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Router Recommendation

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  • Router Recommendation

    Hiya guys,

    I've started shopping for a new router since I've decided that my Craftsman router is a POS. I've have a couple under consideration and would like your feedback and/or your recommendations.

    The first router I'm looking at is a Makita RF1101. I can get this router with both a fixed and plunge base from Lowes for $189.00. You can also see it at The RF1101 has a 2.25HP variable speed motor (8 to 24K RPM) and has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets.

    The other router is a Porter Cable 895PK which can also be found at This router also has 2.25HP (10 to 23K rpm), a fixed and plunge base, and 1/4 or 1/2 inch collets. However if the PC also can has a height adjustment key on its base so you can fasten it to a router table and adjust the bit height with a t-bar. I found this one at Lowes for about $200 (alot cheaper than Amazon).

    So, what are your thoughts on it? Any other recommendations? I'm trying to say within 200 bucks.

    BTW, Home Depot's router selection is god awful compaired to Lowes.

  • #2
    I have the 895 and am satisfied with it. However I would recommend the model that has a plunge base and vac-handle base. I didn't get the vac base and am sorry. It is much cheaper when it is part of the package.


    • #3
      i own the makita rd1101 kit with fixed and plunge base and i LOVE it. works good last long time. great buy for the money!


      • #4
        Just got to use my new PC 894 yesterday for the first time (have had it since January). BTW, I'm just learning woodworking, so this is the first time I've ever used a router.

        The 894 is the kit with the vacuum handle/D-handle base and the plunge base. I used the vac-handle base and an Oldham Viper 3/4" straight, 2-flute, 1/2" shank bit.

        I gang cut 15 straight 3/4" deep by 7/8" wide dados in/across 4 pieces of 8' 2"x3" studs. Made dados in 5 passes each: 3/4" wide by 1/4" deep, then over same cut twice again, dropping bit down 1/4" per pass, then two cuts along edge of previous cut, taking off 1/8" by 3/8" deep (then drop bit 3/8" more) to widen the dado out to 7/8". Was making adjustable shelf supports for the garage.

        I was completely comfortable with the PC 894 by the time I had cut 4 dados. The vac-grip works very well as a handle. Great balance and control. I used right hand on handle, left on top of router. That put my left hand in a position right on the on/off switch so that shutting it off at the end of a cut took absolutely no fidgiting or maneuvering at all. Just a bit of a twitch, but enough of one that you can't turn it off accidentally either. Don't know how the handle works as a vacuum dust coll. system, didn't hook it up.

        The depth of cut adjustment was a dream. I really liked it alot. It made the multi-pass cutting I was doing as fast and easy as I figure it could be. It was also very accurate and repeatable. I don't know if I was pushing the router to its limits, but have always heard that it is best to take small cuts rather than bog down trying to take too much in one pass. It did not seem to slow down unless I tried to really yank it through the wood as fast as I could.

        I had looked at the Makita RF1101 kit also, it was actually the only other router that seemed well designed and built and that I seriously considered (have a Makita 6337 14.4V drill and love it). After reviewing the literature on the, at the time, newly introduced PC 890 series, I chose the PC. Glad I did. Makes me feel a bit bad though, 'cause Makita is really a good company too and have heard that the RF1101 is a good machine too.

        PS - Agreed, HD has lousy router selection. And the last time I looked, about a month ago, the Lowes stores around here (Gainesville/Ocala area in N. Central Fla.) still have the old PC 690 routers and have no idea of what a PC 890 is.


        • #5

          The 894 is not nearly as noisy as I had heard routers can be, or at least didn't seem so. But same goes for the Makita too, I have heard or read many comments on how quiet it is.

          PC 894 soft start really is soft too. Builds slowly and evenly to speed. Unlike soft start in our KitchenAid blender that makes it almost jump off the counter when full speed kicks, and I mean KICKS, in.

          Guess you are lucky enough to have a win-win decision on your hands. Between Makita and PC for a router, you can't go wrong. [img]smile.gif[/img]