Porter-Cable - Laminate Trimmer 97311 Multiple-Base
Porter-Cable’s 97311 laminate trimmer features four bases and single-wrench bit changing.
After evaluating 10 laminate trimmers, both single-base and multiple-base models, it became clear that several qualities contributed to making a trimmer user-friendly. While none of the trimmers could do everything, the best ones were light enough to use with one hand; had a switch that could be operated with the hand holding the tool; didn’t have to be taken apart for bit changes; gave the user a clear view of the cutting action; didn’t have lots of small parts to get lost; and let the user keep the bit perpendicular to the router base while adjusting the depth of cut. Here’s how the multiple-base Porter-Cable fared:
This Porter-Cable model felt great in my hand, the switch is well placed, and the machine is stable. The four dedicated bases are held to the motor with one large knob, which also is used for vertical adjustments. The bases accept standard Porter-Cable templates, and the kit needs only one wrench. The offset base was easy to put on.
Disadvantages: The round vertical-adjustment knob, which was only slightly knurled, was difficult to tighten. Vertical adjustment for the 90° base was hit or miss: The bit fell and tilted as I adjusted the height, then rose and straightend as I retightened the knob. The trim guide had to be adjusted with an Allen wrench, which made the job difficult. The tilt base is marked in 5° increments, so anything more precise would need to be tweaked through trial and error.