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Need a compact Router


Brian M. II

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Hi everyone,

I was hoping I could get your help. I am looking for a good compact router. The 4 that caught my eye are as follows, DeWalt DWP611, Bosch PR20EVSK, Makita RT0701C, and the Ridgid R24012. I don’t know much about routers and have only used one occasionally. The one I used was large and my dad’s; I can use it when I need a larger one, so I would rather get a compact one for myself. I like making my own stuff, and a router is a tool I am looking to get soon to help finish up some projects I have. I won’t be using it all the time but I want one that will last and be versatile. The things I noticed are the DeWalt and Ridgid have a nice clear base with LEDs for visibility. The DeWalt has a plunge depth of 1.5”, the Bosch is around 1”, the Makita is 1.375”, and I couldn’t find the Ridgid maximum plunge depth. The DeWalt has a speed of 16,000-27,000 rpm, the Bosch is 16,000-35,000 rpm, the Makita is 10,000-30,000 rpm, and the Ridgid is 20,000-30,000 rpm.

 

Since I don’t know much about routers, and you don’t know what you don’t know, I am looking for help from the TIA community. What is everyone’s opinion and more importantly why? What else should I compare before buying? Thank you.

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Thank you both for your quick responses. I thought one or both of you would be the first to respond. I would like to stay below 150$ and trying to stick with HD unless I can save a lot somewhere else, gift cards and store credit card. I didn’t like reading that it doesn’t fit router tables. Although I planned to make my own, sometimes it’s hard to make something as good as you can buy for the same price and convenience. I also wanted to try and router out an 80% lower receiver which requires a depth of 1.250”, however, that isn’t a must. How does the speed play in, sorry for my ignorance, is it something that means saving a lot of time or does it help with the finished look? Thank you both for your help.

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I do not know to much about routers, but the way i think about it, a faster blade or bit will give a smooth cut, vs. a slower blade giving a more rough cut. Now im not sure if the Bosch fits in a router table, but if i were you, i would probobly go with the dewalt, has a great reputation, fast, and largest plunge cut, but does not fit in a router table, could you get by without that feature?

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Thanks Chase. I am definately leaning torwards the DeWalt. I can get by without the table. I can make a table if I end up needing one. I just wanst sure if the DeWalt was worth the extra compared to the others ($50 more at HD).

From what i have heard and seen,my opinion is that its is a good, solid router, that gets the job done well. I would suggest in a good set of router bits, as cheap ones will dull very fast.

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Yeah I planned to get some good bits. That is one reason I set my limit to 150$ ish. I know bits make a huge difference. Thats one reason I started this instead of just going with the DeWalt router. I didn't know if somone would talk me out of the DeWalt which in turn would put 50$ more towards bits. Thank you for helping me so quickly. 

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Looking at them side-by-side, the DWP611 and Porter Cable 450 look identical except for the variable speed control on the DeWALT version (and yellow vs red trim color... :-D ). Seems like you might as well get the DeWALT as it's only a few dollars more. I almost bought that PC router but I think I'll go for the DWP611 now too. I do plan on eventually getting a separate, larger router to mount in a table though rather than trying to use a compact for that job.

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Hi Brian, I have a Milwaukee 1-3/4 HP Router mounted to my table and a 1-1/2 HP PC that is use out of the table. Both are really good performers. I had a Ridgid compact and sold it. The Ridgid was a great quality tool but to be quite honest, underpowered for big projects like table tops etc (which it is clearly not designed for). Maybe getting a bigger one may save you money in the long run and the price is negligible when you really look at it plus the ability to use half inch bits is always a plus!

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Thank you Chris. I will look into them. I plan to look at some more in person tomorrow. Is the Milwaukee one to big to use as a trim router?

If you were to get the 1 3/4 hp, i would say no its not to big but thats my opinion, it has the body grip which really makes the router feel like its part of your hand. doing this will save you money in the long run, and you can get into some thick stuff with that Milwaukee, also has the plunge and speed you need, also has the router table option.  

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The Milwaukee router has two bases, a body grip case which is small (larger than a trim but pretty compact) and a plunge base. I use it for pretty much everything. I just bought the 1-3/4 PC and truthfully haven't used it yet but it is a great size for such a powerful tool. Both have soft start motors so they don't jump around on you. I guess all I'm saying Brian, is spending $99 on a compact router (Ridgid) when you can get a PC for maybe $129 really isn't too much when you can use that,larger router to do trim and add those 1/2" bits to do cabinetry is a good buy. But...if all you are going to do is trim work the I would flatly recommend the Ridgid. It's an awesome tool and you can get them on CPORIDGID for a great price in reconditioned shape which in my experience is the same as brand new. The warranty is normally a year but you cannot tell the difference.

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Thanks for all the input, it has been a great help. I noticed that both PC and Milwaukee don't have a variable speed 1 3/4 HP router. Should I just get one of them, a small compact one that is variable speed, or go to 2 1/4 HP which does have variable speed. Sorry for my ignorance. I just don't know if the variable speed is super important. If it helped give a better cut I assumed all routers would have a variable speed. Thank you.

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Thanks for all the input, it has been a great help. I noticed that both PC and Milwaukee don't have a variable speed 1 3/4 HP router. Should I just get one of them, a small compact one that is variable speed, or go to 2 1/4 HP which does have variable speed. Sorry for my ignorance. I just don't know if the variable speed is super important. If it helped give a better cut I assumed all routers would have a variable speed. Thank you.

Will you just be doing trim, nothing else? Or could you use a higher hp router for bigger things?

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Right now I am leaning towards the 2 1/4 hp router from Milwaukee. My question is, can I buy the plunge base after so I can save a little now? I didn't see just the base for sale on HD or on the Milwaukee site. I saw some plunge bases on other sites for sale but didn't say what size router they fit. Thank you.

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Brian, the kit I bought for my Milwaukee included both bases. The tools is American made and is a really solid powerful tool. It will cover pretty much everything I need. My PC is pretty compact and will do all the things I want too. I guess you really just need to weigh in on what you are going to use the tool for or potentially COULD use it for. A small laminate trimmer will do light routing but....

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