In this guide we’ll look at the best palm router.
We’ve compared power, performance, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best Palm Routers?
More Detailed Palm Router Reviews
DeWalt D26200 1/4in Compact Fixed Base Router 230 Volt Review
The DeWalt D26200 1/4″ Compact Fixed Base Router is arguably the best palm router on the UK market.
The aluminium housing on this model makes this a very comfortable tool to use. It is light, strong, durable and very efficient at dampening vibration, thus causing less fatigue in the arms and hands.
The variable speed ranges from 16,000 to 27,000 rpm and enables you to adjust the settings according to the material being modified and the intricacy of your task, with lower speeds more appropriate for delicate jobs or materials.
This palm router also features electronic speed control. This ensures that no matter what speed you are using the chosen speed is maintained even under load. This is useful because inconsistencies in speed produce inconsistencies with cut and finish.
Router bit changing on this hand router is quick and simple thanks to multiple spindle lock detents, and an LED light provides increased visibility around the router bit during operation.
Bosch Professional GKF 600 Corded 240 V Palm Router Review
The Bosch Professional GKF 600 Corded Palm Router is another candidate for best palm router.
This hand held router is also small and light, making it simple to manoeuvre and control for intricate work or accessing hard to reach places.
The compact router has both rough and fine depth adjustments, so using a combination of these two methods helps you achieve precise results quickly and easily.
The drill bit set includes 12 routing drill bits and 3 straight drill bits in a plastic case, and the bits can be changed swiftly with the spindle lock and self-releasing collets.
Makita RT0700CX4 240 V Router/Trimmer Review
The Makita RT0700CX4 Router/Trimmer is a powerful yet competitively priced palm router.
The 710 Watt motor can generate speeds of between 10,000 and 30,000 rpm. It also features a soft start and variable and constant speed controls, that are perfect for controlling speed when performing precision tasks or working with more delicate materials.
There is also a rack and pinion fine depth adjustment, great for working on delicate tasks such as rebating door hinges or creating mortar joints.
This is a well-built trim router with an aluminium housing and trimmer base. The base assembly can also accommodate plunge, tilt and offset bases although these are not supplied with the machine.
This router trimmer also comes with a handy range of accessories including spanners, templates and a depth gauge.
Katsu 101748 6MM 1/4″ Electric Hand Trimmer Wood Router Review
The Katsu Electric Hand Trimmer and Wood Router Tool is a good basic palm router. The router trimmer comes with a standard base, but you can purchase a plunge base or tilt base separately if so desired. The solid aluminium body is highly customizable, and uses standard parts, such as multiple different chucks and bits, from most major brands. This makes it very easy to repair and replace parts if anything goes wrong.
The variable speed dial allows you to fine tune the speed of this trim router so more intricate tasks can be performed accurately.
This is a good choice for anyone who is happy to purchase aftermarket options and tailor the router to their specific needs.
Merry 100365 6MM 1/4″ Electric Hand Trimmer Wood Router Review
The Merry 100365 6 MM 1/4″ Electric Hand Trimmer Wood Router is another great option because it’s inexpensive, powerful and yet weighs just 2.5 kg.
This budget palm router is ideal if you just need a router for occasional use.
The 550 Watt motor produces a no-load speed of 28,000 rpm, which is fine for tackling basic jobs.
Adjusting the depth and removing and replacing the base are made easy with a quick release cam lock system.
For a cheap palm router this is a good choice. This compact router is light and its ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use.
Palm Router Buyer’s Guide
Before purchasing a palm router or hand router, do take a minute to familiarise yourself with the more common routing concepts.
A more powerful motor allows the router drill bit to spin faster at a higher rpm. This in turn allows the router to cut through material more efficiently and creates a better user experience.
A fast motor can often improve the finish. Slower routers sometimes snag and leave rough edges that require a manual finish. A fast spinning palm router reduces snagging and saves you time.
No load speeds
When manufacturers quote the “rpm” of a router (or other power tool for that matter) they are normally referring to the “no-load” speed. This is the speed that the router will spin when it is not in contact with any material, i.e. the number is calculated when the router is not routing. In reality therefore the no-load speed will always be faster than real-world speeds achieved when the router is in use. Having said that the rpm is still a good guide when used for comparison against other power tools.
Variable speed control
Sometimes you will not want to use your palm router on its highest speed setting. When working with delicate materials or when cutting intricate pieces or patterns, the ability to turn down the speed of your router will give you more control and precision. Also, when working with delicate materials sometimes using too fast a speed can damage parts that need to remain pristine. This is when having variable speed control comes in handy.
Solid aluminium body
Holding a heavy vibrating palm router whilst attempting to make precision cuts can be hard work.
Aluminium is strong and light so makes the perfect material for many tools. A palm router constructed from aluminium is much easier to use and makes the process more manageable. Aluminium also has a little more flex than other metals so by nature it reduces vibration levels.
Rough & fine depth adjustment
Palm routers often have rough and fine depth adjustment.
You can set the rough adjustment by simply locking the head into the required position. This achieves a rough depth and will often be enough for jobs where the depth doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you do need perfect depth you can set it close with the rough depth adjustment. Then you can fine-tune the depth with the depth adjustment wheel or dial. This will enable you to quickly and accurately achieve the correct depth for your cut.
Routers chew through material and turn it into sawdust. You can end up with a lot of air-borne particles which is bad for your health and the cleanliness of your workshop.
Some routers come with built-in dust extractors but most come with an adaptor that can be used with your dust extractor or a vacuum cleaner. You can also buy adaptors to use with palm routers so you can connect them to whatever system you choose.
The range of accessories that either come with or can be purchased for your palm router is another consideration when purchasing.
Most palm routers are compatible with a range of bits. Having a good number of accessories available helps you tailor your palm router to the job at hand. Some palm routers come with accessories such as cutting templates and different bits which means you can get started straight away.
How do I use a palm router?
Firstly, always use eye protection when using a palm router.
Start by inserting and securing the correct bit using a small wrench or Allen key.
You should then use the depth adjustment screw or lever to set the bit at the required depth.
Experiment with the router on some well-secured wooden test pieces until you become accustomed to its working.
Remember to let the tool do the work and certainly do not apply force as this will damage your work piece.
What is a palm router used for?
Palm routers or handheld routers have many uses. Here are a few examples.
- A palm router is very useful for duplicating parts. If you are making something with multiples of the same piece, once the first one is finished you can use that as a template for the others. Using your palm router will allow you to accurately create identical pieces without fuss.
- You can easily cut holes to mount hinges. Using a chisel is time-consuming and difficult to create an accurate finish. A palm router simplifies this process and it is easy to achieve accurate results in minutes.
- A palm router is a great tool for trimming veneer edges.
- A palm router is great for creating a nice edge or lip on a shelf or tabletop.
- A palm router can be used in many cabinet making projects for making small joins.
- A palm router can also be used to cut holes in pieces ready for screws.