Advice on 3 HP router

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I am looking for a 3 HP plunge router that I can use under and above the table. I am on a budget but want to buy a good solid model.
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Hitachi MV 12
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I checked there is M12V for around $280 and M12V2 for $180. What's the difference between them as the later is $100 cheaper.
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Many, many years ago, for the most part Hitachi tools were made in Japan. They were precisely machined, well engineered, and the fit and finish was great. I have a couple of old Hitachi tools that are on 20+ years of active duty. They were the only tools could find 20 years ago that were as well made as Milwaukee and sold at the same price. The only German made tools around here were Bosch.
I don't think any of the tools Hitachi sells are made in Japan. I believe everything they make is now from China. And while the new M12V resembles its older brother, I really doubt it will last as long.
Personally, I have a DeWalt 625 and have used it for several years. I love it. I is quieter than most routers, has a lot of power, great variable speed control and works well under a table. Like most routers, you can't have everything. It will only swing a 2 1/2" width bit within the base which may not work for you if you are making doors with certain router bit sets. If you get a bit extender, this isn't a problem. Adjustment is easy, and the router stays where I set it.
At about $250 or so, you can still have some scratch left over to buy a spiffy router base to go with it that will give you more flexibility with the use of different PC style inserts, and enable the use of larger bits.
This router handles really well and to me feels really good in my hands. To me it feels better than its 3 - 3 1/2 hp cousins from PC or Milwaukee. To be fair, both of them have similar shortcomings in the depth of cut as well as in baseplate problems. I really liked some of the features on the Milwaukee, but I didn't like those weird feeling hard plastic handles on the sides of the machine as it never felt right in my hands.
Robert
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wrote:

The Hitachi M12V sounds like what you're looking for and in terms of bang for the buck, it's probably one of the best bargains in power tools.
Reply-to address is real John
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I have the Porter Cable 7539 plunge router. Doesn't meet your budget criteria. But it is comfortable to use and the controls are logical. I've played around with the Hitachi and some of the other cheap routers mentioned such as the Freud and always thought these cheap routers were just that. Cheap and uncomfortable. Not something I would like using. Waste of money buying a product that you hate using and are immediately looking for a replacement.
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Triton
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Do you like the way that feels in your hands? I know this is just a matter of preference, but those little round knobs for handles aren't comfortable to me. Granted, I haven't used the 3hp model, but they look the same as the 2 1/2 hp model.
Robert
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wrote:

Actually mine hangs like a bat, all the time. Personally, I prefer a smaller router for hand held use. I am coming from the angle that a router that big would be mounted in a table most of the time.
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I've a triton too & like it a lot, every now & then Woodcraft offer it at a great price.
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Seems like their every day price is a great price. I bought mine about 3-4 years ago and paid over $300. The regular price has been cut over $100.
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wrote:

Just to toss a wrench in the works, an opinion in a slightly different direction...
I don't care what a "big" router feels like in my hands, because I don't like "big" routers out of the table. My choice of a big router is 100% based on table-friendly features, with little thought to handheld use. That said, I like the Milwaukee 5625.
I find any of the 2 or 2 1/4 HP multi-base models (Bosch, PC, DeWalt...) to be plenty powerful for anything done as a handheld operation. The low center of gravity and low mounted handles of a fixed base are my preference whenever I don't need to plunge.
Others might have specific operations they like to do out of the table where they need a bigger router than 2 1/4 HP, but I haven't seen it so far. I've mortised, squared table tops, and cut centers out of 1-1/2" material.
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"Bonehenge (B A R R Y)" wrote

1st choice for a table: Milwaukee 5625-20. If my budget wouldn't allow it, I would pick the Milwaukee 5616-20. Just take smaller "bites" when using the larger bits. I have both routers and they're winners.
Max
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I have both as well as a few MV12's. The OP mentioned budget, and at least here, the MV12 is a lot cheaper than the Milwaukeee, which >is< a superior router to the Hitachi.
r
and for handheld everyday use, the Milwaukee 5616..."from these cold dead hands..etc..etc"
Of course, none of those compare to a liquid cooled Elte spindle..but that's a whole different story...
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 15:15:32 -0700 (PDT), Robatoy

