New Tools Are Cool #1: DW618B3

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 01-26-2012 09:30 PM 2812 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of New Tools Are Cool series Part 2: Bosch CS5 Circ Saw »

I have to replace, upgrade, and get some new tools for a set of bookcases I will be beginning next week. I have been building boxes and other small projects in my garage/shop for the last two years and have made due with what I had. Now that I am branching out and getting back into cabinets I have to change around my shop.

This first episode is the replacement of an old 1 1/4HP Craftsman router I inherited from my step father. It had seen better days before he got it used, but I used it so little it wasn’t a problem.

I decided to go with the 2 1/4HP Dewalt. I also went ahead and got the kit with all three bases. In my old cabinet shop we always had D handles and since I am most comfortable with that style it was a must. I also use the router table extension on my table saw so a fixed base was needed. My old router only got used on the table because I was to lazy to take it off the table. Now I can attach the fixed base and just remove the motor when I want to route by hand. It also comes with the plunge router base. There have been many times over the last two years I wished I had one and now I do.

I choose the 2 1/4 because I didn’t want to always use a heavy 3+ HP and a 1 3/4 isn’t idea when using larger bits. I think the 2 1/4 will be a happy medium. I plan to do a review once I get through this project and give it a good work out.

One last point is that it is variable speed. Once again this played into the fact that I wanted a all purpose router that will be able to do just about anything I need it to.

Thanks for taking a look. I am waiting for a few more deliveries, so stay tuned so I can show off my new toys.

-- JoeyG ~~~

12 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#1 posted 01-26-2012 11:43 PM

Good luck with that router. I’ve got a couple of Porter Cable 890 routers anda few bases and I know the “D” handle’s are nice.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2434 days

#2 posted 01-26-2012 11:43 PM

Looks like a great set-up. I am sure you will get great use out of it.

Does this mean that the “boxes” are over with? Tell me it aint so!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2651 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 12:26 AM

Oh no, I will be making more boxes. I still have the UnNamed box blog to finish. And while I was at the lumberyard paying for the materials for the bookcases I picked up what I think will be a really nice piece of walnut, some bloodwood and a piece of bocote. Now I am not saying this will become a dremel box, but I figure I will need a break from the cabinets here and there and it’s best to be prepared.

As for the router set up, I think it is going to be great. I have run into a problem. There is always a problem of some sort, LOL

I have a craftsman table saw and I had a craftsman router. A match made in heaven. It seems that craftsman and dewalt…. not so much. The craftsman router and table saw extension both had three holes that lined up prefectly. The dewalt has for holes. So I will either have to find a way to drill the table top to match the dewalt fixed base. Buy a router table, or find a way to make some sort of connection plate. Any idea’s???? I am sure I am not the first to have this problem. So anyone out there with any ideas that would save me time and a headache, I will be forever grateful.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View blu0ne's profile


17 posts in 2362 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 12:55 AM

Hey Joey,
Nice router! Definitely let us know how you like it.
I was wondering if you would show us (me!) how you build your bookcases. I’m definitely a newbie and want to build a couple of small one in the next few months and am just looking for ideas and inspiration as to how to make them. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

-- blu0ne - Los Angeles - -- I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 01:22 AM

Hi bluOne, Welcome to LJ’s. I have been debated doing a blog on the bookcases. I normally really enjoy doing the blogs, but this one is for a client and I have a deadline that I must make. I doubt that I will have the time to photograph as I go. If you have specific questions you are welcome to send me a personal message and I will try to answer it.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3221 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 01:36 AM


I have this same Dewalt kit and the three different bases are really good to have. You may want to also look at a compact router for trimming, round overs etc. I have the Bosch Colt variable speed kit and use it a lot.

Good luck with your cabinet project.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Freakazoid's profile


65 posts in 2804 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 01:47 AM

I have this set as well. I works great. The only issue I have had is that the power cord insulation pulled out of the twist lock end, but that was easily replaced. The box is big, but I will be dedicating a shelf in a cabinet to the router set. Otherwise, great power and speed control combined with the variety of router bases makes this kit a great buy.

-- I can complicate anything

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2829 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 01:48 AM

my DW618 just came with 2 bases, but, at the time I was looking, I about stole it. I think I paid 129 thru Amazon with some special discounts, etc.. I’ve been very happy how it performs so far. I set the fixed base in my table, and I use the plunge base quite a bit also. I have learned from lotsa “experienced” wooders, just take lighter passes, not hog out everything all at once. I’ve been actually thinkin (for quite a while now) of getting a monster 3+ hp to put permanently in the table. I missed last years deal at Woodcraft when the Freud 3 1/2 hp was 199…. THAT was one hell-of-a deal.. “shoulda, coulda, woulda” but, didn’t…. my loss. Good luck with it. I’m sure you’ll like it

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2651 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 01:51 AM

Thanks Viking. I am glad to see someone else has it and has good experience with it. I am dreaming of a trim router. One day I will have a little extra cash and can get one just because, but until then I think this will work out fine.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3013 days

#10 posted 01-27-2012 02:54 AM

I have this set too. I have been very happy with it. The soft start is a nice addition.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View cgrooms's profile


44 posts in 3116 days

#11 posted 01-27-2012 07:30 PM

I also have this set but i only got the fixed base and the plunge base. I primarily leave the fixed base in the router table, but with a project i’m working on i needed to use that base outside of the router table. It was a pain to take it out for the short time i needed it so once i put the fixed base back in the router table i ordered the D handle. I can’t wait for it to come in.

I love the router. I’ve used it to make raised panels with a vertical bit (because the hole in my router table wasn’t big enough for the horizontal bit) and with light passes i got great results.

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2651 days

#12 posted 01-27-2012 07:50 PM

I also have some raised panels to run. I’m glad to hear it did a good job on them. I almost got a bigger router but raised panels are not the only thing I plan to use it for so I went for the middle ground. I figured several passes would help out with the lower HP.

The D handle is great. It has a good feel to it.

-- JoeyG ~~~

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