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Forum topic by lab7654 posted 11-12-2013 12:30 AM 2548 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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266 posts in 2241 days

11-12-2013 12:30 AM

With Black Friday coming up, a new router is on the top of my list. Even if I can’t get a good deal on one, it’s still the time to buy for me. I’m trying to find one that fits my criteria, but I’m only coming up with one.

What I need:
-Plunge and fixed bases (kit)
-Above table height adjustment on fixed base (this is the problem with most kits for me)
-Ideally 2HP or more
-1/4 and 1/2 inch collets
-Maybe variable speed? (I have an external speed controller, but it’s not the best thing)

What I don’t want:
-1HP trim router (needs to be able to swing some bits)
-D-handle (it’s going to be under a table)
-Something expensive
-Something terribly off branded (Harbor Freight)
-Something that’s only available online or something that I have to ship to a store

My plans are to mount the fixed base on my table and switch to the plunge base when I need it. The Skil router I have now is cheap, loud, and vibrates a lot on startup. I’ll still use it for things like dadoes or edge forming without a table, since I like the handle trigger switch.

The only option I have right now is a Masterforce kit (Menard’s house brand, for us midwesterners). It has all of the criteria, is low priced, and is really what I should buy, but I like to have many options. I know of the Freud kit, but I’ve heard enough bad things about Freud’s power tool ventures to be steered away. I also know of a Ridgid kit that has been apparently discontinued, which really irritates me since I like their Lifetime Service Agreement. Let me know what you think, and if you have some suggestions shoot ‘em by me.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

16 replies so far

View bladedust's profile


206 posts in 2261 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 12:37 AM

What you’ve just described is the Triton. You can pick up the 2 1/4 HP for around $200. I’ve had mine mounted under the table for several years and I can’t say enough good things about it. Good luck with your search.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 1884 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 12:39 AM

The bosch 1617evspk is an incredible kit. Very comfortable, easy to use. 2.25 horsepower. Above the table adjustment. I believe its $179. Can’t go wrong. The edge guide they sell for it is awesome as well, has micro adjust ability.

Not to mention it has the variable speed, 1/2 and 1/4 collets. Very nice rugged case, nice hardwood handles on the fixed base. Soft start built in, which is very nice.

The only thing i dislike about it, and this is my opinion, is the dual wrenches for loosening the collet. I tend to leave my guide on and once the collet releases, since i have both hands off the router, it tends to topple. But thats just me being lazy and not taking the guide off.

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2279 days

#3 posted 11-12-2013 12:43 AM

I have a Bosch mounted under the table with a Jessum lift. You need to think if you are going to buy a lift or you need the router to have above table adjustment. I have five routers and never take the one out of the table.

-- Bill R

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2241 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 12:56 AM

I saw the Triton dual mode option, but I like the idea of being able to switch to plunging by simply taking the motor out from the table and not the entire router.

Are you sure that Bosch has above the table adjustment? I can’t find any specs that say it does. I know the other kit they offer does, but that’s a little out of my price range.

I’d love to have a lift, but it isn’t cost effective. The Skil router is the only one I have right now. I’d need to buy a lift, a motor to put in it permanently, and a plunge router to get the same purpose as a multi-base kit. Of course that would be the best option for efficiency and functionality, but I’m looking to get the most for my money.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 01:10 AM

The Bosch offers limited above the table control. Freud FT1700VCE and the Triton offer full above the table control.
The biggest thing to look for in a table router is that the collet extends far enough to change the bits topside. You would be surprised how many models require you to crane under the table (Hitachi), or remove an insert ring and use a bent wrench (Porter Cable).
I have the Bosch 1617, and I don’t think I would like it in the table. It just has a height crank topside. Everything else you reach down below to use. I use the Freud FT 1700 in the table and I LOVE it. I bought a second Freud, just so I can always have one in the table. The Freud is getting harder to find now. Then I use a Dewalt 618 for all freehand routing.
Good luck

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

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2788 days

#6 posted 11-12-2013 01:46 AM

1+ on the Freud. I leave mine on the table too. I have a Ridgid with plunge and fixed bases that I use as a hand router. I also have a Ridgid trim router that I seem to use more and more.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2056 days

#7 posted 11-12-2013 02:00 AM

I have that Bosch under a table and am completely satisfied with its above table control.


