A pretty typical rookie "which one do I buy" thread - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default A pretty typical rookie "which one do I buy" thread

First, thanks to all who welcomed me so warmly in my intro post.

For my first router, I'm looking at around a 2-1/4 hp. mid-size and what I'm thinking is to get a kit with both a fixed and a plunge base. My plan would be to mount the fixed base permanently on a table and keep the plunge base available for hand-held jobs.

First question I suppose would be is that a reasonable strategy? I really don't see myself ever doing any panel raising in the future, and I'd like to get by with one router.

Secondly, what would strengths and weaknesses be of my 3 contenders, namely the Porter Cable 895PK, the Bosch 1617 EVSPK and the Milwaukee 5616-24. Looks like the PC is around $259. on Amazon, while the Bosch and Milwaukee are slightly over $200. I'd spring the extra $50. if the PC were better.

Problem is, opinions vary on each and each has it's fans and detractors.

I'd appreciate ya'll's opinions, and if I'm overlooking anything viable please let me know.

Thanks,

Ed
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggdogg View Post
First, thanks to all who welcomed me so warmly in my intro post.

For my first router, I'm looking at around a 2-1/4 hp. mid-size and what I'm thinking is to get a kit with both a fixed and a plunge base. My plan would be to mount the fixed base permanently on a table and keep the plunge base available for hand-held jobs.

First question I suppose would be is that a reasonable strategy? I really don't see myself ever doing any panel raising in the future, and I'd like to get by with one router.

Secondly, what would strengths and weaknesses be of my 3 contenders, namely the Porter Cable 895PK, the Bosch 1617 EVSPK and the Milwaukee 5616-24. Looks like the PC is around $259. on Amazon, while the Bosch and Milwaukee are slightly over $200. I'd spring the extra $50. if the PC were better.

Problem is, opinions vary on each and each has it's fans and detractors.

I'd appreciate ya'll's opinions, and if I'm overlooking anything viable please let me know.

Thanks,

Ed
Hi ed - Welcome to the forum
Good Luck on one router. A year ago I had one that I inherited from my Dad and was pretty much afraid to touch, today I got 4 not counting the Rotozip.
Your right about "they all have their fans and detractors". Bottom line is you are the one using it and need to be comfortable with it. Get your hands on as many as you can. See how they feel. Pay attention to where the power switch is and how easily you can reach it. We all have different sized hands. Look at the height adjustment. Easy to set or complex.. Same with the speed control. On the plunge base... how does it operate, is the release easy to work. How does the plunge feel... smooth... jerky... awkward.... The list goes on ad infinitum. ad nauseum...
I ended up with the Craftsman I inherited, a Hitachi and a Freud kit and a Freud table mounted. Hitachi and Freuds are 2 1/4 and the Craftsman is a 1-1/2 or 1-3/4, not real sure it is so old. The Craftsman is such a PIA to adjust height it is a dedicated dovetail router. Perfect for that, light, easy access trigger switch, good visibility around cut area. One Freud is table dedicated and the two kits are for hand held work. Most of my selections were budget driven. The Craftman was basically free, the table Freud was $80, the kit Freud was $120 and the kit Hitachi was $150. So, I ended up with all 4 for not much more than 1 Bosch.
Thats just my .02, hope it's worth that much... Good Luck with your quest

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggdogg View Post
First, thanks to all who welcomed me so warmly in my intro post.

For my first router, I'm looking at around a 2-1/4 hp. mid-size and what I'm thinking is to get a kit with both a fixed and a plunge base. My plan would be to mount the fixed base permanently on a table and keep the plunge base available for hand-held jobs.

First question I suppose would be is that a reasonable strategy? I really don't see myself ever doing any panel raising in the future, and I'd like to get by with one router.

Secondly, what would strengths and weaknesses be of my 3 contenders, namely the Porter Cable 895PK, the Bosch 1617 EVSPK and the Milwaukee 5616-24. Looks like the PC is around $259. on Amazon, while the Bosch and Milwaukee are slightly over $200. I'd spring the extra $50. if the PC were better.

Problem is, opinions vary on each and each has it's fans and detractors.

