The Triton TRA001 3-1/4 is a compact plunge router that looks the business and that has the considerable power and versatility to match.
In this review, we’ll be taking a more in depth look at the router to see if it can live up to others in its price bracket, or if it will do everything you need it to in a professional or hobbyist setting.
The answer will always depend on what it is you look for in a router or in any power tool. Ultimately, we all have different requirements for our workshops, different working habits and different preferences. Finding the right tool for you is a matter of finding one that will fit the workflow that you’ve grown accustomed to and that you personally find comfortable to use.
But there are definitely some things that will be largely universally approved of in a router. These include impressive power for cutting through tougher materials, speed settings, easy bit removal and a great design that’s comfortable and solid to hold for long periods of time.
Does the Triton TRA001 3-1/4 win on all those counts? And is it right for you?
Meet Mr. Versatile …
The Triton TRA001 3-1/4 is squat and portly and decked out in light grey, orange and black. It has nice rounded edges and is generally well made and feels good in the hands, even if it does look a little bit more like a children’s toy rather than a serious piece of equipment for the workshop.
The tool also has most of the features that you’re probably accustomed to/looking for in router. Those include a soft start functionality for ensuring that your cuts are smooth and even and variable speed to make sure that you can find the perfect speed for whatever type of material you’re cutting into.
What’s a bit more standout is the very impressive amount of power under the hood here. Specifically, the Triton TRA001 3-1/4 boasts a 3-1/4HP motor. That’s some serious speed and power and it means that you shouldn’t often find yourself struggling to make your way through tougher materials. This is great for anyone who is gradually taking on tougher projects because you should find that even as you get more challenging jobs, your new router will be more than capable of keeping up with you.
Power is impressive but not unusual. What’s a bit more unique to this tool though is the single button ‘mode switching’ feature. This allows you to convert the tool from a conventional plunge router to a fixed base router with a rack and pinion mode.
Now this is some pretty useful stuff, meaning that you don’t need to pick between the two types of routers. The plunge router will be ideal for when you want to make holes in a piece of wood, while the fixed base mode will be very useful for when you want to have absolute precision.
This is a great additional feature and when combined with the top-end power and performance, it makes this one of the best and most impressive routers out there right now.
Many Pros – what about Cons?
This is a router with a lot of advantages and a lot of things to love. It has that highly impressive power, the option to choose from a range of different speed settings and then all of the usual features packed in. It’s also just a joy to use, when the tool first hit the wood we found it cut through it like a dream and the handles were ergonomic and comfy to hold. What also surprised us during our tests was just how quiet this router was!
But nothing is perfect, so what are the downsides here? Well, one complaint that we ran into is that it is something of a ‘jack of all trades’ and master of none. Some reviewers found that this worked better as a fixed position router rather than a freehand plunge router but that was not our personal experience. There are also some complaints regarding the quality of additional components.
Overall, this is an excellent tool that seems to pack an awful lot of power and versatility into a single package. In our experience, there are few routers out there that are better than this one in terms of value for money. But if you want the very best in just one category, then a more ‘specialized’ tool might just have the edge.