Introducing our expert insights on the highly anticipated "9 Amazing Small Routers for 2023"! As technology continues to advance, the demand for compact and powerful routers is on the rise. In this article, we will delve into the world of small routers and uncover the top nine models that are expected to dominate the market in 2023. Whether you are a tech enthusiast, a professional needing reliable networking solutions, or simply searching for an upgrade, these small routers will surely impress with their cutting-edge features, exceptional performance, and remarkable versatility. Stay tuned for our in-depth reviews and valuable recommendations to help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect small router for your needs.
Overall Score: 8/10
The GL.iNet GL-SFT1200 (Opal) Secure Travel WiFi Router is a compact and lightweight router designed for travel. It features AC1200 dual-band wireless technology, allowing for simultaneous dual-band connections with wireless speeds up to 300 Mbps (2.4GHz) and 867 Mbps (5GHz). The router also offers full gigabit ports, including 2 LAN ports and 1 WAN port, making it ideal for connecting wired devices. With support for IPv6, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Tor service, this router ensures a secure internet experience. It can also function as a repeater for public WiFi networks, creating a private and secure connection. Overall, the GL.iNet GL-SFT1200 (Opal) is a great option for travelers who need a reliable and secure WiFi router.
- AC1200 dual-band wireless technology
- Compact and lightweight design
- Full gigabit ports for wired device connections
- Supports IPv6, Open VPN, Wire Guard, and Tor service
- Can function as a repeater for public Wi Fi networks
- Color: Opal
- Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel
- Fast and reliable dual-band wireless connection
- Full gigabit ports for wired device connectivity
- Strong security features like IPv6 support and VPN compatibility
- Can extend public Wi Fi networks for secure surfing
- Lack of visual feedback on device status
- Instructions for setting up as a bridge could be clearer
- Occasional difficulty in connecting to certain networks
The GL.iNet GL-SFT1200 (Opal) is a highly versatile and secure travel WiFi router. Its compact size and lightweight design make it convenient for travelers, while its powerful features, such as dual-band wireless technology and gigabit ports, ensure fast and reliable connectivity. The router’s support for IPv6, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Tor service provides advanced security for internet browsing. Additionally, its ability to function as a repeater for public WiFi networks adds an extra layer of privacy. Although the device lacks visual feedback and may have some setup challenges, overall, it is a reliable and effective solution for travelers in need of a secure WiFi router.
Overall Score: 8/10
The TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router is the perfect companion for travelers who need a reliable and convenient Wi-Fi network on the go. It features a travel-sized design that is small and light, making it easy to pack and take with you wherever you go. With dual-band AC750 Wi-Fi, you can enjoy a strong and fast connection for HD streaming on all your devices. The router supports multiple modes, including hotspot, bridge, range extender, access point, and client modes, making it versatile for use at home, in hotel rooms, or on the road. It also has a built-in USB 2.0 port and flexible power options, such as using a micro USB port to an adapter, portable charger, or laptop. With an industry-leading 2-year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support, you can trust in the reliability of this travel router.
- Travel Sized Design: Conveniently small and light
- Dual Band AC750 Wi-Fi: Strong, fast connection for HD streaming
- One Switch for Multiple Modes: Perfect for Wi-Fi at home or on the road
- Flexible Power: Micro USB port for various power options
- Industry leading 2 year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support
- Color: White
- Dimension: 2.64Lx2.91Wx0.87H
- Size: AC750
- Convenient and compact design for portability
- Strong and fast Wi-Fi connection for HD streaming
- Versatile with multiple modes for different needs
- Flexible power options for on-the-go use
- Reliable with a 2-year warranty and 24/7 support
- Short USB power cable connection issue reported
- Low power CPU with limited Ethernet and USB capabilities
- Some issues with client mode connection to certain networks
The TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router is a highly versatile and reliable travel companion for those in need of a portable Wi-Fi solution. Its compact design, strong dual-band AC750 Wi-Fi, and multiple modes make it suitable for various situations, whether you’re at home, in a hotel room, or on the road. The flexibility in power options adds to its convenience. While it may have some minor drawbacks like the reported USB power cable connection issue and limited CPU capabilities, its overall performance and value make it a worthwhile investment. With a competitive score of 8, this travel router earns its place as a top choice for travelers seeking reliable Wi-Fi connectivity on the go.
