I have a love-hate relationship with my routers. I love that they can take a chunk of wood or a ho-hum project and turn it into something polished and classy looking. I hate that they scatter dust and debris to all four corners of my shop.
That’s why I was intrigued when a box emblazoned with “UNIVERSAL DUST-FREE ROUTER HOOD” landed on my workbench. Could it really eliminate dust? And would it really fit my router without a lot of hassle? The answers are yes and yes.
Let’s be clear: This router hood isn’t something you just clip on and use. It requires removing your router’s original base plate and replacing it with the two-part universal base plate with a dust collection dome pinched in between. (It took me about 15 minutes to do this the first time and less than five minutes the second.) Once that’s done, you snap the deep or shallow chip cover in place, attach your dust collection hose and then go to work. It’s a little fiddling around, but once you’re ready to rout, the system really performs—perhaps no surprise given it was developed by Oneida (oneida-air.com), which specializes in dust collection. You can quickly remove the clear hose port and chip covers if you want to work unencumbered. The system is compatible with most fixed-base and plunge routers. I also like routing with a crystal-clear base—it makes it easier to see what’s going on below.
The Oneida router hood costs about $35 at hardware stores, home centers and online. — Spike Carlson