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What's the best Router to Buy

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  • What's the best Router to Buy

    Hi All.
    I am looking for a good router, I have never owned one before, or know very much about them, so I was hoping that the guy's on this site could suggest what's the best one for a novice to buy.I have about $200 max to spend on one.

    Thanks All.

    [ 08-05-2004, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Grayskin ]

  • #2

    I would suggest a combo set, Bosch, DeWalt, Makita and PC all offer worthy contenders. I’ve heard rumors of Lowe’s currently offering the Makita combo set for around $130 on their clearance rack, if you could snatch one of those up at that price your decision could be a very easy one.



    • #3
      Thanks for the advice Woodslayer.

      I like the look of the PC 1-3/4 hp model that they have at my local home depot, but I can only afford to buy the fixed base version at the momment,and will 1-3/4 hp be powerful enough as I do not want to have to buy a more powerful one later? The Home Depot also has a 2-1/4 hp Skill combo for about $150(Canadian) would this be a good starting point for a novice woodworker? and will I be able to fix them to a table if I wanted to?

      Thanks Again All...


      • #4
        The 1-3/4 hp PC is probably be more powerful than the 2-1/4 hp Skill. Check the motor amperage to be sure. Consumer brands such as Skill and Craftsman are notorioulsy over-rated. The PC rating is more likely to be a continuous duty rating (able to produce 1-3/4 hp indefinitely without stopping).

        The 1-3/4 hp is a fine router typical edging bits. For years, all I had was the PC 7/8 hp (6.5 amp). It's only drawack was the 1/4 only collet. You will want to invest in 1/2" shank bits where possible. 1/2" diameter bits and larger with 1/4" shank can sometimes fatique and break. You would only need more power for large diameter bits sucha as panel raising , tall bits for molding and jointing 2x material, or cutting large dados in one pass.

        Do you mean $200 canadian? 200 seems pretty steep for a 69x. You could find new, in-box on ebay for maybe half that in US. Maybe a private party can ship one in with no GST. I'm not sure how all that works with mail-order in Canada.


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice ByteButcher.

          All the prices that I mentioned are in Canadian Dollars.

          The PC 1-3/4 hp is a (10 amp) model and comes with 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets, and a fixed speed of 23.000 rpm.

          The Skill 2-1/2 hp is a (11 amp) model it also comes with 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets and has a variable speed switch.

          I think that I will give to give mail order a miss, because Canada customs will charge GST of 15% on any items valued more than $60 Canadian dollars that arrive in Canada.

          I think that You will find this little story, about my dealings with Canada customs very funny, when I moved from the UK to Canada last year, I packed up my CD music collection and sent them by surface mail to my new home in Ontario! Hoping that the CDs would arrive a few week's after my own arrival [img]smile.gif[/img] after a few weeks I got a card from Canada Post saying that I had to go to the local postal depot to collect a package! sure enough, my music CDs had arrived, and customs had opened the package, and decided that the total value of the items inside was over $60 (for used CDs )and that I had to pay $18 tax to get them back .
          Those CDs were nearly worth their weight in gold in the end because I payed TAX for them when I bought them from new in the UK, shipping charges to Canada and again more tax when they arrived here!!! .....SAD BUT TRUE.....

          Thanks again for the advice [img]smile.gif[/img]

          [ 08-07-2004, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: Grayskin ]


          • #6
            Interesting customs up there.

            I'd also echo the previous comments----stay away from Skil, B&D, Craftsmam, Ryobi and other cheapy sets.

            Buying criteria (aside from multiple bases), uses 1/4 & 1/2" collets, variable speed. A 1 1/4 horse will handle most any bit except panel raising. The nice thing about the sets are you can mount the fixed base on a router table and still be able to have a hand-held plunge.

            I'd do some exploring of varous tool outlets around your area. Many of the good name brands have recently changed models and you may find a bargain on one of the older sets.


            • #7
              If you're near a Lowes, the Makita for $132 (U.S.) can't be beat. It's a 2 1/4 HP variable speed kit with fixed & plunge bases.

              If you're not, I have a new one up for auction on Ebay, no reserve. My seller ID is same as on this board. I believe the listing says shipping to U.S. only, but I'll ship it to Canada if you don't find the cost too steep, there's a calculator on the listing.


              • #8
                hi, I don't know a lot about routers but i have been reading a lot of, dewalt, porter cable, and makita are mentioned quite often with good reviews and some people like the milwaukee body grip or whatever it is called...I have a slightly larger budget so I was lookin at a bosch but they are having corrosion problems because of the dissimilar metals aluminum body and magnesium base...something like that...I had a dewalt that died....liked it I am thinking about a porter cable 1 3/4 hp model...for two reasons...a lot of the seasoned woodworkers recommend having a lighter duty model for edges and the 3 hp router for the table....and the other reason is the local home depot carries a lot of accessories for Porter cable...and currently i noticed a free edge guide comes with the purchase of certain pc routers...


                • #9
                  Just an update and to say thanks for all the sound advice that you guys gave me.
                  I took the "plunge"(joke)and bought a Makita RF1101 Kit from busybee tool at their Toronto Store.

                  Thanks again all


                  • #10
                    Everyone will tell you to get a combo and that just doesn't make sense to me. First the current generation plunge routers are good enough to use as fixed base or plunge so where is the need for both. Some will say mount the fixed base in a router table. That sounds good but the plunge base is much nicer in a router table, in fact most plunge are manufactured to be mounted having above table depth adjust of some sort. Also the price of Router lifts are coming down so you may just want to buy a motor to mount.

                    Most combo's are 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hp if you really going to mount router in the router table I would mount a 3 hp.

                    What I would do is wait. Porter Cable has been sold and so has Milwaukee, I'm guessing in the next 6 months to a year your going to see some real sales as the manufactures adjust their product line.

                    I picked up a Hitachi M12V a 3 hp plunge for $80 and Porter Cable 8529 2.25 hp plunge for $100 both in the box both brand new. I'm thinking there will be better deals in the future.

                    [ 09-03-2004, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: RevEd ]
                    Rev Ed


                    • #11
                      The DeWalt 621 was ranked first among midsized routers by Pop WWing a year of so ago. If you'll doing hand routing this a good size. If you'll be mounting it in a table, either the Hitachi or Freud offer 3HP routers in that price range.