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Forum topic by OmegaRed posted 568 days ago 858 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OmegaRed

34 posts in 582 days


568 days ago

Howdy,

I’m expanding my projects and currently in the search for a router. I want to make some shelves / cabinets in the garage and don’t have access to anything that will cut dado’s or rabbets without resorting to a mitre saw and 1000 passes. And I would be limited in the sizes I could handle.

So without ever using a router before, where do I start. Can a plunge router do what a normal router can, is there a need for both for basic work? What is the mechanical difference between the two (I realize the plunge can make plunge cuts, but why can’t a normal router do the same?) What hp size is minimum that I would want to deal with.

I have asked friends and no one has a router, my only other thought was renting from a big box store. Thanks

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"


26 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1486 posts in 999 days


#1 posted 568 days ago

My opinion: look for one rated 2+ HP, and a kit that has interchangeable bases. True enough, a plunge can do practically anything a fixed base will do…..but having a fixed base will allow you to cobble together a simple router table which could be extremely useful. If the router has through the base adjustment you’re way ahead. My choiuce in this category would be the Milwaukee 5616-24 kit. There are a lot of other ones that also very good, and I’m sure every one of them will be recommended; you’ll just have to try and look/handle/ogle some and go from there.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1020 days


#2 posted 568 days ago

I use the Bosch 1617EVSPK. There are also great packages made by Porter Cable, Dewalt and as Fred said, Milwaukee.
I agree, a combo is the way to go.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 770 days


#3 posted 568 days ago

I have had a Skil and currently own a Bosch 1617EVSPK and Porter Cable (a few of them).

I would pick the Bosch 1617EVSPK any day of the week if all I wanted was a powerful, well-built router. In terms of most off the shelf compatibility, the Porter Cable is better, but it just doesn’t feel like the Bosch.

You can get the 1617 at the big box stores or, like I did, on Amazon for cheap.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Simon2822's profile

Simon2822

59 posts in 920 days


#4 posted 568 days ago

One of the big Triton models. I have this one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Triton-MOF001-400-Watt-Dual-Mode-Precision/dp/B002QS1LPM/ref=sr_1_2?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1349208464&sr=1-2) attached to my router table and it has been great. Very good for the relatively cheap price

-- Failure is always an option

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 749 days


#5 posted 568 days ago

I second the Bosch 1617 combo. The router is just smooth, powerful and easy to handle. And what’s not to love about the actual wooden handles? Oh, and I think it’s good to get a router with soft start… you turn it on and it slowly revs up to full speed. Without that, it could get a little more dangerous to use unless the trigger happens to be on the handles like on newer Bosch model.

Depending on what tasks you have in mind, a smaller router like the Bosch Colt, or similar may be easier to use on smaller jobs. I’m considering the Colt myself for use as a handheld, while I take my current router and mount it under a table.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6711 posts in 1420 days


#6 posted 568 days ago

I found a dual base Ridgid 2hp router for $179 at HD within the past 3months. I appeared to be a closeout, however, I have seen Ridgid do this in the past every so often. You might want to keep an eye out for this kind of deal. When I found this “Combo Kit” box it was mixed in with 3 others of the “fixed base” only at the same price. The best part about these Ridgid tools is the Lifetime Service Agreement. I put the fixed base in my horizontal mortising machine and have the plunge base for handheld work. The moter pops out in a second, and without losing your other settings.

BTW, I also have two of the TRITON routers and they each have their own lifting mechanism for table use. Something to consider if you plan on mounting it on a table. I have the 2 1/4hp and 3 1/4hp models, And have to say that they are a little bulky for handheld but still quite doable. I have the 2 1/4hp model dedicated for using with a router dado jig I made and have no problems with it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View NiteWalker's profile (online now)

NiteWalker

2340 posts in 1083 days


#7 posted 568 days ago

Buying new today, my choice would be the bosch 1617evspk kit.

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

View SharpeTools's profile

SharpeTools

1 post in 568 days


#8 posted 568 days ago

If you can afford one Festools are in a class by themselves

View OmegaRed's profile

OmegaRed

34 posts in 582 days


#9 posted 567 days ago

Ok sounds like I’ll check out the Bosch and Milwaukee kits…thanks guys.

-- "(...) The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him(...)"

View mmckee's profile

mmckee

11 posts in 580 days


#10 posted 567 days ago

I have the RIGID that HorizontalMike referred to, I love it. It has done anything that I have asked of it. Also worth noting the lifetime parts warranty.

I hardly ever use the plunge base

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5154 posts in 1881 days


#11 posted 567 days ago

Is this router going into a router table or will you be using it for hand use?

I ask because different features are desirable for table use than for hand use. For a table variable speed is a must, and more power is “good to have”. You may also want a lot of the convenient top side features that allow easy one handed bit changes from above the table.

For hand use you don’t need variable speed, and you want the router to feel comfortable and well balanced….that usually means a bit smaller than one you might put into a router table. A plunge base can be handy but it isn’t something I’d feel lost without.

I like the Milwaukee routers a lot….very well built, accept standard bushings, and the 5615 and 5616 offer the BodyGrip feature. The MW plunge base is excellent. Bosch, Freud, Makita, PC, Hitachi, DW, Triton, Ridgid, and even the newer CMan routers get favorable reviews. Find a deal on one you like the feel of.

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

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3041 posts in 1319 days


#12 posted 567 days ago

Dewalt 618 is a great combo kit. For a 2-1/4 hp router, it surprises me how accurate it is. Inlays are a dream with the plunge router. The fixed base has a low squat stance or best stability when edge routing. The Makita and new Porter Cable are a bit too tall for my taste.

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

View NiteWalker's profile (online now)

NiteWalker

2340 posts in 1083 days


#13 posted 567 days ago

The dewalt 618 has the best plunge base out there, but the motors are very unreliable. Both of the magnetic speed control rings in the two I have broke. It’s not an isolated incident, it’s a manufacturing defect dewalt refuses to acknowledge. Plenty of cases of the same.

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

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1364 posts in 933 days


#14 posted 567 days ago

I have two DeWalt 621 routers they are good.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3438 posts in 984 days


#15 posted 567 days ago

The Dewalt 621 is a great router i have it on my Woodrat the thing is to die for but if I were going to get my first router I would go with the porter cable combo kit or a combo kit from someone else the two bases are a must for so many things and I think I paid 199 for the porter cable set one thing is for sure if your a serious power tool guy you will be like me and have close to 20 good routers in the shop before you know it I sold a few off but I still have several here is one thing to make sure of make sure you get a router that will take 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch bits. don’t buy a craftsman they suck. A festool is over kill for a new one router guy what if he hates woodworking after a few months give the guy time to work his way up to a 700 dollar router. I am all for the best tool but damn lets get serious. and the 621 is a great router I love mine and it is a major work horse in my shop.

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

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