Re: Soliciting Router Recommendations: Weigh In!



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bits
If you buy steel bits, then yes, they're "cheap-o" bits. You can sometimes tell that they're going dull within 20-30 linear feet of routing. Carbide bits, however, are a different story. They'll stay sharp so long that you'll never want to buy anything else again.
steve
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Check out www.patwarner.com. My first router is the venerable PC 690. Got a excellent price on the 693VSPK so I went that route. Haven't plunged with it yet and am told there are much better plungers.

Yes. Avoid the temptation. Coupl'a things: almost always these a 1/4" shank. Not that that's always bad, but broadly, 1/2" shank is often better. Of the Ton-O-Bits, only 3 or 4 will get the use, the others will collect dust.
As others have noted - this is a piece of steel rotating at 20,000+ RPMs and often groin-level. Is this the time to save some bux?
Start at www.routerbits.com - buy a Whiteside 1/4" round-over, 1/2" shank bit and start experimenting.
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If you are going to get a big beefy 3hp plunge router one of the best values out there is the Freud FT2000 3hp router. They also sell it in a kit with a table top ande fence and it's still less expensive than a Porter Cable 3hp alone.
The fence in this kit is simple but really really nice with dust collection port, independant adjsutable fence halves and simple micro adjust. The router also has micro height adjust built in which makes it real nice for table work and you can add a router raizer for less than $100 for table top height access.
Check it out at (Amazon.com product link shortened)

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While you certainly want to get peoples' opinions, get to a store and pick up and adjust the different routers. If you go with brand name I doubt you'll be disappointed, it's more a personal preference. This is one area where the woodworking shows excel, you can handle all the brands in one sitting - pretty much all the vendors are there.
That's how I decided on the DW621 plunge router. I felt it had a smoother plunge action than the PC, it has a very simple plunge lock (twist the handle), and a really nice microadjust. I'd read that people didn't like the safety interlock switch it uses, but after trying it a couple times it seemed straightforward enough. It's second nature now. It comes with both a 1/4 & 1/2" collet.
The PC7518 is mounted in my router table. That wasn't so much a 'pick up and feel' purchase since I knew it'd be hanging permanently under my router table. I bought that on reputation alone. Comes with a 1/2" collet, but a 1/4" is available.
I also have a very old Craftsman that was my father in laws that I use as a trim router, but that's not really available anymore. I recently sold on eBay about a 15-yr old Craftsman router, that was my first, in a Crafstman aluminum router table. I got $50 for both, which pleasantly surprised me. I never had the mysterious self-adjusting depth collet problem others here have had with Craftsman routers, in fact it had served me well. I would say that I find the DW & PC's to be much quieter. They are not as top heavy either. The Craftsman came with a 1/4" collet, I don't know if a 1/2" is available for their routers.
Router bits: when I plan ahead and for bits I know I'll use a lot, I go for reputed quality. Jesada is whom I buy most from. I don't have any CMT but they have an excellent reputation as well (and I'd heard at one point they were the same company, same bits, except for color of course, but I don't know that to be true). For bits that I don't expect to use much, I will cut corners, especially if it is a more expensive profile. I have had good luck with Lee Valley (v-groove T&G set) and Grizzly (panel raising/rail & stile set, dado set). I have been disappointed by MLCS (chipped carbide on new bit, bearing not centered on bit) and Viper (made by Oldham? again, chipped carbide). But others have had good experience, especially with MLCS. I always get 1/2" shanks unless the profile simply isn't available on one.

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The nice thing about 1/2" shanks/bits is that if/when you buy a shaper, it will readily accept a 1/2" bit. That's convienant.
On 19 Aug 2003 17:07:06 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net (Tom Bergman) wrote:

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Jesada and CMT were never the same company.
Jeasda, once CMT in the USA, marketed the Italian CMT bits. CMT in the USA started manufacturing its own orange bits and began marketing them as the Italian CMT bits. That is illegal. The Italian CMT company took CMT in the USA to court and as a result CMT in the USA became Jesada, named after the owners children. Jesada continued to manufacture its own bits under the Jesada name and changed the color to white.
Thaws said, I have several of the real CMT bits and a bunch of Jesada bits. While the Jesada bits are quite good, I prefer CMT if I am going to put out big bucks for a bit. I have had several of the shafts rust with the Jesada brand.
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Very close ;~)

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