Lesson learned

I'm looking for recommendations regarding necessary h.p. and suggested models of hand-held plunge routers for making mortices.
That's all ... just the one job (I already have a Milwaukee 3.5 hp in the table, a HF 2.5 hp on its way back to the horizontal table and a 1/4" Craftsman because it was free :-). If it later finds additional work, so be it ... but that's in the future somewhere. I have 20 amp 110v service available.
It needs to be a plunge router. Other than, that I am open to suggestions. Cheaper is better as long as I end up with a well-aligned, reliable machine with enough guts to get on with the job.
Bill
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I have the 2.25hp Dewalt 618 with plunge base, and I found it more than sufficient for making 3/8" mortises with a spiral upcut bit in red oak and cherry. I think I plunged 1/4" of depth at a time, using the built-in stop system. No problems with it bogging down, and the chip collection is pretty good, though I occasionally had to slow down and give it time to get all the chips. Overall, very satisfied. Andy
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Andy wrote:

skip the DW 618 and get the Dewalt 621 plunge router variable speed SOFT START (start up kick ain't no fun) plunge s m o o o o o t h dust extraction via one of the plunge columns actually works no reaching for lock lever - turn the left handle to do that so you keep both hands on the router trigger, with trigger lock on the right handle - no reaching for a switch with carbide spinning at 20-30K rpms two STRAIGHT edges - no worrying about eccentric round base relatively quiet - for a router ONE wrench to tighten or loosen collet (I HATE PCs 2 wrench set up) micro-depth of cut adjustment YELLOW is easy to find
charlie b
If you want more hp go with DW's bigger plunge - lacks some of the control features of the 621 though
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charlie b wrote:

Hmmm ... these guys are $60 less than Amazon for the full kit and have the router alone for still yet $30 cheaper.
http://www.tylertool.com/dewroutandcu.html
I started this search on the presumption that Amazon would liely have the lowest price. As Gomer Pyle, USMC would say, "Surprise, surprise."
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I bought a Makita compound miter saw from these guys and they were considerably cheaper than Amazon. I got the item as described with no issues. Cheers, cc
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James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

Thanks ... sounds like a well-qualified referral. All such referrals are welcomed. I'm not a rich dude (a 'gentleman woodworker') ... and $10 still matters - so $60 makes a huge difference when both are from mail-order vendors and I'm not likely to get much hand-holding anyways.
Bill
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charlie b wrote:

Charlie, at first look that model looks like a pretty sweet router, but then, on second glance, it looks like it would be tipsy for (normal base) hand-held use.
Pat Warner said "The 621 is king in ergonomics but not stability." and I can see his point. (I took his word when I chose my Milwaukee for under the table mounting and haven't had but about two regrets.*)
What has your experience been? Did you swap out the smaller baseplate for a larger one? Do you disagree with Pat about the stability issue?
Pat mentioned that the dust collection funnel was a bit of a problem ... while it aided chip collection, it tended to obscure vision. Is this a true fact? Is it a gross exaggeration only just barely related to the facts? Is it true but a minor niggle? Did you pitch the funnel altogether?
Inquiring minds want to know ... before plunking down all-to-rare cash on a machine that, whether it suits my needs or not, will rattle around in my shop for most of the rest of my life.
Bill
* I find that the speed control can be a bit awkward to get to in an under the table location - a dial laid in the same plane as the top cap might have been a better idea and that the lack of a brake means I have to wait a long, long time for the bit to spin down before it is safe to change or otherwise work near it. I am thinking about the possibility of dropping a space ball into the collet opening to hold the bit up off the shaft while I wrestle with two wrenches and a limited access range under the table. This is a situation ALL router manufacturers should take a look at ... either design in enough room for both wrenches to have near 180 deg. motion or find a way to do away with the wrenches altogether. (Maybe I could just magnetize the collet to hold the bit up while I tighten the collet nut?) The Milwaukee could also use 2-3 more threads worth of down (up?) adjustment as it is easy to lose the threads when cranking a bit down low.
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Just about any router will make a mortise, with less hp and smaller bits it will just take longer, i.e. less depth with each pass and smaller diameter bits. When I only had a Skil 1 1/2 hp, 1/4" collet router I would use a 1/4" spiral bit and take shallow passes. I have pretty much relegated the Skil to a horizontal table set up that sees an occasional use. I leave the Hitachi M12V beast in the regular router table with a Router Raizer and a Xtreme Xtension for ease of above table bit changing and depth set up. For handheld routing I just recently purchased the Dewalt 618 kit with the three different bases and have been happy with it. I was going to buy the Hitachi 2 1/4 hp kit with the fixed and plunge bases but at the time I wanted it Amazon didn't have it for sale. I almost drove an hour and a half round trip to a Lowes to buy the Hitachi but the orange BORG had the Dewalt kit and a $50 rebate offer a month or so ago so I ended up with the Dewalt, for some reason I really wanted the D-handle base so there you go. For very light router work, 1/8" or 1/4" roundover or small inlay work I use a Ridgid laminate trimmer. I would definitely buy something that has 1/2" and 1/4" collet capabilities. If you can go to a store and pick up a few and see how they feel, you may prefer one over another based on how they fit in your hands and location of switches and plunge locks, etc. I would stick to a reliable name including (but not necessarily limited to) Bosch, Dewalt, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Makita, Porter Cable. I noticed that Ridgid has a fixed base/plunge kit now as well, though I haven't seen many reviews of it yet. I've been happy with my little laminate trimmer and my Ridgid TS and jointer. Whatever you get, good luck and happy woodworking.
Dale

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wrote:

[...snip...] You might want to visit Pat Warner's web site at http://patwarner.com . Specifically http://patwarner.com/dw618pk.html .
My suggestion is don't look at HP, look at amps.
Anyway, to break that rule the 2-1/4 HP (12 amps) routers are conventionally considered the sweet spot in routers. Big enough for most table work, not too big for handheld use. Get one with soft start and electronic speed control, particularly if you envision table use with large router bits. And although you specify plunge, you might want to consider the kits that include a motor that comes with both a fixed base and plunge base.
And for all that, I do nicely with my one speed 11 amp Porter Cable 690.
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