Shopping for a Second Router? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Shopping for a Second Router?

I own a Porter Cable 890 fixed-base 2 1/4 HP variable speed router & am looking to buy a second router. I've been researching multibase router kits & Wood Magazine rated 12 of them in last July's issue, with the Bosch 1617EVSPK coming out on top. I need a plunge base & would also like to allocate one router for my table & use the other for freehand work. My question is this... Since the specs on the Bosch are almost identical to my PC, am I buying a machine I already have, or should I just buy the plunge base for my PC & get a second router with more HP for my table? Or, attach my PC to the table and get a new plunge router?
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:49 PM
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I have 4 routers, the PC 890 kit, Bosch 1617 evs kit, Milwaukee 1516 and the PC 7518 3.25hp. The 3.25 hp Porter Cable was a birthday present from my wife (after dropping suggestions) and is mounted permanently in my router table. Previously I had the PC 890 in my table and it was adequate, but the 7518 really is a noticable improvement. The 890 and the Bosch 1617 are now dedicated to being used with my dovetail jig, one for pins and one for tails with the Milwaukee used handheld. I like the milwaukee for handheld because of the strap for one-handed gripping

Who Dat...Every step of any project should be considered your masterpiece if you want the finished product to reflect the quality of your work. Have a nice day, unless you have other plans! "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Greg, I'm thinking about the PC 7518 for the table -- I rout a lot of hardwood on the table & there are times when I feel I need more HP. I can always get a plunge base for my PC 890. Curiously, why do you use different routers for your pins & tails?
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-12-2009, 11:59 PM
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I like my Milwaukee, but it can't compare with the porter cable D-handle's
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 08:40 AM
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I picked up the 7518 and a mast-r-lift last year and rebuilt the top of my router table. The two together make the router table work like a dream.

Spilling wine on oak does not make it purpleheart!
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windstorm View Post
Greg, I'm thinking about the PC 7518 for the table -- I rout a lot of hardwood on the table & there are times when I feel I need more HP. I can always get a plunge base for my PC 890. Curiously, why do you use different routers for your pins & tails?
I had the extra router and decided to have one dedicated for tails and one for pins when routing through dovetails. I know it is easy to change bits instead of doing it this way but I had the router and it beats letting it just sit on the shelf.

Who Dat...Every step of any project should be considered your masterpiece if you want the finished product to reflect the quality of your work. Have a nice day, unless you have other plans! "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
Greg Little
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 11:47 AM
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Y'all are gonna laugh at me but these routers have been getting outrageously good reviews ('specially for the $). I'm getting one next week for a second router. I just can't figure out which one.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...8190000P?mv=rr

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...e+router+combo
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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After doing some more research & taking members' advice, I decided that a dedicated router with more HP for my table is the best way to go. I've also been looking for a router lift for my Bench Dog and found a pretty good package deal at Rockler...

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...filter=prolift

Priced individually, the PC 7518 router sells for around $349 & the Bench Dog Prolift 40-016 for around $329. Rockler's internet sale price for both is $599. BTW, if you're in the market for a router lift & are looking at the Bench Dog Prolift, the newer 40-150 model comes with plastic inserts instead of steel. I don't know why Bench Dog downgraded their product, but I called Rockler to make sure the Prolift I'm getting is the 40-016 with the steel inserts. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-13-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Clarionflyer, here's what Wood Magazine had to say about the Craftsman router they tested last July with 11 other multibase router kits...

"Although it didn't make our final four list -- it's somewhat difficult to change bits and set bit heights -- we found the Craftsman 17543 provides decent performance for a low price. It gets our Top Value Award. For $120, you get a router with good power that slides into and out of its bases easily and includes clear subbases, an LED light, an edge guide, and dust-collection attachments. The subbase openings are molded for guide bushings, so you'll need to spend $20 more to get subbases for larger bits."

You may not be looking for a kit, but Craftsman has been improving it's power tools. My first router was a Craftsman (10 years ago) that was pretty flimsy, but they've come a long way since then. Personally, I'd go with the Craftsman Combination router just to get the plunge option, or try the Craftsman 17543 kit with multibases at $120.

