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Craftsman Professional Palm Router

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Review by runngt posted 2304 days ago 17091 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftsman Professional Palm Router No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I had been searching for a new lighter router for easy handling and finer work. The Craftsman Professional palm router was my second pick over the Bosch, but after having the Bosch for an hour I packed it back up and returned it (I will save that for another review) and picked up the Craftsman.

First thought out of the box was it felt good in my hand, comfort was great. The tool was solid but not too heavy. This was my first “soft start” router and although I have read some guys don’t like it, I think it’s a great feature on such a small router. The bult in LED light comes in pretty handy along with the speed control thumb wheel. The height adjustment has been easy to use although most of the time I eyeball my depths and test cut on scrap wood first.

I find myself grabbing this tool before my bigger router as it has cut everything I have put it on with out trouble. The addition of the two handed base it a great feature as well, just swap them out by removing the three screws. The cord it PLEANTY long to get you to your work area and also has a velcro strap to keep it rolled up in the supplied storage case.

The selling point for me on this router was the clear base. Being a newbe wood worker I always felt blind or searching for that perfect angle to see what the bit was doing in my work. The clear base lets me keep a close eye and I know I am tracking where I want to cut with out question. For a hundred dollars this is a great tool for any shop!

The below is “cut and paste” from the Sears web site so I do not have to re-type specs:

The Craftsman Professional Fixed Base Palm Router has 1.25 HP and a 6.5 Amp permanently lubricated ball bearing motor with variable speed from 18,000 to 28,000 RPM (no load speed). Made with a die-cast aluminum motor housing and sleeve; this heavy-duty professional router cuts smoothly and easily through soft woods, hard woods, veneers and plastics alike. A spindle lock is located in the front of the router making it easy to remove bits and collets with a single wrench. The 1/4-in collet size permits the use of 1/4-in bit shanks. Secure the bit at a desired height by using the positive cam locking mechanism. Soft start technology helps prevent router take-offs as the motor steadily revs to the desired speed allowing the operator to securely grip both handles and accurately position the tool before engaging the bit. The router’s ergonomically designed palm/ barrel handles reduce vibration and user fatigue while providing a comfortable grip in a range of positions. Additionally, the ergonomic joy stick handled base offers a superior grip at virtually any position. The large oval base makes it convenient to transform from a palm router to a small, full-sized router. The steel rack and pinion system allows for easy height adjustments in 1/16-in. increments by simply turning the height adjustment knob. The clear sub-bases, combined with the built in dual LED lights, enhance user visibility of the work piece and the bit. Dual view windows provide a clear sightline to the bit and work piece from either the front or back of the router. A chip deflector helps keep the chips contained and away from the operator. The sub-base is designed for effective debris extraction and will also accept threaded router bushings.

High Performance 6.5 Amp variable speed motor with soft start runs at 18,000 to 28,000 RPM (no load speed)
Permanently lubricated 100% ball bearings
Die-cast Aluminum motor housing and motor sleeve are lightweight yet provide strength
Spring loaded spindle lock is located in the front of the router for easy removal of the router bit or router collet with the use of one wrench.
Steel rack and pinion system allows 1/16-in depth adjustments.
Positive cam locking buckle system secures the router bit at the desired height and prevents the router from self adjusting during use.
Clear-view sub base accepts threaded router bushings, enhances visibility of the work piece and assists with dust extraction.
Dual LED work lights illuminate the work surface and the bit with an ambient light to enhance visibility.
Includes 1/4-in. collet allowing the use of 1/4-in bit shanks
Ergonomically designed palm/barrel and joy stick handles with soft-grip provide a secure grip and absolute control over the router during use
Large oval base makes it convenient to switch from palm router to a small full-sized router
Clear, interchangeable sub-base
oCold weather flexible 8ft SJ Cord
Includes: Craftsman Professional Carrying case, how-to-guide, steel edge guide and operators manual.

-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !




View runngt's profile

runngt

120 posts in 2363 days



16 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2612 days


#1 posted 2304 days ago

Nice review. Thanks.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2581 days


#2 posted 2304 days ago

Great review, but I am interested in why this router was better than the Bosch…I assume it was the colt you were referring too. I was planning on buying the colt so I would love to see your review of that.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2327 days


#3 posted 2304 days ago

Great review!

Thanks for the post

Callum

-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out http://thetimberkid.com/

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2392 days


#4 posted 2304 days ago

thanks for the review. I might have a need for one of those soon. thanks for the review. i would like a review of the bosch too so i could see what went wrong. i always heard that that was a good one.

View runngt's profile

runngt

120 posts in 2363 days


#5 posted 2304 days ago

First let me say I have never owned a bosch tool (that I can remember) so I cannot speak for all their tools, they may be great products I don’t know. I may have also just get a “lemon” router…...I don’t know.

