Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sheesh routers have a lot more options than table saws! I know I want a fixed base model that can handle 1/2 inch bits and be hooked up to a router table eventually....what else should I be looking for? The HP options is the part where I could use some guidance.

Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
310 Posts
First, what is the budget and what will be the main use, I ask this because you gets lots of advice, all willing but unless you specify not necessary useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
If you aren't planning on doing a lot of raised panel profiles (read, massive bits), a 2-1/4 HP router with two bases such as the Bosch 1617 or the Porter Cable 690 are good bets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
I have the dewalt set that includes both fixed and plunge bases. It's the best of both worlds. I like having both options on my handheld. I have another router dedicated to my table.
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
28,556 Posts
easy as 1, 2, 3

I, 2, or 3, are the HP ratings.

1 HP: Trim routers are smaller in diameter and usually come with a fixed base, but the newer ones like Dewalt have both a plunge and fixed base.

2 HP: or up and down within 1/4HP, like the Porter cable 690 at 1 3/4 or the PC 895 at 2 1/4 HP, or Bosch, Freud, Makita, Craftsman, almost any brands with both fixed and plunge base IF you get the "kit"

3HP: Like the Porter Cable 7518 with a fixed base only and great for table mounting, Milwaukee 5620, Triition, Makita 3612, etc.

You really want to have one of each because they do different and specific tasks better, however you can start out in the 2 HP class and be OK.

Trim routers with 1 HP, are for small jobs, with 1/4" bits like laminate or edge trimming. The 3HP "big boys" are for spinning larger 2" and up with 1/2" bits for profiling panels and edges. And the 2 HP can do some of each. I know a fellow woodworker who has had a table mounted PC 690 for years and spins 3" panel bits successfully.
A "D" handle makes for easier one handed control, but generally you want both hands on the machine and the work securely clamped down or heavy enough so it won't move around.

Amazon has a pretty good selection:
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...ools&hvadid=3482153942&ref=pd_sl_6c149l7ei7_p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,445 Posts
'Tis the season for deals! Variable speed is a must for use in a router table so you can slow down the RPM of the larger bits. You didn't mention a budget. Generally more power is beneficial, but costs more...if you ever plan to do raised panels with a large bit, 13 - 15 amps will have an easier time with it than 9 amps, though even 9 amps can get the job done. Larger motors tend to last longer due to experiencing less overload.

I also like having topside features for router table use.

On a budget, the newer Craftsman models get good reviews for value. The Hitachi routers also usually represent good value. Milwaukee, Bosch, PC, DW, Freud, Triton, and Makita all have excellent reputations. Shop around a find a deal that suit your needs, then get some good bits.

Beware that router bits spin in excess of 22K rpms, and can shed carbide....don't buy the cheapest bits you can find. My favorite value bits are MLCS, Woodline, Woodriver, and Grizzly. My best bits are Whiteside, Eagle America, Infinity, and Freud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
First, what is the budget and what will be the main use, I ask this because you gets lots of advice, all willing but unless you specify not necessary useful.
Good point Tony, for now main uses would be dado cutting and edge trimming on table/cabinet projects. As I am still new I am sure there is a ton of stuff I would use it for down the line but I don't know yet. :blink:

I was hoping to stay in the $100 range but after reading some of the comments in this tread I might have to up it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I, 2, or 3, are the HP ratings.

1 HP: Trim routers are smaller in diameter and usually come with a fixed base, but the newer ones like Dewalt have both a plunge and fixed base.

2 HP: or up and down within 1/4HP, like the Porter cable 690 at 1 3/4 or the PC 895 at 2 1/4 HP, or Bosch, Freud, Makita, Craftsman, almost any brands with both fixed and plunge base IF you get the "kit"

3HP: Like the Porter Cable 7518 with a fixed base only and great for table mounting, Milwaukee 5620, Triition, Makita 3612, etc.

You really want to have one of each because they do different and specific tasks better, however you can start out in the 2 HP class and be OK.

Trim routers with 1 HP, are for small jobs, with 1/4" bits like laminate or edge trimming. The 3HP "big boys" are for spinning larger 2" and up with 1/2" bits for profiling panels and edges. And the 2 HP can do some of each. I know a fellow woodworker who has had a table mounted PC 690 for years and spins 3" panel bits successfully.
A "D" handle makes for easier one handed control, but generally you want both hands on the machine and the work securely clamped down or heavy enough so it won't move around.

Amazon has a pretty good selection:
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...ools&hvadid=3482153942&ref=pd_sl_6c149l7ei7_p
VERY HELPFUL...thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
@ Ryan50hrl and Knotscott...I just checked Sears Black Friday ad unfortunately the Craftsman combo kit is not on sale but there is no rush so with the advice I got from everyone I will pinpoint a few options then keep an eye out for sales.

Thanks everyone!
 

·
John
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
@ Ryan50hrl and Knotscott...I just checked Sears Black Friday ad unfortunately the Craftsman combo kit is not on sale but there is no rush so with the advice I got from everyone I will pinpoint a few options then keep an eye out for sales.

Thanks everyone!
Well, it has a little brother that sells regular price for right at $100. That's one I have and it has plenty of power for what you are describing.
http://www.sears.com/craftsman-12-a...p-00927683000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1
 

·
Sawdust Creator
Joined
·
8,046 Posts
That's a good point...if the 27680 breaks the budget at 129, the 2hp version is a good choice as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
I have the Triton MOF001C and it's a great router. The thing I like best about it is when I use it in my table I don't need a lift. The router has a built in setup that works just like a lift. Saved me the cost of a lift and a great router included, can't beat it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
310 Posts
I recently bought thr Skil combo kit for $106.00 and for the price am very happy with it , mind I am a DIY and don't use it continually or do heavy work such as raised panels.
 

·
John
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
I have the Triton MOF001C and it's a great router. The thing I like best about it is when I use it in my table I don't need a lift. The router has a built in setup that works just like a lift. Saved me the cost of a lift and a great router included, can't beat it.
At $200 + the triton is over double the budget. Worth noting though, is the Triton was designed for table mounting and, as such, has arguably the best dust collection system. The entire cutting area is enveloped in a plastic shroud that incorporates a vacuum port. :yes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the advice. I ended up ordering the "little brother" that John (jschaben) called out. With coupons I was about to get it for only $80 which I think is a great deal for a 2 HP, combo router that takes 1/2 inch bits shanks that's for a newbie just getting into wood working. :)
 

·
No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
I have that router (the little brother), and I absolutely hate it. I dont have the plunge base, just the fixed base. The adjustment mechanism is trash. Its very finicky and hard to fine tune. Its a nightmare to try and make adjustments when its mounted to a table. Not near as bad when its off the table but still no fun. When I get my table saw workcenter complete, I'm probably going to upgrade to the Triton. Seems like the best one available for mounting to a table without a lift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
UGH! Did you hate it from day one or was it one of those things as you got more proficient with the router its short comings were obvious?
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top