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PC7518 vs PC7539?

5724 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  mjdorsam
Hi all,

Ok, I'm really new to woodworking, but what I've got out of this forum so far is that I need a 3 1/4 HP router with a large throat opening. That seems to limit my selection to either the PC7518 or the PC7539. Is that true? I'm looking to get some opinions on these 2 models so I can pick which one to buy, unless someone points out another model I should look at. From what I have learned so far, I will proabably leave the router in the table, which I need to pick one of those also, all the time. I'm looking to make cabinet doors and trim pieces along with small items also. Any help would be great.

Thanks guys!
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A few years ago I had the same questions you are asking and here was what I did. I got a PC7539 router and built my own router table. I built Norm Abram's New Yankee Workshop Deluxe Router Table. Yes - between the router and the table it cost me a fortune but I have no regrets. The router is perfect for what I wanted to do. The table is as solid as any table can be. I added a Router Razor to adjust the router heigth from above the table. I'm really glad I added that accessory. The first thing I made with my new setup was a raised panel door for the router table. I've attached a picture of the table.

You will get dozens of different answers to your questions because there is not a single answer. It's like asking somebody what kind of family car to purchase. You'll get good answers from everyone you ask and you'll get different answers from everyone you ask.

Whatever you decide, I hope you are happy with it once it's in your workshop and send us pictures of your new toy.



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Thanks for your comments Bill. I really like your table and I like to be able to make one like that someday, but one of the things I'm looking to build is a stand for a critter cage for my son's birthday next month. I don't know if I could build a table and a stand that fast especially being that I'm in the learning stage.

I understand that I will get dozens of different answers, but that's kind of what I'm hoping for. It will help me get a feel for which one I might like of the other.

You mentioned that you got the 7539. Why that one over anything else?

I got the PC7539 because of my experience with PC tools. I have other PC routers and I'm really delighted with their performance. I chose the 7539 because it had the built in speed control required when using the larger bits. When using raised panel bits you need to run your router at low speed. I believe that PC is the standard by which all other routers are judged. I decided to buy the standard. I recently added the PC 893 router set (fixed and plunge bases) to my collection of routers.

Hi and welcome aboard. Like Bill I also have had great experience with PC tools, and I also own a PC7539. I also own an Hitachi M12V. Both routers are variable speed with a soft start. These are two features you should definately insist on. For table routing I am in the process of making some modifications to the PC7539, to make it easier to adjust and set up. It will be the router that my custom system will be built around. I'm still working out the kinks, and I'll post some photos when and if I get them worked out.

One of the main reasons I'm putting the PC7539 in the table is it's weight, and high profile. I used it for some time as a hand held portable, but it is getting to be a chore. The Hatachi M12V on the other hand is a much easier to handle and also has good power.

I built the router table that Oak Park Enterprizes sells the plans for, . It is also the same basic table that Bob & Rick use on The Router Workshop. It was very economical to build, and so easy to use with their system and jigs. I had my M12V set up in it till I decided move my table mounted router to my tablesaw extension table. If you aren't familuar with The Router Workshop maybe you can catch it on your local PBS station. With their table, baseplate, guide bushings, and a couple of "C" clamps you will be in business.

I have changed out the baseplates on both routers to a 7" square with an 1.5" guide hole for the M12V for hand use, and an 11" square "Big Hole" for the PC7539 (which I customized to accept a reducer insert to reduce the 3.5" hole down to 1.5" hole to use bushings with) for table mounted use. Both sizes of base plates are available from Oak Park Interprizes for most of the popular brands of routers.

Good luck and let us know how you made out.
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Router Article

If you haven't purchased your router yet, take a look at the article about Monster Routers in the new issue of Wood Magazine. It gives a good reivew about routers for router tables.
BmKiss, welcome to the forums. I am going to suggest a different route for you to consider. I have a PC 7518 that is going into a table I am building now. Most of my routing is done using a Bosch 1617. You can buy this 2-1/4 HP router with both a fixed and a plunge base for under $200. You mount the fixed base in a table and with a simple flip of a lever you release the motor to drop into the plunge base for freehand routing. Unless you are planning on constantly building raised panel doors this is a better solution because: You get the table mount and the added versatility of being able to freehand; the Bosch 1617 adjusts very easy when installed in a table eliminating the need to purchase an expensive router lift mechanism; and it saves you enough money to buy some decent router bits to get you started. You can do raised panel doors with a 2-1/4 HP router, the main difference is you will make your cut in a couple passes instead of hogging out all the wood in one pass. This is a good habit to have since it increases accuracy; as a rule you dont want to remove more than 1/4" of wood in a pass. The new Hitachi is similar in price and performance. I urge you to get your hands on the controls and see how the adjustments are made before you purchase any router. Go with what feels best to you.
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Wow, a lot to think about. I'm one of those ppl that like to get the right item, in this case the right tool, the first time around. I'm looking to make 2 possibly 3 medium to large fish tank stands, canopies for those tanks, 2 large night stands, a bar, possibly some new kitchen cabinet doors, 2 jewerly boxes, a TV stand, and what ever else my wife thinks of. Will the Bosch handle all that or should I still look at the PC 7539? Up until Aniceone2hold posted I was considering PC 7539 for $269 , but know I'm wondering if I should go with the Bosch. Does anyone else have any opinions on the Bosch or anything else involved here?

Thanks everyone.

Ditto on Mike's reply. I too have the Bosch 1617evspk and it is very easy to use. If you can get your hands on one and try it out, go for it. Check out how it feels. I also would like to get my hands on the Hitachi M12V 3-1/4 HP router. That one is another one that's a great router for what you want to do for a great price. But of course it's up to you. Later...
I to own the Bosch 1617EVSPK. The best advice that I can give is to evaluate what you are going to use it for on a consistant basis. This will narrow your options. Then go to the store and get the options you are looking at in your hand. For me this was the bread winner. My on paper choice was a PC, but when I got it in my hands, the Bosch was it. I to had aspirations for a bigger, beefer, and more powerful machine, but this Bosch will do all that I am wanting it to do and more. It has plenty of power and is the right size for my shop and projects. It also gives me the capabilities of having a plunge and fixed base in one with its interchangable motor.
I also own the Bosch 1617 EVSPK and so far it has done everything that I want it to do. I also like the way it handles either with the Fixed or plunge bases.

Hopefully I can mount it in a table soon. :D I am not a PC fan. But you never know.
I have a pc7539 and I'm having difficulty with raising the router. When you release the lock it still retains some tension. I have removed the springs. I release the lock and put my arm on the baseplate in the table to hold it down to overcome the drag of the lock. My question is: Can you tweek this lock to completely remove it's tension so the router raises without "lock drag". I haven't taken the lock apart to see how it's made. maybe you could weaken or shorten the spring!? Anyone have any experience with this.
I took the time to check out how the lock works. A phillip screw holds the handle on. Under the handle is a cloth pin type spring. Don't lose it, and not how it works before you remove it. The cast aluminum handle has a recessed imprint of the nut molded into the back. You can move the handle to make adjustments to the angle of the handle. The phillip screw goes through the handle and into the bolt. The bolt has reverse threads, and has a brass plug in the end to contact the router posts. Friction holds the router in the position you set by moving the lever which tightens the bolt.

I removed the clothes pin type spring. I put it in a zip lock bag and carefully marked what it is and where it goes, then put it in a safe place.

Instructions: With the handle off, turn the bolt (counter clockwise) with your fingers until it is snug against the post (locking the router position). Line up the flats on the backside of the handle with the flats on the bolt. Place the handle on the bolt leaving room to move it to the right to increase locking tension and not contact the router body. Replace the phillip screw. Check out the effectiveness of the locking mechenism before leaving the project. Make sure the router will lock and hold that lock during use.
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I have a 7539 that I converted to a 7518 buy buying the lower housing for $45, and a few other parts. I also use it in my Sidewinder lift and Excalibur table. It works fine, you can use the plunge itself or just pull the motor and convert it yourself. There is a youtube video on how to remove the arbor and mount it back into the non-plunge 7518 model housing. It was easy, but I had an impact gun to get the lower arbor nut free. It can be done by hand, but you would need a good vise to get a grip on the housing.

Wow, reserection of a 7 year old post.
Well, after converting my own router, I was wondering if anyone else had done this. It was not hard, but you had to do a little homework. The only posts that came up from Google were here, and they were wrong, saying that it was not possible.
Welcome to the Forum David

The info in archives is amazing and your additional info will be useful.
I'll also recommend the Bosch - I recently purchased the Bosch MRC23EVSK, and IMO it's both quieter and hands-down superior in finish and precision to the PC models (you'll find the Forum to be split along these lines). The PC machines are workhorses, no doubt, and I'm sure you'll be happy with it, if that's your choice.
I'm a believer in the mid-size (12 amp, 2.25hp - rated) machines, in preference to the bigger 15 amp. I've had the 12 amp PC 891 in my table for 10 years, and have yet to find a project - raised panels, deep mortises, and all - that it couldn't handle. These machines are less expensive and less noisy than their larger siblings.
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