Documenting my DeWalt DWP611PK

Today I was asked a question on twitter. Kenny Comeaux asked me to recommend a trim router. Apparently, as I have as many routers as I do fingers (no, I’ve not cut any off), I’ve picked up a bit of a reputation as a router expect. Kenny’s timing was perfect, as tonight was the first time I used my new DeWalt DWP611PK trim router kit. I’m happy to share my opinion, and I figured here was the best place to do so.
The DWP611PK Trim Router Kit
What’s so cool about the DWP611PK?
The DWP611PK is a revolutionary trim router kit unlike any other trim router (sister company Porter-Cable has a DWP611PK clone). The revolutionary feature of the DeWalt is that it’s a standard fixed base / plunge base combo, only with a trim router motor. Also, and this would have been a deal killer for me had it gone the other way, there are reasonably priced dust shrouds for both the fixed and plunge bases.

The fixed base dust shroud.
Initial Impressions
When I opened up the DWP611PK I was impressed. Though I’ve handled the fixed base model at Home Depot & Lowes, opening my kit was the first time I’d held the plunge base. I found that both bases are solid and well balanced. The plunge base is smooth and easily operated. The clear baseplates on both bases combine with the two (2) built in LEDs to provide excellent visibility. I find this very important, as a lack of visibility due to the solid baseplates on some of my other routers is a big complaint of mine.
I didn't actually route the rabbet with the DWP611PK, I used the little
DeWalt to route out the original rounded edges (penciled in in the photo)
I left when I initially undercut the rabbet with my bigger OF1400.
Adjustment Means
My first, and arguably most versatile, router was a Porter-Cable 690 series. For as long as I’ve used it, I’ve never liked the adjustment mechanism of rotating the motor to bring it up or down. This requires unplugging it from the D-handle in order to rotate it, and when using the router against a reference surface, it has the potential of moving the bit relative to the reference surface if the motor and base are not perfectly round and centered.

While the DWP611PK appears to have the same type of adjustment mechanism, DeWalt has vastly improved it. They have milled a vertical groove up the side of the threaded motor body and added a free-spinning threaded collar to the base. This results in a motor that does not spin, but only goes up and down. In use, you spin the threaded collar and the motor moves, guided by pins which ride in the vertical groove. I found this movement to be smooth and very easy to adjust.
A close up of the adjustment collar on the fixed base. The yellow ring is
free spinning and can reference any potion of the black ring. Rotating
the black ring moves the motor smoothly up and down within the base.
The plunge base is very well done, in a rather standard way. The release lever is spring loaded and easily reached by the left hand without removing the hand from the grip. There are five (5) turrets on the rotating stop and the stop bar on the body adjusts easily and has a sliding indicator bar for measuring depth movement. It is a standard plunge but funtional and well done nonetheless.
The 5 position (4 fixed, 1 adjustable) turret stop on the plunge base.
In use
Once I had a ¼” upspiral bit chucked in the motor and the motor set in the plunge base, I went to connect my vacuum. I have a Festool CT22, a fairly ubiquitous dust extractor which I’ve had success connecting to most of my hand power tools (Festool or not). When I tried to connect the CT22’s hose to the DeWalt dust shroud, I was initially pleased that it fit the inner fitting of the shroud. Unfortunately, I soon realized that the outer fitting prevented the hose from making enough contact with the inner fitting to remain connected. I assume that the outer fitting is there to allow hoses of different diameters to be used. Unfortunately, it only prevented me from connecting with my preferred hose. After rooting around in the attic for a bit, I was able to come up with a Shop Vac hose end that fit the DeWalt dust shroud. Though this arrangement was slightly awkward, it stayed attached and worked fine. I’ll ultimately cut off the outer fittings to allow use of the Festool hose, but that’s a project for another day.
Little router, large vacuum hose connection.
Once it was hooked up, I only used the DWP611PK in the plunge base and only for a few minutes, but I found it wonderful to use. It’s my first trim router, and it’s just what I wanted in a trim router. It’s lightweight, maneuverable, had great visibility and is quiet. In a matter of a minute I was able to enlarge the corners of the inner rabbets for my frame to address my initial under cutting.

Am I glad I bought the DWP611PK?
Yes. Though the dust shroud connection issue was a strike against the DeWalt, it was fairly easy to overcome and it’s not a deal killer. The DWP611PK is a versatile, well balanced trim router for a very reasonable price (especially from Amazon). When I consider it against many of the other routers I own, I know the DWP611PK will see lots of use in my shop. It will probably see lots of use in yours too.
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