DeWalt ROuter Router Reviews

Cordless Routers

Build Quality
Cutting Speed
Ergonomics
Feature Set
Value
Final Thoughts

DeWalt sticks with a proven design by using their popular corded trim router as a foundation for the DCW600 and that's a good thing. The speed is slower than the top cordless model and the price is a bit higher than its competition. That said, it's a solid design that I enjoy using and there's no reason to shy away if you're already using DeWalt 20V Max batteries. 

Overall Score 4.2 Pro Review

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Acme Tools

DeWalt Cordless Router DCW600


PTIA 2018 Winners Sqaure LogoA new DeWalt cordless router is heading to stores next spring following several other woodworking products. The DeWalt DCW600 is a brushless model for their 20V Max lineup to supplement your corded trim router.

Whether or not it can be a replacement for your corded model remains to be seen.

Update – scroll down to see our field notes now that we’ve had a chance to use the DCW600!

Pros

  • Solid design built on the DWP611 corded model
  • Easy depth and speed adjustments
  • Excellent visibility

Cons

  • Bare tool price is higher than the competition
  • No kit options currently available

Recommendation

DeWalt sticks with a proven design by using their popular corded trim router as a foundation for the DCW600 and that’s a good thing. The speed is slower than the top cordless model and the price is a bit higher than its competition.

That said, it’s a solid design that I enjoy using and there’s no reason to shy away if you’re already using DeWalt 20V Max batteries. 

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What we know so far

There isn’t a ton of information out on the specification side, but we do have some ideas of the feature set. Obviously, the brushless motor is a big part of that, eliminating the need to replace carbon brushes while extending runtime and motor life. That motor is an all-metal design with electronic speed controls, soft start, and an electronic brake.

DeWalt ROuter

Other features include:

  • Dual LED lights
  • Adjustable quick release clamp
  • Quick release tabs for the base
  • Depth adjustment ring
  • Large button spindle lock
  • 12-position ratcheting lock
  • D-shaped base
  • Plunge base compatible

Currently, the plans are to release the DeWalt cordless router as a bare tool for $179.

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DeWalt Cordless Router Initial Thoughts

There aren’t a ton of photos running around of the DCW600 and even the hi-res one we have is cut off at the top. A look at the family shot gives us a better view, though. At first glance, nothing really sticks out – the battery is on top and the controls look to be within easy reach more or less where you expect them to be.

DeWalt ROuter

 

Given the limited amount of information that’s available, it looks like this is mainly a well-designed addition for current DeWalt cordless tool users that doesn’t stray far from the current norm of what you’ll get from Makita or Ridgid.

Update 4/3: Putting it to the Test

Routing Speed

Routing is one of those jobs that’s kind of therapeutic in my book, so putting the DeWalt cordless router through some tests is more fun than work. The brushless motor spins up to 25,500 RPM with 7 marked settings on the dial.

DeWalt ROuter

That’s a little faster than Ridgid, but I noticed a significant difference when I swapped over to Makita’s 30,000 RPM model. It’s not an issue of routing quality as much as that it’s simply cutting faster.

1-1/4 HP corded models run a bit higher as well, spinning up around 30,000 RPM. DeWalt’s corded model runs 27,000 RPM. If you’re already used to that model, 25,500 doesn’t feel like as much of a drop.

Turning the router off, the electronic brake is very obvious. Routers don’t usually spin on the way a non-braking circular saw or grinder does, but that little bit of time DeWalt saves you is a nice touch.

A Quick Ergonomic Interjection

Like a circular saw, weight on a trim router isn’t a huge deal since it runs on top of your work surface. With a 5.0 Ah Tool Connect battery, the DeWalt DCW600 weighs 4.8 pounds and 3.4 bare. That’s in line with Makita’s weight and doesn’t present any issues in our testing.

DeWalt ROuter

The DeWalt cordless router has a thicker diameter than Makita’s. With my medium-sized hands, I prefer a smaller diameter – it’s one of the reasons I like DeWalt’s drills and impact drivers so much.

But take that with a grain of salt. I let some of the other guys in the shop use it and they like DeWalt’s diameter just fine.

DeWalt ROuter

Cut Quality

Edging with any standard bearing-assisted bit is as easy for this router as any of the other cordless models we’ve tested. You just need to take your time a little more than you do with higher speed models. Routing with a fence is a pleasant experience as well.

Where I noticed the biggest difference is in freehand and template routing. While I don’t have any problem using DeWalt as a go-to cordless router, Makita’s higher speed and smaller handle diameter give me a little better control when I’m trying to work on something with high detail like lettering.

DeWalt ROuter

Visibility

2 LED lights do a fine job of lighting up the area around your bit. The cutout is fairly generous, making visibility a nice highlight for this model. If you decide to add the dust port attachment, that all goes out the window, though.

Controls and Adjustments

There on no surprises on control placements – they’re below the battery where expect to find them. The power switch has a flexible rubber dust cover over it to help keep debris from getting inside it.

DeWalt goes for a quick release lever lock and adjustment ring for depth changes. It’s not unique but is different from thumb screw adjusters. After a few weeks of use, I’m still not convinced one system or the other is easier for me.

DeWalt ROuter

To remove the outer section, pinch the two tabs on the adjustment ring and lift it off. Simple.

I like the adjustable depth gauge ring. Unlike etched gauges, I can zero my bit after I install it and know exactly how deep I’m cutting without any additional math. It’s particularly helpful on grooves, joining dados, and general freehand work where I want careful control over the depth.

Pricing

The $179 bare tool price is quite a bit higher than you see from Makita ($129) and Ridgid ($119). Makita also offers their model in a full kit that includes a plunge base, two batteries, and edge guide for $370.

Is worth upgrading from DeWalt’s $139 DWP611 corded router?

If you already have DeWalt 20V Max batteries, absolutely. The designs are very similar and transitioning is very easy. Plus, the corded model earns consistently high ratings, so there’s no reason to shy away from a cordless model built on the same foundation.

The Bottom Line

DeWalt sticks with a proven design by using their popular corded trim router as a foundation for the DCW600 and that’s a good thing. The speed is slower than the top cordless model and the price is a bit higher than its competition.

That said, it’s a solid design that I enjoy using and there’s no reason to shy away if you’re already using DeWalt 20V Max batteries.

 

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Jim Premo
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Jim Premo

I have the Ridgid version and like it. Would have preferred the Dewalt with the plunge base, but as a professional, you can’t wait on these companies to keep pace with others.
No one can acquire all the cordless tools required from one company platform. I have Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ridgid, Ryobi and Senco, batteries, tools and chargers.

Ken K
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Ken K

Next SPRING?!?? Why in the world do they announce something so far away???