Router Choice

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Forum topic by lansinwd posted 09-04-2012 01:31 PM 1404 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2056 days

09-04-2012 01:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router 7518 fte3000vce

I am trying to break out of analysis paralysis on the purchase of a router that has been going on for a month. I have been dabbling with woodworking for about 5 years now mainly using Ryobi and other cheaper tools. I am ready to start to commit to purchasing higher quality tools and one of the first needs is a nice router. My first plan for the router is building new raised panel kitchen cabinet doors. I was pretty much set on the PC 7518, but I didn’t know how useful this would be without buying an accompanying router lift. Since then, I have looked at the FT3000VCE and the TRA001 among others. Besides doing the raised panels, this would probably be my primary router for any task until I am able to replace a few more tools. So my question is, if I go with the PC 7518 (currently $299 with a 309k orbital sander) how much will it affect what I am doing by not getting a lift? I can pick up the Triton for about the same price (no sander) or the Freud for $50 more. The PC seems to be the most highly thought of, but it seems to have less features than the others (no above table adjustments, 10K rpm, instead of 8k rpm).

I need some help so I can actually start doing instead of just reading…

-- Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me

12 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 09-04-2012 01:43 PM

The PC7518 and the Milwaukee 5625 get the most top ratings and are the most frequently used in an industrial setting. The MW5625 has topside height adjustment, the PC does not, so you have to make manual adjustments from under the able. Router lifts are very nice to have, but they aren’t required.
There’s a slew of other good 15 amp routers that are more than suitable for hobby use….you’ve name the two with most topside convenience features and a collet that extends above the table, which will allow easy one handed bit changes from above the table, as well as top side height height adjustments and top side height lock, which means there’s less incentive to pay the bucks for a lift….

I’ve got a MW5625 and a Freud FT1700 for table use…because of the great topside features, I use the FT1700 most often….the FT3000 has the same features with a bigger motor.

You’ll probably want to pick up a smaller hand held router eventually.

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

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Mainiac Matt

7938 posts in 2294 days

#2 posted 09-04-2012 01:56 PM

With all the routers out there coming with through the base height adjustments, it almost appears that router lifts are sort of obsolete (and expensive).

I picked up this version of the Bosch 1617EVS for $155 at H.D. and the extra base comes in very handy for swapping the router in and out of the table.

But ya know… some how I managed to get by without a lift or through the base height adjustment for 10 years… You just do what you have to do…. and become very aquainted with the underside of your router table.

One feature (that my Bosch doesn’t have) that I really like is an LED that shines on the router bit. I got a 2 HP Craftsman tossed into a CL deal that has the LED, and I have to say… I really like having the light.

I have no first hand experience with the new PC routers… but I suggest you go to Amazon and read reviews (especially the 1 and 2 star ones) b4 you buy any router.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2543 days

#3 posted 09-04-2012 03:42 PM

If you get one of the 2 1/4 HP kits (the bosch is an excellent choice, the porter cable 890 series is also a good choice), I would use a vertical panel raiser with a tall fence. Less stress on the motor.

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

View CplSteel's profile


142 posts in 2130 days

#4 posted 09-04-2012 06:32 PM

@lansinwd – I have been having the same debate and am pretty settled on either the 895pk or the same motor but in a lift. I think a 2hp router is enough for all but the giant panel bits, which you can just use vertical bits for. If you contemplate a lot of raised panels then a 3hp machine or even a shaper would make sense. I think there is some benefit to having a lighter router in a table.

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 09-04-2012 07:30 PM

If you are going to use a router table some day, I would choose the Milwaukee or any other that can be height adjusted from the table top. If there is no table in your future, then I would go with either the PC or Bosch. Milwaukee is still a good choice in or out of a table.

View Tennessee's profile (online now)


2860 posts in 2480 days

#6 posted 09-04-2012 07:32 PM

Of all the routers I own, my 1619 Bosch is still my baby and number one in usage. I also have a smaller Bosch in my router table.
Best units I own, hands down.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3341 days

#7 posted 09-04-2012 07:38 PM

”I think there is some benefit to having a lighter router in a table.”

There are pros and cons to just about everything. The “pro” of having a lighter router is that it’s easier to support. The “con” is that the smaller motor works harder, which can mean shorter motor life. I’d much rather deal with supporting the table than replacing a motor, but as you pointed out, it depends a lot on how much heavy duty work it’ll see. The vertical panel raisers are easier to spin, but in general it’s more difficult to hold the panel vertically against a fence, unless you use one in a horizontal router.

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

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2343 days

#8 posted 09-04-2012 07:52 PM

Then there is the addition of being able to use a horizontal router table. which will allow you to use a smaller router with a vertical raised panel bit in the horizontal position negating the need for a really tall fence. StumpyNubs made a nice little horizontal router table.

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2779 days

#9 posted 09-04-2012 08:07 PM

If this will be your only router for awhile, I would recommend Freuds little brother the FT1700.
Above the table adjustment and bit changes, and at 13 amps it will easily raise panels.
It is my dedicated table router now, but I have used it for handheld operations and it is brilliant.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3513 days

#10 posted 09-04-2012 09:25 PM

I have to agree with everything Knotsctott has told you as far as advice so far. Our small cabinet shop we have two router tables and utilize the same routers as Knotscott mentioned. We run a 3 1/2 hp Milwaukee and a 2 1/4 hp Freud. Both of these routers are great for the router table option. If it were me and budget allowed, I would first purchase the 3 1/2hp Milwaukee router. The larger router will do everything the smaller router will do and also everything the larger router can do. I know you can raise panels with a 2 1/4 hp router but I would recommend not doing this. When I first started out I used to raise panels with a panel bit in my 2 1/4 hp hitatchi. I would do several light passes and it worked.

We also own the PC 890 series and I just love that router. I only use it as a hand held router but it also has the router table features which makes it a very nice option.

As far as using vertical panel bits, I do not have any experience but I will say that running your panel vertical will be a challenge. Some panels we run in our shop are very good sized and I just cannot imagine wanting to attempt running those panels on edge. Of course running your router horizontally would be an option but I see very little reward in mounting your router horizontally.

Please be sure to let us know what router you choose. I am sure you will be happy with it if you have been using a Ryobi all this time.

-- .

View lansinwd's profile


19 posts in 2056 days

#11 posted 09-05-2012 12:17 PM

Thanks for all of the advice, I decided to with the Milwaukee 5625 over the Freud FT3000vce because of about a $80 price difference. I kept trying to convince myself to go with the triton but there were not enough positive reviews, everyone seemed pretty happy with the 5625.

-- Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3513 days

#12 posted 09-06-2012 01:36 AM

You are making an excellent choice with that router. Let us know how your router table project goes and keep us informed when you start raising panels. :)

-- .

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