Iâ€™ve wanted a router for some time. The thing is I donâ€™t know how much I would use a router so I didnâ€™t want to spend too much money. I purchased a Mastercraft ( Canadian Tire house brand for you Americans) router several months ago and returned even before using it - total junk.
I nearly fell over when I saw this weekâ€™s Princess Auto www.princessauto.com flyer offering a 15 Amp 3HP router for $88. (Sale ends Jan 2. After that price will be $200 according to the flyer.) The Princess Auto in-house brand is the Power Fist line.
Princess Auto is a Canadian tool store that is, I believe, modeled on the US Harbour Freight concept. I suspect that many of the items are the same, only renamed. The good thing about PA is that they have a no hassle return policy and a one-year warranty - no questions asked. Their slogan is â€œ No sale is final until you are satisfied.â€ Or something along those lines.
I picked up my router this week and I am pleasantly surprised. I finally got to compare it to a $300 Freud 3 1/4 router at Home Depot tonight and on visual inspection the Princess Auto looks the best. The metal castings and plastic parts are nice and the whole fit and finish seems better than the Freud to me - way above the average PA offering.
It comes with 2 collects so it can use 1/4, 3/8 and half inch bits. Included is an edge guide, a plate for template cutting and a mystery attachment. About the mystery attachment - see picture. Not a single mention of it in the instructions. It does say something about a guide for rough surfaces on the box but thatâ€™s all. I have no idea what itâ€™s for or how to use it.
Now for durability. I havenâ€™t used it that much and I donâ€™t have that many bits. I bought a few used ones yesterday simply to try it out. PA is a bit hit and miss when it comes to the quality of their power tools. I have purchased several power tools from them with one or two having problems. But of the defective ones, I returned them for replacements, and the replacements are still going strong. In the long run I am happy with all my purchases from PA.
Now the instructions. They re pitiful. I have an air nailer from PA and all it came with was an exploded parts diagram. A lawsuit waiting to happen IMHO.
On the whole I have to say that this tool is a excellent bargain and I am keeping my fingers crossed when it comes to durability but for $88 hard to go wrong - and they do mail order.
(I posted this over at Knots too. I figured somebody here too might find it interesting)