Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common and useful accessories ordered for the machines?
Are the router bits used "standard" dovetail bits?
Can the router bits be re-sharpened?
How long do the bits last and what kind of material are they made of?
Are the motors used on Hoffmann machines the standard "laminate trimmer type"?
Can these motors be rebuilt?
Can a bench top model be equipped with a larger motor?
When is it necessary to purchase the larger motor?
Why are the free standing routing machines equipped with the larger motors from the factory?
Are the electrical parts covered under the warranty as well?
What are the plastic keys made of?
Are colors and sizes other than on the price sheet available?
What species wood keys are available?
What size aluminum keys are available?
Why are Oak W-4 keys offered in two versions?


What are the most common and useful accessories ordered for the machines?

While applications vary from shop to shop, the following three items are our customer's favorites:

  • LASER guide light with bracket - allows the user to work accurately with pencil marks and therefore eliminates the need to set multiple stops
  • Syncro fence - this adjustable fixture allows to processing of miter joints other than 45 degrees, very helpful for the custom shop
  • Inside corner fences - come as a set for left and right hand side, allow efficient processing of 45 degree miter joints with two Dovetail Keys per joint

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Are the router bits used "standard" dovetail bits?

With so many different sizes and cutting angle variations, there really are no "standard" dovetail bits available. Hoffmann dovetail bits are made to exact specifications and very close tolerances, assuring a perfect fit for the corresponding keys. For this reason, we advise against using other router bits in our machines, which could result in poor performance and also voids the warranty.

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Can the router bits be re-sharpened?

We do not recommend re-sharpening since even slight changes in diameter or cutting angle could cause improper fit of the dovetail keys, which in turn is usually a lot more expensive than simply replacing the bit.

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How long do the bits last and what kind of material are they made of?

10,000+ cuts per bit is an average figure, based on experience. The useable life of the bit varies of course, depending on the material to be routed, the feed rate and the length of cut.

The W-1, W-2 and W-3 bits are made of solid tungsten carbide, the W-4 bit is tungsten carbide tipped.

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Are the motors used on Hoffmann machines the standard "laminate trimmer type"?

No, all motors are made in Germany for Hoffmann to our own exact specifications. Among other things, they are made to withstand the continuous on and off switching when the routing machines are in a production environment.

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Can these motors be rebuilt?

Some parts for the motors are available for repairs. Upon request, we will gladly forward a detailed drawing and parts list to aid in rebuilding. However, we are not equipped to repair these motors at our facility. Repairs should only be done by qualified technicians.

Replacement motors are very reasonably priced. It is usually less expensive and faster to replace a motor if anything other than brushes or the switch is needed.

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Can a bench top model be equipped with a larger motor?

Yes, the MU2 and MU2-P models can either be ordered with a larger motor or the motor can be purchased separately and installed by the owner. The MU-C machine cannot be equipped with the large motor; the W-4 size router will also not fit in this machine. It is more advantageous for a customer interested in the larger motor to order this motor separately. The machine is then equipped with the standard motor including W-2 bit, and the 1000-watt motor is shipped extra.

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When is it necessary to purchase the larger motor?
The 1,000-watt or 1,700 watt motors are needed to process our W-4 keys.

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Why are the free standing routing machines equipped with the larger motors from the factory?

These machines are designed for a production environment. This includes larger linear bearings and guides; heavy steel stands with cast aluminum tables, motors switched with contactors and heavier motors that allow the use of any size Hoffmann key.

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Are the electrical parts covered under the warranty as well?
Yes, all components of our routing machines are completely warranted for one year. This includes all pneumatic valves, switches and flow controls, electrical switches and the motors.

The router bits are not covered under warranty. Also, please read our complete warranty terms at the end of this section.

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What are the plastic keys made of?

The keys are made of a proprietary plastic compound, which has been designed and tested to be strong enough o firmly close the joint, but flexible enough to allow some measure of wood movement.

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Are colors and sizes other than on the price sheet available?

Yes, we can manufacture plastic keys in close to 200 different colors. Upon request, we will send a complete color kit for selection. There is a 10,000 key minimum order for colors other than black or white.

Black or white keys can be ordered in lesser quantities (minimum 1,000 pieces), however a up-charge applies for all orders under 10,000 keys (black or white).
Other lengths, special flange sizes or keys with embossed names or logos can also be made. Please contact us for details.

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What species wood keys are available?

We offer the most common hardwood species including maple, mahogany, cherry, walnut and oak. The wood keys are sold by the linear foot, to be cut to size by the customer, or on a special order basis pre-cut to size by Hoffmann. Lead-time for cut-to-order wood keys is usually 4 - 6 weeks. We can manufacture wood keys in species other than the ones listed, please call for details.

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What size aluminum keys are available?

Solid aluminum keys are available in size W-2, W-3 and W-4. Aluminum keys are also sold by the linear foot, to be cut to size by the customer. These keys can also be ordered cut-to-order, please call for details.

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Why are Oak W-4 keys offered in two versions?

W-4 keys are available in solid wood and three-ply laminated oak. The solid wood is all end grain, which is uniform in color and appearance but not as strong as the laminated type.

The laminated oak keys are stronger and can be used for higher strength applications while still offering the advantage of being solid wood for appearance.

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