Sweet little router.

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Review by Lumberpunk posted 03-25-2017 03:25 PM 3202 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
Sweet little router. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Bought this from the Home Hardware in Nelson for less than the Amazon price! Never happens.

Anyways the router. I have had it for about a week and have used it exclusively on hard maple to tune some rabbets and route a long mortise for a piano hinge. First impressions the case seems well made for a tool case, not sure about job site longevity but time will tell. All the parts are packed in foam inside the case although the bearing guide space is too small. Taking the router out of the case gives a good first impression. It has a lot of heft for such a small little machine and the plastic molding feels solid and beefy. The rack and pinion mechanism feels pretty flimsy but has performed well so far. I might get a friend to mill up some aluminum replacement parts at some point after my warranty expires as it feels like if anything breaks it will be the locking knob, time will tell. The movement on the r&p is pretty good for moving the base up and down and I found I could make accurate depth adjustments pretty easily.
The base is two parts, a clear acrylic sub base that rides on the r&p and a black phenolic base attached to that with four screws. I would have preferred a clear base but that’s a pretty simple fix. You mount the included template guide by removing the phenolic base and sandwiching the guide between it and the sub base.
Turning the router on gives a bit of a kick to your wrist (no soft start) so make sure you are well away from the workpiece or you might nick it. The motor feels smooth and beefy for its size and cuts with a 1/4” upcut and 1/2” hinge mortising bit were very nice. The router is a little top heavy but not as bad as some other trimmers I’ve used and the small size makes it very easy to control.
The fence… is my least favorite part of this kit, it’s difficult to adjust accurately, you have to loosen the knob off so far to slide it that it flops around and it has no micro adjust. Replacing/upgrading that is going to be my first project for this router.
I haven’t used the trimming guide and not sure I ever will but it seems functional and well made. The includes single flute router bit could be a gift to a woodworker you don’t like.
All in all I like the router and any con’s are out weighed by the very reasonable price. The motor feels great and it handles well.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

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#1 posted 03-26-2017 12:36 PM

In a drawer in one of my cabinets is a Harbor Freight laminate trimmer, (now discontinued for quite a few years), that I bought well over a decade ago.
I am amazed at how closely these two look, save mine has an orange body. Same clear plastic acrylic sub base, same flimsy rack and pinion setup, same lousy guide on trimming.
That was the reason I quit using mine, the guide and up down mechanism could not be reliable. I think I paid about $30 for mine.
Oh, also I have the exact same fence as shown in pictures of this unit on Amazon, and my little bit box was orange instead of blue. Wrenches, everything the same.

Mine was also top heavy. Had a nice amount of power, (not variable speed), but when it came to getting it precise, not too good.
Makes you wonder if these plans lay around these Asian factories over the years, and when a company comes calling, they just pull out the old designs and bring them around again.
In any case, good luck with yours. I currently use a Rigid when I want to do that sort of work.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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