That’s right every year we get a bounty of fresh and new cordless tools and lets be honest, 2017 has brought us some great stuff, especially us saw dust sniffers. Not only do we have cordless track saws, sanders, planers… now something we have been dreaming of, routers. One cordless router imparticular stands above the competition baring the color teal.
Makita has released a cordless router, the XTR01. It is a cordless laminate trim router that runs off of Makita’s infamous 18V LXT platform. The battery sits on top of the machine but despite the bulk of the battery it fits well in the hand and is balanced beautifully. The best option to purchase this tool its to get the kit with the T7 suffix which will provide you with two 5.0 ah batteries and both plunge base and fixed base. This is where the magic happens with this tool its the ability to fit in the older corded models accessories.
The XTR01 is a joy to use in the shop in either facet, plunge or fixed. The soft start motor will run up to 30,000 rpms with a variable speed dial giving you 6 speed settings, 10,000 rpms on the low end. The router has ample power for typical tasks a router of this category will be subjected to. The electronics in the brushless motor will adjust rpms to the torque being applied to it. Throughout testing the power of the XTR01, I did run into a few situations where the tool shut itself down from a lack of power. Generally trying to run full depth on a 1/2″ x 3/4″ straight will bog down most routers of this size. Overall any modest task will easily be accomplished with this tool, it takes a considerable amount of work to heat the unit up. Which brings me to my next point of runtime. Now I did not do an official runtime test because use of routers is not constant like other tools, and every bit will yield different exertion on the motor but the large battery packs will give you a good amount of time to accomplish the job. The tool is rather efficient with its use of the battery packs until you really start to push the tool beyond its capabilities.
Makita gave us “backward combatabity” with accepting the bases their corded model uses. For those that have the corded model their is no need to purchase the T7 kit as your plunge base will fit this router, something rather genius from Makita. The plunge base is a very simplified version with only a single depth adjustment. While it is nice to only have a single spot to adjust your depth plunge, the battery tends to hang over the adjustment knob making it somewhat awkward to use. The plunge lock lever is located on the rear side of the lever which allows you to lock under operation.
You will notice two buttons on the router which both are required to turn the tool on. Pressing the lock/unlock button will activate the dual LED lights. From there the power button must be depressed to turn the motor on. I do have to advise caution with this tool as most routers have a more accessible power switch in case of emergency.
The T7 kit comes with a Makita systainer, rapid charger, edge guide, fixed and plunge bases, two 5.0 batteries and an organizer insert for $389 from Acme Tools. Unfortunately Makita did not include the dust extraction nozzle in this kit which is a must for any shop use. Those who already have some accessories can pick the baretool including the fixed base for a modest $129.