I am looking to buy my first router. At the moment I anticipate only
using it for occasional DIY so I do not want to spend a fortune on it.
I'm sure once I've got the hang of it, I'll be using it all the time
and will want to upgrade to something better ;)
For now though I was looking for an entry level router to learn with.
The cheapest at Screwfix is a Titan router, order code 31965. (Ok,
they actually do a cheaper one by Direct Power, but this is a 1/4"
collet and reading the DIY wiki faq it says 1/2" is stronger).
Has anyone got anything good or bad to say about this model?
In article , Fred
Dunno about that one but I bought a Trend some years ago, just the entry
level one and its been excellent:--)
Theres not a lot that hasn't been able to do including nip the end off
my middle finger!..
And just recently I've takes to milling bits of ally with it and thats a
fine old edge it makes on that too:)
Far better then that PPro heap of cack I bought from B&Q...
Not that one, but I did buy the £22ish 1/4" one from Screwfix, and must
say it has been totally reliable, and done whatever I ask of it.
I've found a great use for it is the routing of door hinge rebates - it
now takes less then 5 minutes to get a really neat, identical pair.
It is also good for the small rebate near the surface for mortice locks.
I used it yesterday to run a channel down the back of a length of
I'm not sure I would get a bigger one now, unless it was clamped into a
table - they are more powerful, with the temptation to go deeper, and
far more chance of a slip or jam of the cutter. I asked about one at a
woodworkers shop,for doing the full rebate cutout for mortice locks, but
was told off for even thinking about such a thing - they said to never
attempt such a deep cut with an handheld router, as they are too
unpredictable in use. When clamped up, with the workpiece also well
secured, there is then no problem, but typical DIYers do not have such
facilities, and think they can get away with it.
It all depends on what your intended use is for it.
On Sat, 08 Dec 2007 13:42:01 GMT
Titan did have a reputation for being robust, but I have no experience.
I bought an Elu 1/4" long ago (De Walt make it now, to lower standards)
- it's what got me hooked on woodwork, and moved me from DIY shelving,
through fitted furniture, to cabinets.
On the way I bought other routers, but the one I use most often is one
my dad gave me, a Black&Decker D4. It's made of plastic, has a 1/4
collet, and it's not a plunge router - about 1965 vintage I guess. For
little jobs it just the ticket.
So whatever you buy today, you are likely to add to it, and not replace
it. Like clamps, you can't have enough routers.
get a feel for the class of machine you need for the jobs you have in
1/2" *is* stronger, but also much bigger and heavier. Which you need
depends on the job you are doing (in reality you will probably need one
of each eventually)
Its a tad low on power for a 1/2" router, and the minimum speed is too
fast for use with the larger cutter sizes you may want to use in a
Unless you have an urgent need to cut worktops, letterbox cutouts, or
stair strings, then I have a feeling you might be better of with a 1/4"
machine of similar power for general purpose work. It will be much
smaller and lighter and generally easier for many jobs.
In article , George
Just put it down as it was slowing down and managed to trip over the
bloody power cable and pulled it off the worktop and my big mitt was in
the way..so it wasn't going at all fast but still had a nip;!..
Thanks. I had read the faq but I thought that since the Titan was able
to use 8mm, 1/4", and 1/2" collets it was quite versatile and saved me
buying one of each.
I think the 1/4" model weighs 3.6kg and this one weighs 5kg. Do you
notice the extra weight? Surely it is resting on whatever you are
What power would you expect for a 1/2" router and what minimum and
maximum speeds would you want?
I'd suggest not getting s _first_ router that's too powerful. I've got
a little 'un that I use handheld and a big 'un that stays in a router
table. I've tried using the T9 handgeld, but it scares me - which is
probably not a bad thing.
I like the Trend range. They're more expensive but you can get lots of
accessories for them and it's the accessories that make a router so
BTW, you'll spend more on router bits than you will on the router.
 just noticed the typo, must've been thinking about the previous
poster who nipped the end of his finger - and how it could've been
much, much worse.
Most 1/2" machines will come with a collet adaptor to take 1/4" bits.
The 8mm is of less use on a 1/2" machine than it is on a 1/4" since
there are larger cutters than are available in 8mm shank but no 1/4".
The better 1/4" one are usually 3kg or less. Sometimes it is resting on
what you are working on, and hence not a problem - however the size and
the balance of it can make it harder going for decorative work, or when
using it on vertical edges in situ when you are carrying the full weight.
