Router Question


I am looking to purchase a router and would like some advice. I want a decent product, but am a public servant, so I cannot afford a top-of-the-line router. Can someone recommend a decent starter model/brand for me? I went to a woodworking store and they told me to go with the high end model, but i don't know if they just wanted to make money, or were being honest. I know you get what you pay for, but there's gotta be a decent starter that won't kill my wallet. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance, Ferg
http://community.webtv.net/Ferg_/Fergsoutdoor
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C Ferg wrote:

I would look at some of the kits. I don't know how much your looking to spend but you can get the Porter Cable 693LRPK for around $160 or so. It comes with the fixed and plunge base. You could then mount the fixed base in a table and leave it. You could use the plunge base for hand held work.
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C Ferg wrote:

Open up your wallet, take out $200, and proceed to the nearest good tool store.
Look for a kit that contains a standard and a plunge base.
I chose Porter-Cable.
YMMV
Lew
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Milwaukee Model 5615-20 (shown) costs from $150 to $160 for free hand. For table I'd have to say the Triton TR-TRA001 $379.01 everybody does
When I first got the idea to buy a router, I spent $99 bucks on a Craftsman with a plunge and fixed base. Still use it today the only real mistake with it was the 1/4 inch. I'd shop for atleast 1/2 inch.... Consider quality based on versatility, time and material. The more time you'll use it and the more expensive the wood the better machine...... joe

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I agree with the Triton for the larger router.. Yes I replaced my big old Bosch with the Triton and after 1 year am still very pleased with its performance and versatility. The bosch was 16 years old. This last weekend I noticed the Triton at Woodcraft at $329.00.
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I bought the PC 690 with three bases and a router table for $260 years ago. Plunge, D Handle and fixed base (for the router table). Tool King sells this for $309 as Porter-Cable 691PW Professional Router Workshop.
It's a good starter kit. You might find a router table easier to work with.

I've been looking at the Triton for a router table. I have also been looking at the new porter cable router 895PK. This has a height adjustment that will work while mounted on a router table.
Also - it uses the same base as the 690 series. So I can buy one and use it with existing router tables.
Anyone have any experience with the 895 compared to the Triton? Variable speed. Slow Start 2 1/4 HP
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Ferg snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (C Ferg) wrote:

Can someone recommend a vehicle for me? Sorry for the wise-ass answer but like vehicle shopping, what you want to do with the router makes all the difference in the responses you'll get.
Are you looking to do simple round-overs and mouldings or big, honkin' crowns and raised panels?
Do you want hand-held, stationary or both? Plunge, fixed base or both?
What's your budget range in real dollars? (Don't worry about telling the figure, no one is going to heckle you - OK, maybe some monkey butt will, but we don't know who you are so the embarrassment will be short lived.)
You might be interested in looking at Pat Warner's router website. He's well-respected in all things routerific. <http://www.patwarner.com
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I have gotten some great deals at the pawn shop. I have a nice 1/2" Bosch fixed base router that I think I paid less than $50 for. I happen to like Bosch and Porter Cable. The library may have some woodworking magazines. Most magazines review routers every other year or so. I know some magizine I have a subscription to just had a review. The name of the magazine slips the mind as I did not buy the subscription.
Jim B.
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Jim Behning wrote:

Wonder if the guy, who hocked it after stealing it from some like me, got enough to buy at least one $10 rock?
Lew
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<snip>
There are some things we aren't meant to know, Lew... and probably wouldn't want to.
Maybe the miserable SOB reeeealy had a starving baby at home, or some such Sh--. The bleeding hearts among us must have SOME basis in reality for their spewing. Tom Maker of Fine Sawdust and Thin Shavings
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Thomas Bunetta wrote:

I'm convinced SoCal has more thieves per sq ft than any other place in the country.
Must be the weather.
Had my shed ripped open a few years ago and got cleaned out.
Filed a police report after the fact and got to talking to some of the cops who patrol the harbor, are exposed to the street drug situation as well as deal with the homeless in my work area.
Didn't make me a cynic.
After all it forced me to upgrade my tools as they were replaced, but it was quite an eye opener for this old country boy.
These days, I won't go near a pawn shop.
Lew
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Well that is something sort of in my mind.
Jim B.
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I got the porter cable 690 combo kit. It was a good value for a decent router. It wont do everything but is a good place to start. May be slightly different model now.

