Router Suggestion - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Router Suggestion

Hi,

I've got a little Harbor Freight 1/2 HP trim router, it kinda sucks. Been looking at the Dewalt 611 or 618 either by itself or with multiple bases. I won't use it a lot, I can see mounting it in a router table or using it by hand. The 611 has more of a trim router base, whereas the 618 has the traditional router with handles base. And how useful would the plunge base be? Just not sure which options I need.

Any thoughts for a novice?
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 10:01 AM
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I just posted a thread on the DW-611 yesterday.
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...router-222669/
of course you don't have to cut it up like I did, but it may serve
as inspiration of what kind of bases you can make yourself with some plexi.
I re-taped the screws from the Metric 4mm to the 8-32 SAE thread.
(just because all my other routers take the 8-32 countersunk screws)
making different router bases is limited only to your imagination and projects at hand.

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there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 10:07 AM
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The 611 trim router is not for a table mount!

The 611 is a great hand held trim router for making profiles on edges or narrow dados, not really for use in a table, like the 618 model. I have a 611 and it's my favorite router for small operations. I got the two base kit and you really need both types of bases on any router in my opinion.

There seems to be plenty of 618 owners who like that model as well. In the router world, typically bigger is better until you need the trim size version. The 618 will work OK in the table using the fixed base mount. Plunge routers aren't meant for table use because they have springs that push the motor and bit flush with the base. This makes adjusting the bit height above the table a "hit or miss" process, because you end up fighting the spring pressure all the time. JMO.

Plunge base routers are used for dados or grooves that start and stop within or inside the perimeter of the surface of a workpiece. It's a much safer way to enter the spinning bit into the work without losing control. Fixed bases are better for edge profiling where you can preset the bit depth before starting your cut.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #4 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The 611 is a great hand held trim router for making profiles on edges or narrow dados, not really for use in a table, like the 618 model. I have a 611 and it's my favorite router for small operations. I got the two base kit and you really need both types of bases on any router in my opinion.

There seems to be plenty of 618 owners who like that model as well. In the router world, typically bigger is better until you need the trim size version. The 618 will work OK in the table using the fixed base mount. Plunge routers aren't meant for table use because they have springs that push the motor and bit flush with the base. This makes adjusting the bit height above the table a "hit or miss" process, because you end up fighting the spring pressure all the time. JMO.

Plunge base routers are used for dados or grooves that start and stop within or inside the perimeter of the surface of a workpiece. It's a much safer way to enter the spinning bit into the work without losing control. Fixed bases are better for edge profiling where you can preset the bit depth before starting your cut.
Good thoughts. Sounds like I don't need the plunge (yet), and that the 618 might be better for me initially.
Thanks!
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpschultz13 View Post
Good thoughts. Sounds like I don't need the plunge (yet), and that the 618 might be better for me initially.
Thanks!
I think you'll be happy with the Dewalt 618. I have one mounted permanently in my router table and another one with multiple bases that I use for larger hand held work. The 618 has a lot of power for the money. I have no complaints about it.

I have a small inexpensive Ryobi P601 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Trim Router that I use for all my small trim work.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 11:54 AM
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I can share my recent experience. I have a very old router that I wanted to replace. The things I did not like about the old router were:

* Despite its size, it could use only 1/4 inch shank bits. There was no way to fix that.
* It was underpowered for its size.
* It was large and top heavy, which made it difficult to control.

About a year ago, I turned to expert friends to help me choose what I needed. On their recommendations, I bought a compact router kit and a mid-size router kit. "Kits" come with both plunge and fixed bases. You move the motor between the two bases. Here are the models I bought:

* Makita RT0701CX7
* Porter-Cable 895PK

I have used both routers and both bases a lot since then. Overall, I am pleased with what I have, but I did learn a few lessons along the way.

Compact routers take only 1/4 inch shank router bits, which is understandable, considering their size and power. It is why I wanted a mid-size router set, too.

