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Triton 3 1/4 HP under table review

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Review by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-10-2010 12:17 AM 9517 views 0 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Triton 3 1/4 HP under table review No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Addendum to this review 10/28/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom.
After many months I finally decided to replace the nylon rack with the new steel one triton sent me (see previous addendums). Disassembly wasn’t to bad, about an hour in all to replace the part. I’ve been using this router in my table for a long time now even with the defective fine adjustment part. I find it ideal for table use. I can’t speak for out of table as I use my bosch for that. The Triton is dedicated to the table. It is powerful and performs admirably. Nice features and precision cutting. I hope this is the final installment for this review. And I hope it has helped those considering 3 1/4 hp table router.

Addendum to this review 5/14/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom.
I got the new rack the other day. It’s steel. I can see why he said I’d have a long time before I had trouble with this one. The router is actually working fine by manually adjusting it so I think I’ll just put it in when I have the time. Very happy with Triton, their customer service, quick action, and a real person who can make things happen every time I call.

Addendum to this review 4/29/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
You should read these addendums up from the bottom. I finally got around to calling Triton Today. I always get Keith. He answers the phone personally each time. He’s sending the new worm gear out to me and will email instructions to replace it. He did offer to let me send it in to be replaced but since the router is usable as is I decided to accept the part and do it myself.
I asked him if this was going to be an unending issue with this gear because of it’s design. He indicated that it was a small batch of routers that had this issue and that it is slowly working it’s way out of the system as people get them replaced. He said this gear should hold up for years. I’ll let you know how the gear replacement works when I get it and get it installed. I’ve put some miles on this router in the table. It’s fantastic. Real power. It never gives that ‘slow down sound’ and I’m almost exclusively shoving red oak into it, sometimes with some large bits.

Addendum to this review 3/29/2010: A problem is being solved regarding below.
Keith from Triton called and gave me an option of shipping me a new worm gear for my router or having it picked up and doing the work (but $24 shipping). Worm gears won’t be available for about 2 weeks but The router works fine otherwise and I’ve opted for replacing the worm gear myself and saving the shipping. He even told me that he’ll send a pdf outlining the 30 minute procedure. I am pleased to see very fast service with no hassles.

Addendum to this review 3/28/2010: A problem has developed.
I’ve had the router for a couple of months so far. It has performed well but I have developed a stripped rack. When I try to crank it up in the table it snaps with each revolution and slips. If I assist it by taking the weight of the router off of it it will go up. I’ve contacted both Triton and Woodcraft in NH where I purchased it and am waiting for a response. I’ll keep you posted
——————————————————

Yesterday I picked up a Triton Router. It’s the 3 1/4 horsepower one. I have a bosch plunge router that I love but it’s not that good in a router table. It’s okay but the lift mechanism is cumbersome when mounted under a table and I’ve been using some large raised panel bits. One is 3 1/2” in diameter. They work if used in 1/8” increments but the router does strain a little.
So, I was pondering…. router lift for the Bosch or a new router under the table that was dedicated. The Triton caught my interest long ago. I blogged about the possibility of choosing it for my router table. Purplev (sharon) considered this at the same time as he was building a pretty classy router table.
I’ve been making some new cabinet doors for my sister’s kitchen. She has about 20 doors and drawers. After making 4 of them I decided to go to Woodcraft and get the Triton. They had two in stock and I found a sign in the store that someone had forgotten to take down that said 10% off all power tools. I pointed it out. They removed it. But, I held them to it. ;-)

