Tool review: PantoRouterRollie Johnson reviews this powerful tool that creates perfect joinery.
The pantorouter is a new, highly capable machine that performs like a souped-up slot mortiser. At its heart is a router mounted to an articulating arm that moves on the X, Y, and Z axes. This makes it great for joinery, whether it’s traditional or has a little more flair. Mortise-and-tenon joints, box joints, and dovetails can be created with available patterns, or you can design your own patterns. It can be purchased with or without a router.
Assembly, setup, and fine-tuning were straightforward, and the learning curve was short. I started by creating simple mortise-and-tenons, and by my third try the fit of the joint was right on the money.
The PantoRouter’s carriage moves precisely along the X and Y axes. To direct this movement, the arm has a bearing-guided stylus that rides around templates mounted to an adjustable fence. By following the inside or outside perimeter of the template, you can cut the positive or negative halves of a joint. To travel in and out—the Z-axis—the carriage rides on steel rods. There’s a fence to align the cut, and it moves easily, clamps securely, and has a great indexing feature, making it easy to find center on odd-sized workpieces. To top it all off, the machine’s dust collection is very effective.
—Roland Johnson is a contributing editor.
Photos: Roland Johnson
Frome Fine Woodworking #281