The Metabo HPT Cordless Trim Router (M1808DAQ4) is a great little router following the company's release of the world's first cordless full-size 1/2-inch router. These two routers complement each other nicely. The 1/2" Metabo HPT 36V Cordless Plug-in Router (M3612DA) can handle anything you can throw at it. Their new trim router can do anything a trim router is supposed to do. It's also fun to use!
- small and light
- one-handed operation
- bright LED lights
- Easy drill replacement
- Includes multiple accessories
- Can operate from multiple battery sources (18V or 36V MultiVolt)
- The dust collection port is easy to fall off
If you've never used a trim router before, you'll probably want one…or two. at least two. Maybe three. Definitely three. Full-size routers pack a lot of power, but they're big and heavy. They are also more difficult to balance on wood. Trim routers are easier and more stable to run along the edge of the board than full-size routers, and can be used with one hand. Your other hand can hold the board in place.
Why would you want more than one? Some cutters are very useful and handy in finishing routers, such as 1/8" round bits, which tend to be used all the time. I keep my rounding bits on unless I'm using the router specifically for other purposes. This way I can grab it instantly to ease the edge of a board or project. The fact that the trim router is cordless makes it very convenient and fast.
The Metabo HPT M1808DAQ4 Cordless Trim Router is a great pruning router. It will do anything a pruning router is supposed to do, and it does it well. It is not a full-size router and will not perform full-size router duties. To see how hard I could push it, I cut dados 5/8" wide x 5/8" deep in red oak. After about 6 inches, the trim router shuts down and the LED light flashes at me in protest. This is a nice security feature. The tool is telling you that the motor is overloaded and it is shutting down to prevent burning out the motor.
As a general rule of thumb, you should cut no more than half the thickness of the router shank in hardwoods. In this case, that would be 1/8" since I am using a 1/4" cutter. Even if the router can handle it, the drill can't be bent. However, I wanted to push the router, so I cut 1/4" deep by 5/8" wide. The Metabo HPT Trim Router has no problem cutting dado in red oak. If it can do it on oak, it's easy, it will do it on most woods you're likely to come across.
Raising and lowering the bit is done with a rack and pinion on the side of the router. The entire enclosure can be lifted. Because the housing is so easy to remove and replace, changing the drill is easier than with any router I've used to date. Of course, I'd still like to have multiple routers so I don't have to change bits, but that's just me…and probably some of our readers!
What is included
Two 1/2″ full size The Metabo HPT router and this trim router include a lot of goodies for the money. This one includes a trimmer guide for the following modes. It includes straight side guides for routing rabbits and dados. The straight side rails have holes for adding your own wood fencing, which I highly recommend. It includes a stencil guide for cutting patterns, much like a trimmer guide. There are two collets, 1/4 and 3/8 in.
Dust port included The Metabo HPT M1808DAQ4 Router directs dust into a shop vac or dust collector. This is one of the only things I'm really disappointed with. It keeps coming off. The dust port works great when it stays in place. If you seriously plan on using the dust port, you'll need to put your hands on it to hold it or tape/zip it in place. That's too bad because this router actually connects to the dust collector without any adapters. It works great if it just stops shedding.
open and close The Metabo HPT M1808DAQ4 can be a bit frustrating at times. It has a bubble button on one side of the tool and a physical button on the other. The bubble button unlocks the router, and then you have 10 seconds to launch the tool by pressing the physical button. Most of the time this works fine, unless you are like me and sometimes keep switching the orientation of the buttons when you change bits.
Since the case is removable, the buttons can be reversed when reopened. Sometimes I accidentally switch them. I "know" that I should put it back the same way every time, but there's a difference between knowing and doing. Even when I make a conscious effort to focus, I don't have the muscle memory to turn tools on and off as easily as I do with switch tools.
The Metabo HPT Trim router can be found anywhere that carries Metabo HPT tools, usually for about $149 as a bare tool.
The Metabo HPT Trim Router is an excellent second router. I don't think it should be your only router. I always think your first router should be a full size router. However, you will most likely end up using trim routers more than full-size routers because It's so convenient. This router is small, light and easy to use, which I think is the way of the future. You will be using this router a lot and only use the full size router if you need the extra power and the extra size of the 1/2 inch drill bit.
Metabo HPT Trim Router Specifications
- Model M1808DAQ4
- 1/4" and 3/8" collets
- slow start
- quick brake
- 10,000-30,000 rpm
- Brushless Motor
- led light
- 2.5 lbs. Without battery (1.13kg)
- 18V or MultiVolt battery