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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Default Craftsman really?

Hi. I am new to this forum. I am fairly new to wood working. I have owned a Craftsman router for about 10 years but have never really done too much with it until recently. I just made a router table for my first 'big' woodworking project and now I need a more powerful router for it. The router I have just seems to struggle with whatever I throw at it. I tried dovetails and it won't cut cleanly through at full depth of the dovetail bit. Really annoying.

There are several things that just have frustrated me to no end with my current Craftsman so I ruled out Craftsman from the start.

My requirements are:

Plunge and fixed base
Able to be mounted in a table
Adjustable from above the table
Power: minimum 2.25 HP (I don't want it to struggle like my current one 1.5 hp)
1/2 and 1/4 inch bits accepted
Ability to do raised panels (With vertical panel bit is fine)
Fits standard aftermarket router acessories (Current one does not. Had to drill new holes in the Milescraft base plate.)
Quieter than my current one

Here are the models I am looking at:

1. Bosch 1617EVSPK
2. Porter Cable 895pk
3. Triton 2.25 HP router

4. ...and I hate to admit it but the Craftsman Pro 28084


I have done a lot of searching and reading but I have not found any recent (2010-2011) reviews of these routers. The older reveiws might not take into consideration what is newer on the market now. If anyone has any links to anything newer please let me know.

Now as for the Craftsman.... I really do not want to like it but the kit looks so nice. It comes with three bases (plunge, fixed, and D-Handle), looks to include dust collection, above table adjustment, and is 2.25 hp. And the price is phenominal. $150 on sale.

I just have such doubts about Craftsman now. The price is so good with what bang you get for the buck it is so hard to ignore. Can someone talk me out of it? Please? I am worried that Craftsman overstates the power of their tools. I am worried that I would get it and it won't be powerful enough and will not work with after market accessories like my old one.

Are there any recent reviews of this router compared to other routers that are current?

I am sorry for so many questions. I just don't want to spend the $250 I have and have it be a mistake or spend too much if I don't need to. Any help is much much appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 08:56 PM
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How sharp is your dovetail bit? It might be worth it to purchase a good quality carbide bit and try that first before you go chasing down another router. You'll still have a good bit when all's said and done, even if it doesn't improve the cut quality. I know that I can take a junky circular saw, put a good blade in it and get fantastic results, I am guessing the same will hold true for routers.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 08:59 PM
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Ron, if you have to have a different router then craigslist it, or eBay it, I have success with them, and I save a lot too.

Jack


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:08 PM
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HI Ron

Most on the forum know how I feel about the red top Craftsman routers but if you need more power you should step up to the pump and get a 3 1/4HP, many now days come with a lift built in
You can get a Triton or a Freud in the 3 1/4HP range for about 300.oo but it's only one router motor with one base unlike the others you have listed..

By the way you don't need to put out 150.oo for one see link below...
http://www.searsoutlet.com/d/invento...ource=googleaf


http://www.routerforums.com/attachme...s-100_2117.jpg
========
Quote:
Originally Posted by brownsfn2 View Post
Hi. I am new to this forum. I am fairly new to wood working. I have owned a Craftsman router for about 10 years but have never really done too much with it until recently. I just made a router table for my first 'big' woodworking project and now I need a more powerful router for it. The router I have just seems to struggle with whatever I throw at it. I tried dovetails and it won't cut cleanly through at full depth of the dovetail bit. Really annoying.

There are several things that just have frustrated me to no end with my current Craftsman so I ruled out Craftsman from the start.

My requirements are:

Plunge and fixed base
Able to be mounted in a table
Adjustable from above the table
Power: minimum 2.25 HP (I don't want it to struggle like my current one 1.5 hp)
1/2 and 1/4 inch bits accepted
Ability to do raised panels (With vertical panel bit is fine)
Fits standard aftermarket router acessories (Current one does not. Had to drill new holes in the Milescraft base plate.)
Quieter than my current one

Here are the models I am looking at:

1. Bosch 1617EVSPK
2. Porter Cable 895pk
3. Triton 2.25 HP router

4. ...and I hate to admit it but the Craftsman Pro 28084


I have done a lot of searching and reading but I have not found any recent (2010-2011) reviews of these routers. The older reveiws might not take into consideration what is newer on the market now. If anyone has any links to anything newer please let me know.

Now as for the Craftsman.... I really do not want to like it but the kit looks so nice. It comes with three bases (plunge, fixed, and D-Handle), looks to include dust collection, above table adjustment, and is 2.25 hp. And the price is phenominal. $150 on sale.

I just have such doubts about Craftsman now. The price is so good with what bang you get for the buck it is so hard to ignore. Can someone talk me out of it? Please? I am worried that Craftsman overstates the power of their tools. I am worried that I would get it and it won't be powerful enough and will not work with after market accessories like my old one.

Are there any recent reviews of this router compared to other routers that are current?

I am sorry for so many questions. I just don't want to spend the $250 I have and have it be a mistake or spend too much if I don't need to. Any help is much much appreciated.



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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:25 PM
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Never be sorry for asking questions here. Search the forum for router reviews. The people who have the Bosches, PCs, and Tritons rate them well. Dewalts have also been rated well. The people who have Craftsman are split. I am on the downside of the Craftsman power tools as well as Freud. By the way, every manufacturer lies about horsepower. Search about "Peak Horsepower vs Real Horsepower" if you are interested. If you are having problems with tearout, the router and bit are not necessarily the problem. Try using a sacrificial backer board behind your workpiece.
Craftsman is geared towards the hobbyist. The other brands you mentioned are geared towards hobbyist to light commercial. In the end it all boils down to warranty and whether you will use it enough to test the warranty. In Sear's defense, I have never had a problem with them honouring their warranties.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 10:34 PM
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Greetings Ron and welcome to the router forums, we are glad to have you join us.

I have the 2HP craftsman, along with a Ridgid 2900 and a DeWALT 618, I use the Craftsman in my dove tail jig with no problems. I have heard good reports on the ones you have mentioned. I would say pick one and don't look back.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 11:24 PM
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The Makita 3612C has been discontinued but is a fine 3-1/4 hp plunge router. Renu Electric in Detroit quoted me $186 last week. This is a very good deal. Later this week I will post my review of my new Bosch MRC23EVSK. Think of it as a 1617 on steroids. LED work lights, right handle trigger switch, swivel connector on the power cord and a full 3" plunge depth.(I believe this is the most depth of any router available)

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 12:30 AM
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recently took a look at a Craftsman router and am looking to buy one for my router table, as it is adjustable from on top, and powerful enough for most of my purposed. I am currently using a Mastercraft 12 amp router, but I would like to have a dedicated table router.

Cheers,
Roger


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Isaiah 44:13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line, he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass...

Usual kit: Table saw, band saw, dual base router and table, lathe, various saws, planer, sanders, and a multitude of hand tools.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 01:43 AM
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I use a Porter Cable 1-3/4hp router for dovetails & it handles it no problem. Maybe your current router is not operating at full capacity or the bit is dull. Must be something to it. If buying a router for the table I would prefer to get a 3-1/4hp so you are not limited.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 08:19 AM
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I second the thought about the router bit. I would make sure you have a good bit before buying a router. Otherwise you may end up buying a router and still have the same issues with the bit.

However, should you decide to upgrade, i have two Bosch 1617 router kits, and both are great. I would highly recommend the 1617.
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