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On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 01:26:18 -0400, Ferg snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (C Ferg) wrote:

Just a heads-up about this one- my wife got me a $60 Duracraft (Farm and Fleet store brand) router, the first one I ever got, and I used it for a while. Sometimes it was great, but it was junk for most things. It worked pretty well for round-overs and ogees and things of that nature, but it had no capacity for routing dadoes, keyholes, dovetails or the like. The biggest problem with the sucker was that had a funny collet system, where you hold in a button, and tighten the nut with one wrench- no matter how hard I held it, it never quite got tight enough, and the bits had a tendancy to walk out of the collet.
After nearly turning my palm into hambuger when a bit walked through a piece of wood when attempting to route a dado, I went out and got a Porter-Cable 691 with the D-handle. It was on closeout for something like $130, and it's a lot of tool for the money- I'd recommend it to anyone.
The main point of all that is that if you get a cheap one hoping to save some money, you should plan in advance on paying for not only the cheap sucker, but also the cost of the tool you maybe should have gotten in the first place. I figure that PC691 cost me $190 in the end, rather than the $130 sticker price, as the Duracraft is now in the corner collecting dust... sometimes it's worth it to wait and save slowly, unless you absolutely *must* have it for a particular job right now.

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Don't go cheap. Look for brands Bosch, Porter Cable, or Makita.
On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 01:26:18 -0400, Ferg snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (C Ferg) wrote:

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I agree - go with a good brand - I'd add DeWalt to the list people have already started. I got mine (DW618) reconditioned on Amazon - check them out - stock varies, but there are some good deals sometimes. I think I'd agree it's better to pay at least $100 for a real brand, fixed-base router to get started rather than going cheap for a kit by craftsman/ryobi etc. Definitely go with 1/2" collet. Also, while we're on the topic of routers on a budget, I built my router table for about $12 - I bought the dust collection attachment from Lee Valley and cam levers from Rockler, and collected kitchen coutertop, 2x4 legs, hardboard, and mdf from people's trash piles on the street. Got some flat plastic rulers and inlaid them in the top for fine fence adjustments. Heavy, sturdy, straight, cheap. Plenty of plans online to get you started. Overall, be safe and have fun routing! Andy
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Can't help you with the model, but as far as routers go, Porter Cable is the undisputed gold standard among all professionals.
They're not cheap, but they're probably not the most expensive either.
I say "probably" because there's never been any point to looking at other router brands to compare the prices. You don't need think about it, you just get one... since it's hard to go wrong.

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As others have commented, the answer depends on what you need to do with the router.
I started with a low end 1/4in collet fixed speed, and quickly found that the "saving" was really wasting the $80 I paid for the router. I gave this one away years ago and never looked back.
Do you need to have a plunge router, or will a fixed base meet your needs?
Most folks would recommend a 1/2in collet. The 1/2in router bits are a little more expensive, but are more rigid which results in better cuts, in my view.
I would also look for a "self extracting collet" which means when you unscrew the collet, it will release the bit. Cheaper models do not have such collets and you will quickly find out how well a router bit can seem to be welded to the collet.
I would only consider a variable speed router. The single speed models are 20,000 or more rpm. This is too fast for certain router bits. Buying a separate speed reducer is more expensive than a variable speed router. The variable speed models frequently have "soft start" which is a nice-to-have feature.
Look at the height adjustment mechanism. Many are a coarse screw. Some have micro adjustment, which I find very useful for the slight adjustments needed for certain cuts.
I presently use a Bosch 1617EVS in a router table, and a Bosch 1613EVS for hand held routing. The 1617EVS also is sold as a kit with the fixed base like the one I have and a plunge base. Bosch also sell this as the 1617 single speed without the variable speed feature.
Dave Paine.

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