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Above Table Adjustments Make This Router a Cut Above

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 659 days ago 3774 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Above Table Adjustments Make This Router a Cut Above Above Table Adjustments Make This Router a Cut Above No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have been using the Freud fixed base FT1700VCE for the past several years. It is my dedicated table router where it excells at easy bit changes and height adjustments all from above the table. No more bending over, kneeling, and craning to change bits under the table. It also offers a wide base opening to accomodate all large panel raising bits. Those features make it an ideal table router.

At 13 amps or 2-1/4 hp, it has power to spare. Comparing it to my other routers, it cuts more like a 15 amp router, and feels more powerful than my other 2-1/4 hp router. The spindle lock is genius. You flip a lever to lock the spindle for one wrench / one hand bit changes. The spindle stays locked until you flip the lever back. Gone are the days of depressing a clumsy spring loaded lever to change bits. The spindle lock can be engaged from above the table with a nice wrench, or by using the lever itself.

For handheld use, the router can be turned upside down to change bits. I am amazed how many manufactures miss the mark on this simple but important point. Often wires and knobs prevent the router from being turned on its top. It features variable speed which is a great feature. The handles are overmolded rubber, and are tied with the Dewalt 618 for most comfortable. Great size and shape of the handles, which are mounted very low for good control. The weight of the router is evenly distributed, and it is not top-heavy.

Another great feature is the quick-release for coarse height adjustments. Then fine tune height with the knob as usual. This is the feature that made the FT1700 stand out over the FT3000. On the FT3000, the height adjustment thread is tediously slow with no quick release.

The negative – and I have only one complaint- the power switch is a press and slide type common to Freud tools and I find it awkward. On the bright side, I have mine in a router table, and power is activated by a switch on the table. For this reason, I can give this router a glowing 5 star review.

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




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pintodeluxe

3281 posts in 1418 days



9 comments so far

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lab7654

250 posts in 852 days


#1 posted 659 days ago

Thanks for the review. I’m looking around for another router, preferably with a plunge base, so I don’t have to take my current one out of the table. I’d probably mount this one’s fixed base to the table and switch the motor between that and the plunge base (if I were to buy it).

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

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shelly_b

841 posts in 723 days


#2 posted 659 days ago

amazon is selling this set for only $179 right now and i really needed a plunge router. Thanks for your review!! I just ordered mine:) I have the bosch 2 1/4 HP which works good but the micro adjust broke so it is a real pain to try to make small adjustments and it only comes with a fixed and table mount base… can’t wait to see how this one is!!

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AaronK

1389 posts in 2069 days


#3 posted 657 days ago

i got mine when this combo package was going for $99 a few years ago (a holiday special). you might consider waiting until december to see if it goes on sale again if you’re not in a rush.

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shelly_b

841 posts in 723 days


#4 posted 657 days ago

I thought frued was an expensive brand? why is this so cheap?

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pintodeluxe

3281 posts in 1418 days


#5 posted 657 days ago

Right now it is selling for $179 on Amazon. That is a good bit cheaper than other combo kits, and it offers some features that the others don’t.

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

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5373 posts in 1980 days


#6 posted 656 days ago

Nice job on the review. I’ve been using one of these for maybe 5 years now, and have been really pleased….I love the topside features! As good as my Milwaukee 5625 is, those topside features on the FT1700 get the nod about 80% of the time….maybe more. I’m with you on that goofy switch….I just leave that switch on and plugged it into a different corded switch. I’m not crazy about the plunger either, but it’s not bad….just not as nice as my MW5615 plunger or the Bosch, or the DW, etc.

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

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pintodeluxe

3281 posts in 1418 days


#7 posted 656 days ago

Yeah, I don’t have the plunge base. It was the only picture of this router I could find. I have heard that this isn’t the best plunge router out there. I use the Dewalt 618 for plunge routing, which is a great machine.
The Freud is a great table router though.

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

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shelly_b

841 posts in 723 days


#8 posted 654 days ago

I got it yesterday:) Havent had a chance to try it out, but all the topside features are very exciting to me!! I have a bosch on my table right now and I have to crawl under the table for height adjustment and bit changes with 2 wrenches… cant wait to see how it works:)

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pintodeluxe

3281 posts in 1418 days


#9 posted 641 days ago

Shelly, you will love this router in a table. Remember to drill holes in your router plate to allow all the above-table adjustments.
Good luck!

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

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