Skil 1825 router woes


I recently bought the Skil combo router kit #1825 based on a positive review I read, and it's been an exercise in frustration that I feel compelled to document, in part because I could have used this information a couple of months ago and in part because I'm hoping that somebody can straighten me out. Lord knows the instruction manual is useless.
Before I proceed, I now know I should have gotten a different router, and sooner rather than later I will probably do just that.
So: most of my use of this router has been with the fixed base, so it may be that using the plunge base will take care of the problem ... but my gripe is that fixed base doesn't attach tightly enough to the router unit itself. The height adjustment knocks everything out of whack. After I adjust it to the height/depth I need, it needs to stay there ... instead, it sort of racks, deflecting the bit away from perpendicular to the base 1/16th of an inch or more. Has anybody else had this experience? It's certainly not conducive to precision.
Is this problem found in other, more expensive combo router kits?
Jim in PA
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Shouldn't be. In my experience, sloppy depth control is the #1 problem with cheap routers. It is also the most frustrating part of owning one of them. If it cannot route with consistency it just eats wood. Wood is expensive and you can pay for a better machine with scrap caused by a poor depth control.
For about $60 to $100 dollars more you can get yourself into a Bosch 1600 series set that won't make you mad nearly as much. Ditto similar machines from Porter Cable, Dewalt and others.
Cheap doesn't always mean you save money.
RonB
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Squiggle is common, especially with plungers! So, as is often the case, another tool (the plunge casting in your PK) is just a set of new problems. A new PK is a wiser choice.
Working now on a new Router CD, ("A Cut to the Chase"), that is designed to take the place of those crummy owner's manuals. Might be at the ready in a couple of months. More on routers? See the http://www.patwarner.com/info_special_trio.html link.
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IMHO Skil makes a good worm drive circle saw. Period.
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I do own that router and it works like a charm. Instruction manual is also very good and informative.

If you have a bunch of money to burn for nothing, yes. Otherwise 1825 is a very good router, powerful, stable, with very good dust collection (one should ask Skil for vacuum adapter, they send it for free.) Their LED light to the workzone is also surprisingly good and useful. And fun to watch how it turns itself on when you touch a router handle or turn off shop lights.

Did you lock the base? It's not suppposed to move, even with that depth adjustment knob when locked (and it doesn't) and it's not supposed to be tight when unlocked (and it doesn't.)
It looks like you either didn't read the manual, never used a router before, or the one you've got is simply defective.

Any of the a.m. three - yes, it happens even for the most expensive equipment...
Skil 1825 is a very decent combo. I don't know how it would behave if used for 8 hours every single day but for a weekend warrior it's money very well spent. I'm very happy with it and would've bought it again.
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Thank you to all who replied. In fact I did read the manual--which I respectfully maintain is deficient compared to other tool manuals I've seen--and in fact I have used a router before, though I have not had the privilege of using a lot of different makes and models. Hence my question to the group.
I did indeed lock the base, and it does indeed move when locked ... there is considerable slop in it. I must therefore assume that the router is defective. Now I'll see about getting it fixed. Thanks again!
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On 30 Sep 2005 18:51:26 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

if the cash to get a better router isn't available you might be able to improve it a bit. I don't have that router but I do fiddle a bit with tools... the lock tension may be adjustable... shims may be necessary... fine sandpaper makes a grabby shim...
but if you can, get a better machine to start with.
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