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Blue Hawk? May want to just keep on walking unless...

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Review by Tennessee posted 604 days ago 11864 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Blue Hawk?  May want to just keep on walking unless... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I saw this on sale at my local Lowes with a table for $84, (also available on Lowes.com), and with my military discount it got in at $76.

You get this nice looking router, 1.75HP peak, (Rightttt), 1/4” collet, good dust collection port, very smooth plunge, lightweight. It pretty much stops there. The motor is the only one out of my seven router collection that when I hit the start button, my lights dim for a second. Not even my 2.5HP Bosch does that, nor my HF. Cheap motor… I’m also not a real fan of the lock/single wrench removal system. Too much wrench torque, too much plastic. It does have another set of flats on the shaft, for a second wrench. (Not included)

The table is the kicker. You just cannot, without massive modifications, put another router in this table. And the cheap plastic fence is not that accurate, and the two knobs in the back that hold it are flimsy at best. Dust collection on the table fence seems to be pretty good. It did, for some reason, come with a great on/off switch with two outlets, one for the router and one for dust collection. The plastic legs just suck.

It does come with a three year warranty, deliverable back to the store with receipt. I plan on putting the box up in my attic with the receipt in it – somehow I think I might need it.

I plan on two uses.
1. As a nice smooth action plunge router for 1/4” bits, on small projects where I don’t need any kind of continuous run. (Picture frames, rounding off bandsaw boxes, etc.) I was in love with the smoothness of the plunge. And it does have a handle switch, which I also like. The variable speed seems useless since it would never hold a big bit anyway. Unfortunately, the switch lock button is just a little too handy on the handle, and you can press it accidently, locking the switch in the on position. Not good. It also comes with a cheapie edge quide which I won’t use, and a screw-on template guide which I have not figured out how to use. You do NOT get a second base, and no other base in my whole collection fits this, not even any universal bases I own. But small bits with a plunge action seems like a nice niche option where I don’t want to be wrangling with a heavy router. The light weight is where this thing shines, as long as the motor lasts.
2. Put it in the dedicated table and use it for a secondary cut where my Bosch table and router can do the first, more massive cut, and let the Blue hawk do the secondary, probably more minor cut if I have a project with multiple pieces to be cut to the same decorative edge, like door edges with two contours. That would save time.

Overall, it’s an $84 router/table combo. I got what I paid for…I will use it accordingly.

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




View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1148 days



6 comments so far

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1267 days


#1 posted 604 days ago

Craftsman sells a similar (if not identical) table which includes a cheap, fixed-base router. It typically sells for under $100. I picked one up for $~$85. I never even assembled mine. I use the router exclusively with dovetail templates, and I plan to use the switch/outlets on a table saw based router table (when I get around to making one).
The table itself actually makes a very nice drill press table. While the fence is mediocre (at very best) for a router table, its easily good ‘nuff for a drill press table. And already has built-in dust collection. I installed mine on my old DP amd it worked beautifully. My new DP came with a woodpecker table/fence, otherwise I’d still use the craftsman table/fence.
Honestly, these router table sets are pretty much crap when used as intended. But when parted-out and re-purposed, they can be a GREAT VALUE.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1148 days


#2 posted 604 days ago

Thanks, Ted. I never thought of using the table as a drill press table. Outstanding idea!

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

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1198 days


#3 posted 604 days ago

I saw this kit at lowes a few days ago, but didn’t realize that it was a plunge router. I have the kit that ted was refering to from craftsman. Not a long term set up, but it is what it is and gets the job done.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3335 posts in 1447 days


#4 posted 603 days ago

So let me get this straight… you bought this router as a second table router, and you plan on using two router tables on the same cutting operation? Wow, that would be a tough sell to my wife.

I have never had good luck with benchtop router tables. I much prefer a full size table. The one exception may be the Kreg. That benchtop router table looks pretty stout.

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

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

841 posts in 751 days


#5 posted 603 days ago

I also parted out my craftsman table for the hardware, and just recently my bosch table also since I couldn’t get the plate level. There are all kinds of parts/peices that come in handy! Even on the cheap ones!

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1148 days


#6 posted 602 days ago

Willie – luckily my wife does not ask me about the tools I buy, as long as I don’t ask her about cookbooks, pots and pans, and other kitchen accessories. I just enjoy my tools and keep complimenting her on her four-five star food! That and a good beer, and this boy can go all day!

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

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