First Router

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Forum topic by SuSpence posted 113 days ago 614 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 113 days

113 days ago

I’m looking for a first router and found a used craftsman professional router on craigslist for $45. It comes with a few bit and what looks like pattern base plates. I think it is 2hp, 9amp, and both 1/2 and 1/4 collar. I am new to woodworking and would like to see if it is something I would like to pursue further before investing $150+ in a nice router. Would this router be a good start or should I go with a new off brand/weaker router?

13 replies so far

View lab7654's profile


250 posts in 873 days

#1 posted 113 days ago

Depending on how old it is, and what accessories it comes with, it seems like a good deal. 2HP is a good amount of power for anything you’ll be doing in the near future. Anything more than that is really for swinging panel raising bits and the like. The 1/2 and 1/4 collets are a good thing to have, and you should buy 1/2” shank bits any time you can afford to. They reduce vibration and provide a more stable cut. If I were you, I would try to talk the seller down a few dollars, maybe start at $30 and see where they’re at. Once you get a router, whatever it ends up being, make sure you build a table to put it in! Plenty of designs around here for you to use. Good luck!

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1716 posts in 1120 days

#2 posted 113 days ago

That sounds like a good deal, allowing you to evaluate your own needs while using it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View dhazelton's profile


1173 posts in 923 days

#3 posted 113 days ago

I have a Craftsman from the late 90s and it has a lot of power. I use it mostly for round over and beading and no complaints. If they are decent bits and the router doesn’t look abused I would buy it but I wouldn’t dicker personally – from $45 (on what could be a hundred and fifty worth of stuff) to $30 is an insult in my opinion.

View ChefHDAN's profile


294 posts in 1476 days

#4 posted 113 days ago

for $45 great tool to get started with, is it from a shop or a hobbyist?? The google pictures for CM Pro router look suspiciously like the Bosch, there is a LJ review of the unit here,

You’ll find that once you’re using a router having more than one is handy so my vote is go for it, and start looking at a router table plan.

View bondogaposis's profile


2480 posts in 978 days

#5 posted 113 days ago

Sounds like a good buy, bet you can’t have just one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SuSpence's profile


7 posts in 113 days

#6 posted 113 days ago

The pictures are in a garage so I’m assuming a hobbyist. They didn’t provide very much information. I’m still waiting to hear back. This is the craigslist ad

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1203 days

#7 posted 113 days ago

I’d grab it.
I’m normally against budget tools, but my first router was a $69 ryobi. I beat the hell out of that thing and it kept on going. It will be a good router to learn with, then you can buy a quality router kit, like the bosch 1617evspk, or the dewalt dw618pk (hang onto that receipt or buy the extended warranty for the dewalt).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View DrDirt's profile


2407 posts in 2369 days

#8 posted 113 days ago

Grab it.

If you were looking at new products, to start with… I would say get one of the palm routers, like the Bosch Colt, or the new Dewalt.

For general useage, I use the small router, with ogee and roundover bits at least 5:1 over my larger router in the table.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View dhazelton's profile


1173 posts in 923 days

#9 posted 111 days ago

Don’t know if you went to get it, but if you did….the bits shown are pretty cheap ones with no guide bearings. I’d spring for some decent ones or you will not be happy with how it performs. You will burn the wood, it won’t cut straight and you’ll blame the router. Bits with guide bearings, please.

View knotscott's profile


5418 posts in 2002 days

#10 posted 111 days ago

The newer Craftsman routers have a surprisingly good reputation. They start at ~ $50. IMHO, a used older model with cheap used bits doesn’t seem like much of a deal at $45 in comparison.

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

View Tedster's profile


2270 posts in 838 days

#11 posted 111 days ago

Su, welcome to the community.

I have an older Craftsman which I keep in my home-made router table. It’s a good router for the price, but it’s rather large and clumsy to handle. If at all possible, you should start with a router kit with interchangeable bases, as there are times when you’ll need a fixed base and times when you’ll need a plunge base. I don’t know if Craftsman offers such a kit but Porter Cable, Makita and Dewalt all have these combo kits available at a reasonable price, and they are much smaller in size so easier to handle. Just for reference, here’s a Bosch kit which is not terribly expensive and you would enjoy much more than the Craftsman you’re looking at.

Definitely get some decent quality “carbide” bits, preferably with 1/2” shank.

Don’t beat yourself up by starting off with the wrong tool if you don’t have to. If you can swing the extra $$ for a tool you’ll enjoy using, go for it… get the combo kit.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View SuSpence's profile


7 posts in 113 days

#12 posted 104 days ago

I ended up getting a ryobi re180pl on ebay for $55. It’s 2hp and takes both 1/2 and 1/4 bits. It seems pretty well taken care of. The only complaint I saw in reviews was the the plunge guides are a little loose. Does anybody here have experience with this router and can tell me if this was a good move or not?

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1203 days

#13 posted 104 days ago

It’s not a terrible router; it sells for $99 new.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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