Router Suggestion?

kisuJune 7, 2012

There are a lot of Tool Sales going on right now because of fathers day. I need a good router for basic cabinet making and work around the house.

I need a suggestion for a router. I am willing to pay for a good quality one, but only if it is really worth it otherwise I'm happy with a $99 one - brand does not matter to me if it is good.

right now I just have a mini trim router I bought at Harbor freight. I want something more substantial - and my tiny cheap 1/4" trim router is lacking in a lot of ways.

there is a sale at Lowes on a bosch for $99 but I'm wondering if I should get a more expensive one that handles both a 1/4" and a 1/2" collet. There is a Hitachi and a Bosch 2.25 HP one that is available too that can do 1/2" and 1/4" collets.

Suggestions please...

Any suggestions.

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It might be helpful if you described what you invision using this router for. Plan on using it in a table or to use big bits like for panel raising?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:18AM
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I would love to have room for a table - mostly I would use this in a mobile situation.

I want to be able to cut dadoes in plywood and do plunge cuts and make mortise/tenon holes in posts and edging on custom made trim pieces - nothing too fancy.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:46AM
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I recommend this kit; I have the 1997 version myself and have been very happy with it for a light/medium duty router.

Here is a link that might be useful: Porter Cable router kit

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Second that recommendation on the Porter cable.

We have several of those set up with a dedicated bit for specific purposes.

For example, two are dedicated to cutting laminated work surfaces to a custom size. The first is equipped with a pattern-cutting spiral up/down bit ($100+ for just the bit). The other has a T-slot cutter for making the groove for the rubber edge moulding.

Having the routers set up and dialed in saves tons of time.

Porter cable offers the best value for the money. Another advantage is the ease of removing the router from the base. I can change the bases and bits faster with the porter cable than other brands i've tried.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 2:15PM
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We have an ancient Makita with the 1/4" beading bit at the ready! Second the idea for dedicated spare routers!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 2:51PM
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For general, handheld use a mid-sized plunge router is probably going to give you the most versatility. Adding a second base is a nice option if you anticipate using the router in a table. One base stays attached to the table and you just switch the motor.

Definitely get a router with both 1/4" and 1/2" collets so you can use any bit you like (or need). Most of the larger bits are only available in 1/2" shanks too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:23AM
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I will check out the kit now - it is in my price range!!!

Thanks for the suggestions - I am not very skilled or knowledgeable yet about when and where you can use a router and you all are giving me a lot of good tips.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:28PM
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great idea mike about having two bases. So I can take the router with me to other houses, but I can also pop it into a table in my garage.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:30PM
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You might want to check out Pat Warner's site. Pat does a lot with routers.

I have a 25 year old P-C 690 that for most of that time was my only router. It's been a workhorse for me. But with the acquisition of P-C first by Black & Decker, then merged in with Stanley, it's hard to say if the current offerings have any but passing resemblance to mine. It seems like DeWalt is now their professional "tradesman" version and PC label is searching for a home niche. I also now have a Bosch 1617 that I got a deal on, along with a DeWalt and Hitachi palm routers. The palm routers are fine for edge profiling and such, but for things like joinery and dovetailing, the big boys come off the porch.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pat Warner, routerman

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 2:23PM
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thanks for the link. I have now purchased from amazon the porter cable kit with the additional plunge base in the kit. still has not arrived. I hope it is ok - now that you mention it is not the same porter cable quality as in the past.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:38PM
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