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Router Series And Advice – Trim Router Tips and Tricks

Wood Router

Single Handed Routing

In some things size matters but in others there can be advantages of being a touch on the small side. Take a one-handed trim router for example – also known as a laminate trimmer – there are some things which this little gem can handle as well if not better than it’s larger cousins.

You don’t need a full sized router for all of the jobs in your workshops – on some occasions it can actually help to save time and money and get the job done as well if not better by utilizing a one handed version Let’s take a closer look.

There’s a wide range of trim routers with motors ranging between 3.8 amps and 7.5 amps, some running at speeds of up to 30,000 rpm. Even with the addition of the base these pocket rockets only weigh in somewhere between 3 lbs and 4.5 lbs and all use a 1/4 in collet. There’s a great range of accessories and bases to choose from with prices starting out at only $80 for the basic router with standard base up to around $250 for a complete kit including accessories.

In order to really make the most of your trim router you need to learn a little about the accessories and how they can enhance the user experience and precision of the trim router.

Protection of Plastic Laminate

In order to protect the plastic laminate you need to apply some sort of lubricant like soap, wax or a commercial manufactured product to the face of the plastic laminate whenever you utilize one of the self piloting bits. These help to protect the plastic laminate from marring and burning. You can get self piloting bits with bevel-trim and flush-trim profiles. Flush trims are best for jobs which need a square, flat corner. Single cutting flutes are great for fast, precise cutting and surprisingly affordable with solid carbide trim bits available for as little as $8 – $10 – around half the price of an average ball-bearing guided bit.

Reduce Marring with Ball Bearings

If you use a bit which is ball bearing guided it doesn’t need a lubricant and is unlikely to suffer from marring. Be warned that bearings wear out after time so should be replaced as soon as they stop running freely. You should also keep the bearings clean from a build up of glue. Once again these bits can be supplied with flush-trim / bevel-trim profiles. Trim bits which are ball bearing guided cost between $12 and $24 each.

Straight, Precise Cutting

You can achieve a super straight cut when you trim alongside substrate material. A guide will bridge any small gaps and voids commonly found in plywood and particle board. A straight cut is vital if you want to laminate another piece of plastic laminate to the edge. Straight guides can be used perfectly well with straight bits.

Follow these tips and you’ll soon master the finer details of a trim router.


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Updated: December 28, 2014 — 9:25 pm
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