: I'm starting to look for a new plunge router, at least 2.25 hp,
: preferably with good dust collection. I've been switching back and
: forth between a PC 690 with a plunge base and a PC 7539, which is a
: 3.25hp plunger and a real beast. Neither have dedicated dust
: collection. When template routing or using a guide bushing I'm
: frequently frustrated by having to stop and blow out the chips so that
: the bushing rides smoothly against the template I'm using. And when I
: restart, there is often times a noticeable bump or ridge where I've
: had to start again and/or replunge the router. And if I don't blow
: out the chips often enough, I've had deviation from the template where
: chips gathered and, well, it sucks. It's most noticeable in the
: corners, so I slow down, and then I get burning, which I can pretty
: much never get out without ruining the profile. And the snowball
: effect continues. So I'm taking recommendations for a plunger with
: the ability to hook up some sort of shop vac or dust collector. Or
: perhaps one that has a self-vac set-up a la some sanders I've seen.
: (Although I've never seen a router like this..) My gut is that
: Festool is the way to go, but man that's a pricey nut.
I have an Elu plunge router, which became the DeWalt 621. It's excellent,
and I have heard good things about the DeWalt. Amazon is running a deal
currently with $25 off any qualifying DeWalt tool, and this includes all
the routers. The Amazon price on the 621 would be $215.
But it has the problem you're trying to solve, namely dust goes
everywhere. I try to do most of my routing outside.
If I were going to get one new great router, I would probably look closely
at the Festool line, though you're right they're pricey: the smaller one
(the 1400) is $485, the bigger one (the 2200) is $825. They're pretty
amazing for dust control (Marc Spagnuolo has a good video here:
<http://tinyurl.com/d67rvhb ). There is also the 1010, the trim router
that takes 1/4" and 8mm bits. But you can get DeWalt's package of their
1/4"/8mm trim router and two bases (fixed and plunge) right now for $143
on Amazon (with the $25 discount), so I probably wouldn't go for this one.
If you're going to do a lot of table work, I would consider following the
advice of someone here a while back and get a shaper instead, with an
adapter for router bits. The Grizzly shapers start at $550, and are well
reviewed; that price isn't much different from a large router and a
good-quality above-the-table adjustment plate. Here's a couple of price
Grizzly G1035 1.5 HP shaper: $565, plus $74 shipping = $639
Shop Fox Shop G4792 2HP shaper: $850, $94 shipping = 944
Keep in mind these have induction motors, and not the universal motors
that routers have. They can run on 220 or 110v current, and draw
24 amps 110 and 12 amps 220 (G4792), and 16/8 amps (the G1035).
The DeWalt 621 draws 10 amps at 110v, and the PC 7539 draws 15. So
(I think) the 1.5 HP shaper has a more powerful motor than the
3.5HP Porter-Cable you have.
Some router and router lift prices:
JessEm Mast-R-Lift II $350
Milwaukee 5625 3.5HP router: $260
That's $610, and you still need the tabletop and base.
OTOH you can take the router out and use it freehand, which you can't
(easily) do with a shaper!
So I guess you need to take into acount the type of work you're doing, and
what seems critical is whether you want and need a handheld router
bigger than the trim router size. If not, I would do the trim router +
shaper route, probably. If you need s handheld big router and dust
collection, the Festool seems like the best option, if you can swing the
-- Andy Barss