Mid-size Plunger Router - with dust collection!

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. TIA JP
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dewalt 621 - 2hp... an excellent, if old, router
shelly
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On 11/18/2011 11:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@stny.rr.com wrote:

The 621 would be good, but it's "only" 2HP and "only" a plunge router. I have the 2-1/4HP 618B3 kit:
http://www.dewalt.com/tools/woodworking-routers-dw618b3.aspx
The dust collection on the plunge base works great, and the versatility of having plunge, D-handle, and dual-grip bases is quite handy.
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What about the Festool 1400? http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2006344/33821/Festool-Plunge-Router-OF-1400-EQ-TLOC.aspx
"Steve Turner" wrote in message wrote:

The 621 would be good, but it's "only" 2HP and "only" a plunge router. I have the 2-1/4HP 618B3 kit:
http://www.dewalt.com/tools/woodworking-routers-dw618b3.aspx
The dust collection on the plunge base works great, and the versatility of having plunge, D-handle, and dual-grip bases is quite handy.
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I believe the 621 is more accurate (not that I'm so capable!)
Still, It goes through whatever I want it to.
shelly
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Still this users tool of choice:
http://patwarner.com/dw621.html *********************************************************************

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"JayPique" wrote:

--------------------------------- The PC equipment above doesn't have a particularly good track record.
Since you want power and dust collection, why not build a router station with a router lift and a big fixed router such as a Milwaukee 5625 router for router table?
http://tinyurl.com/yfgpay7
Then add a small combo kit with a fixed and plunge base to complete the package.
Lew
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On 11/18/2011 9:47 PM, JayPique wrote:

The problem with dust collection and the PC 690 is that the first sawdust ever created had not yet settled when the 690 was invented. ;~)
My next new router will be a Festool. As you well know it is pricey but after buying a Festool you never wonder if you should have gotten another brand.
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: 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. : TIA : JP
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 comparisons:
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 samoleons.
-- Andy Barss
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