Router reccomendations

As some of you may have seen in other threads, I am norrowing down my power tool wish list.
Now to the router. For this item I think I can afford a decent one that'll last a very long time, rather than buy a cheapo. I currently have a Bosch constant speed 1/4" job. It's a something 500. It's done me until now, but now I want to go up to 1/2" variable speed job.
It'll get used for everything, mortising, dovetailing, panels, mouldings and facings etc. etc.
What do you guys reccomend in this category?
Somebody previously suggested a Freud, but I had a look at the pics of one on Amazon and it looked like all the bits didn't fit together very well. Maybe it runs like a dream? Comments?
CJH
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I have a de Walt 621 - it's very well made (unlike a lot of other DW tools - suspect it's still made in the old Elu factory), nice smooth plunge and the dust collection through the pillar works like a dream (mine's generally connected up to a Henry).
However, in Europe it's only 1/4" - 1/2" collets are available in the States, but I've not yet found a service centre that ships to Europe.
My brother has the 625, and is similarly pleased.
Have heard very good things about the Hitachi M12V, especially if you plan to use it in a table.
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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wrote:

Try www.grainger.com
They will supply both complete DeWalt tools and spare parts to Europe.
Follow the link to the Repair Parts Center.
You can set up an account with them, order by credit card and communicate by email.
They will ship by post, which takes some time, or UPS which costs more depending on which service.
Usually I order several things to make shipping worthwhile and give them my Fedex account number for shipping.
.andy
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On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 16:33:48 -0400, "Chris Harris"

Not a suggestion as such, but I guess you need to know this happened;
Back in January, I ordered a DeWalt 615
It's here now and it's about to be returned for a refund; this is why.
Was advertised as having 6mm, 6.3mm and 8mm collets. I have since also come to understand it should come with a parallel fence/giude, and a 30mm guide bush. Out of those it had the 6 or 6.3 (can't quite recall which) and that was it!
It's taken until last week to discover that despite countless phone calls to the retailer, they (who I shall not name as it's not entirely or even that much their fault in my view, but they are a household name!) and DeWalt between them have failed to do anything about that situation, beyond coming up with an 8mm collet so I could at least use the set of cutters I bought with it from the same supplier - and all this for the princely sum of 239.99 for the router alone thank you very much! I bought this one based on DW's reputation as much as anything much else, but I have to say it's not what I'd describe as a smooth action plunge either, since it locks solid before going nowhere at all, instead of sliding downward sometimes! That reputation can not have been built on doing business this way, surely? I have made sure it wasn't locked too, but the truth is actually as grizzly as it sticking on the plunge or even instead of the plunge!
Since I'd tried out my 8mm cutters in the course of having this learning curve thrust into my life, I felt I needed something to get the use out of the cutters and make some cuts that still needed doing for the house refurb which is ongoing, so I took a real gamble(!) and spent 23.99 with Screwfix for the Ferm 550watt model, and opted for that one while I took time to make a better purchase of a "Quality Router!" ;O) I also felt that I might table this one later to, as it seems easy to remove from it's base should I decide to go that route apparently, and there's a few other nice things about it I'd seen mention of in various newsgroup searches.
OK, it's not quite as nice as the DW of course, but it does plunge smoothly, and it did come with the 3 sizes of collets as advertised by both retailers, It also came with a parallel guide, but it did not come with the bush either, however in all fairness Screwfix mention that on the their site and in their paper catalogue. It also came with a router bit which the DW did not, not the worlds finest router bit, I'll grant you, but at least it was there!
One thing is for sure, one may be ten times the other in price, but it's not ten times the value.
For my "proper" router I am currently looking at Ferm or Erbauer half inchers as they are currently looking like an interesting couple of items to me at least. (anyone here tried either of them?) I'll follow what other replies you get with much interest as it's pretty relevant to me too right now - you just beat me to it posting the question!! ;O)
The cheapie will sure get me by while I figure out what the best way to go with this is! I'd try to keep the weight down from my experience with the DW615, it's manageable enough, but it is undeniably a bit of a lump and I'm sure a half incher may be even more so. I find I have much greater control with the Ferm 550 watt, and don't miss the softstart as much as I thought I might, however the electronic speed controller is clearly not as sophisticated as that in the DW (no surprise either at this price!)
Given what's happened to me this year with routers, I am half tempted to look at Ferm's dearer model at 35 to be honest! ;O) I could get 6 of those and still be quids in! It "looks" and "specs" quite like the DW 615 too! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube
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wrote:

