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Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 2/17/00

First Impressions on the Fein RT-1800 Router
By Chuck Knarr

Today, August 25, 2000, I was at the IWF2000 Show in Atlanta. I was able to get my hands on the new router from Fein. I was able to play with it for about 5 minutes so this will not be an in-depth review of the machine. However, I will give you my impressions.
Specifications (from data sheet)

  • Model : RT-1800
  • Horsepower : 3 1/4
  • Amps : 15
  • Speeds : 8,000 : 22,000
  • Collet : 1/2"
  • Plunge Depth : 3"
  • Height : 11"
  • Width : 11"
  • Base Size 6 1/4"
  • Weight : 12 lbs.

The machine has a soft start which is very effective. I turned the speed adjustment to its maximum speed and hit the trigger. The torque was minimal. I had no problems keeping the router stationary.

Height adjustment is achieved in two ways. There is a 3-position stop turret to stop an adjustable depth rod. The depth rod can be adjusted by means of a rack and pinion arrangement controlled by turning an adjustment knob. Plunge locking is achieved with a swing lever locking arrangement close to the left handle. The power switch is a trigger on the right handle.

Bits in the 1/2" collet are changed by depressing a button and rotating the collet until the button goes into a detent to lock the shaft. A 22-mm wrench is then used to loosen the collet and remove the bit.

The switch, locking lever, and the handles are all conveniently arranged. The soft start feature is excellent. The speed control is a knob you rotate to adjust the speed. There is no indication of the actual speed. There are only numbers 1 through 6 to give you a relative speed indication.

When I released the power switch the bit seemed to run on much longer than normal before coasting to a stop. Dust collection was very good. The hose attaches to the front of the router. Finding the detent to lock the shaft for bit changing can be a challenge. At 12 lbs. the router is lighter than my PC 7518 and is well balanced. Would I buy one? If I wanted a powerful router to use freehand I would definitely put this on my top 3 list for consideration.

Chuck Knarr

You can see photos of the new router here.

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