Router Purchase Decision

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Forum topic by Chris posted 02-01-2014 06:27 PM 1110 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris 's profile


177 posts in 1546 days

02-01-2014 06:27 PM

Hey everyone .. I could use a little help in making a decision about which router to buy. I have searched the website and the internet for quite some time about the Harbor Freight routers I am considering buying. I recognize these aren’t the best on the market but its what I can afford right now and they seem to get some good reviews too.

So, I am considering going with either the 2HP fixed based router or the 1.5 HP plunge router. I am brand new to wood working and I am a little lost at this point. I won’t be able to afford a router table or build one right away, and I would probably just be using this router mostly to make dados for awhile til I get my feet wet. It seems like most people recommend getting the speed control with the 2HP router .. which would make it just as expensive as the plunge router offered. Would I need to get the speed control if I will not be putting it in a table right away? Will the plunge router be able to cut straight dados in plywood just the same? Any advice would be much appreciated. Here are the 2 routers:

Thanks all for the help!

7 replies so far

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2466 days

#1 posted 02-01-2014 06:29 PM

RouterStop…only way to go. :-)

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Chris 's profile


177 posts in 1546 days

#2 posted 02-01-2014 06:34 PM

After doing a little research my best guess to what you mean by RouterStop is something that Kreg makes for router tables. Thanks for the advice. Does anyone have any other advice on which of these 2 routers to purchase for a beginning woodworking on a low budget? Thanks

View sawdustjunkie's profile


382 posts in 1679 days

#3 posted 02-01-2014 07:15 PM

If budget is tight, I would go with a Craftsman before the Harbor Freight.
Also you could check out Hitatchi, Bosch , Makita Porter Cable.
Those will cost more, but you probably won’t wear one out.
I have 2 Bosh, 2 craftsman and a new Ridgid palm router which works surprisingly well.
The Craftsman I have had fore more than 15 years and they still work great.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1691 days

#4 posted 02-01-2014 07:32 PM

if you will just look around and wait sometimes off ebay you can find a great deal I found a almost new 3612 Makita for 75.00 3hp great running router just wait and look, don’t buy something that won’t last, I wish I would have waited on alot of things before I pulled the trigger like buying 2 crapsman tablesaws, but they were not contractor grade items either, if I was buying a craftsman now I would get an older contractor grade saw but I didn’t know what I know now I think

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

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1631 days

#5 posted 02-01-2014 07:37 PM

Chris, I have a brand new in the case Skil 1835 2HP router

I will sell you for $70 + the shipping cost. It would end up being a little more then the HF routers you’re looking at but it’s a lot better router. I bought it for a project and then never built the protect, so it’s still in the case unused.

-- Earl

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3337 days

#6 posted 02-01-2014 07:37 PM

The Craftsman 12 amp variable speed fixed base starts at $69.99. They get pretty good feedback…I’d go that route versus the HF router.

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

View Chris 's profile


177 posts in 1546 days

#7 posted 02-01-2014 08:04 PM

Thanks all for the advice. I am leaning towards the Craftsman now. As for going on eBay, it might be the right move I have just never been comfortable buying anything online. I probably need to shake that habit in 2014. Thanks again

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