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Forum topic by HavanaNights561 posted 12-30-2016 02:49 PM 868 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HavanaNights561

10 posts in 349 days


12-30-2016 02:49 PM

Good evening guys, I’m Tamara I just recently got into woodworking and finished my first project today, a cutting board for a gift. I am looking for a router to do simple work around the cutting board. The following link is one to a router at my lowes currently on sale for 75$. Has any one had any personal experience with this router table? I know this one is different than the 1.75HP review they have on here.

https://m.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-2-HP-Fixed-Corded-Router/50274831

Here is the cutting board I finished.


9 replies so far

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cracknpop

259 posts in 2185 days


#1 posted 12-30-2016 03:32 PM

If you read the reviews on Lowes’ website, it seems the biggest complaint is about the table and not the router. $75 for a 2hp router is not a bad place to start. If you find that you use it repeatedly and wear it out, you can replace it with a much nicer quality router later. If you decide to go this route and want to use it in the table, make sure you address the hardware issues mentioned in the reviews.

If you haven’t used a router before, I would recommend finding someone to teach you at least some of the basics. A router, or a board being routed, can do some crazy things very quickly, like flying across the room… Be careful.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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OSB

147 posts in 362 days


#2 posted 12-30-2016 03:34 PM

I was just disassembling a tripod head I found at a surplus store for some clean up and I had to use my Blue Hawk Allen key index on a small set screw with a 5/64” socket.

Now my 5/64” Allen key looks like a Twizzler.

Whatever heat treat they used resulted in hardness roughly equivalent to bubble gum.

I doubt all Blue Hawk tools are so bad but $75 is very cheap for a router and table.

In terms of using a tool, I think a cheap router table is more likely to let you down than a cheap router. It seems like the new cheap router tables are mostly plastic. A good table is stiff and has some weight to it.

If the details you want to create can be done without a router table, I would suggest skipping the table and expanding your budget in to the $90 range to get a Porter Cable or another high quality brand.

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OSB

147 posts in 362 days


#3 posted 12-30-2016 03:39 PM

Oh, I try to use 1/2” shank router bits whenever possible. 1/4” can get bent pretty easily creating a bit that wobbles and vibrates due to imbalance. At the RPM that a router operates at, that is bad.

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JAAune

1769 posts in 2153 days


#4 posted 12-30-2016 03:42 PM

Check out the display model in person if possible. It’s an off brand tool so quality is unknown. The router table has a lot of moving parts and extras and you need to find out if they operate smoothly and lock solidly in place. If there’s wiggle in any portion it will affect the ability to setup the router accurately. This is especially true if the router itself doesn’t lock solidly.

My experience with a second-hand Craftsman router table has me suspicious of these cheap setups. I thought I’d be able to use it but the router didn’t lock in position well enough to get an acceptable cut. When I need another router table, I just buy a decent router and screw it to a piece of melamine then attach a 12” high stand to that. The fence can be a piece of hardwood clamped to the top. I’ve got about 5 of these to supplement my Woodpecker router lift.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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HavanaNights561

10 posts in 349 days


#5 posted 12-30-2016 04:21 PM

Thank you for all the information guys! I’m not sure what I’m going to go with, my shop right now is mostly made up of Ryobi tools and I can’t complain even though some don’t like them.
I’ll have to do some digging into routers and see if there is another one around the same price but better quality. I’m not really even sure if I’d use the table at this point I’ve never used a router so I think I might just buy a router with out the table first and see if I’m any good with it

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knotscott

7785 posts in 3212 days


#6 posted 12-30-2016 05:54 PM

The ratings aren’t good, and most of us have never heard of “Blue Hawk”. If low cost is the primary objective, I think the current line of Craftsman routers are a reasonable choice. For rock bottom cost, even the Harbor Freight routers get decent ratings. In general trying to buy the lowest cost tools often results in buying the same tool twice, which negates the initial savings. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but I’d look to the lower cost options from some of the better brands…Porter Cable, Hitachi, DeWalt, Triton, etc. Reconditioned or refurbished tools are another great way to shave some cost and still get good tools.

Note that for use in a router table variable speed is nearly a must-have feature so you can slow the speed of larger bits (safety issue), which obviously drives the cost up a bit. I’d also look for routers that will accept both 1/2” and 1/4” bits, and buy the 1/2” whenever possible….again slightly higher cost, but better in the long run. Router bits are not the best place to save every penny possible.

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

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ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2686 days


#7 posted 12-30-2016 06:01 PM

Router is a great tool & you can do lots of projects with it. JAAune makesa great pony about simple table set ups there is a show called Router Workshop and they used a real simple set up and gave great tips and adviceto do just about anything with a rouuter, there a some episodes on youtube here that said there are some tools which are better suited for different tasks but I was always amazed to see they way they’d go about doing jointer tasks etc.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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HavanaNights561

10 posts in 349 days


#8 posted 12-30-2016 06:12 PM



The ratings aren t good, and most of us have never heard of “Blue Hawk”. If low cost is the primary objective, I think the current line of Craftsman routers are a reasonable choice. For rock bottom cost, even the Harbor Freight routers get decent ratings. In general trying to buy the lowest cost tools often results in buying the same tool twice, which negates the initial savings. You don t need to spend a fortune, but I d look to the lower cost options from some of the better brands…Porter Cable, Hitachi, DeWalt, Triton, etc. Reconditioned or refurbished tools are another great way to shave some cost and still get good tools.

Note that for use in a router table variable speed is nearly a must-have feature so you can slow the speed of larger bits (safety issue), which obviously drives the cost up a bit. I d also look for routers that will accept both 1/2” and 1/4” bits, and buy the 1/2” whenever possible….again slightly higher cost, but better in the long run. Router bits are not the best place to save every penny possible.

- knotscott

Thank you for this! I have some dewalt tools (planer and drills) and the extra money has always been worth it. I will definitely look into those brands you mentioned.

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MrUnix

5991 posts in 2035 days


#9 posted 12-30-2016 07:15 PM

Those little benchtop router tables are, IMHO, a real PITA and rather limited due to their size. I’ve got a couple of similar ones (sold by Sears) sitting out in the shed gathering dust for just that reason. They can be found frequently on Craigslist in the sub $50 range complete with router, and they don’t sell very fast even at that price.

IMO, you would be better off getting a router and making your own router table, or incorporating it into a table saw wing where you can use the existing fence. You are a woodworker, so building something to suit your needs should not be a problem.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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