A professional in woodwork or an individual based in a workshop should have crossed paths with the versatile cordless router. This marvelous tool is used to cut channels in materials such as wood. Do you need to design ornate patterns, edges, or grooves? This rotary tool is the perfect fit for the job. Adding onto its function bag, the cordless router can make smooth dadoes, flutings, and mortises, helping you achieve exemplary décor on your woodwork.
This unit is an important upgrade from the corded router version, which was troublesome to use with the cable mostly dragging behind and getting entangled on corners. Besides, the battery powered router models are characterized by brushless motors. The brushless router models have enhanced efficiency and performance as there is no energy loss through friction. Besides, the brushless motors reduce their susceptibility to mechanical wear compared to the brushed models.
The brushless router units come with numerous benefits, including a higher torque to weight ratio and enhanced per watt of power input that will improve your cutting and trimming efficiency. Besides, with the brushless router, you are guaranteed a higher runtime.
In the review below, I present an insight on the top cordless routers assessing each one to help you narrow down on the right best cordless router for purchase and most suitable for you depending on your application..
Best Cordless Router Reviews 2021
1.DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router
On top of my list is the highly-rated Dewalt 20V Max XR. The unit has an exclusive motor for maximum efficiency. The motor has a soft start, implying it can be powered non- violently, guaranteeing your safety.
Other than the soft start, the motor has an exemplary electronic braking system. This is a very effective feature that slows down the motor at a spectacular speed soon after it is shut off, minimizing the risks posed by a running motor that you thought was shut down. You can also set the unit’s height to your liking, thanks to its depth adjustment ring.
It bears a plastic base complemented by a brilliant LED light for enlightening the workspace, enhancing visibility for quality work results. Creaming these extravagant features is the variable speed dial function that enables you to set the speed the router will run on that matches the task you are undertaking.
Being a cordless unit, it is powered by a top-notch 20V Dewalt battery, which makes its delivery match an electricity-powered router. The lightweight of this tool will wow you despite having a litany of specs.
- Release clamp for efficient and fast replacement of the bit and base.
- Powered by a top-notch 20V Dewalt battery.
- Soft starting motor with an efficient braking system.
- Plastic base complemented by a brilliant LED light?
- Variable speed control dial.
- The 20V Dewalt Battery is substitutable with 20V batteries of some different brands.
- Slight motility of the depth adjustment ring
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2.Makita XTR01Z 18V LXT Li-ion Brushless Cordless Compact Router
The Makita Cordless router is the quintessence of greatness you want to have a hold on. This unit is the very definition of a smooth operator accentuated by a soft startup. The unit’s brushless motor machines fast cuts with ultimate precision on a variety of materials.
The brushless motor backs the tool with an incredible mechanical forte and channels energy matching the rpm and torque to the application’s varying impositions. The on and off functions are fitted with distinguished lock buttons to avoid precedent startups or shutdowns for safety purposes.
This tool is inclusive of the variable speed control function that allows you to adjust the speed concerning the application at hand. The speed control feature helps to sustain a consistent speed relevant to the execution of the task. It boasts of being powered by an 18V lithium battery, which has above-average battery life.
- Bases available in tilt, plunge, and offset forms.
- Powerful electrically controlled BL brushless motor.
- Delivery of fast and accurate cuts.
- Distinguished lock functions fitted on the power functions.
- Has a variable speed control function for speed adjustment.
- A vast range of rpm (rotations per minute); 10,000 to 30,000.
- Powered by 18V lithium battery with excellent battery life.
- Cumbersome depth adjustment feature
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3.M 18 FUEL Compact Router (Bare Tool) 2723-20
M 18 Fuel Compact Router is an embodiment of forte, accuracy, and speed. By leveraging the POWERSTATE brushless motor, the power delivery is comparable to that of corded 1.25 horsepower trim routers. In addition to a high rpm of up to 31,000 graces you with impressive sleek quality cut results. This also makes the unit suitable for use on hardwoods.
This unit’s design has incorporated REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology, which plays a big role in protection from overheating, overloads, and over-discharge. You will not miss the variable speed control dial, which helps speed adjustment concerning the application being undertaken.
