|Review by ferstler||posted 12-05-2008 08:16 PM||10430 views||1 time favorited||15 comments|
This tool has been reviewed by another user some time ago, but I thought I would throw in my two cents worth.
OK, Chicago tools are mostly junk. I have gone to Harbor Freight many times and observed their stuff, and for the most part some of it actually scares me. However, certain of their offerings are OK, and that rating applies to this little Chicago Electric trim router, stock number 44914.
First off, I should point out that Grizzly apparently sells the thing (or something very much like it) in green-color form as its Laminate Trim Router (Model H7791), with a current list price of $45. I got mine on sale at Harbor Freight for a total of twenty bucks. What makes me even happier is that one of the woodworking magazines did a review of several trim routers and gave the Grizzly what amounts to a best-buy rating of sorts at a then $40 price. Heck, that makes me feel superb, given that I paid half that.
Anyway, this is a proper tool if you remember its limitations. It comes with a decent owner’s manual (which even has a good exploded parts diagram), a limited 90-day warranty, a bottom guide made from clear plastic (to better see what you are cutting), and a spare set of brushes. The no-load, fixed spin speed is 26,000 rpm, the motor draws 2.4-amps startup (1.7 amps steady state), and the collet handles any small sized, ¼-inch shaft sized bit. The cutting depth is controlled by a fairly decent rack and pinion gear and the motor assembly is easily removable for adjustments and cleaning. The unit weighs in at a bit over 3 pounds.
I certainly would not want to do heavy-duty routing work with this tool, but for small jobs it works just fine. I have used it almost as much each of my three regular routers, and for some jobs it was in a position to work much better than any of them. It spins like a dentist’s drill and sounds like one, too, but at twenty bucks how could anybody go wrong.