Trim Routers

Born out of the laminate industry, these routers are great tools for all kinds of woodworking projects.
By David Thiel
Pages: 76-80

From the June 2006 issue #155
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I’ve been using these small trim routers for decades, having first used them in the industry they were developed for: laminate work. I can’t say I miss the laminate work, but it didn’t take me long during my preferred woodworking tasks to realize that I missed the convenient size and abilities of a laminate trimmer. Who says they’re only for laminate?

Though limited to 1/4″ shank bits, these trimmers are true routers. They’re capable of joinery work and edge details just like a standard router, but also offer benefits not found on a standard router. Their small size makes them ideal for detail routing such as inlay work and small hardware installation.

In addition, many of these routers are available as kits that include multiple specialty bases. Most kits include a traditional flat base and an offset base that allows a power transfer from the main spindle to an offset collet for routing into tight corners. A third base is a tilting base that allows routing at angles. This opens up lots of new opportunities for customized profiles, as well as angled grooves and more. The kits can almost double the price of the router, but it more than doubles the applications possible with the router, so it’s worth considering.

From the June 2006 issue #155
Buy this issue now