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Forum topic by johnnyp posted 08-21-2009 02:19 PM 3628 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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johnnyp

10 posts in 2678 days


08-21-2009 02:19 PM

Thank you all for welcoming me to LumberJocks.

I have a question, Is there a general purpose/ Do-All Router that you guys would recommend.
The only router experience I have is with a friends very old craftsman 2 HP plunge. I cut nice, but the plunge was not smooth at all.
Am I right in thinking a plunge router can do everything a fixed base can plus plunging? Is a combo kit with both bases worth the extra?
Is variable speed worth the extra money or do you usually use the same speed.
I realize every router has its place, I am just looking for a place to start with a router that can do Most things.
Is 1 ¾ big enough? 2 ¼ ?
I know Freud is a great name and quality and I know they will last longer but for occasional use in a small garage shop do they really cut better?
I like to buy quality tools but also want to get the most bang for my buck, I have tools from many different brands so the specific name does not mater to me!
Budget is around $200
I am considering this http://cgi.ebay.com/NIB-Dewalt-DW621-Plunge-Router-15-pc-Freud-Bit-Set_W0QQitemZ220468563365QQcmdZViewItemQQptZRouters_Bits?hash=item3354f34da5&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Or maybe this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200375226265&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
The tool reviews I have read here are great but still looking for advice.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
JohnnyP

-- JohnnyP - Lindstrom, Minnesota


28 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3358 days


#1 posted 08-21-2009 02:56 PM

johnnyP

Check this one out: http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EVSPK-4-Horsepower-Variable-Collets/dp/B00005RHPD

I bought it this past year from Lowes for about $220. Love it. Absolutely love it. If I had to buy again it would be the same tool

-- Sam

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2523 posts in 2901 days


#2 posted 08-21-2009 03:09 PM

Ditto on the Bosch that Sam indicates above. I’ve had it several months now and it’s been great. I researched a long time before deciding too.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3112 days


#3 posted 08-21-2009 03:23 PM

I’ll third the Bosch 1917 combo pack. I got it at rockler a few years back, they had a sale on it – and they were giving it with the straight edge/circle guide which is fantastic. I think they are running the same sale these days – check with Rockler.com or your local store.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pawolf's profile

pawolf

6 posts in 2691 days


#4 posted 08-21-2009 04:16 PM

I’m also looking at purchasing the Bosch being discussed here. I see Amazon has another package at the same price which includes the edge guide—Bosch 1617EVSPKBP 2.25-Horsepower Combination Plunge and Fixed Base Router with Bonus Pack. Is there any reason not to get this one versus the one Sam linked?

-- Paul, Minnesota

View neverenoughtools's profile

neverenoughtools

10 posts in 2679 days


#5 posted 08-21-2009 04:22 PM

I don’t think you would go wrong with either the Dewalt or Milwaukee. I have a Bosch router and in my previous workshop the motor housing corroded so much it became a real pain to adjust the depth. For that reason, I would never buy another Bosch router. Just my two cents. I have a Milwaukee 5625-20 in my router table. It was purchased 2 or so years ago and I’ve had no complaints. I’m about to buy another router, this time a Dewalt. It is solid and has all of the features I’m looking for. You should go with one with soft start and for most operations a 2 1/4 will be all that you’ll need.
Freud makes good quality router bits and that seems like a good deal at ebay. Whiteside is another quality router bit manufacturer. For a starter set, check out http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/. I purchased a set from them 9 years ago and still use those bits—they are not the best but you can’t beat the prices.
Hope this helps.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3112 days


#6 posted 08-21-2009 04:32 PM

Paul – the link you posted is the same router that Sam linked to – only comes with the edge guide -which is SUPER! (and free in this case) this is the same package that Rockler is selling these days for the same price, and Amazon you don’t pay tax, nor shipping! go for it – seriously.

as for the Dewalt 2.25hp router – it was my first router, and it was returned 2 days after purchasing it to the store. the height adjustment ring is made of plastic, and easily breaks off.

the milwaukee is a good performer

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2925 days


#7 posted 08-21-2009 04:42 PM

I will have to second the Bosch 1617 nomination. I have had it for about 2 yrs and it has been wonderful. The plunge base is easy to set up and the action is smooth. My only complaint are the Bosch bushings, cheap pressed metal. I would and did buy a universal base and PC bushings

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1440 posts in 2927 days


#8 posted 08-21-2009 05:18 PM

i would jump at that http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EVSPKBP-2-25-Horsepower-Combination-Plunge/dp/B000BGKIJ6 deal, it looks like one of the best you will find.

it’s useful to have the fixed base because you can put it in a router table and just keep it there.

View TungOilTim's profile

TungOilTim

83 posts in 2679 days


#9 posted 08-21-2009 05:21 PM

The Bosch has far exceeded my needs, personally. And I have to agree with PurpLev, the straight edge guide is really nicely put together.

-- Tim, Plant City FL

View pawolf's profile

pawolf

6 posts in 2691 days


#10 posted 08-21-2009 07:30 PM

PurpLev, I figured as much that the “Bonus Pack” was a good deal. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something obvious.

-- Paul, Minnesota

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

686 posts in 2736 days


#11 posted 08-21-2009 08:05 PM

Wow! Seems like everyone loves the Bosch. Don’t get me wrong, they do make good tools.

I own however, three Porter Cable routers. My favorite is the D-Handle. It is my most often used router. I’m very happy with all of them.

I’d be interested in hearing everyone’s opinions on the Porter Cables.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View johnnyp's profile

johnnyp

10 posts in 2678 days


#12 posted 08-21-2009 08:15 PM

Any comments on variable speed? When do you vari the speed?
The old one I used had 1 speed and seemed to cut nice.
1 3/4 HP vs. 2 1/4 HP or smaller or bigger?

-- JohnnyP - Lindstrom, Minnesota

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

432 posts in 2815 days


#13 posted 08-21-2009 08:18 PM

Io have all porter cables and have had them for prolly 10 years or more with no issues except one.. If the base or housing gets chips in between each other and mars or scratches the surfaces.. Then adjusting becomes kind of a pain.. I had this happen but solved the problem by filing out the bur that was causing the trouble..other than that..they are great.. I would love to try the other brands though..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3358 days


#14 posted 08-21-2009 08:20 PM

Being able to vary the speed comes in handy when you are working with woods that tend to burn like maple and cherry

-- Sam

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3112 days


#15 posted 08-21-2009 08:23 PM

variable speed also helps when using large panel bits that require slower rpm. I personally have yet to utilize the feature, but it’s nice to have when I need it.

I would go for the 2 1/4 as they are about the same size and weight but obviously pack more power. they seem to be the standard HP rating these days.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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