New Router Recommendations

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Forum topic by Hillsboro posted 07-09-2010 02:59 AM 1525 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 2896 days

07-09-2010 02:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I am in need of a new router and have been looking at the following:

Porter Cable 800 series



All three appear to have the features/functions that I am looking for: variable speed, plunge and fixed base, multiple collets.

In speaking with the folks at my local Woodcraft store they mentioned that much of the router aftermarket products (dove tail jigs, etc.) are made to Porter Cable specifications (Yes, I know that Woodcraft is a PC distributor). The staff also stated that they had customers with other routers complaining that addons did not quite fit or function as expected.

Two questions:

1. Can anyone out there verify the above statement from experience or good solid hearsay evidence?

2. What recommendations do you have for a new router without spending a gazillion dollars?

Many thanks,

Phil Stevens

7 replies so far

View mathom7's profile


69 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 07-09-2010 04:48 AM

I have the Bosch 1617. I got the version without the variable speed for around $150 from The variable speed version is around $220 from a bunch of places. I don’t use that many attachments, but, all i had to do to use the PC style guide templates is buy a $8 adapter from Amazon. I think it was Bosch part number RA11000. The base has a few bolt patterns, so I can’t see it having trouble attaching to most jigs.

I chose the Bosch over the PC due to the through table adjustment, a big deal for me as I didn’t want to drop another $300 on a lift system. Though to tell you the truth I bend down and use the regular adjustment 50% of the time.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#2 posted 07-09-2010 04:52 AM

I recomend having a trim router a fixed router and a plunge router . I have a great number of routers(43) but the one I always seem to grab first is one of my “D” handle Porter cable 690s.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View UncleFester's profile


33 posts in 4186 days

#3 posted 07-09-2010 11:46 AM

I have a porter Cable 890 in my router table. I use it several times every day and it has performed flawlessly.

-- Uncle Fester

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2960 days

#4 posted 07-09-2010 01:11 PM

i have 3 bosch routers, the only negative point would be chip collection, i feel that it’s the least practical system of routers. it works well but hinders the vision and sometimes gets in the way.
other than that i have nothing bad to say

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#5 posted 07-09-2010 01:15 PM

I also have a PC 890 in my router table and I like it very much. I also have a Makita hand held plunge router that I also like. The Makita is designed to accept PC accessories without any adopters.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 07-09-2010 01:20 PM

At home, I also have the Bosch 1617 (without EVS) with two fixed and one plunge base. I do have a variable speed control that I use when I am cutting raised panels, but that is the only time I have had the need to slow down that bad boy.

At the school, it is all Porter Cable. The 690 is really a great machine. I also have a PC 7529. It is “okay.” Not really in love with this tool, but it is adequate. I like the Bosch plunge base, even if it not a “dedicated” router set up, better.

There are a lot of reviews for this class of tool out there. I’d recommend Popular Woodworking, as they do router reviews, complete with editors choice, etc., quite frequently.

View knotscott's profile


8015 posts in 3375 days

#7 posted 07-09-2010 01:22 PM

All 3 of those are very good routers. The PC and MW accept standard size bushings, while the Bosch requires an adapter. I prefer the plunger on the MW to the Bosch…I don’t care for the plastic sleeves on the springs of the Bosch, plus the MW plunge base works well. Never used the PC plunger. The MW “BodyGrip” feels right to me, and I’ve always found the MW routers to be extremely well made. The PC seems to be the most popular, so it’d make sense that their sub-bases will fit more devices, but I doubt you’ll have issue getting any of these routers to fit whatever you want to put on them.

The Makita, Hitachi KM12VC and DW routers also have a lot of fans, so I would at least consider those too. The Hitachi is among the lightest and quietest in this amp rating. For table use, the Freud FT1700 and Triton have the most above table convenience features (variable speed is a must have for table use) handed above table bit changes are a great convenience. I’ve owned several of the routers mentioned here but have settled on the MW and Hitachi for hand use, and the Freud FT1700 and MW5626 for table use. There are tons of lots of solid choices out there…..which one feels best to you is a personal choice, and one that should figure into your selection.

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

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