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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Default SEARS router review?

Just by chance I picked up a SEARS #315-174921 router that appears to be in great shape. Now, I know its not top-of-the line stuff, but here's my plan. I stopped at a garage sale and there was a brand NEW Sears router table with all the "stuff" I paid ten bucks for it. I am going to put the router with the table, chuck in a 1/4" roundover and hang the thing on the wall. I already have another set-up like this with a table edge molding bit in it. I grab the one I need and don't have to bother with my REAL GUY table, with the Porter-Cable #890 etc.
Question: anybody have an opinion on this SEARS router or any tips on watching for weak spots in its operation? Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 09:41 AM
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I have both Porter Cable and Craftsman routers. I use two plates in my router table and lift them in and out. So far, the Craftsman has worked fine. It is limited to 1/4" collets. -Derek
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 10:25 AM
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I too have an older Craftsman and, as it was the only one I had for a while, it got quite a workout - handheld and in a table - 1/4"collett - they seem to change their models every other day so I'm not sure how they would compare or the age of what you picked up - but it worked for me - height adjustment wasn't the best (would shift a hair when I locked it in) and I wanted more power and 1/2" collett - only complaints I had.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 01:53 PM
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You can get good service out of a Craftsman router. The vast majority of them were made by Ryobi. I owned a 1-1/2 HP model which had a light in it for over 20 years of moderate use and it was problem free. The height adjustment was it's weak point but could be worked around. I also owned a Craftsman professional model and it was a good sturdy unit. The biggest limitations were the collet design being limited to 1/4" bits and the Craftsman base plate. The new Craftsman 26620 is made by Bosch and is almost a twin to the 1617. Sears became a retail giant by giving value for your money. They drifted away for a while but seem to be back on track with new and innovative quality tools.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 07:57 PM
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1 note on overcoming the limitations of a Craftsman router. There is an aftermarket basplate available that can be used for brass bushings. I bought mine from Woodcraft and it works well (about $20). The Craftsman bushings are junk. -Derek
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2006, 09:54 PM
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"The height adjustment was it's weak point but could be worked around."

Totaly agree - just takes a little fiddling, adjustment and extra care - good point also, the light was a cute idea that I sorely miss now - eyes are getting old!!

Using a 1/4" roundover in it should cause no power problems at all - I stressed mine much more than that! Took a lickin' and kept on tickin' (although the neighbors would come out every once in a while and ask who I was trying to kill now!).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 12:05 PM
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I have two, 1/4" and 1/2". I don't give them hard use, I'm a hobbyist. But I had a bearing go on the older 1/4". I mailed it to whomever Sears told me too and it came back fine. The 1/4" has a light in it, which I always liked, and a buildt-in dust collector. My biggest complaint was trying to get them to work with "standard" base plates etc.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 01:54 PM
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I picked one up at an estate sale for 8 dollars. It has the light and even came with a composite Hirsh router table (cheap table) but hey for 8 bucks?? and it runs like a champ.
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