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View OmegaRed's profile

New Router Suggestions

by OmegaRed
posted 10-02-2012 06:31 PM


26 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1984 posts in 1216 days


#1 posted 10-02-2012 07:01 PM

My opinion: look for one rated 2+ HP, and a kit that has interchangeable bases. True enough, a plunge can do practically anything a fixed base will do…..but having a fixed base will allow you to cobble together a simple router table which could be extremely useful. If the router has through the base adjustment you’re way ahead. My choiuce in this category would be the Milwaukee 5616-24 kit. There are a lot of other ones that also very good, and I’m sure every one of them will be recommended; you’ll just have to try and look/handle/ogle some and go from there.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1522 posts in 1237 days


#2 posted 10-02-2012 07:10 PM

I use the Bosch 1617EVSPK. There are also great packages made by Porter Cable, Dewalt and as Fred said, Milwaukee.
I agree, a combo is the way to go.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 987 days


#3 posted 10-02-2012 07:29 PM

I have had a Skil and currently own a Bosch 1617EVSPK and Porter Cable (a few of them).

I would pick the Bosch 1617EVSPK any day of the week if all I wanted was a powerful, well-built router. In terms of most off the shelf compatibility, the Porter Cable is better, but it just doesn’t feel like the Bosch.

You can get the 1617 at the big box stores or, like I did, on Amazon for cheap.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Simon2822's profile

Simon2822

69 posts in 1137 days


#4 posted 10-02-2012 08:09 PM

One of the big Triton models. I have this one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Triton-MOF001-400-Watt-Dual-Mode-Precision/dp/B002QS1LPM/ref=sr_1_2?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1349208464&sr=1-2) attached to my router table and it has been great. Very good for the relatively cheap price

-- If it's not right, it's wrong

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 966 days


#5 posted 10-02-2012 08:23 PM

I second the Bosch 1617 combo. The router is just smooth, powerful and easy to handle. And what’s not to love about the actual wooden handles? Oh, and I think it’s good to get a router with soft start… you turn it on and it slowly revs up to full speed. Without that, it could get a little more dangerous to use unless the trigger happens to be on the handles like on newer Bosch model.

Depending on what tasks you have in mind, a smaller router like the Bosch Colt, or similar may be easier to use on smaller jobs. I’m considering the Colt myself for use as a handheld, while I take my current router and mount it under a table.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6960 posts in 1636 days


#6 posted 10-02-2012 08:31 PM

I found a dual base Ridgid 2hp router for $179 at HD within the past 3months. I appeared to be a closeout, however, I have seen Ridgid do this in the past every so often. You might want to keep an eye out for this kind of deal. When I found this “Combo Kit” box it was mixed in with 3 others of the “fixed base” only at the same price. The best part about these Ridgid tools is the Lifetime Service Agreement. I put the fixed base in my horizontal mortising machine and have the plunge base for handheld work. The moter pops out in a second, and without losing your other settings.

BTW, I also have two of the TRITON routers and they each have their own lifting mechanism for table use. Something to consider if you plan on mounting it on a table. I have the 2 1/4hp and 3 1/4hp models, And have to say that they are a little bulky for handheld but still quite doable. I have the 2 1/4hp model dedicated for using with a router dado jig I made and have no problems with it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1299 days


#7 posted 10-02-2012 09:14 PM

Buying new today, my choice would be the bosch 1617evspk kit.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View SharpeTools's profile

SharpeTools

1 post in 784 days


#8 posted 10-03-2012 12:21 AM

If you can afford one Festools are in a class by themselves

View OmegaRed's profile

OmegaRed

34 posts in 798 days


#9 posted 10-03-2012 05:20 PM

Ok sounds like I’ll check out the Bosch and Milwaukee kits…thanks guys.

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View mmckee's profile

mmckee

11 posts in 797 days


#10 posted 10-03-2012 05:30 PM

I have the RIGID that HorizontalMike referred to, I love it. It has done anything that I have asked of it. Also worth noting the lifetime parts warranty.

I hardly ever use the plunge base

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#11 posted 10-03-2012 05:36 PM

Is this router going into a router table or will you be using it for hand use?

I ask because different features are desirable for table use than for hand use. For a table variable speed is a must, and more power is “good to have”. You may also want a lot of the convenient top side features that allow easy one handed bit changes from above the table.

For hand use you don’t need variable speed, and you want the router to feel comfortable and well balanced….that usually means a bit smaller than one you might put into a router table. A plunge base can be handy but it isn’t something I’d feel lost without.

