|Review by MetallurgyNerd||posted 02-12-2013 11:23 AM||3922 views||1 time favorited||9 comments|
I bought this router specifically to install in my router table, replacing a crummy Chinese router I bought years ago when I was poor. It installed easily on my 9” round Veritas phenolic base plate and the built-in above-table adjustment is great. Obviously not as precise as a $350 after-market router-lift that lets you precisely adjust bit depth a thou at a time, but perfectly adequate for everything I do, which is primarily furniture-making.
I had to remove the router D handles to get it up into my home-built router table, but that’s just a design quirk of my base plate and table rather than a problem with the router. Even so, the T-30 screws made it quick and easy to remove the handles and equally quick and easy to re-install them when I occasionally need to use the router out of the table.
With this router, bit changes above the table will either be not possible or not convenient, but I really don’t care. Unless you’re in a true production setting where every minute costs you money (?) I don’t see the big whoop about above-table bit changes and even then I doubt it’s that much faster (you still have to crank the router up, right?). With the 5625 I just reach under the table, undo one latch, push a button and the motor drops (literally) into my other hand. Then I can set it on the table and change the bits with the two included forged wrenches that will never break, slip, or fail to function like some collet locks eventually do. The two-wrench method is simple, reliable, and proven. Then I slide it back into the base, adjust it from the top with the included wrench, and lock it down with the latch (which does not change the adjusted height).
This router has gobs of power even with big bits, but I was surprised at how quiet it was compared to other large production routers I’ve used. Sure, at max speed it’s pretty loud, but at lower speeds it’s downright quiet. I seldom feel the need to wear hearing protection, and I’m vigilant about hearing protection. The digital speed control is very good as well.
Where this router really shines is mounted in a table, but don’t be afraid to use it free-hand. It’s lighter than I expected, the handles just feel “right” and provide great control. I found it very easy to use for things like rounding over a table edge, etc. But then again my router table base plate is round, so it makes it easy for me to pull the router out of the table and use it free-hand without re-installing the stock base plate.
If you are planning on doing a lot of dovetails in a jig or other fine, fiddly precision work you’ll probably want to buy a second (smaller) router for those tasks, but in a pinch this router will do those tasks as well. And besides, since you didn’t have to blow $350 on an after-market router lift, you can spend that money instead on a nice 1-3/4 HP or 2-1/4 HP router and some bits. Woo-hoo, more tools!
You really should consider buying this router if:
- You plan on doing most of your work in a router table and need to swing big bits at least some of the time.
- You’d love an aftermarket router-lift but can’t justify the cost.
- You value a simple, reliable design more so than a bunch of fancy features and doodads that may or may not actually work right or be of any use to you.
Time will tell how reliable this router is in the long run, but I have high hopes so far.
-- Challenge the prevailing perceptions.