A Complete Guide on How to Pick the Best Router for 80 Lower

To finish your 80% lower for your future firearm you need a good, precise, above-all powerful router. Completing an 80% lower takes a powerful machine that will drill and mill according to precise specifications for the given lower. You can do the drilling and milling yourself, but it takes time and skill. This is usually done using a jig for the given 80% lower. The jig will guide your router for precise cutting and boring.

To get this right, you will need a good router that is up for the job. A good router should be powerful enough to cut through the material of the 80% lower. This is usually aluminum, but there are other, harder materials used in producing lowers. The best router is the one that holds the bits in place and effortlessly follows the guides placed on jigs.

Here is a list that will help you find the best router for 80 or lower for your firearm.

Comparison of the Top-Rated Six 80 Lower Router

It can be confusing to sort through all of the options and functions when looking for a router for your 80 lower projects. To assist you in making an informed choice, we’ve put together a quick comparison chart below of the best six 80 lower routers:

RoutersKey SpecificationsMore Info
Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router
Makita RT0701C Compact Router
Max. Speed: 30,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 3.9 lbs.
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DEWALT DWP611 Router, Fixed Base, Variable Speed
DEWALT DWP611 Router, Fixed Base
Max. Speed: 27,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
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3. Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit
Bosch 1617EVSPK Router Combo Kit
Max. Speed: 25,000 RPM
Motor Power: 2-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 18.2 lbs.
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Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Cordless Compact Router
Makita XTR01Z Cordless Router
Max. Speed: 30,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-1/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 4.51 lbs.
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Milwaukie Compact Router
Milwaukie Compact Router
Max. Speed: 31,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1-3/4 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 2.9 lbs.
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Bosch PR20EVS Variable-Speed Palm Router
Bosch PR20EVS Palm Router
Max. Speed: 35,000 RPM
Motor Power: 1 HP
Collet Diameter: 1/4"
Weight: 3.3 lbs.
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What is the Purpose of Using a Router to Drill 80% of the Lowers?

best router for 80 lower

The process of converting an 80% lower receiver into a fully functional firearm receiver is completed by using a router to drill out 80% lowers. An 80% lower receiver is essentially a receiver that needs 20% of the work to be finished in order for it to be usable.

Removing extra material to provide room for cavities and channels for the trigger group, magazine well, and other weapon parts is required while drilling out the lower receiver’s remaining 80%. To ensure that the cavities and channels are cut to the proper size and shape, the 80% lowers can be precisely and accurately drilled out using a router.

Aluminum, which is frequently used in the production of weapon components, is one of the many materials that a router can cut through. Moreover, routers have variable speed controls that let the operator change the speed to match the particular material being cut, which is crucial when working with aluminum.

Best Router to Use for Drilling Out 80% Lower Reviews

Here’s a little sneak peek over the top choice of 2023 and most probably coming years as well – the 6 best routers for milling 80 lower for the money! Should groove as just suitable for your mechanical workspace, be it an open-air or, tight space.

So, to find out which are the best, keep reading and we’ll help you to make the best buying decision:

1Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router 80 Lower

Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router for 80 Lower

Makita RT0701C is a quality product for the price offered. If you are looking for finishing an 80 lower made of aluminum, Makita RT0701C is the best router to use for drilling out 80% lower. It has enough power to bore through aluminum and finish the job relatively quickly.

Highlight Features:

  • 10k-30 RPM Control Dial. The speed is easy to adjust.
  • Cam lock quick release system makes changing the depth or bits easy and quick.
  • Slim, ergonomic. Comfortable and easy to control.
  • Electronic control of speed maintains it while under load.
  • Starts up smoothly with the smooth start feature.
  • The base design allows for high visibility.
  • Durable, the motor is made of heavy-duty aluminum.

With a maximum horsepower of 1-1/4 and variable speed control dial of 10,000-30,000 RPM, this tool is suitable for a wide range of routing applications, including drilling out 80% lowers.

The RT0701C’s electronic speed control, which maintains a consistent speed under load to ensure precision and accuracy during the drilling operation, is one of its essential advantages. Also, the router is simple to use and control thanks to the soft start option, especially when drilling out 80% lowers. The router’s robust aluminum motor housing guarantees longevity and dependability even under hard operation.

While drilling out 80% lowers, the RT0701C’s smooth rack-and-pinion fine depth adjustment system and easy-to-read depth scales allow for more precise settings. Adjusting the depth and removing or installing the base is also made simple by the fast-release cam lock system. Moreover, the high-visibility base design enhances performance and handling, making it simpler and more accurate to drill out 80% lowers.

Overall, for drilling out 80% lowers, the Makita RT0701C 1-1/4 HP Compact Router is a fantastic tool. It is a fantastic option for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts searching for a high-quality router for 80 lower drillings because of its thin and ergonomic form, powerful motor, and precision manufacturing.