If you were looking at high end machines then 1500W would be ok (ish)
but something nearer 2kW would be more versatile. Often the budget
machines tend to dissipate more power in their gearboxes and bearings
etc, so the available mechanical power is less than the numbers suggest.
Having said that, this will only be an issue on work with big cutters
(e.g. panel rasing, or large moulding cutters etc), or on heavy cuts in
things like worktops.
For the largest cutters, the maximum speed can be as low as 9000 rpm. So
a range of 8000 - 20K+ is quite handy.
(Something like the Freud FT2000E is often considered a good general
purpose "big" router, that adapts well for use in a table. The nice big
fine height adjuster being easy to grab etc. - I notice however that not
as many places are stocking that now)
You don't have the clearance for the larger cutters with these, so the
lower speed limit is less critical. Most cuts would be done at 15K or
more. Something like a Trend T5 does 9000 - 27,000 rpm which is quite
impressive. (these have dropped in price quite a bit lately).
I had a quick look at Screwfix, I know other stores exist but it was
handy to look at their web site; it seems that the £30 model is rated
11,000 to 26,000 rpm but the £70 Bosch version is only 10,000 to
26,000 rpm, so I think you have to spend over £100 before you get the
ideal range of speeds.
The Ryobi is £109 and does 8,000 to 23,000 rpm and the Trend (£119) is
"variable to 27,000 rpm", so does this mean it does any speed between
0 and 27,000?
These cost four times as much, and once I use one regularly might be a
sound investment but at the moment, I'm not sure I could justify that
price for the occasional job.
It seems the speed is controlled by a dial numbered one to six on most
of these, so how do you relate the number on the dial to the speed? Do
you just set it to one when using something big and six when using
Go by the wattage and speed factor,if you look at the trend £119 its ony
850w this is only suitable for light work hence it variable 27,000rpm
You want the maximium wattage and variable speed for a variety of woods and
10K rpm is probably good enough for all but the very largest cutters -
also unless it is a constant speed feedback controller machine then the
rpm will fall a little under load as well.
If it is the T5 then it does 8000 - 27,000 (read the spec lower down the
page). Note however the T5 is a 1/4" machine (that will do 8mm as well),
you are unlikely to need the lowest speeds anyway since these
typically only apply to large panel profiling cutters, that are not
usually available in 1/4" shank, and may not even fit through the hole
in the base plate.
The T5, I would say is a very good first machine (especially at that
price - IIRC mine cost more like £250). It is versatile, very smooth and
accurate, and delivers more power to the cutting edge than some so
called 1300W machines I have tried. It also has soft start, and a micro
adjustment on the side fence. It works well handheld (assuming you like
the traditional Elu style layout), and will do medium weight work in a
There is often a little bar graph on the side of the router that
translates the numbers to speed ranges. Failing that it will be in the
In practice this is usually the case. Having said that I don't usually
try to run the largest cutters in my T5, so rarely use the slowest
speeds on it.
Not sure I agree with that really. Working time will be more a factor of
the grade of motor and gearbox. The Trend is rated for industrial use
and hence continuous operation - many of the budget machines will
require a use/rest duty cycle to prevent overheating. Delivered power
seems adequate for a 1/4" machine. You may want more if you plan on
making frequent use of larger 8mm shank cutters.
The Trend T5EB is not an industrial use router its for light duty and will
not stand 1/2 hour continuous use, ie without stopping for cooling down
period, I don't care what you say any power tool that is 850watts 240v is
not made for industrial use.
Trend is a name badge and grossly overpriced and overrated.
Since I have had one of the original T5s for many years, I can confirm
from experience that this is not the case.
You may want to check Axminster's rating of it here:
(that's the EK - which I believe is the same, but with a carry case and
fine height adjuster included)
The T3 (or now T4) is their light duty router, and that one is badge
engineered and available from a number of brands.
Not sure I follow the logic - the power input is not related to the duty
cycle. That is a function of the quality of the machine, and how
effective its cooling is. The power output needs to be appropriate for
the sizes of cutters that you might expect to use. The T5 seems to
perform very well in this respect for a mid sized machine.
My experience is different, but each to his own.
Dewalt do a similar machine if you prefer at a similar price. It lacks
the fine adjuster on the side fence though, and does not get such good