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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will be my first wood router power tool as I am just entering into some woodworking projects.

I’ve done quite a bit of research as always I don’t want to waste my hard earned money

On that process, I’ve heard some good opinions on DEWALT 20V DCW600B & Makita RT0701CX7 but still I thought to get some advice from experienced woodworkers before shopping

I like to know what you guys do prefer cordless or corded? Besides, I can’t decide on how much Horsepower and variable speed(rpm) would be enough

I also liked the idea of fixed-base model, ½ inch size collet

Do I need to buy bits separately?

Would greatly appreciate any advice, Thanks
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Besides, I can’t decide on how much Horsepower and variable speed(rpm) would be enough
Welcome to the forum, Allen! That largely depends on what you plan to do with the router. Generally if you're talking about a 1/2" collet then that's a much larger router. All of the cordless routers I've seen are 1/4" collet though I'm fairly certain there are cordless 1/2" routers (I just don't need one so have never checked).

I like a soft-start router so it doesn't instantly come on at 20k rpm or whatever speed the router goes. Yes, buy your bits as you need them rather than buy a starter kit.
 

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Welcome to the router forum, glad to have you with us.

My main go to router is a Bosch 1617EVSPK combo. It has everything I need both plunge and fixed base. It has plenty of hp and both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collet.

As for router bits, I would suggest buying the bit you need at the time, not a whole set. With a whole set there are bits that you will probably never or very seldom use.

As you get into using routers you will probably want to also get a few small routers, they are really nice to have with a dedicated router bit so you don't have to set up so often. JMHO
 

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I have two Bosch 1617, one was a kit with fixed and plunge base. Both bases are very useful. The 1617 also has a very inexpensive base for mounting in a table. Table routing is the safest way to use this tool, but the plunge base is generally preferable for hand routung. Current price for the kit is about $220. Far more expensive to buy parts of the kit one at a time.
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Bosch also makes an accessory base just for mounting in a table. It has a key the protrudes above the mounting plate so you can fine adjust height from above the table, which is very convenient. The 1617 has 2.25hp, plenty of power for almost any project. Cost is about $60 for the base RA 1165, on Amazon. Here's a picture:
Machine Aluminium Metal Liquid Titanium


Making a router table is not particularly difficult. I'd build it with some very flat ply, a half inch layer on top of a 3.4 inch layer. Glued and screwed together after you cut a hole in the thin layer just the size of the router plate. Cut a matching hole in the second layer that's half an inch smaller all round than the top. This will leave you with a lip on which you can rest the plate. The plate is usually aluminum, and many are available already drilled for the 1617. Here is a picture of a base plate by Kreg. Get one with a twist lock insert, not the old 3 screw type inserts.
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You must level the plate with the top of the table, to do this you can either use wood screws up from the corners of the thicker layer, or pop $20 or so for the Kreg height adjustment set. See picture:
Hand Arm Musical instrument Human body Sleeve


You can use a very straight, very flat piece of 2x6 for a fence. Cut an opening for the bit to fit in, in the middle. You can find an old table, remove its top and mount your new router table on it, or buy a stand (Harbor Freight has them fairly cheap and sometimes on sale.) Or, just sling it across a couple of saw horses. If your short on space, the top and fence can rest on its edge somewhere. Routers produce copious amounts of hard on the lungs sawdust. Wear a mask, but you can also pop for $8 or so for a dust collection port you screw onto the back of the fence. Most woodworking stores and sites have these.
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I buy bits as I need them, but a starter kit of roundover bits is something you'll use a lot. An edge trimming bit is useful, and you'll want to consider a bit to route grooves or dados. Grooves are generally stopped and do not go from edge to edge. Dados generally go all the away across the workpiece. I actually prefer to cut dados and grooves with what's called a Mortising bit. One 3/4 inch long, half inch wide mortising bit is my favorite for this because it leaves a very flat bottom. Here are a couple of pictures. 1 the roundover set, but get the half inch shaft (shank) size, they're more rugged.
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2 The Mortising bit I like to use:
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3 Flush trim bit with bottom mounted bearing that follows your straight edge guide.
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4 Illustration of the anatomy of a bit, just FYI because top and bottom are a bit confusing.
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Here is a chart of many of the different profiles you can make with different bits. And that doesn't include sets for making cabinet doors, or the special bits you use for making dovetail joints.
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I hope all this is useful for you.
 