2DEWALT DWP611 Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router

DEWALT DWP611 Router, Fixed Base, Variable Speed

Highlight Features

  • 16k-27k RPM adjustable speed 7A motor
  • Soft starting allows for smoother milling in the beginning
  • The spindle lock button gives a quick single wrench change of bits
  • Motor quickly transitions between plunged and fixed bases
  • 8 slot ¼ in collet enables tighter grip
  • Dual LED work lights
  • Overmolded handles for a firm and comfortable grip

Dewalt DWP611 has a powerful 7A motor, slightly stronger than cheaper options. It has a fine-tuned speed control which creates a better milling experience. The motor is durable and made to last for years and even decades, and it will see a lot of projects in its lifespan.

This heavy-weight router is equipped with LED light to improve the visibility of the at-work material during processing. It makes it especially useful for night work and low-light environments. The screw adjustments are reliable, making switching between bits easy. The bit depth can also be adjusted, and for a tighter grip, an Allen wrench can be used.

It’s the best router to use with an 80% lower jig because of its sheer power and adamant precision.

3Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit

Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router Tool Combo Kit

Highlight Features

  • 12 Amp motor with precise speed adjustments and speed maintenance (8k-25k RPM)
  • A versatile router that can be used for woodcarving
  • Very comfortable grip, easy navigation
  • One of the most accurate plunge bases
  • Aluminum casing and motor make it extremely durable

This is a versatile router that can be used for all kinds of additional projects and working on 80 lowers made of harder materials, especially titanium, and steel. It has an astoundingly powerful 12 amp motor that easily adapts the drilling speed to the resistance and friction, and the load is not a problem for it.

The motor soft starts every time. It is recognized as a wood router, yet it can be used for metal with the right drill and mill bits. It’s the best router for an 80% lower jig made of materials other than aluminum.

4Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Cordless Compact Router

Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Cordless Compact Router

Highlight Features

  • 10k-30k RPM with fine-tuned electronic speed adjustments
  • Slim and ergonomic design gives comfort and ease when handling
  • Start-lock prevents unintentional engagement of the router
  • Durable aluminum housing
  • 5Ah battery
  • The brushless motor maintains speed under friction and resistance

If you are looking for a cordless router, Makita XTR01Z might be the best router to use on the 80% lower you want to process. It has a 5Ah battery and an 18V brushless motor that can achieve 30.000 revolutions per minute. This router is among those with the highest torque. Portable and rechargeable, it is easier to work and navigate with it without annoying chords around you.

The on-off button can be locked to avoid unwanted startups. The rack-and-pinion adjustment system is smooth and provides quality fine-depth adjustments. The design of the router allows for more accuracy and ease of use.

5Milwaukie 55MN0718V Compact Cordless Router

Milwaukie 55MN0718V Compact Cordless Router

Highlight Features

  • 5Ah rechargeable Li-Ion battery with long work time
  • Switch push button
  • 0-31k Max RPM and adjustable speed control
  • 900W brushless motor
  • Comfortable and easy-to-control housing

Manufactured by Milwaukie, a company that makes everything, the 18V cordless router exceeds in durability and workload endurance. It has a very comfortable casing that provides good visibility during work as well as a brushless motor that works on a 5Ah Lithium-Ion battery. With a max power of 900 Watts, its portability makes it the best router for finishing 80 lower when working with jigs or without them. The manufacturer states it can cut through 250 ft of wooden material per charge which is fascinating.

Milwaukie Router is up to drill and mill the finishes on 80 lowers without too much hassle and in a reasonable time.  It is great for those that won’t use the router as often on metalwork but would like to try themselves with wood from time to time.

6Bosch PR20EVS Variable-Speed Palm Router

Bosch PR20EVS Variable-Speed Palm Router

Highlight Features:

  • 16k-35k RPM makes it a router with the fastest torque on our list
  • LED lights and a good base make the work highly visible and observable
  • Angled chord exit allows for more comfort during handling
  • Finger support allows for better gripping and usage of the router
  • The clamp system for easy base-to-base switching

For any that consider using a router regularly and for various tasks other than lower drilling, this may be the best router 80 lower, and other materials will need. With an astounding max RPM at 35k, Bosch PR20EVS is fast, durable, and amazingly easy to handle. It has an angled cord exit for better maneuvering and handling.

A one-horsepower 5.6A motor will be up for the task with any material put under it. The variable speed adjustment and speed maintenance work perfectly and seamlessly. The router also has an original grip solution, with finger grip support for better handling. The depth adjustment is fast and highly precise, allowing for micro and macro adjustments. It can also change the bits quickly with only a spindle lock and a wrench.

Things to Consider – Before Buying the Best 80% Lower Jig Router

To finalize your decision on the best router for 80 lower drillings and milling for you, there are a few options to be considered. It all comes down to your specific needs, wishes, and expectations of your new router. The main factors can include power, precision, and ease of use. Other factors may include durability and portability. You also may consider the drilling and milling time, which can be determined by the router’s performance.

