Triton MOF001 KC
2-1/4HP 1/2" Precision Router Review
By Bill Esposito
1 July 2006
been about 3 years since Triton Woodworking brought their
innovative 3hp plunge router to the US. That router, the
received many accolades from the woodworking industry and this
slightly smaller version should garnish the same. Triton has
improved upon the features of the original router while
packaging it to better suit hand held use. In this review I'll
endeavor to show you all the details of the router and this time
have included some short video clips of the MOF001 KC in
action. As usual just click on any photo to enlarge it for
better viewing and thanks to
Triton USA for
providing the evaluation unit..
The MOF001 KC includes a lot of stuff. The
router is packaged in a plastic storage case which is also
designed to secure all the accessories. The kit includes the
Router, above table crank, wench, 1/2" and 1/4" self releasing
collets, 7 guide bushings and associated adapters including a PC
bushing adapter, offset base with built in circle cutting guide,
fence, top and bottom dust collectors, a 1/2" straight bit and
instruction manuals. All of this fits securely in the case.
2 ¼ HP Peak, (13 Amps)
Control: Variable Speed with soft
start and continuous speed control under load
RPM: 8,000 – 21,000
Full ½” and ¼” collets included
Plunge Range: 0” to 2 5/16”
Micro Adjustment range: Infinite throughout full plunge
Dust collection: Integrated dust port
Through table adjustment: YES – Winder handle included
Weight: 10.4 lbs (4.7kgs)
Base Dimensions: Base 6 ½”, Opening 3 5/32”
Country of Origin: PRC (Australian design)
Warranty: 30 day satisfaction - 2 Year manufacturers
Accessories: 7 piece template guide kit, full function
fence and circle cutter, ½” & ¼” collets & winder handle, bit
the next set of descriptions you can refer to these photos for
location information. The MOF001 is best suited for a right
handed operator. You can in the picture at left which I've
labeled "Front View" that the two most often used controls, the
winder and plunge lock on on the right. Being right handed
myself I cannot comment on how this layout would accommodate a
left handed operator.
Power switch and its interlock cover are located on the upper
left of the router as a right handed person would orientate it.
The interlock switch cover is slid away from you with your thumb
and the the lighted rocker switch engaged buy toggling it down
once the cover frees it. This can be performed all in one
motion and is very easy to do. The switch cover is interlocked
with the height adjustment and prevents the router from being
raised high enough for the arbor lock to engage (the only way to
change the bit) unless the power switch is off. I my opinion
this is a great safety feature and has no negative affects.
I've heard of people complaining that when mounted in a table
and using a remote power switch is gets in the way but that just
isn't an issue in my opinion. In order to raise the router
(either the MOF001 or the TRC001 you must reach under the table
to unlock the plunge mechanism anyway so the added step of
turning off the power switch is inconsequential when compared to
the safety benefit. The switch also has a dust boot like its big
I stated earlier, the winder is one of the most often used
controls. To operate it you grasp the handle and squeeze the
orange collar, pulling it into the black handle. This releases
the mechanism and allows you to rotate it forward (clockwise) to
plunge or back to raise. It does take some getting used to.
You can also disengage the winder mechanism and have it operate
as a normal plunge router.
Click on the
pic at right for a short video demonstration of the plunge
for locking and unlocking the winder mechanism has chanced since
the original router (left). Now you have a simple push button.
Pushing it in toggles between engagement modes. The photo at
right shows the depth stop turret. It works similar to most
standard depth turrets but you'll notice that this one looks a
bit loose....it was. The screw which attaches it was loose and
had to be fixed with instant glue so it wouldn't loosen when the
turret was rotated counterclockwise. More on that later.
spindle or arbor lock is shown at left. When the router is
plunged all the way the router's base depresses the locking rod
and locks the arbor. The power switch interlock prevents the
router from plunging far enough to engage the lock unless the
power switch is in the off position. At right is the table
winder (crank) connection point and the depth stop rod and lock.
below illustrate how the winding crank attaches to the router.
When I first saw this I thought that inserting the crank from
the top through the table insert was going to result with a lot
of fiddling and feeling around to get the crank to mate with the
connecting ball but that was not the case as you will see in a
If you plan on
using the router in a table then you'll want to remove the
plunge spring and Triton has the easiest spring removal
mechanism I know of. As shown below just loosen the screw,
twist the cover and remove the spring.
side dust collection is really outstanding on the Triton. It is
as good as any I've used. The connector however works best with
a soft, tapered nozzle. My Festool hosed fit great, the tapered
Shop Vac hose fit OK and the hard plastic nozzle of my Fein
could be forced in but I wouldn't trust it.
The bottom side
dust collector can be attached directly to the router base, as
shown at right, for use with either a bearing bit used for edge
treatment or a dovetail jig. In this picture you see my Fein
hose attached and can see the tenuous connection. Like all
bottom side collection many factors play into its effectively.
issue which I thought might be a problem is the location of the
top side dust collection port. In order to fit in the new above
table winder the dust port had to be relocated to the left side
of the router. This means that for a right handed operator the
dust port is on top of the work when using the guide plate and
fence, as shown in the photo at left. I initially thought this
to be a problem but in use as long as you have a good long
vacuum hose it is not an issue (Festool hose installed).
Triton MOF001 comes with two self releasing collets, 1/4" and
1/2". If you're not familiar with a self releasing collet it
can be confusing at first. I've read many a plea for help from
people who's collet was loose but the bit was stuck in. To
remove a bit from a self releasing collet first loosen the
collet until the collet is loose. Actually at this point the
only thing that is loose is the nut. Now loosen the collet some
more until it gets tight and then loose again. What happens is
that once the nut is free when you first loosen it, you continue
to loosen it until the play between the nut and sleeve is taken
up and it gets tight again. Continuing to loosen the nut
actually pulls the tapered sleeve up and out of the arbor shaft
(collet chuck) thus releasing the bit.
photo at left is the disassembled collet. The sleeve gets
inserted into the nut and snaps into place. It is the play
between the groove in the sleeve and the lip on the nut (photo
left, red arrows) that causes the collet to feel like it is
loose when you first release it.
To view a short
video of an above table bit change click on the photo at right.
TIP: When I received my router the collet was not properly
assembled. This caused me to ruin a bit because when I
tightened the collet, the nut was actually sitting on top
of the sleeve and jammed the sleeve into the arbor.
Releasing the nut did not pull the sleeve up out of the
arbor so I had to resort to a pair of pliers. When you
first get your router remove the collet and make make sure
it is assembled as shown (photo above left, white arrow).
comes with a different kind of auxiliary baseplate and fence
than you may be used to. The all metal plate boasts tool-less
attachment. Just loosen the two thumb knobs on the routers base
enough so that they can fit through the keyholes in the
auxiliary baseplate (left). Once attached the fence just slides
onto the plate and is secured in position with its own set of
thumb knobs (right).
I have not had
a chance yet to use the guide bushings but their design seems
adequate. Included in the set are 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 5/8,
51/64 and 3/4" and I checked them all with a caliper and they
were accurate. In the photo at left "A" is the PC bushing
adapter, "B" is the Triton Bushing adapter and "C" is a table
spacer to raise the bushing up to account for table insert
I will use the
bushings with my Leigh jog and update this section with the
improved on just about every feature of the TRC001 3-1/4hp
router. The winder mechanism feels like it is using more metal
gearing and the new push button winder lock is a welcome
improvement over the old turn lock. The old binding of the fine
adjustment problem which some early Triton routers experienced
when mounted in the table is not apparent with the new MOF001.
They have added a spring return to the plunge lock lever so now
it's either located in the locked or unlocked position instead
of flopping around loose. I remember writing the Triton
engineers a couple of years ago asking for rubber anti-slip
grips on the handles...that too has been added.
wise the MOF001 is quite a bit smaller than the 3-1/4hp TRC001.
In the picture at left I have the routers plunge to about 1/2"
from flush. I've seen many a write up of the Triton where the
author complained about top heaviness but I've not experienced
that. Perhaps it is because in normal use the router is plunged
and that brings the handles down considerably lower.