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I have the Makita RT0701CX7 kit. It only takes 1/4" bits. It's a nice compact router. I would buy it again.
For a midrange router that will accept 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits I use a DeWalt DW618.....it's in the same size range as the Bosch 1617 that has been mentioned. My DeWalt is a 3 base kit (Fixed, Plunge, D Handle). Corded vs cordless is personal preference but cordless is very convenient.
I like Infinity and Whiteside bits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have two Bosch 1617, one was a kit with fixed and plunge base. Both bases are very useful. The 1617 also has a very inexpensive base for mounting in a table. Table routing is the safest way to use this tool, but the plunge base is generally preferable for hand routung. Current price for the kit is about $220. Far more expensive to buy parts of the kit one at a time.
View attachment 400289

Bosch also makes an accessory base just for mounting in a table. It has a key the protrudes above the mounting plate so you can fine adjust height from above the table, which is very convenient. The 1617 has 2.25hp, plenty of power for almost any project. Cost is about $60 for the base RA 1165, on Amazon. Here's a picture:
View attachment 400290

Making a router table is not particularly difficult. I'd build it with some very flat ply, a half inch layer on top of a 3.4 inch layer. Glued and screwed together after you cut a hole in the thin layer just the size of the router plate. Cut a matching hole in the second layer that's half an inch smaller all round than the top. This will leave you with a lip on which you can rest the plate. The plate is usually aluminum, and many are available already drilled for the 1617. Here is a picture of a base plate by Kreg. Get one with a twist lock insert, not the old 3 screw type inserts.
View attachment 400291

You must level the plate with the top of the table, to do this you can either use wood screws up from the corners of the thicker layer, or pop $20 or so for the Kreg height adjustment set. See picture:
View attachment 400292

You can use a very straight, very flat piece of 2x6 for a fence. Cut an opening for the bit to fit in, in the middle. You can find an old table, remove its top and mount your new router table on it, or buy a stand (Harbor Freight has them fairly cheap and sometimes on sale.) Or, just sling it across a couple of saw horses. If your short on space, the top and fence can rest on its edge somewhere. Routers produce copious amounts of hard on the lungs sawdust. Wear a mask, but you can also pop for $8 or so for a dust collection port you screw onto the back of the fence. Most woodworking stores and sites have these.
View attachment 400293

I buy bits as I need them, but a starter kit of roundover bits is something you'll use a lot. An edge trimming bit is useful, and you'll want to consider a bit to route grooves or dados. Grooves are generally stopped and do not go from edge to edge. Dados generally go all the away across the workpiece. I actually prefer to cut dados and grooves with what's called a Mortising bit. One 3/4 inch long, half inch wide mortising bit is my favorite for this because it leaves a very flat bottom. Here are a couple of pictures. 1 the roundover set, but get the half inch shaft (shank) size, they're more rugged.
View attachment 400294

2 The Mortising bit I like to use:
View attachment 400295

3 Flush trim bit with bottom mounted bearing that follows your straight edge guide.
View attachment 400296

4 Illustration of the anatomy of a bit, just FYI because top and bottom are a bit confusing.
View attachment 400297

Here is a chart of many of the different profiles you can make with different bits. And that doesn't include sets for making cabinet doors, or the special bits you use for making dovetail joints.
View attachment 400298

I hope all this is useful for you.
wow that's some feedback, i have to tell you that
i am a dewalt fan though
router table is quite pricey for my liking
Nevertheless thanks a bunch for your words, enjoyed every bit of it and some valuable info
 

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wow that's some feedback, i have to tell you that
i am a dewalt fan though
router table is quite pricey for my liking
Nevertheless thanks a bunch for your words, enjoyed every bit of it and some valuable info
If you are a DeWalt fan then again the DW618 is a good choice for a midsze router. The DW611 is the compact version in the same size class as the Makita you mentioned. The Dw611 gets great reviews....one caveat is the body size may be a little large and uncomfortable for one handed routing if you don't have large hands.
You can make your own router table....lots of plans on-line.
 

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I have been amazed at the range of accessories, dust collection hoods, and in particular the Bosch edge guide/circle cutting jig and other accessories available for the 1617. I have all the DeWalt 18v tools and really like them a lot, but I don't know about mounting a 618 in a table. I am sure there are lifts that you can buy to give you above table height adjustment. But if budget is tight, the Bosch keyed base is pretty nifty.

I used to have a DeWalt sliding miter saw, but sold it because I could not seem to get a perfect 90 cut on all planes at once.. Replaced it with a Bosch sliding miter that was perfect out of the box. I've never used it, but Bosch customer service and support is also excellent according to the few posts here about it. My bias stems from when I bought my first good router. Looked at all on display, and the only one that was broken was the DeWalt. I liked the size because I have small hands, but the adjusting ring just didn't look precise enough to me. The Bosch was tight and had a fine adjustment for height that was tight and very precise.

