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Grizzly G3555 Router Speed Control - 20 Amp

As routers have become more powerful, woodworkers have begun using them to perform tasks they could previously accomplish only using a shaper with larger bits. But the cutters of larger bits must turn at slower speeds since they move faster with respect to the wood. Thankfully many new routers include a speed control, but if you’re trusty old one doesn’t, you might want to consider picking up a router speed control — like Grizzly’s G3555.

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Besides allowing you to use larger bits, slowing down the bit speed can also reduce burning in woods like cherry.

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The Grizzly operates like most router speed controllers on the market: a large knob controls the speed setting, and a three-position switch selects full speed, variable-speed, or off. A built in fuse protects against overloads (when you’re doing something you shouldn’t be), and the Grizzly includes a belt clip in case you’re in a mobile environment. (But with only a six foot cord, you’ll need an extension.)

You needn’t limit your router speed controller use to routers, either. It’ll faithfully add speed control to many tools such as rotary tools, jigsaws, corded drills, and other tools that don’t have variable speed functionality. Tools featuring soft start are an exception, however. They might not work well — if at all — with a speed control.

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And at $32, this might be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new router — if you’re happy with your current model.  

Grizzly G3555 20A Speed Control
[Manufacturer]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]

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11 Responses to Grizzly’s Router Speed Control

  1. Stuart Deutsch says:

    Coincidentally, this should work great with the single-speed colt router that Amazon is offering for free with $350+ Bosch product orders.

    http://toolmonger.com/2007/09/17/dealmonger-free-bosch-palm-router-with-350-amazon-purchase/

    Is there any reason why one shouldn’t use this product for other types of motor-driven devices?

  2. PutnamEco says:

    certainly a cheaper alternative than a variac.

  3. Brau says:

    The start-up torque on my router always has me fearing I’ll drop it. I may buy one of these just to avoid that.

  4. Roscoe says:

    Be careful- many modern consumer oriented routers are “soft-start” and won’t work with a speed control. Make sure your router isn’t soft-start before using with this, or you’ll burn up your router motor quick. This is definitely the way to go if you have a high-end heavy duty router though.

  5. Rick says:

    I have been thinking about getting one of these to slow down the speed of a fan at my desk so that it is silent, it is almost silent, just need to slow it down a bit. $19.99 from harborfreight: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=43060

  6. Benjamen Johnson says:

    Like all Harbor Freight merchandise, wait a few months and it will go on sale. I regularly see this speed control selling for $12.99 or even $9.99.

    I bought it for $9.99 about a year ago and it works just fine. I have it mounted to my router table, but I have used it on my imitation dremel. I really want to try it on my table saw to see if I can cut plastic sheets without burning, I just worry about my table saw drawing 20A and the HF model being 15A. Curiously, the fact that the Grizzly I posted is a 20A speed controller seemed to be lost in the editing department. I chose to write about this one because it was one of the few 20A models instead of 15A.

  7. Toolaremia says:

    Rick,
    Depending on the motor type, it might make it noisier by making the fan buzz. These things are basically pulse-width-modulators; they cut off the AC voltage for a variable period of each half-cycle of the AC waveform. That makes induction motors buzz.

    Still, wait for it to go on sale like Benjamen says, then try it for $10. Not a lot to lose.

  8. Randy says:

    Is there a router (or motor) speed controller with only a variable switch and not a full/variable switch?

  9. Benjamen Johnson says:

    I haven’t seen one. They’re all pretty much the same. I think the theory is that you can temporarily run the router at full speed without losing your variable speed setting.

    You didn’t hear it from me, but If I wanted to disable the full speed setting, I’d open up the speed controller and cut and cap the wires that attached full speed terminal of the switch.

  10. Bert Werd says:

    Benjamen, thanks for the info about router speed controls–landed here from a Google search around the phrase.

    I bought one from Harbor Freight’s website for $19.99, with the intention of using it as a dimmer for the 500W work light I use for video production (entirely too bright to use as a fill, with too much wattage for conventional lamp dimmers). Works great! Just made a video and blog post about using it as part of two point lighting setup for more professional looking videos: http://www.werdofbert.com/2009/12/inexpensive-video-lighting-two-point.html

    Ever heard of someone using it this way?

  11. mike says:

    i have used the harbor freight one for lighting also, i own and event lighting company. i bought 20 of them. 10 of them broke when only running a consistent 10 amps for 4 hours. the fuse did not break the dimmer did.
    even with one 575 watt light, the back of it got so hot i had concerns. i think it needs more copper. i want to try these bear ones but it doesn’t make sense to me. how can it be 20 amps when it has a 15amp edison/ac plug on it? i wonder if everything in it is 12 gauge. If you buy it from harbor freight expect it to break. that has been my experience. if you dont buy nice you buy twice.

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