I recently inherited a well-used Sears Craftsman model 3154.174771
variable speed router. The brushes look fine. I already have a
lightly-usedSears Craftsman model 315.17461 single-speed router.
I really don't want to keep two routers for the occasional job. I
never missed the variable speed that I don't have on my own machine,
so I am sort of thinking of giving the variable speed machine to a
Pros and Cons???
On Apr 17, 12:58 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
You should keep the 3154.174771 since it is probably the rarest of all
Craftsman routers and I'll be it's worth a lot of money.
I know of no other Craftsman router that has a 4 digit prefix, so I
think you have something really special.
On Apr 17, 4:05 pm, " email@example.com"
Yeah..I kind of knew that...I was just messing with you.
I tried looking up both model numbers to compare them, but I didn't
have much luck other than finding sources (or requests) for manuals. I
didn't try all that hard, but here is what I would think about:
The variable speed is a nice feature, so if everything else is equal,
I'd keep that one.
However, since VS can be added to any router, or if you don't need
think you'll ever need variable speed, the other things I'd consider
Which one has more horsepower?
Which one has the ability to use a 1/2" collet? Bits with a 1/2" shaft
vibrate less for a smoother cut. I always use 1/2" bits unless the
bit is so small that it only comes in 1/4".
Which one is easier to change bits on? (I don't like my 2-wrench PC,
but that's the only thing I don't like about it.)
Which one is easier to set the bit height on?
Which one is easier to mount/dismount to a router table?
Which one has a plunge base available should you ever want one?
Think about how *you* use a router and decide which one is more suited
to that use.
My advice would be to give them both away and buy a laminate trimmer
Unless you actually intend to do any routing on hardwoods, then a
laminate trimmer meets the needs of most DIY'ers better than a router.
A router is heavy and powerful and that means you need to hold it with
both hands. A laminate trimmer is light enough to be held with one hand
while you hold the work steady with the other, and that makes it more
useful to most DIY'ers in doing work around their property. The only
time you need the power of a router is in shaping hardwoods, but
virtually all the wood DIY'ers ever have to cut or modify are softwoods,
and a laminate trimmer is more than powerful enough to cut and put some
shapes into softwoods.
Besides, 99% of the people who buy routers end up using 1/4 inch shank
bits in them, and that will fit a laminate trimmer too. So, tell me
where you need the power of a full blown router where the small size and
convenience of a laminate trimmer wouldn't be a greater advantage?
Unfortunately, everyone only learns that fact after having bought a full
blown router and discover they rarely use it because it's too heavy and
awkward and cumbersome to use in tight spaces or on a ladder or
wherever. And, of course, it's wives and girl friends that buy most
routers to give as gifts to their boyfriends or husbands cuz they don't
know what else to get them, and it never even crosses their minds that a
laminate trimmer will do everything the router will, but more
conveniently because it's smaller and lighter and can be held easily in
On Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:58:23 -0700 (PDT), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Keep both. Use both. For even one fairly complicated project, having
the ability to set up 2 routers with different depth, bit profile, or
bit diameter outwieghs any profit you'll make from selling or trading
one router. As long as they have the same chuck diameter.
Or you might want to bury one in a router table some day.
On 04/17/2013 09:58 AM, email@example.com wrote:
In my experience from using a half dozen different Craftsman routers,
from different eras and price-points, I have found that the common weak
link to all of them is in whatever mechanism each of them uses to lock
the shaft for changing the bit. Each of them experienced a failure in
that specific part, while the rest of the router was still in excellent
In fact, looking at the images from a GIS, with both of the two routers
you listed having the same shaft-locking mechanism, I have had it happen
to one of those, too.
Because of this, I would recommend keeping both of them, stashing one of
them up in the attic, until the inevitable time comes when the other one
breaks, which will occur at the end of a long operation, on a Sunday
night, when you really need/want to finish the job up so that you can
put your first coat of finish on the project before you clean up. If
nothing else, when the mechanism breaks, you can exchange parts between
the two units to have one functional router.
Having taken the inherited unit apart to check on the brushes and
clean it, it appears to be identical to my single-speed unit except
for the speed control which is in one of the handles. The height
adjustment appears identical for the two units, as does virtually
everything else. The only other difference besides the speed control
in the handle is the inherited router has a 4' longer power cord. I
gues it was more expensive for the "electronic" speed control and you
got a longer power cord as well.
My son has said he would like my old single-speed router, so I will
give it to him and keep the variable speed unit. Either way, I
probably will only use it a couple of times each year when I make some
special mouldings for picture frames, etc. Not much chance I'll wear
either one out.
Thanks for all the comments to everyone.
On 04/17/2013 03:34 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yeah, but that's the whole point I was making; these routers don't fail
from normal wear and tear, they fail because of a poorly designed shaft
The problem is that if you don't tighten the collet sufficiently, the
bit is not secure, but if you do tighten it sufficiently, the shaft
locking mechanism will break.
Maybe you'll get lucky and yours won't break; mine chose to break in the
middle of a job after a long and complicated setup. Like you, I only
used mine a couple times a year.
Good luck, though.
I'm not 100% sure that this adaptor fits all routers, but if it fits
the "crappy locking mechanism" Craftsman models, then it should
eliminate the problem you describe because you would no longer need to
use the locking mechanism.
Nice find, Derb, that looks like a neat tool.
I'm actually still using the last router that "broke", using an approach
somewhat similar to what that product does. What I did was to make my
own flat wrench to fit onto the shaft itself, bypassing the stock shaft
locker. It's a little more hassle, but I work a lot easier knowing that
it's not going to go south on me the next time I change bits.
It's a nice find except that the last time I checked the adaptor didn't fit
the PC 690 router that I have. I don't know what the issue is, but I read a
bunch of reviews/posts that said it didn't fit the 690, which is a pretty
That website says that there is a PC version of the adaptor, so maybe they
addressed the issue or maybe it fits other PC routers but still not the
690. It's been awhile since I looked into it, so maybe things have changed.
I should check.
None of the reviews I've read complained about balance issues. In fact the
review at the link I posted talks about how easy it was to eliminate the
minor balance that occurred with smaller bits.
The two wrench method is OK. An Allen wrench would certainly be easier.
The two wrench method cannot be used when the router is mounted in my bench
top router table.
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