The search for the one - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default The search for the one

Greetings from UK. Amateur DIYer and looking to get my first router. Dont intend to do any prolonged heavy work. Just general work around the house. Since I dont intend to buy many (no more than 2) routers I am hoping to choose my first router wisely and a machine that can be as much of an all-rounder as possible.

I have been researching different brands and models and have narrowed it down to the following:

DeWalt DW625ekt
Makita RP2301fcxk
Festool OF1400

I've gone for the 1/2" collet routers since they accept both 1/4" and 1/2" bits. However I believe that the tradeoff is that they are larger and heavier than the 1/4" routers. Not sure how this might affect me considering that I have not used routers so it's hard to understand the implications in practice.

Also, the Festool OF1400 does cost double the others and there seem to be some complaints regarding its handle which some people find a hinderance at times. Is it right considering the OF1400 or should I consider on of the other models above + the OF1010?

Any advice please? Am I looking at the right models?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 09:39 PM
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute complete your profile with location and first name to clear the N/a in the side panel. We won't remember UK after this post but if it shows in the side panel most of us will pick up on it...

Have you looked at the Bosch 1617EVSPK? A lot of folks here have that model and I know I really like mine.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 09:58 PM
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Welcome to the Router Forums. Please take some time and fill out your profile, it helps us help you.

The 3 routers you list seem to be in different class sizes. A lot will depend on the project you want to work on.

First they all look like good choices but for different jobs.

The largest is the Makita RP2301fcxk. It is 15 amp - 3 1/4hp, 9000-22000RPM, and is the heaviest at 6+Kg - 13.4 lb.
The mid-range unit is the DeWalt DW625ekt. It is 2000w - 2.68HP, 8000 - 20000RPM, weighs in at 5+Kg - 11 1/4 lb.
The lightest is the Festool OF1400. It is 1400w -1.88hp, 10000 - 22500RPM, and weighs 4.5kg - 9.9 lb.

From the work you say you will be using it for I would say the Mikita will be a little heavy to handle for prolonged routing jobs.

The other 2 seem to fit your requirments better but lets see if there are any other recomendations.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 10:57 PM
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The Bosch router, model 1617 is a favorite around here, but is not offered in UK. The closest model there is the GMF 1600 CE Professional router, https://shop.bosch-professional.com/...91--0601624072

It has most of the features you'll want, ample power and can be used in a table. It is tempting to try to do everything with a freehand router, but it is FAR SAFER to use it in a table of some sort. Any router is a very dangerous tool if it goes out of control. A slip can cause a gash in whatever or whoever it touches.

Mounting it under something as simple as a sheet of plywood changes the risk because you're moving the workpiece against the protruding router bit. It is much easier to control your work that way and a huge number of woodworking operations are best and most precisely handled this way. One of our members will surely post a link to a number of PDFs on using the router safely and effectively. Please read them, regardless of which model you buy.

There are many posts here on building your own table, but summing it up, the minimum you need is a flat sheet of plywood set over saw horses or some other support, and a piece of straight lumber about 50mm x 100 mm, which you clamp in place so you can push your workpiece against it. You cut an opening in this fence for the bit to protrude.

If you use your router mainly in the table, I believe almost any of the ones listed will work, but we're pretty much Bosch folks in the USA--The company has earned our loyalty through high quality, good value and excellent customer service. But any one of those brands will serve you well. I'm not much of a fan of festool. They're wonderful tools, but priced out of my reach.

When you do the research, find out how well each model works in a table. They must be able to work upside down, and you must be able to lock the bit height solidly. Perhaps you can search for some reviews from fellow Brits.

The table saw, to my thinking, is the basic work horse of any shop, and you are lucky because I'm pretty sure the Bosch job site saw is available in the UK with the instant stop mechanism. Touch the blade and it instantly falls down without cutting off a finger or thumb. That is not yet available in the US. The Bosch 10 inch saw has a wide variety of desirable features, inluding the ability to use a dado stack (multiple blade sets that can cut a smooth bottom groove up to 18-19 mm wide). It is also made to pack away if space is a consideration. A good table saw with premium blade can handle cutting joints of many types. There are many European brands with which we are unfamiliar, and well regarded. Voltage differences are why the model numbers differ from our 110 v vs the 220 v standard in your country.

Do give careful consideration to mounting your router in the table, regardless of which you buy. You'll be safer and on the right track for maximum versatility.

And welcome to the Forum. We're an international lot and we all love to answer questions.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:01 PM
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I personally like a heavier router when working freehand, the added mass I feel gives me a little more control. Variable speed and soft-start are a must with big routers
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 12:04 AM
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Tom and I would disagree on the relative safety of freehand vs table mount. To say that table mount is to quote "it is FAR SAFER to use it in a table of some sort." is not terrible helpful.
Both methods have their advantages and this topic has been rehashed many times here.
Basically jobs like freehand sign making just can't be done on a table. Large planks or panels are difficult if not downright dangerous to manoeuver over a table mounted router.
Personally speaking I prefer to have both hands on the tool and the bit safely buried under the bottom plate.
To each their own, but having both options available makes a lot of sense.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 01:44 AM
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Hello N/A and welcome to forums..

Quote:
I am hoping to choose my first router wisely and a machine that can be as much of an all-rounder as possible.
1½~2¼ hp fits this bill rather well... (1100~1600 watts)

Quote:
I have been researching different brands and models and have narrowed it down to the following:

DeWalt DW625ekt
Makita RP2301fcxk
Festool OF1400
have you considered Bosch???...

Quote:
the Festool OF1400 does cost double the others
Festool accessories costs will hurt your brain... and wallet...

Quote:
Since I don't intend to buy many (no more than 2) routers
for that 2nd router a ¼'' colleted router will excel...
something in .75~1 HP range... (550~750 watts)

Quote:
Amateur DIY'er and looking to get my first router.
Might be better than a very good idea for you to stop in at this link and do some reading...
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 07:15 AM
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Welcome to the forum N/a. As a Festool owner I wouldn’t spend the extra money on a Festool.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 07:26 AM
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It all comes down to what you want to use it for
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:12 AM
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Welcome to the forum. As you can see the opinions of what to use can be all over the place. What will work best for you is very dependant on you and the type of work. To know that one router likely is not the best choice for all types of work is very reasonable. I started with a Bosch 1617EVSPK that has both stationary and plunge bases. It's a 2.25 hp router with electronic variable speed control. When a load is applied the motor will do its best to maintain the speed as set which is very helpful. If you're not aware of this, bit size will determine the safe speed a bit should turn and deep cuts should be approached in steps. All this is covered in the material Stick has referenced. But as to Bosch, it may not be available to you in your location so finding a similar brand would be needed and that's where our UK members can help. Luckily for me I have Bosch to use and after the 1617EVSPK I also bought the smaller handheld Colt model which is for lighter duty routing tasks such as trim work and the like. It only accepts 1/4" bit shafts. It can be comfortably used with one hand but still requires respect. A good bit is sharp and turning very quickly. Proper cut direction, speed, and amount of cut is extremely important and you should always approach a cut with caution especially until you have become familiar with the tool. And then when you do use a larger cutter for the first time you may well be surprised so keep that in mind.

Having a router table, simple or elaborate is a very versatile tool. Allowing you to free your hands from the tool itself and hold the material either free hand or guided by a fence can make many tasks easier and safer. While not necessary to do router work, many who use a router table for the first time see a whole new method of routing open up. I know personally it made my life a lot easier but is not the answer to all routing by any means. There are taks you simply cannot do using a table. And one nice bonus for me was the dust collection I was able to benefit from when my table was connected to the DC system.

Again, welcome to the club...
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