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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default chicago electric 2-1/2 hp plunge router

Has anyone bought / reviewed the Chicago Electric 2-1/2 hp plunge router offered by Harbor Freight? The one review I found on this unit said it was acceptable / good. The online price is $99.99 but there is a sale going on at our local HF this and next weekend and this may be in it. Any ideas, comments, help.. would be appreciated. I do have Ryobi RE175 plunge 1-1/2hp, a Craftsman mdl 315.17461 1hp fixed base (attached to a table) and a Ryobi TR 30 U II trim router all that have only 1/4" collets. Thanks in advance. Pete

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 01:53 PM
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Guess it depends on the sale price.

The Craftsman 17543 is $99.99 if you're a Club member now through 4/3.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 05:55 PM
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The 17543 does 1/4 and 1/2" and comes with a plunge and a fixed base. It also has LED's that illuminate your work. When it comes to good value, it's tough to beat!

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 07:19 PM
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I bought the HF router for a router table. It's okay for a table, but I wouldn't buy it for as a hand held router. It's heavy, and the switch is exposed. The first time I handled I accidentally turned it on by brushing the switch against my torso. That's inexcusable in my opinion. The plunge mechanism is also quite stiff. Check out the reconditioned Hitachi routers at Reconditioned Sales. They are really brand new, and the M12VC is $80. I love this router. I would have bought another one for my table, but I read a review that had a problem with it in a table.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 07:39 PM
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Also note that the Harbor Freight router is NOT variable speed. The Hitachi router is.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2010, 06:37 PM
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How does that craftsman club discount thing work? I was on the site, but never saw anything about it. All I know about it is that it knocked a lot of money off of the table saw each time as my Wife joined. But She didn't explain anything about it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2010, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your input. Last night I found a Dewalt DW625 like new for $150.00 shipped. Read a lot of good things about this one. Hopefully, it will be as described. I'll post once I get it. Thanks again.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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I finally got some time to say I did get the DW625 about 3 weeks ago and I am impressed! It came with a 1/2" upcut spiral bit which I have used over a dozen times making jigs for my different tools.
The router is quite big but not clumsy and the plunge is s-o-o-o smooth compared to my Ryobi RE175.
I bought the DW6913 base and it really makes routing in t-tracks simple and precise.
Now I need to get some good 1/2" shank bits to go along with this and I can start making sawdust soon.

If it's not broken, break it, then fix it.
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