Makita RP2301FC Review

When shopping for a new wood router, you have the choice of spending more or spending less.

While we recommend a few models for beginners that are quite affordable, you generally want to spend more after you improve your skills and gain more experience. You can get a solid router in the $100- $200 price range, but we really think that you'll like the RP2301FC.

Instead of just offering a short description of the product and a short review, we wanted to give you a more detailed look at it.

All the information comes directly from Makita and from the customers. You can learn everything you need to know about the RP2301FC and be sure in this purchase for your workshop.

Best Features of the RP2301FC

Motor Type

The most important thing you ought to consider when buying one of these tools is the included motor. A motor that is too small won't produce the power that you need and can make your cuts look jagged. Smaller motors may burn out when cutting through a deeper or larger board, too.

You won't worry about those issues with the RP2301FC because it comes with a 15-amp motor, which is one of the largest sizes available.

While some of the more expensive models have a low RPM rating, this model lets you use a range of different revolution speeds. You can use it at a minimum of 9,000 revolutions up to a maximum of 22,000 revolutions per minute.

Plunge Capacity

As this router comes with a plunge base, you can actually use it to make vertical and horizontal cuts. You can place the router on your wood and press down to send the tool plunging straight through. This model has a maximum cutting depth of 2/3/4-inches when plunged into the wood.

Another benefit of this plunge base is that it helps you make those cuts with less effort. The tool is sharp enough that it will cut down as deep as you need and leave behind smooth edges. You can also use the it to make horizontal cuts.

Speed Control

A common problem that some people have with routers is that the motors burn out with regular use. The electronic speed control used by this model allows you to use it on larger projects without worrying about the motor. As it runs, the speed control keeps an eye on it.

Electronic speed control essentially controls the speed of the motor. It maintains the speed that you need when using a lower or a higher option. This keeps the motor from burning out and extends its life too.

Variable Speed Control

You may need to use a higher speed to cut through a knot on your board before changing to a lower speed to cut through the rest of the wood. Thanks to the variable speed control of the RP2301FC, adjusting your speed is easy. This control helps you easily select the speed you need.

Variable speed control also lets you choose the right speed for any type of project. You'll no longer find yourself struggling to cut or create a smooth edge just because you want to work with a harder type of wood.

LED Lights

Even if you work in a bright area like your front porch or your garage with an overhead light, you may still experience some problems seeing your boards. Each time that you lean over or change positions, you risk casting a shadow that makes it even harder to see. Makita designed the RP2301FC to include LED lights.

This model actually comes with two different lights that work together. Not only does it illuminate the area where you want to work, but it also casts some light on the surrounding areas. You'll finally have the chance to see clearly as you work.

Convenient Design

As we looked at and compared expensive routers, we noticed that many had an odd design that made it difficult for users to get and keep their hands on the tools. The RP2301FC has a convenient design that makes it much easier to use. You can both set it on your wood and use it easily.

One thing we really like about this model is the overall design of the handles.

Each handle has a rubber surface and an ergonomic design that reduces user fatigue and keeps your hands in place. We also like that you can use the switch to turn the router on or off with just two fingers.

Safety Switch

Whenever you use any type of power tool, you must make sure that you can use it safely. The RP2301FC has a built-in safety switch that sits right on top of the power switch. This lets you turn the motor and the tool off quickly before you make a mistake.

The downside to this switch is that it requires you to press down with one or two fingers before you can turn the router on. While this isn't an issue for most users, we did find that some complain about it.

This feature allows you to turn on the motor and leave it running as you use the tool without constantly turning the router on and off.

Depth Scales

When it comes to creating edges and making cuts, you don't want to spend a lot of time setting up your measurements. One reason we like this model is because it features built-in depth scales right on the sides. Those scales help you easily set the plunge base to the depth that you want.

In addition to the depth scales, you'll also find a depth knob. One simple turn of the knob allows you to select a depth. The base will then plunge into the wood and reach the depth that you set.

Chip Deflector

Many woodworkers will also like the chip deflector on this model, which works with the dust collection system. This feature actually pushes any of the wood chips or sawdust that you see away from the tool as the debris comes off the wood. The deflector helps you keep your area clean and keep those chips from sticking to you.

RP2301FC Specifications

  • Collet capacity of 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch
  • Variable speed motor of 9,000 to 22,000 revolutions per minute
  • 15-amp motor
  • 3-1/4-horsepower motor
  • Measures 12.25-inches long
  • Weighs 13.4 pounds
  • Variable speed control
  • Plunge base

Pros of the Router

  • Variable speed control dial lets you quickly adjust the motor speed
  • Good quality for the price
  • Soft start helps the motor come to life as smoothly as possible to prevent jerking
  • Electric brake helps the motor stop faster and smoothly
  • Plunge base helps you cut down more than two inches

Cons of the Tool

  • You must press down on the safety switch to turn the router on and off
  • It is much more expensive than other routers on the market

Makita Trim Router Accessories

When you look the RP2301FC up, you might notice that it shows an edging tool as a possible addition.

An edging tool is a must-have for any woodworker who wants to make cabinet doors or trim pieces. The problem is that this tool actually does not come with the router.

Makita offers this tool online from different sources. You can even add it to the RP2301FC when buying it online. Before you hit submit on your order though, you may want to check out some of the other accessories you can buy to use with this router.

The manufacturer offers a number of template guides. A template guide can look like a small piece of metal with a round design or a metal piece that has multiple patterns on the inside. You can put the template down on your wood and use the router to cut around that pattern.

After using the RP2301FC for a few years, you may find that the base wobbles when you use it or that it comes loose from the tool. That is why Makita offers a replacement base for sale. This base easily attaches to the bottom of the router and lets you get more life out of your tool.

You'll also find replacement parts for the dust collection system. If you ever cut wood before, you know that the sawdust that flies through the air can cling to your clothing and skin. The dust and other debris can get in your eyes or cover your wood too.

The replacement parts available include nozzles and other components that you can use with the built-in system. You can keep your workshop as clean as possible and stay safe at the same time.

Before you spend money on any type of woodworking tool, you must ensure that it meets all of your needs. We think the RP2301FC from Makita is well worth its higher price tag and that it's a great choice for anyone serious about woodworking.