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Has anyone used a speed controller and if so, is it helpful? Thanks for any wisdom as I am not very experienced with routing.
 

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I don't have one but lots of members have. You can't use them is you already have one built in. If you get one make sure the amp rating is equal to or greater than what you intend to plug into it.
 

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Don't have one, never tried one, for what I do and how I do it, never felt any need for one. If you can, I'd try one before buying, no sense in spending money without trying one first, and you may not like it.
 
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I made one using one of those cheap modules off Ebay to use with my 500 watt AEG drill in a drill stand, It works a treat, prior to this if I wanted to drill any hole bigger than 1/8" in metal the drill bit would dance all over the place. I can slow the drill down to around 20% with it, but bear in mind that they do reduce the amount of power as well, so your router will slow down but also have less torque as well. The ones from Harbor Freight etc would use the same or similar circuitry.

I got this one and put it in a case (only do this if you are competent with working with mains voltages, you could electrocute yourself), it says it's rated to 2000w but I wouldn't use it for anything over half that, those pesky Chinese do fudge the figures a lot.



And as stated in other posts you can't use them with routers that have soft start, speed control or with induction motors.
 

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I used one on my Hitachi MV12 router that the speed control had burned out. They work fine but you do notice a loss of torque at some speeds. I got mine at Harbor Freight for a lot less than the ones advertised in the catalogs.
 

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I use one on both my router tables, wouldn't be without them.
The one is on a Bosch 1617 motor, and the other is on a PC 7518. I set the motor on high setting and plug it into the speed control. The reason I use them is they are easier to access in the router lifts than the speed controls on the motors themselves.
Herb
 

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As a second-round newbie (I've been substantially away from routers for several decades) I have a question about speed controls. It seems basic, but ...

I know that a fair number of router bits specify a maximum speed. So the question is, with an add-on router speed control,
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How does one know what the current speed is?


I know there are several ways I could measure it in static, no-load conditions. (Build a simple optical or Hall-effect tachometer.) But what about real world in-use conditions?


Sent using Tapatalk while wondering what route to take
 

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As a second-round newbie (I've been substantially away from routers for several decades) I have a question about speed controls. It seems basic, but ...

I know that a fair number of router bits specify a maximum speed. So the question is, with an add-on router speed control,
*
*
*
How does one know what the current speed is?


I know there are several ways I could measure it in static, no-load conditions. (Build a simple optical or Hall-effect tachometer.) But what about real world in-use conditions?


Sent using Tapatalk while wondering what route to take
I go by the sound of the bit. I turn on the router with no load on the bit and dial it up til it sounds nice and smooth,no vibration, not screaming. The small diam. bits, will take the full speed, the larger bits will take a slower speed.
Herb
 

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As Herb said listen to the sound of the bit. About the only time I find it necessary to adjust the speed is when I'm using a very large paneling bit. If it sounds like a propeller then it's going too fast. Don't put too much stock into what is given as speed for different size bits. With very little practice it will become second nature.
 

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I had a Porter Cable 690 router with a speed control on it. It worked ok but eventually burned up the router motor. The speed controller for a fixed speed router does not have a feed back circuit and does not keep the router running at a consistent speed when loaded down. Most modern routers have speed control built in and usually compensate the speed when it is bogged down or under load. The porter cable 890 routers have the speed right on the dial. Some routers have letters and numbers that you must use a chart to read what your speed is. As some have already posted I usually run smaller bits at full speed and slow down to about half for larger bits like 45 degree miters or even lower with a panel raising bit for doors.
 

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Pine Hunter

Could you please provide a link to where you bought the speed controller and the foot switch?

I'd like to use it for my 240V 2.5 hp Makita single-speed router.

Thank you.
 

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I've had a 1/2" makita router in my table for 4 years now. No speed control. never needed one so far. I've used bits up to 1 1/2" across with no problems.
I suspect 2" wide or more would definitely need speed control.
I am the same never used speed control because I don't have any bit over 38mm (1 1/2"). The vast majority of my routing is done with bits less than 20mm diameter.

Not saying that it's not handy to have but I was going to buy a used Hitachi TR-12 but they are expensive for the age of them, then I saw a new Makita for around the same price, single speed and a little more power, never looked back.
 

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View attachment 362285 In line speed control for use with single speed router or for belt sander when holding small parts with sander inverted
I have the same unit and never been game to use it with my 1600 watt router, it says its up to 2000 watts, but I suspect it would get very hot with anything over 1000 watts. Does yours work alright?
 

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Hi fredgassit. Both the units were obtained from sellers on Ebay. You should be able locate a seller without difficulty.
The speed controller is identified as "PWM AC motor speed controller" and looks well built and has not given any trouble. The "PWM" reference is pulse width modulation.
The foot switch can be adjusted to operate "normally open" or "normally closed". The 10 amp rating should be OK for your router. The construction is plastic and a bit flimsy for foot operation. With reasonable care in use it should be OK.
Both units were purchased by price but the quality seems adequate for hobby/DIY use.
Both units are mounted in standard UK electrical switch housings and the earthing terminal is connected.
To begin with I intended to connect speed unit and switch as a single unit but this was not done which is a benefit. The switch can be used with tools having inbuilt speed control. Good luck.
 

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Hi Hypnotoad. The tools that I use do not exceed an input of 1000 watts so I have not put the speed controller to the test. I think your 1600 watt router should be OK. In the worst case the speed controller will fail without damage to the tool. Why try try it out and give us a report?
Like yourself I was sceptical about the specification of the controller. To ease my concerns about cooling it was mounted in an earthed switch box that has openings around it's sides. If problems had arisen plan B would be drilling cooling holes in the plastic blanking plate holding the controller. Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks to all for the really useful answers! I'll just not worry about speed unless and until I need one of the monster bits. -GCP-

Sent using Tapatalk while wondering what route to take
 
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