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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I've been trying to figure this out on my own, but not really getting it. Hoping for some help.

So I bought a dovetail jig - Porter Cable 4216. This kit comes with something called template guides, and I need a router that accepts 1/2 router bits. Which my fantastic Elu 96 does not.

I've been looking at:
Dewalt dw625 (I rather like Dewalt tools)
Trend T10 (about the same as the 625?)
Triton TRA001 (Great price right now, seems to have some clever features)

I'm not set on any of them, my main question is can any of them use a 5/8 template guide from Porter Cable without too much hassle?

Or should I get something else?

Thanks!
Jon
 

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If you're using an Elu I'm guessing you might be in the UK. That's important as US and Canadian models don't work there because of the difference in our power systems. Ours is 110/120 volt single phase and yours is 230 volt single phase. Some of the model numbers are the same and others are not. For a router table the Triton gets the best marks but doesn't get great reviews as a hand held model because it tends to be top heavy. If that isn't a problem then it probably is the best of the bunch for you. Very few of us own a Trend so I can't speak for it. Most routers either accept the PC guides or have an adapter that allows their use. I like and have had good luck with Hitachi routers. Both the 1100 to 1200 watt model and the 1800 watt models will accept those guides using an adapter that should come with the router. Most over here recommend the Bosch 1617 (around 1200 watts). I can't remember what model that is for you if you are in the UK. Bosch's customer service is the top of the heap here but we've heard it's not in the UK.
 

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I use my DeWalt 618 routers for cutting dovetails on my Leigh D4R. I prefer the D handle bases, but the fixed bases work fine too. I just feel more comfortable with the big handle grip of the D handle style base. I use two routers when I cut dovetails, one with the straight bit and one with the dovetail bit, so I don't need to change the adjustments or bits in the middle of the dovetail joint cutting. This is especially valuable when cutting 1/2 blind dovetails, since you might damage a part and need to cut a replacement using the same exact bit adjustment that you had before switching bits.

All of the Porter Cable style guides work well with the DeWalt 618's too. Actually, you can cut dovetails with a 1/4" router, but there is flex in the 1/4" bit shanks when doing it, so you need to go slow with the 1/4" router and 1/4" bits to get good results. The 1/2" bits in a larger router do better because they don't flex as much when cutting. A three hp router is too big and heavy for dovetailing, but it will work. You will get some significant arm muscle exercising lifting it on and off the jig. I tried doing this when first using my D4R, and cut dovetails all day. The next day I couldn't lift my arms high enough to lift the 3 hp router off the work bench. I don't have this problem when using my 618's. I can cut dovetails all day, every day until the job is done. Go with a 2-2 1/2 hp router for cutting dovetails and you will thank me the next morning.

Charley
 

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I agree w/ Cherryville..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you're using an Elu I'm guessing you might be in the UK. That's important as US and Canadian models don't work there because of the difference in our power systems. Ours is 110/120 volt single phase and yours is 230 volt single phase. Some of the model numbers are the same and others are not. For a router table the Triton gets the best marks but doesn't get great reviews as a hand held model because it tends to be top heavy. If that isn't a problem then it probably is the best of the bunch for you. Very few of us own a Trend so I can't speak for it. Most routers either accept the PC guides or have an adapter that allows their use. I like and have had good luck with Hitachi routers. Both the 1100 to 1200 watt model and the 1800 watt models will accept those guides using an adapter that should come with the router. Most over here recommend the Bosch 1617 (around 1200 watts). I can't remember what model that is for you if you are in the UK. Bosch's customer service is the top of the heap here but we've heard it's not in the UK.
Norway, actually. But a lot of tools are the same as the UK, and we have 230v electrical grid. I got burned with a Bosch miter saw a couple years ago, they told me a 6 year old professional tool was obsolete and parts were no longer available, so I prefer to buy other brands. Too bad, because they make great tools.

Thank you both for the advice, downsizing a bit from the Triton is good advice. Seems like the 618 is an american exclusive, and Hitachi only sell their smaller stuff in these woods. I'll find something similar. Thanks again!
 

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Triton for the table, for sure. DeWalt is well liked by those who use them here, but I don't like its height adjustment, personal preference only. The Triton is just too heavy for me to use comfortably freehand. I just don't have any experience with setting the DeWalt into a table. Maybe someone can address that.
 