View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1887 days

#8 posted 11-12-2013 02:12 AM

Just a general FYI, the latest Bosch 1617 combo base kits DO HAVE the above-the-table-adjustment upgraded fixed base – however you might only find these at specialized tool stores or online only. The big box stores are typically backlogged with trying to clear out stock of the older 1617 kits which do not have the updated fixed base.

Below is an example of a store (Toronto, Canada) that has the upgraded fixed base in the Bosch 1617 kit.

Sadly though, the Bosch will not be a low priced option, even on Black Friday.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2241 days

#9 posted 11-12-2013 03:10 AM

Ahh, the picture helps a lot. Home Depot and Lowes both carry the kit, although Home Depot hasn’t updated to the newer model. Lowes specifies the above the table adjustment and new dust sealed switch. Either way, if I can’t strike a bargain with either store (both are $219), I’ll end up going with my gut and getting the Masterforce. Anyone have experience with the Hitachi KM12VC? That’s at Menard’s too, right next to the Masterforce. I suppose it comes down to whichever goes on sale.

One more thing: I saw that Bosch offers a kit with a fixed base and a dedicated table base. I suppose if I really wanted to get nit picky I could buy a plunge router and buy the table base separate. Just a thought.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View bladedust's profile


206 posts in 2261 days

#10 posted 11-12-2013 03:53 AM

Amazon has the Bosch combo kit for $199 with “The fixed base’s advanced bit height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table”.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View UpstateNYdude's profile


916 posts in 1977 days

#11 posted 11-12-2013 05:07 AM

Personally I like Milwaukee routers I own the following

It’s a beast and is very precise and works beautifully, you can get it cheaper else where think I got mine at if you signup for there email list they send you $15 off code which you stack with the already low price and usually anything over $100 ships free.

I myself am going to be getting the new Makita 700CX3 1 1/4hp compact trim router soon.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View ColonelTravis's profile


1768 posts in 1888 days

#12 posted 11-12-2013 05:45 AM

redSLED is right. New Bosch bases have it, older ones don’t. I’ve got the kit and love it. But my fixed base did NOT come with the height adjustment hole. I ordered my off amazon, so even though it might say it’s got it, it’s a crapshoot. Didn’t bother to send it back because I really don’t care. Maybe in 20 years I’ll care.

Another thing with that kit – you need to get a bushings adapter. It doesn’t come with one. Bosch ain’t gonna play that P-C bushings game. Pony up more $. I’ve heard that a while back the adapters were impossible to find in stores, who knows. All I know is that you can find them now, I got mine at Rockler.

Also – you need the variable speed, no maybes about it.

I’m guessing you want a 1/4 collet because you’ve got 1/4 bits. I don’t know if they’re primo bits, but I stay away from 1/4 bits because there is more wobble. It’s slight but it’s there.

View Woodbum's profile


812 posts in 3060 days

#13 posted 11-12-2013 01:34 PM

For the power/price range, I would go with the Bosch. As was said, the new kits will meet your criteria. But then again, I use one for hand routing only since I have lifts in all of my router tables with PC 7518 motors.

As to the guide bushing issue, ColonelTravis is right, the standard PC bushings will not work, but I personally have rarely ever ( never ?) needed them in a table mount. If I need them, I use the Woodpeckers table insert that I can mount PC bushings to. I however, really like the Bosch bushing mounting system. It is very quick and easy.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View jmartel's profile


7882 posts in 2145 days

#14 posted 11-12-2013 03:31 PM

For what it’s worth, you can always build yourself a router lift. Issue #121 of Shopnotes.

Then you can use any router you want and not spend a few hundred on a lift.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1832 posts in 1964 days

#15 posted 11-12-2013 03:34 PM

I have the hitachi mv12v2. It’s a beast and I don’t use it in the table. I use it hand held and its great. If you want a good strong router get that one

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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