Sorry, this isn’t a cordless router, it’s just Bosch’s 1617EVSPK router kit ($219 via Amazon) – a heck of a good model, but tethered to an AC outlet for power.
In a recent discussion of Bosch’s new Colt trim router, and in another recent post where we asked about the last time you bought a corded or cordless power tool, quite a few people mentioned their desire for a cordless router. Even a cordless compact trim router would be nice.
Anything that could be made cordless will always see at least some demand – but I have to wonder why we haven’t seen one yet. Surely there are good reasons as to why a cordless router doesn’t yet exist.
Commenters previously pointed out that some brands had in fact come out with cordless routers before, but there aren’t any current Li-ion routers, at least not that I know of.
My thoughts are that power is going to be a big limitation. Routers consumer lots of power and would quickly drain even higher capacity battery packs. Or maybe it’s an instantaneous power draw limitation. So the rate of power might exceed a battery pack’s rating, while also draining the charge quite rapidly.
The router motor included in the Bosch router kit shown above has a 12A peak current draw. That means something like 1320 Watts at peak power. The Colt router mentioned yesterday draws 7A at peak, and previous models draw 5.6A.
When I was at Milwaukee’s media event back in June, I asked whether the new M18 Fuel braking angle grinder came with both common guard types (Type I, Type 27) for cut-off wheels and grinding wheels. I also asked why some didn’t come with both, and why a lot of these types of tools were marketed as cut-off tools and not angle grinders.
Basically what they said was that many of the cordless grinders were called cut-off tools because they weren’t really powerful enough to be considered grinders. So they were called cut-off tools to kind of set users’ expectations accordingly. I guess that makes sense.
With very power hungry tools, such as circular saws, the saw blade size can be made smaller to match a lower powered motor. A 5-3/8″ saw, or a 6-1/2″ cordless circular saw, which is more common, is going to be less powerful than a 7-1/4″ saw. That smaller blade size limits the size of work a user is going to try to the saw on, and thus it helps dictate the motor that the saw is built with.
But with even a trim router, a 1/4″ collet is a 1/4″ collet, and a 1/2″ collet is a 1/2″ collet. There’s not much you can do to prevent a user from attaching a router with a big router bit that pushes the motor power to its limit.
Maybe I’m completely off-base here, but I’m more and more convinced that power tool brands have not come out with Li-ion routers simple because they they cannot. These days, users demand corded-like performance from their cordless tools. If a brand cannot achieve that, or at least come close, they’re not going to bother.
After not even realizing that I wanted a cordless router until readers mentioned their wish for one, I think that a cordless trim router would be nice. I use my full-size router much more than I have ever used a compact trim router, but if we haven’t seen a cordless trim router, we’re certainly not going to see a cordless full-size one.
Next, there’s going to be an ergonomics challenge. How could one engineer a cordless trim router? Where would the battery go? Functionality and ergonomics would have to be similar to that of corded tools, right? I’m thinking that a cordless trim router could be compact or ergonomic, but probably not both.
This seems like a good challenge for power tool engineers. How do we make a good cordless trim router? Maybe – hopefully – someone will come up with a good question to this in the near future.
Am I on-base with this? Completely wrong? Why do you think we haven’t seen a cordless router in any current Li-ion tool platform?