This unit bears two intelligently fitted functions; a macro adjustment dial used for major adjustments and a micro-adjustment screw for concise adjustments over 1/64” increments. It also features a dual-LED light for illumination and visibility of the bit while in use. It is powered by a reliable REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery, which will minimize the need to visit the charger frequently.
- Suitable for routing on the hardwood.
- Very potent POWERSTATE Brushless motor.
- High range of rpm ranging from 10,000 to 31,000.
- Incorporates REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology.
- Congruous with either a plunge or offset base.
- Inclusive of the variable speed control dial.
- Bears a micro-adjust and macro-adjust dial for precise depth adjustments.
- Powerful REDLITHIUM XC5.0 battery.
- Dual LED lights for illumination enhancing safety.
- Features a dust shroud significant for dust collection.
- The plunge base and offset base are sold separately.
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4.Ridgid R86044B Cordless Brushless ¼ inch Compact Router
You need to grab yourself a Ridgid R86044B Router if you are a speed fan. This unit’s outstanding feature is its brushless motor, which gears it to run rapidly and for longer periods.
You do not require extra tools to make depth adjustments as the unit avails the means even to make the micro-adjustments. It also features built-in LEDs that automatically light up when the tool is running. The brushless motor also employs a soft start-up preventing any damage on your woodwork item that would be resorted to if the start-up was in full spin vigorous mode.
It includes the important variable speed control function that enables you to adjust the speed so that it falls anywhere within the 17,000 and 25,000 rpm range. You should note that this tool uses slide-style batteries (RIDGID 18V li-ion battery). It is designed in a very suitable way to fit your hands just right for smooth operation.
- Adopts Brushless motor technology for a soft start-up.
- Brushless motor technology resulting in outstanding speed and run-time.
- Effective depth adjustments avenues.
- On-board LEDs for brightening the work surface.
- Inclusive of the variable speed control dial.
- Designed in a comfortable hand holdable size.
- The RIDGID 18V li-ion battery and its charger are sold separately.
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5.Ryobi P601 Cordless Fixed Base Trim Router
The Ryobi P601 Trim Router is a stellar performing unit. The most conspicuous characteristic of this tool is the onboard depth adjustment knob. The effortless use knob annihilates the hassle of acquiring extra tools to set a drilling depth of your liking. ID bearings on this unit is a bonus as you get to know the accurate depth of your project.
A sufficient Ryobi 18V li-ion battery powers this unit. However, say you have either of the other battery models of the Ryobi brand like P100, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and the P108, you can use either to power up this tool. It is also designed with a hardy aluminum base for stability purposes.
The ergonomic design used to craft this tool provides you with a sturdy grip even when working in a slippery environment. The handle is rubberized to enhance the grip empowering you to assume control and work dexterously. Its intricate design also features LED light sets that project light on your working space.
- It is a compact router making it easy to handle and use.
- Onboard adjustment knob for fine-tuning the drilling depth of your choice.
- ID bearings for accurate measurement of the depth of cut.
- Powered by a reliable Ryobi 18V li-ion battery.
- Compatible with other Ryobi Ryobi brand battery models.
- Hardy aluminum base for stability.
- Ergonomic design that is inclusive of a rubberized handle for sturdy grip.
- Bears onboard LED light sets for enlightening the work surface.
- The Ryobi 18V li-ion battery and the tool purchased separately.
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6. RYOBI R18TR-0 ONE+ Cordless Trim Router
The R18RT-0 router is a unit that has amassed a high propensity among DIYers. This is certain because of its superior usability on several projects like cutting grooves, making shapes and edges and trimming, among others. Its speed in the absence of a load extends up to a whopping 29,000 rpm, which is auxiliary to the vast array of applications it executes.
It is a cordless unit, therefore, granting you the exuberance that comes along with working free of a cord that is always getting trapped or entangled in corners. This tool utilizes a powerful 5.0 Ah Li-ion battery cell. Topping this is the tool’s compatibility with all 18V ONE+ chargers and batteries that will get you sorted in case the original dies.
