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Makita has joined the ranks of powertool makers that sell larger trim routers that offer more utility for woodworkers. The kit comes with a variable speed, 1/4-in.-collet router motor (1-1/4 hp), and multiple bases, which are easily swapped out, thanks to a quick-release lever. It also comes with an edge guide, a roller guide for flush-trimming veneer on curves, template guides, and a couple of dust shrouds.
The fixed base was comfortable to use and allows for smooth and precise bit-height adjustment. A dust shroud for the fixed base goes on and off easily. Overall, dust collection was good, except when the bit is exposed and the chips can fly out underneath. The plunge base was comfortable to use and easy to control, with a three-step turret system that is very intuitive. The kit also includes a helpful bar-style handle that can be fastened to the offset base to better control the router for edge-profiling and flush-trimming.
The Makita isn’t big or powerful enough to handle the larger bits required for deep mortising or big, complex moldings, and I wish it had an LED light. But it will tackle most handheld routing jobs in a typical woodworking shop. It is a powerful, versatile trim router, and with all the accessories that are included, a great router for someone getting started.
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