Overall Score: 8.2/10
The THINKWORK Compact Router is a powerful and versatile wood trimmer designed for various woodworking tasks. With a 6.5 amp motor and a max horsepower of 1.25, this router delivers plenty of power and durability for cutting in different materials. The clear plastic fixed base provides improved visibility, while the smooth rack-and-pinion depth adjustment ensures easy and precise operation. The ergonomic design, featuring a rubber-covered handle and small body, offers increased comfort and control. This router is widely used in wood trimming, grooving, drilling, handicraft production, cabinet processing, chamfering, and more. The package includes a 15-piece router bits set, sandpapers, router collet, guides, wrenches, carbon brush, and more. Overall, the THINKWORK Compact Router is a reliable and efficient tool for woodworking enthusiasts.
- Powerful Motor: 30000 RPM, 6.5 amp motor with 1.25 HP
- Easy to Operate: Clear plastic fixed base and smooth depth adjustment
- Ergonomic Design: Rubber-covered handle and small body for comfort
- Wide Application: Suitable for various woodworking tasks
- Bonus Gift: 15-piece 1/4" shank router bits set included
- Powerful motor for efficient cutting
- Clear base provides better visibility
- Easy and precise depth adjustment
- Comfortable to hold and control
- Widely applicable to different woodworking tasks
- Bonus gift of router bits set included
- May be unstable and vibrate at times
- Some parts may be flimsy in quality
The THINKWORK Compact Router is a great choice for woodworking enthusiasts who need a powerful and versatile tool. With its strong motor, easy operation, and ergonomic design, this router provides efficient cutting and improved control. While there may be some stability and quality issues, overall, this product offers great value for the price. The included bonus gift of the router bits set adds further convenience and versatility to the package. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced user, the THINKWORK Compact Router will meet your woodworking needs and deliver smooth and precise results.
Overall Score: 8/10
The WAVLINK Smart Router is a high-speed dual-band WiFi router designed for home use and gaming. With 1200Mbps ultra-speed network, it provides reduced buffering and is ideal for 4K streaming. The router features 4 Ethernet ports for seamless wired connections and 4 external adjustable antennas for enhanced WiFi coverage. It supports 3 operating modes – Router, LAN Bridge (AP), and WISP – and is compatible with most internet service providers. The router is backed by a 1-year warranty and offers lifelong tech support. Its easy setup and excellent connectivity make it a great choice for users looking for a reliable and speedy WiFi router.
- Upgraded to 1200Mbps high-speed network
- 4 x 100Mbps LAN ports and 1 x 100Mbps WAN port
- 4 x external adjustable antennas for enhanced Wi Fi coverage
- Supports Router, LAN Bridge (AP), and WISP modes
- Compatible with most internet service providers
- Color: White- AC1200
- Dimension: 7.09Lx1.97Wx8.27H
- Size: AC 1200
- Fast and reliable internet speeds
- Easy setup and configuration
- Enhanced Wi Fi coverage and stability
- Multiple operating modes for versatile use
- Backed by a 1-year warranty and lifelong tech support
- Some difficulties in initial setup
- May not fully work with certain ISPs
The WAVLINK Smart WiFi Router offers impressive speed and reliability, making it a great choice for both home and gaming use. With its easy setup and configuration, users can enjoy seamless connectivity and enhanced WiFi coverage throughout their home. The router’s compatibility with most internet service providers ensures that it can be easily integrated into existing networks. While there may be some initial challenges in setup, the overall performance and features of the router make it a worthwhile choice. With a 1-year warranty and lifelong tech support, customers can feel confident in their purchase. For a reliable and speedy WiFi router, the WAVLINK Smart Router is an excellent option.
