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Makita RT0701C Compact Router:

The Complete Buyer’s Guide

image showing the Makita RT0701C compact router

image showing the Makita RT0701C compact router

Makita RT0701C Specs
Model Number:RT0701CMaximum Horsepower:1.25
Motor:6.5A, 120WBase:Fixed
Power Source:Corded ElectricVariable Speed Control:Yes
Warranty:1 Year LimitedDepth Adjustable:Yes
Collet Size:1/4"Tool Dimensions10" x 8" x 6"
No Load Speed:10,000 - 30,000 RPMTool Weight:3.9 lbs
What’s Included?
  • 1x Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
  • 1x 1/4″ Collet (763637-1)
  • 1x Straight Guide (122965-7)
  • 1x Spanner Wrench (781039-9)
  • 1x Spanner Wrench (781011-1)
Detailed Info

The Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router is an excellent option if you’re in the market for a wood router that’s both compact and highly affordable. The RT0701C packs enough punch to handle most general purpose routing tasks, for example, routing small profiles, dovetailing, and door hinge profiles, etc., thanks to its 6.5A, 120W motor capable of generating a variable output of between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM at up to a maximum of 1.25 horsepower.

While it probably lacks the power needed to handle heavy-duty tasks (for example, wide-scale routing of harder woods, and commercial jobs, etc.), the RT0701C will be a welcome addition to anyone such as hobbyists, homeowners, and even professional woodworkers who want a consistent, quality finish on smaller-scale projects and softer woods.

Handle General Purpose Routing with Ease

As mentioned, the Makita RT0701C comes with a 6.5A, 120W motor, which while not being the most powerful motor in a modern router by any means, will be more than sufficient to handle the majority of your general purpose routing needs.

The fact is, many people don’t require a router capable of handling commercial-grade jobs (these typically have a power of 3HP plus, versus the 1.25HP maximum power of the RT0701C). The additional cost isn’t worth it for all that unused potential, not to mention the extra hassle that comes from using a power tool that’s heavier and more cumbersome. The RT0701C offers a happy medium; all the power you need for lighter tasks, but from a package that’s much more manageable and affordable.

When you do require more output, the RT0701C still packs a good punch thanks to its variable speed capable of between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM, and you can adjust this quickly and easily by selecting from 1-6 on the unit’s red variable speed control dial (see image below). Having such a wide speed range available gives you more flexibility to adapt the router’s output to whatever task you’re completing, and to whatever bit size you’re using (the general rule of thumb with routing is the larger the router bit, the lower the speed should be).

image showing the speed dial of the Makita RT0701C compact router

The Makita RT0701C comes fitted with a few features to help improve the quality of its output. Firstly, it features an electronic speed control which works to keep the router’s speed constant during loading (applying a load will usually slow down a motor’s output), and maintaining a consistent speed helps the router to deliver a better quality finish to whatever wood you’re working on.

Secondly, it also features a soft start motor which helps ease you into whatever router task you’re completing. You’ll enjoy more control over the router itself and its output when the speed increases gently, as opposed to going from zero to one hundred percent pretty much instantly which can lead to mistakes as the unit lurches into life. The RT0701C is a lot more manageable and less intimidating as a result, making it ideal for beginner hobbyists and woodworkers alike.

Easily Adjusted & Customized

A key requirement of any fixed base router is the ability to adjust its depth as quickly as possible, and the RT0701C achieves this via a quick release cam-lock system (see image below), which allows for easy-yet-accurate depth adjustments in seconds thanks to its rack-and-pinion mechanism and easy-to-read depth gauges. The cam-lock system also makes it straightforward to swap out the standard fixed base on the RT0701C, for example, to a plunge base or tilt base that you can either purchase separately or as part of a kit when you buy the router itself (we cover RT0701C accessories here).

Routers are inherently customizable given that you can change the particular router bit to suit whatever task you’re completing, and this Makita model is no different. It features a convenient shaft lock mechanism for quick and easy bit changes – just press the red shaft-lock button (see image below), loosen the collet cone with the supplied spanner wrench, and you can remove the current router bit in seconds. Makita has made this process even more straightforward thanks to the flat-top design of the router, allowing you to keep it standing on its head while you access the required components without fuss or hassle.

image showing the adjustment mechanism of the Makita RT0701C compact router

Compact, Lightweight & Durable Design

The RT0701C features an ergonomically designed body for increased comfort, helping to make it as comfortable to use as possible over prolonged periods – an essential requirement for any handheld router. The case itself is also very compact (measuring just 10″ x 8″ x 6″), and this makes it an excellent option for smaller, more fiddly tasks given that it is much easier to control than comparable, larger-bodied routers. You don’t need to worry about visibility while routing either, as, despite the absence of any LED lights, the base design is open and unrestricted to improve visibility, as well as overall handling and performance.

The router features a heavy-duty aluminum motor case engineered for increased durability and weight reduction. The use of aluminum is a welcome change over the widespread use of plastic in today’s power tools, and it gives you the peace of mind that the RT0701C will be sturdy enough to be something that you can use for years to come.

image showing the Makita RT0701C compact router in use

In Summary

The Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router provides a great mix between ease of use, power, and value for money.