Fitted with a slick micro-adjustment knob, you are able to set a drilling height of your liking that is relative to the application. It is engineered with a fast release clamp that incredibly favours the adjustment of the drilling depth. Adding icing on the cake, this appliance is covered with a warranty of three years to cover any faultiness.
- It is versatile and suited for a variety of projects.
- It has an incredible speed ranging up to 29,000 rpm.
- It is cordless, making it a handy tool.
- Compatible with all 18V ONE+ chargers and batteries.
- Fitted with a slick micro-adjustment knob.
- Devised with a fast release clamp.
- Covered with a warranty extending up to 3 years.
- Its base is made of aluminum for exemplary stability and longevity.
- Sold as a bare tool with no charger and battery.
- Warranty is exclusive of accessories
7.MAKITA DRT50ZX4 18V Router Trimmer
The prominence of this Makita Router Trimmer is majorly centred on its distinct operation. Fitted with a motor that has leveraged the brushless technology, it steers the unit to operate with speed scaling up to 30,000 rpm, enabling you to quickly execute an application.
Ingenious levels of designing have been employed, starting from how it starts to operate, whereby it features a smooth start-up property for control over an application. It is fitted with a variable speed option for speed regulation according to application. You will experience a swift and precise depth setting courtesy of the rack and pinion system.
The rapid release lever system contributes to fine-tuning of depth settings and also base changing. With an aluminum base and housing, this is guaranteed enough that this unit is pretty durable. Covering a large portion of the aluminum housing is a plastic plate that keeps the metallic housing free from scratches.
- Bears LED lighting for illumination of the work surface.
- Levelled top surface to avoid toppling over when the base.
- Possesses a trigger bearing lock off and lock on for safety and consistency on task.
- Powerful motor that has leveraged brushless technology.
- Operate with speed scaling up to 30,000 rpm.
- Features a smooth start-up property.
- Constructed with a variable speed control option.
- Incorporated the rack and pinion adjustment mechanism.
- Has a rapid release lever system.
- Sources its power from 18V LXT slide-type Li-ion batteries.
- It can be linked with dust extractor equipment.
- The battery is not included in the purchase package
8.BOSCH 12V Max EC Brushless Palm Edge Router
The GKF12V-25N BOSCH Cordless router is a unit designed with superior artistry on matters of ergonomics. Its idyllic model makes it the most felicitous cordless router for edge-based applications. The tool’s components and the grasping section are located just above the workpiece for exceptional stability and control.
This unit just doesn’t have an ordinary motor. Its motor is inclusive of the EC Brushless technology that grants it an incredible speed scoping to 13,000 rpm. The battery is as crucial as the motor. This unit’s battery is mighty, granting it with a dependable 23 minutes runtime per charge.
The depth adjustment system is quintessential. Micro-adjustments and macro-adjustments are achieved with utter precision. Once you have adjusted the depth to your liking, implement the integrated depth adjustment lock to avoid interference on the setting you made. The grasping section is rubberized for comfortable handling.
- Fitted with a battery indicator to exhibit battery status.
- The Idyllic model pilots it for excellence in edge-based applications.
- Its motor has adopted the EC Brushless technology.
- Has an incredible speed scoping to 13,000 rpm.
- Has an accurate depth adjustment system.
- Features a depth adjustment lock.
- The grasping section is rubberized to enhance handling.
- The tool is sold separately from its battery
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9. DEWALT Brushless Orbital Sander with Cordless Router
This is sold as a package inclusive of two tools: an orbital sander (DCW210B) and a cordless router tool (DCW600B). The sander is fitted with a variable speed control dial for speed regulation. The grip of the sander tool rubberized to provide you with a comfortable grasp.
Now, delving into the germane tool, the (DCW600B) cordless router, it is an example of a tool that is included in the 20V Max Li-ion battery community. This means that it is compatible and feasible with any other 20V max battery in that community.
The router tool is fitted with double LED light to illuminate your work area. The depth adjustment feature is very articulate and is integrated as a ring that eases up the process of adjusting drilling height and enables you to carry out the process quickly.
- This package deal is inclusive of two tools.
- Both tools are compatible with any other 20V max battery in that community.
- The router tool has an articulate depth adjustment feature.
- The router is fitted with double LED lights to illuminate your work area.