Overall Score: 8.3/10
The Whiteside Router Bits 1982 Round Over Bit with Small Pilot is a high-quality router bit designed for precision work and tight spaces. Made with premium carbide and precision ground for proper balance at high RPM, this router bit offers industrial quality performance. With a 1/4-inch radius, 5/8-inch large diameter, and 1/2-inch cutting length, it is ideal for rounding over small areas and reaching tight spaces. The small pilot allows for precise control and sharp rounding. Customers have praised the product for its quality, value, and ability to tackle difficult tasks. However, some have noted that the brass bushing tip may have runout, affecting smoothness. Overall, the Whiteside Router Bits 1982 Round Over Bit with Small Pilot is a reliable and versatile tool for woodworking enthusiasts.
- Premium Carbide
- Precision Ground
- Industrial Quality
- Dimension: 2.00Lx3.00Wx5.50H
- Made with premium carbide for durability
- Precision ground for proper balance
- Ideal for working in tight spaces
- Brass bushing tip may have runout
- May not cut as clean as desired
The Whiteside Router Bits 1982 Round Over Bit with Small Pilot is a versatile and reliable tool for woodworking enthusiasts. Made with premium carbide and precision ground, it offers durability and proper balance at high RPM. Its small pilot and narrow tip make it ideal for rounding over small areas and reaching tight spaces. While some customers have noted issues with the brass bushing tip, overall, this router bit delivers excellent results. With positive customer reviews and a reasonable price, it is a valuable addition to any workshop. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, the Whiteside Router Bits 1982 Round Over Bit with Small Pilot is worth considering for your woodworking projects.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
The BriSunshine 800W Electric Wood Trimmer Router is a compact and powerful tool designed for woodworking and other related tasks. Built with an 800W copper motor and high-quality Aluminum+Plastic materials, this router is highly effective and durable. It features a transparent base for better visibility while operating, and a built-in scale for more accurate wood trimming. With its ergonomic rubber-covered handle, it provides a comfortable grip for extended use. The package includes accessories such as a straight line auxiliary gauge and a trimming guide wheel for easier and faster trimming. This wood trimmer router is suitable for various applications like chamfering, grooving, surface finishing, and DIY handicrafts processing. Please note that milling cutters and router insert plates are not included. Overall, the BriSunshine 800W Electric Wood Trimmer Router is a reliable tool for woodworking enthusiasts.
- Built-in 800W strong copper motor
- High accuracy with transparent base and built-in scale
- Ergonomic rubber-covered handle for comfortable grip
- Includes straight line guide and trimming wheel
- Wide application for woodworking and other tasks
- Dimension: 7.87Lx3.35Wx3.35H
- Size: 7.87×3.34inch
- Powerful motor for effective performance
- Transparent base for better visibility
- Ergonomic handle for comfort during use
- Includes useful accessories for easier trimming
- Versatile tool for various woodworking tasks
- No instruction manual included
- Lacks built-in LED light
- Difficult to contact manufacturer for information
The BriSunshine 800W Electric Wood Trimmer Router is a reliable and compact tool for woodworking enthusiasts. It offers a powerful motor, accurate trimming capabilities, and an ergonomic design for comfortable use. While it lacks an instruction manual and a built-in LED light, it provides great value for the price. The included accessories and wide application make it a versatile tool for various woodworking tasks. Overall, this wood trimmer router is a good choice for DIY projects and professional woodworking alike.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
The Ryobi P601 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router is a compact and powerful tool for woodworking and other tasks. It features LED lighting for clear visibility, a GripZone overmold for a secure grip, and a convenient depth adjustment knob. The aluminum base provides stability during use, and it is compatible with a variety of Ryobi 18V lithium ion batteries. While it may not be suitable for beginners, it is a reliable and versatile tool for experienced users. With its compact size and cordless design, it offers convenience and flexibility for a range of projects.
