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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Default Plunge Router

Hi,

I am in the market for a new router. I have an old B&D 3 hp router that has seen better days. I am looking for a GOOD plunge router that wont break the bank. One that I have been looking at is the Hitachi KM12VC, it seems to have good reviews and the price is in the range that I can "swing" right now. Any comments/suggestions would be a great help.

Thank you,

Tom
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mi77915 View Post
I am in the market for a new router. I have an old B&D 3 hp router that has seen better days. I am looking for a GOOD plunge router that wont break the bank. One that I have been looking at is the Hitachi KM12VC, it seems to have good reviews and the price is in the range that I can "swing" right now. Any comments/suggestions would be a great help.
A typical "nice" router would look like this:
1. " chuck: Smaller bit shafts can be fit using an adapter.
2. 2 wrench collet: This is getting scarce but search for it. Sometimes it is hidden or it can be retrofitted. This is the alternative to the spindle lock which I consider dangerous.
3. Variable speed: (8,000 rpm to >24,000 rpm.) Nice but close to useless <3HP, but mandatory >3HP. Note that the slower speeds are mandatory for larger bits but you need the horsepower to push them.
4. Plunge base: This is the most versatile, but a fixed base is fine for a third or fourth router
5. Bit clearance: Able to accept or modifiable for large panel bits 3" to 3"+. Mandatory for panel bits.
6. Guide holes: These are used to mount a straight edge guide or for ski and foot use. These need to be a minimum of 12mm or ".
7. Soft start: Is handy especially with the heavier horsepower (higher wattage) routers. Without it, a starting router could be wrenched out of your hands.
8. Light weight but versatile and powerful. With power you want weight but you also want to pick it up and use it all day long. Sometimes table mounting is a viable solution.
9. 1" template guide hole: 1" hole with a " shoulder for brass template guides. There is the Porter Cable 1 3/16ths standard but is too small for even occasional use. Makita allows for a 40mm template guide.



Hi Tom:

You're opening a can of worms here and I'm going to be the devil's advocate. I was recently in a tool store that had Milwaukee, PorterCable, Triton, Dewalt and Freud routers. I took a look at each and arrived at the following observations.

You want 12mm holes in the metal base to accommodate the straight edge guide and if you take off the plastic baseplate, you want a clear 3 3/4" hole to clear large bits.

The PorterCable may be a popular brand but none have straight edge holes large enough to provide stable ski work. Further, of the models on display, none had openings in the metal base large enough to handle >3" bits used for panel molding for kitchen cupboards.

The Milwaukee suffered the same fate except for one heavier model. However, there are those here who have had problems with Milwaukee products.

The Freud had all of the right stuff (except it had a spindle lock and no two-wrench capability) but there are versions of the Freud that won't fit into anything (including Freud) except home-built tables. Not that it is a bad thing. I make my own tables using OakPark baseplates.

The store didn't sell Hitachi or Makita. Probably one of the best routers for versatility and robustness is the Hitachi M12V. Unfortunately, it is no longer made but if you find one used, there are still parts available at Hitachi service centres. The M12V2 solves a few problems (like having to modify the base for oversized bits) but creates others by adding a vacuum attachment that interferes with just about everyting and the template guide mounts cannot be removed without major effort. The spindle lock cannot be defeated nor replaced thus rendering the M12V2 useless.

The Makita is equally versatile and robust as the M12V but it has one glaring problem in that it will not take large bits without major expense and effort to modify the base.

These are the only ones I've seen lately. I would like to hear from others and perhaps create a table based on the 9 desirable features of routers that I've copied above.

Allthunbs

Last edited by allthunbs; 03-27-2010 at 08:23 AM.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 08:51 AM
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Hi Tom

A typical nice router would look like this, you don't need a tank of a router, plus the price is right plus they come with All the extra items you want to see in a good router..

