Skil 1830 1100W Router

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Out of the box, the router has the usual quirky Skil styling and functionality. The vaguely oval body houses an 1100W motor and has a flat top that makes cutter changing practical.

The handgrips are heavily sculpted but big and comfortable to use, with a heavily sprung switch trigger and a lock button to prevent accidental switch on. On the other side is a rotating cup-shaped speed wheel, with shallow depressions to ease its adjustment by fingertip.

The plunge lock on the rear is hard plastic that doesn't flex when locking the body on the plunge rods. The rods have the springs on the outside with a very strong return action. There is the now obligatory spindle lock for cutter changing, the collet nut containing a rather small collet, with others supplied. The router base is an open casting with plenty of dust traps. It has a spring plastic depth turret with a rather simple depth rod on the body, and the turret does not waggle when the rod presses on it, which is good. The depth rod has a sliding pointer.

There are two fence rod lock knobs. The rods sit in V-bottomed grooves giving a sloppy fit until tightened.

The fence is a cheap pressed steel affair that accepts a trammel point and roller guide, which are provided. Also supplied is a clear plastic clip-in dust spout, a guide bush and six cutters.

The verdict

The body is solid and there is plenty of cutting power. It's pretty smooth too, with fast start-up. However, there is waggle on the body when the plunge is unlocked, but when locked it is solid. The fence is pretty feeble, although serviceable.

Bizarrely, the 1830 is supplied with an 8mm collet installed, when few people use 8mm cutters, although the four in the kit are 8mm. Two other collets are supplied, a 1/4in and a 6mm. The latter is only a continental size, another 1/4in collet would be preferable. Overall, it's a good, powerful handheld machine let down by peripheral items, such as a crude guide bush.