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  • New Milwaukee Body Grip Router

    Hello all,
    I have been looking at the new 5615-21 Milwaukee Body Grip Routers on-line. I was wondering does anyone out there own one of these? I think the quality looks great and amperage is sufficient at 11A. I found the Milwaukee for $147.79. Seems like a good price But I am not very router savvy. I have looked at Porter Cables, and a few others but the Milwaukee has really caught my eye. If anyone has input I would be interested to hear it. One other question is, are the combination standard and plunge routers any good or is one better to buy a router dedicated for each purpose? I don't want to spend an arm and a leg but want to get a good bang for the buck...
    Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>

  • #2
    Hi Big

    It all depends on what you want to use it for. As a hand held plunge router, it might do fine for you but I would prefer the Dewalt 621 as it has the smoothest plunge action I have seen to date. If you intend to use it under a router table, the Milwaukee is not acceptable if you intend to make raised panels or use any of the larger bits. First, it doesn't have adequate power. The DW 621 is 2hp and while it can swing the larger bits, you have to take multiple smaller bites which is no problem. Makes for a smoother final cut. Power is not the main problem, however. If you ever intend to swing larger bits, like raised panel bits, you "MUST" have variable speed to slow the bit down to about 12,00 to 14,000 rpm "MAX". The Milwaukee turns at 24,000 which will most likely cause the bit to fail and throw the parts around your shop at bullet speeds. No kidding, this is a real safety issue. You can get hurt or killed trying to turn larger bits at such speeds.

    Bottom Line: The Dewalt 621 can do the job as it has 2hp, variable speed and soft start. I elected to buy the DW 625 since i use mine mostly under a router table and od lots of raised panels. It has 3hp, can easily turn the large bits yet is good for hand held operations. Not as smooth as the DW 621 but after you get used to it, it works fine.

    Again, if you only intend to use it for small bits, the Milwaukee may work out fine for ya. If you intend to swing larger bits, however, you must have variable speed for safety considerations. This is a serious safety issue. Don't make a mistake on this one.

    Hope this helps.



    • #3
      Art, the Body Grip is a poor plunge router, it's fixed base.

      Cute idea, durned shame they didn't put variable speed and soft start on it. Fifties technology in a 21st Century package. For a few bucks more the Bosch 1617evs has all that, though not a molded grip on the motor.

      One guy's opinion.



      • #4
        Thanks for the input. I think I will cool my jets and keep looking around a bit. I wish there was somewhere that would let a guy give different products a test drive before buying to make sure it was what one wanted. I will take a gander at the Bosch 1617evs you mentioned as well as Arts favored DEWALTS. One question, maybe two. What is your opinion on the Porter Cable that offers the fixed base and plunge base in one package? I am in the works of building an 18' long wood work bench in my shop and plan to build in a place for the router and chop saw for easy clean out. Hmmm, So many choices. Reason I mention it is that I also see they offer the router table with the Porter Cable. My main goal is to have good power, good quality, variable speed and somewhat reasonable versatility which maybe tough to get in a combo pack. I will probably end up with 2 routers down the road to do it right... I would value more model opinions one had to offer... What is a good horsepower range to be in?
        Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


        • #5
          Two routers, huh? I have three and am about to get another. It's like that old Lays potato chip ad, can't eat just one.

          I have the Porter-Cable 690PK dual base kit. I used to have that router table too, but I gave it away. I see that is selling the PC "Ultimate Router Workshop" for $299. That's a hundred more than just the router-with-two-bases kit, so the table is $100. You can build one better than it is with a 2x4 piece of MDF and a couple hours. Around here, that MDF costs about eight dollars.

          The 690PK kit is all right. The design is beginning to show its' age, though. Again, no soft-start, no variable speed. The height adjustment on the fixed base is ages old, it works but is hard to use with any precision (I teach dovetailing, where this really shows). The 693 plunge base is OK, again it has no modern features, but it is servicable. A rite of passage is getting the motor stuck in the durned plunge base, it's tricky to get back out.

          For a long time, one of the highly regarded plunge routers has been the Bosch 1613. Just recently, Bosch essentially took that plunge mechanism and made the 1617evs motor fit into it. So now, they are offering the same concept as the Porter-Cable 690PK, the Bosch 1617evsPK: .

          At $250, and making a benchtop router table to fit it for way less than fifty bucks, I think that is a much better deal than the PC691RS for $300.

          I have two gripes with the Bosch routers, related. The template guides and baseplates are not up to standard. The baseplates are solid black plastic, with 2" holes. This is fine for work in the middle of boards, but deadly on edgework, where there isn't enough support. The template guides are expensive, and don't fit flush to the baseplate. An $18 dollar fix for both problems is a clear baseplate, fitted for Porter-Cable template guides, from Pat Warner, at . I might be inclined to only put one on the fixed base, since plunge routers are typically not used on edges anyway.

          There is a catch to the Bosch plunge, but with a nickname like "Big" it might not be a problem for you. I have very short fingers, and reaching the plunge lever is too much of a stretch for me. This isn't just a problem for me on the Bosch, though, it happens with all lever release plungers.

