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Hey guys,
I'm looking for a good "All around" router or kit. Some work will be table mounted, some not. I have been looking at the Bosch 1617 kit with fixed and plunge bases. Do I need both bases, or would a fixed base work? Are the compact routers worth the money?
 

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A lot of guys love that Bosch, I prefer the DeWalt. The dust collection goes up and the cord disconnects from the router and for the way I work on a table(not router table but work table), that's best FOR ME.

I have had 6 to 8 of these DEWalt 618's routers over the years(I only have 6 I can find right now) and zero have ever broken down on me, some are near 10 years old. The dust collection is wonderful, the power is fine for the size.

You can't go wrong with either the Bosch or De Walt in this size, but the dust collection on the Bosch takes extra parts, more money and still isn't as good as the De Walt. If you check the reviews on Amazon for both these set ups below, it's virtually a dead heat.

Bosch 1617:
https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EV...id=1503813928&sr=8-1&keywords=bosch+1617evspk

DeWalt 618:
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW618...TF8&qid=1503814260&sr=8-2&keywords=DeWalt+618

Now if you want a router that isn't quite as loud as routers in the 2 to 2.5hp range the Hitachi is about the quietest router this size I have ever used, but when you get to cutting of course every router will require hearing protection. The Hitachi M12V is a whole lot less money(especially when on sale) and worth a good look. The dust collection comes in 3rd verse the three routers I list here for hand routeing. I place the Hitachi a notch below the other two listed, but it's still worthy. The plunge mechanism of the Hitachi isn't near as nice as the Bosch and probably what holds the router back, along with it's lack of simple dust collection adaptation. That being said I have used one of these Hitachi routers nonstop 8 hours a day continuous use on a CNC machine and it lasted 12 months, that's a lifetime of hand routeing. It's definitely a router any woodworker could use as his go to router:

Hitachi-KM12
https://www.amazon.com/Hitachi-KM12...8&qid=1503815428&sr=8-6&keywords=2+1/4+router


For me, though the Bosch motor my be ever so slightly smoother in use and the actual plunge of the Bosch possibly a bit better than the DeWalt, my Bosch sits on a shelf for years looking brand new simply because the dust collection set up on my DeWalt 618 is better. The Bosch plunge base is physically larger than the DeWalt's as well, I am not sure if that good or bad. The Bosch 1617 cost from 20.00 to 40.00 more as well(depending on what you can get the dust collection add on for the 1617). Over the years I have seen more comments on the DeWalt needing repair verse the verse the Bosch 1617. Still, for me I will still go with the DeWalt by a hair. Now if you really don't give a care about dust collection I have to say the Bosch is probably the better router compared head to head disregarding the dust collection aspect, but only marginally better. Nothing you cut with one verse the other will be any different in the end. The Bosch does have an expensive "feel" if that makes sense.

My advice, any of the top 5 brand names in this size and price range are good enough to jump into the adding a router to your woodworking arsenal.
 

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Theo
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I would say it partly is what you plan to do, and partly what router(s) you want.

Several old Craftsman (Ryobi) 1/4" routers do it for me. All used in a table. For what I do, and plan on doing, they answer my wants/needs very nicely. I think the new one is about 15 years old.
 

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I at all possible, go to some place where you can handle individual routers. At least look through our router reference subforum and read the manuals there. What kind of work do you plan? A plunge router can do anything a fixes base can do, including table mounted work, but, for example the one dual base I own, the Bosch MRC23EVSK, has both plunge and fixed base, but above table height adjustment is available only with the fixed base. The center of gravity of the motor-fixed base is closer to the work surface than is the motor-plunge base.
The trim routers can include an amazing array of alternate bases. For example mine has a plunge base, a fixed base, an offset base, and a tilt base. The drawback is that it has only a 1/4 inch collet and can use only the PC template guides.

Another issue: how is the router bit changed, a shaft lock plus wrench or two wrenches.

In the end the best router(s) for you is (are) the router(s) with which you are most comfortable.
 

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the Bosch... 1617EVSPK...
Factory Reconditioned Bosch 1617EVSPK-RT 12 Amp 2.25 HP Combination Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit

1st and most important, look to the company...
evaluate their CS and will they step up to the plate should there be issues...
see if they have a planned obsolesce program in force...
what will the company and their product do for me...
try to figure out if they will respect me in the morning...

no sense in buying something that can't be fixed a few years later...

next the product...
quality..
will it have a long productive life...
will it do more than I need it to....
is it a good value...
will it protect my bottom line...
will it go the extra mile...
will it go obsolete or become disposable in short order...

tools that don't cut the mustard, suffer down time, hurt production and the bottom line need to left on the store shelf...

