Which router?


I'm going to purchase a router, guide, table, and a set of bits as a gift. Which router do you recommend without getting into a pro model?
Steve
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Look into the Triton router. Lesser known, but I've seen them and it makes a very good table router. As for handheld, it might be a big large. They do make a 2.25HP model that could double as both.
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I'm not sure what you mean by "a pro model".
The answer to the "which router" question is another question:
"What are you (or your giftee) going to use it for?"
Mostly free-hand routing? Mostly table mounted routing?
Large diameter bits or small? Plunge or fixed base?
This site gives very brief overview that might help you decide what *style* of router you want to buy. After that you can start thinking about which brand:
http://all-wood-working-plans.com/newsletter/choosing-router.html
It's merely a coincidence, but I own the Porter Cable 690LR mentioned in the article, which is a very versatile router. I have the fixed base, the plunge base and a table.
http://www.coastaltool.com/a/port/690lr.htm
The interchangeable 1/2" & 1/4" collets let me use virtually any size bit I want with no vibration.
Vibration is a key point. The $49 Craftsman POS I bought as my first router scared the crap out of me, what with the noise and vibration.
I know you said that you don't want "a pro model" but you'd be very surprised how much a little extra money spent will make when it comes to ease of use and satisfaction with the results.
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Anything from Bosch, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Triton will do. Get recommendations from www.patwarner.com Pat is probably the best in the world for router stuff.
As for tables, Benchdog is good. For bits, Infinity, Whiteside, and a bunch of others.
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TYVM, Ed.
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== Somehow that URL didn't work for me.
Googleing brought me this:
http://www.patwarner.com/selecting_router.html
That worked. ==
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I'd add that for a larger router, I'd pay the extra tab and get soft start and also look for one with a decent trigger switch. For the smaller ones, there's not that much starting torque, but the bigger dudes can move things around a bit if you're not expecting it and have a firm grip.
--
Nonny

Luxury cars now offer a Republican seating option. These are
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Pat Warner over at rec.woodworking is one well known expert. Check out his web site too, at www.patwarner.com/ for the real skinny. Several years ago I bought my DeWalt 618K based on his recommendation, and after the learning curve, invested in some of his accessories. Couldn't be happier with the results. For router bits I use MLCS and magnate.net for the unusual wide selection you always wind up needing after stocking up with multibit sets. MLCS is very focussed on router matters, and should be a good place to start. There aren't too many real slouches in the market, so you should wind up enjoying the new skills .
Joe
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On Mon, 22 Feb 2010 18:42:18 -0800, "Steve B"

Porter Cable makes a few very good "intermediate" routers. The '690' series is good for most use. For anything more I'd recommend something different for each application (table, plunge, fixed). Basically, the needs differ. A table-mounted router need a lot of power, which makes it difficult to use free-hand. Plunge routers don't work all that well (some are better than others) in tables. There are many variables. I have three routers (one is a PC-690) and soon will be buying a forth. Each has it's use and no one would do all, though if I did have to choose one...
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wrote:

don't forget a trim router;they can be very handy and easier to use in some cases. Even Harbor Freight has one that often sells for around $20!

the Porter-Cable 690 models come in a set with both fixed and plunge bases. You swap the motor assembly between the bases.you can keep the fixed base in the router table and use the plunge base for freehand tasks.
You want a router that accepts 1/2" bit shanks,and 1/2" shank bits;they give cleaner cuts.They cost more,but are worth the money.
Trim routers only accept 1/4" bits.
--
Jim Yanik
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wrote:

Yeah, I have a Bosch Colt.

Good point. Mine came only with the 'D' handle, which I really like for a fixed base. I don't have a plunge base for it and am considering my alternatives. I'm thinking about a Bosch or Milwaukee plunger, but in a weak moment could be persuaded to go for a Festool. ;-)

Yes, and most 1/2" routers will have 1/4" collets available as an option. Some also have metric collets. IIRC, PC includes both 1/2" and 1/4" collets with the 690 series routers.

Yes, they're *trim* routers. ;-) I wouldn't want to hand-hold a big bit in a trim router.
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wrote:

I went and got a Porter Cable 6960LR. The guy says a plunge base can be bought for it, and easily changed. Boy, routers have changed from what I remember. I remember $60. This was $150, and they went up to $300. I found a 15 bit set at a pawn shop for $30. It may be cheap Chinese, but it will get my friend started, and after that he will have to buy the bits he needs. The set was never used. Nice wood box.
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I shall be getting mine out soon to start making some birdhouses, and doing some honeydoos around here.
Steve
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Sounds like a good deal overall.
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 18:58:44 -0500, "Ed Pawlowski"

Yup. Especially for the giftee.
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wrote

The giftee is an electrician that has two more years left to retirement. He can get more work done than three union electricians working beside him. Won't walk away from anything that isn't right. He has done lots of work for us, all free, just perks. It's nice to have a friend like that. So, it was really a good deal. In fact, we should do more for him.
Like knowing a good welder. Know whut uh mean, Vern?
Steve
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On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 08:23:28 -0800, "Steve B"

That looks like a variable speed version of the 690. It should be a very good router. Yes, but a plunge base is another $100. That's what has me thinking. Maybe I'll buy another router instead.

Well, $1 isn't what $1 was, either. ;-) ...or maybe :-(

You've seen nothing yet: ;-) http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/574277/Festool-OF-2200-Router

Were they 1/2"? This really is important for most bits. a 1/4" shank is OK for some small bits, but in general they should be 1/2".

It's almost that season. ;-) I just gotta get my shop (room over the garage) finished so I can play more than six months a year (Mar-June and Sept-Nov).
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