04 Mar. 1988|
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To call a trim router by its better-known name -- laminate trimmer -- is to seriously undersell this mini machine's usefulness in the shop. The tested routers provide coarse depth adjustments (unlock the base and slide it up or down on the body), fine adjustments, or both. Fitting easily into one hand, it's the perfect tool for chamfering, rounding-over edges, mortising for hinges, and more.
Given the high motor speeds, we expected our chamfering bit to burn the cherry, but we had to run the fastest router at its full 35,000 rpm speed, and a snail's-pace feed rate, to get it to scorch.
Tools with only coarse adjustments make it fast to move or remove the base when changing bits, but can be difficult to tweak to a precise cutting depth. But if you'll use your trim router to rout a recess for an inlay or to plow out a hinge mortise, you need to see what's going on down there.
And, with its smaller base, you can guide one along a straightedge on narrower workpieces better than a full-size router. Transparent plastic bases provide a good view of the cutting action, but most of the opaque bases provide decent visibility, too.
We gathered up 12 trim routers, both corded and cordless, and used them for more than a month to find a favorite.