Popular Woodworking's November issue reviewed the Firestorm Plunge
Router (FS122RP) and it sounded like a good option for my small shop. I
was able to find it on the Black and Decker website, but have not been
able to find it anywhere for sale. Has anyone seen one of these
anywhere? Even my e-mails to Black and Decker and Lowes have not been
If me I would look further for a router than anything from Black and Decker.
Unless you want something to throw away next year or even less. If you try
to sell that stuff, no one wants it and it is not really to good for more
than a very occasional use. Sorry to be so cruel about Black and Deckers
stuff . Check out Porter Cable, Dewalt, Old Milwaukee or my favorite Bosch.
I second that notion. Firestorm is made for wives to get their husbands
for Christmas. Not woodworker's wives, they know better. It's for the
handyman's wife who doesn't even know what a router does.
It's not just a question of longevity, you won't get good results from
it either. You'd think that a router is such a simple device; all it
does is spin a bit. How can one be worth so much more than another?
Just get your hands on a pro-quality machine to understand. If money
is the main issue, I'd rather buy a good used router on Ebay than a
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas
I'm telling you. You won't be happy. I had one in my hands, and
thought; "they oughta be held accountable for putting out such inferior
junk. What I don't get, is that, as a brand, B & D must have a huge
value. Why are they doing this?
That will give you some insight what their custome service will be like
once something happens to it.
Buy a Hitachi M12V while they still make them. I have been beating the
crap out of several of them and none have even hiccup'd under the
stress. One I use for very accurate seaming joints in solid surface
countertops and it has no measurable runout after 3 years. It gets used
almost daily. They are under $200 US, and are a full 3.25 HP and soft
start and variable speed and have a VERY powerful motor. It doesn't
have the fit and finish of other serious routers, but it is good value,
There's a saying around here: Cry once.
For my first router I would look for a smaller horsepower than 3 HP. for a
hand held router that is a lot to hold. I rather use something that large in
a table. That is me. For hand held 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 is big enough. I have a
Porter Cable and a Bosch I do this with and they are both great great
routers. I am not saying anything bad about the M12V I would buy one myslef
if I could find one on ebay. But I would use it only in a router table.
Uh, yes I am hen pecked, I will have to talk to the wife about this. I sure
would like to have one. I would also have to buy a new router plate for my
table. I have my Porter Cable in there now. I will have to check on all this
before talking to wife. Only want to have to do this once so I need to have
all my facts before hand. :-) Oh thanks for the heads up!
See, I disagree. If you're going to have one router, get one that does
It's physical size is not that much bigger than that B&D the OP was
Also, it comes with a quality 1/2" bit and guide bushing. The one thing
I like about it, it has great visibility under the motor, so you can
keep a close eye on what you're doing in a hand-held situation.
I think it is the perfect router for a beginner. I appreciate the
'handiness' of smaller routers ( I have several) but that's because
there is no point in using a big router if all it is going to do is run
a 1/4" roundover bit.
The same rules of caution still apply to all routers, so why not get
one which can actually DO some work?
I know that half of the Wreck is probably going to disagree, but I
think that 3.25 HP is just the right amount of power.
Ever try to learn to waterski behind an underpowered boat? No fun. Zero.
First of all any descent woodworking nerd, has more than one router. As I
see you do also.
Second, for a first router, you don't want to scare the person away or
scare them with fear from using such a powerful machine. SAFETY SAFETY
SAFETY first always. Let the person learn with something they will not be
Third, yes the 1/2 collet is nice but most people do not have 1/2" router
bits. Most have the 1/4".
Fourth, My Bosch, my two old crapsman, and my Porter Cable have a good
view when operating the router. So Hitachi does not have the market corned
on that feature.
Fifth, Happy Routing!!
Speak for yourself.
About 80% of my bits are 1/2", about 10-12% are 1/4", and the erst are 8mm.
The only time I'll buy a 1/4" shank bit is if I plan on using it in my
laminate trimmer (ex:// small roundovers and chamfer bits), or it
clearly makes no sense to buy the 1/2" shank (ex:// solid carbide 1/4"
or smaller straight bit).
I'd be afraid of that B&D. I think that when a new user applies all
proper precautions, there will be no difference in safety between a big
and small router. I tend to believe that if a router safety issue comes
down to the wire, the heftier one will be safer. Its mass gives a
certain amount of stability.
Its mechanical impedence gives a cleaner cut than a lighter weight
I have a few Milwaukee routers. One is a 2 1/4 HP and has all the balls
one would need for most hand-held jobs. It doesn't plunge, and
shouldn't really run raised panel bits or 1-1/2 bullnose bits. One is a
1 3/4 HP unit, not variable speed, kick-start. It has only had one bit
in it...it only does one job. It does it well and often. Then there is
Milwaukee's Finest. Big Mama, being built into a table. The height can
be adjusted from the top. I like that. I just bought it, so I haven't
had a a chance to give it a serious workout. I will be making doors and
stuff for a wall unit.. A job I took on for a friend..WTF was I
I have a collection of both 1/2 and 1/4. Totally different bits. I use
the 1/4 in two laminate trimmers I have, both Ridgid..... here's one
for you... I have a 1/4" shaft 5/16 roundover and a 1/2 shaft 5/16
roundover. Less chatter on the 1/2"...in the same router, but that
could be the bit manufacturer and sharpness difference as well.
I hope I didn't imply that the Hitachi has the market cornered on
visibility, I cetainly did not mean to.
Then go look for a good Porter Cable 690 series variable speed router. Not
an 890 series. The 690 has been around for decades, it seems, and works
well for almost everything, in my experience.
My first router was a 3.25 HP beast, now bolted into a table, where it
works quite well. NOT a handheld joy to use.
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