Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP Wood Router Review:

Makita Compact Router Kit

Makita 1-1/4 HP RT0701CX7 Wood Router:

The Makita 1-1/4 HP Compact Router delivers performance and precision in a compact design that is similar in size to many of the small laminate trim routers on the market today. It’s engineered for a range of routing applications with electronic speed control to maintain constant speed under load and soft start for smooth start-ups. The slim, ergonomically designed body ensures increased comfort and control.

When you look at the accessories provided, however, it’s easy to see the true benefits of the Makita Compact Router Kit. In addition to the plunge base, there’s also an offset base that can help you get into tight corners (and, unusually, a tilt version). This not only makes for easy and comparatively safe angled routing, it can be used to extend the styles of moulding you can cut by altering the angle of your bits. You also get an edge guide, a template guide, a couple of dust/chip nozzles, and a convenient carrying/storage bag.


Horse Power/Soft Start:

When looking at any router, one of the most important features to look for is the horsepower rating of the motor, and this applies equally to a small, trim router. The Makita RT0701CX7 comes with a 6 1/2 amp 1-1/4 Horse power motor. The horse power is about average for this size router, but still giving it plenty of power to drive. The size of this router makes it the perfect size for any small wood working projects around the house or shop.
This compact router is equipped with a soft start feature that helps minimize the torque on the motor. A motor soft starter is a device used with AC electric motors to temporarily reduce the load on the power train and electrical current surge of the motor during start up. This feature help to reduce the stress on the router motor.

Variable Speeds:

This router is equipped with a Variable speed control dial between that goes from 1 to 6 giving you a choice of 10,000-30,000 RPM to match the speed to the application. You can adjust the speed by turning the variable speed dial this allows you to better manage the tool and determine the speed that is best suited for the type of project that you are doing. The electronic speed control maintains speed under loads to reduce start up twisting and prevents the router from burning out.

Bases Plunge vs Fixed:Makita Compact Plunge Base

Well with the Makita RT0701CX7combo kit you can get both the plunge and fixed base. The fixed base has a locking lever and a 360 micro adjustment ring that raises the router up and down to achieve the prefect depth of cuts every time.
One basic requirement of a plunge router is that it should plunge smoothly without hanging up when moving up and down. This produces clean cuts when you lower the cutter into the work piece and out again; since any type of jerking can spoil the cut.

The only adjustment mechanism on the RT0701CX7 is the depth setting which is the large black lever on the front face of base that releases the compression fit between the base and motor unit. The plunge base

The only flaw in the mechanism is that the motor drops as soon as the lock lever is opened. There is not enough friction between the motor unit and the base to keep the motor in place. This issue makes the fine depth adjustments harder than it should be. If you are not careful the motor drops and you’ll lose the previous position as a reference point.

Makita Compact RouterCollect Size (1/4 Vs ½):

What is a collet and what is the best size? A collet is that steel sleeve that holds a router bit in the router. The collet works with the router shaft that is directly connected to the motor and tightens down with the collet nut.
When purchasing a router you need to consider the bit shank size. The two most common bit shank sizes are 1/4″ and 1/2″.
The second thing you should take into account is the projects you want to work on and the range of bit sizes that are available for the model of router that you want to purchase. The Makita RTO701CX7 only comes with a 1/4″ collet which is a good size for a compact palm router, but can accommodate a 3/8 inch bit also, but require a separate purchase of the 3/8 collet nut . It is not compatible with ½” bit shanks. But understand that this model is designed for trim and light weight wood working, not heavy duty routing projects.
To adjust the bit protrusion, loosen the locking lever and move the tool base up or down as desired by turning the adjusting screw. After adjusting, tighten the locking lever firmly to secure the tool base.

Bit Changes (Wrench vs Tool free):

This compact palm wood router has a spindle lock for simplifying bit changes. It is the large red button near the collet. A wrench releases the bit with a quick turn. If you do not like to use the spindle lock and prefer to use a second wrench, Makita included the required wrench in the kit.

Adjusting Cutting Depth:

The next thing to consider when purchasing a good quality router that is being used around the shop is the cutting depth. The RT070CX7 uses a quick release cam lock system for depth adjustments and base removal/installation. The plunge base depth is between 0” to 1-3/8” for easy penetration into work pieces. A rack and pinion mechanism driven by a knob moves the motor unit up and down. Depth adjustments are achieved by opening the locking lever on the side and moving the cam up or down. Next you press the fast-feed button, and then raise the stopper pole until the desired depth of cut is obtained. A scale engraved into the motor unit provides some sense of relative depth. Without a tick mark or a movable pointer, it’s up the operator to make sense of it all. Add to that the fact that the range of the scale is only 7/8″ and it is easy to see that the scale is more of an afterthought than a well-engineered feature. Minute depth adjustments can be obtained by turning the adjusting knob on the top of the plunge base 1 mm per turn.Fine depth adjustments are achieved by using the 3 preset depth stops for added precision.

Additional Features:

The Makita RT070CX7 has an on/off button switch on the front of the router making it easy to use flip on with a thumb..
Router Tables:
Can you make circles with this router?
Yes, but you will need to purchase a circle guide to make this task easier.
Height: 7 7/8″
Weight: 3.90
Base Dia.: 3.50
Amps: 6.50
Volts: 120V

Accessories:Makita Compact Router Tilt base

Besides the standard bits here are some accessories that can be purchased separately for the Makita RT070CX7 wood router. They are the Offset base, the tilt base, templet guide and guide holder.


Metal parallel guide
Slim and ergonomic design
Good combo of size, power, and agility
Bits run true
Small base allows the bit to reach into corners
Sturdy and functional fence
Kit includes two wrenches for traditional bit changes
Externally accessible motor brushes
1 1/4 base opening accepts guide bushings
Soft Start Motor


No dust shield for power switch
Motor drops when the base is unlocked
Poor sight lines
No micro depth adjustment
Anti-theft device on power cord
Short maximum fence range of 3 1/2″
The entry-level kit does not include the dust shield
Depth scale feels like an afterthought
Need to Hold the Locking Level Down
Requires two wenches to change bits out
No light or LED on this model


I found that the reviews are mixed on this compact palm wood router from Makita with most of them being that home wood workers love this little compact router. Yes it has some problems, but most of these can be overcome with minor adjustments and learning how to use the tool in the long run. The owners that where the most unhappy with this tool seemed to be more of the shop or professional cabinet makers that want a router for heavy duty use and the buyers that really liked this router used it for trimming, chamfering or rounding over corners and other small jobs around the house.

How much would you expect to pay ?

This router combo kit is an incredible value as you don’t need to purchase the plunge base separately, but it does require purchasing bits and extra guides as do all routers on the market. I found the best price for the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router is on Amazon.buy3._V192207739_


The RT0701 is a very capable trim router. Well-built all around this router produces flawless cuts while maintaining thigh tolerances. You can be assured that this router performs well years after its first cut. Its durability makes it a bargain for professionals.

The fact that the motor drops when the lock lever is opened stands alone as a significant issue. A little time and attention overcome this problem, but the RT0701 can no longer be called flawless. Ultimately the RT0701 is a great buy for anyone. Other trim routers can only beat it on price and ease of use.