Since most anyone has had more experience in a wood shop than I have, I would like some opinions on which router those of you who use a router regularly prefer,why and for what purposes.
I have a small shop which is 12’ x 24’ in its entirety. I partitioned off the cutting area (11 ft x 11 1/2 ft) and the finishing area is about 12 1/2 by 11 1/2 ft.
Bought my machines while I was working and got them paid for. Now that I am retired I am outfitting my shop. I built myself a router table and purchased a router table top (24” x 32” w/ fence (6 in. high) from MLCS. I like to do research on the major products that I intend to purchase so I am now searching the router market. At Woodcraft they have Porter Cable 2 1/4 and 3 1/4hp as well as Triton 2 1/4 and 3 1/4hp. I like the looks and the price of the Triton as the Triton 3 1/4 is on $40 more than their 2 1/4hp but in talking with a friend of mine who also does woodworking as a hobby, he says he likes his Porter Cable 3 1/4hp router just fine. Best tool in his shop he says. He said he bought a Chicago 3 1/4 hp router for his router table and the Porter Cable for his other routing. So far his advice seems reasonable as the Chicago router, which is probably affordable, but I question whether it may also have more run off than the PC.
I am planning on building picture frames, small banks(Post Office Box type), maybe kitchen cabinets and then a king sized bed.
I attended a seminar at Woodcraft on the router and was told that a 2 1/4hp router would suit me fine unless I planned on using one of the larger shapers/cutters making raised panel cabinet doors and then I would need the 3 1/4hp router.
The young man conducting the seminar said to get a router with several bases if possible. My friend asked me, “Why not just buy another router and leave one under the router table?”
Should anyone have any advice it will certainly be appreciated as I do not want to buy the wrong thing to begin with. Not a good way to start.
Thanks in advance
Mint Hill, NC