For fast drilling and milling

When it comes to time consumed, the faster the router can work, the faster the job can be done. To do so, you will need a router that has high torque and that can maintain this torque. For this reason, we recommend the Bosch PR20EVS palm router that has very good grip holes for fingers, variable speed control, and max torque of a whopping 35k RPM.

For a bang for the buck

The best router for an 80% lower that doesn’t cost as much you may consider getting a Makita RT0701C. It has amazing torque and enough power to handle it. The cheaper option among the routers is great for those that don’t want to invest much in their gunsmithing project. The truth is that Makita RT0701C can be used often because of its durability.

For precision

If you are concerned about the precision of your router while drilling an 80 lower, you can be sure that Bosch 1617EVSPK is the best router for 80 lower with high precision. It also has great power and enough torque to do the job. It is considered a versatile router that can be used for other projects. The LED work lights are really good when fine-tuning the mills and finishing the job. Durability is something Bosch is famous for, so one can consider this as a secure investment for all routing projects they want to try and take up, including woodwork.

A router with power

A powerful motor that sucks enough electricity will provide the tenacity needed to bore and mill through and over the metal. For this reason, we recommend DeWalt DWP611 as the best-rated router for finishing 80% lower with enough power to do it in a great time and with a lot of ease.

Who needs cords – cordless portable router

Especially to beginners, and to some veterans out there, chords can be a nuisance. With the development of energy-saving technologies (i.e. batteries), the cords can become history for all who want more freedom in their workshop.

It is not easy to find a good cordless router given the workload they have to take on themselves. Among the current offer on the market, either Makita XTR01Z or Milwaukee Cordless Router is the representation of the best router to use for 80 lower without cords and mobility issues.


Do you need a jig for an 80% lower?

With the right specifications for drilling, milling, and finishing, a smith with enough skill can finish an 80 lower with the tools they have in their shop. This takes more time and precision because the dent of the lower has to be the right shape and with precise measurements. This is why many use jigs – they make the job way easier and much faster.

Can you finish an 80 lower without a jig?

Jigs are not necessary to finish an 80% lower, but they make the job easier and faster. A good smith can learn the dimensions that need to be drilled, and polish it with enough precision, given they have precise enough materials. Beginners can have a hard time achieving that, but with enough patience and precision, it is technically achievable.

What tools do I need for 80 or lower?

Given that you acquired a jig, all you need is a drill and a router. There will be a few holes to bore before starting with your router. If the jig and the 80 lower are well-fixated, you can start with the work right away. The preparation process also takes the right drill bits, mill bits, and drilling liquid to reduce friction and overheating.

What is an 80% lower jig?

An 80 lower jig is basically a muster for finishing an 80% lower. The jig has precise measurements and guides through which you can drill and mill through your 80 lower to finish it and eventually make it into a firearm if you wish.

Jigs usually come with side panels that will hold the lower in place, a template holder that screws onto the side plates, and pilot templates that will guide your drill and router to boring and milling the cavities of precise dimensions. Some jigs come with their drill bits and mill bits that can be attached to your drill and router, for the best results.

Can a gunsmith finish an 80 lower?

As of 2015, it is illegal to rent, borrow, or have a professional and even a friend finish your 80% lower. In other words, a gunsmith can’t finish it for you nor they can rent you the appropriate equipment. The same stands for friends, they can’t lend you the equipment or do the job for you. On top of that, it is also illegal to use a professional’s or friend’s space (shop or garage for example) to finish an 80 lower.

According to the current law, you can finish an 80% lower only by yourself, with the materials and equipment you have purchased. It is advised to find and buy the best router for milling 80 lower before starting the project.

Can you finish an 80 lower with a drill press?

Basically, yes. But it can be a hard and tedious process. The drill press is not so good for mills, and some milling will be required. Since the drilling part is okay for drill presses, we recommend drilling most of the cavities out and then gently doing the milling finish. This way you will have less material to mill over, and this won’t put exceptional stress on the drill press.

Who can mill my 80 lower?

According to the current law, no one but you can acquire the 80% lower and the proper equipment and space, and do the finishing work on the 80% lower. This means that you can’t even borrow the proper equipment for finishing the 80% lower.

Final Words

Now you know all you need to know to get the best router for 80 lower jigs that will suit your gunsmithing needs. To get the best router for 80% lower, you basically need to ask yourself what material your router will be drilling and pay attention if you need to mill through harder materials.

The best 80% lower jig router has the power and the spin to do the job, but above all, it has precision. The lower won’t function well enough if the finish is not precisely prepared, so basically, you only have one shot at doing it right.

After purchasing or getting the router your project needs, it is recommended to do a few tests run – if you don’t have much experience of course. Wood is a good material for starters, so go ahead and find a good enough plank and cut it into pieces so you can practice your skills (use adequate drills and mills of course).

After getting the hang of your new tool, you can get to the real business. Take your time and always remember- safety first! Good luck!