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Hey all. Looking for a new router for a wood worker just barely past a DYI guy. I had a "commercial grade" Craftsman, but it literally blew up in my face... sparks flying and all. and there is no replacement parts for it (just barely 10 years old). I bought it at Sears (remember that store?).

So, I'm looking for a new version that will have the parts available for a while. If it lasts 10 years, thats great (they wont let me have a router in the Home I'm guessing). Would like to have a 1/2" with 2 or 3 bases (including a single hand, plunge and two handed bases) and collets for 1/8 and 1/2" shanks.

This "band of router bros" is the perfect folks to ask. What would you recommend for a reasonably priced router "kit"?

Not sure if Santa will bring it or i will just buy it now.
 

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My first routers came from Sears too . They wernt bad but they wern't good either.
My first upgrade was a 3 1/2 HP Makita plunge. The thing was a disaster. Rough running, lously balance tons of noise and across the line start. I actuall had to buy a speed control box fron Penn State just to use the darn thind.
The repalcer is a Hitachi 3.5 HP plunge. I like it a bunch. About 12 years old at this point but still a champ.
Variable speed, soft start, smooth and quiet as far as routers go.
My only complaint is some knucklehead designed it with the power cord exat right there next to the plunge screw. I have to wrestle with that darn cord every time I want to twist that screw..
Recently I bought a Bosch palm router, not what you are looking for but that thing id sure sweet.
Lastly check out this guy does a pretty good router review of 10 brands of palm routers. . His review was the reason I bought the Bosch palm not what you are looking for but he has a bunch of router stuff on the tube.
Here is the link to get you started
mike c .
 

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I'm a fan of Bosch. Their 1617 EVSPK kit has fixed and plunge base. Been around for awhile and parts and service/support is top of the heap. A lot of us here really like them. and for about $60 you can buy a separate base you install in the table and can adjust height from above the table. You pull the motor out of the hand-held base, insert it into the table base and you've got a great table routing setup. I just don't think you can beat the 1617.
 

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I really like the feel of the hand grip on my Milwaukee fixed base router, and the control it gives me. The Bosch motor is (relatively) quiet and smooth as silk, though I'm not particularly fond of the wooden handles- pretty, but a bit awkward for me.
 

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Not sure if you will find a 1/8" shank in a plunge router. maybe in a CNC spindle?.
But that is another rabbit hole....
 

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The usual recommendation for a first router is a mid-sized 2+ hp. The Bosch 1617 and DeWalt DW618 are in this category. I have the DeWalt DW618 3 base kit....2 handle, plunge, and D Handle. It accepts 1/4" and 1/2" shank bits. A step down are the Compacts which only accept 1/4" shank bits which may limit you, but this depends on your needs. The DeWalt DW611 is a highly rated compact......but it's body may be a little large for one-handed use if you don't have large hands. I have a Makita RT0701C compact which is really nice.
 

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I'm a fan of Bosch. Their 1617 EVSPK kit has fixed and plunge base. Been around for awhile and parts and service/support is top of the heap. A lot of us here really like them. and for about $60 you can buy a separate base you install in the table and can adjust height from above the table. You pull the motor out of the hand-held base, insert it into the table base and you've got a great table routing setup. I just don't think you can beat the 1617.
X2...

I'm another forum now questioning the Dewalt pack because of problems..
 

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Hi,
I have the DeWalt DW618. I recently had to replace the Magnet Ring. I haven't experienced any other problems, but I'm wondering what problems other have been having so I'll have an idea what to keep an eye out for.
Thank You.
 

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Thank You. I understand what they are saying. The motor and plunge base need to be in correct alignment.
correct and it can only go in one way. This is why I’m stumped on the operation of the Dewalt router. I have another Dewalt 618 in the tablesaw wing. When I get a chance I will pull it and test it.

in some cases, if you use both a lot, a user might want two routers.

When I spend 15 minutes to get the router into the plunge base, that’s a problem I need to address…
Automotive tire Hood Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior
 

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I can only speak to the Bosch 1617EVS with 1/2" bits. The depth gauge is short by several inches. I've reported it to Bosch thinking it's not a hard fix that they would correct it but they told me thanks but no thanks.
 

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I really like the feel of the hand grip on my Milwaukee fixed base router, and the control it gives me. The Bosch motor is (relatively) quiet and smooth as silk, though I'm not particularly fond of the wooden handles- pretty, but a bit awkward for me.
I think the ergonomics of the handle is very important but difficult to obtain without having the router in hand. Talk to some of your local woodworking buddies and ask if you can put their router in your hand. Of, try a big box store with a good collection of routers on display.
 

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I think the ergonomics of the handle is very important but difficult to obtain without having the router in hand. Talk to some of your local woodworking buddies and ask if you can put their router in your hand. Of, try a big box store with a good collection of routers on display.
I think what you're saying is a good thought but the problem I always run into is they don't have the brand I want to evaluate. If they have it in a box I have no problem asking an employee to open it but sometimes they won't. I was at Advanced Auto the other month looking at a $200 floor jack that I might have bought but they weren't willing to open the box. There loss.
 

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I think what you're saying is a good thought but the problem I always run into is they don't have the brand I want to evaluate. If they have it in a box I have no problem asking an employee to open it but sometimes they won't. I was at Advanced Auto the other month looking at a $200 floor jack that I might have bought but they weren't willing to open the box. There loss.
I did not say this would be an easy task. A router is a tool that I use over and over so I want it to feel right. "Feel right" is a very subjective term. A lot of people on this forum really like Bosch routers and I respect their judgement. Every time I have picked up a Bosch router with the round handles, my immediate reaction is that it doesn't "feel right". It has nothing to do with the general quality of the product. It is all about the ergonomics of how your hands mate with the tool. That is why I am advocating handling the router you are interested in purchasing.
 

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When I went shopping for my first good router, they had both Bosch and DeWalt on display. But the DeWalt was broken. When I looked it over I realized the screw design and ring around it were a definite weak spot. All the problems I've read about with the DeWalt have to do with the height adjustment mechanism. Shame, because in many ways it is a bit nicer to handle freehand than any other router, but poor design is never acceptable to me. And then Stanley bought them and that company has a terrible reputation for buying up and exploiting old brand names.
 
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