Jump to content

Triton MOF001 1400W Plunge Router

The router is one of the most versatile tools in a luthier's arsenal. It can also represent a decent chunk of your tool budget, so making a good choice is critical. Having sampled a few different routers over the last several years, I've gotten a fair idea of what works well and what doesn't. From the Festool OF1400EQ (unibody with perpendicular handle - amazing quality, ridiculously expensive) to the Bosch 1617EVSPK (removable motor with fixed and plunge bases - middling quality and price, miserable plunge depth stop), there is no shortage of candidates out there. While researching possible purchases, I settled on three criteria that I deemed absolutely essential:

  1. Precise depth adjustment with no slop
  2. Ease of adjustments
  3. Enough power to tackle typical lutherie tasks

After much deliberation, I selected the Triton MOF001. The Triton is a unibody plunge router, so the motor is affixed to the plunge base with no option for swapping bases. This might seem like a disadvantage for those who want the ability to remove the motor for table use, but the Triton is in fact designed to act as its own router lift, complete with above-table adjustment capability. Another feature that intrigued me was the rack-and-pinion depth  adjustment system. I've always felt that simply sliding a plunge mechanism lacked a certain air of precision, so I was happy to find a router that will let me dial in exactly what I want with minimal fuss. Finally, at 2HP, the Triton definitely has enough power to spin any bit I'm likely to use.

On paper, it handily meets everything on my checklist. How does it stack up in real life? Let's find out!

It comes in a box with words in many languages, for your international reading pleasure.

1.jpg

 

So what's in the box? The router, a multifunctional fence attachment, above-table height adjuster, 1/4" collet, collet wrench, standard 1/2" straight bit, and the all-important manual.

2.jpg

 

Let's take a look at the router itself, then I'll go over each feature individually. Note that the clear guards cover a large portion of both sides.

3.jpg

4.jpg

 

First up: the power switch. It's easily accessible from the left hand grip and covered by a little spring-loaded door to prevent unintentional switchery.

5.jpg

6.jpg

 

The right hand grip offers two different methods of depth adjustment. With this button engaged, the router will freely plunge like any other plunge router. The action is smooth and has a nice level of resistance.

7.jpg

8.jpg

 

If you're like me and want something better than a standard plunge router, it's time to step up to rack-and-pinion depth adjustment. At your fingertips is a collar that can be pulled. While holding the collar, the grip rotates and adjusts the bit height in a smooth and precise manner.

9.jpg

10.jpg

 

This knob on top turns for extra fine adjustment.

11.jpg

 

Plunge lock, in easy thumb range.

12.jpg

 

The plunge spring is removable to allow for easier height adjustment when table-mounted.

13.jpg

 

Variable speed.

14.jpg

 

The depth stop system is a spring-loaded tube and a turret with a solid reference and two adjustable stops, each with a scale. If you lower the router until the bit touches the surface to be routed, the tube sits solidly on the turret reference. Now you can lock the tube and set the stops directly in reference to that first point. It's simple and works well.

15.jpg

 

When it's time to change bits, simply flip the router over and lower the base as far as it'll go. This automatically locks the collet, allowing for a single-wrench bit change.

16.jpg

17.jpg

 

In this position, the little sliding power switch cover is also locked so you can't accidentally blend your hand. 

18.jpg

 

While we're upside down, let me point out the above-table height adjustment knob. As long as you drill the appropriate hole in your table or router plate, you can use the tool for fine height adjustments without fiddling around under the table.

19.jpg

20.jpg

 

Alright, time for a little demo. I'll use the included bit to rout a channel in a block of padauk, which is a good representative of the typical sort of hardwoods we'd encounter in this line of work (or play!) 

21.jpg

 

Note that the power switch lights up when the router is plugged in. This router has a soft-start feature to prevent sudden torque-induced loss of grip.

22.jpg

 

And yes indeed, I was very easily able to cut a channel in my big block of scrap. I went straight for a 1/4" deep rout and the Triton showed zero hesitation or signs of struggle. The bit maintained a smooth constant velocity thanks to the integrated electronic speed control system.

23.jpg

 

I will say that I'd prefer a wider base to offset the slightly high grip position. I didn't feel as though the router is excessively top-heavy or tippy, but extra stability is never a bad thing! This is easily remedied by sourcing an aftermarket base, just like any other router out there.

As a side note, Triton does offer a burly 3.25HP router that offers all of these same features in a slightly bigger chassis. Given that I'm not likely to spin anything bigger than a 1/2" roundover bit, I feel that the reduced weight and cost of the 2HP model more than makes up for the apparent power deficit.

So with all that being said, should you buy a Triton? If you already have a router that you like and are comfortable with, you'd probably be better off spending this money elsewhere. However, if you're in need of a router and ready to buy, I'd heartily recommend this one. 

PROS - Great height adjustment system with no unwanted play, easy to use, many safety and convenience features.

CONS - Power switch cover is a little fiddly to use, but will likely improve with a bit of practice.

VERDICT - A solid choice at a great price. 


Creative Commons Licence

Triton MOF001 1400W Plunge Router by Andrew Knight is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

You are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

Under the following terms:

  • AttributionYou must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

  • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

  • Like 2
Report Product Review


User Feedback


Norris

Posted · Report

Great review! I want one :)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
a2k

Posted · Report

Thanks for the review. Seems like a really well thought out tool. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
demonx

Posted · Report

I had the large model of this exact router.

 

When it was new, it was great. After a couple of years the thing was a piece of crap. It virtually shakes itself apart. Speed controller needs to be held by tape so it doesn't roll around. Base falls apart. Micro adjustment moves. Base jams up making it hard to drop and change cutting bits.

 

The WORSE thing about the whole router, worse than above is the collet that is supplied with it is a cheap piece of junk and after not very long, once it's lost it's newness it stops holding the router bit. For example, one neck pocket I was routing the bit slipped out and because it's spinning very fast smashed a massive chuck out of the side of the neck pocket. I had it happen to pickup routes, bridge routes. It creates a throw out workpiece.  I destroyed several body blanks and broke several router bits until I bought a after market collet - which fixed the problem.

 

I guess it'd be perfect if you want a router to use "once in a while", but if you want to do woodworking on a daily basis, it's not the right tool for the job.

 

I replaced mine with a Dewalt. Great upgrade but twice the price.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×