I bought the Ryobi Laminate Trimmer to use as a small, uncomplicated hand-held router. I already had a larger fixed-base router that I use in a router table, but since most of my hand-held routing needs involved smaller projects, the laminate trimmer seemed a natural.
Recommend this product?
Over the years, I've bought and used a number of Ryobi power tools and have been quite satisfied. Most professionals in the various crafts and trades seem to prefer power tools by DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Milwaukee, etc. over Ryobi for heavy, every day use, and I wouldn't argue with their choice for their needs. My uses are less strenuous though, and usually don't involve banging tools around, going from job-site to job-site. When the tool's features & functions are right and I can save a few bucks, I've gone with Ryobi and used the extra money for something else while still getting the job done. While Ryobi power tools are generally scored below the "Cream of the Crop" brands, they're WAY ABOVE the junk brands and even some of the big name brand tools seen in stores & catalogs in regard to quality, durability and service.
The Ryobi Laminate Trimmer accepts all but some of the larger diameter 1/4 inch shafted router bits, and has enough guts to have zipped through anything I've thrown at it so far. The small base makes it easy to use in tight quarters, but also makes bit changing and adjusting more difficult than on bigger, more open models (an inherent trade-off I guess).
It lacks a soft-start motor, so jerks a bit at start-up, but is smooth as silk in operation.
It seems to be very well made and has sufficient power for anything I've used it for.
Since I'm not a tradesman who uses this tool every day and has it banging around in the back of a truck when not in use, I wouldn't be qualified to recommend the Ryobi for this kind of service, but I know it does a great job when called into use in my home workshop, and would recommend it wholeheartedly in this capacity.
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