M0F001KC 2-1/4 HP Plunge Router - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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M0F001KC 2-1/4 HP Plunge Router

Triton - M0F001KC 2-1/4 HP Plunge Router

Triton's 2-1/4 hp router with built-in router lift comes with templates and an edge guide and circle guide.

$200 (As of 6/14/2006)

(16 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor Choice-Best Overall Editor Choice-Best Value

Editor's Review: Tool Test: Routers for Router Tables

by Roland Johnson

review date: June 14, 2006

The Triton M0F001KC router is one in a new class of routers that features an integrated router lift that makes it ideal for use in a router table. We tested similar routers from seven manufacturers. Our tests included checking runout with a dial indicator and inspecting how each router worked by testing it with a tall moulding bit.

The Triton won the Editors Best Overall and Best Value awards because it had the easiest bit-changing and height adjustment of those tested. Plus, it comes with several accessories, including an edge guide and a guide for cutting circles. We also liked the safety feature that prevents the power switch from being engaged when changing the bit.

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Editor Test Results:

Bit Changing Excellent, Single wrench
Base Changing N/A
Plunge/Height Adjustment Excellent
Runout 0.0007
Quality of Cut Good
Vibration at Handles N/A
Router Table Suitability Excellent
Noise Rating N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Triton
Manufacturer's Web Site www.tritonwoodworking.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 888-874-8661
Opening at Base 3-1/16 in.
Built-in Dust Collection Yes
Horsepower 2-1/4 HP
Amps 13 Amps
Watts 1560 Watts
Volts 120v
Speed Variable: 8,000 rpm to 20,000 rpm
Collet Size 1/2 in. and 1/4 in.
Maximum Plunge 2-1/4 in.
Tilting Base No
Special Features Built-in router lift; edge and circle guides
Product Warranty 12 months

Been a member for over 25 years. Bought this router for "under the table use" based on so called "great reviews" including yours. Too bad you did not use it more than 15 minutes or more than 4 or 5 bit changes. Last time I will look to finewoodworking for an opinion on a tool. I have been a woodworker/remodeler for over 35 years and this is the sorriest piece of equipment in my shop. Sometimes, you get what you pay for; I did not!!!

Out of the box this is a great router with many excellent features. The first few operations will perform like a dream, the under-the-table capability is outstanding, and it will truly be an addition to your shop. I can see why this router continues to get high marks by FWW in the reviews. Unfortunately the reviews and tests do not extend to a prolonged examination of the tool over extended periods of use. I am a professional furniture builder and the router is a vital tool in my shop. My first Triton withstood a month of only fairly moderate use before it started to come apart. The problem I had was in the adjustment mechanism - it just couldn't stand up to prolonged use. The worm gear stripped almost immediatly making the micro adjustable feature useless and tripling the time and hassle of setup. Then the plunge mechanism failed and the arbor lost alignment, resulting in rougher and rougher cuts. I tried to get the router fixed at a local shop but there were no service centers in the area for this apparently little known company. I agree that their customer service was outstanding and I was given a new router from woodcraft with the explanation and a few of them had been found to be defective. My second router lasted a week before failing in the same fashion. I hold no grudge against Triton and was given a full refund and an apology, but after using my new porter cable 890 series for the last year without problems I know where my allegiance lies. I think this router would be good for a hobbyist shop if it got only light use, but for a professional's shop it has a long way to go before it can play with the big boys.

I received this router from Amazon.com and sent it back because of excessive vibration. Amazon sent a replacement and it, also, was not useable because of vibration. Save your money and time.

Following the review of royjcouvillion...I appreciate royjcouvillion's recanting of his not so flattering experiences with Triton. It demonstrates a few points. One is that there is no perfect tool out there. Two that every product suffers from bad lemons. And most importantly that his unfortunate experience is not the norm and that as we ponder new purchases of whatever, it behooves us to research and take with a grain of salt the unfortunate, but small probability that you will have a bad experience. Continuing with royjcouvillion's story let me give you my flipside. Short of the couple woodshop classes I had many moons ago in jr high, I am a new, 2 years, to woodworker. I love the hobby, nay the passion it is for me. But being new and wanting to get into it I was confronted with the idea to fully outfit a shop it would set me back about $5000. Something my wife was not really keen on. Of course buying her a new car diverted the money question away from me. So in my year long shopping spree I started off trying to be as thrifty with my money as possible and at the same time try to obtain some degree of quality in my purchases. My first two purchases of routers were both "that blue plastic company" routers and I purchased them because they had the best warranties. Well They NEED the best warranty because even at $100 each they are woefully inadequate in craftsmanship. Levers that break off, plunge mechanisms that at best have to be forced down, basically not a joy to work with. However my recent decisions to start spending more money to get what I pay for has delivered me delight with a PC biscuiter and a Triton 2 1/4. The Triton is great, the only thing I wish is that it had more meal like the PC. Something I would pay another $50 for.