- Despite being sold as two tools, they are not delivered with carrying cases.
- Both tools are sold as bare tools exclusive of their batteries
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10. Kobalt 24V MAX 1/4-in Variable Speed Brushless Fixed Cordless Router
This is yet another exemplary unit perfect for woodworking. The unit guarantees maximum efficiency for accurate and fast cuts, thanks to its brushless motor that can generate up to 30,000RPM. You can apply this unit to different speed settings with a 6-mode speed control dial. The speed variation guarantees the use of this tool in different applications.
Kobalt 24V is characterized by fine height adjustment and a tool-less rack that gives maximum convenience when using the model. You can adjust the tool to the appropriate height, depending on your working bench.
Your safety is another exemplary consideration by this unit’s design. You do not need to worry about working on dimly lit surfaces as the unit is integrated with an LED light to illuminate the work surface for enhanced visibility.
- 6-mode speed control to match the speed to the application
- High-efficiency brushless motor for fast and accurate cuts
- Tool-less rack and pinion fine height adjustment
- LED lights for improved visibility
- Battery and charger sold separate
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Best Cordless Router Tool 2021 Buyers’ Guide
Wood and plastic are popularly used to craft quite a several things ranging from houses to furniture. Décor is an impetus to acquire yourself the best cordless router to achieve a desired sleek woodwork product result.
A cordless router is an intermediate handheld or mountable tool that is battery powered and used in routing a portion in hard material (mostly wood or plastic). This unit is an advancement of the corded routers, which were cumbersome to use by forcing you to seek enough reach to avoid entangling and trapping the cable.
Uses of Routers
If there is anyone who appreciates the explicit role of best cordless trim router are the woodworkers. Any individual who does the woodworking is well versed with the myriad uses of the routers. You can put a router into countless projects ranging from decorative to functional. The tool also boasts much power that can help you work on various activities, including trimming and cutting.
The fact that the tool is cordless ensures that you are not limited to a specific workstation by the cords, and this adds to its portability when executing different tasks. Thus, if you have the following roles, you intend to execute but do not know the most ideal tool for the work, do not think twice about choosing the best cordless router models.
Shaping Stylish Molding
One of the most exciting tasks executed by the battery powered router is creating decorative molding. A cordless router allows you to craft everything ranging from simple rounded moldings to the more elaborate Roman ogee, baseboards, and windows, thanks to routers’ ability to use different bits. The changing of the bit systems in the routers is pretty simple. Most of the manufacturers provide the users with an instruction manual to help change the bit systems, depending on the type of role you intend to execute.
Another imperative role of the battery powered router is cutting and smoothening of wood edges. For most woodworkers, realizing clean-cut and smooth edges on narrow pieces of wood can be a total nightmare. However, choosing any of the best cordless router units can help ease the pressure and bring convenience in realizing perfect smooth cuts for the woodworkers.
The best battery powered router models can produce even and level cuts on different types of wood, whether curved or straight edges. You are also guaranteed the same design on the multiple pieces of wood as long as you can reset the bit systems to the initial one used for the cuts, a practice that results in consistency in woodworking.
Carving out Rabbets
Sometimes, a woodworker may be obliged to cut into the edge of wood a groove or recess, often utilized on the back edge of cabinets, called a rabbet. The rabbets can be used with a dodo to establish strong joints used in doors or make the casement window jambs. The rabbets have specific bits, and most of the routers can accommodate the bits, enabling the woodworkers to cut grooves and make the desired width.
Most individuals fancy the pleasance that they see when they go for bookshelves or when finding an item in a kitchen or bedroom cabinet but have not been keen to establish how these beautiful arrangements are realized from woodworking. Dodoes are trenches or slots utilized to support cabinets or shelves in a bookcase invisibly.
The dodoes are of two primary types. A stopped dodo or blind ends before one or both of the cuts meet the edge of the surface and a through dodo that runs through both edges of a surface, leaving the ends open. Routers effectively make both types of dodoes, and this makes it an ideal tool when you want to install shelves in a bookcase or when making cabinets.
