Ryobi Laminate Trimmer - suggestions?

So I've been desperately trying to find a router that will fit my hands. I have irritatingly small hands and most routers are too big for me to get any decent control out of (I tend to avoid power sanders for the same reason). Of all the routers I've played with, this Ryobi Laminate Trimmer ( http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc%2fsearchResults.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@2053749593.1161797768@@@@&BV_EngineIDdladdjekjjidhcgelceffdfgidgkj.0&MID76 ) is probably the one that fits the best. It has a detachable plunge router base, which is the perfect size for my hands. I could just get any old trimmer, but I want the easy of switching off to plunge with the same tool. Plus, I can't seem to find a plunge router of comparable size and weight that I can control. Most reviews I've read say it's pretty weak on mortising, so I might just have to resign myself to hand over my current projects to HWMBO to do those parts with his router.
Does anyone know of a comparable router/trimmer that would be a similar size and weight to the Ryobi (keeping in mind that it's almost the limit to what I can reach) but has more power to it? Or other suggestions for what I might try instead.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've also been looking at small plunge routers for a friend who's interested in basic sign-making, and here's what I've come up with so far: If you have an unlimited budget, check out http://microfence.com/pages/Plunge/overview.html This plunge base (or "three-axis mill") is pretty spendy, but fits the Bosch Colt trimmer, which is supposed to be more powerful and "router-like" than most laminate trimmers. http://www.trendmachinery.co.uk/products/ also has some smaller routers on plunge bases, for much more reasonable prices. In the US, try http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11714 . Not sure if they're more powerful: the Trend T3 is 550 watts = 4.58 amps at 120V, which isn't much better than the Ryobi. Freud at least used to make a 7.5amp plunge laminate trimmer (FT1000EK) but I'm not sure if it's still available. Grizzly also has a small plunge "router" for which they claim 1hp. As far as mortising, have you tried it with a good 1/4" spiral upcut bit in the Ryobi? (Or have you just played in the store?) I'm sure any of these could cut a 1/4" mortise; the question is just how deep you can go with each pass. One other idea - if it's just the size of the handles that's a problem with your small hands, could you buy a smallish (1.75hp or so) plunge router and either reshape the existing handles or make new ones? If weight is an issue as well, the cheaper Craftsman, Skil, and Ryobi routers I've played with are pretty lightweight, probably due to their extensive use of plastic parts instead of metal. Something to think about, anyway. I've been extremely happy with my Dewalt 618, and the handles on the plunge base are removeable, but it's the heaviest base in their kit. The 616 motor would be a little lighter, though it lacks variable speed/soft start. Hope this helps, Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You might also want to take a loot at the Craftsman All In One Cutting tool:
http://www.epinions.com/content_179851792004
I own this exact kit. It comes with a plunge router base and can take 1/8" or 1/4" bits. I use it all the time for light duty routing and recently used it as a laminate trimmer, worked great. It also comes with a circle cutter and you can use it for various other things as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm thinking PR-20 with a plate. See the http://patwarner.com/pr20_subbase.html link for that. ******************************************* ivytheplant wrote:

http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc%2fsearchResults.jsp&BV_SessionID=@@@@2053749593.1161797768@@@@&BV_EngineIDdladdjekjjidhcgelceffdfgidgkj.0&MID76
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@patwarner.com wrote in

I bought one of these maybe 15 months ago, used it a bunch, and have been more than pleased. Pat's generally on target.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Have you looked into getting one of the D-handle routers?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J Coffey wrote:

I thought about it, but I didn't like the way they feel. I like how this one is small enough that I can do precision work (similar to holding my dremel) but I can stick the plunge base on it for different work at a moment's notice. I just wish it had more power, which is why I was looking for suggestions of a similar sized and weight router that could do more than laminate work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ivytheplant wrote:

PC has that 7/8 hp router. I wouldn't take the power ratings too seriously. It looks larger than a laminate trimmer, but smaller than a 690 for example. It looks short too so it might not be too top-heavy. And you might get lucky and find one of those cool retro polished cast aluminum versions. It's a fixed-base router though. I'm not sure if it would fit the 690's plunge base.
The best solution is probably that ultra-expensive 3 axis mill plunge router base thingy for the bosch colts. iirc, it was $450 or so, then you add the router. Looks like you could use it to route a groove in hair though.
brian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's basically what the Craftsman Rotary tool is, a dremel tool. A dremel tool on steroids.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.