Is a 13/4HP Router Powerful Enough?

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Forum topic by NedG posted 07-18-2012 10:49 PM 2987 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2550 days

07-18-2012 10:49 PM

For use only in a router table, is a 13/4 HP router powerful enough? Raised panels bits are not likely to be used. Thanks. Ned

10 replies so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2424 days

#1 posted 07-19-2012 12:50 AM

If you’re not using big bits, you’re probably OK. If you do use big bits, 1.75HP is too small and also you’ll want variable speed. The thing is that they say 1.75 HP but anyone who knows about electical will tell you that that is baloney. The max HP out of a 15A 110V circuit is about 1.5 HP at best.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2812 days

#2 posted 07-19-2012 01:27 AM

I have a porter cable 690 in my router table. It’s handled everything I’ve thrown at it. No raised panels, but I do regularly spin 3/4” roundover bit that’s 2” in diameter. Multiple passes, no issues. It’s a true workhorse.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2612 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 01:54 AM

I have the “1-3/4 HP” milwaukee router (forget the model # right now) and have used large round over bits and long straight bits to mortise out hard woods and it hasn’t let me down yet. it’s pushing 12 years now. Just remember it’s all in the technique. multiple passes removing smaller amounts. If you try to hog out a lot of wood you wont get good results and will kill the router quicker.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2383 days

#4 posted 07-19-2012 02:24 AM

This is a good question and I hope you get some more replies. I actually have two routers. One is a 1 3/4 HP Craftsman. I got it as a router/table combo. I also have a 2 HP Skil variable speed plunge router. But it had some issues and it isn’t variable speed anymore. I’m no where near doing raised panel doors but maybe in the future I’d like to. But I do have a 3/4” roundover that I haven’t used yet. What should I know about the larger bits when using my 1 3/4 HP

View HerbC's profile


1792 posts in 3095 days

#5 posted 07-19-2012 02:31 AM


Larger bits:

FIRST: SAFETY: Wear eye protection, consider wearing a full face shield.

1. Use slower speed. If you don’t have a router with working variable speed, get one of the external speed controllers and use it on your single speed router.

2. Use multiple shallow cuts. Don’t try to hog out everything in one pass. In some cases you may want to use table saw to cut away a bevel to remove waste before routing…

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2925 days

#6 posted 07-19-2012 02:37 AM

I’m not proud of this, but I have the little Ryobi in my table and it just won’t die so I can upgrade it! The largest bit I use is a 1/2” roundover and it handles that fine.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2424 days

#7 posted 07-19-2012 02:38 AM

AngieO – big router bits should not be spun as fast as smaller diameter ones. There are recommended speeds in lots of ww books. As NiteWalker says, light cuts are best, especially if the router is only 1.75 HP. Some of the smaller routers are single speed, however, usually about 25,000 RPM – too fast for big bits.

Also, most recommend using big bits in a router table. This is a control issue. Some routers have “soft start” whereby they spin slow for a second before they go to full speed. This means that starting the router with a bigger than normal bit isn’t going to try and torque the router out of your hands the same. This makes freehand routing with a bigger bit safer, at least on startup.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#8 posted 07-19-2012 02:45 AM

Yes, a 1.75 hp router is fine as long as you aren’t doing hogging
cuts with large diameter bits.

I used a router table with a 1.75 hp Milwaukee motor in it
for a few years and would occasionally raise panels with it,
for which it worked fine but required more passes probably
than a bigger router would have. It wasn’t a big deal.

You get up about 2hp with routers and you’re dealing
with machines for making hogging cuts. The speed of
making such deep cuts matters in professional settings,
but if you’re taking your time and doing woodworking
for fun you probably don’t need that much power –
and it comes with added weight and often a less
balanced feel.

View mIps's profile


200 posts in 2290 days

#9 posted 10-12-2012 02:19 AM

Angie, I also have a craftsman 1 3/4 hp router. Mine is fixed base. Is your stiff raising and lowering the bit?
Herb: External speed control? where can I learn more?

-- Be honest, honorable, kind, work hard, and generally be awesome.

View oldnovice's profile


7379 posts in 3603 days

#10 posted 10-12-2012 04:14 AM

I have a PC 690 with variable speed and have no problems cutiing anything from Plexiglas to 100 year old oak (very hard stuff)!

Don’t tell anyone but I have also cut aluminum and brass thin stock with ease using 1/4” milling cutters!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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