LumberJocks

HF Router

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by FirehouseWoodworking posted 12-23-2012 12:17 AM 1427 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

624 posts in 1930 days


12-23-2012 12:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question router shaping

Merry Christmas to all!

I was just today looking at a router at Harbor Freight. It looks like an off-shore built knockoff of a Porter Cable router, complete with a half-inch collet. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile in a router table application and not as my primary router.

The $45 price tag was very enticing but I was wondering about the quality of the router. I thought that LumberJocks might be a good source of opinions. Has anyone had any personal experience with this router, good, bad, or indifferent?

How about weighing in with your opinions?

Thank you in advance.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas


27 replies so far

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2923 posts in 1144 days


#1 posted 12-23-2012 12:42 AM

I bought one about a year ago to replace a 1.75HP antique Craftsman. It has plenty of power, almost no runout and the only pick I have with it is that the center hole is too small.

I had to replace the original plate with one from Vermont American.

I just bought another one to put in my router table.

One thing I did find is that the collets are a bit iffy if you don’t seat the bits all the way down.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1221 days


#2 posted 12-23-2012 12:52 AM

it gets ok enough reviews and i know there is usually pretty good thoughts on HFs trim router. my thoughts would be you might be able to get something better for not much more used.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 639 days


#3 posted 12-23-2012 12:56 AM

Your not supose to seat your bits all the way down into the collet.

View crashn's profile

crashn

518 posts in 1123 days


#4 posted 12-23-2012 01:50 AM

I bought one hoping that it was an exact clone of the Porter Cable. Close, but no cigar.

But it does work good (except the depth adjustment which is course, could have been better machined). I have a trim bit mounted in it at all times, ready to go. I could see getting a few and making 2 small bench top router tables and setting them up to do rail and style exclusively, if one were so inclined.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#5 posted 12-23-2012 01:51 AM

I’d not chance it.
Spend a bit more and get a quality router. Here’s a few on sale:

Bosch 1617EVS for $134 shipped with discount. – A great, smooth running router. I’m buying one for my router table since I occasionally spin bigger bits.
Porter Cable 690 for $109 shipped. – A good workehorse. I’ve had one in my router table for the past year+ and it’s been the hardest working tool in my shop. No complaints.
Dewalt DW616 for $103.99 shipped. – Another great router. More compact than the 690 and the handles are more comfortable to use. Probably the one I’d go for.

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

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

574 posts in 1722 days


#6 posted 12-23-2012 02:18 AM

I’m with Nitewalker on this. Too many things can go wrong when something is spinning 20k+RPM. I’d steer clear of this thing. An “iffy collet” right out of the box sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2923 posts in 1144 days


#7 posted 12-23-2012 02:38 AM

Interesting that neither of the naysayers have even tried one and learning how to install the collet was part of the process.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6979 posts in 1340 days


#8 posted 12-23-2012 03:17 AM

per installing a bit in a collet ( ANY collet) since there is a “bead” around the base of all cutters on router bits, you want to avoid trying to squeeze a colet onto the bead. Sink the bit until it bottoms out, then raise the bit up enough to clamp just the shank, and not touch the bead. Depending on the maker of a bit, will determine how much to raise the bit to clear the bead.

Dallas: I hear the same stuff all the time for “naysayers”, then one asks them IF they have even been in the store, let alone handled a tool there. lately, I have been getting better tools from H-F. But one does have to actually set foot inside the store, pick up a tool or two and look then over. To hurry past the parking lot of the store, and then proclaim all things in said store as “Junk”, welll, I concider the sourse of such “Bad reviews”.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1234 days


#9 posted 12-23-2012 03:28 AM

I have plenty of HF tools; but for safety reasons, I’m not trusting something spinning at 20000+ rpm’s. Some of their tools are great, like some of their drill presses and clamps, and a bunch others. And +1 on not fully seating any bit in a collet.

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

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1099 days


#10 posted 12-23-2012 03:41 AM

NiiteWalker – I just tried all three of your links. For some reason they are all $20-$25 more than what you have listed. I got excited when I saw the prices you quoted. I plan on buying a new router soon.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6979 posts in 1340 days


#11 posted 12-23-2012 03:48 AM

About a year ago, I walked into Sears, plunked down $170 (out the door price) on one of their Router “kits”. Had both the fixed base, and the plunge base. Plunge base even had an “above the tabletop” adjustment for use in a router table. Electronic soft start, with a speed control as well. Then, I drove up to the local (Lima, Ohio) H-F store and bought a small handplane, a “Windsor #33”. It is now set up as a nice little scrub plane, almost the same size as a Stanley #40. Expensive weekend…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View treaterryan's profile

treaterryan

109 posts in 944 days


#12 posted 12-23-2012 04:03 AM

I have one. It works fine, but does NOT come with a 1/2” collet. It comes with a 3/8” and 1/4” collet. I have never even seen a 3/8” collet before. I do not know if you can just use a PC collet or not and HF does not sell one.

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

955 posts in 682 days


#13 posted 12-23-2012 07:20 AM

I got one for a special project (may divulge later). It does have a 1/2” collet. Porter Cable makes a 3/8” collet. I’ve used it for running end mills with a 3/8” shank for working with aluminum (at reduced speed, of course. The notch in the shank for chucking in a mill doesn’t seem to affect balance at all—i.e. no vibration). I think early in the days of the modern router there were 3/8” router bits, but I doubt if anybody still makes them. I avoid 1/4” shanks whenever I can. Had one break on me years ago—nobody hurt. It’s scary, some of the big cutters they put on those little spindly stems.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5464 posts in 2033 days


#14 posted 12-23-2012 11:46 AM

”Bosch 1617EVS for $134 shipped with discount. – A great, smooth running router. I’m buying one for my router table since I occasionally spin bigger bits.”

I can’t comment on the HF router…I’ve had some pleasant and not so pleasant surprises with some of the HF tools….you can always return it if it disappoints.

That’s really a good price on the 1617 EVS….Austin – coupon code “BCH25” knocks another $25 off.

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

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

676 posts in 1099 days


#15 posted 12-23-2012 02:01 PM

Thanks for the coupon code.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase