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I am a beginner, and I received two routers as gifts, need advice

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Forum topic by _aaroneous posted 12-30-2013 05:45 PM 1205 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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_aaroneous

3 posts in 1075 days


12-30-2013 05:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: beginner router question

Hi everyone, I am a new woodworker (just joined the forum), and for Christmas I was very fortunate to receive two routers as gifts. I don’t know if I should keep both, return one and get another tool, or return both and get a different router.

The two routers I received are:

1. Skil 2.25-HP Variable Speed Plunge Corded Router, model #1830
2. PORTER-CABLE 1.75-HP Fixed Corded Router, model #9690LR

Which router is a better choice to keep for a beginner? I was thinking I would get a router table to use with the one I keep. Any thoughts?

Thanks for taking a look at my question.


33 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7214 posts in 2840 days


#1 posted 12-30-2013 05:47 PM

PC…without question is a better quality router. The variable speed and plunge may have some appeal, but take a back seat to the superior basic construction of the PC690. IMHO.

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

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

515 posts in 1193 days


#2 posted 12-30-2013 05:49 PM

keep them both you will have about five or more in a few years, mount one in the table and keep one for freehand, then buy a compact router or trade one in for a compact bosch colt ot dewalt plunge don’t buy the protercable compact

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

515 posts in 1193 days


#3 posted 12-30-2013 05:49 PM

I have six and use all of them, pretty equal

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View _aaroneous's profile

_aaroneous

3 posts in 1075 days


#4 posted 12-30-2013 05:50 PM

Ok, thanks for the prompt replies! I really appreciate it.

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

515 posts in 1193 days


#5 posted 12-30-2013 05:51 PM

keep the porter cable, I agree with knottscott but you can keep both, their yours

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17170 posts in 2570 days


#6 posted 12-30-2013 06:02 PM

I would keep both of them and used the fixed base one for a router table and use the plunge router for hand routing.
I have 7 routers and they all have a different purposes. One is fixed in a table and a one in a duplicator two are set up for dovetails. If I find them cheap enough I buy them. You can never have enough power tools or routers!!

The plunge router comes in handy for template work and making inlays.

When you find the need for router bits, look at MCLS. They have a good line and great selection of bits and they have FREE shipping. The one brand has a lifetime warranty!!

Happy New Year…......................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7214 posts in 2840 days


#7 posted 12-30-2013 06:07 PM

DOH…what was I thinking?! Keep both….of course! Returning one will significantly decrease your chances of ever getting another woodworking gift from that source!

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

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2853 posts in 2695 days


#8 posted 12-30-2013 06:14 PM

Keep both. I have three and use them all in one fashion or the other. Really comes in handy at times when you need to repeat a cut but have only one router and you changed the bit for something else. :-) Been there done that…more than once.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3589 days


#9 posted 12-30-2013 06:14 PM

The thing about woodworking is that in order to be accurate you need to be able to do a setup, and then do all of your cuts with that same setup. Yes, you can recreate a cut, and often get close, but trying to set up a tool for exactly the same depth or width or whatever to get within the thousandths that you need to really make a nice joint is extremely difficult.

And then in the middle of building something, you’ll realize that you need to make another different cut, and go back to making your previous cut.

Nowhere does this happen as often as with routers. Maybe you’ve got the routers set up so one cuts the pins and one cuts the tails of a dovetail. Maybe you’ve got an edge guide set up on one, and you need to cut a slot. Maybe you’ve got a flat base on one and a router bushing on the other, or…

What I’m trying to say, and what others have said above, is: Keep both of them. Having a couple of routers set up for specific tasks is a good thing. If you absolutely had to choose I’d say keep the Porter Cable, but I can totally see adding another couple of decent routers to my stable.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5605 posts in 2696 days


#10 posted 12-30-2013 06:18 PM

I am NOT a fan of most Skil tools, however depending on the model, some of their routers are okay. They used to sell a fixed / plunge base router that was decent enough. However, if it were me, I would return both routers, and grab at Bosh, Hitachi, or other quality brand fixed / plunge base combo. So far I have 2 Hitachi KM12VC kits, and could easily go for another if money allowed… It is nice to be able to leave one router set up and move to the next cut without disturbing your setup.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22019 posts in 1802 days


#11 posted 12-30-2013 06:42 PM

I have 7 routers. all for different things. However, If you are wanting more variety of tools, then return one and get something else. PC is probably the better unit.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22019 posts in 1802 days


#12 posted 12-30-2013 06:43 PM

Forgot, Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View alohafromberkeley's profile

alohafromberkeley

257 posts in 1868 days


#13 posted 12-30-2013 06:54 PM

Keep both. If they make after market bases I’d get a plunge one for the PC, it’s the better of the two routers…..........Wes

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View TaybulSawz's profile

TaybulSawz

149 posts in 1146 days


#14 posted 12-30-2013 06:56 PM

Personally I’d Keep the PC and return the Skil and get a Trim Router. They are SOOOOO handy for doing Small Round over jobs etc. For a beginner I think a Table Mounted PC router and the Trim Router Is a great way to start.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1906 days


#15 posted 12-30-2013 06:57 PM

I also like the idea of keeping both, especially if you plan on getting a table. I’ve got 3 myself and that seems to be low amongst this crowd :)

Also, welcome to LJ!

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

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