Routers have always been a tool for more intense projects, but they’ve become even more versatile in recent years. There are two major types of routers that you may encounter – palm and trim routers.
Moreover, the type to choose largely depends on what kind of projects you’re working with. Each has its pros and cons depending on your needs.
What’s the difference between a palm router and a trim router? Palm routers are great for small jobs that require precision and detail, such as rounding the edges of a decorative molding or beveling an engraving on your sign. While, on the other hand, trim routers work better with larger projects like building shelving units from scratch or making large signs to hang outside your store.
So, let’s have a thorough discussion on the difference between these two types of routers and how to choose the right one for you.
The palm router is a small hand-held device that allows you to create precise and accurate woodworking projects.
This type of tool was given its name because it is a compact device the user can hold with their hand. It also goes by other names, including “compact router” and “hand router.”
The best feature of palm routers is that they are the low-power workhorses of your toolkit. They can be just as powerful and versatile but with a much gentler touch.
Therefore, these are perfect for trimming delicate corners or routing intricate curves in smaller materials without smashing anything to smithereens.
Despite not performing more robust woodworking tasks like trimming down boards or cutting out tiny pieces of material, palms still hold an advantage over other types. They’re capable of completing very intricate work in much less time than any type of router would take on these kinds of jobs.
Furthermore, it’s especially handy when it comes to small sign engraving or cutting decorative edges into pieces of lumber that need to be evened out.
If you’re looking for a great palm router, we suggest checking out the Avid Power compact router. Not only is it a convenient and high-performance machine, but it also comes with 11 accessories, including 5 router bits.
The trim router was initially invented to cut laminate wood flooring but quickly became a favorite in cabinetry and countertops.
These tools can be used for cutting veneer or planks with ease and routing grooves into edges.
Furthermore, trim routers are up to three times as powerful and even more helpful than a palm router when it comes to power.
Besides, they also have higher speeds with larger projects that make them harder for homeowners.
Apart from that, these are the perfect tool for cutting intricate inlays, trimming shelf lipping, and routing large wooden signs. Not to mention, its size and power can complete tasks that would not be possible with a smaller palm router.
If you’re looking for a trim router, we suggest the Ridgid laminate trim router, as it is a powerful tool with flawless performance.
Features to Consider While Buying Routers
However, if you are planning to buy a router, you need to know what features to look for in both of these. It’s essential to think about what type of projects you’ll be using your router for. Have a look at what features to look for in an ideal router.
The power of a router is one thing that can have the most impact on what type of work you will be able to perform with it. Peak horsepower and sustained horsepower are two different types. These determine their maximum power for shorter or more prolonged use, respectively.
Palm routers might have about one horsepower more than a trim router, reaching 2 or 3 horsepower. However, unless you are doing heavy-duty tasks, less power should be sufficient enough for the job.
2. Slow Start Feature
A router’s “slow start” will control the speed at which it can cut a piece of wood and at which scroll saws or routers must be run. The total power is not turned on until the slower speed reaches its operating point.
As a result, this prevents the sudden loss of power that would result if the motor was instantly modulated to full strength as soon as it was turned on.
3. Speed Control Option
As you’re using a router, the variable speed option is handy for adjusting to whatever size of bit you may be working with. For instance, if your work requires smaller bits, it’s better to set up at lower speeds.
This way, you will not damage any pieces on top of other surfaces or hidden by others still being cut around them.
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