Router Design Improvements - What Are they? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router Design Improvements - What Are they?

I've read several references about advances in router design that makes older routers obsolete. Yet, my 1990's Craftsman does a great job - the spindle is square to the base, no wobble, plenty of power, it is comfortable, has good ergonomics, and it's easy to adjust.

Maybe I'm blissfully ignorant, but what am I missing out on?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 12:10 AM
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I've got 5 older Craftsman routers, newest somewhere well over 10 years old. They all work, they do just what I need them for. I won't be buying another router until the last of these die. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything - except maybe a cup of coffee.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 02:25 AM
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Hi 3 M and welcome. The old routers aren't obsolete and most of the new ones don't have that much for extra features except on the plungers there are a few that really old don't have like above table adjustment and multi step turrets for depth stops when plunging and some have bellows on the plunge tubes to keep them clean, especially when upside down. As for fixed bases maybe a little better adjustment mechanisms. Back far enough and they won't have speed control and soft start but those have been on most routers for roughly 20 years.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 09:11 AM
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The only time a router becomes obsolete is when it's no longer used, or can do the job, you can't get parts for it, or you just don't feel good using it. If the router does all you need it to safely then you're golden. If not then you need to either find another way to do what you want or buy the tools that will allow you to do so. Don't fall for marketing lingo. What you have either does the job or it doesn't. Now if newer models are safer that's a major consideration, if they have new features you'll use, that's something to consider. Obsolete is a word used by those looking for something new or not understanding how to use it.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 09:25 AM
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As has been mentioned, so long as it has variable speed with soft start, is a plunge router, preferably with a multi step turret which makes deep hand held routing a breeze, it is up-to-date. One more thing, for serious routing at least 2hp is required.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 01:35 PM
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What Harry said.
Most of the older Craftsman routers are woefully under-powered by today's standards. It's fairly safe to say that a lot, if not most of us, bought a Craftsman for our first router; I still have mine (never use it though)...but it only has a 1/4" collet! !/2" shank bits are a better choice, just generally more robust. Newer routers generally come with both 1/2" and 1/4" collets.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info everybody! I'm just getting back into woodworking after several years and as I learn more ways to use routers I might exceed the capabilities of my old Craftsman (315.17480) and then I'll consder a newer replacement. I am glad mine has the micrometer type height adjustment and not the later ring style that I've read has issues getting stuck.

For now it looks like power (not sure the HP of my model) and 1/4" collet are the main weaknesses, but for now they haven't been an issue.

Great forum, BTW, I've learned a lot just by browsing!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
What Harry said.
Most of the older Craftsman routers are woefully under-powered by today's standards. It's fairly safe to say that a lot, if not most of us, bought a Craftsman for our first router; I still have mine (never use it though)...but it only has a 1/4" collet!
Hey, I resent that, all of mine have I think .5 HP, more than enough for what I do All of mine are 1/4" collet too, which works fine. But if you don't use yours, you can mail it to me, I'll use it. I'll even pay the postage.
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"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Gather the villagers, pitchforks, torches; we march at dusk!
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 04:36 PM
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The only improvements would be with Festool , everyone else has fallen behind

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 01:37 AM
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On all of them you insert a bit, the bit goes round and round, and wood chips come flying out. That's been true since the first router was sold.

3M the biggest issue with your router as stated is that you are limited to bits that are about 1.5" diameter or smaller. That eliminates large round overs, large lock miter bits, panel raising, and some architectural bits. There's still a lot of different bits below that size. Keep in mind that there are no parts to fix that router with and that includes collets so if you are getting serious about routing it's time to keep an eye out for a bigger and better replacement.
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