Jump to content

I need help deciding on a router


Jronman

Recommended Posts

I've been looking around at routers. I have explored various models from various companies.

 

I plan on doing 3/4" dado work and round overs with this router. If I build any work benches I may use a spiral bit for dog cutting. I may eventually install it into a router table with router lift.

 

I want a router that has good height adjustment, accepts both 1/4" and 1/2" collets, and works with the DeWALT track attachment. If there is a better track attachment I would be open to suggestion. I will be going with DeWALT rails for now. I plan to get the Flexvolt track saw when it becomes available in the states. 

 

I figured a plunge router would be good for these tasks. In my research I tended to gravitate towards the 3 hp models. There's a point in which you want to go a bit more than you need for the "just incase moments" but I'm not sure if I would need 3 hp model. Is it too much or would a smaller model be sufficient.  Each router I looked at have pros and cons. I would be open to suggestions. The more I think about it a 2ish hp model may be sufficient but I have done the most research on 3ish hp models. I may do some research on some 2ish hp models when I get the time

 

Heres what I found for 3ish hp models

 

The Milwaukee

Price: 309.00 usd

Pros: seemed like it had good height adjustment with above table adjustment, 36 position speed dial, most powerful, nice big handles

Cons: it is fixed base only, one review said the bit change can be tricky when mounted under a table, no led, no apparent dust collection

 

The DeWALT 

Price: 277.97 usd

Pros: Plunge base, Dust collection, includes 1/4" and 1/2" collets, lighter weight of the bunch, accepts the track adapter for sure

Cons: weak handles, no led

 

The Bosch

Price: 335.33 usd

Pros: Plunge base, Dust collection, includes 1/4" and 1/2" collets, precision centering design, turret adjustment is more than 3 positions

Cons: dust port is weak, no led, heavier one of the bunch

 

The Makita

Price: 299.99 usd

Pros: Plunge base, dual led, electric brake, chip deflector, 2-3/4" plunge capacity, fan designed to keep dust out of motor, includes 1/4" and 1/2" collets

Cons: heavier one of the bunch, no apparent dust collection

 

The Festool

Price: 920.00 usd

Pros: Rolls Royce of routers not much else to say

Cons: Heaviest of the bunch, Most expensive of the bunch, no 1/4" collect included, no power rating listed, no led

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest all routers will do whatever you want it to do. Some more than others. 

 

My opinion is Id skip the Festool and get one of the above mentioned and use the remainder to buy some good quality router bits. Cheap bits can make the best router lack.

I own and use the Makita RP2301FC and it does everything I need. Also forgot to mention the Makita can also be used on a track.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hp routers are a bear to use when not mounted in a table. We only use them free hand when cutting 3/4 plywood. 

I recently picked up a PC 890 with fixed and plunge base. It's 2 1/4 hp and a nice size to run when not in a table. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, StrippedScrew said:

To be honest all routers will do whatever you want it to do. Some more than others. 

 

My opinion is Id skip the Festool and get one of the above mentioned and use the remainder to buy some good quality router bits. Cheap bits can make the best router lack.

I own and use the Makita RP2301FC and it does everything I need. Also forgot to mention the Makita can also be used on a track.

I was actually considering the Makita if I were to go the 3hp route. how is dust collection and is it a bear to use like @SetBuilder mentioned? I'm leaning more towards a 2 hp model now except the 2 hp makita doesn't look as good but idk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Jronman said:

I was actually considering the Makita if I were to go the 3hp route. how is dust collection and is it a bear to use like @SetBuilder mentioned? I'm leaning more towards a 2 hp model now except the 2 hp makita doesn't look as good but idk.

 

It came with a dust sucking cover but that is long gone so for me dust is a bit of a prick :)

All 3hp can be a handful at times. But it really depends on what you want out of your router. What I mean do you want something to hog of material or something for more detailed work. A 2hp is no slouch either. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the festool you are looking at the big dog. That thing is an animal and more than I would want to use (as setbuilder said).  If you wanted Festool, I would like at the 1400 instead.

 

Are you set on the track?  I have a Festool and complete track setup and rarely use it.

 

And regarding Festool they make nice routers but I have to say I like the dewalts I have owned as well or better when it comes to  ergonomic, which is important on a router. What fits your hand will do the best work.

 

And finally, I would not want to be without plunge on at least one router.  Multiple routers is ideal :)

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, SetBuilder said:

I have a PC 690, 890 and 7539 and I'm happy with all of them. 

Now im just trying to decide on a trim router. 

 

What is your primary use for it?

 

I have a dewalt compact router which has never had anything but a round-over bit in it. Works great and my most used router.