OOPS! I meant the Freud or Erbauer! Seems Ferm have made quite an impression on me here! ;O)
FREUD FT2000E Looks OK, but might be a tad heavy, I reckon it'd be solid though based on their circular saw I just got. Finish might not be quite so pretty as some can be but it's pretty tidy design from what I can tell.
ERBAUER 1/2" Screwfix' own brand. This company have gone the extra mile in so many ways to get a good reputation, I can't see how the wisdom which got them where they are now could be abandoned all that easily, but who knows, maybe this is their moment to wobble!? Anyone tried any other Erbauer brand products yet?
My DW experience has left me quite disillusioned with the bigger makes and labels - seems they are not all that keen to be careful with their reputations either. The old "1000 pound gorilla" syndrome perhaps?
Take Care, Gnube
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wrote:

Phew! Ferm! I was going to say, I hope you ordered the fire extinguisher and the industrial gloves for when it catches fire and falls apart.
.andy
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You don't need to remove the base to set it up in a table, at most you might need to drill some new holes in the base to connect it up. Unless you mean the plastic sliding plate on the bottom.
Peter
--
Peter Ashby
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
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On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 11:46:51 +0100, Peter Ashby

Yup, you're absolutely right, I was also pondering a horizontal table mount and the plan I was dreaming up for that would have been easier with just the router body. Another concept I'd like to explore with this cheapy is a limited subset of what I have seen described as a radial arm router, again making my own plunger for that might be easier than recycling the existing one. This is where the cheaper tools like this score, they are cheap enough to allow a tinkerer some room for some fun and careful experiment!
Take Care, Gnube
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On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 14:40:58 +0100, Peter Ashby

My non-cheapo didn't.
There's a lesson in this.
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 12:09:57 +0100, Peter Ashby

Amen to that.
Take Care, Gnube
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I went for a Makita 3621C. axminster.co.uk do them for around 220. It is a decent sized powerful router. You can get various collet sleeves and template guides etc. The brushes are also changeable. It has soft start, variable speed (which is really useful) and electric brake. The height has a fine adjuster.

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On 9 Jul 2003 00:09:22 -0700, rich_ard snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk (Rich) wrote:

That sounds rather nice. Thanks for mentioning it.
Take Care, Gnube
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Thanks to everyone for their comments.
I'd been looking at the Makita 3612C, and a few people have mentioned it.
One question.Axminster are doing a range or CMT machines that look a bit good, if rather pricey. Thing is that all their accesories have ELU part numbers; therefore are CMT ELU?
I've been using a borrowed ELU flip saw recently and it is a very nice bit of kit.
CJH
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wrote:

Well, no, not exactly, but the source for the design of the tennon jig was the UK DeWalt tips pages, and they suggested the style of router bit, I did a search for them and found the CMT ones and knew they were going to be the one to get, and now you mention them in an Elu context and then there's the Elu and DW connection and it's all looking a bit interesting! Maybe that's where "the real" DeWalts went? It's intriguing to say the least is that! The CMT at Axminster looks rather like the newer DeWalt design (624?) Even down to using a very near match for the "Electronic" logo symbol DW use.
I don't know, but just maybe there's something afoot here.
Interesting!
Take Care, Gnube
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Yes. I looking through the catalogues tonight and noticed that Electronic logo thing as well, and the striking similarity to the DeWalt 625 that Axminster no longer carry. Even the write-up on the website is almost word for word identical to the write-up for the DeWalt in the 2002 paper catalogue.
Me thinks it the same machine, and the price has gone down a bit too :-)
CJH
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I'm drawn to the Makita 3612. I know it's not the cheapest 1/2 incher around. But from what I can tell from looking at specs and pictures etc.. it seems a well put together machine. Heaver than the DW, ELU,CMT, Hitachi, Bsoch, Trend T9 at 6kg. The DW and clones look a bit tinny. For example take a look at three stop turret; the Makita one looks like it was designed as part of the tool, the others look like they were added later. I'll probably use it most in a table anyway so weight isn't a big deal.
The Trend T9 seems good. I notice that it has the "Electronic" logo too, maybe several manufacturers are using the same bit of electronics, probably even the same motors. It's lighter than the Makita, and has a greater plunge depth. Second choice if I can't get the Makita I think.
The D&M site, that Richard mentioned, is good it has comparison tables and good pics. http://www.dm-tools.co.uk
CJH
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wrote:

That explains it being absent on the screwfix one then!

615 has e-speed control for sure, and a very good one at that in my view.

I'd have thought so too.

Ah, maybe we should set up a registry for all this as we try them - would make for an interesting and useful reference for the whole group. Not sure exactly how you could implement it, but I have a feeling they call it a "wiki" style web site or something very similar sounding.

Got to be worth a look too - thanks! Do they trade online do you happen to know?
Take Care, Gnube
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