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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a good router to do strictly table duty. It can be a combo kit if that's what it happens to be, or just a fixed base only.

I want it to have 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets so I'm not limited to one or the other. I also need one to run on 120 volts since I do not have 240 available. It also needs to be adjustable easily when in the table, but not necessarily from above. I'm figuring I'll have to get in below the table to release the clamp on it anyway so why not adjust it from there too? I'd also like to spend no more than $150 for it if possible, either at retail (Craftsman), or a higher priced one on sale maybe (Bosch, Porter Cable).

The catch is, I need one that can occasionally spin a panel raising bit. I likely won't use it for this very often, but when I need to it's going to have to do it. Being a 120 volt, this might not be possible, so I'm asking here if anyone knows of a model that fits these criteria. Thanks in advance.
 

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John
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I'm looking for a good router to do strictly table duty. It can be a combo kit if that's what it happens to be, or just a fixed base only.

I want it to have 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets so I'm not limited to one or the other. I also need one to run on 120 volts since I do not have 240 available. It also needs to be adjustable easily when in the table, but not necessarily from above. I'm figuring I'll have to get in below the table to release the clamp on it anyway so why not adjust it from there too? I'd also like to spend no more than $150 for it if possible, either at retail (Craftsman), or a higher priced one on sale maybe (Bosch, Porter Cable).

The catch is, I need one that can occasionally spin a panel raising bit. I likely won't use it for this very often, but when I need to it's going to have to do it. Being a 120 volt, this might not be possible, so I'm asking here if anyone knows of a model that fits these criteria. Thanks in advance.
Hi Duane - sounds like you are pretty much open to anything. Both collets and variable speed (because of the large bits) are about the only constraints I read in there. Most any 2 HP and up router will spin the large bits, just need to make an extra pass or two depending on the wood. Either fixed or plunge bases can be table mounted. Some plunge bases are more of a hassle to adjust depth than others but I also don't like fixed bases where the motor needs to be turned.
Might check out Craigs List and some local pawn shops or auctions. For new, check out the Craftsman 12 and 14 amp models.
Good Luck:smile:
 

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This is the one I am planning to put into my table when I get my new work center built. Its meets all the criteria you have listed but your price.

Triton TRA001/TRC001 3-1/4-Horsepower Precision Router - Amazon.com

It has the best ratings for table use without a lift than any router I have researched. There may be some with really good ratings that are in your budget, I just dont have any that come to mind right now. Be sure you read every review you can find on any given router you select. My current router is a Craftsman, cant remember the model off hand, but I absolutely hate it for table use. Its not so bad as a hand held unit but adjusting it under a table is such a nightmare that I rarely do projects that require the use of a router. When I get the Triton, the Craftsman will become a permanant hand held unit.
 

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John
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One more thing Duane - don't worry about 220V, I doubt you will find a consumer grade router in the US that requires 220, those are all European. I agree that the Triton TRA001 is a great table router but it is about twice the budget you quoted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the one I am planning to put into my table when I get my new work center built. Its meets all the criteria you have listed but your price.

Triton TRA001/TRC001 3-1/4-Horsepower Precision Router - Amazon.com

It has the best ratings for table use without a lift than any router I have researched. There may be some with really good ratings that are in your budget, I just dont have any that come to mind right now. Be sure you read every review you can find on any given router you select. My current router is a Craftsman, cant remember the model off hand, but I absolutely hate it for table use. Its not so bad as a hand held unit but adjusting it under a table is such a nightmare that I rarely do projects that require the use of a router. When I get the Triton, the Craftsman will become a permanant hand held unit.
I also have a Craftsman router that is a real pain to adjust. It's a 2 HP, 11 amp model from about 3 years ago. Model 17543. The adjustment is just a poor design. I've recently read that they were changed on the newer models so I'll have to look into them again. Other than that I guess the one I have would do the job.

This might strike you all as odd, but I've actually never looked at a Porter Cable or Bosch or a DeWalt router up close to see if they're made better or not. I decided to get into woodworking about 3 years ago and bought this Craftsman router starting out. Since then I've been given three other older Craftsman routers also, and bought a Task Force from Lowe's that was for sale cheap just for its table. I haven't had a need for anything else until now. That's why I've never checked any others out.
 

