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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
here is probably a dumb question! i saw 2 of the same routers today with one being 2 1/4 hp and the other one being 3 1/4 hp. they both had exactly the same vs 8000-2300 rpm. so my question is why one should buy the 3 1/4 hp instead of the 2 1/4 hp routers.


thanks, kevin
 

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The question is not dumb at all. The speed of a motor is rated under free running conditions. Once you put the bit to the wood you will find that more horse power will mean faster or easier cutting.
The analogy I use when explaining HP to my students is a CD player motor and a Hotel Elevator motor can run at the same speeds; just one is strong enough to carry the load of people.
 

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Doug
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good analogy Michael.

When picking a router, think about what kind of work you are going to be doing. Are you going to be using it for several hours a day, or just a couple of times a week. Are you going to be making a lot of raised panels, or just do a lot of small cuts.

I have multiple routers, and each one does one thing better than the others. I have a laminate trimmer which is great for detail jobs, a 1.5 HP router which is good for most general routing tasks, and a 2 1/4 HP router for the heavier jobs. I've used a 3 HP router in the past, but it's size and weight was an inconvenience at times.

HP can be confusing when comparing machines however. My router is 2 1/4 HP, but my table saw is 2 HP, and I know which machine is more powerful. My Shopvac is 7 HP, but the motor in that is tiny. Look at the rated amps of the machine. Higher is more powerful.

If you're looking for a router for general day to day stuff, I'd look at any of the 2 HP range multi-base kits from Hitachi, Porter Cable, or Bosch. They provide a lot of versatility for around $200. If you're going to be doing production work, get the $150 3 HP hitachi M12v.
 
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