Tool Reviews (+Hot New Tools): Triton trimmer could be your go-to router

Triton trimmer could be your go-to router

Triton TMNRTR 1.2 HP Trim Router with Plunge Base

Price: $179.99, #184295


  • 11,500 – 31,000 RPM
  • Micro-depth adjustment on plunge base
  • Depth stop on plunge base
  • Adjustable roller guide for trim base

Trim routers are uniquely suited to certain jobs in the shop. They’re ideal for flushing up laminate and hardwood edging or adding small-radius roundovers to corners. Plus, the compact, lightweight design makes them easy to control single-handedly and adept at working in tight confines. It used to be that a trim router augmented your routing arsenal, but depending on the work you do, Triton’s new trimmer is powerful and versatile enough to make it your only router.
As a trim router, the TMNRTR functions as expected. In addition, its small base allows plenty of visibility without compromising stability, the 1⁄4" collet fits common straight and edging bits, and the soft startup keeps you in control as its variable speed spindle ramps up. The motor securely attaches to the base via a thumb screw that threads directly into the motor housing rather than relying on a pressure fit. A knob on the base allows for minute vertical adjustment. The trimmer base also accepts the included trim roller guide, effectively adding an adjustable guide bearing to bits without one of their own.
Triton’s offering includes a plunge base, adding even more versatility to this compact dynamo. The plunge base gives you the ability to easily make cuts that start and stop away from the edges of a board—stopped dadoes, mortises, hinge gains, and the like. While sporting its plunge base, Triton’s trimmer opens the door to a wide range of woodworking, including sign making, inlay, and even smaller-scale mortise and tenon joinery.

The plunge base features a depth stop turret and a micro-depth knob for precision depth adjustment. It accepts the included edge guide, as well as proprietary guide bushings. The kit also comes with a winder that allows depth adjustment through the router base, useful for router table setups. Mount the plunge base and motor setup below a compatible router table, insert the winder and make height adjustments from above without fiddling below the table.

In testing, the motor proved powerful enough to handle everything I threw at it. This included plowing a 5⁄8" wide, 3⁄8" deep mortise in red oak, a task usually better suited to a full-size plunge router than a typical trimmer. I found the springs on the plunge base to be very tight. While that’s preferable to them being too loose, they require a fair amount of force to plunge. I’m hopeful they’ll loosen up over time. The 1-1/2" diameter dust collection port works well, but the collection shroud does interfere with fingers and wrenches when changing bits while the motor is in the plunge base.

Those minor grievances aside, the TMNRTR is a great router. If you mostly make boxes, gift items, and the occasional piece of small furniture, this may be the only router you need. And if your shop tends toward larger furniture, the clever bases, plunge capability, compact size, and versatility of Triton’s tiny titan will help earn it a spot on your router shelf. n

—Tester, Derek Richmond

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