Metabo HPT plunges into the cordless-router market

- —Tested by Bob Hunter, Tools Editor

no. M3612DA, $400

With battery-powered routers becoming almost as common as cordless drills these days, this 36-volt model impressed me as the first cordless dedicated plunge router. On one charge, I used it all weekend building a linen cabinet (as well as making various testing cuts), and it never bogged down, even when I routed 1⁄2"-deep grooves in dense white oak. I like the variable-speed range (11,000–25,000 rpm), letting me set the appropriat­e motor speed for each bit.

This router plunges just a whisker less than 2", sufficient for nearly any woodworkin­g task. Two of the three turret stops offer adjustment, and the depth-rod lock held reliably when I made multiple plunges to the same depth. I found the plunge-lock lever clumsy to operate, but it held fast when secured.

You pay a premium for the cordless convenienc­e, but Metabo HPT increases the value by including a bunch of handy accessorie­s: 1⁄4" and 1⁄2" collets, an edge guide, six two-piece guide bushings, a guide-bushing adapter for the subbase, a dust-collection hood, a nice canvas bag with zippered pockets for the accessorie­s, and, of course, the battery and charger.

Metabo HPT 800-706-7337, metabo-hpt.com

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