LumberJocks

Harbor Freight Router good for the price.

  • Advertise with us
Review by TheLorax posted 01-28-2015 12:08 PM 9840 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Harbor Freight Router good for the price. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

What’s in the box: You get the 2 HP 11 AMP Fixed base router, a 1/4”,
3/8”, and 1/2” collets, two wrenches for changing bits one to hold the
shaft and one to loosen the bit, it comes with a 1/2” shank 1/2”
straight cut bit and finally it has an edge guide that comes with it.

So far I’ve used it to cut some dadoes and some mortises while mounted
to a homemade table for it. It appears to have plenty of power I’ve
cut through maple and plywood with it. It does not have variable speed
however you can purchase the external speed controller from Harbor
Freight I got the speed controller for $15 with the use of a 25% off
coupon. It appears to work well although I haven’t had the need to use
it on anything with a large bit yet. You can hear the speed slowing
when it’s used.

Needs improvement: When you go to adjust the height of the bit you
have to be very careful to make sure the black plastic depth indicator
slides along with the unit. This could be specific to mine and might
be something to check out on the units available in the store.
The shaft does not have a lock so you have to use two wrenches at the
same time to change a bit. Not a huge deal but I know some of the more
expensive units have a lock that makes this easier.
The edge guide was a little bent out of shape when I got it. Again
this is probably a quality control issue like many harbor freight
tools. I managed to get it attached and once I got it on there once it
has worked fine ever since.

I’m unsure if the bolt pattern is the same as other mainstream routers
as I have nothing to compare it to. I have it mounted to a shop made
table right now that’s just plywood. I was going to buy a plate for it
but after not being to figure out if it would work with other designs
I opted to just mount in in some plywood for now. I might change this
in the future but this allowed me to get my mortises done.

I bought both the router and the speed controller with the 25% off
coupons that were circulating around the holidays so without tax I
only have $55 in the setup. I think that FOR THE PRICE this is a
pretty great little router. I’m just getting into woodworking and
buying lots of tools at once means I need to compromise on price in
some places, or not have some things for a while. I think this was a
good buy. Sure I’d rather have a Bosch but this one will get me
started so far has done what I’ve asked of it.




View TheLorax's profile

TheLorax

47 posts in 1015 days



13 comments so far

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

824 posts in 2713 days


#1 posted 01-28-2015 04:07 PM

I have this router as well. The base isn’t very good but I got it for my router table which has a lift so I tossed everything but the motor.

The motor is good and has lots of power.

View dawsonbob's profile

dawsonbob

2531 posts in 1533 days


#2 posted 01-28-2015 05:16 PM

Good review. I have the Bosch 1617, but was looking at this HF model for another use. Thanks for the review.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4845 posts in 2826 days


#3 posted 01-28-2015 06:43 PM

Thank you for the review

-- Bert

View kweinert's profile

kweinert

41 posts in 2887 days


#4 posted 01-28-2015 06:58 PM

Since you have one, does the motor come out of the fixed base? I’m looking for a router for a slot mortiser and don’t need the base.

It looks like it does but nothing explicitly says that is does so I thought I’d ask.

Thanks.

-- Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. But properly learned, the lesson forever changes the person.

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

824 posts in 2713 days


#5 posted 01-28-2015 07:11 PM

^^ yes

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 2265 days


#6 posted 01-28-2015 07:21 PM

I have two of these. Pretty good for $35/ea last year at a parking lot sale with coupon.
One in the table, (Mine is a Ryobi BT3100 table saw with router table).

Strong, accurate cuts, run out less than my 3 1/4 HP (.002”) Skil, HF 2HP (<.001”). Measured with my Starrett micrometer.

I agree with the assessment of the slide and the depth indicator. They suck.

They are also removable, so use it or lose it.
I could never get an accurate cut with the depth gauge.

I hate the flip lever for adjustment, I am planning on removing it from the one I use by hand and replacing it with a adjusting bolt and tightening knob.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View kweinert's profile

kweinert

41 posts in 2887 days


#7 posted 01-28-2015 09:36 PM



^^ yes

- ChuckC

Thank you.

-- Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. But properly learned, the lesson forever changes the person.

View edlo's profile

edlo

3 posts in 985 days


#8 posted 02-05-2015 06:52 AM

FYI, I found this site with great deals on different brands of routers and other very useful power tools:

http://extremepowertools.com/products/routers

View _Whitey's profile

_Whitey

10 posts in 1329 days


#9 posted 04-08-2015 08:02 PM

Harbor Freights website lists only a 1/4” and a 3/8” collet for this. I have been fascinated by this router for some time but hesitated to pull the trigger as I use mainly 1/2” bits. Good to know that there is a 1/2” collett in the box. I am going to go ahead and try this out. Thanks for a good review. It will be interesting to see a follow-up after you have used the tool for a year or so.

View TheLorax's profile

TheLorax

47 posts in 1015 days


#10 posted 07-10-2016 01:12 AM

I just thought I’d follow up on this review. It’s been about a year and a half and this router is still working fine for me. I just recently put it in a grizzly table and it’s been great.

I’m thinking about getting a small trim router next since this one is now mounted in my table.

To those just getting started in the hobby. There have been several times when I really wished I had a plunge router. When I was researching I found a lot of stuff that said not to worry about getting a plunge router. I guess it depends on what you want to do. If you want to make mortises with your router get a plunge router or make sure you have a table for it and even then a plunge router would be much better.

View Thumper2004's profile

Thumper2004

12 posts in 122 days


#11 posted 06-16-2017 04:19 PM

How did you attach this router to the original table? Was it shop made or store bought? I am looking at making a table for mine and need some suggestions on how to mount it. Thanks!


I just thought I d follow up on this review. It s been about a year and a half and this router is still working fine for me. I just recently put it in a grizzly table and it s been great.

I m thinking about getting a small trim router next since this one is now mounted in my table.

To those just getting started in the hobby. There have been several times when I really wished I had a plunge router. When I was researching I found a lot of stuff that said not to worry about getting a plunge router. I guess it depends on what you want to do. If you want to make mortises with your router get a plunge router or make sure you have a table for it and even then a plunge router would be much better.

- TheLorax


-- Brent - Garage Time

View Thumper2004's profile

Thumper2004

12 posts in 122 days


#12 posted 06-16-2017 06:57 PM

Also what size screws are needed to replace the short base plate screws?


I just thought I d follow up on this review. It s been about a year and a half and this router is still working fine for me. I just recently put it in a grizzly table and it s been great.

I m thinking about getting a small trim router next since this one is now mounted in my table.

To those just getting started in the hobby. There have been several times when I really wished I had a plunge router. When I was researching I found a lot of stuff that said not to worry about getting a plunge router. I guess it depends on what you want to do. If you want to make mortises with your router get a plunge router or make sure you have a table for it and even then a plunge router would be much better.

- TheLorax


-- Brent - Garage Time

View TheLorax's profile

TheLorax

47 posts in 1015 days


#13 posted 06-19-2017 01:37 PM

Thumper I just screwed it into the plywood with the original screws if I remember correctly I think I had to recess the spot a bit with a drill bit.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com