What is the best router for a beginner - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default What is the best router for a beginner

I plan to do normal edge work but also plan to build some outdoor furniture, planter boxes, and some garage cabinets.

I'm leaning towards a fixed 2 1/2 hp fixed model with variable speed. I figure with this forums help I can learn how to make jigs, a table, etc.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 07:03 PM
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Greater minds than mine will be along to give you a hand and answer your queries. Enjoy the forum.

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Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 07:55 PM
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Welcome to the forum. If you only have one router it should be a plunge. A plunge will do any job a fixed router can do but the opposite is not true.

Any questions you have will be answered, often with multiple solutions. There is also a great deal of information to be had by using our Community Search and you tube is also an excellent learning resource.

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 #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 07:59 PM
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Default Bosch MRC23EVSK Plunge & Fixed-Base Variable Speed

Check out the reviews of the Bosch. I was in the market for a bigger router and someone on the forum suggested this. I love it!

I think if you may find if you buy a fixed based you wish you had gone with the combination. Just my opinion of course.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Degams View Post
I plan to do normal edge work but also plan to build some outdoor furniture, planter boxes, and some garage cabinets.

I'm leaning towards a fixed 2 1/2 hp fixed model with variable speed. I figure with this forums help I can learn how to make jigs, a table, etc.
of all the brands I have owned...(a lot of them)...
Bosch has treated me and the bottom line the best by a wide margin...
look to the Bosch 1617...
refurbished is a good bet and a very good way to go...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 11-10-2014 at 08:10 PM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 12:16 AM
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What Stick and Dave just said, however, be careful because there are a number of different configurations in the Bosch 1617 lineup
The Bosch 1617 EVS is the fixed base model but the 1617 EVSPK is the package with both the fixed and plunge bases (quickly interchangeable).
The 1617 is a 2hp model without electronic speed control or soft start, both highly desirable features.
http://www.cpotools.com/factory-reco...hr1617evspk-rt
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 08:02 AM
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I agree with the suggestions above, but add that if you can afford one of the 2 or three base router packages it would be the way to go. You basically get a router motor, a fixed base, a plunge base, and sometimes even a D handled base, plus an edge guide, all for a much better price than buying each one separately. I have two of the DeWalt DW618B3 three base kits and have been very happy with them. Why two you ask? One is always in the shop and the other is in my truck, but I also use it in my shop when I'm doing something, like dovetails, where having 2 routers set up speeds the job. I have 9 routers in all, both larger and smaller than these but the DW618's are my GO TO routers that I use the most. Other brands of better quality routers are also in multi base kits. Your choice is up to you.

Charley

Central North Carolina
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 09:41 AM
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In agreement with all. I have more of a commercial background, so that this advice w/ a grain of salt.

My apprentices, the first router I recommended they buy was a plunge router. Finish work and millworks, that is a configuration we used most on jobsites. Most versatile, all-around base. A combo-kit will get you a long ways with less cost.

I'm sort of in a quandary of recommending a router to someone (a hobbiest) to start out with. My thoughts are that those that start out with a 1/4" router end up shortly finding they limited themselves and later buy a 1/2" router... If you were thinking that the first router you buy would be your only router, and be your last, then why not save up and start with light/midsized 1/2" collet router (which almost always always come with a 1/4" collet also) and have room to grow into. But if you want to learn and grow, start with a small light 1/4" router and save for something bigger to do more. Understand that even though we used a big plunge as our main router, that I initially introduced and taught those same apprentices with a small 1/4" router... It is easier to learn and build your basic skills with a small, light router. If you go this route, just except that you would outgrow it, but will still have it a small router to do trim and detail work.

It's hard to start out with something big, heavy and has a sharp bit spinning at 20,000 rpm and automatically feel confident, be nimble and coordinated. It takes practice and repetition to get an eye and build muscle memory. That's why I worked people up to that with a lighter router.

(Reminder to myself--) I should probably snap a pic of my "old" PC router today and post it. I just got it back from my dad. I forgot I gave it to him! It was a small router that I introduced routing to many apprentices with. An antique now. It was very good for trim, detail and inlay work. But didn't have the power to spin bigger bits, with consistency and quality. But it was stable for a small router. It handled well enough to provide people with confidence while they were learning and building their skillsets.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 11-11-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 11:34 AM
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And nary a mention of a router table, Mike...
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 11:35 AM
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I have bought several reconditioned routers from CPO Outlet on line and Tool Barn. they are just like brand new,can't tell the difference and they have free shipping sometimes.
I am a router junky I have several and when they come on sale, I jump for them. On the router table get the biggest hp you can afford,you won't be sorry. for handheld, I have a Porter Cable, Trend, Mcls, Ridgid fixed base, Dremel both bases,trim routers. some plunge, some fixed. They are all bitted up ready to go so I just have to grab them and round over an edge, cut an inlay, rabbit a box,etc. clamp them in a vise and have a mini router table.
On the hand held I have a 1 1/2hp. Porter Cable fix base,a Skill 1 1/2 both bases, Milwaukee 1 1/2hp both bases, Freud 1 1/2 both bases, they are also set up for dados,dovetails one straight for pins the other for tails.
I don't like anything above maybe a 2 hp for shop use other than on the router table,they are the easiest to handle freehand, But a trim router will do a lot of things besides veneer trimming.

Last edited by Herb Stoops; 11-11-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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