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Hello All,

I’m new to both the forum and DIY/ woodworking (Ive taken several classes). I have an issue with the weight of power tools. In the past this would not have been an issue, but now after major wrist surgery on my dominant arm and issues with both hands, my grip and arm strength is a problem.

I just purchased a Bosch Colt 1.25HP compact router. I took it out of the box and immediately knew the weight ( 4.4lbs) was a problem and I wouldn’t be able to control/handle the router well. I looked into the Colt 1HP (PR20EVS) which is 3.3 lbs, but it had some negative reviews (on Amazon where all the reviews are padded) esp r/t the depth adjustment not locking well.

The Makita RTO705C is 3.9 lbs which is less than the Bosch I have, but do not know what is a good choice that is both light in weight but not completely lacking in functionality/quality.

After some searching it appears that none of the major tool companies have considered the needs of women and their smaller hands and lower grip and arm strength. Women are buying more power tools than ever and this appears to be a missed opportunity and niche for a company to get into.
 

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Welcome to the forum, @Helana .

You may be right about a niche market, however I cannot see a manufacturer who relies on sales volumes to go into a niche market.

We have a number of female members, and they seem to be happy with the tools available.

I can understand you might have problems, having had surgery.

I trust you can find a tool that will satisfy your needs...
 

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Welcome Helana,

I use my router table as much, if not more than I use my routers hand-held. Once the router is installed in a table it isn't necessary to pick it up, so you could make use of even larger routers.

Of course, this is only a partial solution, since holding and using routers hand-held is sometimes very necessary. My smallest router is a DeWalt laminate trimmer (don't know the model number). I also have a DeWalt DWP611 with two bases. Sorry, I don't know their weight and I'm not able to get to my shop to weigh them for you at this time (leg issue).

Charley
 

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Welcome to the forum, @Helana .

You may be right about a niche market, however I cannot see a manufacturer who relies on sales volumes to go into a niche market.

We have a number of female members, and they seem to be happy with the tools available.

I can understand you might have problems, having had surgery.

I trust you can find a tool that will satisfy your needs...
 

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Dennis is Bosch 1400W designed for a voltage of 220-240V. Please check if this voltage is available in the place where you want to use the item.
 

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The point I was making is that a 1/4" plunge router is well within the handling capability of female woodworkers. The make and model is immaterial. I happen to use Bosch. I have had female students bring Ryobi, DeWalt and other 1/4" plunge routers to my courses.
 

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Hello All,

I’m new to both the forum and DIY/ woodworking (Ive taken several classes). I have an issue with the weight of power tools. In the past this would not have been an issue, but now after major wrist surgery on my dominant arm and issues with both hands, my grip and arm strength is a problem.

I just purchased a Bosch Colt 1.25HP compact router. I took it out of the box and immediately knew the weight ( 4.4lbs) was a problem and I wouldn’t be able to control/handle the router well. I looked into the Colt 1HP (PR20EVS) which is 3.3 lbs, but it had some negative reviews (on Amazon where all the reviews are padded) esp r/t the depth adjustment not locking well.

The Makita RTO705C is 3.9 lbs which is less than the Bosch I have, but do not know what is a good choice that is both light in weight but not completely lacking in functionality/quality.

After some searching it appears that none of the major tool companies have considered the needs of women and their smaller hands and lower grip and arm strength. Women are buying more power tools than ever and this appears to be a missed opportunity and niche for a company to get into.
Helana,

I own a number of routers but my palm router of choice is the PR20EVS. I looked at some of the reviews on Amazon - a few points:
  • I use the plunge base in concert with the PR20EVS (I would also recommend a plunge base for the RTO705C). The problem I see for you is that it adds 4.4 lbs. But... read on...
  • The bases that come with these palm routers are so small that only the lightest of work (e.g., laminate trimming) is feasible from a safety perspective IMO. Because the bases are so small, it is incumbent on the user to support the router. The number of times I've used the Bosch with the standard base stands at zero.
  • The additional benefits of the plunge base: much larger base plate and large hand holds to grasp. The former means that the bulk of the weight is supported by the material. The latter means that the router is far easier to control.
  • I agree with you vis-a-vis the padded reviews. However, some negative reviews are equally flawed. Bits that come loose are often because the user bottoms out the bit before tightening (always pull it out an eighth of an inch or so as the act of tightening 'sucks' the bit deeper into the router - that is how the collet tightens). I can't speak to flakey depth adjustment with the standard base - the plunge base has not failed me.
  • You may want to couple the plunge base with an offset base (replaces the plastic plate under the metal plunge base). Doing so would put almost 100% of the weight on the material - so you wouldn't have to muscle the router around. Take a look at this:
    . Notice that he's not supporting the weight of the router at all.
Hope this helps.
 

