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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Default Buying advice

A hate to ask this question, because I'm sure it's been asked hundreds of times before. I've looked at a few recent threads, but I'm not sure I got a precise answer.

I'm in my early 20's and would like to purchase a router to last me a long time. My next project is just building a desk, but I'm OK with spending extra now for something that will give me reliability, flexibility, and ease-of-use in the future.

So let's say my budget is anywhere between $150-$450 for a router, and additional funds for a router table. What would you get?

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 03:17 AM
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My precise answer is get a Triton TRA001 (2200w ) plunge router. It may seem a bit big but when you install it under a table it handles anything. Has an above table winding mechanism for fine adjustments.

If it's out of your price range then the next one down. I think it may be the MOF001.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 04:43 AM
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+1 on the Triton.

Welcome to the forum, Jay.

There are so many models out there that fit the bill, you will get many recommendations.

James
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 05:47 AM
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Welcome to the Forum.

If i had the high end of that budget just for the machines (bits are a different story), i'd buy 2 decent routers from the same family. Would enable a table/handheld most of the time and then a second table for part of the time. Same family so that you could interchange bases, plates, edge guides, etc. easier. I'm partial to Bosch routers, so for me it would be the Colt and a 1617, both with fixed and plunge bases. The newer Bosch MRC23 would be a candidate for me as well, though it's still pricy.

Dewalt makes a good series as well. Find a fit that feels good to you.

earl
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 05:53 AM
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Welcome, but I beg to differ. Triton is a good router, Porter cable is a good router as is Dewalt, Freud and a host of others. Look at the manuals and the exploded drawings for the repair parts. See which has the easiest bearing & brushes to obtain and are of standard size. Look at the dust shielding as fine particles will always find a way in and finally decide if you want one that is stationary on the table as this allows you to purchase only the motor (eliminates a lot of moving parts parts) or if you want to purchase a second router to avoid the issue of removal and replacement when you cannot use the table mounted unit. And please think about what you will actually use this purchase for and in what country. Triton is a great router until you try to find certain spares, the same can be said of all routers depending where you live.

Good Luck - Baker
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 06:34 AM
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I would guess you will get as many recommendations as people have routers. If I were in the market I would buy the most powerful name brand that I could. Don't worry about the weight if you are going to use a table and don't worry about finding something that has two bases. When the time comes to get a hand held one there will most likely be improvements to what is out there today. As far as parts goes Richard has a point which to me means don't buy a Craftsman. Sears is known for making it difficult to find aftermarket parts. As far as the table goes make your own and if the router you choose doesn't have the capability of being raised from above then get one that is compatible with the Router Raizer.

Last edited by mgmine; 03-09-2013 at 06:37 AM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:00 AM
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To expand what Art just said about Sears Craftsman,

Sears (now owned by K-Mart) has always contracted with manufacturers to make tools for them. By the time they told the manufacturer what they wanted it to look like and what price they wanted to sell it for the manufacturer inevitably made it different from their own tool of the same production year. Some parts would be interchangeable with the OEM and some would be brand specific.

So, you see what happens ten years down the road. You might be able to get replacement parts from Sears but probably not. When you go to the manufacturer for an OEM part you might find it. You might not if it is one of those made only for the Sears model. This often happens with shields, handles, guides, etc. Then you end up looking for used machines to cannibalize in order to find parts.

While one of my hobbies is restoring old "tools with tails" I sometimes have to wait years before I find parts.

So... buy a brand name you expect to be around in 20- 30 years. If not for yourself then for the next owner.

JMHO

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRDarnell View Post
To expand what Art just said about Sears Craftsman,

Sears (now owned by K-Mart) has always contracted with manufacturers to make tools for them. By the time they told the manufacturer what they wanted it to look like and what price they wanted to sell it for the manufacturer inevitably made it different from their own tool of the same production year. Some parts would be interchangeable with the OEM and some would be brand specific.

So, you see what happens ten years down the road. You might be able to get replacement parts from Sears but probably not. When you go to the manufacturer for an OEM part you might find it. You might not if it is one of those made only for the Sears model. This often happens with shields, handles, guides, etc. Then you end up looking for used machines to cannibalize in order to find parts.

While one of my hobbies is restoring old "tools with tails" I sometimes have to wait years before I find parts.

So... buy a brand name you expect to be around in 20- 30 years. If not for yourself then for the next owner.

JMHO

Paul

Yep, thats why we see posts from people looking for NLA part for PC, Bosch, Makita, and others! Anything past 10 -15 years old is hit/miss at best... especially if electronics are involved. Many machines of most major brands last 15 - 30 years with no need for parts. My 18 year old Craftsman router and 35 year RAS are examples!

If you make your power tool decisions on long term parts availability... better stick with hand tools. This is getting more and more the case with global manufacturing and shorter model change cycles. NO manufacturer will retool a production line to make you one part.

For larger machinery, there are some small 3rd party shops willing to manufacture parts. For smaller commodity tools, that isn't practical, again especially for electronic module like speed controls for routers.

How many cordless drills are laying around due to it being cheaper and quicker to just buy another? I would personally not make this my primary purchasing concern!

YMMV

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

Last edited by Dmeadows; 03-09-2013 at 09:23 AM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 09:35 AM
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I would like to mention briefly my experience with Triton. I have know idea what the situation will be in 10 years, but I bought a used 3 1/4 horse Triton. It was missing several parts. Here in the US they are distributed by Kreg (something I learned on this forum ) anyway I contacted Kreg and gave them the list of what I needed. 12 hr work day later I get a call from the kid who took my parts list and he tells me he has shipped them all out. I got that on voice mail. I called back the next day and got a hold of this guy that worked 12 hours on my order and asked him what I owed him. He said it was on the house. Easiest replacement parts I ever got. Triton and Kreg gained a customer for life . So if you are looking don't overlook Triton just because they are not US based.

My Two Cents
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:11 PM
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I have 5 Triton's never a problem except collets. Kreg is great on support the best I have seen in the industry. I own 30 something routers and I like to mix up the brands as depending on the application some brands are better than others for different applications. Granted mixing up brands adds a little work but it is good to have the flexibility to have different options to match the job.
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