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Thread: Triton vs. Porter Cable

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Vernon, WI
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    230

    Triton vs. Porter Cable

    Well, about a year ago I quit smoking so my family was very generous and proud and surprised me by taking me out to dinner. They also got me a gift card to Farm n Fleet and Woodcraft, so I think I'm going to spend on a router since I don't have one Well I don't have a lot of experience with routers, but I looked at the Porter Cable 893PK at farm n fleet and was impressed by it's feel and 2 seperate bases to attach. Also any router I've handled was a Porter Cable so I figured they have to be doing something right since all these people have one but they really do feel sturdy to me.

    Then I picked up this 2009 Tool Guide edition of Fine Woodworking magazine and they have reviews on routers. I saw this 2 1/4 Triton that they labeled best overall, best value, and reader's choice. So I ran over to Woodcraft to check this thing out. They actually didn't have that one in stock, just the 3 hp one, but I grabbed at and looked around a bit. It seemed ok, a little more on the chinsy side compared to the porter cable, but I've never seen it work, so if it performs otherwise then I stand corrected.

    Now I'm not one to just go run out and get something because a magazine recommends it so that's why I'm askin the pros here Especially since the magazine pointed out little things like the PC being so "inconvienent" because you need 2 wrenches to change the bit... little stuff like that isn't really a selling point to me. Both have problems I would assume. I did a little research on the PC and found that people were complaining about the plunge base right out of the box and that the above-table adjustment is a bit iffy. I also read that the Triton has some problems with the micro adjustment failing. I found this link http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/rev...tonrouter2.htm which was very helpful (especially if I go with this one to set it up). But it seems like you have to do a little messing around with the Triton to get it performing properly. Also it feels a little cheaper. I also read that a lot of people who own the PC had to send the plunge base in to be fixed right when they opened it. Does anyone have experience with either of these routers? Has Triton worked on fixing this micro adjustment problem? Once again I'm no expert at routers so anything you guys wanna throw at me feel free! Thanks again for all the help everyone!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    First, a BIG congratulations for quitting smoking. Enjoy a long, healthy life with that beautiful wife of yours.
    I can't be a lot of help with the PC vs. Triton. Will say, though, that PC is the long-time stand-by router which seems to be the standard by which all others are judged. You can't go wrong. Not saying the Triton can't be better, it might be, I just dunno. You will probably be happy with which ever you choose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,993
    westley,
    i like the 600 &7500 series portercable routers, my opinion of the 800 series is only based on a friend`s opinion who`s a p/c repair tech.....i won`t buy one.
    never used a triton saw no need to fix what wasn`t broke....

    i don`t know what money you have but for under 200 i`d go 600 series p/c, under 300 7500 series p/c.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,992
    Before you make a decision, check the Bosch 1617EVSPK package. I have three 1617's, including the PK package and couldn't be more pleased.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    I have the smaller PC and when I was recently looking for a larger router I went with the Milwaukee. It "fits" me better. You really need to handle them and play with the plunge bases. Besides, Milwaukee has a five year warranty.

    Milwaukee 5616

    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,076
    I'm with Steve although I recommended the smaller Triton to my dad for his router table. As you don't have a router yet, the Mil 5616-24 combo will give you two for one for about $200. The plunge base is better than many dedicated plunge routers I've used and the way the thing is built is just sort of a different class of machine than the other well-known names to my hand.

    1/4" and 1/2" collets, centering tool, vac-adapter and above the table adjustment wrench. The plunge base fit PC collars, the fixed has a large opening for big bits. The case is HUGE, you could probably modify it and use it as a small dog house ;-)

    There are many good routers in this size and price range and you've already gotten some good recommendations here. Go out and put them in your hands as a hand router's comfort and feel is different for each of us. Just my .02.

    P.s. I love the body-grip and strap design. I just remove the strap side knob but you don't have to if you want to keep the option.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-01-2008 at 10:58 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Another thought about something you said. I take all magazine reviews with a grain of salt. Over the years, I've seen reviews on similar products going all over the place. I'll read what they have to say, then do as you have done -- ask "real world" folks what they think.

    I'll also reinforce what others have said: put the machine in your hands and see how it feels. Example: I really like the Bosch I mentioned earlier and bought it based on recommendations in a review as well as from online forums. The first one I got was a fixed-base unit and I "kinda" liked its handling. When I wanted a plunge base, I looked at the Bosch PK with a fixed and plunge base. I REALLY like the handling of the plunge base. Bottom line is personal preference. Try it before you buy it, if at all possible.

    On another note, I used the Bosch in my router table for several years and it performed great, even doing raised panels. I changed to a 15Amp ("3hp") in my router table just to have a more powerful unit. The great thing about the Bosch PK package (as well as similar products) is that you can use the fixed base on a router table and swap the motor to the plunge base for handheld routing.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
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    I'm with Bill on the Bosch 1617EVSPK package. I have 2 sets, using one handheld and one in my router table. I have never had a problem with them, they are smooth and easy to handle. They also fit almost anything built for the PC routers...

  9. #9

    Exclamation Get a "D" handle base

    I own many P.C. routers, one Bosch, and one milwaukee. Two of the PC are the 3 1/4 HP, one of which is mounted in a table, and two are plunge types. Of the remaing routers one PC has the two round knobs for handles and all the others have the "D" handle. All of the routers work well but I will pickup the "D" handle models every time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    I should have shared my actual experience. I had several routers. Three PCs, which I inherited, and a Skil 1820. The PCs had decades of daily professional use on them and still worked 100% as does the one I kept. I sold the others at garage sale for next to nothing. Yes, yes, I know, foolish misteak. The Skil I bought off eBay for $25.00. I bought it because it received the highest marks in a magazine review, with a caveat. That caveat is that this unit is not built for heavy duty use. It has bushings, not bearings. But, it is comfortable to use, has easy adjustments, plenty of power, nothing negative that I have found yet. It is my 'go to' router. The PC I kept is almost never used as it has none of those features. But, I know it would be reliable for many-many years if I choose to use it. When the Skil conks out I'll have no regrets and will get back on eBay looking for another. Ye makes yer comparisons and decide based on budget vs needs. Good luck.

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