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Which router do you recommend ?

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  • Which router do you recommend ?

    Hi everyone, as a biginner in woodworking, I am now up to buy a router however I only want to buy one that does it all like one of the 3 models listed below. Any suggestion? I plan to buy it beginning of next year.

    * Bosch 1617EVSPK 2HP Router Combination Pack

    * Makita RF1101KITK 2-1/4 HP

    * Porter-Cable 693PK 1-1/2 HP Router and Plunge Base Kit

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Denis, Tough question, I have the PC, and for what I do it works just fine. Now the tough part. I own more Makita tools than the average individual and firmly believe there is not a better power tool out there. Long story on how I ended up with the PC however I have no complaints as of yet.
    Bosch makes some darn nice tools, and their new router kit is getting some rave reviews.
    As stated above I doubt a guy could go wrong with Makita, although I believe I've read that their router kit is a little spendy. Did that help???
    FYI, I just saw the TOH episode where Norm rebuilt his work bench, he only has 20 some routers, so you could just buy all three and be on your way to a router collection.
    It\'s not the quantity or quality of your tools that matters....<br />It\'s all in the firewood that\'s left over.....


    • #3
      Of the ones you list, I have the PC693PK, and the Bosch 1617 (not evs, fixed base).

      Both nice machines. I like the 1617 quite a bit more, because of it's fine height adjuster. The stock baseplate is el stinko, though. I have a baseplate from on mine, it's great.

      But on the plunge front? The 693 plunge base is not all bad. It can be an entire pain in the neck getting the motor back out, though. The new 1617 plunge base (whatever it actually is called), I have fondled. Extremely smooth, very nice action. I could never own one though. I have rather short, stubby fingers and cannot comfortably reach the plunge release. Touching before buying is most important in plunge routers.



      • #4
        Denis, I own the P-C combo kit and the Makita, the Makita kit was not available when I bought mine. The Makita is a superior machine. It has more power, soft-start, variable speed, and a quick release for bit changes. P-C has also come out with the quick release and a little more power since I bought my set. I still use both machines - the Makita I have mounted in my router table and the P-C I use for hand operations. If I had to use only one, I would definitely go with the Makita kit.


        • #5
          I've got the Makita Kit. I considered the Makita and the Bosch Kits about 2 months ago, but went with the Makita because it fits my hands better.

          Bought it at a show for about $50 less than normal.



          • #6
            I have DeWalt 614. Small, light weight, good sight lines, turret plunge settings, and great handles and easy plunge (twist right knob). Great for light work but will not bolt up to a craftsman router table. One complaint: you need disjointed fingers to turn the damned thing on and off.


            • #7
              I have the porter cable and it has done everything I have ask. At the time I purchased it it was the only combo pack you purchase. If I had to do it again I to would go with the bosch. It has soft start and a larger motor. At most places the pc goes for $199. At my local lowes the bosch goes for $219. The twenty dollar difference would be well worth it.


              • #8
                I am a huge Porter Cable fan and do own the 693PK kit as well as their 2HP plunge router (7529). I can't speak to the Bosch or Makita since I have not used them at length but I have heard nothing but rave reviews for both.

                Instead let me say this: If you are only going to own one router I would be darn sure it has plenty of power and variable speed.

                By plenty of power I would say at least 2 HP. This will give you better performance with more aggressive bits. The variable speed is key if you hope to do any work with large bits such as rail and stile sets or panel raising bits. The larger bits require a slower speed.

                As much as I like my PC 690 router I must admit that it was not the first one I bought. I went with the 7529 first since it is a more versatile tool. But I also bought the 690 for edge treatments and its great!

                I'd be willing to bet that after the first of the year PC starts putting their new version of the 690, the 690LR, in the kit with the polunge base. But that's just a guess. Bottom line is they are all good but I'd be looking for variable speed for my only router. Good luck.
                - Tim


                • #9

                  I believe Makita and Bosch are making Porter Cable take notice that their 693K has fallen behind. I saw somewhere in a magazine (can't remember where) that they may be upgrading their 690 to add variable speed next year. I do like the change they made of replacing the bolt with the clip. It was a real knuckle banger for guys with large hands. I still use my P-C for most hand held routing, but I prefer the Makita for the table.


