Selecting a router - Router Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Country: United States
First Name: N/a
Posts: 5
 
Question Selecting a router

Hello,

I am new to woodworking. I am planning on buying a router to eventually get enough practice before I start making my own kitchen cupboards for my home.

I did a lot of reading up and it seems that all signs indicate that Festool Routers provide the best value for your money when it comes to quality and durability.

I don't want to throw money at an overkill (it's for personal use), but at the same time I don't want to buy something that will fall apart after 1 year (because I dont want to spend the money twice). That being said, I have been looking at the Festool OF 2200 EB Router because it seems like a workhorse that will stick with me through thick and thin. However, the price is significantly higher than everything else I see.

So my goal is simple, learn routing and get a machine that is easy on the learning curve and one that is durable enough for me to make my own kitchen re-design and maybe a few other around the house projects.

Can someone recommend a router for me and a suitable table? Or am I stuck with the decision to buy a Festool OF 2200 EB Router?

Thanks for your help folks.

DW
DAWILLIAMS is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:51 AM
Registered User
 
Ralph Barker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Ralph
Posts: 2,001
 
Default

Festool makes exceptional, well-engineered tools. I have a couple of their tools, but not their router. The problem is, you pay about 2x the price of other quality tools for Festool.

I'd suggest you look at less-expensive alternatives for your "starter" router. Craftsman makes a decent package with both fixed and plunge bases, for around $100, if I remember correctly. If you want to go a little higher on the quality scale, Porter Cable, Bosch, and several others are good alternatives. You'll likely find that you're still using any of these brands years from now.

Although some use the same router for both hand-held work and in a table, I prefer a lighter model (PC 690series in my case) for hand-held work, and a larger, 3 1/4hp model in the table, since I use large-diameter bits frequently.

- Ralph
Ralph Barker is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 07:19 AM
Registered User
 
istracpsboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Country: Croatia
First Name: Peter
Posts: 1,683
 
Default

The following appeared in the Trend Inprofile magazine in 1997 and seemed worth reprinting:

Routing encompasses a wide range of skills, not just in handling the router itself, but in using it to its best advantage in conjunction with various, guides, jigs and other ‘routing devices’, as well as the extensive range of router cutters now available. Routing is also about innovation in both the methods and applications to which the router is applied and in the aesthetic and technical design that it is used to create.

The Router

Most woodworkers turning to routing have some idea and experience of working with power tools.
Most householders will have occasionally used a jigsaw or electric drill and will know that power tools come in a range of power ratings and capacities - the more power you have, the faster and harder you can go about the job - well that’s the theory anyway!
However, as if you are buying a new car, computer or washing machine, you will still want to know just what to buy to suit you and your pocket. Accordingly, the questions facing the newcomer to routing are most likely to be:

How much power do I need?,
What collet size do I need?,
Do I need variable speed?,
Do I need to buy lots of accessories?,
Do I need to buy lots of cutters?

Self Assessment!


How much power? - This depends on the type of work that you intend to use the router for.
If you are cutting dolls house mouldings or trimming veneers or laminates, there is little point in buying a heavy duty router. It will be too heavy and clumsy for the purpose. Conversely, if you are making doors and window frames, you would not be able to remove
enough material efficiently without overloading the motor. This would cause the cutting speed to drop, resulting in a poor finish and possible premature burn-out of the motor and bearings.


Collet Capacity

For many applications the strength of a cutter often depends on the diameter of the cutter shank. The thicker the cutter shank, the more wood you can remove and the deeper you can cut on any one pass, with less risk of the cutter flexing excessively or breaking.
Light duty routers are generally supplied with 6.5mm (1/4”) collets although some models can be fitted with an optional 8mm collet. The introduction of 8mm shanks has allowed many of the larger diameter cutters to be used in light duty routers, although particular care must be taken when using them and any manufacturers recommendations concerning cutting speed and depth of cut must be closely observed.
Most medium and heavy duty routers can be fitted with alternative diameter collets of 6.35mm (1/4”), 9.5mm (3/8”), 12.7mm (1/2”) and 8mm diameter, although most are supplied with only 1/4 inch or both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets. Alternative size collets are available for most makes and models of router. Do remember that small diameter cutter shanks will flex more, with a greater risk of breakage under the increased load from a heavy duty router. Remember that small diameter cutter shanks will flex more, with a greater risk of breakage under the increased load from a heavy duty router.

