I Need A "First Router" For My Son

My 30-ish son has the woodworking bug. He got a "you suck" deal on Rigid table saw and was *given* a Rockwell jointer (needs some TLC) and a 12" belt driven Craftsman Band Saw with a stack of blades. (His GF's father bought a warehouse from manufacturing company that was going out of business and these tools were found in a back room) Yeah, I know. He sucks.
Anyway, he doesn't have a router and Christmas is coming. I'm torn between a full size fixed/plunge kit and a trim fixed/plunge kilt like my MLCS Rocky 30. $95 for the Rocky sounds like a no brainer but should it be his first router or should he feel the power of a full size router first? :-)
If a full size is a better choice as a first router, which one should I buy? I like my Porter Cable 690 (I actually have 2) but other than a POS Craftsman which was my first, I haven't tried any other manufacturers/models.
I know that a lot of it depends on what he is going to use it for, but recommendations for models and/or features of a full size version (if appropriate) would be welcome. Thanks.
(Maybe I buy the full size and his siblings split the cost of the Rocky 30. Hmmmm...)
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IMO, you won't find anything better than this...
http://www.tritontools.com/en-US/Product/Power%20Tools/Routers/MOF001
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The only better is the free Craftsman electronic router I just picked up - virtually unused - for NOTHING.
Anything FREE beats anything I need to pay for - - -
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On Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:17:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

My first decent router was a PC691 (690 with the 'D' handle). I think the 'D' handle is great for a first router because it's a more natural feel, IMO. ...more like a circular saw.

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On Monday, October 23, 2017 at 12:17:39 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It really depends on your son's history and just how bad he has the bug. A visit to HF will get him started. Where I would not cut corners is on the bits. The MCLS triple wing are decent bits for a reasonable amount. Then there is Woodline.
Buy the HF combo, have his siblings buy the bits and IF the bug dies, you wind up with some decent bits.
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On Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 6:46:54 AM UTC-4, Dr. Deb wrote:

He is already well beyond HF power tools.
HF has it's place, but in my mind, not the place for a first router-Christmas gift. At least not in this case.
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On 10/24/2017 5:52 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

If he really has the bug, substandard tools will only frustrate him. Buy once, cry once.
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wrote:

+1
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I have been using Porter Cable PC 690 since day one without complaint. Have two 2-base kits. Most everything fots these routers.
I bought the Rocky combination kit last month, found it difficult and attem pted a return - sorry, they expect you to pay return postage! Buy through A mazon Prime was the lesson hammered home there. Or at Lowes or HD store - j ust in case you get a bum tool!
Maybe, let him buy his own router and get him a set of ultra sharp wood dri ll bits - HSS Lipped Brad-Point Drills Lee Valley - http://www.leevalley.co m/us/wood/page.aspx?c=&pB247&cat=1,180 a BASIC SET is affordable an d will have him building a box to keep them pristine! Set of 7 (1/8" to 1/2 ") BP Drills 07J01.07. They are SHARP - warn him to be careful removing the protective coating they are shipped with!
He will love them the first time he uses one.
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On 10/23/2017 12:17 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

For what it is worth, I have the Makita version of the Rocky trim router. I have bought 7~8 normal and large sized routers through the years and the small Makita trim router was the last router that I have bought. I ONLY use the small router for intricate detailed work. More than likely your son will benefit from a regular sized router to begin with. He will likely need its power more than what is on the smaller trim router to begin with.
I would recommend the Bosch 1617EVS fixed and plunge base kit. I have that router in the fixed base configuration only because in 1998 it did not yet come with a plunge base. ;~( Or something very similar.
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On Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 3:10:26 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

I would have to agree with this. I have used this router for about 20 year s now on the job (granted, it will sit for a few months a time) and it is s till my favorite router in its class. I have several different routers and this one is always the "go to". It is smooth operating, holds adjustments a nd settings VERY well, has plenty of power (2 1/4 hp), variable speed, and is reasonably (comparatively) quiet. It has proven to be a reliable and st urdy performer.
It also has a handful of accessories easily available that are quite handy.
There is a newer version that is available, and after looking at the specs I would go with that. It is the old 1617, with just a few minor improvemen ts, but still only a bit more in price.
https://goo.gl/eDWVkn
Robert
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Just another thought.
I was talking to one of my contractor buddies about routers and the fact we don't use them much anymore out on site. Rarely... and then we were talki ng about how many we had.(Me, 7!)
He suggested the "newer" line of Makita routers. About 4-5 years ago they came up with a more quiet router that is actually substantially more quiet than other routers that are supposed to be great performers. It is too late to undo the damage to my hearing, but after leaning over screaching tools for about 45 years now, I have about 15% hearing loss in my right ear, and about 5% in my left.
The audiologist told me it was quite common for someone in my line of work to have deafness on their dominate side as you have your ear right over mos t hand tools when you operate them. Never to early to start saving your he aring and sight.
Robert
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On 10/25/2017 9:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

;~) The Bosch 1617 EVS is certainly quiet compared to most others especially if you don't have it cranked up. My 3 year old Makita trim router seems to be relatively quiet too, when going with lower speeds.
I wonder how they do that, it was a feature on the Bosch when I bought it.
Maybe they have noise cancellation speakers built in. LOL
The rest of my other routers require hearing protection when I am operating them. ESPECIALLY the Triton!
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On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 4:24:00 PM UTC-4, Leon wrote:

t we don't use them much anymore out on site. Rarely... and then we were t alking about how many we had.(Me, 7!)

hey came up with a more quiet router that is actually substantially more qu iet than other routers that are supposed to be great performers. It is too late to undo the damage to my hearing, but after leaning over screaching to ols for about 45 years now, I have about 15% hearing loss in my right ear, and about 5% in my left.

ork to have deafness on their dominate side as you have your ear right over most hand tools when you operate them. Never to early to start saving you r hearing and sight.

.
I'm a bit torn as to what to do. I don't he'll last until Christmas without buying one on his own.
He just sent me a picture of the out feed table he's building. He's gotta a dd the miter gauge slots so my guess/fear is that he'll have a router by the end of the weeken d.
I want to ask him how he plans to cut them...maybe he hasn't figured it out yet, but as soon as he realizes he needs a router, he'll buy one. We talked about them when I sent him the picture of the router table I added to my table saw, so it's a lready on his mind.
I may have to cancel the surprise and tell him that one is on the way.
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On 10/25/2017 8:13 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

The Bosch is a good choice. Mine is mounted in the table and does a good job.
Doubt any of the major brands would be a mistake though.
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On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 7:13:14 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Well... he's not a kid. He may or may not believe in Santa. I hold out hope all these decades later, but have to admit I am starting to have my doubts.
Truly, what could be better than getting something you REALLY want, no matter when you get it? And who knows, he might put the new router to work making Christmas gifts.
I say give it to him and let him get after it!
Robert
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On Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5:17:23 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We met in the middle. I spilled the beans and he wants to see it under the tree.
He'll live without the miter gauge slots in his out feed table until Christmas.
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On 10/27/2017 5:00 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Get him a $5 wood chisel from WalMart so he can make a groove now, make them look pretty on Dec. 26.
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On Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:47:33 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I suggested he buy a dado set, install it in his table saw, flip the saw upside down onto the out feed table and push really hard.
I hope he remembers to use a straight edge as a guide.
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So which router did you decide on, and why?
Robert
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