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Makita makes a router with a "D" handle. I believe others are available as well. You might find one on the shelf in a store and see if it fits your needs. I broke my wrist several months ago and it takes a long time to heal. Last week I used a utility knife to score some aluminum and the next morning it was hard to lift a coffee cut. A D handle will allow you to use both hands if the work piece is securely held in place. I do not know what sizes are available for these handles. You will have to research to find what works for you.
 

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Sorry, that would be coffee cup, not cut. Also you might be able to find or make a larger base that has another handle that is perpendicular to the base and further away from the router. Again, this would allow the use of two hands.
 

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I’ve had wrist surgery and hand surgery and now have arthritis, so I understand what you’re going through. The problem is that if someone theoretically made a lighter router (Dremel does but it’s for extremely light work) then it will be weak, unstable, and limited in its capabilities. In other words, unless you are making dollhouses, such a router will let you down and you’ll have to buy a better router later.

in my experience, my arm strength came back, and as others have noted, a router table and the plunge base can work wonders for control. BTW I love my Colt 1.25hp kit and use it freehand (guide bit) all the time. Buy the right tool, be patient, and you’ll heal in a year or so.
 

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You may want to look at the MLCS trim router. I have lots of routers, but bought this little things about a year ago to keep in my van for misc. site work. This one replaced a cheap little Rigid that couldn't hold a bit worth a damn. For the price, this MLCS has proven to be a good little router and is easy to handle. I didn't buy it, but there is a plunge base option as well. Rocky 30 Trim Router
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Helana,

I own a number of routers but my palm router of choice is the PR20EVS. I looked at some of the reviews on Amazon - a few points:
  • I use the plunge base in concert with the PR20EVS (I would also recommend a plunge base for the RTO705C). The problem I see for you is that it adds 4.4 lbs. But... read on...
  • The bases that come with these palm routers are so small that only the lightest of work (e.g., laminate trimming) is feasible from a safety perspective IMO. Because the bases are so small, it is incumbent on the user to support the router. The number of times I've used the Bosch with the standard base stands at zero.
  • The additional benefits of the plunge base: much larger base plate and large hand holds to grasp. The former means that the bulk of the weight is supported by the material. The latter means that the router is far easier to control.
  • I agree with you vis-a-vis the padded reviews. However, some negative reviews are equally flawed. Bits that come loose are often because the user bottoms out the bit before tightening (always pull it out an eighth of an inch or so as the act of tightening 'sucks' the bit deeper into the router - that is how the collet tightens). I can't speak to flakey depth adjustment with the standard base - the plunge base has not failed me.
  • You may want to couple the plunge base with an offset base (replaces the plastic plate under the metal plunge base). Doing so would put almost 100% of the weight on the material - so you wouldn't have to muscle the router around. Take a look at this:
    . Notice that he's not supporting the weight of the router at all.
Hope this helps.
Helana,

I own a number of routers but my palm router of choice is the PR20EVS. I looked at some of the reviews on Amazon - a few points:
  • I use the plunge base in concert with the PR20EVS (I would also recommend a plunge base for the RTO705C). The problem I see for you is that it adds 4.4 lbs. But... read on...
  • The bases that come with these palm routers are so small that only the lightest of work (e.g., laminate trimming) is feasible from a safety perspective IMO. Because the bases are so small, it is incumbent on the user to support the router. The number of times I've used the Bosch with the standard base stands at zero.
  • The additional benefits of the plunge base: much larger base plate and large hand holds to grasp. The former means that the bulk of the weight is supported by the material. The latter means that the router is far easier to control.
  • I agree with you vis-a-vis the padded reviews. However, some negative reviews are equally flawed. Bits that come loose are often because the user bottoms out the bit before tightening (always pull it out an eighth of an inch or so as the act of tightening 'sucks' the bit deeper into the router - that is how the collet tightens). I can't speak to flakey depth adjustment with the standard base - the plunge base has not failed me.
  • You may want to couple the plunge base with an offset base (replaces the plastic plate under the metal plunge base). Doing so would put almost 100% of the weight on the material - so you wouldn't have to muscle the router around. Take a look at this:
    . Notice that he's not supporting the weight of the router at all.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for the detailed response. I think this is exactly what I need to allow me to use the router accurately and comfortably. I had thought I would get only the router initially and add the plunge base later r/t cost, but I’m going to get both together now.
The video of the offset base was extremely helpful. I’d never seen it before and I think it’ll add much more stability and take more weight off my hands and wrists.
 
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