 

No dust collection though which is OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 H.P. is overkill for what you are doing. My experience is with the Porter-Cable 690 and the 890 which can use the same bases as the 690. I am not going to encourage you to purchase one of them just because of that. You probably would be happiest with a router in the 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 HP range with variable speed settings and I would suggest is that you get a kit that comes with a fixed base and a plunge base. You want to run it with DeWALT track so it would be easiest to look at them although Porter-Cable was the standard for so long, most of the patterns for any router table plate list the PCs first. The one I would look at first would be the DW618PKB, you can pick one up at Lowe's for $199. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SetBuilder said:

I have a PC 690, 890 and 7539 and I'm happy with all of them. 

Now im just trying to decide on a trim router. 

 

If you actually look at the newer PC compact router and the DeWALT  you will see some serious similarities the only difference aside from the color is the DeWALT has an LED which the Porter-Cable doesn't, have a look: https://www.woodcraft.com/categories/routers?brand[]=Porter+Cable&brand[]=DeWalt&hp[]=1.25+HP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My next router will be the Dewalt DW618PK. 2-1/4 HP, ccepts 1/2" collet, soft start, fixed and plunge base, and I like the adjustment on it. Can be had for ~$150

 

The only way I'd want a 3+ HP monster is if I were dedicating it to a table. They are a bitch to freehand with. If I needed that kind of capacity on a regular basis I'd bite the bullet and get a shaper. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, rrmccabe said:

What is your primary use for it?

 

I have a dewalt compact router which has never had anything but a round-over bit in it. Works great and my most used router.

 

No dust collection though which is OK.

 

+1 I have the Makita compact router and I use my full size router ONLY when the compact won't work. I do wish I'd have bought the kit with the plunge base though. The plunge base by itself is almost as much as the router, so I just never pulled the trigger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Grumpy MSG said:

If you actually look at the newer PC compact router and the DeWALT  you will see some serious similarities the only difference aside from the color is the DeWALT has an LED which the Porter-Cable doesn't, have a look: https://www.woodcraft.com/categories/routers?brand[]=Porter+Cable&brand[]=DeWalt&hp[]=1.25+HP

 

At work we have 6 carpentry crews. Each crew has a Knaack box 129 for shop tools. Each crew gets 2 PC 690s either a 7539 or a 7518 and 2 trim routers either a PC 450 or PCE6435. The crew I'm on also has a Dewalt in the box. I agree, the dewalt is pretty much identical to the PC 450. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, rrmccabe said:

What is your primary use for it?

 

I have a dewalt compact router which has never had anything but a round-over bit in it. Works great and my most used router.

 

No dust collection though which is OK.

 

Small round overs, laminate / veneer work, morticing door hinges. I'm leaning towards the bosch colt or looking for a deal on eBay for for a PC7301. If the new bosch came out I would grab that.

I'm not really concerned about dust collection as my home shop is open air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn this place! This thread peaked my interest in a new router again and I went and ordered the 2-1/4 HP DW618PK:

 

http://www.cpopowertools.com/dewalt-dw618pk-2-1-4-hp-evs-fixed-base-and-plunge-router-combo-kit-with-hard-case/dewndw618pk,default,pd.html

 

2-1/4 is a nice size. It's got the power to do anything I need it to do, without the bulk of a 3+ beast.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, StrippedScrew said:

 

It came with a dust sucking cover but that is long gone so for me dust is a bit of a prick :)

All 3hp can be a handful at times. But it really depends on what you want out of your router. What I mean do you want something to hog of material or something for more detailed work. A 2hp is no slouch either. 

Accidentally went back a page in my browser and lost a message. Guess I'll try a second time haha.

 

Upon further research I have decided 3 hp is too much and not sure how much use I would get out of a multi base router so I have also ruled them out. I also ruled out trim routers and 1ish hp routers. I feel like a 2ish hp plunge router will be what I want to go with. The dewalt and milwaukee offerings look nice but I have found 2 better options.

 

I really like the Bosch and the Festool offerings. I am torn between which one to choose. Not sure which is the Smarter decision.

 

Bosch

https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/boschtools-ocs/plunge-routers-mrp23evs-34700-p/

 

I will include router, track router adapter, one ds300, and one 59 in rail

Pros: Led Light, more bit options (if I go with Bosch bits), more durable storage box, 

Cons: less accessory offerings, not much comes with the router because not a kit.

Price: $225.00 for router, $53.95 for tracksaw router adapter, $72.65 for one 59in rail, $50.74 for the ds300

Total Price: $402.34

 

Festool

https://www.festoolusa.com/products/routing/routers/574691---of-1010-eq-f-plus-usa#Overview

 

I will include the router set, one guide rail with holes, and one 1/2" collet

Pros: more accessory offerings, more adjustment, more versatile?, storage and rail adapter included with the kit, 3/8 collet and edge guide are an added bonus. rail works with flexvolt track saw.

Cons: higher price, no led (that I know of), possibly steeper learning curve?

