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Which Plunge router would you recommend?

  • Triton

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Bosch

    Votes: 7 38.9%
  • Porter Cable

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • Milwaukee

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dewalt

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Hitachi

    Votes: 2 11.1%

Router Research

7651 Views 26 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Dangerman
I'm new to this forum.......But certainly not new to woodworking. I found this forum when researching which plunge router I should purchase. There are a lot out there. I was wondering if I could ask your opinion regarding which plunger router you recommend.........?

The router will be used primarily for mortising into oak and routing along pattern fixtures. I'm thinking a minimum of 2.25 H.P. and of course plunge. I know that there are kits out there providing both fixed base and plunge base and that's o.k. I'm not sure I need fixed base, but if that's what it takes, that's fine.

I have been looking at Triton, Bosch, Hitachi, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Dewalt and Ridgid...............Which would you recommend based upon your experience?

Thanks for your help...
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Dale and welcome to the forums. Here are some thoughts from Pat Warner, a respected router expert, that may help you a little. I think at the end of the day, his pick is the Dewalt 621.

Selecting a Router

DeWalt 621
Hi Bob:

I've just taken a quick look at Mr. Warner's page and I cannot agree with your recommendation. He's not even in the same league with people on this forum.

I take exception to references to "experts" who have written books or fronted TV programs. I've learned more on this forum than I could ever learn with the collective "published" experts in the world. Even the Rosendahl's are out of date although their information is still very valid. Where's the references for skis, shis, foots, pin routing, duplicator, pantograph, routerlathe, gantry router and even some of the common methods.

Dale: you've already achieved step one. You've asked the question. Problem #1 is that you don't purchase one router, you collect them as you progress. Hard woods like oak, sugar maple etc. can be tough to work with so the extra HP is well worth the expense.

"A typical "nice" router would look like this:
1. ½" chuck
2. 2 wrench collet (I don't like spindle lock I can't get the bit tight enough)
3. Variable speed (nice but close to useless <3HP, but mandatory >3HP)
4. plunge base
5. Soft start
6. Light weight but versatile and powerful.
7. 1¾" (1 ½" hole with a 1/8" shoulder) brass template guides (ideal but not likely)"

Here's a bit of insight. All routers are made to be quite robust. They don't wear out, they break. They get dropped, or something gets dropped on them. When this happens, you want to get the part to replace the broken one so a perfectly good router can continue for years to come. This is where the real manufacturers are in it for the long haul. I can get parts for a 30 year old Makita drill and an old Makita trim router. I can't get parts for a 10 year old Sears circular saw. Now, things could be different in the UnitedStates but certainly in Canada, Sears is no longer synonymous with customer service and quality.

My recommendation is to start with a production router -

Makita 3612,
Hitachi M12V.
I don't like PorterCable -- fixed speeds etc.
I went to the Ridgid site and they don't have a production router at this time (I think -- don't always believe the web sites)
Bosch some interesting models but listen to the guys that have them.
Dewalt, shot from guns. Part of the Black and Decker world -- just another brand.
Milwaukee along with Skil is Bosch -- again just more branding?
Triton -- used to be independant with interesting designs and concepts. now taken over by some megaconsortium for another brand in the stable.
Porter Cable another part of the Delta world branding
Freud -- starting to be broken up after some management problems -- part is another Bosch brand although I cannot remember which part.
Sears -- farms out production to the lowest bidder. Parts become a problem the older the tool gets. I have routers that are >30 years old and I can still get parts for them. I have a box full of Sears stuff that I can't get parts for.

This is a start. Your next project is to start watching this forum like it were an old tyme religion. This is where you're going to learn. Pick a topic, do a search in the top search window and start reading. Ask questions -- there's no such thing as a dumb question (only the one not asked) only dumb answers.

Hope this helps.
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