Philip Villarreal at Mill Valley, Calif.-based Phil the Floor Guy Hardwood Floors reviewed the Bosch 12V Max Palm Edge Router and 12V Max Starter Kit SlimPack Battery (2.0Ah) and Charger:

In my work doing hardwood flooring installation, repair and refinishing, I don't use a router every day, but having a router that is cordless, light and quick to grab—that can be thrown into your tool box/bag—seems great. Bosch says this router is designed "specifically to make edge routing and trimming easier."

Unlike the bigger routers us wood flooring pros are used to, which are relatively heavy and require two hands to run, this router weighs just over 2 pounds. The fact that it runs on a 12-volt battery means that adding the battery doesn't add much weight—even with the battery on, it weighs just under 3 pounds, making it easy to run with one hand. It also has an unusual offset design the company says is intended for maximum stability, and I found that to be true; I could easily and comfortably run the router with one hand.

The router comes with a self-releasing collet chuck and collet chuck wrench, and adjusting the bit was real simple. With only 12 volts and the lightweight design, I was interested to see if it felt powerful enough, but it seemed pretty powerful for 12 volts. I estimate that the battery would have about 15 minutes of run time if you ran it continuously, although that isn't how I would be using this tool anyway.

The router is sold separately from the battery and doesn't have its own case. Even after buying the battery it's about $200, which I think is worth it to not have to lug around a larger router. I can certainly see where this could save time to have on hand and make quick pieces out of leftover materials, i.e. scotia strips, base shoe, quarter rounds and transition details, etc. As long as you have scraps and this router, it could save a trip to the floor supply store for a small piece of material.

Retail price: $149 (bare tool); 12V Max Starter Kit SlimPack battery (2.0Ah) and charger is $49


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