Stuff like itty bitty routers

So it took us a while to get back to you. So what. We didn’t make any promises. And we specifically didn’t make any promises because we knew this might happen.

Anyway, here goes. We want our first post here to be about one of our absolutely favoritest little tools. It’s the palm router, otherwise known as the laminate trimmer since that’s what its genesis was.

palm-routerYou might think that a little tool like the palm router would be at a disadvantage to its bigger rivals, but the truth is that unless you are looking for a beast to mount in a big table to do the work of a wannabe shaper, for most tasks the compact router is not only up to the task, in many cases it is superior.

For instance if you are ever out  in the field trying to hand on to a beast of a router while you put an ogee edge on a railing, or try to rout a piece of trim that is already in place, you know how difficult that can be. Difficult and dangerous.

The fact is that in any situation like that the palm router is infinitely more suited to the task at hand. You can easily handle the tool with one hand (thus the palm part of the name) and if you have a quality tool – which is still in the hundred dollar range – you will have many of the features of the larger tool. The Bosch that I use has variable speed and soft start, just like the big old three and a quarter horse Fein that I use in the router table in the garage.

Don’t get me wrong, that Fein is a fine tool (no pun intended) and I still get a thrill out of creating custom molding profiles in the router table I built. But the fact is that it is a particularly unwieldy tool to push around by had.

The Bosch on the other hand is a great tool that will do anything I ask of it and I can push it around all day without getting fatigued. In fact the only real downside to owning it is the fact that I have to have a second set of bits. Since I am using these bits in the field, I don’t buy the good ones, so it isn’t that big a deal after all.

If you don’t have a router yet, I’d suggest looking at a compact router like the Bosch as your primary router, especially if you don’t own a table. If you already have a full fledged router, you should think about getting hold of a smaller one anyway, I would almost guarantee that you won’t regret it. I certainly never have.

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