Looking for hand held router.

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 07-22-2014 04:34 PM 988 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1754 days

07-22-2014 04:34 PM

Looking for a hand held router to use for inlay work, dovetail jig, and other working that requires the router to be held. I have the Triton 3 1/4 for my table but looking for something light, sturdy, maybe a plunge and fixed base option. Accept 1/4 and 1/2 shanks. Looking for a popular brand and model so I wouldn’t have a hard time finding accessories that fit it.

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#1 posted 07-22-2014 04:48 PM

There’s a lot of choices, and the Bosch 1617 comes up a lot. My personal favorite is the Milwaukee 5616.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2391 days

#2 posted 07-22-2014 05:23 PM

I have had the 1617 for a couple of years now, love it. Swapping the motor between the bases takes about 10 seconds. You will need to buy an adapter to use bushings, the stock one does not have the correct opening. I just bought a universal base plate from PeachTree (around $20 w/ centering cone).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2067 days

#3 posted 07-22-2014 05:32 PM

I like my Dewalt DW618 over the Bosch 1617 and Porter Cable 890 series for 2 reasons:
  • The router has a shorter profile making it really easy to control.
  • The power switch is pretty easy to flick on and off while in use

-- paxorion

View bigblockyeti's profile


5134 posts in 1743 days

#4 posted 07-22-2014 05:37 PM

Bosch, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Makita & DeWalt all have popular and reliable offerings with loads accessories available from manufacturers and the after market. If you want to pay for six routers and only get one then Festool could be an option, accessories are more scarce and similarly expensive.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2468 days

#5 posted 07-22-2014 06:50 PM

I have a Trend T4 1/4” router and it is the simplest and easiest router I have ever used,has tons of power for what it is,it also has a very efficient dust collection attachment .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View pintodeluxe's profile


5701 posts in 2835 days

#6 posted 07-22-2014 08:23 PM

I like the Dewalt 618 best for handheld routing. The fixed base is excellent for routing dovetailed drawers or edge profiling, while the plunge is perfect for inlays and mortising. The plunge base has a nice dust collection feature that actually works.

I have the Bosch 1617 too, but I don’t use it much. It has slippery handles and feels top-heavy next to the Dewalt.

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

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1446 days

#7 posted 07-22-2014 11:51 PM

I suggest two solutions.

For inlay work, I was recently turned on to the Dremel and some of the great accessories by Stewart McDonald to turn it into the ultimate inlay router. Inexpensive solution and its size definitely is conducive to detail work like inlays.

I am not going to wade into the second solution. Buy what you can afford and something based on your priority routing takes in your woodwork.

-- Brad, Texas,

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3397 days

#8 posted 07-23-2014 01:08 AM

I’d give a good look at the Hitach M12VC. It’s lighter than most 11 amp routers, is quieter, is well balanced, which makes it a great choice for dovetails and inlay jig. It can be a pretty good bargain on sale too.

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

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