uses for variable speed routing

Hi -
I have the 693pk router kit and have been wondering what a router with variable speed such as PC 890 gives you, besides using bits over 2 1/8" dia. (which I don't even have any that large)? My 693 has served me well for years (and will continue to do so) with the fixed base mounted in a homemade table. I don't really feel like I'm missing anything although I admit a second router would be nice.
With the 693 "VS" is always in the back of my head, maybe because I don't have it, and am just wondering if it's something I should even be thinking about (since I don't have any bits over 2"). VS, a bit more power and a quieter router are the only things about 890 that appeal to me (and being able to use it in my 690 plunge base) but if VS doesn't get me anything the others are not important reasons to buy it...
Mike -
mikeballard at symbol verizon period net
"If your main parachute fouls, deploy your reserve. If your reserve is also fouled you have the rest of your life to get it straightened out."
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VS for the reason you mentioned plus you can adjust speed to help cut down on burning some woods like Maple or Cherry.
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I think that after you start using a variable speed router you will never go back. I find myself adjusting speed all the time for wood conditions occasionally, but most often for the bits. Anything over 1" diameter needs to be slowed down, especially if the bit is long. You can get away with running some of these bits at full speed, but I find they work better and last longer at a more reasonable rpm setting. I have a long 1"-diameter flush-trim bit that should be able to run almost wide open, but it feels and works way better at about 18,000 rpm. I can dial the speed down a little and feel everything smooth out as the bit gets to it's "sweet spot" rpm. I find you cna also get a bit to cut cleaner in some woods by slowing it down a little, or speeding it up just as little in other wood.
Tom Hintz www.newwoodworker.com
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Dear Mike:
I own 17 routers, the school has close to 40 so I have to admit I am a router- alochic--aka a "router nut". If you are not going to use large cutters such as panel raisers or cutting brass or plastice with your router you do not need a variable speed. I thing I will share with you that woodworking is my hooby and I enjoy buying and using tools, I do not have to justify my purchase, this is who I am and this is what I want to do....enjoy your woodworking and treat yourself to a nice tool once in a while and do not worry about justification. You deserve nice tools. I know that there are always bills to pay, but life is too short to worry about spending a litle cash on something that you love to do. Good luck and happy woodworking.
Mike
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Hi, Mike.
As with most any cutting tool, the ability to do a proper job and preserve the tool, with a variety of tools. Keeping peak tip-speed in survivable range is important, as is the ability to remove a reasonable-thickness chip, without excessive forces or energy-transfer rates. IOW, for one, slowing down enables using larger-diam bits without burning up bit-insert (or motor) while removing chip of reasonable thickness. Simple load-matching.
Also, as with other machine tools, you can make a roughing pass at reduced rotational speed, then take off the last couple-thousandths at higher speed, safely for you and the bit. And get good surface-finish.
Fixed-speed routers are really useful only for narrow range of bit sizes and jobs. Or making smoke. IMHO
HTH, John
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If it were me, my second router would be a plunge router. Try a PC 8529. It'll make you want to throw the plunge base on the 693 kit away. Plus it's pretty slick when mounted under a table with above the table height adjustment capabilities. The 693 will make a great fixed base router, but the 8529 is a much better plunger. The DeWalt DW621 was actually at the top of my list, but I got a great deal on the 8529. I got it for $150 plus a $50 rebate, net $100. Pretty good deal, I think. On a side note, I also picked up a Makita M-Force 18V cordless drill that normally sold for $200+ for $140 plus a $40 Lowe's gift card and a mail in rebate for an extra battery. So keep your eyes open for deals once you decide what you want.
Charlie
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The one thing not mentioned is the "soft start" that is part of the new 890 series. You know the feel of the 690 when you flip the switch. The 890 doesnt have that.
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