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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

I am in the market for a multi speed router for use in a table. I'd also like to add a plunge router to my shop so I'm looking at two Craftsman options:

- Model # 27683 with thumbwheel speed control

- Model 50429 with digital speed control

(Sorry, tried to post links but forum rules won't allow it till I've made 10 posts)

I know there are a lot of PC fans in the forum (I have other PC tools and like them) and I'm not ready to spend on a Triton. I've got a Limited Edition Craftsman router from ~1993 that has been a great tool so I don't mind sticking with the brand. Any guidance is appreciated.
 

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do yourself a huge favor down road and get a Bosch 1617EVSPK...
Factory Reconditioned Bosch 1617EVSPK-RT 12 Amp 2.25 HP Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit

I trust you are aware that Sears sold it's tool line and nobody knows what's going to happen...
also, now a days, parts for Sears power tools can become unobtainable...
do a search here for sears.. you'll see what I'm talking about...
FWIW.. and IIRC, Ryobie makes those routers...
to be fair.. search for Bosch 1617 too...


WHY I LIKE BOSCH...

2nd to none CS and support that's absolutely painless...
They respect us, the consumer...
they make tools that are real work horses...
they make tools that last a very long time... decades of hard heavy use..
they make tools that protect my bottom line...
I think/believe Bosch to be more an outstanding company that offer outstanding products...
 

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Listen to what @Stick486 says. Saving money now is going to cost you more down the road. In my opinion, you can't compare a Craftsman product from 1993 to today's Craftsman tools. Spend a little more and get yourself a router that will serve you well, and a company that will stand by it's products.
 

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I have to 3rd that. We constantly get new members who come here looking for parts for their Sears routers because Sears, Ereplacementparts and others don't have them. Collets in particular seem to a problem down the road and their seems to be no crossover. The fact that Sears will have a 2nd party handling their tools makes it even more uncertain. Add PC to that issue because PC was bought out by the group that owns B & D and their quality has slipped. Many of us were PC fans at one time, including me, but we stay away from them these days. DeWalt is still good, I've had good luck with Hitachi, Triton is becoming the gold standard for table mounted, and Milwaukee is still good but I've had some issues with their customer service lately. Bosch is the only one that scores high on all categories. Have a look at CPO outlets for reconditioned.
 

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Charles - seems odd that PC has issues but DeWalt does not - I'm pretty sure both products are owned by B & D. Also recently reported that Craftsman tools was bought by B & D as well. Not sure how that will affect their quality. Sad really, 'cause Craftsman was a respected brand years ago. In recent times, at least in southern Ontario, Sears stores have almost turned into a "bargain basement" outlet.

Sears to sell Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker | Fox News
 

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Lots of people come to the site trying to locate Craftsman parts because most models are abandoned after just a few years.
The Bosch 1617 EVSPK is as good as a 2.25 hp router gets. The kit has the fixed and plunge bases. Reconditoned returns (CPO Stick mentioned), are good as new and are reasonably priced. Notice how many folks here are Bosch fans? And we don't even get a toaster.

The owners of the PC brand have lowered the quality of most of the tools they've acquired. How many times does one have to be stung by such marketing brigands before getting the message about B&D's strategy.

I have a Triton for my table (after many years happily using a Bosch 1617). The Triton is a suberb tool, but just too heavy for my old muscles to manage freehand. For that I fall back on my trusty 1617.
 

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Charles - seems odd that PC has issues but DeWalt does not - I'm pretty sure both products are owned by B & D. Also recently reported that Craftsman tools was bought by B & D as well. Not sure how that will affect their quality. Sad really, 'cause Craftsman was a respected brand years ago. In recent times, at least in southern Ontario, Sears stores have almost turned into a "bargain basement" outlet.

Sears to sell Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker | Fox News
It's not uncommon for a company to buy out their primary competition and then phase them out and I suspect B & D will eventually do that. They are promoting DeWalt more than I see PC being promoted, which is basically not at all, so I personally think that the omens are obvious. It really doesn't make sense to produce two more or less equal quality lines. Just ask all the old Oldsmobile employees.
 
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It's not uncommon for a company to buy out their primary competition and then phase them out and I suspect B & D will eventually do that. They are promoting DeWalt more than I see PC being promoted, which is basically not at all, so I personally think that the omens are obvious. It really doesn't make sense to produce two more or less equal quality lines. Just ask all the old Oldsmobile employees.
But I liked the Oldsmobile, and the Pontiac, and the Hudson Hornet.
Herb
 

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It's not uncommon for a company to buy out their primary competition and then phase them out and I suspect B & D will eventually do that. They are promoting DeWalt more than I see PC being promoted, which is basically not at all, so I personally think that the omens are obvious. It really doesn't make sense to produce two more or less equal quality lines. Just ask all the old Oldsmobile employees.
Correct, buying out the competition happens everyday. I'd have to agree that they promote Dewalt more than PC and I'd say that today, I'd be more likely to choose Dewalt over PC if I had to. And I'm not sure why they would promote Dewalt more, perhaps it's to appeal to the "newer" crowd, as opposed to the folks that remember the glory days of Porter-Cable.

