My wife and I stopped at Woodcraft this afternoon and saw the special for a 3 1/4 HP Freud router and table for $400. She told me to get it for my Christmas pressent. However, I didn't think that's what I need to learn about this tool. I have been reading the reviews and think I should get about a 2 1/2 HP router I can freehand with. Afterall, I can get one for around $225 and still have some money left for some bits.
What bits should I get to learn the tool; cheap ones, or carbide?
What accesoriries should I get, if any?
Thanks for your help!
Hi Bob, welcome to the forums.
Wish my wife would tell me to get a $400 setup for Xmas.
She told me she wanted something that will go from 0 to 150 in about three seconds.
I asked her why she wanted another bathroom scale. Hasn't spoken to me since.
Anyway, I have a 2 1/4 hp Freud and 2 1/4 hp Hitachi, both with plunge and fixed bases and either can be had for under $200. I like them both for different reasons and each can do one job better than the other, especially in plunge mode. Many here have the sears kit which is also in the low $100 range and most who have them report that they like them.
As far as bits go, I will split the difference with you and suggest cheap carbide for starters. Avoid HSS. If you do much of anything with plywood or MDF you will spend more time shopping than routing. My starter bits are a set of about 30, 1/4" shank carbide bits similar to those on eBay for about $40. As those wore out I replaced them with higher end and mostly 1/2" shank bits. The ones I haven't worn out I have likely never used.
Hope this helps and, once again, welcome to the forum.