Having hung around in the shadows for a long time here, I'm fully aware how
reticent everyone is to express an opinion... but - maybe we can stretch
ourselves a bit...
I've decided to dump my POS Craftsman 1/4in router in favor of a 1/2in unit.
Stopped by the borg last night and looked at what they have and was somewhat
disappointed in the selection but I did look at the PC they carry.
Actually, they carry two PC models locally (can't remember the model
numbers) but one is a single speed and the other is two speed - likely the
one I would purchase.
Some general questions for the group -
1) Anyone have any comparison between the PC models and the Makita? The
Makita they sell at the borg comes with 3 bases - standard, D-handle, and
plunger. It is also a 2HP motor while the PC is a 1 3/4 HP motor, however
the RPM rating is lower than the PC. Thoughts on these two ratings?
2) Is anyone out there familiar enough with the PC line to offer suggestions
or comments about the models the borg sells versus the full product line?
3) Any other opinions or comments about routers in general? I will be going
with a 1/2in router this time, so that one is a given. Otherwise, I'm
curious what others might have to say.
I'm in the same situation that you are - ready to dump POS Craftsman and
looking for a better unit. I've got my mind set on a PC 895PK. My local HD
has crap for router selection - only low end stuff. I suggest dropping by
Woodcraft (or someplace that carries a better selection than the borg), then
compare features and read reviews online. Once you have made a decision,
search online for the best price. Amazon.com carries a wide selection and
they will often ship at no charge. Good luck.
Don't know if you might be interested or not.....
My local Lowes has the double-base kit Porter Cable router on
clearance. It's normally priced at $200. Now on sale at $105.
In my opinion, that is a terriffic deal -- If I didn't already have a
1/2 inch collet router, I would go for that in a heartbeat.
As for the quality of PC routers, it is generally agreed as very good
to excellent. For decades, PC set the standards for routers. To get
anything significantly better, you'll be into some SERIUOUS bucks.
My big router is the M12V (Hitachi). It's big and heavy, and has lots
of power. It's a plunge-only router. The plunge mechanism sometimes
(not always) sticks just a little. Other than that, it is also a good
But that PC double base kit is a great deal. Check with your local
(I am not affiliated with any of the companies whose names I've
mentioned, and have no relationship with them.)
Start here: http://www.portercable.com /
and stop here:
Once you have acquired at least one of each model group,
you can start thinking about how many you need.
Don't forget to get a laminate trimmer also.
Thank God you came to your senses.
Mike Marlow wrote:
I have a PC 7529 and a DeWalt 621. Both are good units, but I prefer the
- I find it easier to change bits.
- The depth control of the 621 is easier for me to use.
- The dust collection connector is at the top on the 621 but on the base
of the 7529. Both do a great job of dust collection, but the 621 does a
better job of keeping the #$%$# hose out of the way. With the 7529 I nearly
always have to hang the shop vac hose from the ceiling to keep it out of the
way; with the 621 I can skip that step.
The 621 also plunges straighter. Both lock on just one of the two plunge
tubes, so if you push on the unlocked side handle when the other side is
locked it moves slightly and the bit is tilted out of square. It's not a
big deal in use if you're careful to plunge straight down and not press down
on the handles after they're locked.
Well, I had to pick one of the replies to my post to serve as my reply-to
reply, so Mark, you win. Only because you posted about the DeWalt routers,
so don't get a big head on us.
My thanks though to everyone who took the time to reply. Like all good boys
with a little cash immediately available I had set to work cruising the net
even as I was posting my initial post. Looked at all of the PC stuff,
looked at my favorite color - red (really disappointed in their router
selection and outfitting options), and then went and looked at what is
rapidly becoming the predominant color in my shop - yellow and black.
Settled on the DeWalt 618B3 which is a 2HP kit complete with all three bases
and a case. The price was very tolerable all told - came to $254.99 on
Amazon. I hold PC in very high regard but I was a bit concerned for the
reviews I'd read on the bases and on the plunge mechanisms. I guess for now
my belt sander will be alone in the shop as the only grey and black tool.
Not to worry both my red tools and my yellow and black tools are very
accomodating of the grey and black colors. I train them up to be that way.
