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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for the best router (I know, subjective) to insert into a router table. If it works well outside the table that is great and an added bonus but priority #1 is that the router be as ideal as possible for table insertion.

Please factor out price when you give your opinion. I am not really looking for the best deal or the best for the money...I just want to know what you guys would recommend as the best. I have the means to buy nice equipment and don't like to have to upgrade or replace. I would prefer to buy top quality from the start. In the end, cost effectiveness is a piece of the decision but I need to know what are the best routers to start.

I will be using this for a very wide range of projects so versatility is important.

So, if you could have any router you wanted for your router table, what would it be? Thanks!
 

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In a router table you want the best of each of these characteristics:
- Easy to precisely adjust height.
- Easy to remove/replace for changing bits. I'm loving the new cam locks many come with.
- A down fan (up in a table) to keep chips out of the motor.
- electronic variable speed in the router.
- Some have electronic feedback that maintains motor speed.
- Soft start.

I've only used 4 or 5 different routers in my 35 years of woodworking. I have a Dewalt 610 in my router table right now and love it, although it doesn't tic most of the items I listed above. Some of the newer ones have a micro-adjust accessory you can add that works through holes in the table top. Anything that makes adjusting bit height precise and easy outweighs luxury features like Soft Start.
 

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I have 8 routers, yes I know I have a problem, two of them are PC 7518's mounted in tables. 3.5 horse, 5 speed, soft start and big enough to run panel raising bits.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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+10 on the PC 7518. I have mine mounted in a Woodpecker prl
lift and it has more than enough power and all the other features
as listed above :thumbsup:
 

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Milwaukee 5619s (5625 motors can handle anything and above table adjusting, if you're into that sort of thing) and one PC890. (also, above table adjusting). And my Woodrat sports a DW625.
 

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For years, and maybe still today, the PC 7518 was/is considered the standard for a router table. I had one, and it is nice...plenty of power and you can use it without a lift, though it's not really that handy. I switched to a Milwaukee 5625 and like it better....it may someday replace the PC as that standard I mentioned. The Milwaukee has all the 7518's strengths, plus it has above the table adjustment so you don't have to buy a lift. In my case I had a Woodpecker's PRL on my PC, and that model also fits the Milwaukee (with an optional clamp). If you don't want such a large unit in your table, the smaller Milwaukee's (5615, 5616) have the same advantages of built in table adjustment.
 

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John
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I agree with most of the points 4D listed with a couple of caveats.

- Easy to precisely adjust height.

This is usually accomplished with the installation of a lift. Some, like the Milwaukee 5625, Freud 3000 and Triton TRA001 allow it to be done from above the table.

- Easy to remove/replace for changing bits. I'm loving the new cam locks many come with.

I would submit that rather than being easy to remove/replace for this purpose, it would be preferable to enable changing bits from above the table. Freud 3000 and Triton TRA001 allow this, not sure about the Milwaukee.

- A down fan (up in a table) to keep chips out of the motor.

Not sure about ALL routers but all 9 of mine, including a 30+ year old Craftsman do this

- electronic variable speed in the router.
- Some have electronic feedback that maintains motor speed.
- Soft start.

While I believe a variable speed is a must in a router table, I'm dubious of the value of the soft start. If you can find a fixed speed, normal start router, a remote speed controller can be added and then speed control can be had above the table. Right now, the only routers I know of that can be currently purchased in that configuration is the Hitachi M12SA2 and Makita RP1800.

The Porter Cable 75XX routers are workhorse motors and are well proven in table use given the addition of lifts as they are heavy and difficult to adjust without one. Hitachi M12V series (not M12VC) are also well proven in table use, generally picked over the Porter Cable on a price basis but still a good router. Triton TRA001 are relatively new routers designed for table use and have been generally received as strong and reliable. In the 3¼ HP range some others are the Bosch 1619, Makita 2301 and DeWalt 625. In some of the other forums I'm on the DeWalt 625 hasn't been all that well perceived for table use but I have no direct experience with it. One other negative on the ones I have listed is with the Hitachi M12 series, there are two "ears" for mounting template guide adapters that protrude from the base and need to be ground off to accept some of the extremely large bits available. Most cases not.
One other router worthy of consideration is the new Bosch MRC 23. Only rated at 2.3 HP it still sports a 15 amp motor. This one deserves mention a) due to the power and b) the MRC is a kit that comes with a table friendly base (adjustments above table) and a plunge base for hand held work.
Sorry for the long post but a lot of ground to cover. I didn't answer the "which is best" question either and didn't intend to as I didn't want to stir up a fan club. Just hope this helps:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like the PC you guys mentioned is a great, reliable router and the Milwaukee 5625 is just as good if not better. I might lean towards the Milwaukee out of those 2. Any downside to that?

Are there are any others from the non-consumer type brands that should be considered? Festool? Or something like Baileigh or Powermatic? I don't care as much about having the longevity of an industrial/commercial router because I will not be running it all day everyday. However, if there is improvement in quality or performance I'd definitely consider it.

Thanks again! Great discussion...I'm going to be starting more threads like this as I try to initially outfit my shop. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think I am going with Milwaukee. If anyone knows of something better from one of the more industrial/commercial companies speak up! Thanks for the help!
 

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I think I am going with Milwaukee. If anyone knows of something better from one of the more industrial/commercial companies speak up! Thanks for the help!
If you're going with the 5625 and will use the above table feature, make sure you don't mount the base with the adjusting hole under the fence. Big dummy in my mirror did that!
 

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John
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If you're going with the 5625 and will use the above table feature, make sure you don't mount the base with the adjusting hole under the fence. Big dummy in my mirror did that!
Cheer up, you're not alone. Did that with my first Freud 1700:laughing:
 

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I've had the Triton 3 1/4 hp router in my table now for 2 years and it's a beast. It's easy to adjust from the top and I was able to get it on sale for $199.00:thumbsup:
 

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I have the Triton TRA001 3 1/4hp router. I love it, but I had to replace the plastic gear for fine adjustment. Triton sent me a steel gear for free and it has worked flawlessly ever since. I believe the newer models do not have this problem.
 

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JG is correct. The newer Tritons have the steel gear. One of the things that I like about the company is that they seem to be continually improving their product.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do the Tritons rival (or at least as good as) the Milwaukee? I was planning on getting the Milwaukee. What are people's thoughts comparing those 2?

Are the "high end" routers (like Festool) better than those?

Thanks!
 

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Are you looking at the 5625-20? You probably can't go wrong with either it or the Triton. Is it worth another $50? Don't know. Have you had a look at the reviews on sites like Amazon?

Bill
 

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John
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Do the Tritons rival (or at least as good as) the Milwaukee? I was planning on getting the Milwaukee. What are people's thoughts comparing those 2?

Are the "high end" routers (like Festool) better than those?

Thanks!
Kind of like asking which is best; Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge.. They all have their fan clubs and will do the job. IMO, the Triton will have the better dust collection based on my experience with the JOF001. I believe the dust collection design is the same on the larger ones. The Tritons were designed from the ground up with table mounting and dust collection in mind, AFAIK, they are the only ones.
I can't comment on the Festool as they are so far over my budget I don't even look, no point in frustrating myself.:smile:
 
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