Online reviews...
not too much...
read a few too many that my VOE said other wise...
I prefer to use and abuse different brands and evaluate them myself and I pay attention at large job sites as to who has what and what, if any, issues they are having......

the testers should eval a tool and then put it in production mode for a few years and then do another eval..
 

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WHY I LIKE BOSCH...
2nd to none CS/TS support that's American based and absolutely painless... They been known to support their tools that have been discontinued to your benefit...
Their tools/routers are real work horses...
W/ Bosch planned obsolesce isn't one of their games and offer less all around grief for they make quality tools that protect will protect your bottom line...

Their routers are comfortable to use routers, they so are much more feature rich, sweet soft start, way better fine depth adjustment, strong no nonsense collets, and so much more...
I think/believe Bosch to be an excellent and outstanding company...

When I had problems with two of their 1617 routers... a really old abused one and and a new one out of the box.. (it sounded terrible - gravely).... only took a day and all was well even with the old one and I never had to leave the shop.....
Bosch is as close as a phone call and your mail box...

Keep in mind, that saving some money now just may cost you more down the road... Do yourself a huge favor and get a Bosch...

Bosch consistently scores high in/on all categories of quality, CS/TS, reliability and support, is as close as a phone call and your mail box...
In short... They, Bosch, respect us, the consumer...

Have a ''no worries'' look to CPO outlets for reconditioned Bosch... I have never heard a true negative word about them, (CPO), or any reconditioned Bosch tools they offer...

Start here...
Bosch Tools | Bosch Power Tools | CPOTools.com

Do yourself a huge favor and get a Bosch 1617EVSPK...
 

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Rick
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I have had nothing but issues with Linksys . My first choice now is D-Link , as I have rarely lost the IP and had to power cycle it . I find the menus much easier to navigate to . Just my 2 cents
 

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I have 3 Hitachi routers and like them all. The M12V2 had some design changes that made it best for table use. Trim routers are great for trim work but they lack the power for larger jobs and often only take 1/4" bits. Among these the DW611 has become very popular and quite a few of us own it and most I think got it as the fixed and plunge base package. I also have the Hitachi M12VC which is the mid size model at 2 hp. It is a joy to use, well balanced, smooth operation, and quiet. I only bought it as fixed base as I already had 3 plunge routers. My usage is in the middle. I'm not particularly hard or kind to them and they have worked very well for me.

Yes you need a plunge model. A plunge router will do everything a fixed router will but the opposite is not true. There are some jobs that require the plunge function to be able to done well and safely. I leave my router plate just sitting in the table's rabbet. That allows you to take it out to change bits, make major height adjustments, and to use the router with the plate still on for routing jobs that benefit from having the larger base on.
 

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Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit. After comparing it with DeWalt, I didn't really like the raising and lowering mechanism on the DeWalt, and they are now owned by a company that has done in a lot of good brands over the years. I have two of the 1617 motors, two bases. Used one in the table until I got a Triton just for the table. Also have a Bosch Colt and several other Bosch tools that are terrific, precise, ruggeed and amazingly good service. There are lots of good brands out there, as I'm sure you'll fnd in subsequent responses. One thing that really makes me prefer the 1617 are the many top notch accessories available for it. Check that out.
 

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For multi use i.e. router table and hand held I got the DeWalt 618 in a 3 base kit.....fixed, plunge, and D handle. I leave the fixed base in the table. The D handle is nice in that the on/off switch is on the handle. If you are used to using a circular saw or jig saw the D handle has a similar feel.
 

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can't have just 1 !!!!
Dewalt DW621 plunge router
Ridgid Compact Trim router
Triton MOF001C - mounted in the table - quiet and powerful (2 1/4hp) - Best router I've ever owned!!!!
oh and a Craftsman 1 1/2hp router to take to offsite work at church or to loan to a friend...
 

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My go-to router is the Bosch 1617. I have one that stays in the router table, and one for hand-held usage. I am planning on buying a third that will go into the CNC I am currently building.

That said, any of the routers from the major brands are going to serve you well. My recommendations would be any router that can take a 1/2" collet and at least 2hp.
 
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