I've had Pontiacs and Olds in the late 70s, early 80s - liked both. If I remember correctly, the problem that Olds encountered was that they were putting Chevy engines in Oldsmobiles, although I'm not a car buff, so I couldn't tell you if that would be a problem or not - maybe the problem was with false advertising.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Many thanks, gents. Looks like the Bosch 1617 is the People's Choice ... I did research that one early on but frankly didn't like the dual wrench bit change compared to the convenience of the shaft lock I've enjoyed on my vintage Craftsman. But true, who knows what happens to the brand as Sears implodes.... I suppose I could go with the Bosch now and if C-man survives and makes a comeback I can get one then. Lord knows a man can use more than one router. Or two. Or three. Or....
 

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I have a Hitachi M12VC and an old DeWalt 610 which both use 2 wrenches and I prefer 2 wrenches to the shaft lock. Both my M12V and V2 have the buttons. Holding the shaft lock while trying to turn the wrench and fight the toque at the same time can really be a pain. The torque from 2 wrenches counteract each other and if you're lucky and the shaft and nut are close to being aligned you can hold both wrenches in one hand which really makes it easy. I also used a Makita 3612 at a place I worked and the tip of the button must have been worn because it would slip, sometimes several times before the collet loosened. Never a risk of that with 2 wrenches.
 
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Many thanks, gents. Looks like the Bosch 1617 is the People's Choice ... I did research that one early on but frankly didn't like the dual wrench bit change compared to the convenience of the shaft lock I've enjoyed on my vintage Craftsman. But true, who knows what happens to the brand as Sears implodes.... I suppose I could go with the Bosch now and if C-man survives and makes a comeback I can get one then. Lord knows a man can use more than one router. Or two. Or three. Or....
Keith There are advantages to the 2 wrench set up, it never wears out. I have seen the push pin locks wear out eventually and then there is not much of any way to repair them. Also I have seen guys inadvertently turn on the router with the shaft lock, which puts a lot of stress on the motor electrically. With a wrench, in just doesn't happen. I might add that as your experience increases, you might look into musclechucks where you tighten the chuck with an allen wrench, I have converted both my router tables over to these.
Musclechuck - Instructions - Quick Change Router Chuck

Herb
 

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I have a Hitachi M12VC and an old DeWalt 610 which both use 2 wrenches and I prefer 2 wrenches to the shaft lock. Both my M12V and V2 have the buttons. Holding the shaft lock while trying to turn the wrench and fight the toque at the same time can really be a pain. The torque from 2 wrenches counteract each other and if you're lucky and the shaft and nut are close to being aligned you can hold both wrenches in one hand which really makes it easy. I also used a Makita 3612 at a place I worked and the tip of the button must have been worn because it would slip, sometimes several times before the collet loosened. Never a risk of that with 2 wrenches.
two wrenches here too...
why have ''gizmos'' when you can do w/o them..
KISS/MISS...
 

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What Herb said reminded me that it should be pointed out just for safety sake to remind that router should always be unplugged when changing bits if you aren't in the habit of doing it now. I heard of someone getting badly hurt when accidentally turning one on with the wrench on it.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
A common complaint about the Bosch 1617 is the switch getting clogged up with dust. Any of you guys see this as a problem?
 

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Clean out the dust on a regular basis...as with any power tool. Use a can of compressed air that you use for a computer or electronics. Big Lots has a three pack that is dirt cheap. Go with the Bosch combo pack. I would do it but I am financially hindered at this time.
Craftsman are notorious for not having parts for their products. Many on this forum had heard this before- Craftsman contracts with a company to build their products. Craftsman has no factories of their own. They change a few things so some of the OEM parts will not interchange with CM parts. CM figures on replacement parts based on what will fail first and how long they need to stock them. With that said, go back the the first three sentences in the first paragraph.

Moderator Edit: Read post 21 below.
 

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That happened on the older models. about 5 years ago roughly when the complaints really started rolling it it got advertised on the forum that Bosch had produced a fix which was a sealed switch as opposed to the open switch in use previous to that. That is supposed to have solved the problem and I haven't seen complaints about that since. It should also be noted that Bosch sent the replacements out free of charge including to owners whose warranty had run out. In other words they accepted responsibility for the bad engineering and fixed it at their cost instead of passing it on to their customers. As Stick pointed out, their customers satisfaction is important to them not just their customer's pocketbooks.
 

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A common complaint about the Bosch 1617 is the switch getting clogged up with dust. Any of you guys see this as a problem?
Bosch fixed that issue about a decade or so ago...
and if you have a router that has this issue... call Bosch and the will take care of it...
 

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Clean out the dust on a regular basis...as with any power tool. Use a can of compressed air that you use for a computer or electronics. Big Lots has a three pack that is dirt cheap.
if it isn't too late you need to edit out this statement or get moderator to do it for you......
canned air is flammable... new inexperienced guys may get themselves into trouble...
you don't need to be promoting dangerous practices...

the new doctrine is to use vacuum... not compressed air...
compressed air blows fines into where you wish they never went...
 
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craftsman

I believe that Ace Hardware has taken over the Craftsman line. You can still buy from Sears, as long as they stay in business. I found that Sears has repair shops around the country that repair and refurbish Craftsman tools.

They also sell parts. I just bought a new baseplate for my router. You order it on line and have it delivered to the repair shop, or pay shipping to have it sent to your home.

Try www.searspartsdirect.com

Above is probably already known, but I'm new here. So there. Worth exactly what you paid for it.
 
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