- LED LIGHTING for clear project visibility
- GRIPZONE OVERMOLD for precision handling
- DEPTH ADJUSTMENT KNOB for easy depth tuning
- ALUMINUM BASE for stability during use
- ONE+ COMPATIBLE with various Ryobi 18V batteries
- Dimension: 10.00Lx5.00Wx10.00H
- Compact and powerful for woodworking tasks
- Convenient cordless design allows for flexibility
- LED lighting provides clear visibility
- Easy depth adjustment for precise cuts
- Compatible with Ryobi 18V batteries for versatility
- Not recommended for beginners
- No dust port for easy cleanup
- Stiff sliding power switch is difficult to operate
- Battery life may be limited depending on battery size
The Ryobi P601 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router is a reliable and versatile tool for experienced users. While it may not be suitable for beginners, its compact size, cordless design, and powerful performance make it a great choice for woodworking and other tasks. The LED lighting and easy depth adjustment add to its convenience and precision. However, the lack of a dust port and the stiff sliding power switch may be minor inconveniences. Overall, the Ryobi P601 offers value for money and delivers excellent results for those who know how to use it.
Overall Score: 9/10
The Magnate 6106 T-Slot Straight-Edge Router Bit is a versatile tool designed for making T-slots with precision and ease. With its 2-flute carbide tipped construction and 1/8" kerf, this bit ensures clean and accurate cuts. The 5/8" large diameter and 3/8" small diameter, along with the 5/8" cutting length, make it suitable for a variety of T-bolts and hex head bolt sizes. It has a 1/4" shank diameter that fits most routers, providing stability during operation. The bit is capable of making one-pass cuts, reducing the time and effort required for creating T-slots. Whether you're working with particleboard or laminate, this router bit delivers excellent performance at an affordable price.
- 2-Flute Carbide Tipped
- 1/8" Kerf
- 5/8" Large Diameter
- 3/8" Small Diameter
- 1/4" Shank Diameter
- 5/8" Cutting Length
- Dimension: 3.50Lx1.00Wx1.00H
- Versatile bit suitable for various T-slots
- Affordable price for replacement after extensive use
- Clean passage through laminate
- Allows for depth adjustment of cut
The Magnate 6106 T-Slot Straight-Edge Router Bit is a highly reliable and cost-effective option for woodworking enthusiasts. Its versatility and ability to produce precise cuts make it a valuable addition to any workshop. The bit’s durability ensures long-lasting use, and the clean passage through laminate is a testament to its quality. Additionally, the option to adjust the depth of the cut adds flexibility to various projects. With its affordable price point, it’s an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced woodworkers. Upgrade your router bit collection with the Magnate 6106 and enjoy the convenience it brings to your woodworking projects.
Overall Score: 8/10
The JOAVANI Compact Wood Router Tool is a powerful and versatile handheld trim router designed for woodworking projects. With a 6.5Amp 1.25HP motor, it can handle even the hardest types of wood with ease. The variable speed feature allows you to work on a variety of tasks, and the precise depth control ensures accurate and clean cuts. The router is durable and easy to use, with a heavy-duty cast aluminum housing and a soft grip for added comfort. It also comes with a dust hood to keep your workspace clean, as well as a set of 12 router bits and other accessories. Overall, the JOAVANI Compact Wood Router Tool is a reliable and efficient tool for any woodworking enthusiast.
- Compact design with powerful 1.25HP motor
- Variable speed options from 10,000 to 32,000 RPM
- Soft-starting motor and precise depth control
- Durable with heavy-duty cast aluminum housing
- Comes with dust hood and 12 router bits
- Quick release cam lock system for easy adjustments
- Powerful motor for smooth and clean cuts
- Variable speed for versatile woodworking tasks
- Precise depth adjustment for accurate cuts
- Durable and comfortable to use
- Comes with a dust hood and 12 router bits
- Some customers received broken wooden bit boxes
- A few customers received defective units
- Not as powerful as higher-end routers for larger bit sizes
- Guide may not stay put for straight lines
The JOAVANI Compact Wood Router Tool is a great option for woodworking enthusiasts who need a versatile and reliable trim router. With its compact design and powerful motor, it can handle a wide range of tasks with ease. The variable speed and precise depth control features ensure accurate and clean cuts, while the durable construction and comfortable grip make it easy to use for extended periods. The included dust hood and router bit set are valuable additions that enhance the overall utility of this tool. While there have been a few reports of broken bit boxes and defective units, the majority of customers have been pleased with the performance and value this router offers. Overall, the JOAVANI Compact Wood Router Tool is a solid choice for any woodworking project.
