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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!

My first post here. Hope I’m on a right thread...

I’m buying my first router. After attending a crash routing course, I was recommended Dewalt D26204k (I think it’s called DWP611PK in the States).

It's got everything I need but I also found Makita RT0700CX2 which is cheaper and similar. The difference that stands out to me is that the Dewalt has max plunge depth over 50mm whereas the Makita has 35mm.

As experienced router users, when would you feel you are glad that you have a router with a lot of plunge depth? When would you regret if your router doesn’t?

My main use for the router is building guitars which requires routing through 40-46mm bodies. But I may get into woodworking and I don’t want to limit the router use just for guitars.

Many thanks in advance. :smile:
 

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I have the Makita and I would get the Dewalt. I am not sure if either would be the best router for you. Maybe wait and others will reply that have more brains than me.

PS - Welcome to the forum.
 

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No question range of plunge stroke is an important feature.
However, 35mm implies a 35mm cutter, a lengthy tool bit for
a compact router. And a substantial excavation for such a light tool.
In my view, you'd be better off with a DW 621, considering your future in woodworking.
 

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I believe Bosch would be a bit better than the DW...
 

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I believe Bosch would be a bit better than the DW...
Ituska, you'll find that a lot of the folks here will recommend the Bosch routers. However, I agree that the DW will be the better choice over the Makita.

Apparently, you're into doing luthier projects. I'll suggest you fill in your profile to reflect this. When you ask a question, it helps the members understand; your main interests, experience level and the tools that you have available.

There are several members here who build guitars, so, I'm sure that they will chime in with some valuable advice.

One thing that you will find, as time goes on you will probably find that you will have more than one router. When it comes to luthier work, I'm sure that you will probably need something to "hog out" say, electric guitar bodies and a trim type router for finer, more delicate work.
 

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As a particularly experienced routologist I have to say "forget a trim router" at this stage of your woodworking career, I would suggest sticking with Makita but think in terms of the RP2301FC 1/2" router which will allow you to carry out any and all the tasks you would ever think of, and more. Sure, there are procedures where a trim router is the best way to go but this can wait until you gain experience and have the funds.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No question range of plunge stroke is an important feature.
However, 35mm implies a 35mm cutter, a lengthy tool bit for
a compact router. And a substantial excavation for such a light tool.
In my view, you'd be better off with a DW 621, considering your future in woodworking.
Thanks Pat!
 

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I believe Bosch would be a bit better than the DW...
Thanks Stick! Yes Bosch was another option (called 'Colt' in the US?) but I believe the one you can get in the UK (GFK600) does not have variable speed? At the router class, I liked the variable speed on the router I used so I wanted to get one with the option...
 

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Ituska, you'll find that a lot of the folks here will recommend the Bosch routers. However, I agree that the DW will be the better choice over the Makita.

Apparently, you're into doing luthier projects. I'll suggest you fill in your profile to reflect this. When you ask a question, it helps the members understand; your main interests, experience level and the tools that you have available.

There are several members here who build guitars, so, I'm sure that they will chime in with some valuable advice.

One thing that you will find, as time goes on you will probably find that you will have more than one router. When it comes to luthier work, I'm sure that you will probably need something to "hog out" say, electric guitar bodies and a trim type router for finer, more delicate work.
Thanks Bill! I've tried to fill in my profile... Sorry as an analog person I'm not very online-savvy! Happy to know some people here also build guitars :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As a particularly experienced routologist I have to say "forget a trim router" at this stage of your woodworking career, I would suggest sticking with Makita but think in terms of the RP2301FC 1/2" router which will allow you to carry out any and all the tasks you would ever think of, and more. Sure, there are procedures where a trim router is the best way to go but this can wait until you gain experience and have the funds.
Thanks Harry! Ooo that Makita looks like a beast! Would you recommend that model? Being a 5 foot hobbit I will have to find something a bit smaller though...

Sorry it may sound elementary but can I use 1/4 bits on the routers that say '1/2 inch?' Most guitar routing involve using 1/4 bits I think...
 

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Thanks Stick! Yes Bosch was another option (called 'Colt' in the US?) but I believe the one you can get in the UK (GFK600) does not have variable speed? At the router class, I liked the variable speed on the router I used so I wanted to get one with the option...
we have members that are from the UK and may be able to help you...
 

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Thanks Harry! Ooo that Makita looks like a beast! Would you recommend that model? Being a 5 foot hobbit I will have to find something a bit smaller though...

Sorry it may sound elementary but can I use 1/4 bits on the routers that say '1/2 inch?' Most guitar routing involve using 1/4 bits I think...
You'd need two collets. One for 1/4" and the 1/2" that is usually standard on the larger routers. Larger than the Colt, anyway.
Suggest that you visit a store where you can physically manipulate several models. The one Harry mentioned may be more router than you think you need, but they aren't as intimidating as you may think.
Another suggestion is to visit the Stew-Mac :Stewart-MacDonald: Everything for building and repairing stringed instruments! | stewmac.com for some tool ideas. Also, there are a plethora of YouTube videos on guitar building. See what and how they use routers.
Happy building, mate.
 

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I just wanted to add that as far as I can tell, the only time you would go all the way through an electric guitar body is if you are routing a tremolo pocket. Otherwise for pickup and control pockets you are looking at 38mm or less in depth....yes ? I would also recommend using a drill press and a forstner bit if you can to remove the bulk of the wood, and then rout to finish things off.



