The Importance of the Original Design
My original T5 was bombproof and lasted for years, but the basic design was good enough to be able to support a steady list of refinements over the years. After some ownership and name changes the T5 is still around and is a ‘go to’ router for amateurs and professionals alike. The developments have provided us with a quieter, more refined and user-friendly machine.
Noise and Vibration
At idle speeds, even with a cutter attached, the 1000W T5E is so quiet that you can barely hear it. Lay your hands on the plunge handles and you can barely feel any vibration either. Clearly some work has been put in on noise and vibration control - and it works. Even when fitted with a cutter (max 40mm diameter) this router feels civilised, controllable and relatively noise and vibration free. Great news for those who use these tools regularly.
Controls – I need Simple and Safe
The plunge action on the T5E is firm and positive. With 50mm depth of plunge, there is enough to tackle large range cutters and most jobs. A good test of accuracy is whether there is any play between base and router body – the T5 I tested showed no play at all. There is a three stop adjustable turret to set depths of cut and a depth setting stop that is robust and easy to set.
The big red spindle lock button is easy to access and keeps your fingers well out of the way of the collet spanner.
At first I thought that having to push the switch upwards to start the motor seemed odd, but it is simpler to simply push the switch down to stop, which makes a lot of sense. It shows that Trend has thought about what is important in its continuing development of this tool over the years.
Fences, Dust Extraction and More
I hate pressed steel router fences. They do not inspire confidence in their rigidity and therefore accuracy, in use. The Trend T5E has a lovely cast alloy fence that is completely rigid with suitably strong trammel bars on which it slides. The fence is fitted with a micro adjuster that can easily be set in 0.5mm increments. The ease of set is what makes me want to use this adjuster, because some router fences I have used can be so fiddly and stiff that you end up setting up by eye anyway.
Included is a pair of rigid plastic fence cheeks that slide onto the straight edge of the fence. Held on by pan head screws, these cheeks are fully adjustable for smaller or larger cutters – and yes, since they are so easy to adjust, you will end up using them because it is stupid not to.
The screw bolts for trammel bars and fence have springs fitted so that they don’t work loose and fall off, this means that you always have the required screws when you need them.
A simple dust extraction spout is easy to attach to the base of the router because it clicks into place with three lugs into three matching slots. Extraction is good and visibility of the cutter and cut inspires the confidence that you can work accurately. It helps to use a lightweight extraction hose that does not pull on the router base.
Also included are a template guide bush that uses two screws to attach it to the base and a beam trammel attachment that fits onto a fence rod so that users can rout circles and curves.
For the users who want to go beyond general routing, the T5E can be used with an 8mm collet, available as an accessory. It can also be mounted on a router table or used with other accessories via the two tapped holes in the router base.
I absolutely loved the new feeling of control engendered by the lack of vibration and noise.