7 Router Trim Tips
By Randy Johnson
Laminate trim routers are amazing
little machines. Their light weight
and compact size make them exceptionally
easy to use. Although they are
designed primarily for trimming plastic
laminate (p-lam), they also work
great for light-duty wood routing.
Trim router motors range from 3.8
to 7.5 amps and run at speeds as high
as 30,000 rpm. Add a base and the
trim router weighs between 3 and
4-1/2 lbs. All models use only a
1/4-in. collet. You can buy a variety of
bases and accessories (see Sources, below). Prices range from $80 for
just the router with a standard base to
$250 for a kit with several accessories.
Understanding what each of these
accessories is capable of doing is the
secret behind getting the most from
your trim router. These accessories
make the trim router very precise.
1. Protect the plastic laminate
Apply a lubricant, such as wax, soap or Trim
Click any image to view a larger version.
2. Ball bearings reduce marring
Ball-bearing-guided bits greatly reduce the
3. Mar-proof routing
Use a ball-bearing guide attachment
4. Get a super-straight cut
Use a straight guide when trimming against the substrate
5. Move close into corners
Use the tilt base when you rout inside
The tilt base replaces the regular
Trim odd angles with ease
An odd angle, such as the outside corner of an angled
6. Use it for wood, too
A trim router is also great for light-duty wood routing,
The oversize base that comes with Ryobi’s
7. Scribing is almost automatic
An offset base is great for scribing a backsplash to the wall.
The offset base uses a small belt to drive the
Easy trimming in tight quarters
Trimming in tight areas and close to a wall is no problem
(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)
Bosch, boschtools.com, 877-267-2499,
Freud, freudtools.com, 800-334-4107,
PorterCable, portercable.com, 800-321-9443,
Ryobi, ryobitools.com, 800-525-2579,
DeWalt, dewalt.com, 800-433-9258, 5.6-amp laminate router with
Craftsman, sears.com, 800-377-7414,
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker May 2005, issue #114.
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