This is not a full review of the router. You can read about it here on LJ’s and other places and find it’s specs online. This review is for people who like me are on the fence pondering ‘lift’ or ‘new router’? And afraid to jump for fear of making an expensive mistake and having to live with it.
After drilling new holes in my aluminum router plate and mounting it in my table I removed the spring on the plunge mechanism as directed. The router seems well built and the rack and pinion are metal and bronze, not plastic. It should last. The nice crank finds the slot easily through a hole drilled in the top of the mounting plate and after releasing the lock it moves smoothly through the full range of lift that the router is capable of.
That was one thing I was looking for. It has a good lift mechanism that is easy to turn and is smooth with no play in it.
The second thing was bit changing ease. And it is easy to change the bit. When the switch is off I cranked the router colette all the way to the top. As I did so it came way above the table and I could see a shiny steel pin slowly protrude from the side and enter a slot on the side of the colette. The router is locked in this position. With one supplied wrench I was able to change bits easily. In fact there is no multiple threaded turning of the collet like in my Bosch, About a 1/8 to 1/4 turn of the colette nut loosens the bit and the same tightens it.
Before you can rais the bit into the locking position you have to turn the switch off.
The switch is a rocker switch with a small sliding door over it. Slide the door over it and the switch is off. Open the door, turn the rocker switch on, and the door hooks and holds it open and in the on position. A simple effective design that shouldn’t give any trouble.
The Third thing was it’s performance. I had read in other router forums that this thing is a beast and seems to have more power than other routers of similar horsepower. Some call it the ‘beast’ others ‘routzilla’. A few say it passes as a shaper. I only have my 2 1/2 hp bosch to compare it with but I took some red oak an inch deep full bit and the thing didn’t make any reduced speed sounds.
So, a good lift, ease of use, and performance. Just what I was looking for. I know that there are some router lifts out there that are works of art. But they are expensive and you have to purchase another router body to have a dedicated table one. For my needs the triton should do very, very nicely.
I used it today to make rails and stiles for 5 cabinet doors. What a pleasant experience not having to wrestle with the router under the table. I’ve got some picts and vids below with some other observations.

New router and already very dirty.

The following picture shows how I hooked a hose to the already installed dust port. $7 (20ft) drain hose from the hardware store screws right onto the threads of the dust port. Just for the fun of it I piped it into my existing dust port. It took all of the debris. Even the 4” dust vent on my fence didn’t built up shavings. the dust port is a plastic shroud that encases the lower half of the router and even covers the bottom, above the baseplate. All shavings have to go up the port.

The shavings you see were mostly there previously. The hose within the hose is a temporary connection.

The Locking mechanism is a simple paddle knob.

Switch locked in the off position with slider over it.

Switch on with sliding door acting as a holder in the ON position.

A bunch of cabinet door rails and stiles I had just done.

Demo showing the lift mechanism in action, colette locking when in the highest position, and an easy bit change.

Routing a rail full router depth, one pass.

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




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Craftsman on the lake

2395 posts in 2123 days



32 comments so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1760 days


#1 posted 02-10-2010 12:51 AM

Thank you for the review.

In my case, I opted for the lifting system. I don’t do raised panels and it is very important to me to have very precise control over my table router. I’ll do a review on my quick lift system (from Woodpecker) shortly. As a preview let me just say that nothing gives you better control over the height of your router bit and the position of your fence than a good lifting system and the Freud fence.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bigike's profile

bigike

4032 posts in 1974 days


#2 posted 02-10-2010 12:54 AM

nice review, if i don’t get a new hitachi i want one of these.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View itsmic's profile

itsmic

1419 posts in 1804 days


#3 posted 02-10-2010 01:03 AM

Thanks for Your review Thats cool using U tube and great vidio thanks, Keep working and sharing It’s Mic

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2395 posts in 2123 days


#4 posted 02-10-2010 01:08 AM

Yes Richgreer. The woodpecker was the one I was considering. It looks like one of the best ones out there. The cost of it plus a new router core was my deciding factor though. Looking forward to your review.

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

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2206 posts in 2232 days


#5 posted 02-10-2010 01:16 AM

Very nice! If only I could afford to buy all of the fun toys in the world I would have one also.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112296 posts in 2263 days


#6 posted 02-10-2010 01:27 AM

I saw yesterday that there coming out wit the motorized lift by MLCS john had a post about it. He guessed it was going to be priced close to one of the higher priced ones they have now.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2334 days


#7 posted 02-10-2010 01:58 AM

nice review Daniel. I also got the same router, and am very pleased with the overall capabilities of this router. one thing that I did notice though that compared to the bosch which is 13amp, the triton is 15amps and at times can trip off my breaker. probably best run on a 20amp line.

nice videos ! thats one thing that is missing on the web – good demonstrational videos for the triton (and other products). thanks for putting those on. I also noticed you installed the bit all the way inside the collet – it’s best to pull it out 1/16”-1/8” out for better grip, and to avoid the bit hammering the shaft.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1760 days


#8 posted 02-10-2010 03:02 AM

Permit me to show my stupidity for a moment. Maybe someone can help me understand. I’ve read from some reliable sources that the maximum horsepower you can get out of a 110 volt current is around 2 hp. Yet, I see lots of tools, including this one, with 3 or more horsepower. I once had an air compressor that claimed it had 6 hp on a 110 volt current.

