazon

Check Price

DEWALT DNP612 Plunge Base for Compact Router

an image showing the DEWALT DNP612 Plunge Base for Compact Router

The DEWALT DNP612 plunge base is designed to give the DWP611 quick and tool-free depth adjustment.

See It on Amazon

Check Price

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Does the DWP611 feature a variable speed control?
Yes, there is a variable speed adjuster located at the top of the router’s body.

The approximate speeds for each setting are as follows:

  • Postion 1 = 16,000 RPM
  • Postion 2 = 18,200 RPM
  • Postion 3 = 20,400 RPM
  • Postion 4 = 22,600 RPM
  • Postion 5 = 24,800 RPM
  • Postion 6 = 27,000 RPM

Dial positions 1-3 are primarily for large diameter bits and cutters, while positions 4-6 are intended for smaller diameter bits and cutters, and when working on softwoods, plastics, and laminates.

  1. Does it feature an LED light in its base?
Yes, it features dual LED’s to illuminate the area you’re working on to help maximize visibility during use.
  1. How does the depth adjustment mechanism work?
The process of raising and lowering the depth of the DWP611’s cutting head is covered in detail in the owner’s manual.

For convenience, however, we’ll provide a brief overview of the quick and easy process here:

Once you’ve installed the required router bit and ensured the base is correctly attached to the motor and depth adjustment ring, open the locking lever and turn the depth adjustment ring to the correct setting (turning it clockwise raises the cutting head while turning it counterclockwise lowers it). Lastly, it’s a case of adjusting the micro-adjustable scale on the router and closing the locking lever to lock the base at the required height.

  1. Can you use a 1/2″ bit with the DEWALT DWP611?
The router comes as standard with a 1/4″ collet cone, meaning the maximum size of router bit you can use out of the box is 1/4″.
  1. Does it feature a vacuum port?
Not as standard, but you can use the DEWALT DNP615 Router Dust Collection Adapter to that allows you to add dust collection capability to the DEWALT DWP611’s and DWP611PK’s fixed base unit.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

  1. Does it come in a carry case?
  1. Is there a plunge base available that fits the DWP611?
Yes, you can either purchase the DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Combo Kit that features both the router and the plunge kit (click here to see it on Amazon), or you can purchase the relevant DEWALT DNP612 plunge base separately (click here to see it on Amazon).

If you’re interested in a router that comes with plunge functionality straight out of the box, we’d recommend that you check out our full write-up on the best plunge router models currently available.

  1. How long is the power cord?
The power cord is approximately 8 feet long.
  1. How long is the warranty period?
It comes with a three-year limited warranty.

DEWALT DWP611 Review Videos

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
DEWALT DWP611 Compact Router

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