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I've got a Dewalt 618 on my router table. Looking for a smaller handheld for dovetail and some other work. Plus I just like keeping one set up on the table. Looking at the Milwaukee 5615 body grip, but it doesn't seem to have variable speed. I like the grip set up better than the Bosch and the Milwaukee has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet. I just doubt the "grip" with the Bosch or Dewalt 611.
What am I missing, and, am I wrong not trusting a battery powered router? I'm fine with my drills being battery, but saws and routers, I'm just not trusting it's the same power, and battery life/charge issues. (when I can work in my shop, I don't want to have to wait for battery to charge because it suddenly got low)
I appreciate all of the people here who are more experienced than I am.
 

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no you don't need speed control but you sure will miss not having it...

.
 

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In trim routers I don't think it makes much difference since you can't chuck bits of any size in them anyway. Bits 1 1/4" or less are meant to be run at full speed.
 
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I.......Looking for a smaller handheld for dovetail and some other work. Plus I just like keeping one set up on the table. Looking at the Milwaukee 5615 body grip, but it doesn't seem to have variable speed. I like the grip set up better than the Bosch and the Milwaukee has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet. ......... What am I missing, and, am I wrong not trusting a battery powered router?
- I am confused here <it happens a lot> .. the Mil 5615 is a corded router. I have had one for a few years. <story ahead alert>

- I originally bought the Milwaukee to use in my router table. Decided it was too underpowered and then wanting to use some panel bits <needs slower speed> I switched it out of the table for a Freud variable speed <since discontinued by Freud> in my table. But since the Milwaukee is pretty big/ungainly to use for quick slots, round overs, key hole slots, and other quick one-time short run uses I picked up a Dewalt 611 <variable speed> and it really is my go-to router if I don't need to use the router table. Side note: it also does some duty in my cnc machine. So the Milwaukee has pretty much been relegated to use for dado/box joints or other things that require or can take advantage of a heavier router <than the 611> but don't require variable speed or use of a table.

- TL:DR ... the 5615 is a good value single speed corded router. I am happy with mine for what I use it for and have no intentions of getting rid of it.

- re: saws/routers battery power? I have a small Ryobi battery powered 5 1/2" saw that is really handy for breaking down panels or other quick cuts that don't require a table saw or a miter saw. I really like it. As far a battery power router, think I would pass on that as I really don't need the extra battery weight when routing.


- ebill
 

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I've got a Dewalt 618 on my router table. Looking for a smaller handheld for dovetail and some other work. Plus I just like keeping one set up on the table. Looking at the Milwaukee 5615 body grip, but it doesn't seem to have variable speed. I like the grip set up better than the Bosch and the Milwaukee has both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet. I just doubt the "grip" with the Bosch or Dewalt 611.
What am I missing, and, am I wrong not trusting a battery powered router? I'm fine with my drills being battery, but saws and routers, I'm just not trusting it's the same power, and battery life/charge issues. (when I can work in my shop, I don't want to have to wait for battery to charge because it suddenly got low)
I appreciate all of the people here who are more experienced than I am.
I just noticed I didn't read your OP as closely as I should Brian. Quite a few of us have the 611 and like it. If you have looked at some of the sign making posts the last week you'll have seen that there are aftermarket bases for it for $25-35 that have handles so that you aren't gripping the barrel. Although rare there have been one or two reports on the forum of members getting tips of fingers injured by them going into the bottom cavity so you don't want to just grab one absent mindedly, you want to do with awareness of where those finger tips are. The 611 and most other small routers are 1/4" bits only. They really don't have enough power to run much bigger than that although the 611 is a small step up in power over some of the other trim routers like a Colt for example. (Check the wattage or amps to compare power in those models. Never mind horse power claims.)

I don't see a need for a battery powered router for shop use but the Milwaukee one comes out well above the others if you want one. I got a circ saw as a bonus when I bought my drill and impact driver set. Turns out I liked it and use it more than I thought I would but I needed bigger batteries and more of them to run it. So two extra 4 amp hour batteries and no problems between saw and drill/driver use.