I'd appreciate ya'll's opinions, and if I'm overlooking anything viable please let me know.

Thanks,

Ed
ED Welcome to the forum; A big decision to make, all I can add is when you do make your selection make sure it can be used with ease in both modes TABLE AND HAND HELD. There are other modes like overhead routing etc, also select a router that will take a large diameter template guide. Call back into the forum as there are many here who can assist you getting what you want to do with a router. Just as a reminder; there is more that can be achieved when the router is held in the plunge mode, with the aid of template guides. Check out the material below.
Tom
(Template Tom)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 03:54 AM
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Value for the dollar drives many of us; well it did me anyway, most bang for the buck as it were. My first was a Ridgid 200.00 and I fell it was a good first choice and resides full time in the router table as of December when Craftsman had their combo on sale for 80.00. The Craftsman is a good choice for a first time buyer. I believe they sell now for 120.00, still not bad for a combo set. You might want to check it out. There are several that own it and it is well spoken of. BTW the Ridgid is a good machine so you might want to look at it also.

Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggdogg View Post
First, thanks to all who welcomed me so warmly in my intro post.

For my first router, I'm looking at around a 2-1/4 hp. mid-size and what I'm thinking is to get a kit with both a fixed and a plunge base. My plan would be to mount the fixed base permanently on a table and keep the plunge base available for hand-held jobs.

First question I suppose would be is that a reasonable strategy? I really don't see myself ever doing any panel raising in the future, and I'd like to get by with one router.

Secondly, what would strengths and weaknesses be of my 3 contenders, namely the Porter Cable 895PK, the Bosch 1617 EVSPK and the Milwaukee 5616-24. Looks like the PC is around $259. on Amazon, while the Bosch and Milwaukee are slightly over $200. I'd spring the extra $50. if the PC were better.

Problem is, opinions vary on each and each has it's fans and detractors.

I'd appreciate ya'll's opinions, and if I'm overlooking anything viable please let me know.

Thanks,

Ed

Hi Ed,

I belive you have made the right decision for a FIRST router. As you will see, if you expand your capabilities, you may end up with more than one.

This is the setup Gary Rogowski uses so it is proven.

However, before you purchase, think more about what you will use the router for rather than the multitude of choices you have in USA.

Many of us have more that one. - Each for it own special task.

James
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 07:38 AM
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I suggest that you ask a salesperson if you can hold it in your hands before purchasing. If you don't like the "feel" of it, it's uncomfortable to use etc., chances are, you just wasted money for something that you won't use. Variable speed, soft start, 1/4" & 1/2" bit capabilities are all essential items anymore. 2 1/4- 2 1/2 hp routers will do an excellent job as a "first" router. In the future, you can always either upgrade or downsize, pending on what you're needing at that time.

Ken

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 10:12 PM
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+1 on holding it in your hands.

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to say thanks to all who responded and tell "the end of the story" (actually more like just the beginning).

I wound up buying the PC 895PK package-got it for $251.00 while Woodcraft was having their 10% off deal. I actually had decided on the Bosch 1617EVSPK until I found out that it's about to be superseded by this new MR23 model and that would have bothered me until we know more about the new one. Actually I think I would have gotten it anyway but couldn't really get a deal on it-about $220.00 was the best I could do, although Lowe's said they might consider a 20% coupon I found online.

Anyway, I figure neither of these was a bad choice, so now it's on to learning a little about using it!

Ed
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 11:32 AM
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Hi Ed,

Try this next time. (We all know you won't have just one router ) Go to your local dealer, again, ask to hold it in your hands. If you like it, don't purchase right away. Check out Amazon.com. You can find some pretty good deals there for the exact same router. Only difference is, you will be ordering it online instead of store purchase. I know I'll probably catch flak for suggesting such a thing but, money saved is, well, money saved.

Ken

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 12:05 PM
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What you may consider doing is locating a local service sales business, (that also sells routers) and ask what models come in most often for repairs.

Ask what type of repairs, break downs count not drop damage and cleanings.

This was my mode for routers and my 10" and 12" DCS miter boxes.

A popular tool, (high sale volume) isn't always the most reliable.

Never bite the hand that looks dirty!
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