The router is one of those machines that is indispensable for anyone from the beginner to the seasoned professional woodworker. There are literally hundreds of routers out there and shopping for one can be a daunting task. Trend Routing Technology Company has developed more than a few routers over their 50+ years in the routing tech business and they know something about this humble machine. Built in the United Kingdom, these routers have a lineage going back to the mid 1950s.
The router on my bench today is their T-4 Router which retails at around $130.00. This is a light weight router that is the perfect size for light duty work, a quick trim, or for use in a router-mounted jig. The Trend T-4 fit perfectly into several of the jigs I tested while writing the “Router Round Up” article recently. I found its lighter weight useful while cutting with a router pantograph as well as a circle jig and a few others. The router was very easy to maneuver through several jobs where a heavier router would weigh down the jig making it harder to move smoothly.
The T-4’s 1.1hp gives it enough power to work in all the species of hardwood I worked on. The grips are comfortable and the plunge lever is in an easy reach from the grips. The collet is limited to ¼ inch shafts for the router bits which is most likely the right size for this router although most of the bits I have are ½ in shafts, however I do have a few ¼ bits that I tested the T-4. I used the T-4 while making a couple workshop signs to go in our test shops. It cut through the maple panels with ease. The router never bogged down or slowed at all.
Although this is a nice router it can’t really be the only one in your workshop. Without a doubt you will run into tasks that require a larger router with more power along with the ability to run larger bits such as a raised panel cutting set.
While working with it, the T-4 didn’t really cause any hand fatigue, as there was pretty much no vibration other then what you would normally expect when using a router. I gave the router a bench height drop test and nothing broke which is always a good result as I will continue to utilize this router. I have several projects that I will require a smaller router and this is the best one of its size that I have worked with. I must admit that when I first unpacked it I was a little skeptical about this size router accomplishing any serious work around the shop. I will pronounce here and now I was terribly wrong.
Over all the T-4 performed very well and I can easily recommend it to you without hesitation, although as I said above the T-4 shouldn’t be your only router unless your requirements only call for light work. For our friends in the U.K. and Europe a larger router you might consider also in the Trend Router family, is the T-5.