After much researching, I have narrowed down my choices down to two
Dewalt 616 combo pack
Dewalt 621 plunge router
Variable speed is most likely not an important factor since I do not
plan to use wood bits larger than 1/2". For the forseeable future, I
only do occasional work with the router. I needed the plunge feature
so that I can cut very clean/smooth circles. (2", 3", 6", 7" diameter
to start with) I plan to use the router mostly for cutting clean
circles and occasional roundover (make edges smooth). I really don't
know if I will ever need to make a table router and use one. I am a
beginner but quality matters.
In my area, the price difference (including taxes, discounts, etc) is
only $5 - DW621 is $5 cheaper than the 616 combo pack. My max budget
is no more than $200.
So given my background, which would be the better choice for me?
I have the 621 ad I'm quite pleased with it. I have no opinion on the combo
pack. I have a combo pack from a competitor, and I absolutely never use the
plunge base. Of course, that router is of primitive design (hard start and
Pat Warner will have an opinion.
I have the 618B3 pack (has 3 bases - plunge, fixed, and d-handle fixed). It
is 2.25 HP vs. the 1.75 HP of the 616. The 621 is 2 HP, IIRC. I also have
the Porter-Cable 690 pack with the plunge and fixed base. I bought a
dedicated PC 7518 for the router table. I find the DeWalt bases and router
to be a lot more pleasing to use than the PC, although the PC still works
great. I use both when I do dovetails with my Leigh jig, but for almost
everything else I use the DeWalt. I find the versatility of having the
different bases to be a big benefit. Sometimes the operation just feels
more comfortable using a particular kind of base - although I can't really
say there's any technical reason why you couldn't do just about every
operation with a single base. In your case, the 621 would be a better
choice, IMO than the 616, due to the increased HP and several improved
features of the 621 (dust collection is one I can think of). As the other
responder noted, check out www.patwarner.com for some great info on routers,
especially the DW621.
You may find that the speed control helps to avoid burning in some woods, so
it's worth having. I'd recommend the 621. It'll do almost everything you
need to do, has great dust collection, and one of the best plunge strokes in
I know you don't have the money, but my advice would be go with the DW618
kit. Not much more and the key word are "For the foreseeable future". You
will eventually want the extra power of the 618 and the VS. Next thing is
you'll want a table and then start with the large panel bits. It happens to
Very nice kit. I have one.
Thanks for the advice! I think I'll go with the 621 (assuming if it is
still on clearance) since I am only intending it to help me build a
telescope or 2. Wow, that router doesn't include a bit, ugh! If I
really liked the router enough, I might do more but then I just have
so many hobbies and just don't want to spread myself way too thin....
Thanks for letting me know about Amazon's deal! I'll check into it.
When I stated that I'm spreading myself too thin, I meant in terms of
time, not money.
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