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Thread: A trim router....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    26,761

    A trim router....

    I have had 3 or 4 full sized routers since I began woodworking but I had never had a compact trim router. I am working on a project that has to be done by Wednesday night and it has a small narrow piece that needed routing. I was uncomfortable doing it freehand with my 2 1/2 HP P/C 8529 or doing it freehand on my router table. So I went to the local HD about 7:00 p.m. last night, looked at the two compacts they had and chose the Makita RT0701C. I also bought a cheap set of 1/4" shank round over bits as all the ones I own are 1/2" shank.

    Using some turners tape, I taped the piece to the top of my t/s outfeed table, routed it, flipped it over, retaped it and routed the other side. What a pleasure it was to be able to use 1 hand to hold and guide the router while using the other hand to manage the power cable. I should have bought one a long time ago!
    Ken

  2. #2
    About time! You'll find a variety of uses for the small router now that you have one. Now..... Time to buy a wide belt sander....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Posts
    513
    For roundovers, trim routers are hard to beat. I'm not there yet, but I've seen guys on YouTube just zip around all of their parts with trim routers - faster than any other method I can think of.


  4. #4
    Make sure you don't position a hand as shown in the photo below. Note how close the fingers of the left hand are to the opening of the trim router. For this reason some people suggest either using the trim router one-handed, or if two-handed use is desired, find a base with two knobs - Rockler sells such a base.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    26,761
    Ken thanks for the warning! On my right wrist I have an area that received 14 stitches. I was routing some 1/2 lap joints in some 2x4s for my wood storage rack. I received a call telling me one of our DIL had come out of a surgery okay. I went back to routing. I was plunge routing 1/4" at a time using a jig to guide the router. I shut the router off to adjust the bit 1/4" deeper, flipped the router off, unlocked it and as I glanced at the telephone across the shop thinking about the call, I pushed down on the router base. The bit hadn't stopped turning yet. My wife was having lunch with some former coworkers at an elementary school where she had retired after 25 years of service. Luckily, my neighbors were home. The drove me to the ER while calling my wife on her cell phone. I take routers really serious...always have but a moments distraction cost me a trip to the ER.
    Ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    311

    Thumbs up Congrats, Ken!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I have had 3 or 4 full sized routers since I began woodworking but I had never had a compact trim router. I am working on a project that has to be done by Wednesday night and it has a small narrow piece that needed routing. I was uncomfortable doing it freehand with my 2 1/2 HP P/C 8529 or doing it freehand on my router table. So I went to the local HD about 7:00 p.m. last night, looked at the two compacts they had and chose the Makita RT0701C. I also bought a cheap set of 1/4" shank round over bits as all the ones I own are 1/2" shank.

    Using some turners tape, I taped the piece to the top of my t/s outfeed table, routed it, flipped it over, retaped it and routed the other side. What a pleasure it was to be able to use 1 hand to hold and guide the router while using the other hand to manage the power cable. I should have bought one a long time ago!
    I also purchased a such trim router but in a kit with four different bases. Locally they are sold with 6mm, 1/4 inch and 8 mm collets - it is great as most of my router bits are 8 mm shank and a number at 1/4 inch. I also have a few bits with 6 mm shank, so it is perfect for my use. I did not miss for this particular (trim) router the fact it doesn't accept my 12 mm and 1/2 inch shank bits as most of them are too heavy for a such small router.

    This thing is powerful (for the size), light weighted and handy. I think you will be surprised by joy to use it more and more... I know this is my own case!

    My best wishes to you and your new tool... and please let us know the projects and uses you will be actually employing it.
    Last edited by Osvaldo Cristo; 02-10-2019 at 7:16 PM.
    All the best.

    Osvaldo.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,436
    I bet this router becomes your #2 user. Maybe #1 even

    I recently purchased the LXT cordless version and should have done it long ago.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    Posts
    1,202
    Sounds familiar to me, Ken. The first trim router I bought was a little Ridgid that was on sale at HD at the time. I like it fine, but the whole trim router experience has me eyeing the Festool 1010. Yes, it's larger, but the dust collection would sure be nice...

  9. #9
    I've gone to trim routers for just about all my non-router table work. My first "big" router was a Craftsman that only took 1/4" shaft bits and probably didn't have more power than my modern trim routers. I think I have five trim routers - four DeWalt 611's and an old Ryobi that I bought in the 70's. I keep a particular router bit in all but one so that I can immediately pick one up and use it.

    Trim routers seem to multiply.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-10-2019 at 7:36 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,410
    I have about a dozen full size routers and one DeWalt 611. The little trim router seems to get used about half the time if not more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    128
    I don't use mine as often as other responders, but one thing I found with my Bosch kit, was that the collett would let the bit slip on almost every project. Dangerous.
    Probably the reason I don't use it as much as the other posters.
    Never been able to get satisfaction.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  12. #12
    I have the same makita router, it’s a great tool. When you first start using it you do have to be careful about not letting a finger in the opening. Plenty of power for what it is. No problems.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,484
    Ok - one clarification - I believe the "trim routers" of yesteryear have been supplanted by the "compact routers" of today.
    The compacts have more power and have the ability to accept both fixed and plunge bases.

    I picked up a DeWalt 611 PK a few years back when they first came out & got a real deal on a fixed/plunge base set - something like $120 or less - I forget.
    Love the plunge base - seldom if ever use the fixed base.

    For fixed base compact router use, I just recently picked up a Makita cordless version of the RT0701C.
    Way more power than the DeWalt 611 PK. My guess would be that it's putting out nearly as much power as my PC 690, when I stick a 5.0 amp battery in it.

    My only complaint about the cordless Mkita is that they went way too conservative on the design & limit the ability to use larger bits - such as 3/8" or 1/2" roundover bits & larger - like 3/4" Ogee- by having too small an opening in the base.
    I'm probably going to pick p a plunge base and just enlarge the opening of the fixed base. I don't really care if the eliminates using PC inserts since i can do that with the plunge base.

    Alright - I droned on long enough ...

    I do highly recommend picking up a plunge base, some Porter Cable inserts (if you don't already have them) and one of those rubber router mats - they work great!

    Oh yeah - does the corded Makita come with the dust collector thing?

    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Kortge View Post
    Make sure you don't position a hand as shown in the photo below. Note how close the fingers of the left hand are to the opening of the trim router...
    No.
    That is the correct way for the left hand to hold the trim router so as to insure the base remains in full contact with the narrow workpiece. Though I prefer a lower grip with the right hand.

    Though I have several trim routers, the Rockwell is my very favorite.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crown Point, Indiana
    Posts
    2,165
    I do not know about correct. BUT...I am not putting my fingers that close as a slip will get your nails trimmed.

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