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  • First Router

    Charlie P has recommended the Hitachi M12V as an excellent router. Any other advice for a first router purchase (including what to avoid)?
    Alan
    My Shop

  • #2
    If you are a fan of Norm Abrams on New Yankee... All of the recent shows (at least on our local rerun schedule) seem to use a green router which is the Hitachi. I bought it because of the recommendations on the web, but it is fun to see it be the router of choice in 70-80% of the recently aired Norm shows.

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    • #3
      i purchased a makita RF1101 kit as my 1st router and couldnt be happier. it comes with a fixed and plungebase. very accurate and easy to use. lots of power and versitility. you wont be disapointed with this router. a great buy for the money!
      \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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      • #4
        The DeWalt DW 621 is a very nice mid-size router. The Freud FT2000E is likewise an excellent competitor to the M12V Hitachi. I have both the Freud and the DeWalt liking both.

        Good luck,

        MikeN

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        • #5
          For a first router I would suggest you go with a combo unit. The Bosch, Dewalt or Porter cable all make great units. I would rate the Bosch first. The Dewalt units will be available some time this month. I rank PC (which I own) third only because it has a little less power. The Hitachi really belongs in a table and to switch from hand use to table use will be a pain in the neck. Go with the Bosch or Dewalt. This way you can mount the fixed base in the table and use the plunge for handheld. The Hitachi is a great router but I do not think it should be your first. This is my opinion but I will stand by it.
          Reggie (Grainraiser)
          Reggie

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          • #6
            I have the Bosch 1617 combo but w/o the evs. Still a great combo. Don't think you can get it now. Here is a link to the EVS @ Northwest PowerTools http://www.northwestpowertools.com/r.../1617evspk.htm

            Rick
            <a href=\"http://photos.yahoo.com/rixworx\" target=\"_blank\">http://photos.yahoo.com/rixworx</a>

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            • #7
              I agree with the recommendation for a kit that contains both the plunge and fixed bases. I would wait on the Dewalt until some of the reviews are out to see if it has any problems.

              I have a PC693 kit and believe it is a little dated (although I still use it a lot) and would go with either the Bosch or the Makita kit. They both have soft start, variable speed and more power than the PC. I bought a Makita with the fixed based before they introduced the kit and like it a lot. It makes less noise than the PC690 and a lot less than the PC7518 which I keep in the table.

              Bob R

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              • #8
                The nice thing about the new Dewalt is that it comes in a 2 1/4hp version. This gives you enough power to do raised panels yet is light enough for hand operations, a great first router. I own the DW 625 simply because most of my work is under the table but the DW 621 is the smoothest plunge router I've ever used. When the combo unit comes out, I intend to have it. It's perfect for hand operations yet can make a nifty backup in case something goes wrong with my DW 625. I think both are terrific, BTW .

                Cheers

                Art

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                • #9
                  I have a Ryobi fixed base and the DW 621 plunge router. The Dewalt 621 is fantastic and I use it 90% of the time. If you are not going to buy a router with interchangeable bases....I think the DW 621 is a good machine.

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                  • #10
                    Jamie,
                    I'd like to know more about your Ryobi fixed base router. I understand about saving to get a better tool but there are also limited funds for this hobby of mine Right now woodworking is a hobby and I am making no money at it. The lesser expensive tools get ripped in the forums, and I imagine rightfully so for professional use. But for occassionl use ...
                    Alan
                    My Shop

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                    • #11
                      Alan,

                      I have the Ryobi 1.5hp and it's Craftsman (75th anniversary) counterpart both. The Ryobi has been in the router table for two years now and I haven't any complaints. I use them both very seldom. The others can rip 'em all they want, but for those who are on a budget (most of us I fear), they do the job fine. I have had several Ryobi tools in the past (12v & 18v drills, angle grinder & detail sander)...all worked fine under even heavy use and sometimes unreal abuse (like dropping the 12v from 25 feet up...still worked for six months after that).

                      I do try and get the best tool for the money I have at the time, but sometimes you have to get what you can afford.

                      PS...keep in mind that there are other forums where Jet, Powermatic and others of that ilk are the accepted tools and all others including our Ridgid's get ripped...

                      [ 10-05-2002, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: KellyC ]
                      Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"http://www.hannawoodworks.com\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>

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                      • #12
                        Alan,

                        I have the same router that KellyC described. It was the first router I ever bought and it works just fine. It only accepts 1/4" bits, but with a little patience it works well. With a few attachments you can use it to cut grooves, circles, etc. and do most all of the things that a more expense router does. It does not have soft-start and some of the other nicer features, but it is a solid machine.

                        I would suggest buying a good set of carbide tipped router bits regardless of the router you purchase. A good set of bits makes all of the difference in the world. As this is your first router, I think the Ryobi is a good machine to perfect your techniques and really get to understand all of the things a router can do.

                        You might want to consider buying the Ryobi router/table combo. I saw it in HD for $100. It isn't fancy, but with careful set-up it should work just fine. You will just have to take things a little slower and make an extra pass than with some of the other, more powerful router.

                        If value = performance/price.....then the Ryobi 1.5hp is a good first choice. Just remember to get a good set of bits.

                        Regards,
                        Jamie

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                        • #13
                          Jamie and Kelly,
                          Thank you for your responses to my request for feedback on the Ryobi routers. I have looked at the R161K and new RE180PL at Home Depot. The new plunge RE180PL has a 1/2" collet as well as soft start and variable speed. Of those features the plunge and 1/2" collet appeal to me the most. First and foremost I am saving for the TS3612 which I plan to purchase next weekend to replace a tabletop Powermatic I have been learning with. There is only so much in the budget for tools and while I understand that a $200 tool will probably last longer and be a better long term investment than a $100 tool of the same type, well, there is only so much to go around. I would rather invest in good quality bits that can be used in different routers as my skill level increases. Thanks again for your input.
                          Alan
                          My Shop

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                          • #14
                            the makita RF1101 or RD1101 (same router, one is a D handle), is a powerful, versitle router and is a good investment that could potentially make your first router your last. Since i bought mine, other quality manufacturers have come out with kits allowing a fixed base and a plunge base to be used with the same motor. I am partial to makita (despite my experience with their biscuit joiner (see my post "power tool safety issue) as i am a loyal customer and like to buy my tools once), but other manufacturers make routers just as good if not better. its all about preference. if i dont buy makita i lean toward milwaukee. since ridgid doesnt make portable power tools (yet, someday i hope they might. keep in mind that a tool is only as good as the operators technique, and the bit or blade that is put on it. with a good bit and being able to work the machine is all that really matters. my router bits are all CMT (with a few freud's mixed in). find a machine from a known manufacturer, that fits your budget, put a good bit on it, and figure out your technique. that is the key!

                            ed
                            \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                            • #15
                              I'll also be looking for a new first router in the next few months, probably a combo. I do not really like the PC combo. What features should I be looking for when comparing the Bosch, Makita and soon the Dewalt. I've heard a lot of good things about the DW621, and am leaning a little toward the Dewalt kit. I know some of these routers have been discussed, but I'm looking for pro's and con's, or reasons why I shouldn't buy a certain router. Thanks.

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