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Thread: What kind of Router do you use?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    Posts
    873

    What kind of Router do you use?

    What kind of Router(s) do you use?
    --What do you like about it?
    --What do you dislike about it?

    I have a Dewalt 618 (2 1/4 hp VS) with a fixed and plunge base. I mounted the fixed base in my router table. This was an upgrade from my 2 hp Craftsman (only 1/4 in collet). I also had a $200 gift card to Lowes, so it was probably the most inexpensive router I will ever buy!

    I know that traditionally P-C Routers are very popular with woodworkers. I did alot of research before making the final decision. In researching it, I saw a good number of people questioning the quality on new P-C routers. It seems like the older P-C routers were really good. From what I read the DW618 had good reviews, and very few complaints on quality. While, admittedly, I do have a preference for the "yellow tools"... I do have a number of P-C tools as well that I am happy with.

    Stuff I like: Clear lexan base plates, very easy in an out of both bases, plunge is very smooth, has a turret dept stop adjusment, spindle lock (only need one wrench ), fixed base is easy to make fine adjustments to, top of motor is flat(so it is easy to set down on the bench without changing a dept settng)

    My only complaint so far is that the fixed base came with 2 base plates with differnt size holes, while the plunge base only came with a single base plate with a small hole. Unfortunatly the base plates for the fixed base and plunge are not interchangeable. I ended up making a new base plate for the plunge (with a bigger hole) out of plexi-glass.


    Picture Update:

    DW618 fixed base in router table extension on TS.
    DW618 in Plunge Base
    Plunge with "new" plexi-glass base plate with enlarged hole and original base plate.
    Router Table Fence
    up close of fence and feather board
    Last edited by Sean Wright; 04-05-2007 at 01:37 AM.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    97
    I've got 2 routers..

    Makita 3612C - Like the power - dont like the weight (it's mostly in a homemade table or slab surfacing rig on my sawmill). Variable speed and good adjustment on the plunge are handy of course.

    Baby Bosch - like a 240v version of the US Colt. Dont like the low power - but it's light and small size is handy for the finer work. No variable speed, but it doesn't have the power to spin huge bits anyway.

    If (When) I buy a 3rd one it will be something in the middle.

    Cheers

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Abraham; 04-04-2007 at 10:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,089
    I don't use my routers a lot, but I've got two PC 690s...one a couple years old with variable speed and plunge and fixed bases, and another older single speed model with the D-handle base. Between the two motors and three bases, I'm pretty well covered, although a Lexan base or two would be nice. If the right project comes along I might talk myself into a Bosch Colt. I've also got a Hitachi MV-12 VS in the router table extension on my table saw.

    I've also got a 25+ year old Craftsman router and a Chinese cheapo that aren't worth bothering to talk about.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    sean, i run p/c`s, the ol` 690`s, 7800 series and the 310 trimmers i`ve never used or had a desire to use the new 890 series....the fellow i buy my tools from informed me that the 890 series was designed by some wet behind the ears kid to fit a price point and it probably wouldn`t hold up to the way i use a router......and i listened. as for other brands? i`m of the belief "if it ain`t broke-don`t fix it".....and the p/c`s hold up to the thrashings i give `em...
    fyi.....i think that p/c makes some good tools and lots that are made for a price point......same with all major brands, so buying a p/c hammer drill `cause i like their routers wouldn`t be a smart move....it all depends on what tool you`re looking at as to who has figured out how to build one that`ll last...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    I have a old Ryobi RE-600 that broke a collett a while back and I stuffed it under the bench waiting to find another collett for it.

    I also have two PC 690's that are dedicated dovetail routers (one for pins and one for tails, I'm lazy and don't want to make the change)

    And a Bosch 1617 that is mounted in the router table.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,585
    I have two, an old Hitachi M12 (not the M12V ) and a smaller M8.

    The M12 I got at a recycle place of a really low price, and the M8 I bought new, MSRP A ways back, as I did not know of Joyful Honda, or any other DIY shops at the time.

    I have the M12 in the router table, and it has been great, but, I tore it apart today, as the bearing are making a LOT of noise, I thought I was going to let the smoke out of it at one point

    I have to laugh, this router is at least 10 years old, maybe even 20 made in Japan, but the bearings, well they say "Made in China" right on them I guess the outsourcing has been going on for some time?

    The M12, with a speed controller on it, does heavy lifting on the router table, with the new bearings installed, I'm confident I'll get another ten years out of it. I put the Router Raizer thing on it, which works slick!

    I really do not like the M8, I find it clunky and nothing is in the right place, the stops always seem to rattle loose, and the collet is the worst, if I use 2' long bars on it to tighten it up, I still seem to have to check it every 5 minutes of use to make sure the darn bit has not extended out of the router, wreaking whatever I'm working on

    The new Hitachi combo set, with the fixed base and plunge base looks very good, well the "Alien" graphics design does not do much for me, but the unit looks solid, and has gotten fairly good reviews.

    I have to say the DeWalt units look good too, but if I had the dosh, I'd get a Festool for handheld and be done with it
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    I don't use mine very often. But, I have an old, really old, Porter-Cable 532-M that I inherited. Works fine. By current standards is considered underpowered but cuts fine and clean. Also, a Skil 1820. I got this after reading reviews. It is a plunger with great ergonomics and other features. I really like it. I bought it used but in like-new condition off eBay for $25.00, with shipping. I know it is not designed for long-term, frequent hard use. But, right now, for my needs it is great. In fact, when/if it dies, I would consider replacing with another identical model.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Posts
    688
    I seem to be collecting routers. I have a PC 690 that's old as dirt. There's a PC 7518 in my router table. I have a Bosch 1617 that I used to use for a jig. A DW621 for mortising. A Bosch Colt (piece of cr**) that takes up space. My go to router is a Festool 1040. It has excellent dust collection, the collet nut wratchets - so you don't have to take the wrench off to keep turning the nut, and it works with the Festool guide rails. Only problem is that over the years I have built jigs for specific routers. One of these days when I have some spare time I'll rework the jigs so the Festool will work on them and have a garage sale.
    Don't believe everything you think!

  9. #9
    Steve Clardy Guest
    20 some pc 690, 7310, and 7500 series around here somewhere.
    2 new hatachi routers. I haven't gave those a complete workout yet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    363
    Sounds like time for you to get a new router Steve. I am starting to accumulate way too many routers myself. I've got a Freud K in my router table, a Bosch with two bases that now gets used occasionally, a PC 310 lam trim that gets used a lot (only beef on this is the 1/4" only collet and it will jam with the conical collet) and a Festool 1400 that is king of the hill IMHO for the same reasons Jessie outlined.

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