Buyer's Guide: Small Router
Whether you're a hobbyist woodworker, a DIY enthusiast, or a professional carpenter, a small router can be an invaluable addition to your toolbox. These compact and versatile tools are designed to make precision cuts, create decorative edges, and shape wood, plastic, or even metal with ease. If you're in the market for a small router but don't know where to start, worry not! Our expert buyer's guide will walk you through everything you need to know before making a decision. So, let's dive right in and explore the wonderful world of small routers!
Key Factors to Consider
When choosing a small router, several important factors should guide your decision-making process. These factors will help you select the right tool that perfectly fits your needs:
- Power: Determine the power requirements of your projects. Small routers typically come in various power ratings, ranging from 1 to 2.5 horsepower (HP). Consider the depth of cut and the materials you'll be working with to ensure you choose a router with sufficient power.
- Size and Weight: As you're specifically looking for a small router, pay attention to the size and weight of the tool. A compact and lightweight option will provide greater maneuverability and control, especially if you plan on using it for extended periods.
- Variable Speed: Having control over the speed of your small router is essential for different types of cuts and materials. Look for routers that offer variable speed settings, allowing you to adjust the RPM (revolutions per minute) to suit your specific needs.
- Ergonomics and Comfort: Consider the handle design and overall ergonomics of the router. Look for features like rubberized grips, ergonomic handles, and a well-balanced design, as they contribute to user comfort and minimize fatigue during prolonged use.
- Compatibility: Check if the router is compatible with the router bits you already own or plan to purchase. Look for routers that have standard collets and allow for easy bit changes, ensuring you have versatility in your woodworking projects.
- Dust Collection: Woodworking can get messy, but investing in a router with an efficient dust collection system can help keep your workspace cleaner. Look for routers with built-in dust ports or compatibility with external dust collection systems.
- Price and Warranty: Consider your budget while assessing the features and quality of the router. Look for models that offer good value for money and come with a reliable warranty, providing you peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions about 9 Amazing Small Router for 2023
While small routers are generally not designed for heavy-duty tasks, some models can handle moderately demanding projects. However, it’s best to opt for a larger and more powerful router for extensive or frequent heavy-duty use.
Small routers can handle a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, composites, and even softer metals like aluminum. However, the depth of cut and power of the router may limit the thickness and hardness of materials it can efficiently work with.
Yes, having variable speed control is crucial for achieving different types of cuts, bit compatibility, and working with various materials. It allows you to optimize the router’s performance and improve your overall woodworking capabilities.
Regular maintenance is essential to keep your small router in optimal condition. Clean the router after each use, lubricate the moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer, and periodically check and adjust the router’s alignment for precision cuts.
Both types of routers have their advantages. Plunge routers offer versatility and are excellent for tasks like engraving and mortising, while fixed-base routers excel at edge profiling and jointing. Consider the specific tasks you’ll be performing to determine the most suitable router for your needs.
In most cases, router bits from different brands are compatible as long as they have the same shank size (usually 1/4 or 1/2 inch) and your router’s collet can accommodate them. However, it’s always recommended to check the compatibility information provided by the manufacturer.
Yes, small routers can be used without a router table. However, a router table provides added stability, control, and safety, especially for intricate or repeated cuts. It also offers the ability to perform edge shaping and profiling more efficiently.
While the specific safety features vary between models, many small routers come with features like electric brakes, spindle locks for easy bit changes, and safety switches to prevent accidental startups. Always prioritize safety and carefully read the router’s user manual before use.
Small routers can be used for entry-level CNC applications, particularly those designed for hobbyists. However, if you plan on using a router extensively for CNC projects, a larger, more robust router may be better suited to handle the demands of CNC routing.
While both tools are similar in size, laminate trimmers are specifically designed for trimming plastic laminates and edge banding. Small routers, on the other hand, offer greater versatility and can handle a much wider range of woodworking tasks, making them a more comprehensive tool overall.