I was looking for a router for my table and decided on the newer
Triton router. I went with the 2-1/4 over the 3 hp as it was a little
cheaper, had the above the table adjustment, and felt it was adequate
for my usage power wise. I've run my largest bit with my dewalt 2-1/4
Ordered through Amazon for about $175 shipped. Had some weirdness
where they emailed me saying it would be delayed until the middle of
September and then it arrived on the original expected date. The day
after Amazon thoughtfully emailed me to let me know it had shipped.
I could hear parts rolling around inside the box. Uh oh. It was
shipped inside an Amazon box with a bunch of air bags. No obvious
damage to the box. Nothing lose inside the box, and the plastic case
was shrink wrapped. Rattle rattle rattle from inside the case. Open
her up to find the 1/2" collet and some of the template guides loose.
Everything seemed to be undamaged, though I was pretty wary about the
collet. I dunno how they came loose, those suckers are in there
The case is another of those design students turned loose type of
deals. You will never get all that crap to fit back in there unless
you took pictures of how it was when you first opened it.
The manual was actually written by native English speakers, Hooray!
But it is a little short on details, and constantly refers to parts by
numbers which you have to flip back to a drawing at the beginning to
figure out what they are talking about. Paper is cheap, put a drawing
next to what you're saying.
I found the winder handle difficult to operate with one hand. There's
a clutch that you have to pull in with your fingers and I just have a
hard time doing it. With two hands it's very easy. I also had a hard
time switching to free plunge mode and back again. There's a button
at the center of the handle that you push in, and it's got to lock in.
For some time I couldn't get it to lock, it'd just pop back out.
Finally I figured out the router needs to be fully retracted for it to
engage. I've as yet to figure out the trick to getting it to
disengage. I have to push it 3-4 times and say a few choice words
before it will do it. For table use this doesn't matter as you're
going to be in winder mode all the time so I'm not too worried about
The hole in the subbase is HUGE. Over 3 inches. So you can get a big
bit that's really too big for the motor to handle in there, but it's
awfully hard to judge how deep the bit is set when it's floating out
in space. There is a metal ring that you can pop in which holds the
template guides, but none of that sits flush with the bottom. The
hole in the extended plate/edge guide/circle cutter is equally as
large. So if you plan on using it freehand I'd see buying/making
another subbase in your future.
Unlike my Dewalt 618 in its plunge base regardless of depth setting
the top of the router stays flat, so you can flip it over and set it
down at any depth. It does seem to have quite a bit more start up
jerk to it than the 618 though.
I elected not to make a removeable insert for my table. So I routed
out half the thickness of the plywood, and figured I'd use the circle
cutting feature of the extended plate (once, before chucking it back
in the plastic case never to be seen again). It worked fine.
The subbase mounting screws are remarkably 1/4-20. Included were 2
pairs of longer screws that are meant for attaching the dust port, one
pair was just the right length the other was a little too long. (Note
to all router manufacturers, for the love of god make your mounting
holes through holes and thread them all the way) So I cut the long
ones and in she went.
Watching the collet pop up through the table for the first time I
thought "Worth every penny." Collet locks when you spin it and the
included wrench is a real bent wrench..
There is really only one logical way to mount the router in the table,
and that is with the winder handle pointing out towards the front of
the table. Otherwise the hole for the above the table bit adjustment
is going to end up under the fence. This also gives you easy access
to the winder handle for coarse adjustments, the fine adjustment if
you don't want to use the handle above the table, and the plunge lock
lever. The trouble is now the on/off switch is in the back.
Ah, but you're going to use another switch mounted on the table, says
you. But you cannot bring the collet above the table with the switch
in the on position. This makes sense, because if you could engage the
collet lock while it was running, well, that would be very very VERY
bad. In practice it is not hard at all to reach around the router for
the switch, it's right on the corner, and you only have to do it when
changing bits, so it's not a deal breaker and certainly the above the
table changes are worth it.
I am not sure how much I am actually going to use the above the table
bit adjustment. On the surface it seems like, hey, that would be
convenient. But in reality, either you have to get the handle, stick
it in and get it to engage, which is not difficult but not
instantaneous either - or you open the door and turn the knob that's
right there in front. And you've got to go in there anyway to lock
the plunge lever. I did at one point forget to lock the lever while
in winder mode and the height seemed to stay solid, but I wouldn't
I appreciate the fact that they are including a lot of accessories
that everyone else wants to charge up the nose for. But at the same
time I think they ought to do a for table use only version without all
of that stuff. They could leave out the subbase and plunge spring as
well. Keep the spiffy wrench though.