Since you plan to use the router in a router table, you may want to consider mid-size routers that have a built-in lift feature, where you can insert a crank handle through a hole in the router table to adjust bit height from above. I learned a few lessons about that.

You effectively give up the fixed base to the router table. If you want to do handheld edge trimming with your mid-size router, then you can:
* Install and remove the fixed base to and from the router table as needed. Trust me, that gets old very quick.
* Buy a true router lift and keep the fixed base for edge trimming.
* Use the router table instead of handheld edge trimming. That may not be practical if the piece is very large, like a shelf I was working on.
* Use the plunge base for edge trimming. I tried that, but did not like it, and I missed the fine-tune adjustment knob that is built-in to the fixed base.
* Get another fixed base. Porter-Cable was not selling it separately any longer for my router.
* Use a different router (like the compact router) to do the edge trimming, if you have one and the bit will fit in it.
* Get a second mid-size router with a fixed base. That's what I did. I bought a matching mid-size router with the same fixed base (no plunge base). Now I have a spare motor and two fixed bases - one for the router table and one for edge trimming and other uses. Yes, I considered buying a lift instead, but this seems like a better fit for my needs.

The fixed base on the Porter-Cable router is calibrated in standard units only. I would have liked dual standard/metric indicators.

The lift feature on the Porter-Cable mid-size fixed base also supports a second hole to lock and unlock the height adjustment. Other mid-size routers support only one hole for height adjustment, which means that you must reach under the table to lock and unlock it when you make height changes.

Rockler makes offset router collet wrenches for Porter-Cable, Bosch, and DeWalt mid-size routers. They make it so convenient to change router bits from above the router table. I have had them for a while (paid full price!) and highly recommend them. They are exclusive to Rockler
-> Note: They are on sale right now (through 1 October 2020) for 25% off.

Not all accessories mentioned in the user manuals are available to buy:
* The dust collection handle for the Porter-Cable mid-size router fixed base is no longer available.
* The supplied edge guide that comes with the Makita compact router fits only the fixed base. The adapter to use it with the plunge base is not supplied and not available for purchase. That makes little sense to me. (Note: You can buy a different straight guide accessory to use with the plunge base, but then what is the real purpose of the supplied edge guide?)

The Bosch mid-size routers require a special adapter for guide bushings. You can use Bosch-made guide bushings with it. If you want to use the common 1-1/4 inch guide bushings that you see everywhere, then you need a second Bosch adapter to adapt them to fit in the first Bosch adapter. Yeah, really. That's okay - they don't cost much and the quick release is convenient.

The Makita compact router is very nice, but if you remove the plastic base, watch out for the sharp edges on the metal base frame. Other router base frames may or may not have similar issues. It is how they are made.

I hope this helps.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Good info. So if I was looking for a 2+ HP fixed router, are there good cheaper options than the Dewalt 618? Good places to buy them? Seems like everything is either out of stock or really expensive. No deals that I can find.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-11-2020, 01:20 PM
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there are other options besides the Box Stores:
CraigsList, E-Bay, Pawn Shops - their inventory changes daily.

.

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-15-2020, 08:47 AM
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Check out the DeWalt 618 kit. I have the 3 base kit (fixed, plunge, and D handle). Buying a kit will be cheaper than buying the individual bases if/when you need them.
The DeWalt 611 gets excellent reviews. The only negative I have seen is that gripping the body may be a little difficult if you have small hands.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-20-2020, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I like the DeWalt 618 kit, probably the fixed and plunge. But I canít find it for under $200, new or used. Any other 2+ hp options? If I could find a decent fixed router for $100, Iíd probably do that. $150 is possible...


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post #11 of 11 Old 09-22-2020, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpschultz13 View Post
Yeah I like the DeWalt 618 kit, probably the fixed and plunge. But I canít find it for under $200, new or used. Any other 2+ hp options? If I could find a decent fixed router for $100, Iíd probably do that. $150 is possible...


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I found a 618pk (with fixed and plunge bases) on local CL for $150, also came with a nice Ryobi bit set. looking forward to using it


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