If you want something that takes a 1/2" bit you'll probably have to go up in size to another 618, a Bosch 1617, or Hitachi Metabo M12VC.
 

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Thank you. One of the advantages of the Milwaukee is that it takes 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits. It's a bit smaller than the 618, and, thus a little lighter.
I just wasn't sure how much I may miss or want variable speed. 3/4 of my use for this would be some free hand carving and dove tail work.
As I don't have a ton of interest in battery powered routers yet, I"m only looking at corded, and the Milwaukee checked a lot of boxes other than variable speed. I just was not sure if that should be a deal breaker or not.
I have not heard good things about Metabo (formerly Hitachi) so I'll be passing on them for now.
 

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Thank you. One of the advantages of the Milwaukee is that it takes 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits. It's a bit smaller than the 618, and, thus a little lighter.
I just wasn't sure how much I may miss or want variable speed. 3/4 of my use for this would be some free hand carving and dove tail work.
As I don't have a ton of interest in battery powered routers yet, I"m only looking at corded, and the Milwaukee checked a lot of boxes other than variable speed. I just was not sure if that should be a deal breaker or not.
I have not heard good things about Metabo (formerly Hitachi) so I'll be passing on them for now.
have you considered the Bosch MRC23EVS(K)???
 

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Thank you. One of the advantages of the Milwaukee is that it takes 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits. It's a bit smaller than the 618, and, thus a little lighter.
I just wasn't sure how much I may miss or want variable speed. 3/4 of my use for this would be some free hand carving and dove tail work.
As I don't have a ton of interest in battery powered routers yet, I"m only looking at corded, and the Milwaukee checked a lot of boxes other than variable speed. I just was not sure if that should be a deal breaker or not.
I have not heard good things about Metabo (formerly Hitachi) so I'll be passing on them for now.
If it doesn't have its own speed control then you may be able to run it with an aftermarket controller. If the router has soft start just make sure the controller is compatible with that.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
That is a nice router, but redundant to my Dewalt 618. IF the above table height adjustment worked well, I'd probably take the 618 off of my table, (Bosch 1181 table, I know it's a "budget" table, but I really like it) and buy the Bosch.
I've just seen a lot of people complain that the table adjustment with this router breaks, or fails.
Any actual,personal experience would be appreciated though.
I need to have 1/2 inch collet ability as many of my bits are half inch. The Bosch does, some others do, like the Milwaukee, but most smaller ones are limited to 1/4 inch.
 

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I've just seen a lot of people complain that the table adjustment with this router breaks, or fails.
Any actual,personal experience would be appreciated though.
operators turn the adjustment to the stops and keep on going using the wrench which breaks it...

the 23 in hand held is sweet to use... not so much in a table...
the DC works well...
works so well and is so comfortable to use that I dedicated a pair to the Leigh D4R...
 

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I'd also give a look at the Makita RT0701CX3 1-1/4 HP Compact Router Kit? It includes a plunge base, which I think is a necessity for some kinds of hand held use. It has a variable speed control, but only takes 1/4 inch bits. I wish it had a switch on the plunge grip, but I don't recall any other midsize router that has one. A foot switch could be used. It's 1.25hp, which is OK as long as you don't try to hog out too much in one pass. I have a plunge base for the Colt 1hp, and it's really nice to use that way.

This is a kit with everything in it but a helper to help you haul it around. But it gives you an idea of all the accessories available. This was about the same cost as the basic (excellent) Bosch Stick suggested. See pix.
 

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All of my recent router purchases have been variable speed. As long as I'm getting good cut quality, I run the router at the slowest setting I can, just to reduce the screaming noise of the router running at full speed. In some cases, running at a slower speed reduces the heat produced and chance of burning the work piece, as with solid piloted laminate trimming bits.
 
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