|Review by Rob McCune||posted 01-21-2008 07:15 PM||3454 views||0 times favorited||11 comments|
- Porter-Cable 7518 3-1/2 HP Variable Speed Fixed Base Router
- Brand: Porter-Cable | Category: Routers
I was trying to decide between a shaper and a high end router table when I came across some info on the Porter-Cable #7518 router. I decided to take a chance on it and I have not been dissappointed. There is a reason this has become the industry standard. While it may lack some of the features of some of the newer routers, the raw power and dead certain reliability of the 7518 more than overcome any shortcoming it might have. It has a 5 position variable speed selector switch that allows you to set the speed for your chosen bit/wood combination. The motor uses soft start circuitry that allows for smooth wind up then adjustment to the selected speed. One thing I had been worried about was wether the horsepower would change between the speeds and I really had nothing to worry about. It has the muscle to do everything regardless of the speed.
One of the few drawbacks is in how the height of the bit is adjusted. A series of grooves spirals through the inside of the base. Pins on the outside of the motor housing ride in the grooves and adjustments are effected by twising the motor in the base. While this allows for infinite adjustments, repeatability is sacrificed. This isn’t a problem for me because I also bought a Woodpecker lift plate for mine, but for someone who is only using the router base, it could prove problematic.
The 7518 comes with a 1/2” collet, but 1/4” and 3/8” collets are also available. Other accessories are also readily available owing to the large popularity of the 7518. Another thing to note is that this router is also available in single speed (7519), variable speed plunge (7538), and single speed plunge (7539). While the single speed is cheaper, I would only suggest that one if you have a rheostat switch on your router table.
All in all, this is a rock solid investment, especially if you intend to incorporate it into a router table. I had my doubts but the 7518 put all of them to rest. This will be a sure and steady resource in my inventory for years to come.
-- Rob McCune