Door Hinge Recess
Routers have proved pivotal when recessing the hinges. You can utilize a router with a jig to cut space for recessed door hinges or lock faceplates. The routers enable you to realize a more smooth and finished appearance. Also, through the establishment of the recessed hardware, you can be assured of a smooth operation of the door hinges, thanks to the best cordless router units.
Cordless routers can also be used in;
- To trim veneers.
- To cut round overs and rabbets.
- In joint creation.
- To shape or flush edges.
- To mold fancy patterns and frames.
- To produce dovetails and tenons.
This tool is technically very suitable for use in decorative molding as a fine tuner and cabinetry.
The below video shows how to use the best cordless router especially when you are using it for the first time
Types of Cordless Routers
There are two types of cordless routers; fixed-base routers and plunge based routers. The difference is that plunge base routers are more versatile than fixed base ones. Fixed base routers require the setting of drilling depth to precede the startup of the router.
Comprehension of this unit is a necessity for you to choose your perfect fit. The task you wish to fulfill with a cordless router should also drive your purchasing decision.
Features to consider when buying cordless routers
The variable speed control function
This function should be an ingrained factor of consideration when purchasing the best cordless router. You need to scrutinize the tool of interest for the presence of this function that empowers you to have absolute control in terms of speed.
You get to set a speed that is in line with the task being undertaken for clean cuts. Some brands have the dial integrated on the reverse side. Other brands have the dial roughened on the surface, providing a steadfast grip. It is also important to note the dial’s location about the proximity of the thumb for smooth adjustment of speed while still in application.
Most routers base the variable speed adjustment on the rpm (rotations per minute) range of the tool. The rpm of most routers fall within 10,000 to 31,000. The rpm does not necessarily interpret to speed but instead is a gauge for control. For instance, say you are using a 1 to 2 inches bit, you will use the dial to adjust the speed in rpm terms to a matching 18,000 rpm for smooth operation and control.
Power is an essential consideration when purchasing the trim routers. When determining the routing power, consider the amp rating and RPM of the router. The higher the RPM and amp rating, the greater the performance.
The cordless trim routers with 1 HP or less would be perfect for occasional and light projects. However, when you are considering applying your cordless router on cordless laminate trimmer daily, you must invest in a model with a higher HP rating.
Being cordless equipment, these routers are powered by batteries making them an important element of consideration. Battery power exhibited in terms of voltage is an element worth bethinking. To put this in perspective, heavy and enormous applications demand a lofty battery power model.
This means that batteries with a high voltage guarantee you with a consistent runtime of the tool with minimal trips to the charger. Fortunately, most leading cordless router brands appreciate the essence of equipping their units with high battery models, with most ranging between 18V and 20V.
That range is pretty assuring and confirming that your brand of interest has its battery model within that range should give you the go-ahead. It is refreshing to know that some router brands are battery-flexible with their tools being compatible with other batteries in the line of their brands. You do not necessarily require the tool’s specific battery to get it running.
The package of a brand should not escape your attention as some brands sell the tool, battery, and charger while others sell the three separately. However, if the latter is the situation, you can still purchase the three elements for maximum performance.
The depth adjustment feature is another requisite characteristic for ad judgment. Drilling depth on various projects varies, raising the need for adjustment. The adjustment feature may be integrated as a knob or a macro-adjustment button and a micro-adjustment screw. Some brands integrate a rack-and-pinion feature that allows intuitive and flush adjustments.
The significance of touting for the depth adjustment option is to enable you to make accurate drilling height adjustments without looking for extrinsic tools to help you do the adjustment. This option also makes it easy and fast to do the adjustments.
Working in close conjunction with this feature is the quick-release lever system. This system is present in most, if not all, routers as a release lever clamp that provides swift removal and installation of the bit and base. Before purchasing either of the top cordless routers, it is important to consider the efficiency brought by the depth adjustment function and quick-lever release system.
Electronic brake system
This system plays a pivotal role in stopping the tool from running. You should consider a tool that is affirmative of the system for an instant halting of the bit soon after you shut the tool down. You don’t want a router that will have the bit perilously running, thinking that it stopped after shutting down the tool.
