New router opinions......

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Looking to finally upgrade my router (a moment of weakness and frugality caused me to buy a 1/4" collett router a couple years ago, now it just wont support making decent size dadoes for projects, etc).
Amazon having a good sale on all tools, ends today. Was looking at a bunch of routers, but I get all sorts of opinions for each one.
Im mainly looking at Bosch (1617, 1618?) vs DeWalt (618) vs Milwaukee (BodyGrip), and maybe PC (but leaning away from them because of recent quality control complaints).
Im not a hgue woodworker, so I was looking for one to use handheld and in a table. I like the DeWalt 618 with 3 bases, but obviously its the most expensive. I like Bosch tools in general, and I couldnt find a whole ton of info on the Milwaukee (too new?)
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
-Chris
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I've got a pair of Bosch 1617 EVS, one in the table, one with fixed and plunge bases. Both are about 1 year old, no problems so far with moderate use. The plunge on mine is a little stiff, tends to do nothing as you push down, then suddenly "let go" and plunge normally. Maybe it'll get better as it breaks in. Other than that, I'm happy with them.
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Take a look at both models of the Triton router. Both models have been taking top honors in magazine comparison tests. The larger one is designed to be used in a router table and is tough enough for any router job. It works as a fixed base and plunge base router with out changing bases.
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Chris,
There's a lot of reviews in woodworking magazines you can read to help you make a sound decision. Another good resource is Pat Warner's site (www.patwarner.com). You can buy in-depth reviews of each model. Picking a router is like picking a car and some personal taste will enter the equation.
Personally, I own 2 PC 690's and 1 Triton. I love my Triton and the 690's have been trustworthy, although I haven't been as satisified with the bases. My fixed base just doesn't rotate smoothly and my plunge sticks a little. Both are probably from overuse and lack of maintenance on my part. Still, I put them through hell before getting my Triton and they're still kicking.
That being said, if I one of my routers broke and I had to buy a new one today, I would definitely buy a Milwaukee. I like the way the feel in the hand and I recently bought a Milwaukee cordless drill and have been completely impressed by the performance and quality.
Good luck and have fun shopping!
Chuck
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Biggest bang for the buck, in my opinion/shop is the Hitachi M12V. A very close second, with only slightly less power, but no plunge action, is the Milwaukee 2.25 HP 1516. Very precise, very low vibration.
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Robatoy wrote:

Ive heard a lot of good things about the Hitachi as well, but was worried about its ability to be used hand-held.
While I like the idea of having something powerful enough for me to make my own molding in a table, Id still need it to occasionally double as a handheld to make some rabbets to inset speakers into their boxes, rout decking boards (thats how i can justify a new router ;) ), etc. If the Hitachi is OK for occasional handheld use, Id put it back on my list.
As far as the Milwaukee, I was hoping to get a plunge router, just to make it more versatile. Plus the Milwaukee seems to be "newer" and as such I cant find a lot of different opinions on it. If its made even half as well as my Milwaukee cordless drill, its a heckuva router, but at this point I dont know that it is.
-Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It is perfectly fine hand held. If I had to have one router, that'd be it. The Triton looks to be another one I could live with, but up here in Canada, I can buy a Hitachi AND a 2.1/4HP Milwaukee for almost the same money.
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> Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Since nobody's weighed in with the Dewalt 618 yet, I'll say I'm very happy with that one. I've had the fixed-base version for a little over a year (good deal, reconditioned from Amazon), used it both freehand and in my home-made table, and I just got the plunge base from eBay a few months ago. I guess I don't see much need for the D-handle base. The fixed base is compatible with PC sub-base/pattern template accessories, and has both 3- and 4-bolt attachment patterns. The plunge base has only the 3-bolt attachment pattern. Dust collection through the plunge base is quite good - not 100%, but I'm still very impressed at how little debris is left after routing with that. I've heard excellent things about the Bosch and PC routers also, though. I'll second the recommendation to browse Pat Warner's website. One accessory I'll highly recommend for whatever router you get is the "Router Edge Guide" from Rockler - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 24 I've found this works well as an offset sub-base (with guide removed) in addition to the edge guide as Rockler describes it on the webpage. Hope this helps - sorry if I just confused you more. Good luck, Andy
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I'll tag on this. I bought the 618 with all three bases from Amazon for under $250 delivered. It's been a great router, both freehand and in my table. I do like the D-handle, but that's a personal preference thing.
--

-Mike-
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Thanks for the reply, been waiting for someone to chime in on the 618.
I dont necessarily see the need for all 3 bases, but its 259 at Amazon so Id get another 50 off on top of the sale price, making it 209. Most expensive of the bunch, but probably the best value nonetheless. I like the same things Pat likes.........heavy duty base instead of the plain black plastic, dust collection, etc.
Ive also heard the D-handle helps when free-handing it without the need for plunging.
-Chris
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Actually I forgot to ask a question.
Have you found it able to route simple moldings while installed in a table? I know everyone suggests really powerful models for table use only, but Im sorta on a budget (and this isnt a source of income for me, just more work.......and some fun :) ).
Im trying to find one powerful enough to route simple casing moldings. Why pay HD extra when I can just get decent poplar or pine and route my own!!
Thanks! -Chris
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Yes - but there's a bit of a definition to that. You may find you have to route in passes, depending upon how deep and intricate the contour is, but that's going to be true of just about any router.
--

-Mike-
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Great thread as I am also in the market for a second router and have been looking at the Hitachi KM12VC ($174 at Lowes) . I would appreciate your comments on the 'guide centering adaptor used on the Hitachi routers. . .does it work, is it a good idea, etc.
--
SwampBug
"Robatoy" < snipped-for-privacy@BULLtopworks.ca> wrote in message
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If you're talking about the adaptor that holds the guide bushings...yup works fine, no complaints.
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It does use std PC type guide bushings, right?
--
SwampBug
"Robatoy" < snipped-for-privacy@BULLtopworks.ca> wrote in message
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Indeed it does.
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Thank you, looks like it will be the Hitachi. . .although the use of nickel plating and that color scheme evokes visions of futuristic sports footwear! <g>
--
SwampBug
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Are you planning on using the Hitachi stricly in a table or will you be hand-holding it?
Im still not decided. Id like to have the power of one of the bigger routers (m12V, Bosch 1719, Triton, etc) but I still need it to work pretty decentl in hand-held mode as well.
-Chris
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The M12V doesn't have that goofy colour scheme.AFAIK
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Just to close the thread sorta, I decided on the 3 base DeWalt 618 setup. Great deal from Amazon, 209 shipped. Its on backorder right now, but for a deal like that I can wait.
Thanks for all of the opinions!
-Chris
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