“The Hardest Working
In Any Boat Builders Tool Box“
I once used a Dado to cut slots in wood until
I discovered the handheld router. From then on it was a progression
of router bit buying for every project I needed to do. Then
it went to a router table because the bits became too large.
Don’t get me wrong I’m old and ugly enough to enjoy
a romp through the “Tool Store” any day. Besides
I have worked hard most of my life and if buying a router bit
is one of those simple pleasures I still enjoy, why should I
deny myself? There is a point of diminishing returns though.
How many different slot sizes does it really take to have a
complete set up from 1/8” to ½”? This is
where my tool review comes into it’s own.
A very intelligent inventor must have pondered
that same question and came up with a very unique answer. I
have tried a few supposedly simple adjustable slot cutters for
my routers and with all the shims and other paraphernalia it
just didn’t seem worth the trouble. Another trip to the
“Tool Store” was actually more enjoyable, that is
until now. Amana Tool has just introduced an adjustable slot
cutter for ½” collet routers that is as simple
as turning a knob.
I saw an announcement about the tool in an industry
newsletter and I immediately called Amana Tool to see if I could
get one of these slot cutters for testing. The Amana Tool representative
was very gracious and sent one of the tools for testing. I could
hardly wait for it to arrive I was so anxious to test it. It
arrived carefully packaged, padded and taped so that no damage
could have happened in shipping. Steps that I am happy for because
some of the tools I receive look as though they have been attacked
by sledgehammers. I won’t mention any names but some package
express companies hire mace-wielding monkeys to play with the
boxes at their terminals.
I never can get over the fact that if a box is
carried in a truck it’s a shipment. But if it is carried
by a boat its called cargo. Maybe I just have a lot more time
to think about these things instead of writing like I should
The product package itself is simple, functional
and attractive. It consists of a blue foam box with a heavy
plastic slipcover that should protect its precious contents
for years along side your finest router bits. I opened the package
and RTFB’ed the contents (read the frigging brochure).
That is a step some boat builders neglect but it can cause major
problems when doing so.
This router bit comes in two sizes, so you get
two trips to the “Tool Store”. The #55500 covers
everything from 1/8” up to ¼”. The #55510
covers everything from ¼” up to ½”
they both accomplish this in increments of 0.004” and
up to ½“ deep maximum. No shims, No washers and
no cutter changes. You just use the wrench supplied with the
E-Z DIAL and loosen the lock-nut then turn the dial until you
have reached the size you require. Simple, yes but a complex
tool if you had to design it from a billet of steel and carbide
But wait; there is even better news! Suppose you
were to go out and buy every size router bit in 1/64”
increments from 1/8” to ½”. Well I know my
wife would be seeing red and my wallet would be devoid of all
the green I once had. No I’m not talking flea market router
bits, I mean honest to goodness brand name bits. Well way too
much as far as my better half is concerned. But the brand new
E-Z Dial bits are at an introduction price of $99.00 each. They
will list for $149.99 in a few short months from now. I think
it is a great deal.
have had the ¼” to ½” bit for a while
now and I have tested it using my router table and many different
types of wood and composite materials and it has performed flawlessly.
I would not use a hand held router with it as the directions
warn you of this also. It is too much mass spinning way too
fast to be able to control and besides you need a trip to the
“Tool Store” anyway. If you need more information
on the E-Z Dial go to the Amana website
and read all the reviews from strictly wood working magazines
and you can use the novel idea of buying it on-line there also.
You will not be disappointed if you buy it. The
fit and finish of this tool is outstanding. The E-Z Dial is
also very easy to use; one full turn of the ”dial”
equals 0.04”. There are many uses for this tool in boat
building; just one of them is cutting the slots for a cockpit
sliding door. I am very sure you all can think of many more.
Tool crib to tool crib,