My First Plunge Router. Help?!?

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Forum topic by JoeA posted 11-18-2008 01:06 AM 2461 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 3930 days

11-18-2008 01:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plunge router combo kit

I am ready to purchase my first plunge router and have a limited budget and want to get the best quality for my money. I think I have it narrowed down to a combo kit. That way I can leave the fixed based mounted in a table (future purchase) and use the plunge for hand held work. I also think I want a 2-1/4 HP as it seems like a good compromise between power and manageability.
Right now I am looking at both the Bosch 1617EVSPK or the Porter Cable 893PK. I have seen them both at my local big box store and both seem descent. I see pros and cons with both models.
Does anyone have any insight on either, or maybe there are other brands I am overlooking?

Thanks -joeA

-- "Too much or too little shames it all" - Old Swedish Proverb

15 replies so far

View lew's profile


12051 posts in 3749 days

#1 posted 11-18-2008 01:17 AM

I am a fan of PC routers.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3956 days

#2 posted 11-18-2008 01:43 AM

I have a 1617 in my router table and it has survived a beating over the last 3 years. I also have a 3 1/4 horse Makita that I have used for 15 years. The Bosch comes with two bases and is soft start. I’ve occasionally taken it out of the table and used it as a plunge router. It is really great. The big Makita is more powerful. The PC’s are pretty standard with everybody. Be careful of the big box store. I got my Milwaulkie router there and it turned out to be a discontinued model. I’d buy from WoodCraft or Rockler first. I did buy the Bosch at Lowe’s though. Routers are like Lay’s potato chips. “Bet ya can’t eat just one!”

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 11-18-2008 01:51 AM

Take a look at the Sears Craftsman rounters. 2 hp, variable speed, soft start, fixed and plunge bases. Not a bad deal. Most Craftsman tools are made by reputable manufacturers. I’ve got an old Craftsman, PC 690, Freud 2.25. I’m buying this set next.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Bigdogs117's profile


1864 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 11-18-2008 03:23 AM

I have the PC. Serves me well and would purchase again.

-- Rusty

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3981 days

#5 posted 11-18-2008 03:35 AM

I have 6 or 7 Porter Cable routers. They have never failed me yet.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View scottz's profile


21 posts in 3503 days

#6 posted 11-18-2008 04:36 AM

I did a lot of research before my last router purchase and everything I read/heard pointed to the Hitachi 3.25hp.

I got it strictly for table mounting but have used it for some hand held ops – it’s heavy, but manageable.

I like the router so much that I’d favor Hitachi again if looking for a two-base 2.25hp unit.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3868 days

#7 posted 11-18-2008 08:01 AM

I love everything about my Bosch, and I’ve had a lot of hands-on time with a lot of different routers.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3764 days

#8 posted 11-18-2008 04:21 PM

Joe, I have both the PC and Bosch router combos. I like the Bosch best. It seems that the plunge actions is smoother and fits my hands better. I suggest you go the Lowes ( or somewhere else that sells both) and put you hands on them. See which feels best to you. You really can’t go wrong with either combo. pkenneyd

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View JWTIII's profile


13 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 11-18-2008 07:35 PM

I am certainly no expert, but there are several worthy models mentioned here. When buying a Router, the features that I have found to be important to me are:
Plunge and fixed bases
Hosepower – I would agree that 2 1/4 will handle most jobs
Baseplate – Will the router accept generally avilable bushings – most do, cheaper models may not
Baseplate – if you undermount it in a router table (fixed base only) will your baseplate work? sometimes this is an issue with Craftsman (by the way, I have 2 Craftsman multiple base models- one permanently mounter on my router table extension on my table saw…one of mine is the Bosch equivalent)
Does the router have 1/4 and 1/2” collets

The models you are looking at meets all of these.

The Bosch power switch sometimes fails (maybe gets clogged with dust) which can be an issue. I have read that some Bosch owners have had this problem. My Craftsman has had this problem twice, so I researched it and found references to Bosch switch problems as well.


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Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 11-18-2008 09:14 PM

My Bosch wouldn’t turn on one time. I took to the repair shop where they blew it out and didn’t charge me anything. Of course, they abused me something terrible for being so dumb!!!! I like to make people laugh but not behind their hands. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4079 days

#11 posted 11-19-2008 04:30 AM

I’ve had several brands, Riobi fixed base (still can’t find it since I built some new cabinets) Black and Decker plunge (my brother got that one somehow…still not sure how that happened.) Craftsman plunge (its been gone a while now.) and a cheap knock off from china (how bad could it be? very!) and now I use Porter Cable 890 Multi base.

I really like the PC. I have had one issue. The adjustment teeth are held onto the motor with 2 small screws. I have had them come or break off a couple of times. The last time it happened, it was both screws at the same time, one came off and the other broke. I called PC’s customer service and the people there were very nice about it. Even though it was out of warranty, they sent me several screws no charge, even picked up the shipping charge. It was actually more expensive to ship than the cost of screws. I have considered getting a couple more routers (like clamps, you can never have enough) I have considered Bosch and Makita but I think I will stay with the PC.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View sry's profile


147 posts in 3601 days

#12 posted 11-19-2008 04:27 PM

I completely agree with Chiefk. I was down to the PC 893 kit and the Bosch 1617 kit, and ended up going to Lowe’s where I was able to play with both right there in the store. After fiddling with them for at least a half hour, I ended up deciding on the Bosch kit (barely) which seemed a little lighter in my hands.

Speaking of customer service, when I accidentally broke one of the catches for a chip deflector shield, Bosch had a new one in my hands at no charge within 3 days. Not too bad at all

I’m sure either kit would serve you long and well

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 3540 days

#13 posted 11-19-2008 04:32 PM

I’ve got the DW618B3 triple-base router kit… picked it up from amazon for $190. here’s a good thread.

View botanist's profile


167 posts in 3532 days

#14 posted 11-19-2008 04:54 PM

If you’re looking for a pretty good website for router and other good tool reviews, look at They compile results from a number of different sources, including Fine Woodworking and Consumer Reports. They’ve got lots of great information on a number of different routers.

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 3540 days

#15 posted 11-19-2008 05:05 PM

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