The colt was my first pick after seeing it on DIY cool tools and all the attachements you could get for it or all together as a package deal. I liked the square base to follow guides, the amps or hp between the two are the same…....but after getting home and giving it a test go the height adjustment was not that great, felt real loose, fiddled with it and got it to “lock” in position, clamped my test dummy for a run and it started off great then went loose and dug in. Turned the tool off and the lock had come loose and went to full depth. I gave it several goes and never would it hold my setting for depth. Other than that it was or seemed to be a good router.

I just could not justify wasting good wood and would have never had confidence in the tool to hold a setting so I returned it for the Craftsman, which has a very similar depth setting only the Craftsman tool works great and holds tight.

runngt

-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2581 days


#6 posted 2304 days ago

Thanks for the clarification! I will have to research that a little..I think I remember reading some negative reviews on Amazon about the Colt, but it had something to do with the base not being square to the collet. Great review…you got me thinking twice…maybe I will go with the Craftsman.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2446 days


#7 posted 2303 days ago

Thanks for the review. This was well done and informative.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Woodshopfreak's profile

Woodshopfreak

389 posts in 2366 days


#8 posted 2303 days ago

always have loved craftsman.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12909 posts in 2607 days


#9 posted 2303 days ago

good review. might get one myself someday

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1044 posts in 2692 days


#10 posted 2301 days ago

I’ve had the Bosch since December. I’ve found it works well and have been pleased with it. It is no comparison to a full sized router in regards to power, but it has its pro’s. Mine is typically dedicated to a few functions. Roundover, Chamfer, and flush trimming are all common uses. The craftsman sounds nice, though. My big complaint about the Bosch is that it won’t accept a standard guide without purchasing another base plate from Bosch or making one yourself (I opted for the latter).

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View dieselman's profile

dieselman

5 posts in 2301 days


#11 posted 2296 days ago

Hey guys, did you know that Bosch makes routers for Sears, Craftsman?
Source of info found in Woodworking with the Router by Bill Hylton. After
reading the book twice times, I choose a Bosch Colt router.I,m a Newbie
so I asked for some advice from my brother-inlaw,he just retired from the
trade, remodel carpenter for 30 yrs. I would advise anybody buying a router
to read this book first ! and thanks to members who advised fellow members
to buy and read this book.

Dieselhammer

-- DIESELHAMMER

View jake's profile

jake

39 posts in 2327 days


#12 posted 2273 days ago

Nice review. It is true that Bosch has made routers for years for Sears, but that has pretty much come to an end with the new line of Craftsman routers. I have the newer full size Craftsman router and am very pleased for the money, very much like a Porter Cable but not by them. Thier older Craftmans Professional combo set was by Bosch as well as a less expensive router (plastic body) that was not labeled professional. I have the Colt and am very pleased but the quality seems to be spotty, as I have read many reviews on the various woodworking forums and the reviews are not consistent, many love it but many have had quality problems. I too did not like having to buy another base to use template guides but picked one up for ten bucks online. Seems like the Craftsman router line by the new (China made) company is decent quality and very good value for the prices. Most of the new tools are coming out of China anyway, just have to look at each tool and you can often tell if it is made with precision or not by trying out the controls, how smooth it works, etc. I looked at the Craftsman, should have given it a try.

View Schummie's profile

Schummie

191 posts in 2389 days


#13 posted 2254 days ago

Runngt,

thanks for your good review.
I was also looking for the Bosch as “small” router and because off the pain in my hands and therefore I want try a small router, for small things. But wen I see this review and the reviews on Amazon, where smook there’s
fire, we say here. Are there more (affordable) small routers or not. The Craftsman looks very nice, certainly because off the two handed base, that is better for my hands.
I hope there are more people whit experience whit small router

Thanks Schummie.

This review I saw on the Sears site:

By hbmac from St Paul Minnesota

“I really wanted to buy this palm router for the additional twin handel sub base. I went to Sears to check it out. The online discription says the sub base will allow the use of screw in router templet guides. I brought a standard one and 3/16 inch guide and mounting ring with me but found out the base hole is too big for the guide. There is no information in the owners manual on using templet guides. I even checked with Sears parts department – they have no infomation on an adapter or a different base plate that would allow the use of the standard or for that matter any guide bushings.
I ended up buying the Bosch palm router as an additional base plate for screw in guides is availible.
I can’t recomend the Sears palm router as it is limited in not being able to do templet work.”

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2321 days


#14 posted 2252 days ago

I have 7 routers 2 are medium size sears and 2 small black and Decker ,3 of them are very heavy ,I don’t know if black and Decker still makes those small ones, I you want something really light get a trimmer

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1796 posts in 1815 days


#15 posted 1791 days ago

I own this little craftsman router and I like it. First you can change bits very fast, second I liike the feel of it,
third, I find adujusting the height of the bit very fast. My primary use for this router is small profiiles and flush
sutting. The one thing that concerns me is that the motor gets very hot within 5 or ten minutes, we will see if that becomes a problem. The best thing about the router was I bought it off the return pile and it only cost me 37.00 bucks!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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