Head hurting on this router decision question...

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 09-14-2010 02:27 AM 895 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2827 days

09-14-2010 02:27 AM

I figure for my next project, I will build a router table. Then I can redo the edges on the table, when I repair it… :)

Now my question is: How is the HF 1.25hp Plunge router? Ryobi Fixed Base?

Is a .25 Collet okay? Since it seems all the low end ones have that number…


(Dang.. woodworking gets expensive…)

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

7 replies so far

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3464 days

#1 posted 09-14-2010 02:37 AM

i’m not sure about the specific models, but generally the lower end tools tend to not work so well – you get things like sloppy plunge mechanisms as well as a lot of runout in the arbor.

that said, if all you are using a router for is basic edge treatment, you might be ok. Also check local want ads for used higher-quality tools.

the collet size basically affects stability, as I understand it. a 1/4” collet will be find for smaller or light-duty jobs, but it can begin to get wobbly when you try to take off too much material too quickly.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2925 days

#2 posted 09-14-2010 02:40 AM

Many of us started out with a 1/4” collet, but most routers now come with both 1/4 and 1/2” collets.

I have a number of routers, mostly Porter Cable, 1 Makita and 1 Festool.

I would think you should buy one that has the flexibilty to accept 1/2” bits, unless you first purchase a trim router to get started.

Have not personally bought anything from HF.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3464 days

#3 posted 09-14-2010 02:40 AM

my first router was an old Skil model, and I still use from time to time. I got it for $25 at a pawn shop. the good thing about used tools is that if I ever want to resell it again, i’ll probably be able to get my money back. just food for thought :-)

View twiceisnice's profile


95 posts in 2826 days

#4 posted 09-14-2010 02:49 AM

What do you plan on doing with this router and how much money are you willing to spend?

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3021 days

#5 posted 09-14-2010 02:49 AM

I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than a 2 1/4 hp router (larger if you can) for use in a router table. I don’t think a 1 1/4 will allow you to use larger profile bits unless you have the infinite patience necessary to nibble away the profile in a zillion small passes. The advantage to a 1/2 collet is that there will be less bit deflection and wobble (particularly in more aggressive cuts) with the stiffer 1/2” shafts. For the most part, I only use 1/4” shaft bits in my Bosch Colt palm router.

for overall best value, there are several models of router kits that come with a 2 1/4 hp motor and both plunge and fixed bases. This is one of those areas where spending a little more up front will save you a lot of money and frustration in the future.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3561 days

#6 posted 09-14-2010 03:11 AM

Due to the thickness of the router table many (most?) bits with 1/4 inch shanks may not be long enough to do the work, to say nothing about the safety factor. So I’d say you most definately need a 1/2 inch router.

Let me clarify: To get the bit height where it needs to be for many operations, I found that a bit extender is required, and they will only fit a router with a 1/2 inch drive.

-- Joe

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2827 days

#7 posted 09-14-2010 03:25 AM

I may hold off on this I decided… I just came to the realization that its only going to get colder.. :( So I think first on my list is to pickup a space heater… since its cold in an uninsulted garage…

Then I may do a planer table… since I just bought a planer, so I guess I dont need another tool yet…. atleast for a week or so…

Thanks though folks..

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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