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trim routers

9355 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  challagan
I'm considering buying a Porter-Cable 0310 Production Laminate Trimmer for free handed sign making. Has anyone used this router or can comment on this tool? Can anyone recommend other routers for the same kind of work. Thanking you all in advance for your advice.
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You may also want to look at the 7310. There are pros and cons to both of these models, yet either one is a great router for the purposes you stated.
I went to the PC site and found no listing for the 0310. I did find the 7310. The 7310 looks like a Bosch. I am used to the 309, and swear by them as a workhorse. Is the 0310 the same?

Most Laminate Trimmers can do this type of job but the key I think is to use a big clear base plate. see link below...▼ I'm also a fan of the PC trim routers but you may one to get a smaller one for sign makeing as well ... :)

Free Hand Sign

Bj :)
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Another good source for comparing brands and models is

Pat is a very knowledable guy when it comes to routers.
The Bosch Colt trim router gets top reviews from woodworking magazines but this is not really a surprise since their Rotozip, 2-1/4 & 3-1/4 HP routers do as well. Control is the secret to success with any router, and the jigs posted on this site for free hand and table mounted routing with a trim router give you the control you need.
Thanks Mike, I've seen ads for the Bosch Colt, and your right about the control factor.EPC
Thanks Bob N, I've read some Pat Warner books & thanks for the web site. I guess when you do something for 20yrs, you get good at it. For me its just a hobby, but I do want the best possble tool for the job. EPC
Hey Cabinetman, Check out Good price & rebate for the pc310.EPC
Hey Bj, Thanks for the web sites. I bought some clear bases that I'll eventually adapt to my routers, some 12" square & some smaller ones. Rockler hardware & has been my tool stores recently. I bought a book "Making Wood Signs"
by Patrick Spielman. He shows the pc310 and sounds like that might be the router I'm looking for.
The WOOD mag. I got today had a review of Trim Routers...

Bosch got the Best award...

Grizzly's $40 trim router got the Best Value award. (the said "get one for each of your favorite trimming bits" [or something like that])
That PC 310 us an excellent router and has been a pro choice for many years. It's getting alot of competition now from the new Bosch Colt. My wife bought me a Bosch Colt for Christmas. I am making a small mini router table and putting a plate on the Colt and dropping it in the router table for a nice lightweight router table that I can grab quickly and set up to do round overs, grooving, dados etc. on it without messing with the heavy Benchdog table. The mini will basically be a mini Oak Park one with a trim router in it and I can then pull it out and route freehand on it!

I just received my Wood Magazine today and they reviewed Trim Routers in this issue. The top rated router was the Bosch Colt. For power adjustability it excelled in all but one category... bit visibility which it scored a B. Many others excelled in this area but were rated worse in other categories. Something that suprised me is that the PC 310 did not get a very good rating. This router has been a favorite of professionals for many years. I think it's size, feel and power has always made this a favorite however in the testing the collet and bit changing weighed heavy on their decision. It has always been a pain to get bits out of this router. Top Value went to the Grizzly H7791 at 41.00. The down side of this one is a lack of or limited fine adjustment. The Grizzly, Makita, MLCS MArvel 40, Ridgid , Ryobi all did well in the test but the Bosch Colt came out on top but it is not a 50. - 75. router either. The Freud, PC 7310 and Ridgid were all reviewed as taller and harder to keep a good balance and more top heavy, but this is a personal preference.
One thing that the review pointed out on the Bosch is something that Pat Warner mentioned in his review of the machine and that is spending the extra money to get the Variable Speed unit. There test showed that there just wasnt any advantage for the size of bits that these machines will use in having variable speed. Basically if the VS is needed then you are using too big of a bit in the machine. So if anyone is interested in this unit save the extra 20-25.oo and get the non VS machine.

There are a lot of good trim routers out there now and I suggest you look at Trim Routers just like any other router, it's best to try them out for fit and feel and get the one that feels the best to you and then go from there with the features that are important to you and arrive at your decision.

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I read that same review in Wood a few days ago and I agree it does appear the Colt is now the forerunner of trim routers. As far as the 310 goes, it is rather an antiquated model by today's standards and probably needs redesign or retirement. I currently have the 7310 and will most likely trade it at some point and go for a Colt myself when the opportunity presents itself.
Hi Bob, checking in from the inlaws. The Colt is nice and if you do get it I think I would opt for the non VS model and save some money. No difference otherwise. I think PC should update the 310 with a new collet and it has suffered with that problem for along time. You would think they would of fixed that along time ago .... otherwise it's a nice router.

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