DeWalt 1.25 HP Compact Router Kit

Quick to switch between routing modes easy to adjust bit cutting depth, powerful motor, well balanced, and attractively priced

dewalt_dwp611_lead

DeWalt 1.25 HP Compact Router Kit



For production routing, particularly on a router table, a heavy duty router with the power to spin a full range of variably sized router bits for extended periods of time is the way to go. For light routing tasks however, a small or mid-side router is much more convenient to use. Even better, is a mid-sized combination router, which gives you both plunge and fixed based options.



The DeWALT DWP611PK is a sweet little router kit that has a bevy of great features at a very competitive price. It consists of a router motor, plunge base, and fixed base, along with a wrench and canvas tote bag. At this time DeWALT only has a few accessories for this router (see below). The PK refers to the fact that this is a 'package' deal.
 

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Motor housing with depth adjustment ring attached
 
The motor has an aluminum body with the typical DeWALT high impact ABS plastic housing enclosing the electronics. The on/off switch sits just below the variable speed dial, and is covered with a clear dust proof seal. The speed dial is easy to turn, yet recessed sufficiently that you won't inadvertently reposition the dial. Two grooved channels run the length of the body; a guide pin on the inside of both sub-bases aligns itself in the channel. There is a black depth adjustment ring that rotates over the motor body; you use this to make depth adjustments with the fixed base. DeWALT instructs you to remove the adjustment ring when you install the body on the plunge base, but I've been leaving it on the motor housing all the time, and haven't noticed it interfering with anything.
 

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Grooved channels run the length of the motor housing
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Guide pin on inside of sub-bases aligns with channel on motor housing
The large spindle lock button is at the bottom of the motor body. I find that it's quickest to remove the fixed base from the motor to install or remove router bits, but . A feature unique to the DWP611PK are the twin lights at the base of the motor housing. They do a surprisingly good job of illuminating the work area. I find it especially useful when doing any precision work - routing inlays or small mortises. The split router collet is 7/8" long, providing a lot of contact surface on the router bit. This makes for a very firm grip on the bit and should contribute to less bit vibration.
 

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Two LED lights either side of collet
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Locking lever flips open easily
The 7 amp motor generates between 16,000 and 27,000 RPM. Sufficient for the kind of light-duty work that you would use this router for. The router incorporates electronic speed control that maintains constant speed under load. Soft start is a feature I appreciate, particularly when using the fixed base freehand - it eliminates the jarring jolt at start-up. The DWP611PK has an 8' flexible power cord. I like longer cords as it precludes having to mess around with extension cords.
 

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Dimpled surface makes for a better grip
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Micro adjustment scale could be a tad larger
The fixed base is made of aluminum, and has a textured (dimpled) outer surface that makes it easier to grip. The locking lever flips open easily, yet stays firmly in place when closed. I like the clear polycarbonate shoe with a 1-1/4" bit opening. It measures 1/4" thick and 4" by 4-7/8" with one side rounded and the other straight. You have to remove the shoe to install a guide fence (not included).

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Rigid clear polycarbonate shoe
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Large plunging lock lever is easy to manipulate
In use I found the fixed base very stable. At the top of the base is a yellow micro adjustment scale, which enables you to make very precise depth adjustments of 1/64" (.015"). Simply 'zero' the router bit, and then turn the black depth adjustment ring to raise or lower the bit. The markings on the micro adjustment scale are a bit difficult to read - a slightly wider ring would have allowed for a larger scale. Still, adjusting the bit is very quick. One full turn of the adjustment ring raises or lowers the bit 1/2", and there is a full 1-1/2" of travel.
 

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Comfortable ergonomic handles
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4-position turret stop
As with the fixed base, the plunge base is made primarily of aluminum and it has the same locking lever. The main stainless steel guide post is 5/8" thick and the second is 1/2". The plunging lock lever is nice and large, and is easily manipulated with your thumb. The plunge action is super smooth, and when you release the plunge lever it locks firmly in place. I really like the handles; they fit comfortably in the hands, and are positioned close to the work, making it easier to manipulate the router. There is a 4-position turret stop; this a feature that is nice to have, but one I rarely use.
 

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Adjustment pole (A), plastic zero friction-fit adjustment tab (B), adjustment pole lock (C)
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Knurled micro-adjustment knob (A)
Bit depth adjustment is quick, easy and very precise. There is a 2" range of adjustment. On the top of the adjustment pole is a plastic zero friction-fit adjustment tab with an easy to see while registration mark. Affixed to the top of the plunge housing is a 2" measurement scale with 1/32" divisions. The tab slides up and down the pole, referencing against the measurement scale. Rather than a friction-fit, I would have preferred that the tab lock into place. While the tab fits very snugly on the pole, I wonder if it will will loosen over time. At the end of the adjustment pole is a knurled micro adjustment knob that enables you to make very precise height changes, one full turn of the knob moves it up or down about 3/64"; there is no scale on the knob.
 

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Large shoe makes the router more stable
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DeWalt=DeBEST
The clear shoe is 4-3/8" by 5-3/4", and is ready to accept standard 1-3/16" template guides. You can purchase an optional standard edge guide that fits under the shoe. Additionally, the base is tapped to accept a premium edge guide (not included).



I can see that this router could fast become the go-to router in any workshop. It's also the prefect size router to bring onto a job site. 

DWP611PK Accessories

DW6188Template Guide Set
DNP618Edge Guide
DW6913Premium Edge Guide (plunge)
KEY FEATURES:
 
  • 1 1/4HP, 7 amp motor
  • 16,000 - 27,000RPM
  • 1/4" collet
  • 12 position spindle lock
  • Aluminum motor housing and base
  • Soft-start
  • Depth of travel: 1 1/2" (fixed); 2" (plunge)
  • Dual LED work lights
  • 1/64" depth of adjustment increments (fixed)
  • 8' flexible power cord
  • Weight: 4.1 lbs (fixed); 6.2 (plunge)
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Includes: wrench, carry case, instructions

MANUFACTURER:DeWalt
AVAILABLE FROM:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
RETAIL PRICE:$229.00
MODEL #:DWP611PK
MADE IN:Mexico
Carl Duguay, March 2011
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