Price: $450.00 router kit, $136.00 1400mm rail with holes, $46.00 1/2" collet

Total Price: $632.00

 

@ChrisK I have a few questions about the Festool 1010 router. Does it take awhile to learn how to use and adjust the router? Does it have a light? Does it come with Imperial measurements? Final question. Do you recommend this as a first router or should it be something I should get later down the road when I am more experienced?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for having many years experience with routers the only advice I can give you is a router is only as good as the bit you have in it. There are dozens of routers that will do just fine in the 1.5hp to 2 hp range with or without all the bells and whistles. The best router in the world is not going to be any better than an entry level router if you have a crappy bit in them. Just remember regardless of what router you pick it will or should be the cheapest part of a good router set up.

So many people spend most of their money on the router and then buy cheap router bits when they should be spending the money on good router bits. Out of all my routers my favorite is a 20 year old D handle Porter Cable, 1.75HP slap some good Whiteside bits in it and that router will keep up with the best out there....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 
@ChrisK I have a few questions about the Festool 1010 router. Does it take awhile to learn how to use and adjust the router? Does it have a light? Does it come with Imperial measurements? Final question. Do you recommend this as a first router or should it be something I should get later down the road when I am more experienced?
 
 
@Jronman as far as learning the OF1010...piece of cake. Super easy adjustability. No light. Yes, you can now order with metric or imperial measurements.
 
Do I recommend the OF1010? Well, yes I do. As a first router? No. The OF1010 is a compact router like the Bosch, Makita, Dewalt etc. It is a high end, super useful router with amazing adjustability but buying into the line is expensive. And at the end of the day, the OF1010 is still a compact router that will cost the same as a large router. 
 
I have five routers right now. I have the Makita RT0701CX7 compact router, the Bosch 1617EVSPK, the Festool OF1400, Festool OF1010 and the Festool MFK700 EQ. 
 
If if you want a general purpose router out of my category I would recommend the Festool OF1400 or the Bosch 1617 (more likely the Bosch MRP23EVS). My favorite router is by far the OF1400, it's an awesome kit that is part of the entire ecosystem. The dust collection is amazing, it works with the LR32 system as well as the holey rail and base. It's super soft start and super easy to adjust. My 1617 is in my compact router table and it is a fantastic router for that purposes. If I needed something bigger I would go with the PC (or just stay in my system, the OF2200). The only router I have with a light is the Makita. It's actually pretty cool but it's not that important to me. With all that dust and wood ripping around it would probably screw with me.
 
The thing with Festool is that they are part of a system. If you buy into the system and use the components, there is nothing like it. They make very high quality tools, but you pay for them.
 
Though I agree with @comp56  on the bits, I disagree with him on the tool when it comes to certain tools. Having all of the bells and whistles in a high end tool that will last for a long time and can have unparalleled dust collection and accuracy is sometimes worth it. But spending $500 on a router, $600 on a Dust collector, $125 on a rail etc. adds up. The reason you end up buying those other components is because those components work with several other tools.
 
In my opinion, If you buy a router, make sure it fits all of your needs, then go above that. I believe in buying once and spending the cash. I haven't had to get a big monster 3.25 hp router yet but my 1617 has the required torque and speed to do all of the cabinetry I've needed and it was relativity inexpensive for a great quality tool. I would have gotten one but spending over $800 on a OF2200 or $400 on the big PC hasn't appealed to me. I would stick with a quality tool from one of the manufacturers listed or Triton etc. and like @comp56 said, buy quality bits. I'm a big fan of Whiteside!
 
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an easy one for me.  Bosch actually has two (2+ HP) plunge router kits....the 1617EVSPK and the MRC23EVSK.  I have both of them.

 

Out of these, I would definitely buy the 1617 again and again.  It has been around for a very long time (tried and true) and does everything extremely well.  I would not buy the MRC23 again for two reasons.  You can not mount it in a router lift because of the power switch being on the base handle.  Also, if something goes wrong with the contacts from the router base unit and the router itself, you are SOL.

 

Porter Cable used to be very good at making routers, but that was before Black N Decker bought them out.  They tend to have quality issues now and would stay away from them.

 

Don't know much about DeWalt routers.  The palm router is excellent, but I know nothing of the full sized unit.  If that is the only one that works with the track, I would go that route, otherwise I would still go with the Bosch.

 

Festool......Not unless I was a pro making money at it or I just wanted the best.  I have not used one though.  I do have the $100 sander that came out this year, but I'm not impressed with it.  

 

3+ HP units...... Not needed unless you plan on running shaper bits with it.  The 2+HP units handle everything I throw at it with ease.  As a matter of fact, the palm routers I have handle nearly everything I throw at it.

 

I completely agree with the people above, buy quality bits.  I also love Whiteside...as good as Freud but cheaper and made in the USA.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think going with the Bosch is a smarter move. May try a few cmt bits as well maybe I can look at the whiteside as well. I am unfamiliar with whiteside. I heard cmt are good quality bits and they are convenient to buy because they are sold at my local Menards. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Member Statistics

    18,225
    Total Members
    6,555
    Most Online
    Pauly
    Newest Member
    Pauly
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...