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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read several references about advances in router design that makes older routers obsolete. Yet, my 1990's Craftsman does a great job - the spindle is square to the base, no wobble, plenty of power, it is comfortable, has good ergonomics, and it's easy to adjust.

Maybe I'm blissfully ignorant, but what am I missing out on?
 

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Theo
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I've got 5 older Craftsman routers, newest somewhere well over 10 years old. They all work, they do just what I need them for. I won't be buying another router until the last of these die. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything - except maybe a cup of coffee.
 
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Hi 3 M and welcome. The old routers aren't obsolete and most of the new ones don't have that much for extra features except on the plungers there are a few that really old don't have like above table adjustment and multi step turrets for depth stops when plunging and some have bellows on the plunge tubes to keep them clean, especially when upside down. As for fixed bases maybe a little better adjustment mechanisms. Back far enough and they won't have speed control and soft start but those have been on most routers for roughly 20 years.
 

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The only time a router becomes obsolete is when it's no longer used, or can do the job, you can't get parts for it, or you just don't feel good using it. If the router does all you need it to safely then you're golden. If not then you need to either find another way to do what you want or buy the tools that will allow you to do so. Don't fall for marketing lingo. What you have either does the job or it doesn't. Now if newer models are safer that's a major consideration, if they have new features you'll use, that's something to consider. Obsolete is a word used by those looking for something new or not understanding how to use it.
 

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As has been mentioned, so long as it has variable speed with soft start, is a plunge router, preferably with a multi step turret which makes deep hand held routing a breeze, it is up-to-date. One more thing, for serious routing at least 2hp is required.
 

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What Harry said.
Most of the older Craftsman routers are woefully under-powered by today's standards. It's fairly safe to say that a lot, if not most of us, bought a Craftsman for our first router; I still have mine (never use it though)...but it only has a 1/4" collet! !/2" shank bits are a better choice, just generally more robust. Newer routers generally come with both 1/2" and 1/4" collets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info everybody! I'm just getting back into woodworking after several years and as I learn more ways to use routers I might exceed the capabilities of my old Craftsman (315.17480) and then I'll consder a newer replacement. I am glad mine has the micrometer type height adjustment and not the later ring style that I've read has issues getting stuck.

For now it looks like power (not sure the HP of my model) and 1/4" collet are the main weaknesses, but for now they haven't been an issue.

Great forum, BTW, I've learned a lot just by browsing!
 

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Theo
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What Harry said.
Most of the older Craftsman routers are woefully under-powered by today's standards. It's fairly safe to say that a lot, if not most of us, bought a Craftsman for our first router; I still have mine (never use it though)...but it only has a 1/4" collet!
Hey, I resent that, all of mine have I think .5 HP, more than enough for what I do All of mine are 1/4" collet too, which works fine. But if you don't use yours, you can mail it to me, I'll use it. I'll even pay the postage.
:grin:
 

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On all of them you insert a bit, the bit goes round and round, and wood chips come flying out. That's been true since the first router was sold.

3M the biggest issue with your router as stated is that you are limited to bits that are about 1.5" diameter or smaller. That eliminates large round overs, large lock miter bits, panel raising, and some architectural bits. There's still a lot of different bits below that size. Keep in mind that there are no parts to fix that router with and that includes collets so if you are getting serious about routing it's time to keep an eye out for a bigger and better replacement.
 
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Hey, I resent that, all of mine have I think .5 HP, more than enough for what I do All of mine are 1/4" collet too, which works fine. But if you don't use yours, you can mail it to me, I'll use it. I'll even pay the postage.
:grin:
It of course it depends on what one wants do do with a router, a 1/4"
1/2hp machine is strictly limited in what it can do, depth of cut, feed rate being just two of it's limitations.
 

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Paul
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If you get a new one, keep the old one so that once in a while you can line them all up for a photo shoot and admire them. ;) I keep a round-over bit in my old Craftsman.
 
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