Are you aware of any router that has an easy-to-reach stop switch ? I am a 5′ 2″ female of average build; not one of the routers I’ve held in stores is made so that I can easily hit the stop switch without letting go of one of the handles of the router. I was very anxious to start some of the router practices and projects that I have been collecting, but cannot find a router that I can use safely. Thus, my eagerness is waning. Any direction / advice you can give me is appreciated. – Mary
Chris Marshall: Mary, don’t lose hope in making a router part of your woodworking future! I have three suggestions for you, and I can relate to the anxiety you are experiencing. A big router can feel daunting, especially when letting go of one of the handles to power it up or down. So, first suggestion: look at Bosch’s new MRP23EVS 2.3HP Plunge Router, which offers a plunge base that has the On/Off trigger in the grip, right where it’s easy to squeeze. Second, you could try a “D-handle” base. Porter-Cable and Bosch have been making them for fixed-base routing for many years. Again, the trigger is right in the grip. Third, for light-duty routing tasks, don’t forget trim routers (a.k.a. laminate trimmers). They’re lightweight, highly controllable and easy to grip with just one hand. I think any of these three options will help build your confidence in handheld routing.
Tim Inman: Instead of seeking a router with a switch you like, I’d try going the other way. Find a switch you like, then control your favorite router with it. There are two types that immediately come to mind; both are foot-controlled. One is called a ‘dead man’ switch. With this one, you must press down on it with your foot, and hold it down all the while you want the router to run. The other is simply a ‘click-on, click-off’ switch. You press down with your foot when you want it to turn on, and press down again when you’re done. There are also radio-controlled ‘pocket’ switches you can buy to control various things. All these are simple to use. Just plug one end into the wall, and plug the other into your router. Actually, I think we’d all be safer using a foot-controlled override switch.