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I agree with Charley. I have the DW 625, 621, and 618. I have the PC 4212 DT jig and would use the 618 or my PC 690/893 for the DT jig because I think the DW 625 is too much router for it and I prefer a fixed based over a plunger for the jig.
 

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I own the DW621 (plunge base) and it certainly takes the PC style guide bushings. I have made dovetails with a 1970's era Craftsman jig but did not use the DW621. Be careful purchasing the guide bushings to make sure they are compatible with thickness of the template material. The main use of my DW621 has been with making mortises using shop built 1/4" melamine templates. The PC guide bushings have a barrel that is too long. Instead, I purchased a set of Wood River (woodcraft.com) guide bushings that are compatible with 1/4" thick template stock.
 

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I just sawed mine off until a 1/4" template was compatible with them. I think quite a few others have too.
 

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Cherryville Charles likes Hitachi routers, and although my preference is Bosch, I have to say my Hitachi 5" angle grinder has been a rock for I think maybe three decades. The damn thing is indestructible!
(My smaller 4.5' angle grinder is a Bosch and it too just keeps on ticking.)
If the Hitachi routers are even close to the grinder in quality, I'd sure consider them.
 

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Bosch - 1 Year warranty.
Hitachi - 5 year warranty. And I've never used it on any one of the 3 that I have. Nor have I heard of any of the other members needing to use it. I think all their power tools have that warranty.

I'm not suggesting that Bosch isn't a quality tool but you'd think they would show more confidence in their own product by offering a warranty that is comparable to their competitors warranties which usually go 2, 3, or 5 years. That was one of the reasons I went with a Fein oscillating tool instead of a Bosch.
 
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Hi Jon. I just purchased the Triton TRA001 and am very happy with it. I am putting it in my shop made router table. I also have a cheap Ken single speed and a cheap trim router.
The TRA001 is smooth and powerful.
Cheers!
 

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What, just one router? The heck you say. More is better is my motto.
I have a Bosch 1617 mounted in the Probotix CNC. I think it has had several years of service packed in to the previous 12 months whirling away on projects for me.

Then there is the dual router table - Bosch 1617 on one end and the Triton TRA001 on the other. And lastly, the little Dewalt compact router for the smaller stuff.

Note: I used the Bosch routing half blind dovetails (PorterCable dovetail jig) for the drawers in our kitchen cabinets.

Good luck in your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bosch - 1 Year warranty.
Hitachi - 5 year warranty. And I've never used it on any one of the 3 that I have. Nor have I heard of any of the other members needing to use it. I think all their power tools have that warranty.

I'm not suggesting that Bosch isn't a quality tool but you'd think they would show more confidence in their own product by offering a warranty that is comparable to their competitors warranties which usually go 2, 3, or 5 years. That was one of the reasons I went with a Fein oscillating tool instead of a Bosch.
In Norway, consumer law states that things are under warranty "as long as they are expected to last", generally this means 5 years for most things, very few less, very few more. Nothing less than 2 years. Companies can claim whatever they want, but if something fails they are obliged by law to repair or replace within that period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks again everyone for all the excellent advice, unfortunately I can't find a non-plunge router that will accept 1/2 bits here, so I've decided on the Dewalt 622K. Great advice on not going too big, while also more than enough for my small garage workshop for the forseable future.

Also @MT Stringer, that is beautiful! Can't wait to get my own jig set up and making things:)
 

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In Norway, consumer law states that things are under warranty "as long as they are expected to last", generally this means 5 years for most things, very few less, very few more. Nothing less than 2 years. Companies can claim whatever they want, but if something fails they are obliged by law to repair or replace within that period.
That should be a universal law, NO more inbuilt obsolescence.
 

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I don't agree with that statemen, partially because I believe we all want choices, including cost and availability. The market will determine what works, most product categories are so competitive that the actual warranty has become a combination of sales tool, fine print escape clauses and exchange by the retailer without factory consultation. As a side note, taking care of/maintaining your things is something sadly disappearing in today's disposable society.

I would be very curious to compare some tool prices in Norway (with the "forced" 5 year warranty) along with the commensurate sales tax(es) and the other standards so we can make a fair comparison to our markets here.

Norway is usually touted as a great example of left wing politics and utopia here in the Canadian political debate arena; I believe there are some very large underlying costs and inclinations that would prevent this universal warranty from taking a foot hold in North America.
 
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