Adoption of extra technologies
Extra technology means more momentousness for the tool. For instance, some routers have integrated brushless motor technology that merits the tool with an extended run-time and greater motor health. This technology gifts the motor with high power enabling the tool the related tool to route in hardwoods.
Other router brands utilize the REDLINK PLUS Intelligence technology or Star Protection technology, which offer protection against overheating, over-discharging, and overloading. This is a plus for a tool, and considering a tool that has adopted either of the extra technologies is a boon for you.
Although not as basic as the other features, the power options hold an equally important weight, among other consideration factors. Your safety is a top priority ushering in the power options feature.
Routers integrated with discrete on and off lock buttons are safer to use. This is because the lock buttons help avoid unforeseen startups of the unit, eliminating any accidents that would be posed by accidental startups.
All the routers reviewed in this piece have an onboard LED light. This presents a basis for consideration before purchase. It is recommendable you get yourself a tool that illuminates your workspace and makes the bit visible for smooth operation and safety.
The efficiency and convenience realized during router’s operation are determined by its plunge depth. Some routers allow the collects to be plunged through their bases. However, such a practice is not effective for regaining the depth of the cut lost when the router is used in a table or with a guide bush and template. As much as this is an effective element of consideration when buying the routers, most manufacturers do not give an insight into this vital consideration.
The plunge length effectively lets you know how far the router body travels up and down on the plunge legs. You cannot complain when the collect can be plunged to touch the benchtop. It would be a significant bonus if it can be plunged even deeper. However, if it is shorter than the benchtop, it can cause massive problems with some operations
Plunge lock mechanism
Routers utilize two types of lock mechanisms for the plunges; a separate clamping lever or a twist-knob handle. For the light-duty routers, the twist-knobs are preferred, while the separate levers are effective for the heavy-duty routers and the medium-duty routers.
However, with consistent usage of the routers, regardless of their purpose, you will appreciate the effectiveness and convenience of the separate clamping lever, which makes it the most ideal for most of the best cordless routers for woodworking.
Routers have two primary handles; side levers and knobs. However, when it comes to effectiveness in the application, the side levers provide more leverage and are the most dominant in the heavy-duty levers. Thus, you should ensure that when you consider purchasing a new router for woodworking and intend to purchase a medium to heavy-duty model, consider one with a side lever handle.
Cordless Router Maintenance
You obviously want your router tool to be of service for the longest time possible, right? What practices should you adopt to help you achieve just that? Below are maintenance practices to help you keep the tool in its perfect functional condition
Regular cleaning of equipment after application – Debris such as fine dust easily penetrates the tool’s interior. Larger sized debris from routing such as chippings may get wedged in the tool’s structure. Failure to frequently clean this debris will result in accumulation over time, which interferes with the tool’s performance
Lubricate the components that are capable of moving before you proceed to store the unit. This prevents rusting and ensures smooth operation of the components without eating into each other.
Proper storage practices – once you have cleaned and lubricated your unit, you can now proceed to store it in its case for those that are delivered with a case. If your unit has no case, store it in a clean and dry compartment in a way that it does not pose the risk of tripping over for unaware individuals
Don’t overcharge the tool’s batteries. Follow the designated recharging time.
Heed and observe the offered guidelines from the manufacturer. For instance, if the manual discourages the use of certain accessories or batteries, stick to the regulations provided.
Cordless routers are an epoch-making lot in the woodwork industry. They have proved to be the recipe for perfection in this industry and fill a void that troubled DIYs and professionals in previous years.
In this article, I have assessed and evaluated the top rating cordless routers in the market to positively influence you in choosing the best cordless router that will ultimately satisfy your needs. The insight on each of the top cordless routers will help you arrive at an informed decision.
The Makita XTR01Z Brushless Cordless Compact Router rates highest for me. Featuring a soft start, a 50% greater run time, and high accuracy due to the courtesy of the rack-and-pinion intricate depth adjustment setting, an aluminum base and cover to promote durability, and a fast-charging 18V li-ion battery, the unit is spectacular.
This is not to imply that the other listed units are any less good, they are all high-quality pieces of equipment inclusive of all the primary features that will serve you in an exemplary way. As you delve into this piece, I hope it will offer the guidance you wish to choose a tool that will satisfy your needs
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