The MV12 is a great deal. I should have underscored the 3HP router in _handheld_ use part. I missed the OP's "budget" request.
I'm not so sure I'd want to hold on to an MV12 (or the Milwaukee) in full grab on a big bit! <G>
Given a tight budget (or ONE router to do all), I think I'd go for the 1617EVS, PC 690, or DeWalt multi-based kits, and take an extra pass when it's in the table.
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On Mar 22, 6:40pm, "Bonehenge (B A R R Y)"

You'd want your feet firmly planted on a non-slip floor if you're going to mess with the Milwaukee. That bad boy feels a lot stronger than the MV 12 even though the ratings are roughly the same. I can't imagine what you'd have to do to stall the 5625. (Hand-held that is)
BTW, did you read this:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/21/MNU3VOB22.DTL&tsp=1
and here's the diatribe from my good friends:
http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=3485144
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 16:27:29 -0700 (PDT), Robatoy

I agree. I teach cycling classes! Too many cyclists don't respect traffic signals or signs. It's one thing to stop at a red light, look both ways, then go (treating the light as a stop sign), compared to ripping through a downhill red light @ 30+ MPH!
Racers are the WORST! Don't want the heart rate to drop!
A messenger was recently killed in an Alleycat race in Chicago, because he ran a red light and got broadsided by a Tahoe, early on a Sunday morning. As a cyclist, I feel for the rider, but I feel worse for the poor person who had to hit him. I put her in the same boat as locomotive engineers who hit people walking on railroad tracks. An innocent person with a body flying over the windshield.
During my classes, I point out that every time <you> do something stupid in traffic on a bike, you get a bottle or ashtray thrown at responsible cyclists by mulletheads. The same goes for mountain bikers who scare hikers and folks on horseback by silently ripping by from behind.

Some of those folks actually have it right.
With rights come responsibilities. A thought lost on many Americans.
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"Bonehenge (B A R R Y)" wrote

Hey, "Teach", I'm glad you came along just now. I'm looking for a bicycle for my wife. She wants a "comfort" bike; something just for exercise. We looked at this one, a Schwinn Sierra Seven: http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/bikes_detail.php?idu4
Something along that order. What would be your verdict? Recommendation?
Max
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wrote:

Comfort bikes were conceived for rolling around the neighborhood and general getting exercise and fresh air, so I think you'd do fine. Comfort bikes, based on a mountain bike, offer a low center of gravity, enough tire air volume to handle sidewalk transitions, poor or loose surface roads, and an upright riding position for good visibility and less stress on the wrists and neck.
Take the time to test ride to get the proper size. Wear comfortable clothing and suitable shoes while shopping. Most have adjustable stems, etc... for fine tuning the fit, but you need the right size frame to start. Comfort bike frame sizes are often expressed as S-M-L-XL or 15-17-19-22 inches. If the rider is near the edge of two sizes, be sure to test ride before buying a different brand, as there may be minor size differences from brand to brand, even though both may be a "17".
If you pick a price point, say $350, the bikes themselves won't differ all that much between brands. Quality and components will be comparable. One important difference can be the shifters, some bikes have "Rapidfire-style" (thumb and forefinger) shifters, others use rotary "Grip" (like a motorcycle throttle) shifts. Either will work well, but some folks develop a preference after trying both types.
Buy from a shop that treats you well and makes you comfortable, offers free adjustments, etc... vs. sticking to one particular brand. There isn't a huge profit on these bikes, so expect shops to compete via a higher service level vs. price markdowns. In the comfort bike realm, (in no particular order) Trek, Raleigh, Giant, and Schwinn, all make excellent bikes.
Once you get her one, the best thing you can do to keep it riding well is proper tire inflation. Bicycle tires can lose air surprisingly quickly, but still look inflated. On a comfort bike, a tire with 65 psi will ride much differently (better!) than 45 psi, while looking similar to the eye.
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"Bonehenge (B A R R Y)" wrote

Thank you sir!! Glad you mentioned the shifter. Mama doesn't like the rotary grip and we'll be asking for a "thumb shifter". (she has arthritis and finds the twist shifter difficult). Inflation should not present a problem. I have 3 compressors, 60 gallon, 3 gallon and a 1 gallon Senco. <G>
Many thanks once again.
Max
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