I like the Milwaukee routers a lot….very well built, accept standard bushings, and the 5615 and 5616 offer the BodyGrip feature. The MW plunge base is excellent. Bosch, Freud, Makita, PC, Hitachi, DW, Triton, Ridgid, and even the newer CMan routers get favorable reviews. Find a deal on one you like the feel of.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)

pintodeluxe

3514 posts in 1536 days


#12 posted 10-03-2012 06:43 PM

Dewalt 618 is a great combo kit. For a 2-1/4 hp router, it surprises me how accurate it is. Inlays are a dream with the plunge router. The fixed base has a low squat stance or best stability when edge routing. The Makita and new Porter Cable are a bit too tall for my taste.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1299 days


#13 posted 10-04-2012 05:05 AM

The dewalt 618 has the best plunge base out there, but the motors are very unreliable. Both of the magnetic speed control rings in the two I have broke. It’s not an isolated incident, it’s a manufacturing defect dewalt refuses to acknowledge. Plenty of cases of the same.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1714 posts in 1150 days


#14 posted 10-04-2012 05:20 AM

I have two DeWalt 621 routers they are good.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3528 posts in 1200 days


#15 posted 10-04-2012 06:09 AM

The Dewalt 621 is a great router i have it on my Woodrat the thing is to die for but if I were going to get my first router I would go with the porter cable combo kit or a combo kit from someone else the two bases are a must for so many things and I think I paid 199 for the porter cable set one thing is for sure if your a serious power tool guy you will be like me and have close to 20 good routers in the shop before you know it I sold a few off but I still have several here is one thing to make sure of make sure you get a router that will take 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch bits. don’t buy a craftsman they suck. A festool is over kill for a new one router guy what if he hates woodworking after a few months give the guy time to work his way up to a 700 dollar router. I am all for the best tool but damn lets get serious. and the 621 is a great router I love mine and it is a major work horse in my shop.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 1090 days


#16 posted 10-04-2012 11:38 AM

Bosch 1617evs ..i have one to….get yours….really sweet tool..

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View OmegaRed's profile

OmegaRed

34 posts in 798 days


#17 posted 10-04-2012 07:25 PM

After reading some reviews and some suggestions here, I bought a new Bosch 1617 combo for $199 shipped. Looked like the best deal I could find…now to find a deal on some bits!!

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 987 days


#18 posted 10-04-2012 07:46 PM

The EVSPK? You won’t be disappointed (unless you wanted a really lightweight router). The thing is built like a tank, but I think that helps in the stability and durability.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11366 posts in 1412 days


#19 posted 10-05-2012 02:26 AM

Does anyone know if the 2 1/4 hp Milwaukee comes with a 1/4” collet/adapter? I can’t find the answer on the tech sheet and I’m considering one of these but I have a lot of 1/4” bits.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Andrew Betschman's profile

Andrew Betschman

284 posts in 1946 days


#20 posted 10-05-2012 02:34 AM

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)

pintodeluxe

3514 posts in 1536 days


#21 posted 10-05-2012 04:55 AM

This isn’t over. You wanted advise on routers and we’re going to keep giving it!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1299 days


#22 posted 10-05-2012 07:04 AM

The makita is a good kit, but that price is kinda high compared to the bosch and a couple of others.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#23 posted 10-05-2012 10:36 AM

P.S.: Be sure to get a router that accepts 1/2” shank bits, and buy 1/2” shank bits whenever feasible.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View OmegaRed's profile

OmegaRed

34 posts in 798 days


#24 posted 10-05-2012 11:38 AM

pintodeluxe…I have to admit I busted up laughing after reading that post.

Few questions on bits – can you cut rabbets with a straight bit? Say I buy a 23/32 for 3/4” plywood to make some dado cuts, why can’t I just set the depth and run rabbet cuts? I don’t understand the need for rabbet bit (unless maybe less setup if you have one with a bearing and aren’t using a table)

Secondly, two or three flutes on straight bits?

Thirdly, how thick of stock can you cut with a flush trim bit? Are these design for flushing up veneer or can you actually use them to hog thicker material…say 3/4” or slightly larger?

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6960 posts in 1636 days


#25 posted 10-05-2012 12:26 PM

”...Few questions on bits – can you cut rabbets with a straight bit? Say I buy a 23/32 for 3/4” plywood…”

I did just that, however, I quickly found out that while plywood is NOT 3/4” it also is NOT always 23/32” either. On my current project (7-drawer tall chest) I am running dados and spline grooves, and I found my veneer ply to be 0.015” wider than the 23/32” bit, so I had to make two passes on the router table to widen the grooves. Obviously this required some additional testing with scrap (and additional time). On my side panels for the chest, I made and used a router-based dado jig that makes the dado exactly the width of your ply because you test fit it before use. The router is fitted with a standard 2-fluted straight 1/2” bit

AND YES, you can use a flush trim bit for thicker materials. You might need to sneak up on it with multiple passes but that is easy to do and a normal procedure.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View OmegaRed's profile

OmegaRed

34 posts in 798 days


#26 posted 10-05-2012 12:38 PM

Thanks Mike. I have seen that jig mentioned quite a bit around the net. Looks like that’ll be my first project before I really get crazy into making my garage tool cabinet.

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

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