Thanks again for everyone's input.
Even now my woodworking skills are poor at best...
But when I first started a few years back, people I admired told me that the
router was the most versatile and perhaps the most used tool in the shop.
With that information, I figured I'd buy the biggest and the baddest mother
I could find - A Bosch 1619. This was before my introduction to the router
table, and I did all my routing by hand.
Gah! HPs, AMPs, RPMs are all important, but I implore you to examine LBS!
Excellent review. I knew I was making the right decision when I selected
this router. My compliments to you Jack - very well written review,
balanced, articulate, and of course - it contained all the things a fellow
who has just bought one would want to read.
I just bought a new router. Funny how I didn't know what I would be happy with
till after I buy something else.
I bought the Milwaukee single speed 1-1/2 horse router and was happy enough till
reading the tool snots on this group.
I was looking at the PC and while the two bases were a plus , as was the vacuum
attachment, I couldn't get over $40 more for a tool that didn't strike me as
being of as high quality as the Milwaukee (I felt the same while shopping for a
If I could do it again I would buy the 1-3/4 horse Milwaukee variable speed.
It's small enough to be handy but large enough to do some serious routing.
Since I would be shopping at the Milwaukee service center I would probably try
talking myself into a router larger than the 1-3/4, then see if they could match
the on-line price.
Both are very nice tools, you probably won't go wrong with either.
Pick them both up and see how the controls on each router feel in YOUR
They are the same PC routers sold elsewhere. Without a model number,
it's had to make specific comments. Chances are it's the 690 or 890
series, which are fine, well-respected tools
For general, all around "main router" use, I don't think you'll go
wrong with Porter Cable, Bosch, DeWalt, or Makita, as long as you make
apples to apples comparisons. Don't get worried about a 1 3/4 HP vs a
2 HP or 2 1/4 HP motor, they operate the same. For example, most of
them offer kits consisting of a 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hp motor and several
bases. They're all good. <G> Feel them all and pick one.
Sorry I couldn't give you a "this one's better" recommendation. <G> I
have two different Bosch routers and love them, but would feel
comfortable buying DeWalt, Porter Cable, Makita, routers in that price
/ feature set range as well. Competition has made them very similar
in features and quality at each price point.
I don't know what type of router work you are planning on, but if you
ever think you will be using it for raised panel doors, I would suggest a
~3HP model. My wife bought me a 3hp Makita plunge router for christmas
(does EVERYONE start with a 1/4" POS Craftsman router?). It was fairly
inexpensive since it isn't variable speed. Although I mainly use it in
my router table, it is easy to handle and does an excellent job with 3"
raised panel bits even in hickory. I did have to buy a $25 motor control
to slow the router down with the big bits. I have since bought a PC
1.5hp router so I don't have to pull the big one out of the table, but I
can honestly say that I like the Makita better for general use.
The good news is that ANYTHING is better than that old craftsman so you
can't *really* go wrong ;)
I appreciate that thought Jim, but... day late dollar short. I posted a
followup yesterday that you may not have seen which told that I purchased
the DeWalt 618B from Amazon. It's a 2 1/4 HP unit but I anticipate it
should handle raised panels well enough - at least well enough for the
number of them that I do from time to time. Certainly better than its
predicessor. Likely not as well as a bigger unit, but if I ever get into a
place where I'm running more of them and things are too slow, I'll get a
shaper or a second and more powerful router as a more special purpose tool.
Wow - cool wife.
Sure seems so, doesn't it?
I can see myself being here at some point. Giving up the rat race and
spending more time out in the shop is becoming a more frequent consideration
Funny how that goes isn't it? For years my POS seemed just fine. It
routed. It got a little fancy from time to time and performed its
auto-adjust trick, and I ruined more than one piece of wood with it, but
somehow I tolerated that and pressed on. That's what makes finally
replacing a junk tool with a good one so neat - it's like a new world opens
up in front of you. Simple minds, simple pleasures, huh? Amazon just
informed me that they shipped my new router yesterday so I should have it
mid week next week - maybe. Guess what I'll be doing next week... maybe.
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