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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I make my living as a carpenter doing mostly finish work and only buy quality tools. I use a router for adding details to and making small custom casing. Also for dadoing and making mortices. I want a 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 HP Combo kit. I had a Bosch 1604 for several years and never warmed up to it. Adjusting the router and fence were frustrating. I've been looking at the PC 890 series, Bosch 1617 and Makita RF 1101. The Makita fixed base feels best in my hand, but haven't been able to see and feel the plunge base. The Bosch seems to adjust easier than the PC. The last night while at sears I saw they had a Craftsman obvioulsy made by Bosch (130.26620)$30 cheaper. It's exact except fr color. I saw parts diagrams online and they have the same parts numbers. Then I saw a 2HP (320.26620) that is very silmilar to the PC 890 series. BUT! they added 3 LED lights in the base. Something I've been wanting for years. They also added a light to show it's plugged in and to me made an improvement in the height adjuster. It costs $109! That's about $150 cheaper than the PC890. Tried talking to PC which is now Dewalt. Looked up parts diagrams on Sears and PC service centers and they are similar but not like the Bosch/ sears diagrams. Is it possible PC is making this? Where would they cut costs? Anybody own one? I'm going to post a separate thread about this router. Many thanks, Tony Pellegrino
 

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Welcome Tony, dont have that answer for you. I gave up on Sears tools years ago because of the exclusiveness of their parts plus I couldn't stand dealing with their customer service. Have stuck with PC and Makita for the most part ever since. I still have a 25 yr old 1hp Craftsman router that for the most part I use for laminate and edging but that is it. Hope it works out for you.
 

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I have the Bosch 1617 series and is a great router. I know that the PC 890 series is also good. Do not know much about the Makita personally.

Here is the best advice that I can give. Make a list of everything that you are looking for in a router. From there look at your list of wants and match the appropriate router to that list. Then put those routers in your hand. I did the same thing. Once I got the PC 890's and the Bosch 1617 series in my hand, then I made the decision. You have to get a router that fits the needs that you intend to use it for as well as one that you are comfotable using. It could have all the features in the world, but if you are not comfortable with the machine then you are likely not to us it.

Yes Craftsman does have a Bosch clone. How good is it? I don't know that answer, but there is suttle things in the clone that are different from the Bosch such as the base plate.
 

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Tony, the Craftsman 26620 router is a clone of the Bosch 1617 and built by Bosch but there is one big difference. The 26620 router has a Craftsman style sub base plate and only uses the plastic guide bushings. This is a real problem for template routing because the plastic flex's. I tried using these guides for making a sign and ended up nicking and shaving the guide when it bent. I strongly advise against using the plastic bushings. I own a couple 1617's and they are my favorite. We have been discussing serious quality control problems in the PC 890 series routers in another thread. At this time I must say thumbs down on this series of routers. You are the one who will be using the router and if the Makita feels best in your hands then go for it. To date we have no negative input on Makita's. If you have not seen them you should also look at the Ridgid, Hitachi and Freud models. The new Craftsman router you mentioned is indeed made in the 890 style. Again, until the quality issues are cleared up I would avoid this. The PC 690 series are tried and true work horses. I also own one of these combo kits. PC parts are handled by DeWalt but they are seperate companies. Both are owned by Black & Decker along with Delta. This strikes me as similar to Chrysler, Ford and GM being bought by Yugo. When I visited my local parts warehouse which used to be PC / Delta, all the staff at the counter came over from the DeWalt service center and could not even find the part numbers for the sub base plates for a 893PK. They had to go in the back and bring up one of the PC / Delta staff to look it up. They had zero in stock! Members who own DeWalt routers are happy with them. The entire building turned yellow when they moved in. No more good deals on rebuilt PC or Delta quality products. The world is changing. I am afraid Grey and yellow will all turn to orange. On the bright side Bosch bought out RotoZip and things are improving there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike,

Thanks for all the info. Especially the Bosch/Craftsman sub base info. I guess I was taken by the thoughtful design additions by Craftsman. Not a big Craftsman fan usually, but I have found a couple nice hand tools there recently. I found some info on the web that the router was made in China. Back to routers. After handling the Makita fixed base one more time I'm going with that kit. It has the smallest diameter body that is comfortable to hold. And it's lighter too. I have a lot of Makita tools that have served me well. Even though I like the micro adjusters on the Bosch and PC I think it will work out. Oh and the newer Bosch fence looked nice too but it won't fit the Makita. I'm about to do a search for a fence that would. The PC fancy fence looks cumbersome to me. I hope the plunge base for the Makita is decent. I have a simple router table I made that attaches to my Dewalt portable 10" saw, that I used to use with my old Bosch 1604. Any recomendations on making the Makita adjustable from the top? Thanks again, Tony
 

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Use the search engine on this site and look for "router lift". You should find plans to build your own. The subject hasnt come up recently but Stu in Japan built one and I have plans from one of the magazines here somewhere.
I think you will be happy with the Makita. I know I love my Makita 9.6 volt cordless drills.(I have 5 of them)
 
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