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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which small router?

I am sure that this has been asked a million times, but I am looking to add a small trim type router to my tools. I currently have the Festool OF 1400 for handheld use and a Bosch 1617 in my small Bosch table top router table. I know there are several models including ones by Bosch, Dewalt and Makita. Do you have opinions on them? I am retired but sub a few days a week to earn money to buy tools and help pay for health insurance. Health insurance has shot up (tripled) so I think I am going to take money out of an annuity and buy the tools I want and then use all subbing money on insurance. I will be doing this very soon.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:42 PM
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The Bosch Colt is one choice. Quite a few of us have purchased the DeWalt 611 and I haven't seen any one say they are unhappy with it. The DW is a little more powerful that the Colt and is normally purchased as the PK (package) that includes plunge and fixed bases. I think there is a plunge base available for the Colt but I don't know if it is part of a package. I got my DW off Amazon Canada for $149 Can.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 02:10 PM
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I have the Bosch colt and the DeWalt 611 with the plunge bases. They both are nice trimmers. I would try to find display models and go through them and see what feels right. I have not used the Makita,cannot comment on that one. I am sure others will be able to help in your decision. Cost wise they are close. I like both of mine! I like all of my routers, who am I kidding! good luck.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 02:38 PM
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I read some reviews before buying the Colt. I found it was not quite a match for the Makita, but Bosch products are so solid I wound up with the Colt. I bought the plunge base later. I use the colt far more often than I thought I would. It is a wonder for hinge mortises, not just trimming. Just don't try to do too deep a cut in one pass. Not much of a fan of DeWalt anymore, but that Makita was a very nice unit with lots of accessories and a clear base to start with. If I ever get to making signs, I'll use the Colt with an extra wide, two handled base.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 02:53 PM
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I have the Dewalt 611 which I use primarily for sign making. I like the ease of setting the bit depth and the opening where I can see what the bit is doing while I carve. With the addition of a wide two-handled add-on base it is easy to control.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 03:16 PM
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Bosch Colt...

2nd to none CS and support...
real work horse...
last long time...
protects my bottom line...

I think/believe Bosch to be an outstanding company... they seem to always man up to any found problems in a heartbeat... quite unlike most of the other tool manufactures/companies...
I just had a problem with two of their 1617 routers... a really old abused one and and a new one out of the box.. (it sounded terrible - gravely).... only took a day and all is well even with the old one and I never had to leave the shop.....
I have a lot of their tools...and I mean a lot... I started using Bosch in the late 70's... since then, they've have proven themselves dependable and has yet to let me down... Bosch has come through, within reason, to my benefit...
less down time, less hassles, less additional monies spent, longevity, planned obsolesce isn't an issue and less all around grief... they have proven that they have a cost effective track record and products over and over again...
if you don't mind mediocre and disposable along with the associated trials and tribulations.... buy "other" I'll stay with Bosch... I've learned my lessons...
Everything may not be always a bed of roses but Bosch sure seems to bust their butt to clear or deal with of as many of the thorns as possible so you don't have to......
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 03:34 PM
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Just to muddy up the water a little more I have the RT0701 and like it a lot, Its what I use most hand held jobs
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 04:20 PM
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I also have a DeWalt 611 router, but for trimming, like laminate trimming or other light router work I have a DeWalt 670 Laminate Trimmer kit that also takes 1/4" shank router bits. It has 7/8 horsepower, so it's almost as powerful as the DeWalt 611, but in a smaller size with more base options. The kit contains a regular style 6" diameter router base that accepts router bushings, so it can be used much like a router for light routing chores.

It also has four bases specifically designed for working with laminates and veneers including an offset base where the bit is offset from the motor shaft for trimming into blind corners, a seaming base for trimming a piece of laminate to exactly match an adjoining piece, an angle trimming base. and a straight cutting base that's about 1/2 the size of a small router base. I have found many reasons for using these smaller bases for other than laminate trimming because of their smaller size.

You can buy several different brands of these laminate trimmers from the better router manufacturers, either with just one base, or as a kit with 3 or more bases. They aren't quite as powerful as the DeWalt 611 or similar routers, but for light small work one of them may be a better choice for your needs than a standard type small router like the DeWalt 611. I have a 611, but find that I reach for the 670 laminate trimmer kit more often than I do the 611.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 04:34 PM
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I have an old PC laminate router and a Trend T4 for the real small work, they're both light and powerful enough for pretty much most profiles and inlay jobs. I know a few guys with and swear by the Colt and would have bought it but for the price T4 and it's a plunge. While I had no experience with the T4, I took a chance and it turned out grand.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 07:34 PM
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I have an older Made-In-The-US-of-A Porter Cable laminate trimmer, so I can not make any specific recommendation as to the "new and improved" laminate trimmers/compact router.

What I do suggest is that you take a culture trip to the various tool stores and handle the small routers/laminate trimmers on display. You will soon find which model(s) fit your hand better, are easy to adjust, etc. Then do on-line research for reviews of that model(s). Also take note of price differences.
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