Ok, I've read the reviews and they all seem positive, so why is it that the Tritons that I've gone through have failed me so?Based on the FWW review, I ordered the Triton 2-1/4" router and built a table around it. Now, this is far from my first router. My first router is still in regular use in my shop. It's a Rockwell 690 I bought in the late '70s. I have two other Porter Cable 690's, a PC 7539 3-1/4hp, and a Rigid EVS 2-1/4hp. I tried the PC 893 2-1/4hp, but didn't like that one either.First, let me say that Triton's customer service sets the standard in my book. If you ever need them, ask for Adam.MY FIRST TRITONThe first one delivered to me operated well for a few test passes after I installed it in my new table. There was a slight vibration, but that didn't seem to affect the cut. Then, when I finally got around to using it for an actual project, the worm gear for the router lift stripped. Triton's customer service guys immediately recognized the problem via my phone call to them and admitted there were a few machines with an apparently defective part. They were currently out of that part and would send one to me ASAP.Six weeks later, I got my part. During the installation, I noticed flaking chips on each of the armature brushes. When I called Triton to order new brushes, I was told that was a sign the armature was bent. They sent me a replacement router within 10 days.MY SECOND TRITONInstalled in my table with a 2" straight bit, it vibrated so wildly I dove for cover while reaching to rip the power cord from the socket. Triton was amazed by this coincidence. Imagine two defective routers in a row! Who'd a thunk it?!?MY THIRD TRITONBEFORE plugging this one in, I installed aforementioned 2" straight bit and TURNED THE ROUTER BY HAND. This one ran true. However, I had already finished my projects and had to attend to my real job. A couple of months later while attempting to complete my wife's Christmas present, I got the opportunity to use the router. After about 30 feet of a tiny walnut molding, the worm gear for the lift failed during a bit change. No, I did attempt to break the world record for the 2-1/4hp router toss, but I did threaten to make a fancy little mobile using that and the other two Triton's that were sitting in my shop rest room. Adam at Triton was very understanding and apologetic. He even upgraded me, sending me...MY FOURTH TRITONThe hefty big brother to the 2-1/4" 2-1/4hp is the 3-1/4hp Triton plunge router. Happily, it mounts with the very same hole pattern as the baby brother and accepts the vacuum hose in the same manner. It runs.So, it's been a year and I've managed to run a 1/4" round-over bit 30ft on walnut. I've finished my projects and haven't yet started on another, so I have no idea how the new Triton will perform. Yet, there is a silver lining. In my frustration, I purchased the Porter Cable 893 to install on the table. This router bogs down much too easily. I returned this router (I was very short of patience with routers by then) and bought the Ridgid 2-1/4hp router. THIS IS A VERY NICE ROUTER. I still run this router as my main table router. Bit changing is a snap from above or reaching below. The soft start is really a soft start. It never bogs down, it never gets hot. If Triton would give my money back, I'd buy another Ridgid (or experiment with the Freud or Milwaukee). If this last Triton fails me, then I'll try one of those. Then I'll either make that mobile or a really cool set of funny orange bookends for my shop reference books.

In a word...WOW..This is by far the best router I have ever used. The performance and feel of this tool is great. The plunge is smooth, the lock is precise and easy to use. The on-off switch is conveniently mounted. And all the accessories included blow away te competition. I wish I had known about this before I wasted money on one of the other big brands...see my PC router review.



The Triton is a wonderful router. I've only had it since the Baltimore Woodworking Show in early January, but I am more than pleased with it. I purchased it to replace a 25 year old Elu that was pretty well worn out. I really like the ease of bit change. Excellent feature. The ease of raising and lowering the bit in the router table mode is a pleasure to use. It operates in that mode so easily that my young 6 year 0ld grandaughter could operate it. It is very quiet, even at highspeed. I have no regrets purchasing this router. I would reccommend the purchase one to any friend of mine. Sincerely, D.F. Ames



I have used the triton router now for about 18 months now and found it a great machine. I use it with the triton router table and its a great combo.



This router solves 2 of the three major problems that many routers have. 1. A self releasing collet together with a spindle lock (interlocked with the switch cover) makes changing bits easy and painless. This is above the table if table mounted. 2. It has excellent dust collection via a shroud and a shop vac. Other pluses are an included edge guide/oversized base plate, and a micro depth adjustment that works through the full range, and variable speed/soft start. Now if we could just deal the noise.With nothing else to buy, this is a good value at $200.Alan TurnerPhiladelphia Furniture Workshop

A good tool at a good price and with more than enough power. I particularly like the rack and pinion height adjustment when used in a table. There is some play in the fine adjustment however but once taken up is not a problem. Bit changing is easy once you get used to switching the router off before attempting bit change. It seems to have powerfull updraft (down in table) which has upset my dust collection which works fine when I use my Festo router. It handles a large panelraising bit with ease. The soft-start feature seems to me to be more of a "delayed start" but it is an impression which I cannot assert. The innovative fence and circle cutter work well.Pieter

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