Need a router w/ accurate and easy height adjustment in table use. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Need a router w/ accurate and easy height adjustment in table use.

Hi, new to wood working and have been looking for a router. Primary use will be in a Wolfcraft 630 folding router table for blind-inside cuts requiring 3-5 passes w/ an increase in height of 1/8" per pass. Of secondary and third importance is the vacuum possibilities and noise level of the router. I have a shop vac and the 630 table has a dust port but can better vacuuming be achieved when attached at the sametime to both the router and the table? And a lower noise level would be nice.

So far I have considered the following routers:
  • Bosch 1619EVS - my table manual says it will accomdate routers w/ bases up to 7" and this behemoths base is at 7.5" otherwise I would already own it.
  • Bosch 1617EVSPK - higher expense initially, possibly the best performer out of the combos, wood grips are questionable.
  • Craftsman 17543 - low expense initially, accessory needs should be covered, only a 1 year warranty and then who fixes Craftsman routers??
  • Hitachi KM12VC - low expense initially, 5 year warranty, location of origin questionable.
  • Porter-Cable 694LRVK - higher expense initially, accessory needs are covered, least HP out of the combos.
With the exception of the 1619, the height adjustment is questionable on all of them since I've found at least 2 user reviews each across the net where the accuracy and/or ease of the height adjustment was the focus of a complaint.

While I have a specific use now, I'm assuming all of these routers can handle beginner through intermediate wood working projects with soft and hard wood. Currently I'm down to either the Craftsman or Hitachi and will probably go with the Hitachi because a Router Raizer is available for it should the height adjustment not work out.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 04:59 PM
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Hi WoodTroll

This just my 2 cents..

Knowing what I know now I would put my money into the Craftsman 17543 combo ,,you can get a 5 year tool top warr. that will cover the tool for a full 5 years...

Sears is all over the place ,so if you run into a error with the tool, it will be easy to have them take care of it...

If the bottom line is holding you back the 110.oo dollars for the Craftsman is the one to select..

It comes with all the items you want and have posted, plus lights on the base..if you play it right you can get it for about 95.oo dollars + the warr.charge...that should be around 25.oo dollars..

Good luck with yor quest..

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 07:09 PM
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Hi,

Too add to what Bj said, most craftsman routers also have an above table adjustment feature. This of course pending on what type of plate you have it mounted to for in-table use.

Ken

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi bobj3, thanks for your response and your previous posts regarding the craftsman router on this site. Whats your experience with the height adjustment of the Hitachi and Craftsman?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3
Knowing what I know now I would put my money into the Craftsman 17543 combo
What do you know; something about Craftsman vs Hitachi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3
Sears is all over the place ,so if you run into a error with the tool, it will be easy to have them take care of it...
For me, Sears and Hitachi are even on this point as I'm in LA and there's five Hitachi authorized service centers around I'd be willing to drive to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3
If the bottom line is holding you back the 110.oo dollars for the Craftsman is the one to select..
The Hitachi is down to $129 delivered so the price gap is closer than it was last year when there was posts on the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3
the warr.charge...that should be around 25.oo dollars..
I see the different levels of Sears protection plans at their site but no mention of price. Hard to believe the top of the line Master Protection plan would only be $25. I'll give them a call.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlin
most craftsman routers also have an above table adjustment feature. This of course pending on what type of plate you have it mounted to for in-table use.
Hi Hamlin, thanks for bringing that up. According to my table manual there is a list of compatible router models and the hole pattern to use on the included adapter plate. The 17543 is not listed but the Porter-Cable 690 and 890 series are listed and I figure I could return it if it doesn't match up. The adapter plate that mounts to the router base plate has three molded tabs 120 degrees apart that slide into a quick lock system under the table. There's no holes in the table to directly attach the router so the routers weight is basically hanging by the three tabs of the adapter, wow that sucks. I may not even need a router w/ an accurate heigh adjustment if the plate flexes from the weight.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodTroll
Hi Hamlin, thanks for bringing that up. According to my table manual there is a list of compatible router models and the hole pattern to use on the included adapter plate. The 17543 is not listed but the Porter-Cable 690 and 890 series are listed and I figure I could return it if it doesn't match up. The adapter plate that mounts to the router base plate has three molded tabs 120 degrees apart that slide into a quick lock system under the table. There's no holes in the table to directly attach the router so the routers weight is basically hanging by the three tabs of the adapter, wow that sucks. I may not even need a router w/ an accurate heigh adjustment if the plate flexes from the weight.
Hi WoodTroll,

Again, this matters on what plate you're going to use. However, I should point out, you would already have a template for drilling a hole for that adjustment. Use the base plate on the router as your template. I do agree with Bj about the craftsman, I have this particular model as well. It's well worth it's price.

