|Review by ADHDan||posted 04-11-2014 02:35 PM||4224 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
I have a Bosch router table and I hate changing bits. I had to purchase a third-party offset wrench for my 1617, and even still it’s a PITA to pop the throat plate out, wedge a spindle lock wrench under the table, and get the offset wrench on the collet to loosen. It sucked.
So I was pretty stoked when I got the Router Technologies Xtreme Xtension last Christmas. I don’t know if I would classify a specialized router table accessory as “Xtreme,” but it works – really, really well. Here are the key features:
First, it does exactly what it says it should do: allows for fast and easy above-table router changes, with a single tool. It can be a little tricky to get the allen wrench into the hex head sometimes, but other than that it’s a piece of cake. And it doesn’t take much torque to lock the bit in nice and snug.
Second, it’s sturdy and well-balanced. I was a little nervous about run-out and off-center bits causing chattering, vibrations, and injury but so far it’s been about as smooth as the OEM collet. I mean, I’m not going to spin panel-raising or box-jointing bits in this thing, but for rabbets, dadoes, roundovers, and other standard joinery and profile bits it’s just fine.
Third, it (ostensibly) works with half-inch and quarter-inch router bits. I haven’t used it for quarter-inch bits yet but it’s nice to have that option.
Really, the only annoyance I had was that the extension requires installation of a spacer between the router and the table to account for the height of the extension, but I figure that would be inherent to just about any quick-change accessory that slips in the collet. So I didn’t knock off a point for it.
-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.