Gary
 

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+ 1 on what Harry said ! I have two of these beasts and they are pretty good. ( One in the table and one out.) I do have the trim router as well ; as somebody said 'you will most likely have more than one router' before long.

Welcome to the forum - a home from home !
 

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Thanks Bill! I've tried to fill in my profile... Sorry as an analog person I'm not very online-savvy! Happy to know some people here also build guitars :happy:
Great job on the profile, Itsuka. Now, tell us a little about what you want to do with the router. How do you want to use it? Do you want it to cut out bodies in electric guitars for pick-ups and controls, cut for inlays, well, you get the idea.

You can get little routers like a handheld Dremel or Foredom tools, that will handle bits as small as 1/32 of an inch for really fine work, or the bigger routers for massive material removal.

You asked if the larger 1/2 inch router collet can take the 1/4 inch bits. The answer is yes. However, you have to use a reducing bushing in the 1/2 inch collet to make up the difference in the 1/4 inch shaft size on the bit. Some router have both size collets available. It is just a matter of swapping them out and screwing them in.

You mentioned that most of the bits you will be using will be 1/4 inch. That implies to me that most of the router work will be "lighter duty". This implies that a mid-level power tool is what you may want. Again, it will depend on the intended usage.

Most of the members will tell you if you are going to buy a router, then buy a combination kit. It will be a little more expensive then a single based router, but it will give you both a fixed and a plunge base. You will find that you will probably have use for both bases at one time or another. It is cheaper to buy them as a kit then buy another base separately.

Let use help you with the right choice, but we need to understand what the intended use is. I was serious when I said, that, you will probably end up with more then one router.

As you expand your skills you will find that a smaller or larger router will do the job better then the one you have. However, first, let's get you to the most useful one first.

You mentioned that you took a router class. This tells me that there are people in your area using routers. Don't hesitate to go back to the instructor and ask his advice. Chances are he has the experience to guide you towards the right router for the task and a model you need. If he doesn't then he shouldn't have been teaching the class.

Bill
 
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I will agree and disagree with some of the comments made so far. That Dewalt seems like a lot of money for a 1/4" router. The Dewalt 625 1/2" router is similar money and will give you a lot more flexibility. It's a very popular model and seems to be more or less the default choice in the joinery trade in the UK. (Which is not to say it's the best choice, but it surely can't be a bad one.)

Almost all 1/2" routers available in the UK will be supplied with a 1/4" collet as well I think, I haven't seen one without.

Handling them in a store is a good idea. The 1/2" routers are bigger and heavier of course. Somewhere like B&Q may not have the exact model you're interested in, but they'll surely have something similar in size and weight to get a feel for it.

I'd disagree with the suggestion to buy a fixed/plunge base combination set though. This is an area where the US and European markets are very different. There are not many machines on the market with a fixed base option here, so if you specify that then your options are severely limited. Just get a plunge router. Anything you can do with a fixed base, you can do with a plunge router.

You might also want to consider the Triton range, especially if you think you might want to use the router in a router table in the future. They have a unique design that makes them well suited to use in a basic router table, which could be something as simple as a flat board with a hole in the middle, laid across two sawhorses and with a 2x4 clamped on as a fence. However their distinctive design has some shortcomings too, in particular when it comes to compatibility with 3rd party accessories, and the lack of an edge guide with fine adjustment.
 

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I will agree and disagree with some of the comments made so far. That Dewalt seems like a lot of money for a 1/4" router. The Dewalt 625 1/2" router is similar money and will give you a lot more flexibility. It's a very popular model and seems to be more or less the default choice in the joinery trade in the UK. (Which is not to say it's the best choice, but it surely can't be a bad one.)

Almost all 1/2" routers available in the UK will be supplied with a 1/4" collet as well I think, I haven't seen one without.

Handling them in a store is a good idea. The 1/2" routers are bigger and heavier of course. Somewhere like B&Q may not have the exact model you're interested in, but they'll surely have something similar in size and weight to get a feel for it.

I'd disagree with the suggestion to buy a fixed/plunge base combination set though. This is an area where the US and European markets are very different. There are not many machines on the market with a fixed base option here, so if you specify that then your options are severely limited. Just get a plunge router. Anything you can do with a fixed base, you can do with a plunge router.

You might also want to consider the Triton range, especially if you think you might want to use the router in a router table in the future. They have a unique design that makes them well suited to use in a basic router table, which could be something as simple as a flat board with a hole in the middle, laid across two sawhorses and with a 2x4 clamped on as a fence. However their distinctive design has some shortcomings too, in particular when it comes to compatibility with 3rd party accessories, and the lack of an edge guide with fine adjustment.
Glad you weighed in Andy. I had forgotten that the preferences were slightly different on both sides of the pond. Here we buy the combo kits and there it is mostly the plunge type.

I agree with you recommendation on the larger DeWalt, why limit yourself to only 1/4". I suspect that the type of routing that Itsuka will probably be doing will call for a mid-level size router.

The real information is yet to come. Itsuka has to tell us what she wants to use is for, then the members can offer some recommendations for her to consider. You're, also, correct that her next step to to see what feels comfortable to her. What may be perfectly fine for you and me may not fit the hands of a "five foot hobbit".

With a little more information I think that between all of us here we can get her to where she wants to be.
 
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