lb of feathers vs lb of bricks, 1 hp palm vs 1 hp full size

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Forum topic by savan posted 03-25-2013 06:26 PM 915 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View savan's profile


97 posts in 2569 days

03-25-2013 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router bosch colt

I have colt that I’ve been using for little jobs, rabbets, grooves, roundovers, etc.

I’m looking at doing some bigger projects and experimenting with dovetails. I’ve been looking at used routers.

A lot of the used Ive seen are in the 1 to 1 3/4 hp range. Is a 1hp full size going to perform better than my colt for dovetails if they’re both @ 1hp?

Is there a torque benefit that I’m getting from a bigger router at the same hp that helps?

Thanks in advance-

5 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 07:06 PM

HP rating for routers are confusing and in my opinion not accurate.

Look more at the current it draws for numbers that are more meaningful.

Larger routers give you the benefit of more power (torque ???), less vibration due to its heaver mass.

They use 1/2 bits, again better cuts due to it’s mass. This may be a drawback as 1/2 bits cost more.

-- Nicky

View runswithscissors's profile


2875 posts in 2203 days

#2 posted 03-25-2013 08:01 PM

Anything 10 amps and up should be good for dovetails. Many dovetail jigs require a bushing fitted to the slots in the template, which means 1/4” shank bits, though the PC jig calls for 1/2” shanked bits. But the ability to use the 1/2” bits is always an asset. I’ve seen some bits that are scary because they’re swinging a lot of mass on that little scrawny 1/4” shank. I’ve had one break on me. No injuries, but it spooked me.

Nicky is right about hp ratings. Amp ratings give you a truer picture of power.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View 9FINGERTIM's profile


54 posts in 2119 days

#3 posted 03-25-2013 10:16 PM

I really get confused about hp and amp ratings on tools,some cheap table saws claim to have motors with 15 amp ratings and some better table saws like the ridgid say their motor is a 13 amp,does that mean they are underpowered? or are they just more honest? my old craftsman claims to be 15 amp, three horsepower,but runs on 110 and that doesent seem possible.I remember great old table saws and tools that ran off quarter horse motors(the motors were much larger in size than quarter horse motors are now) Ive been scared of any powertopl (table saw or jointer that isnt 15 amps )or is it that a tool has a motor that is 15 amps or a motor that draws 15 amps? should a table saw have at least a 15 amp moto or am just confused again?


View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2508 days

#4 posted 03-25-2013 10:33 PM

I have the Colt, and like it a lot. The only advantage I see of the full size Porter Cable I also have is the 1/2” collet on the PC. I opens up a larger variety of router bits.

I have also had a 1/4” bit snap off. It hit and broke the base before it hit me, so I also got away injury free but I go 1/2” when ever I can now.

I do think that a 1hp palm router should in theory have the same amount of torque as a “full size” of the same size but also agree that amps is a truer power rating.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3826 days

#5 posted 03-25-2013 10:34 PM

With routers handling is important. Some 1/4” routers
are nice because they are lightweight. In terms of precision
handling in a fixed base router the best I’ve used is the
Milwaukee bodygrip.

If you tip your router on a jig you may carve up the
jig… which is why I advise to get a router that you
feel you can keep level.

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