The pic at
right has both the Triton and the Milwaukee set with the collets
at the same height and you can see that while the handles are
higher, the Triton is actually just a bit shorter. For real
delicate work I would be using either the included offset base
or one of
more size/height comparison, again both collets set at the same
problem I noticed which is fixed easily is the depth stop
turret. The nylon bodied turret is attached to the base with a
sheet metal screw. That worked fine until I rotated the turret
counterclockwise a few times which in turn backed out the screw
causing the turret to be loose. To remedy this you need to
remove the plastic base plate where you'll see the screw (arrow
points to it at right). What has to be done is carefully remove
the screw which releases the turret assembly. I said turret
assembly because the turret has a spring and a ball bearing
under it which act as the detent when you twist it so be careful
not to lose them. Now the fix, a drop of glue, I used CA, in
the hole and reassemble everything. Tighten it to where the
turret doesn't wiggle but still rotates properly and let it dry.
that I noticed is with the power cord...it just isn't long
enough. In order to plug the Triton into my Festool vacuum to
take advantage of the auto-start feature of the vac, I had to
use an extension cord. The Triton's cord was not long enough by
itself to be used without causing a tripping hazard.
The last issue
I had was with the soft start. My initial impression was that
the soft start just wasn't all that soft. While not exhibiting
loads of torque the Triton will jerk in your hand when you start
it up. I checked with Triton and all the MOF001 routers act
about the same. Maybe I've become spoiled as I no longer own
any routers without soft start. I can't compare to those without
the feature but in this case the amount of torque seemed to
warrant some comparison testing with other electronically
controlled routers. I lined up my Festool OF1400, Milwaukee
5616, Triton TRC001 and the Triton MOF001. I repeatedly started
each router at low and high speed and tried to gauge, albeit
subjectively, the startup torque. It was of no surprise to me
that the MOF001 exhibited the greatest startup torque, however
what was surprising was that is was only slightly greater than
the Milwaukee. I alternated between the Milwaukee and the
Triton over and over again. The difference was so small and in
my opinion inconsequential that after performing this testing I
have to assert that the performance of the Triton's soft start
is virtually on par with that of the Milwaukee.
install the router in the table you'll need a hole layout which
is the same as for the PC 7518. With the router mounted to the
insert and oriented properly to suit your table, mark the insert
at the indent for the crank on the router base (left). Now over
at the drill press line up the circumference of your 1/2" drill
bit up with the indent you drew on the insert, and drill
router and install the insert into the table. My finger points
to the winder crank hole I just drilled (left).
To view a short
clip of the above table adjustment in action just click on the
photo at right.
are a couple of short clips of the Triton in action. Because
I'm positioning myself so the camera gets a good shot of the
router, my stance is a bit out of balance and thus so are my
motions. In the clip at left I'm using a round over bit on a
piece of pine. I have the bottom side dust collection hooked up
to my Festool vac. Very little dust escaped. Of course nothing
is dust free but this attachment did a remarkable job of
collecting the waste.
The next video
(at right) I installed the extended baseplate, fence set to cut
about 2" in from the edge and a 1/2" straight bit. In a piece
of pine I cut a stopped dado. I plunged the bit with the
winder, routed the dado, then raised the bit and turned off the
router. I had top side dust collection going with the hose
connected to the left side of the router. With enough hose and
power cord the fact that Triton had to compromise and put the
dust port on the left had no affect on my ability to rout.
Here's a tip,
in the bit change video you may have noticed that I just
inserted the bit all the way and tightened it. Typically that
is something you don't want to do because you don't want the bit
touching the end of the arbor for vibration reasons. What I do
to all my routers is shown in these two pictures. I remove the
collet and insert a thin piece of rubber, then replace the
collet. Now I can just drop the bit in and the rubber acts as a
tip. By adding a knob to the Triton baseplate you can turn it
into an offset baseplate as in the photo at right of the larger
Triton TRC-001. Just get a knob and a longer screw for the
circle cutting accessory.
As I stated in the review, just about every feature of the new
MOF001KC is an upgrade from the previous model. Size, weight
and the ergonomics of the controls feel good. Dust collection
is outstanding. The above table bit change and height
adjustments work great as do the adjustments when using the
router hand held. The included baseplate, fence and guide
bushings just add to the value. I'd really like to see the
power cord lengthened to about 12 feet and the soft start
electronics tweaked to reduce the startup torque. All and all
the Triton MOF001KC seems to be a well thought out next
generation of the original innovative Triton design and should
serve you well as both a hand held and table mounted router.
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