Router Power

(746 watts = 1 HP )

Light Duty Routers
400-750 Watts
Medium Duty
750-1200 Watts
Heavy Duty
1200 and above





Speed & Variable Speed

Router spindle speeds are generally given as o-load speeds, that is the speed that the motor spindle is rotating at before the cutter enters the wood. This is generally between 8,000 and 30,000 RPM depending on the power of the router. Light duty routers will have a higher no-load speed to help compensate for their lower power. Most routing operations using cutters up to 25mm diameter, should be carried out at the maximum router speed to achieve optimum cutting efficiency.
Operations involving the use of cutters over 50mm diameter should be carried out at speeds of between 12,000 and 16,000 rpm. Variable speed routers with full wave, load compensated electronics, tend to run smoother and possibly quieter than single speed machines, resulting in reduced bearing wear and eliminating the initial jolt on start-up.
They also accommodate the use of large diameter cutters at their recommended safe speed. Aluminium and plastics require routing at lower speeds to reduce overheating or melting, preventing problems such as weld-back, whereby molten waste material re-forms
within the cut, or the fusion of waste particles to the cutter.

Which Accessories?


The few guides and accessories supplied with the router allow you to carry out various basic cutting operations such as edge trimming, moulding, and template work. However, to increase the versatility of your router it is worth considering adding further accessories toyour routing workshop.

Last edited by istracpsboss; 12-10-2010 at 07:22 AM.
istracpsboss is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 08:09 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Country: United States
First Name: del
Posts: 782
 
Default

I didn't read other post's yet. But why dont you save lot's of your money and buy a bosch 1617 or a pc 690 which i have of each. They are very good router's and won't let you down. Me i wouldn't spend that much on the festool. Just because they cost about 2X the money don't make them that much better?? This is my 2 cent's

del schisler
port st. lucie, florida
del schisler is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Country: United States
First Name: N/a
Posts: 5
 
Default

Thanks Ralph and Del. I will look into your recommendation. I see a lot of cheap and affordable stuff. But I was asking to see what everyone's take was on price versus quality.

Ralph...does the 3 1/4 hp model run any risk of tripping a household breaker? Or is that bigger one safe for use in my basement?

Can you recommend a good table?

Thanks
DAWILLIAMS is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:05 AM
Registered User
 
Ralph Barker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Ralph
Posts: 2,001
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWILLIAMS View Post
Thanks Ralph and Del. I will look into your recommendation. I see a lot of cheap and affordable stuff. But I was asking to see what everyone's take was on price versus quality.

Ralph...does the 3 1/4 hp model run any risk of tripping a household breaker? Or is that bigger one safe for use in my basement?

Can you recommend a good table?

Thanks
It's a 15 amp, so it will run on a standard 20 amp household breaker. I wouldn't have a heater plugged into the same circuit, though.

As to tables, think about making your own, based around the plate or lift of your choice. If you want to buy a commercially-made table, the guys here like Oak Park. My previous table was a Rockler top-only that I put on a large WorkMate. The BenchDog tables look well-made, too. (Rockler now owns BenchDog, I believe.)

- Ralph
Ralph Barker is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:45 AM
Registered User
 
RustyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Country: United States
First Name: Rusty
Posts: 618
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWILLIAMS View Post
does the 3 1/4 hp model run any risk of tripping a household breaker? Or is that bigger one safe for use in my basement
My house has all 15 amp circuits with the garage circuit sharing half the kitchen, and one wall of living room. I use the Hitachi M12V2 in my table. It's rated at 3.25 Hp, 15 amps, and has never tripped the breaker. But twice while ripping maple on the table saw(1.5 HP, 15 amp) the breaker has tripped when the microwave gets used at the same time. Maybe I've just been lucky and no ones decided they needed popcorn while I'm routing.

Rusty

If You Want It Bad, You Get It Bad The Worse You Want It, The Worse You Get It
RustyW is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sort Members by City or Zip RJM60 Site Help and Suggestions 56 03-13-2014 06:40 PM
Motorized Router Lift - Eagle Lake Style johnwnixon Table-mounted Routing 14 05-23-2012 05:51 PM
Router Recall (PC, SEARS, RYOBI) Birdflu General Routing 5 02-23-2012 11:01 PM
selecting table-mounted router mike turner General Routing 10 08-01-2010 01:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome