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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi!

As a beginner woodworker I'm about to purchase my first router and I'd really love some advice since I cant find many good reviews from them. I'll be using it as a hobbyist, mostly for making household items, some of them from hardwood. My budget is at most ~300 EUR, but I'd really like to get something under 200 EUR if possible. After lots of research I've narrowed it down to the following ones:

Bosch GOF 130 (1300W, 120 EUR):
+ has lots of features: strong motor, speed setting, constant speed
- plunge depth cannot be set precisely
? the super cheap price compared to other blue Bosch machines makes me a bit suspicious that its lacking something... there are more expensive green Bosch devices

Makita RT0700CX2 (710W, 190 EUR):
+ has lots of features: speed setting, constant speed, 3 attachments
+ lots of accessories
- Isnt it a bit weak?
- pricey

Makita M3602 (1650W, 160 EUR, 12mm only)
+ super strong
+ soft start
- no variable speed
? Do I need such a strong router for hobby projects? Its 2x as heavy (5.7kg) as the others

Makita RP0900 (900W, 100EUR)
+ cheap, light (2,2 kg)
- no features (no variable speed, no constant speed, no precision lock)

Which one would you choose?
Thanks!
 

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Don't know the Euro brands and models. Bosch is great over here, but I thought their kit went for far more than that.

The heavier, more powerful routers are really good for the table, but some are awkward to handle freehand. I try to do as much of my routing on the table as possible. It's much safer. A smaller, lighter router is more comfortable for freehand work.

I have three sizes, the large Triton for the table, which is just too heavy for freehand work. Two Bosch 1617 motors and two bases, one of which was in the table for years and worked well, and a trim router, which is what I now use most of the time for freehand work, like roundovers or hinge mortises and such. Just fyi.

Hopefully some of our European members will pitch in their opinions.
 

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If not a Triton, I would go for the Makita. The ones you show are a bit underpowered for heavy use or no variable speed (2 items I consider essential)....

Makita RT0700CX2 (710W, 190 EUR): would be my choice from that selection, if you cannot increase the budget.

Buy a good one. it should last for years.

My Makita 3612C is at least 14 yrs old and still going strong...
 

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Greetings, @ hudejo,
Not sure which country you are in, in the EU. We would be pleased if you would add some information to your profile.
1. The Bosch GOF range are workhorses. I recently bought a GOF1300, but have not used it much yet. Fair value for money. The limitation is the maximum 8 mm shaft bits. You might want to look at the GOF 1600, which will take 12 mm and also 1/2” bits (but you may need to buy a 1/2” collet, depending on your country).
It does not have the fine depth adjustment, but to be honest, I have never used it on my routers that have it. For about 20 yrs all I used was a single-speed 900 W Hitachi 1/4”, 6mm, 8mm. With no fancy bits and pieces.
2. As you say, there is the Bosch Green range, which is less powerful. If I remember correctly, the POF 1400 will also take 8 mm bits. I think they are bulkier than the GOF range.
3. The Makita 710 W is more properly what Tom calls a trim router, but like Tom, I often reach for my trim router first, because it is so convenient. If by the three attachments you mean three bases (that model is optionally sold in a kit with fixed base, plunge base and angle base), it would make a great start-out router, but it will struggle a little with heavier work. Still, 1 hp is not to be sneezed at - it just means multiple passes compared to a more powerful machine.
4. The Makita MT 3602 is a compromise router: industrial grade, but with no bells and whistles. Perhaps for a production environment, where a number of dedicated routers are used with permanent bits and depth settings. It can take smaller bits - it usually comes with a reducing adapter. With that much power, it can be somewhat awkward without variable speed. Soft start is not a must-have, but once you have had it, you wonder why anybody would make a router without it. Like James, my 3612C has never quit, and has variable speed. The current equivalent is a model RP1800X which ticks all the boxes, but may be a lot more expensive.
5. The last Makita is pretty basic. I have never looked at one, as it would be no better than my trusty old Hitachi, but I remember some guys on this forum complaining about a sloppy plunge action.
6. If available in your country, have a look at Hitachi. There should be a reasonably-priced 1600 W model. Also nothing fancy, but just keep going.
7. Finally, you might have Ryobi available in your geography. I have not had much joy with the smaller router (1600 W - fully featured but poor quality), but my 1900 w is great (and heavy).

Your choice will depend on whether you will remain limited to small projects, or want to try bigger stuff as you develop your skills.
I have to warn you that buying a router is addictive - no matter which one you settle for, you will find cogent reasons why you need another one (or several, as in my case).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the answers, they are super helpful!

Based on @jw2170 and @DesertRatTom 's comments I've looked into Triton (haven't heard of them before) and they look amazing. More specifically I was researching the JOF001 and the new TMNRTR (the others are over my budget).
I've ruled out the JOF001 because it feels a bit like too light for a table router and a bit too much for a handheld router for delicate tasks.

Based on your comments I'm really leaning towards the Makita RT0700 since I won't be doing any large tasks for a while (and when I do I'll get a 1500W+ one). The small Triton looks superb too (TMNRTR), but they don't sell Tritons in my country, so I'd be worried about spare parts/accessories/warranty repair.
 
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