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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, Chicago tools are mostly junk and it is probably almost a waste of time to review one of their products here. 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 trim router.

First off, I should point out that Grizzly apparently sells the thing (or something very much like it) in the company's 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. Note that the more upscale trimmers blew the Chicago away, but they cost way more.

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.

Howard Ferstler
 

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Howard Every once in a while you find a good tool at HF. I have a few. Glad to know about the little router. I need one and will go check it out.
 

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Howard...I literally bought one of these 3 days ago for 20 bucks because I need it for maybe 1 or 2 countertop jobs I'm doing. I tried to lock down a 1/4" shaft bosch flush cut bit and with the collet tightened all the way down the bit slids in and out. As if there was no tension whatsoever. Did you have any problem with the collet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Howard...I literally bought one of these 3 days ago for 20 bucks because I need it for maybe 1 or 2 countertop jobs I'm doing. I tried to lock down a 1/4" shaft bosch flush cut bit and with the collet tightened all the way down the bit slids in and out. As if there was no tension whatsoever. Did you have any problem with the collet?
Yes I did. I cannot remember precisely what I did, but I think that I simply crimped the gripping insert a tad with a pair of pliers to make it grip tighter before tightening the nut and then cleaned and oiled the threads (used a brass-bristle brush to clean the threads) so that the nut would tighten down better. I also smoothed the contact surfaces between the nut and the gripper so that they would move smoothly over each other as the nut was tightened. That seems to have done the trick, and I only have to snug the nut down moderately to get a good grip.

If those fixes do not do the trick I would take the thing back and either get another or get a refund.

Howard Ferstler
 

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That router freakin' @#$%^!!!! I did the right thing and bought one that worked. I'm glad yours worked for you...I could have tossed mine into a lake and been happy about it.
 
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