I'm not familar with other plates nor routers, (I have 2 craftsman and 2 Makita routers), because, I use the OP table and plates. These plates are quite sturdy, no flex. I don't wish nor mean to 'saude you from your current table but, I'd recommend taking the time and build yourself a new table.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Ken

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Last edited by Hamlin; 06-05-2008 at 08:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 08:43 PM
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Lets spend a minute to clarify a couple things so we are all on the same sheet of music. As BJ mentioned the Craftsman is an excellent value with many nice features. At the price it is a real value for your money. Sears has been building and selling inexpensive power tools for home owners for a long time and this new router is by far the best to date. The key phrase mentioned is home owners. There is a difference between home owners and commercial in the quality of the construction. The Hitachi is the value leader for commercial routers. Both of these are styled after the long lived Bosch 1617 combo kit. The Bosch is industrial quality and designed for heavy duty extended use. When you have these routers in your hands you will notice a difference in the feel of the controls. Most staff members own Bosch, and Bosch is consistently top rated in all magazine testing. There are two schools of thought, one is "Use it up and throw it away" and the other is "spend a bit more up front and have one that will last." Extended warranties are a way of increasing profits on a sale and seldom provide you with real value. By the time you add the cost of an extended warranty there is little difference in price between the Craftsman and the Bosch. Routers are the least expensive part of routing, your real expense will be in bits. My first router was a Craftsman. When I got serious about routing my choice was to go with the quality router since I use my router a great deal. Many members will not use their router as much and this is where the Craftsman becomes a real value. There is no "wrong way" in deciding on a router, they will all turn the bits. Decide which features and quality level is right for you. And by all means put your hands on the model before you spend any money on it.

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Last edited by Mike; 06-05-2008 at 08:48 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:05 AM
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Have you per chance had a look at Triton's routers? I have the Sears model discussed here for hand held ops and love it, for my table it's the Triton all the way. Customer service is second to none and the innovative features such as the above table bit change leave me as satisfied with a tool purchase as I can be. Cheers.

Jer

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:35 AM
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Hi WoodTroll


I have the Triton 2 1/4HP ,Craftsman 2 1/4HP (2ea.) and the 3 1/4HP Hitachi and out of the 3, I like the Craftsman the best..

I have all 3 setup to be used in the router tables or as a hand plunge router.

" height adjustment" on the Craftsman is a easy one to use and setup,they don't say a word about in the manual but all that's needed is a SMALL hole for a tee handle Allen key to slip into router table base plate...
You can also make your own with some hex stock and bend it over into a L shape and then put a knob on it you want...but the Tee handle works well.

The Hitachi has a router razer on it and it works very well in the router table...

" Protection plan " is base on the price of the tool....and the time of the warr. I have one for my Sears CarveWright machine and it was right at 265.oo if I recall that right...( I paid 2500.oo for that one)

"
The Hitachi is down to $129 delivered" but what comes with it ?

================
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodTroll
Hi bobj3, thanks for your response and your previous posts regarding the craftsman router on this site. Whats your experience with the height adjustment of the Hitachi and Craftsman?

What do you know; something about Craftsman vs Hitachi?

For me, Sears and Hitachi are even on this point as I'm in LA and there's five Hitachi authorized service centers around I'd be willing to drive to.

The Hitachi is down to $129 delivered so the price gap is closer than it was last year when there was posts on the subject.

I see the different levels of Sears protection plans at their site but no mention of price. Hard to believe the top of the line Master Protection plan would only be $25. I'll give them a call.

WoodTroll



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Find all threads started by bobj3
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi Jer, I can see you're happy with it from old posts. What did you end up doing with the Hitachi from ebay and have you learned to use all four routers? The only Triton dealer within reasonable distance is the nearest Rockler and I've never seen a router on display to try there. And being a dealer doesn't mean they'll help with any warranty/repair issues. What is the base size of their two models; couldn't find the size at the Triton website or in the pdfs. Their manual is top notch, lots of features like the handle lock from Dewalt, and included accessories so everything I'm seeing is telling me "beware of sticker shock."
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