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Trim routers
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Author:  banjopicks [ Fri May 24, 2019 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Trim routers

I'm looking at these for doing the rosette pretty soon. How important is the variable speed control in this application? I'm thinking I'm going to have a 1/8" or smaller bit so the high speed shouldn't be a problem. Ease and accuracy of depth adjustment seems more important. Obviousley I'm trying to stay under $100 if possible and used would be OK also.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Fri May 24, 2019 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I just leave mine set on max speed. Don't use the variable speed feature at all.

Author:  Woodie G [ Fri May 24, 2019 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

You can get fine vertical adjustment, variable speed, and good work lighting with the Ridgid 2401 trim router for about $100, and for about $125, the DeWalt 611 has good vertical adjustment (screw-type adjustment of a large collar around motor), a base that takes bushings and can be precision-centered, variable speed, and good LED work lighting. The DeWalt is a little heavier, but also has an available plunge base, and at 1-1/4 hp, can handle larger bits for round-over or chamfering work of the type commonly done on jigs and fixtures.

Keep in mind that speed reduction avoids overspeeding larger bits like bearing-guided binding channel bits, round-overs, etc.; if you plan on using any bits much over 1/2" diameter, the ability to set bit tip speed at the optimum RPM helps those bits last longer.

Author:  Dave m2 [ Fri May 24, 2019 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I'm with Woodie on the DeWalt - excellent adjustment and low runout. I use it for cutting binding rebates as well as rosettes and you don't want to be running that 1 inch diameter bit at full speed.


Author:  Clay S. [ Fri May 24, 2019 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I don't see variable speed as being any great value in a trimmer. I would put ergonomics first on the list. The way the router fits in your hand will make a difference in how you use it. I've known some people who are comfortable palming the "full size" but light weight Craftsman routers as trimmers, and others who hated the PC7310 because it was heavier and taller than the 310s they were used to.
The thing I would put next in importance is how easily the depth is adjusted. Unless you have a bunch of trimmers you can "set and forget" then you will be making small adjustments to the tool frequently. This was another weak spot of the PC7310 compared to the 310. Although the 7310 had a stronger motor than the 310 it had a steeper learning curve when it came to making adjustments. The PC309 (Rockwell 64) combined many of the good features of both, and if you can find a good used one for not too much money (remember you may be buying a 50 year old tool) it might be worth getting. But all those trimmers are out of production and most trimmers lead a hard life in a production environment, so unless you can find one that was "homeowner owned" I would try for something new.
Many people suggest the ridgid trimmer, but I have only used the first iteration of them and it wasn't too impressive. It had a cheap plastic base and would die after a few months of daily professional use. It may have fared better as a homeowner tool. The new model looks better, and most luthiers don't use a trimmer 4 or 5 hours a day so it would probably hold up fine.
Makita made a small trimmer which I found easy to use. The new model (6.5 amp 1 1/4hp) that can be had with an extra plunge base looks like it might be worth considering. It costs less than the 4 amp model and looks better made. I have always had good luck with Makita stuff, but again that was the pre-Chinese made stuff.
But again, find one that feels good in your hand and suits your budget (and avoid HF)

Author:  meddlingfool [ Fri May 24, 2019 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I've never used the speed adjustment, don't really know how one would determine the speed they want. I'm sure there's some principles involved that I don't know.

I have four ridgid trimmers I use for bindings with the 1" bits and run them full speed. Perhaps I shouldn't?

Author:  Joe Beaver [ Fri May 24, 2019 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I have migrated to Ridgid laminate trimmers in the past five years. They have an accurate and easy to use depth adjustment. When they go on sale at Home Depot I usually pick one up.

Author:  Pmaj7 [ Fri May 24, 2019 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

After struggling with the 7301's for a couple years, I hear a small symphony every time I adjust the depth on the Ridgid.

Yeah, never thought about slowing it down with the one-inch bit. What's the main concern? Burning? I do get a little bearing burn on the side sometimes, but I attributed that to not holding it firmly against the wood.

Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk

Author:  banjopicks [ Fri May 24, 2019 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

This will only be used for light duty stuff. I have a larger router in a table that I use for the heavy stuff, there really isn't any. I use the table router for cutting binding ledges mostly. Anything I buy should last 5 or 6 lifetimes with the amount of work I give them. If it runs smooth and accurate when I buy it, it will most likely be just as good when I'm dead. It will never see a 1" bit. I see HD has the Rigid on sale for $100. I may get that if I can't find a used one.

Author:  SteveSmith [ Fri May 24, 2019 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Joe Beaver wrote:
I have migrated to Ridgid laminate trimmers in the past five years. They have an accurate and easy to use depth adjustment. When they go on sale at Home Depot I usually pick one up.