No, it probably won’t be the router of choice for those looking for a tool capable of handling heavy-duty or commercial-grade tasks, but that shouldn’t necessarily put you off. It’s simple enough to use and features enough innovative features (electronic speed control, soft motor start, convenient cam-lock system, etc.), to make it a serious contender as the go-to power tool for any beginner’s or professional’s general purpose routing requirements.

Throw in Makita’s stellar reputation for design and manufacturing quality power tools, along with the serious value for money offered by this model, and you certainly can’t go wrong with the RT0701C compact router.

You can check out a summary of the various advantages and disadvantages of this Makita router below.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images
of the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

Makita RT0701C – The Pros
  • It offers a lot of bang for your buck.
  • Handle the majority of general purpose routing tasks with ease, thanks to the RT0701C’s mid-powered 6.5A, 120W motor capable of up to a maximum of 1.25 horsepower.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to adapt the router’s speed to best suit each particular task by using the simple dial at the top of the unit to vary the output between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM.
  • Benefit from the innovative soft motor start feature which eases you into each task and helps provide a better quality finish. This reduces the jerkiness associated with starting up the majority of power tools and helps make the RT0701C ideal for beginners.
  • Maintain a consistent speed even under load as a result of the router’s electronic speed controller.
  • Spend less time making adjustments and more time routing thanks to the RT0701C’s simple rack-and-pinion cam-lock system which allows for quick and easy height adjustments.
  • Be confident in the RT0701C’s ability to stand up to all general purpose routing activities given its heavy-duty motor case engineered for increased durability versus comparable plastic models.
Makita RT0701C – The Cons
  • It doesn’t feature an LED light for increased visibility while routing.
  • The RT0701C’s power output (a maximum of 1.25HP) will not be sufficient for heavy-duty or commercial-grade tasks (it’s better-suited to lighter tasks such as routing small profiles, dovetailing, and door hinge profiles, etc. instead).

Popular Comparison

Makita RT0701C vs XTR01Z

(Scroll table if needed)

Makita RT0701C 1-1-4 hp compact router
makita XTR01Z cordless compact router
Model Number:
6.5A, 120W
Makita BL Brushless Motor
Brushless Motor:
Power Source:
Corded Electric
18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery (sold separately)
1 Year Limited
1 Year Limited
Collet Size:
No Load Speed:
10,000 - 30,000 RPM
10,000 - 30,000 RPM
Variable Speed Control:
Depth Adjustable:
Tool Dimensions:
10" x 8" x 6"
6.2" x 8.5" x 5.8"
Tool Weight:
3.9 lbs
4.6 lbs (with battery)

Makita RT0701C Accessories

As standard, the RT0701C is capable of edge routing only due to its fixed base. In this situation, you could make height adjustments either before routing or by stopping-midway and adjusting the height via the cam-lock mechanism.

Alternatively, you could use a plunge base which allows you to route in central areas as well as the edges, and this is available separately, or as part of the RT0701CX7 and RT0701CX3 kits (among other accessories) as shown below.

Makita RT0701CX7 Compact Router Kit

an image showing the Makita RT0701CX7 compact router kit

Includes the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP compact router, 1x Plunge Base, and 1x Straight Guide.

See It on Amazon

Check Price

Makita RT0701CX3 Compact Router Kit

an image showing the DEWALT DW1342 21 piece titanium speed tip drill bit set

Includes the Makita RT0701C router, 1x Plunge Base, 1x Tilt Base, 1x Offset Base, 1x Trimmer Guide, 1x Straight Guide, 2x Dust Extracting Attachments, 2x Spanner Wrenches, 1x Tool Bag.

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Makita 196094-2 Compact Router Plunge Base

an image showing the Makita 196094-2 compact router plunge base

The Plunge Base features a plunge capacity range of 0 in. to 1-3/8 in. for easy penetration into the work piece. The fine depth adjustment has three preset depth stops for added precision.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Does the RT0701C feature a variable speed control?
Yes, there is a variable speed adjuster located at the top of the router’s body. The settings are as follows:
  • Postion 1 = 10,000 RPM
  • Postion 2 = 12,000 RPM
  • Postion 3 = 17,000 RPM
  • Postion 4 = 22,000 RPM
  • Postion 5 = 27,000 RPM
  • Postion 6 = 30,000 RPM
  1. Does it feature an LED light in its base?
  1. What comes with the Makita RT0701C?
The standard kit includes the router itself, a 1/4″ collet (763637-1), a straight guide (122965-7), and two spanner wrenches (781039-9 and 781011-1).
  1. How does the depth adjustment mechanism work?
You can adjust the router bit’s height by loosening the locking lever on the cam-lock system, and you can then turn the adjusting screw in one of two directions depending on whether you want to increase or decrease the height. Once adjusted, it’s a case of closing over the locking lever. Simple!
  1. Does this kit come with a case?
No. The Makita RT0701CX3 Compact Router Kit does, however – click here to see it on Amazon.
  1. Does the RT0701C come with any router bits?
No. These are sold separately.
  1. What collet sizes can be used with this router?
The router comes as standard with a 1/4″ collet cone, but you can also fit a 3/8″ collet cone which sells separately.
  1. What plunge base is compatible with the RT0701C?
A good example is the Makita 196094-2 Compact Router Plunge Base – click here to see it on Amazon.

If you’re after a router with plunge functionality straight out of the box, we’d recommend checking out our round-up of the best plunge router models on the market.

Makita RT0701C Review Videos

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images
of the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router

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