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Triton TRA001 review after owning several years

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Review by shawnn posted 11-09-2018 03:45 PM 817 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Triton TRA001 review after owning several years No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I tried other routers in my Incra router table. I have a Hitachi 12VC with fixed and plunge base that I used first. I tried “dialing” the fixed base up and down for height adjustment, that really sucked. Then I bought a Craftsman that had above table height adjustment, which I returned after the plunge base became wobbly after a single day of mortise plunge cutting. The motor of the Craftsman was really smooth running and I liked the slow start feature but I didn’t need it as I had the Hitachi. I caught the Triton on sale under $200 so I jumped on it. I’ve had it now for 4 or 5 years and it lives exclusively in the router table – I use the Hitachi and a small trim router for other routing needs.

Shortly after buying the Triton, I was working on a project with a short deadline and a Whiteside bit kept slipping up in the collet and ruining wood. I called Kreg, who bought Triton, and they sent a new router immediately along with a return label to return the unit I had. As it turned out it was a defective Whiteside bit with undersize shank but I wanted to mention that Kreg’s customer service was top notch.

The Triton router has performed flawlessly, has never bogged down even when using the largest of bits (panel raising, etc). It has both 1/4” and 1/2” collets. It uses a single wrench for bit changes as the collet locks when adjusted all the way up (have to put the power switch in the Off position). It came with a handle for above-table height adjustment. The base is designed such that I was able to use some cheap vacuum hose from HD to attach to my shop vac hose for chip extraction. I drilled holes in the Incra magnetic plates to emulate the “Clean Sweep” plates they sell and it works like a champ. I don’t know if any other router can offer extraction as good as this. There is a Porter Cable router base plate that has the same hole pattern, which can be modified by removing some ribs and allow the use of standard guide bushings – as I understand this will also fit the smaller Triton router.




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shawnn

116 posts in 1538 days



11 comments so far

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pintodeluxe

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#1 posted 11-09-2018 05:42 PM

Well, I love these long term reviews. That’s what really matters is how does a tool hold up over time. This looks like a good tool. I’ve been using the old Freud FT1700 with built in router lift. It’s a great system too, but unfortunately no longer made. I bought a second one in case the first one ever gives out!

Interesting to hear that Kreg bought Triton. I’ll be watching to see what changes they bring to market.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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stumpg

2 posts in 2722 days


#2 posted 11-10-2018 04:41 AM

Thank you for an excellent review. I have been looking (and lurking on LJ ) for a supplement to my 25+? year old PC690 (fixed and plunge bases) which is too finicky to micro adjust the height when mounted under my custom router / dust collector separator table. I just set up one of the PC router bases in my new Grizzly 1023 table saw wing which is easier to access from below (but still a pain), but haven’t tried it yet. Your review is very timely for my search now that I can really use two routers. I have focused on the Tritons for the above table adjustment plus the single wrench bit change function as you mentioned but am waiting on a special sale. Nice to know your Hitachi as served you well too. Again thanks and maybe someday I will get around to posting my own reviews and projects.
cheers, Jim, San Francisco

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shawnn

116 posts in 1538 days


#3 posted 11-10-2018 01:29 PM

You’re welcome for the review, I’m trying to contribute more and this makes the effort worthwhile. If you use the Triton in your router table, remember to remove the spring that assists with lifting the router body when used as a plunge router; the spring is not needed in a table mount application. It is trying to resist the lift.

Some other hints I have found are, when changing the bit or every so often, take the collet completely off and bang it on the table to get dust out of it. At the same time blow or vacuum the router nose where the collet threads on as it will collect in there. Also, every great once in a while the router may not want to lift all the way up, this means the plunge/lift mechanism area inside the body has shavings in it and will need to be taken out and cleared. I do this with the table plate still attached and it only takes a few minutes.

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Desert_Woodworker

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#4 posted 11-10-2018 02:54 PM

+ 1’s to the above

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Craftsman on the lake

2821 posts in 3610 days


#5 posted 11-10-2018 10:31 PM

I’ve had this same router in my router table for years. It has been reliable, convenient and easy to use with good safety features. I find it a router that has unique design features that really add to it’s versatility.
I also have a Bosch that I’ve had for years and it’s been very good, but the Triton seems like a router that doesn’t follow the traditional router mold and you wonder why the others don’t pick up on some of it’s features.

On another note, the main thing you notice, as I wrote in a review long ago, is the beefy power. It just won’t bog down at all. Yes, it’s a bigger motor than most but boy, it’s powerful.

I’ve had a set of Freud roundover bits and the largest also had the mis-sized shank issue like you had. Have never been able to tighten it enough to use it successfully in either router.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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playingwithmywood

431 posts in 1770 days


#6 posted 11-11-2018 04:25 AM

The INCRA router plate and the Triton 3.5 is a winner winner chicken dinner… have mine for years and love them both

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shawnn

116 posts in 1538 days


#7 posted 11-11-2018 05:09 AM


I ve had a set of Freud roundover bits and the largest also had the mis-sized shank issue like you had. Have never been able to tighten it enough to use it successfully in either router.

I would try to get Freud to replace it. Whiteside replaced mine and thanked me for it, as it turned out they had a bad run of that particular item and my call prompted them to check all the stock and cull the bad ones.

If that doesn’t work, maybe wrap the shank with some shimstock or aluminum foil and get some use out of it?

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builtinbkyn

2650 posts in 1113 days


#8 posted 11-11-2018 05:32 AM

I have the same router in my table that has the Incra plate and it’s a champ. I love the easy, one tool bit removal and the ability to raise and lower the bit from above. Nice review.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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SteveKorz

2136 posts in 3887 days


#9 posted 11-14-2018 06:38 AM

I have this router, and I have also had it for several years. I love the router. However, within the last month or so, the speed settings have been malfunctioning. As the router is in use and cutting wood, I notice that it will speed up or slow down (or both). I’m not sure what the deal is, or how to fix it. I may contact them to see what they say.

I still give the router 4.5 stars, the thing is just a beast! I milled solid Hickory drawer fronts today and it didn’t even act like it was working.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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shawnn

116 posts in 1538 days


#10 posted 11-14-2018 02:19 PM



I have this router, and I have also had it for several years. I love the router. However, within the last month or so, the speed settings have been malfunctioning. As the router is in use and cutting wood, I notice that it will speed up or slow down (or both). I m not sure what the deal is, or how to fix it. I may contact them to see what they say.

I still give the router 4.5 stars, the thing is just a beast! I milled solid Hickory drawer fronts today and it didn t even act like it was working.

- SteveKorz

It’s probably just some dust or dirt in it. I suggest you get electrical contact cleaner and spray it in the speed adjustment rheostat and work it back & forth vigorously – with it unplugged of course. If you do so I would let it sit long enough for the cleaner to evaporate before running it.

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SteveKorz

2136 posts in 3887 days


#11 posted 11-15-2018 04:49 PM

Shawnn, I’ll give it a try.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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