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I'd opt for the craftsman 27680 pro model. It's a 2.5 hp 14 amp motor, has above and below the table adjustments, and is a really well built top notch router. I'm picking up another for permanent table duty soon. I've got a few other routers and it's by far my favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd opt for the craftsman 27680 pro model. It's a 2.5 hp 14 amp motor, has above and below the table adjustments, and is a really well built top notch router. I'm picking up another for permanent table duty soon. I've got a few other routers and it's by far my favorite.
That's the one I'm leaning towards for a balance of cost vs. power vs. features.
 

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Bass is right on the triton is the way to go if your going to use panel bits you will need the power a $150 router will have a very hard time with that function
 

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I recently switched my router for my table out to a Bosch variable speed. It was a pain not having that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmm...one person says most any 2 HP router will spin large bits and maybe I'll need to make an extra pass or two but that's it, while another person says a $150 router will have a very hard time. There are several 2 HP routers available in the $150 range. I have no experience with raised panel bits. Can you see my problem with all this conflicting info?
 

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It's all perspective. I'm happy saving the extra money and slowing down or taking an extra pass....to others, it's a one pass full speed pass or nothing.

If my budget was unlimited....it would be a 3.25hp router no doubt. But the craftsman at 2.5 strikes a balance of power and value quite nice in my opinion.
 

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Aw crap...that's the same argument my wife used to keep me from getting a 3/4 ton pickup.
 

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Duane I haven't looked at prices in a while most $150 routers are 1 or 1.5 hp that's what I was referring to. Tritons the best I haven't bought one myself either but I sure want to
 

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I have the big Triton, four 7518s, and a couple of 690s we use in tables. For some jobs we might set up 5 or 6.

The Triton is cool the way it raises up above the table to change a bit, but it's nowhere near as smooth running or cutting as a 7518. It's also not that easy to make fine adjustments with it.

The Porter-Cable 7518 is double your budget, but if you plan to do anything other than edge corner profiling, it can't be beat.
 

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John
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I have the Freud 3000 (3.5 HP) in my big table and a Freud 1700 (2.25 HP) in my portable table. I've raised mdf panels on both in one pass. Wood panels take two on the large table and 3 on the small one. Again, depends a lot on the material and profile. Making faux louver panels in mdf took 3 passes on the large table. No hard and fast rules on how many passes to do a given job.... to many variables. Bottom line is you can raise panels with nearly any router, I know of one guy that did some with a Colt, just because someone told him it couldn't be done. That's kind of an example of "just because you CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean you WANT to":smile:

EDIT - Oh yeah, if you are concerned about power, you can always go to vertical panel bits. Smaller diameter so less to swing but the tradeoff is material handling, panels need to be run on edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I already bought a panel raising bit set from Harbor Freight over a year ago but I have never tried it. It's a horizontal set. I got it thinking I'd just use the rail and style bits and use lauan for the panels but since then I've read where some have used routers like mine to raise panels so that gave me hope. I'd like to try it, but first I need to build a table to hold the router and have a large hole for the bit to go in.
 

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John
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Well I already bought a panel raising bit set from Harbor Freight over a year ago but I have never tried it. It's a horizontal set. I got it thinking I'd just use the rail and style bits and use lauan for the panels but since then I've read where some have used routers like mine to raise panels so that gave me hope. I'd like to try it, but first I need to build a table to hold the router and have a large hole for the bit to go in.
Not the 5.5mm stuff?? To thin for a raised panel, make good flat panels though. If it's a paint project, MDF will work fine, either 1/2 or 3/4" thick, for raised panel work.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I didn't mean panel raising the lauan. I was saying I'd use the rail and style bits only, and then use lauan as a flat panel to make doors and get around having to use the panel raise bit. But the kit came with all three bits and I've been told my 2 HP router will work with it so now I'm wanting to try it.
 

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John
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I didn't mean panel raising the lauan. I was saying I'd use the rail and style bits only, and then use lauan as a flat panel to make doors and get around having to use the panel raise bit. But the kit came with all three bits and I've been told my 2 HP router will work with it so now I'm wanting to try it.
Hi Duane - OK, your 2 HP will have no issues with the R&S bits, it's usually the big panel raiser that creates concerns. :smile:
 
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