No router section is complete without talking about the often forgotten palm routers. If you have ever talked to anyone who has one of these they always rave at what a great, handy tool they are … I confess, I do not have one, so taking one for a test drive was high on my agenda.
Palm routers or hand-held routers as they are sometimes called are simply smaller versions of the bigger routers. The only take ¼ inch bits, but owing to the fact they have smaller horsepower, this is not a drawback.
The Bosh Colt comes with a one horsepower (5.6 amp), soft-start, and variable speed motor (there is also a fixed speed version of this unit). What struck us the moment we opened the box was the contouring of the body of the router. When we picked it out, it seemed to conform to out hand. I weighed a bit more than we were expecting but because of the grip it really wasn’t noticeable.
This unit comes with a fixed base, but it is very easy to adjust and includes both a macro and micro adjustment that was very accurate. We started off by using a flush trim bit and cutting off piece of ¼ inch plywood, about three feet long. The router hesitated only slightly at the start, then immediately picked up speed and ploughed its way easily through the plywood to make an nice neat trim cut. We can see that this kind of a tool and these kinds of bits would be very popular with home reno and house construction people, but we also envisioned many places of using this tool in the woodwork shop.
There is limit to the size (diameter) of a bit that this unit will take which is 1 5/16, which shouldn’t be problem, if you need more, get a bigger router. Taking the base off was a snap too, and again, we could see where there would be many instances where someone might want to use this tool as a free hand trimmer, carver, sander, sharpener or edger.
Changing bits was nearly identical to the larger Bosh routers. The main shaft has a locking device so only one wrench is needed to change bits. The Collet is also a self extracting one, which means the bits literally drop out when they are released.
This tool is definitely going on my most wanted list! Can you imagine a tool like this for doing dovetails or trimming edges. It is so easy to handle, light and powerful, we were really impressed. The list of jobs for this unit is endless, trimming, inlay work, hinge mortising … the list goes on and on, this tool far exceeded our expectations in terms of usability and of features … excellent tool !!!