Triton - TRA001 3-1/4-HorsePower 1/2-Inch Precision Router (Rating: 5)

Addendum to this review 10/28/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom.
After many months I finally decided to replace the nylon rack with the new steel one triton sent me (see previous addendums). Disassembly wasn't to bad, about an hour in all to replace the part. I've been using this router in my table for a long time now even with the defective fine adjustment part. I find it ideal for table use. I can't speak for out of table as I use my bosch for that. The Triton is dedicated to the table. It is powerful and performs admirably. Nice features and precision cutting. I hope this is the final installment for this review. And I hope it has helped those considering 3 1/4 hp table router.

Addendum to this review 5/14/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom.
I got the new rack the other day. It's steel. I can see why he said I'd have a long time before I had trouble with this one. The router is actually working fine by manually adjusting it so I think I'll just put it in when I have the time. Very happy with Triton, their customer service, quick action, and a real person who can make things happen every time I call.


Addendum to this review 4/29/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom. I finally got around to calling Triton Today. I always get Keith. He answers the phone personally each time. He's sending the new worm gear out to me and will email instructions to replace it. He did offer to let me send it in to be replaced but since the router is usable as is I decided to accept the part and do it myself.
I asked him if this was going to be an unending issue with this gear because of it's design. He indicated that it was a small batch of routers that had this issue and that it is slowly working it's way out of the system as people get them replaced. He said this gear should hold up for years. I'll let you know how the gear replacement works when I get it and get it installed. I've put some miles on this router in the table. It's fantastic. Real power. It never gives that 'slow down sound' and I'm almost exclusively shoving red oak into it, sometimes with some large bits.

Addendum to this review 3/29/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
Keith from Triton called and gave me an option of shipping me a new worm gear for my router or having it picked up and doing the work (but $24 shipping). Worm gears won't be available for about 2 weeks but The router works fine otherwise and I've opted for replacing the worm gear myself and saving the shipping. He even told me that he'll send a pdf outlining the 30 minute procedure. I am pleased to see very fast service with no hassles.

Addendum to this review 3/28/2010: A problem has developed.
I've had the router for a couple of months so far. It has performed well but I have developed a stripped rack. When I try to crank it up in the table it snaps with each revolution and slips. If I assist it by taking the weight of the router off of it it will go up. I've contacted both Triton and Woodcraft in NH where I purchased it and am waiting for a response. I'll keep you posted
------------------

Yesterday I picked up a Triton Router. It's the 3 1/4 horsepower one. I have a bosch plunge router that I love but it's not that good in a router table. It's okay but the lift mechanism is cumbersome when mounted under a table and I've been using some large raised panel bits. One is 3 1/2" in diameter. They work if used in 1/8" increments but the router does strain a little.
So, I was pondering…. router lift for the Bosch or a new router under the table that was dedicated. The Triton caught my interest long ago. I blogged about the possibility of choosing it for my router table. Purplev (sharon) considered this at the same time as he was building a pretty classy router table.
I've been making some new cabinet doors for my sister's kitchen. She has about 20 doors and drawers. After making 4 of them I decided to go to Woodcraft and get the Triton. They had two in stock and I found a sign in the store that someone had forgotten to take down that said 10% off all power tools. I pointed it out. They removed it. But, I held them to it. ;-)

This is not a full review of the router. You can read about it here on LJ's and other places and find it's specs online. This review is for people who like me are on the fence pondering 'lift' or 'new router'? And afraid to jump for fear of making an expensive mistake and having to live with it.
After drilling new holes in my aluminum router plate and mounting it in my table I removed the spring on the plunge mechanism as directed. The router seems well built and the rack and pinion are metal and bronze, not plastic. It should last. The nice crank finds the slot easily through a hole drilled in the top of the mounting plate and after releasing the lock it moves smoothly through the full range of lift that the router is capable of.
That was one thing I was looking for. It has a good lift mechanism that is easy to turn and is smooth with no play in it.
The second thing was bit changing ease. And it is easy to change the bit. When the switch is off I cranked the router colette all the way to the top. As I did so it came way above the table and I could see a shiny steel pin slowly protrude from the side and enter a slot on the side of the colette. The router is locked in this position. With one supplied wrench I was able to change bits easily. In fact there is no multiple threaded turning of the collet like in my Bosch, About a 1/8 to 1/4 turn of the colette nut loosens the bit and the same tightens it.
Before you can rais the bit into the locking position you have to turn the switch off.
The switch is a rocker switch with a small sliding door over it. Slide the door over it and the switch is off. Open the door, turn the rocker switch on, and the door hooks and holds it open and in the on position. A simple effective design that shouldn't give any trouble.
The Third thing was it's performance. I had read in other router forums that this thing is a beast and seems to have more power than other routers of similar horsepower. Some call it the 'beast' others 'routzilla'. A few say it passes as a shaper. I only have my 2 1/2 hp bosch to compare it with but I took some red oak an inch deep full bit and the thing didn't make any reduced speed sounds.
So, a good lift, ease of use, and performance. Just what I was looking for. I know that there are some router lifts out there that are works of art. But they are expensive and you have to purchase another router body to have a dedicated table one. For my needs the triton should do very, very nicely.
I used it today to make rails and stiles for 5 cabinet doors. What a pleasant experience not having to wrestle with the router under the table. I've got some picts and vids below with some other observations.

New router and already very dirty.

The following picture shows how I hooked a hose to the already installed dust port. $7 (20ft) drain hose from the hardware store screws right onto the threads of the dust port. Just for the fun of it I piped it into my existing dust port. It took all of the debris. Even the 4" dust vent on my fence didn't built up shavings. the dust port is a plastic shroud that encases the lower half of the router and even covers the bottom, above the baseplate. All shavings have to go up the port.

The shavings you see were mostly there previously. The hose within the hose is a temporary connection.


The Locking mechanism is a simple paddle knob.


Switch locked in the off position with slider over it.


Switch on with sliding door acting as a holder in the ON position.


A bunch of cabinet door rails and stiles I had just done.


Demo showing the lift mechanism in action, colette locking when in the highest position, and an easy bit change.


Routing a rail full router depth, one pass.