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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 02-01-2008 08:54 PM 1800 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16274 posts in 4182 days

02-01-2008 08:54 PM

I use my trusty PC690 for both table-mounted and freehand work. I have a fixed base to leave on the table permanently, and both a plunge base and an extra fixed base for non-table work, so dismounting from the table is not any big deal. I would, however, like to get something with a little more power, as well as variable speed, so I could safely use some of the larger bits that require slower speed.

Since I don’t do any sort of production work, I tend to think the 3 1/4 HP Triton might be overkill. I’m wondering if something in the 2 1/4 HP range would suffice, or should I just go ahead and spend another $100 to get the big boy?

If you’ve been down this road before, I’d appreciate hearing what you decided and how that choice panned out.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

19 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3785 days

#1 posted 02-01-2008 10:23 PM

It depends on the size of bits you are going to run. The 2 1/4 will work for most profile bits but if you are planning on making raised panel with cope and stick joints then you really need the Triton. The router has gotten good reviews and looks to be an excellent tool.

I use my 690 in one table for edge profiles but for raised panels and larger bits I have a Dewalt 625 in another table. I have seen references to using a smaller router for horizontal panel raising bits but I, for one, would not try it as I think that it would be too hard on the router.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#2 posted 02-01-2008 10:49 PM

I’m kinda leaning to the direction that, if I’m spening money anyway, I might as well be prepared for anything I might want to do.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 02-02-2008 01:40 AM

Get the biggun Charlie! Like you said, might as well be prepared for anything.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4013 days

#4 posted 02-02-2008 01:46 AM

Go for the 3-1/4 HP Trtion. That is one sweet router. There is not enough price difference in the two for me not to get the bigger one.

Ok, now that I said that, I have two 2-1/4 HP routers, and they are both more than enough power for me, and I even run some panel raising bits every now and then.

If I were in your situation, it would be the 3-1/4 HP. Buy the best you can afford or you will regret it. That’s what my dad always said

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#5 posted 02-02-2008 01:56 AM

LOL! I don’t know why I asked. I should have known the LJ concensus would be to go big!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3785 days

#6 posted 02-02-2008 05:08 AM

Charlie that is true. A friend of mine, who is a professional woodworker, once advised me to always buy the most expensive tool I could afford. His opinion was that price equates to quality and it is better to get one quality tool than buy two cheap ones. The times that I did not take his advice I have regretted it later.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3838 days

#7 posted 02-02-2008 11:51 AM

Someday I’m going big, but it will go in the table. The 3-1/4s might be a bit unwieldly for hand use.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#8 posted 02-02-2008 04:15 PM

Yeah…...That is my plan…..for the big one to pretty much stay in the table.

Well, I’ve pretty much made up my mind. Now I have to convince my wallet.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4040 days

#9 posted 02-02-2008 05:48 PM

Charlie, you might try the Tool King link on the sidebar of the LJ site. They have really good quality reconditioned tools. I bought a VS PC 690 from them with interchangeable bases and also a Dewalt cordless saw. Their delivery charge is minimal and they have a good selection. They have a PC Variable speed 3 1/4 HP for 279.00 and a Bosch 3.25 HP plunge for 260.00 NEW. You might check them out.

I also think woodcraft has the triton on sale right now.

Good luck on your buys!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 3803 days

#10 posted 02-02-2008 05:52 PM

Charlie M, I have 3 690’s . One is permanently mounted in a table for my dovetails. I had another one in another router table. I resently got the big Porter-Cable 3 1/4 for the second table. Wow, that sucker is great and I should have done it long ago. It was on sale with a Woodpecker “quick router lift” (also a great purchase). I also got a Bosch 2 1/4 plunge/fixed combo and very happy with it. WHY so many? When in business … time is money.

SO, my man, I DO INDEED RECOMMEND THE 3 1/4 PORTER-CABLE. That sucker will plow though anything. You can also slow things down if you need to. $$$ well spent !!!

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4027 days

#11 posted 02-03-2008 07:27 AM

Woodcraft has the Triton 2 1/4 for $209.99 and the 3 1/4 for 214.99. You just get less goodies with the big guy, and the little guy has a winder mode so you can change bits and height above the table top. You should get both. Tell the Mrs. I said so (I may have to have you tell Pam about some tool I need in return).

I’m sure this will work. MWAHAHAHAHA

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View toyguy's profile


1644 posts in 3801 days

#12 posted 02-03-2008 03:10 PM

I’m new to the router stuff, so I’m not much help but from what I have read going big in your situation would be the way..
With that said, I did just this week buy the 2 1/4 triton. I don’t plan on any raised panel work so I felt that the little guy had more to offer me. Although I have not really gotten into working with this “new toy” yet, I am very happy with what I see in my new router kit. I do plan on building a table in the near future, and if I have to go bigger someday I will. Most of the guys I have talked to say you should own a few routers anyway.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3844 days

#13 posted 02-03-2008 03:28 PM

i did a simalar question some time ago and peter oxly recomended the milwaukee 3 1/2 . i bought it and love it i use it for raised panels . it also has above the table hight adj. and varible speed which youll want for raised panels . so theres a new twist for your brain !! lol

View designerboy's profile


31 posts in 3746 days

#14 posted 02-03-2008 03:29 PM

Read the Subject line.
all I can say (from experience) is Triton, Triton and Triton, Buy it cos it is great, and it is the ONLY thing they make that is any good **allegedly in my opinion ! I have had one for years and as surprised (probably happily ignorant) of a review FWW and the Triton faired really well. All the features that I thought was standard were not with other Brands.

Bought Workcentre (replaced with Delta Unisaw – yes there is a pricepoint difference – probably should give credit to triton as they inspired and enthused me to woodwork)

Bought router table, (replaced with custom-job welded by my Dad from my plan (see my page) Incra fence and Unilift – a joy, and no variation in the RT deck.

-- My Fear is when i die, my wife will sell my tools for what I TOLD her they cost

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#15 posted 02-03-2008 04:46 PM

Thanks everybody. My choice is as clear as mud. <g>

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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