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...rd=all+routers
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...rd=all+routers

=========




Quote:
Originally Posted by mi77915 View Post
Hi,

I am in the market for a new router. I have an old B&D 3 hp router that has seen better days. I am looking for a GOOD plunge router that wont break the bank. One that I have been looking at is the Hitachi KM12VC, it seems to have good reviews and the price is in the range that I can "swing" right now. Any comments/suggestions would be a great help.

Thank you,

Tom



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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 08:55 AM
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I am looking for a new router also. The bosch 1619 seems to have the best reviews.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 09:02 AM
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I would like to know why the spindle lock is considered dangerous.

I have nothing against using two wrenches, and think it might even be easier than some spindle locks I have used, but on some other, smaller rotary tools such as a Rotozip RZ5 and a Black&Decker Wizard (dremel clone) I have liked the spindle locks they have. Same with the large push in button that goes through the top of the router on my brother's craftsman that normally takes me a hour or more to remember that is how it is done.

The other two spindle locks I have are of the have to keep it pushed it while using it...on second thought the Rotozip might be the same way, but I can't remember off hand even though I just changed a disc on the zipmate attachment a couple of weeks ago.

I have no experience with the two wrench set up on a router. Needed it on some other things I have done, but never a router.

Bob, I passed those links to She who buys my toys so she can check and see if they are eligible for the craftsman club discount (the only way she would buy them)

Last edited by DerekO; 03-27-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sanforno View Post
I am looking for a new router also. The bosch 1619 seems to have the best reviews.
but, does it have the "basics" noted above? They don't mention these things in the blurbs on the ad pages.

I visited the Sears site for the Craftsman routers noted above and not one bit of information about capability or capacities. The only comment I have about Craftsman is the lack of parts. I threw out a box full of Craftsman tools, all workable but for a simple part that was unique and no longer available.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DerekO View Post
I would like to know why the spindle lock is considered dangerous.

I have nothing against using two wrenches, and think it might even be easier than some spindle locks I have used, but on some other, smaller rotary tools such as a Rotozip RZ5 and a Black&Decker Wizard (dremel clone) I have liked the spindle locks they have. Same with the large push in button that goes through the top of the router on my brother's craftsman that normally takes me a hour or more to remember that is how it is done.

The other two spindle locks I have are of the have to keep it pushed it while using it...on second thought the Rotozip might be the same way, but I can't remember off hand even though I just changed a disc on the zipmate attachment a couple of weeks ago.

I have no experience with the two wrench set up on a router. Needed it on some other things I have done, but never a router.
Hi Derek:

This is my experience from using spindle locks on Craftsman and Hitachi. Thankfully, my Makitas are too old to have it.

"The spindle lock type requires that you... (minimum requirement 4 hands)
1. hold the bit precisely 1mm from the bottom,
2. hold the spindle lock,
3. hold the body of the router tightly,
4. now with the other hand put some beef into the wrench to tighten down the sleeve.

To release the collet, (minimum requirement, 3 hands.)
1. engage the spindle lock,
2. hold the router tightly and
3. heave the wrench in the opposite direction to tightening.
Note, hold the router, not the router base. Hmmmm, I'll stick with 2 wrenches."

The only time I've had bits come loose is when using a spindle lock. For some reason the collet would be tight then loosen under speed. This has never happened with 2 wrenches. I've also broken the spindle lock on the Craftsman rendering it useless because of the lack of parts.

I built my tables with 2x4 frames at the top to "catch" flying bits before I was able to find the wrenches I needed.

For the 2 wrenches, I find that a full strong one-handed squeeze on the two wrenches is "just right" to hold bits securely but still be able to get them off without a vice.

Allthunbs
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 09:51 AM
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Ok, I can understand it now.

