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I Need Router Recommendations

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  • I Need Router Recommendations

    My personal experience with routers is almost zero. I want to buy a combo router kit and a good table to start using routers for many different projects. I have narrowed the router search down to:

    Bosch 1617 Combo Pack
    Dewalt 618 3 base Combo Pack
    Porter Cable 895 Combo Pack
    I have read the Bosch unit has switch problems from sawdust. The Porter Cable set gets hit and miss reviews and the Dewalt set seems to be pretty good. I'd like to use a Bench Dog table with whatever I buy.

    Any experience out there with the routers or the table? Help would be appreciated!

  • #2
    The most table friendly router I've used does not come in kit form. The new Freud FT-1700 is loaded with above table features. It has one handed above table bit changes, an auto collet lock/release, above table height adjustment and lock, and more common features of variable speed, soft start and electronic speed control. At 13 amps, 2-1/4hp it's strong enough to do the occasional panel raising, and will do all other tasks easily, but for lots of raised panels with a 3-1/2" bit, I'd suggest going with a 3hp 15 amp router. If 2-1/4 hp will suffice, I'd be apt to get the FT-1700 and use it for table and handheld use, and either forget about a plunge (never use mine), or get an additional small router for hand use, like the PC690 or Hitachi fixed base single speed at ~$75-$90 on sale.

    If you really want the kit, any that you mentioned plus the Makita are well proven. Dunno about the new Ridgid kit.
    Last edited by hewood; 08-05-2006, 06:01 AM.


    • #3


      • #4
        I bought the DW618 last year and have no complaints.


        • #5
          Originally posted by bobg
          I bought the DW618 last year and have no complaints.
          Same here.
          SSG, U.S. Army
          K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.


          • #6
            Ive had the PC895 for 2 years and never a problem.


            • #7
              Router Help

              Thanks to all of you. The new Ridgid looks very good. I assume it can be covered under the LSA. There seems to be some issue about magnesium corroding over time. Will the LSA cover this or is this not the kind of problem addreessed by the LSA?


              • #8
                I have older tools with mag bases and guards they have not corroded. If it did corrode and affected the use of the tool and not just the appearance I would think it would be covered. Read the LSA details here


                • #9
                  I will probably take a lot of heat for this but I think the router combo kits are nothing more than a marketing move.

                  When plunge routers first came out there was a slop in the plunge mechanism and forced everyone to use fixed base for mounting in tables. But the routers have been redesigned and frankly all I use in my table is plunge router.

                  Secondly it may sound great to have multible bases but think about it the base to motor adjustment is really the main adjustment. If you have to switch bases you lost all your setup. You gain nothing. You could have removed the base from the table and accomplished the same thing.

                  Third look at the price you can buy good table routers for $100-150. And a good hand held for $150 now you have two bases and two motors. You can mount one in a table and if you have to make an additional cut on the router you can use the handheld and keep your table setup.

                  Watch for closeouts. I got a PC 8529 for $100 and Hitachi 3 hp 12V for $100
                  I added them to my other routers and I'm very happy. I will probably pick up a Dewalt 621 plunge when I run across one at a good price.

                  Let me just tell you if you get a combo I will bet you will use the plunge base 99% of the time and wonder why you spent the extra $125 for bases you rarely if ever use. It will hurt when you figure you could have gotten another whole plunge router for that $125.

                  Of course if you like to have a nice shiney case with a router and two bases and all the pretty accessories with it get the Dewalt 618 k3. The Ridgid combo looks look also.
                  Rev Ed