          For what it's worth, my shop router collection consists of PC690PK, Bosch 1617, and Freud FT2000e for table use only. Soon, I will add a DeWalt 621 as Art mentioned, because it is the most comfortable plunge router for my use. At some point I'll likely get a Porter-Cable 310 laminate router as well, which makes a neat lightweight router for delicate work.



          • #6
            Big J,

            I have the PC combo kit and use it for a lot of hand operations - used it today to cut a dado for a bookcase. I also have the Makita, but bought it before the kit came out. I use it in my router table. I think you need to look at both the Bosch and the Makita kits - the 2 of them are normally "Editor's Choice" items. They both have the soft start, variable speed and more power than the Porter Cable. The Makita is a little quieter and has a little more power than the Bosch, but it's also more expensive.

            Bob R


            • #7
              Dave & Bob R,
              Thanks for the info. I have been reviewing the routers that all have mentioned. I drove 120 miles to HD and shopping with my better half Saturday and looked at the Porter Cable kit. I also talked with 3 different clerks that didn’t know anything about the products. One said he had used a router a year ago for 5 minutes. They all walked away never offering to find someone more experienced. My wife was very perturbed since she is the one wanting the router projects. I just shrugged my shoulders and we went on. After coming home and reviewing on the net, it looks to me that the Porter Cable plunge base and the Makita plunge base are nearly the same. Both have exposed thread adjustment and the little hex key screws setting depth. The fixed bases look to be very similar too besides the grips. Besides the Makita having the variable speed, soft start and a little bit more amperage and horsepower, there’s not much difference. Best price I found on the Porter Cable 693PK was $187.00. The Makita RF1101KIT came in at $279.00. $92.00 seems like a bit of extra money comparing the differences. O’ I forgot to mention the Makita comes with an edge guide. Can’t get much for that. Tell me if I missed something. Here are the links I was reviewing on the Porter Cable and Makita.
              Comparing the Makita and The Bosch it looks like the Bosch has a better and enclosed plunge system. It looks very simple. Also the Bosch comes in with 2hp 12 amps versus the Makita’s 2-1/4hp and 11 amps. Hmmm, I need someone to explain that down the road sometime. They might use the old “its not the size of the tool, it’s how you use it” theory. I thought one always wanted a tool with the most amperage. Anyway the Makita is a better comparison to the Bosch with exception of the edge guide, which Bosch sells as an accessory for about $40.00 and looks to be much better comparing the two… The best price I found on the Bosch was $234.00 for the 1617EVSPK. That is a $45.00 difference from the Makita.
              It took me a while to get over Dave’s comment about my old reliable Milwaukee brand. But I suppose he is right from what I have compared in my venture to buy my first router.
              I don’t think Milwaukee even offers variable speed router, nor a plunge base. I have always had great satisfaction with there metal working tools but I will have to humble myself and agree they are not thinking very hard on there router designs. The only plus I seen the Milwaukee had versus others I looked at was your can adjust the bit height from the topside with a 3/8” socket. This would be very handy when it is mounted on a router table. Someone will probably show me other models that do this as well.
              Well I have been more than windy on this subject but for my needs I think a combo kit is what I am looking for. I will keep looking a bit more before making my final decision. I really appreciate all the advice you folks have offered. Keep it coming!!!
              Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


              • #8
                I've never used the Makita, or even handled one, so I really cannot comment on it. Bob R is certainly correct on the reviews.

                You wrote "I thought one always wanted a tool with the most amperage". I really doubt that small difference would be noticable in any way. I'm pretty sure my 1617 has more amperage than 690, but I can't feel it in any way.

                You were Blessed by the Home Depot guy. At least he admitted no knowledge, rather than just making it up, as I have caught a couple of them doing.



                • #9
                  Hi Dave

                  No, I suppose the Milwaukee wouldn't make a good plunge router, thanks for the correction.

                  Actually, I'm not familiar with the router (obviously) so I looked it up. When I saw that it was constant speed, I looked no further as that, for me, eliminated it as a safe router to use for table operations if one intends to swing the larger bits at anytime in the future. Should have done my homework better but glad we have sharp guys like you watching to point out the error .

                  Thanks for the correction.




                  • #10
                    This is an old thread but I thought I would add that not long after the 1-3/4HP single speed 5615-21 model was introduced Milwaukee brought out a new router to address the issues people had with the model 5615-21.

                    Somewhere around 2007 (that's when I bought my 5616) Milwaukee came out with the model 5616-21 which upped the power to 2-1/4HP and has soft-start plus variable speed and some time later a plunge base was made available available for the 5616-21. That plunge base was not available when I bought my 5616 but I found out about years later and was able to get one for my 5616 and I am glad I did because it makes the 5616 a nice plunge router.

                    I bought the 5616-21 in 2007 and use it alongside a couple of PC690s, a Festool OF1400, PC7518, and a couple small trim and compact routers. Of all the 2-1/4HP routers I own I like the Milwaukee 5616-21 the best. I know PC has newer version of the 690 out for years (the 890 series) but I still think this Milwaukee has them beat. I like many of the features of the OF1400 but I don't find it the most comfortable to use.

                    So my point is many of the negative comments made in the past when the 5615-21 was first introduced do not apply to the 5616-21 model. Milwaukee listened to feedback and responded with the model 5616-21 which incorporated those features that users said were missing.
                    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2006
                    "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"