Last edited by windstorm; 03-13-2009 at 12:11 PM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for the info Windstorm,
I have a buddy who loves the lower power version router (combo) from Sears. He claims it's now his #1 router (over Bosch). I guess we'll see. Soft start and electronic speed control are his reasons (sounds like more things to go wrong to me).
For the price, I can't ignore friends or the reviews I'm reading, so I'm going all out for $220 combo (chuckle). I'm laughing because everyone says to avoid Sears, but after pricing, quality, reviews, and location (15 min)... most of my stuff says Craftsman anyways (I don't plan it... I swear).
I'll certainly make a tool review here. Hope the story ends well.
Thanks again.
Dave
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 10:47 AM
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Even though I swore off craftsman power tools years ago...

I couldnt resist the three base piece combo awhile back for
a final price of $89.00. Yup that's right, It was a special buy
at $99.00, my wife had a $10.00 coupon.

I have used the fixed base a few times and was quite surprised
by the performance and rock solid feel of the router.

It is smooth running, cool, and has a great work light.

Dave
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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I think Craftsman is doing a smart thing by appealing to the pro-sumer buyer who wants quality, but doesn't want to pay an arm & a leg for power tools. By contrast, companies like Festool know their buyers are primarily professionals that use their tools to make a living (and they snag a few enthusiasts along the way). But you need a bank account if you're buying Festool. What they're all trying to build is brand loyalty. My choice for a table router, for example, was the PC 7518 because I already own a PC 890 that I'm happy with.

The irony is that Sears has been around longer than almost every company that makes electric routers (in fact I'm not sure they didn't make the first one that was sold to the general public) and the Craftsman name has been reliable for decades. There's no apology necessary for buying a router that beat every other machine in its class in recent tests and in the end, you can be sure that Sears will stand behind its product.

Last edited by windstorm; 03-15-2009 at 11:12 AM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 11:08 AM
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The Bosch is a good router, but I do think you'd be mostly duplicating the capacities of your 892. I'd buy a the plunge base for the PC, and look to get a big gun for your RT....lots of great choices, some reasonably priced. MW5625, PC7518, Hitachi M12V2, Freud FT3000 to name a few.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, knottscott. Your advice reflects the exact decision I came to & that's to get a plunge base for my PC890. I ordered the PC7518 for my table, via an internet special at Rockler that includes the Bench Dog Prolift for a total cost of $599, about a $70 discount had I purchased them individually. I rec'd an email this morning from Rockler that my order has been shipped & am anxious to see how the additional HP of the PC7518 affects my table work.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-15-2009, 10:27 PM
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I had the craftsman duel base 2 1/4 hp router, I couldn't get the base plate center with the blade. I took it back and p graded to the Professional one with the 3 bases. Had the base plate issue with that also. And turning the plate didn't help any. I then got the porter cable duel base 893pk. No base plate issue. Other then the base plate I really liked the Craftsman. Didn't care for the soft case, but it isn't a bad router. Just needed it to be centered with guide bushings .

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post #16 of 17 Old 03-16-2009, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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My new PC 7518 router and Bench Dog Prolift 40-016 arrived today & I installed them in my router table right away. Wow, what a difference to have a dedicated 3 1/4 HP router for the table & the Prolift is built like a tank. No more reaching under the table & guessing the bit height & the solid steel plate & steel insert rings are perfect (I still don't know why Bench Dog downgraded to plastic rings in their newer 40-150 model). Now I can change bits above the router table. Yay! Most importantly, the router cuts hard wood like butter and the variable speed bar beats the heck out of the little dial (which you can never locate blindly) on the PC 890, which is now a hand-held router for cutting box joints. I'm so happy.
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Last edited by windstorm; 03-16-2009 at 10:27 PM.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-17-2009, 01:23 AM
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I have cut maple raised panels, wut backcut, with that router. Good choice.
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