                  • #10
                    Regarding Bob R's comment about getting the P-C router out of the plunge base: I had the same problem the first time I used my plunge base. Then I carefully cleaned both the inside bore of the base and the machined outside of the router motor and applied a coat of Butcher's Paste Wax. The motor and base are still a snug fit -- they're supposed to be -- but all I have to do is put a piece of scrap under the collet, "plunge" and the motor lifts out easy as you please.


                    • #11
                      I have the PC 693PK (older version without all the MAKITA induced improvements), and I like it for small jobs that don't required a lot of power. The plunge base is hard to use (IMHO), and I use it very little. If I were to buy right now, today, I would buy the Makita, no question about it. But if you plan to use a machine "under the table" on a router table, you need more power. I have a Hitachi 3 1/2 under my table that has never seen a day of work in the upright position. It has variable speed control and soft start. The price (at a show), was great too. I guess what I am saying is: If you buy just one router and don't plan to use it under a table, the Makita (at THIS time), is the one to go with.

                      PS: Norm has 20 routers because he doesn't pay for them.
                      As Always.......Just IMHO


                      • #12
                        I've owned 5 routers in the last 25 years. I'm currently running a Porter Cable 7529. The reason I bought a Porter Cable, was due to the availability of parts and aftermarket attachments. However, I feel my older Bosch 6414 (I think?) was a better router. Depth adjustment was better and the supplied edge guide was FAR superior.
                        Whatever you choose, GET ONE WITH VARIABLE SPEED! Running a large bit into hard maple at 25,000 rpm is a no no that can not only ruin the stock but also dangerous. Trying to cut dense rosewood is impossible with a fixed 25,000 rpm router. You've got to be able to slow down or speed up the chosen bit. Just like drills. You wouldn't run a 7/8 bit at the same speed as a 1/16 bit.
                        Eventually, figure on buying a second router. Start with 2HP with plunge capability. That'll do most everything. It's not very good for small mortises for small hinges in little boxes. It's terrible for that. One of the really small laminate trim models is what you want for that job. The big routers will wear you out if the work goes for extended time periods. More noise also. Two routers is my recommendation. A 2HP plunge and a smaller depth adjustable laminate size router. Eventually, a 3 to 3.5 hp router for permanent mounting in your router table is the way to go. It's a pain in the butt and time consuming to setup one router in the router table and then have to stop to pull it out and re-set it for mortising hinges or box locks or any other project that can be done better out of the router table. Figure two routers minimum. Start with the 2hp plunge. Check out what's available locally as far as parts and accessories are concerned. That's the final final in choosing. You don't want to be down for days or weeks while a new screw is being shipped from Umgowa, South Africa.


                        • #13
                          hi all three are good and get good reviews in the woo mags, i dont own any of them but im in the market for a new one for table work. the first thing im looking for in mine is soft start, one of the ones i currently have is instant on 0-20000 in a heartbeat i HATE USING IT the other is softstart vspeed musc better but at 1.75 hp its too small to swing a stile/rail bit very well. Im looking at 3-3.5 hp soft start vspeed for the next one. good luck in your choice bill.


                          • #14
                            I just bought the Bosch and love it. The soft start is a great feature, but the electronic speed control makes it! It holds speed no matter how fast I go, or what I go through, like knots or cross grain. I got the kit with the plunge and fixed base.
                            Delta Unisaw; Delta DJ-20 Jointer; Jet Drill press; Ridgid TP-1300 thickness planer; DeWalt 12\" Miter saw; Craftsman 10\" radial arm saw; Craftsman band saw; Seco 3HP Shaper; Router Table; Penn State Tempest Cyclone; Delta Air Cleaner


                            • #15
                              Thanks to everyone who replied. I finally stopped my choice on the Makita RF1101KIT. I had the chance to see all of the routers I had in mind at a woodworker show in Toronto. I had a big hesitation between the Bosch and the Makita. I choosed the Makita because it has more power and more accessories and it is also very quiet. No regrets at this time. I still read reviews and it still on top of the list in it's category. I got a good deal on it, I only paid $10.00(Can.)more than the Bosch intead of $50.00(Can.) after I talked to the Makita representative. My friend decided to buy the same after we both compared the two. I used it a bit on a Craftsman Professional router table. I am looking forward for projects. [img]smile.gif[/img]