One Year Later
Triton TRC-001
3.25hp Plunge Router
a review by
Bill Esposito
17 Jan 2004

So here we are one year later and I'm constantly responding to inquiries about the Triton router. Do I still like it? Have I found any more problems with it? Would I buy it again? My answers to those questions have been, yes, yes and yes. In this redux I'll go over what I've experienced over the past year, and what Triton has done to correct those issues, and some I didn't encounter, with this latest update.

The problems, workarounds, and improvements:

First off, have no fears, the Triton is still orange and still resembles Robbie the Robot. As a matter of fact you wont notice any visual difference in the updated router with the exception of the power switch.

I encountered several problems with the router, most were easy to work around with one requiring a warranty repair.

The first problem I encountered was with the fine adjustment operation when the router was mounted in a table. What was happening was that when the router base was screwed to my router insert, the fine height adjustment mechanism would no longer operate smoothly. I tried three different routers and four different insert plates and found the problem was repeatable. After some experimentation I discovered that the router base was distorting when it was screwed down to the insert and was causing the bushings to bind on the posts. The work around for this was to shim the base plate so that it wouldn't distort, which is what I did. A few months ago while reviewing a router table from Woodpecker, my discovery was confirmed and apparently was not unique to the Triton because the instructions for installing a router to the insert explained how to shim the base plate to avoid this condition.

In the updated router Triton has opened up the bushings a bit which has both fixed the above problem along with making the "Winder" operation smoother. I took the new router to my table and removed the old one and its shims. I then installed the updated Triton and sure enough it works as smooth as can be. In hand held use the winder operation feels much better as well. In addition to the redesigned bushings the Triton now sports a metal worm gear in the adjustment handle. Both engagement of the winder lock and winding is smoother and just plain feels better.

The second problem I had was with the depth stop. On a couple of occasions it came lose after I had tightened it. The fix for this is not new to this version of the router but happened sometime last year with Triton redesigning the depth stop lock. The old version (photo right) had a nut inside the case which would come loose or fall out.

The new design is simply a knob and a brass post which cinches against the depth stop tube locking it in place (photo at left). It feels secure and this is a common method of locking a rod but I haven't used the new router enough to certify this as "fixed".

The last problem that I had encountered and the most serious was one which required a warranty repair. After about 4 months of use I went to the shop to use the router and flipped on the power switch. The router started, stopped and then started again and worked fine for the remainder of the session. I thought it was odd but the shop was cold and I hadn't warmed it up before starting the router so I thought nothing more of it. The next day I went to use the router and it would not start. A call to the folks at Triton and I and a new router was on its way while I returned the dead one. We discussed an old issue of dust in the power switch which they thought had been corrected...apparently not.

The correction for this problem was to design a dust boot to cover the switch.

In switch in the photo at left is the old one, the booted switch is the photo at right.

The good news for owners of the original router is that this switch boot is retrofitable so "Any customer with a service/warranty issue should call us direct at 888 874-8661 for hassle free, direct support.  (that's not a slogan)" . That is a direct quote from Adam at Triton and it has been my experience as well.

The next few things are welcome improvements.

The Triton supports 1/4" bits by way of a reducer. You place the reducer into the 1/2" collet and insert the bit. This was a bit tedious because the reducer would often slide too far into the collet. The improvement is a simple captive clip as seen on the reducer on the right hand side of the photo at left. This allows you to just drop the reducer into the collet and it stops at the correct position. then insert the bit and tighten and away you go. While the Triton collet works just fine, I would still much prefer a self releasing collet.

This next improvement I noticed when I was installing the router into the table. In my previous version, the plunge spring alignment post was a separate piece and had to be stored along with the spring when not installed. Now it is part of the cap and remains with the router. One less thing to lose.

All in all the fixes and improvements make the Triton even better than when I first reviewed it and have assured that it will remain my primary table router. I also want to reiterate my original assertion that the Triton's dust collection was excellent. As I mentioned earlier in this article I had the opportunity to review a Woodpecker Table Saw Wing router table and I used the Triton for the test. Between the Incra Wonder Fence and the Triton hardly a bit of dust escaped.

Now if we could just convince Triton to upgrade to a self releasing collet.

Read the original review

17 January 2004
Copyright © 2004 , Bill Esposito.
All Rights Reserved.