Whatever you get, I suggest you get an extra set of half inch and quarter inch collets. Keep them around so you have a spare should you have a problem with the first set. Collets are extremely precise devices, The difference between loose and tight is a few thousandths of an inch, If it fails you'll have to wait to order one. Here is a picture of a standard collet. Interesting to see how it works. Never oil or wax a collet.
Automotive tire Font Cylinder Audio equipment Auto part


Safety: I suggest you indulge and get a foot switch for whatever router you get. I find it difficult to manage the router one handed while reaching for the switch. This one is available on homedepot.com, and you can have it delivered to your local store. It's rated for 15 amps. WEN 120-Volt 15-Amp Momentary Power Foot Pedal Switch for Woodworking-WA0392 - The Home Depot
Audio equipment Font Networking cables Technology Cable


After poking around a bit, I did find an under table mount for the DeWalt. It's relatively inexpensive and called a Router Raizor. Info here Router Raizer. Be sure you get the model that fits your router. Here's a picture:
Product Automotive lighting Saw Motor vehicle Automotive design

This is for the larger DeWalt, but I think they have one for the 618. Most Raizors go for about $110-$120. I think you'll need to order it direct, or from a woodworking store. Not on Amazon or HD.

Hope this adds to your options.
 

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This will be my first wood router power tool as I am just entering into some woodworking projects.

I’ve done quite a bit of research as always I don’t want to waste my hard earned money

On that process, I’ve heard some good opinions on DEWALT 20V DCW600B & Makita RT0701CX7 but still I thought to get some advice from experienced woodworkers before shopping

I like to know what you guys do prefer cordless or corded? Besides, I can’t decide on how much Horsepower and variable speed(rpm) would be enough

I also liked the idea of fixed-base model, ½ inch size collet

Do I need to buy bits separately?

Would greatly appreciate any advice, Thanks
To start out, you don't need a high end router. I recommend a router with about 2 1/4 hp, variable speed and with both 1/4" & 1/2" collets. I started out with a Craftsman 2 1/4 hp router with variable speed, with both 1/4" & 1/2" collets. And it still my go to router in my benchtop router table. I also have another 2 1/4 hp & 2 hp Craftsman routers with variable speed. I did get a inexpensive 2 hp Performax with a fixed speed a couple yrs ago (still new in the box), as an extra. Have not gotten a 3 hp router yet. When I'm not using a router table, I use my fixed base quite a bit more than my plunge bases. The Pistol Grip base, I have never used it yet. I feel the pistol grip base has less accuracy control verses the fixed or plunge base.

For a palm router, I recommend one that is of higher quality. The plastic bases on the palm routers I'd steer away from. The plastic bases don't seem to hold tight, a set depth very well, IMO. During you routing passes, the router may slip on depth of cut adjustment.

If after a while of using a router, and you start using the router bits larger than 1 1/2" diameter. Then it's time to upgrade to a larger than 2 1/2 hp. I've been successful using 3" diameter bit with my 2 1/4" router. but then I'm using a undersized router for that job.

Brand type in most cases, are a personal preference. Wood Magazine does tool testing. Article Index | WOOD Magazine If you click on their "tool review" tab. you can see article a several different tool reviews.

As far as corded or battery, Stay with a corded. The battery powered tools becomes absolete after a few yours. Because when the tool companies come out with new models, the battery styles change with it. Now try finding a battery for the old models. Good luck. If you bought a corded power tool 50 yrs ago, The plug-in still works.
 

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This will be my first wood router power tool as I am just entering into some woodworking projects.

I’ve done quite a bit of research as always I don’t want to waste my hard earned money

On that process, I’ve heard some good opinions on DEWALT 20V DCW600B & Makita RT0701CX7 but still I thought to get some advice from experienced woodworkers before shopping

I like to know what you guys do prefer cordless or corded? Besides, I can’t decide on how much Horsepower and variable speed(rpm) would be enough

I also liked the idea of fixed-base model, ½ inch size collet

Do I need to buy bits separately?

Would greatly appreciate any advice, Thanks
As far as bit selection. A small starter selection is good. Then buy individually as needed for the job. I have Craftsman, Porter Cable, CMT, skil, America Eagle, Freud and Whiteside. Whiteside and Freud are the best. Whiteside is "made in the USA". The bits I use most are 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" straight. 1" locking miter. 1/4", 1/2" round-over. 3/8" flush. Ogee bit. and key hole. I have about 100 bits. The ones I use most I have multiples of.
 
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