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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router purchase advice

Let me start off by apologizing for posting this question. I'm sure it has been posted 100s of times before. I tried browsing and searching the forum, but I always get side-tracked reading too many posts.

I am in the process of building my router table. It is going to be a fluid project, with not much about the build decided beforehand. This probably isn't the best method, but it is the one I have chosen, and I am comfortable with. I will eventually be building raised-panel doors. What is the prevailing opionion on minimum specs to be able to use vertical and horizontal raised panel bits? My current router is a 2 HP Craftsman. While this does a decent job of "everyday" routing, it only handles 1/4 inch bits. I definitely want to upgrade to something that can handle 1/2.

Where are some good places to buy routers, bits, etc? I have previously purchased from Harbor Freight, Woodcraft, Rockler.

Also, my Craftsman router has a knob that I can turn to adjust depth when the router is mounted in the table. This has allowed me to do some mortise joints. Do other routers have something similar, or would I need a lift?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 12:55 PM
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You of course definitely need a 1/2 inch router. I make alot of raised panels and have a Bosch 1617 EVS. It has a fixed base and a plunge base so it comes in and out of the bases easily. You can mount the fixed base to the table and easily take out the motor for use in the plunge base, for easy bit change, etc.

Bits are available from Rockler, Eagle America, Amazon, and so many other sources.

Lowes has a good price on the router combo kit. I'm sure others will also weigh in here and by the way, happy routing.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 04:43 PM
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I put a Hitachi M12V in my table. If I were buying for my table today, I would go with the Milwaukee 5625. However, any of the router kits in the 2hp range should work for you.
As to the need for a lift, in my opinion, they are not needed. For me it is no trouble to set the height from below. Save the money and buy bits and wood.

Last edited by Twill57; 11-25-2009 at 04:46 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 05:21 PM
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Hello, Keith Welcome: You go ahead, and ask. There is no question that you ever need to apologize for. You will find that Craftsman has a good name, and is liked. I have craftsman and ryobi.and craftsmen are good. To start off, i bought a set of inexpensive bits from Lowe's, or Menard's They are the carbide bits, and i would get 1/2 in. bits. They are better because the extra material in the bit helps to lower the chattering. They also feel more solid when your routing. i got some bits that i found i used more that others, like the 1/4 and 3/8 straight bits. I got a few good bits for those, and although i haven't done it, i recommend some 3/8 up, and down spiral bits. from there, you can buy any thing else that you find yourself using a lot in the good bits, and watch for some great sales, or E-bay, big box kits for other uses. And Sears for the combo pack routers. They will cost a lot less, and you will have a standard, and a plunge router base that has all the bells and whistles. The red top. On sale, the combo will be around 100 dollars, normally about $130.00. That is a great price for a good router. Good luck, and have a happy Thanksgiving.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 05:39 PM
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Fluid? hmmmmm says I...

That is exactly how I approach a project... Now I have a name for it.. *S*...
no doubt you'll need 1/2" shanked bits.. I've got several craftsman routers that handle
1/2" and have no complaints. They are newer versions though.. My big dawg is a milwaukee 5625 and I can't work it hard enough. It sits in an Woodpeckers PRv2 lift. This is just a fantastic combo.. period...
The milwaukee does have above table adjustments available without a lift.. which is nice. Most newer routers are coming out with above table adjustments to stay competitive. I have to say, a lift certainly isn't "necessary" but nice none the less..

I've gotten bits from all the usuall suspects.. I do like MLCS bits, Eagle America has great deals and whiteside is a premiere supplier.. its all good..
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 07:57 PM
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If I may suggest, you will need to upgrade your router to take on the 1/2" bits. I will recommend, the sears combo router. 2 1/2hp, plenty of power to handle the jobs you want to do. Pluse, these also have the built-in lift. Simply use the allen "T" wrench that's supplied. Check sears web site on Black friday for their best sales options.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 09:22 PM
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I have a Hitachi M12V 3-1/4 with the Router Razer lift in one table & a Triton 2-1/4 in the other table. Last month I bought the new Triton 3-1/4 to replace the 2-1/4 Triton. I favor the Hitachi because it is noticeably quieter than the Triton, but the Triton comes with a built in raiser to adjust above the table.

For the money the Triton has been an good router. I have other routers for freehand & jig work so these stay in the tables. These will take 1/2" shanks & have 1/4" reducers if a small bit is needed. I always buy 1/2" shank bits & will only get the 1/4" shank bit if not available in the larger size.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlord View Post
I have a Hitachi M12V 3-1/4 with the Router Razer lift in one table & a Triton 2-1/4 in the other table. Last month I bought the new Triton 3-1/4 to replace the 2-1/4 Triton. I favor the Hitachi because it is noticeably quieter than the Triton, but the Triton comes with a built in raiser to adjust above the table.

For the money the Triton has been an good router. I have other routers for freehand & jig work so these stay in the tables. These will take 1/2" shanks & have 1/4" reducers if a small bit is needed. I always buy 1/2" shank bits & will only get the 1/4" shank bit if not available in the larger size.
Does the new Triton 3-1/4 come with the lift I thought the 2-1/4 only came with the lift? Thanks
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2009, 10:37 PM
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Yes Triton does have a lift in the new 3-1/4 router. I originally bought the 2-1/4 for that reason. But now the 3-1/4 has the lift also, so I bought one to replace 2-1/4 in one of my tables. I have not switched it out yet but was told it will bolt right in. I just have to drill a new access hole for the crank because it is in a different location that the 2-1/4 in there now.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 12:03 AM
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FWIW, there have been reports here of stores with the old & new Triton for sale, with the old (non-lift) version discounted. Make sure you're buying what you want.

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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