Pretty much what I did except I don't think I need anymore ;)

Author:  Clinchriver [ Fri May 24, 2019 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

For rosettes I ran down a Porter Cable 310 trimmer, dropped it in a Bishop Cochrane base and could not be happier.

Author:  Joe Beaver [ Fri May 24, 2019 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Nice looking rig Clinch

Author:  Woodie G [ Fri May 24, 2019 4:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Most 1" bits can be run at up to 24,000 RPM without too much heat build-up, and the 20,000 to 30,000 rpm speeds seen on trim and laminate trimmers is close enough. We find that the binding cutters seem happiest at about 20,000 rpm as set with photo tachometer (these are seen at $25 or so for decent digital units...we have one in the calibration kit for checking motor and blade speeds). Smaller bits, such as the 0.025" end mills we use to mill small rosette channels would be far happier at 50K-75K RPM than the 30,000 max speed of the Ridgid or the 27,000 rpm top speed on the DeWalt. I do prefer the slow start seen with modern electronically controlled routers over the jerk seen in the older tools, but that's more just a comfort consideration.

Running a bit too fast is usually a burn and bit wear issue, rather than anything related to structural stability. Too slow and the cut suffers from scalloping or excessive stock removal.

The original Ridgid trim router had terrible depth adjustment, but did have the virtue of a round body, making it useful for some of our jigs and fixtures. Only one of our R2400's is still in service, but unless there was a model before the R2400, both Ridgid trim routers (R2400 & 2401) have cast aluminum bases and clear plastic base plates and an included fence with ball bearing depth guide assembly. DeWalt's first trim router - much like Makita and a few others - had a clear see-thru base, but the newer DW-611 is also cast aluminum/plastic base plate.

Author:  James Orr [ Fri May 24, 2019 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Clinchriver wrote:
For rosettesI ran down a Porter Cable 310 trimmer, dropped it in a Bishop Cochrane base and could not be happier.

Samesies. And I have a Ridgid dedicated to my binding jig, and a Dewalt free for any other misc. use.

I really like all three. The Ridgid has the easiest and most accurate height adjustment, and the Dewalt has incredible lighting. The Porter Cable is in my Cochrane jig because it was the tool to get back in the day when I was doing my initial tool up, and it's what the Cochrane's made for.

Author:  rbuddy [ Fri May 24, 2019 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Ridgid 2401 is the most ergonomic, well balanced and accurate depth adjustment I have run into yet on a low cost router. I love it. I use the speed adjustment frequently depending on the bit size and the project. I wouldn't buy a router w/o variable speed these days.

Author:  bobgramann [ Fri May 24, 2019 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I have and use the PC310, two generations of the Ridgid, and the Makita 701. I use the Makita where I need heft and power like cutting truss rod slots. For edge trimming and cutting binding ledges, Imuse the Ridgids. I particularly like the light on the later Ridgid. I have the PC in a circle cutting jig and I use it for rosettes and soundholes, but I’m planning to replace it in the mig with one of the Ridgids because the Ridgid base allows more visibility. After all that, I bought one of the Ridgid cordless routers. Now I use that more than any of the others because it is so easy. I bought a second base for it so I can quickly swap to the donut base for cutting bind slots. It’s not strong enough for a muscle application, but it’s just right and easy for light, precision work where mobility helps. It can’t be your only router, but you will like it.

Author:  Hesh [ Fri May 24, 2019 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

Hey Sarge!!! Happy Memorial Day to you and the wife!

Since we can't purchase the PC 310, the standard that all others have been judged against for years now we like the Dewalt.

When we came out with the Collins Saddle mill and one of the design goals was runout of less than .001" at the 1/8" bit tip we bought multiple samples of all the usual suspects and compared them. The Dewalt won hands down and although none of them could do what we wanted out of the box the Dewalt augmented with an excellent aftermarket collet from Precise bits and one of their bits performed to our design spec and that's what we locked and loaded our Collin's Saddle Mills with and use in our shop to this very day.

Author:  Terence Kennedy [ Sat May 25, 2019 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I still have three PC310’s alive, one in a Cochran base as well for rosettes and minus the circle guide I use it for saddle slots, end graft, and a lot of other template routing things. I have both a 310 and the Rigid in different binding jigs. The Rigid is fine.

The Cochran really is the Cadillac of bases. He makes it for the Bosch Colt. Might be worth getting both. I don’t think you would regret it.

Author:  Barry Daniels [ Sat May 25, 2019 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I bought a digital tire tread gauge off eBay for around $7, glued it onto my Colt plunge base for a DRO. Also added a Router Raizer to provide a threaded depth setting.

Author:  Leftyprs [ Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trim routers

I own both the Dewalt 611 w/ the optional plunge base as well as a Ridgid 2401. I’m very happy with them both. The Ridgid only gets used with my binding cutting jig, and the Dewalt handles any other duties with ease. I don’t think you can really go wrong with either of them...

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