Then I read about different ways to measure hp, including a technique called “dying horsepower”. This is the power exerted for a micro second after the motor has encountered an immovable object that “kills” the motor. That doesn’t sound like a very honest measure of hp to me.

Am I wrong about the 2 hp limit on 110 volt current? If so, why can’t I get a table saw that generates 3 hp on a 110 volt circuit. Is the 3 hp number a bogus number for routers and some other machines?

A stupid person wants to know.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View hokieman's profile

hokieman

163 posts in 2439 days


#9 posted 02-10-2010 04:00 AM

I have the 2 1/4 version and it is disappointing. Vibration is really bad. Bad enough that when I have it on high speed for small diameter bits, as soon as I turn it on it vibrates to the slowest speed. I have to put a piece of tape on the dial to keep it in place. Also their customer service is incompetent. I lost my 1/4” collet and I ordered a new one. They sent me the wrong piece. I called them and they nicely said they would send me another, no charge. I thought that was pretty cool until they sent me the wrong piece AGAIN!!! I am not satisified with Triton at all.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2419 days


#10 posted 02-10-2010 04:26 AM

Rich, horsepower isn’t regulated by voltage but, rather, by amperage. So, at 120VAC, if you had an inexhaustable current source, theoretically you should be able to have whatever horsepower you wanted to design a tool for.

Daniel, great review and sounds like you have yourself a real nice ‘router table router’. Should make things easier for you. Must be nice! Most of my routing is done on the table but it would be real nice to be able to have a dedicated router for the table and know you have a router you can do portable routing with as well.
Thanks for the review.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View JKC's profile

JKC

23 posts in 1913 days


#11 posted 02-10-2010 07:04 PM

Craftsman,
Thank you for posting this excellent review. It was very timely for me. Way back, Confucius allegedly said a good picture is worth a thousand words. If he was here today he might say something like, a well executed, short video clip is worth a billion words. Your video showing how the “built-in” lift works and the easy above the table bit changes really clarify the written descriptions.

Richgreer,
Looking forward to your promised reviews.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1850 days


#12 posted 02-10-2010 07:09 PM

richgreer
There is a very good discussion about hp and motors in Bill Hylton’s ‘Woodworking with the Router book. Basically, routers, with their universal motors are rated at peek hp which under very special circumstances (unlimited amperage) they can produce for about 30 seconds and then they will ‘die’. Induction motors, like on the bigger saws will produce the rated hp all day long. Bill suggested to just use the amperage ratings as a general guide, which is also only approximate, and then just group roughly the same amperage routers in the same group. Nice common sense description.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Smacs's profile

Smacs

6 posts in 1713 days


#13 posted 02-10-2010 08:28 PM

I have no opinion on the triton router, but I wonder why I never see anyone choose a small shaper rather than a dedicated router table set up. Delta and grizzly both make 1 HP models which perform head and shoulders above any router. I think they can be used w/ a 1/2” router collet if you are insistant on using router bits. I prefer 3 wing shaper knives which really are not much more expensive and last way longer. I have been making cabinet doors professionally with these small shapers for over 25 years. Way more powerfull, easier to set up, way quieter, and a 1HP shaper kills a 3HP router powerwise. The Grizzly catalogue has reversible cabinet sets w/ bearing guides for very little money and they do work. total investment in shaper and knives are comparable to router set up and end product is much better.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2395 posts in 2123 days


#14 posted 02-10-2010 08:48 PM

That is a very good point Smacs. Why do we do that. Gizzly has two 3/4 hp ones for around $400 and $500. Everything is included that you would have in a router table. I generally thought they were very expensive.

Any thoughts?

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

View Smacs's profile

Smacs

6 posts in 1713 days


#15 posted 02-10-2010 09:04 PM

When you consider a good 3 HP router is approx. $300, time and materials to build a good table, a lift mechanism to equal the adjustability of a shaper, and you are close to that $400-$ 500 shaper range. and I repeat, the performance is incomparable to a router. I stand corrected on the HP rating of the grizzly machines, but in reality still more powerful than the best routers. I have old delta shapers @ 1 HP. I have seen them on Craigslist for in the range of $300.The porter cable 3HP router comes closest in performance. If you are going to use the router without the table at any point I understand the router option, but as an alternative to a dedicated router table set up, give me the shaper.

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