I have rarely ever had a problem with something getting loose that I could get decent access to tighten down with 1 wrench let alone two. I usually have the opposite problem in that it will be too tight and any one else will either need to get more leverage on the wrench, bang it or bring it back to me. And sometimes whatever it is, I sometimes need to add leverage to the wrench, or with router wrenches go get a real wrench instead of the flat metal things the manufacturers provide

The ones I have used so far all work pretty good with the spindle locks.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 10:05 AM
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Hi

Just my 2 cents....it's hard to break the spindle lock pin,unless you think that you are King Kong, the collet nuts are made to work for a very long time and hold the bits tight without the need of a hammer to get them tight..PC is one of the routers that will let you use the two wrench way if you want,the finger pinch way.
The Freud and the Hitachi come with a slide in wrench so to speak as part of the lock systems so only one wrench is needed, once the router is mounted in the table or on the over size base plate you have a way to keep the router from turning.

As far as getting parts for the OLDER Craftsman routers (tools) try getting parts for the older Hitachi in 10 years from now.. forget that one..once they retool that's it..

One more note, that's why they started to put the lock pin on many of the new routers to make it easy-er for the user to switch out the bits with just one wrench.

John of the woodshop demo web site is a long time user of the Hitachi 12V and the Sommerfeld way of using the router table, it's worth the time to check out his web site to see the many tips on how to use the Hitachi..note the lock system he is now using on his router table with the push/pull knob on the outside of the router cabinet for the Hitachi.

http://www.woodshopdemos.com/cmt-jr6.htm
http://www.woodshopdemos.com/menu2.htm

===

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekO View Post
I would like to know why the spindle lock is considered dangerous.

I have nothing against using two wrenches, and think it might even be easier than some spindle locks I have used, but on some other, smaller rotary tools such as a Rotozip RZ5 and a Black&Decker Wizard (dremel clone) I have liked the spindle locks they have. Same with the large push in button that goes through the top of the router on my brother's craftsman that normally takes me a hour or more to remember that is how it is done.

The other two spindle locks I have are of the have to keep it pushed it while using it...on second thought the Rotozip might be the same way, but I can't remember off hand even though I just changed a disc on the zipmate attachment a couple of weeks ago.

I have no experience with the two wrench set up on a router. Needed it on some other things I have done, but never a router.

Bob, I passed those links to She who buys my toys so she can check and see if they are eligible for the craftsman club discount (the only way she would buy them)



"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

Marc Sommerfeld Tools ,Videos
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

Find all threads started by bobj3
http://www.routerforums.com/search.php?searchid=944097



Last edited by bobj3; 03-27-2010 at 01:40 PM.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 12:31 PM
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Hi, I agree with Bob. I have no problems with the pin lock on the routers. I prefer them to using two wrenches. The Tritons for instance when mounted in a table & raised all the way up it will automatically lock the spindle & lock the start switch in case you forgot to pull the power from the router. The Hitachi lock works more like a wrench than a pin. I have never come close to breaking a pin off & it allows me to free up a hand if needed.

If you want to keep your router bit from bottoming out in the collet just insert a 1/2" rubber grommet in the bottom. This is especially useful with matching equal height cabinet making bits.

Most larger hp routers come with softstart these days & if you want to run the larger panel bits they should only be used with router mounted in a table which would allow you to take the limiting baseplate off.

Many routers allow for the standard PC bushings which have many uses & are easy to find as almost everybody carries them.

I use the Porter Cable pc690 (1-3/4hp) routers daily for flush trimming, roundovers, & edge detailing. You don't really need more router than this for these operations. The PCs are workhorses & I can use them all day everyday routing mdf & even covered in mdf dust they just keep working without problems. I will usually lose a bearing, wear out the bit before the router has problems. For general routing these will not disappoint either.

I just bought another router yesterday at Sears & it was the Craftsman that Bob posted in his link. Regular price was 119.00 But I joined the Craftsman club & saved 20.00. That dropped the price down to 99.00 for the combo. Time will tell if I like it, This router is 2hp & has built in led lights to light up your work which I think is a good feature & for the price it is a good deal.

I have the Triton 3-1/4hp & the Hitachi 3-1/4hp M12V mounted in tables & they are great performers. I do wish they still made the M12V because it is an outstanding router that is also very quiet compared to others. If you could find one of these you will not be disappointed.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!

Last edited by jlord; 03-27-2010 at 07:10 PM.
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