router suggestions


I'm Looking for a second router for handheld work. I have a Hitachi MV12, which I'm reasonably happy with, though the thing is sooo heavy. I keep envisioning it flying out of my hands and falling to the ground as I keep taking it in and out my router table.
I think I'd like a plung router, as it seems I use that feature often for mortises in particular. I'm just a hobbiest, and will have another workhorse router in the MV12. I was wondering about suggestions. Something light weight for handheld work and reasonable power. I'm also not particularly interested in spending a ton, and most of the reputable brands are expensive. I'm curious about the Ryobi RE180PL. I have heard only good things about it, and it sells for a mere $100. Any thoughts?
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What kind of deal can you get on a Milwaukee 5616? 2.25 HP, soft start, EVS, 1/2 collet... not a plunge per se, but can be lowered into work via the height adjustment feature. It is light-weight and powerful. I have a couple of them now and really starting to appreciate them.
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I had a Craftsman and it has now contributed to why I don't buy Craftsman power tools (HORRIBLE product -- granted it was their bottom line product). I have since bought a DeWalt plunge router and love it (of course it's much more expensive -- about $200, if I recall correctly). The one regret I have (and it was just an oversight) is that I didn't get the variable speed version of the router.
As for Ryobi products, in my opinion, they make a great product for the $$$. If you're not a hard-core woodworker and don't want to spend the big bucks on some of the quality tools, but still want to play with some of the nifty power tools, then I think Ryobi is a great choice. I own a few Ryobi products -- a biscuit joiner and a benchtop belt sander with 6" sanding disc (great product, by the way -- worth every penny!). You'll find that Ryobi products are usually not made of quality parts (plastic instead of metal gears, etc.) and usually don't offer the precision you'll get with better brands such as DeWalt, Porter Cable, etc. Ryobi is often rated in magazines such as Fine Woodworking, and often get great reviews (Best Value, etc.). When you're looking for a tool that requires precision (table saw, bandsaw, etc.) consider the better products. Tools that don't require as great of accuracy (sanders, etc.), perhaps you should consider the less expensive brands.
Happy shopping!
X_HOBBES
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<snip>
Would one of the cool laminate trimmers, such as the new Bosch, or the new variable speed Ridgid, perhaps fit the requirement?
I use my PC trimmers instead of a heavier router quite frequently. If it's more than I'd do easily with a block plane, but not enough to require 2hp, these are really handy.
That's what I'd consider.
Patriarch
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If you're happy with the MV12, how about the KMVC Plunge/Fixed base kit? Lighter weight and the best of both worlds. $180 at Amazon.

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You'll be happier and happier longer if you step up and get something "reputable." I've got a 12 amp Bosch 1613, which is light, soft start, and all the other things. Newer version is probably a bit different. Mine's probably ten/twelve.
The Hitachi is in the table.
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Doug wrote:

I like the Bosch 1617 motor, with the dual bases. For handheld work, the single speed would be fine. I picked one up as a refurb on eBay for $112 with both bases. When no plunge action is needed, the fixed base has a nice, low CG, and comfortable wooden handles. 99% of the time, I use the fixed base.
For simple small roundovers, small chamfers, etc... I actually prefer a laminate trimmer.
I'm a serious hobbyist, but I'd rather have a factory refurbished Bosch, PC, Makita, or DeWalt, over a "new" Ryobi any day.
Barry
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Just this: http://www.patwarner.com/dw621.html
Max D.
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I don't know about that particular Ryobi, but I have an older ryobi with a fixed base. With 1/4" collet, and plenty of horsepower, I have never found it either too heavy and unmanegable or lacking power. I use it freehand with a template and bushing set for routing engraved signs all the time. It is very easy to use, even on flimsy boards for long hours.
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Hey Doug, I just wanted to let you know that I had a post on the 3rd where I'd found that my local SAM's club has the PC693LRPK for a $120.00. I've never used one but for PC this is a pretty good price.
Joey

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A small router can be very handy. There have been times I wish I owned a trim router (lightweight, small base, easy to handle). I have been slowly moving away from 1/4" shank bits towards the 1/2" shank, so my next (lightweight) router will have a 1/2" collet. Ryobi is not the greatest router manufacturers, there are better choices.
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