|Review by ferstler||posted 11-24-2008 11:40 PM||9019 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
Some woodworkers would shudder at the thought of using a Black and Decker tool for routing work, but actually their Fire-Storm unit is not half bad. I picked it up for $60 at Lowe’s a while back (list was $100, I think, but it was being discontinued), and have used it for several sign-making jobs and other oddities.
The unit is rated for 11,000 to 28,000 spin speeds and has a 12-amp motor that seems powerful enough, and the collet is a 1/2 incher. The on/off switch is also easy to use. One thing I really like about it is the dust-collecting feature, which allows outboard sucktion to pull the dust out at the bottom and lets a vacuum or dust-collector machine extract it from an outlet at the top. This feature works very well, indeed. The top connection gets the vacuum hose out of the way.
The router is big, but not all that heavy, and it has a multi-tiered depth-cut feature that also works fairly well. I say “fairly,” because I did have to take the adjustment disc apart and fine tune it a bit to get it to sit as solidly as I would like. Hey, we should not expect Chinese technology to be absolutely perfect for just sixty bucks.
Anyway, it is a decent tool for jobs that require not too much precision. Besides, what really determines a router’s abilities are the cutters one uses, and you can put even the most premium-grade versions in this machine.