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Some more info on the Christmas router

2129 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  em14
Dear all:

Thanks to everyone for all of your relies and assistance with my last post (see: "Help! My husband wants a router for Christmas!" thread). I have several options, and a bit clearer of an idea of what my husband is looking for, if anyone has the time to give more opinions I would appreciate it!

First of all, I looked at several combo kits. Although the Dewalt kit with three bases (fixed, plunge and D handle) looks wonderful, it is way out of my price range. :eek: The two I am looking at most seriously are by Makita and Bosch. Both have 1/4" and 1/2" collets, soft start, variable speed, and come with two bases and edge guides. I have decided against the Porter Cable kit for now because the kit I can afford doesn't have the soft start option, and the switch is fixed, which might not work for my lefty husband. (See? I am learning my stuff here!)

I asked my husband why he wants a router. What he is really thinking he would use it for is replacing woodwork in our old house. For example, he wants to be able to take a plain plank of wood and curve the edge to match the existing door frame moldings. He doesn't want to do anything fancy, although if he takes to it this could lead to other projects that are more intricate. However, for someone starting out, is a kit a little too much? If one router would do, would I be better off going with a fixed base or a plunge base?

I know I could go with a Lowes or Home Depot gift card, but knowing my dear husband he is liable to use it towards something else! I'd rather have something under the tree. Thanks again for any opinions!

PS: Tom, I did get your article on choosing a router, it taught me a lot!

Thanks again,
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Emmie I would get him the home depot card they have a wider selection there for routers. When I was looking they even had the milwakee brand. Has a special adjustment for table routing if your husband wants to get into table routing. I made chair railing last year for my living room using a chafer bit and roundover like you said nothing fancy. I used a fixed based router.
Here is a link that might help sort out some of the various models and features:
You can select several routers and get a few specifications to compare.... I did notice they had the Warranty for the Hitachi at 1 year but I think that was upped to 5 years or at least is was when I got mine.

Ed you find the best links thanks added that one to my favorites.

I can tell by reading your post, you are learning..To see that the PC you looked at didnt have soft start/ Variable speed, shows you know what features you are looking for.
I wonder how many people pick up a router kit and get it home and find out it doesnt have what they thought it did.Its best i think to get there cataloges and then go from there.Alot of the stores only carry certain models.
I have yet to see my Porter-Cable 694 combo in a store.I got mine off Ebay.

If the bosch 1617 is in your price range, go for it. The edge guide also allows you to do circles.So if he wanted to do a small table with a round top, he could up too 12 inches round.

.Its pretty hard to match up old mouldings that are on a old house..Thats custom work and to get old moulding's to match you have to have custom knives made."Not router Bits.This is a whole new very expensive field to get into.
Its gets much more complicated. I have many routers and bits and if you ask me to match up old mouldings i couldnt do it

If he just wants to curve a board , and put a profile or shape on it, then a router with a selected bit can do that.

Routers are a very versitile tool..I am sure it will lead on to other things. I would not buy a fixed base router.Alot of handheld router work requires a plunge base.
The bosch like many have both bases..Like i said before, if he has both bases he can make a router table and leave the fixed base on the table and just change the motor from one base to another.
I have nothing to do with the bosch company but do have the 1617 router along with 2 - porter cable routers, and like the feel of the bosch, also it is a 2 1/4 hp .
A variable speed router is also important if he decides to buy large bits someday , for eg if he wants to do Rasied panel doors.
The large bits need to run at a slower speed. The variable switch allows you to match the RPM's to the Bit size you want to use.

If you can only buy a router with one a plunge base router., but saying that i dont think a combo kit is too much for a person starting out.As his woodworking skills grow he will be looking for a router table, and then the list goes on and on. sorry to say.
A hobby woodworker is always looking for new tools. There is always something out there you seem to want, ( But not really need LOL)
It can certainly be an expensive but injoyable hobby.


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I have a milwaukee 1 3/4 horse palm grip and I really like it. I may be wrong but I don't think milwaukee makes a plunge router. If I am wrong someone let me know because I would not hesitate to buy it. If you are only going to get one router make it a plunge router. However I do agree with the others your best bet would be the kit for fixed and plunge.
Milwaukee doesnt make a plunge that i know of..Its a shame, they are a quaility router and Fits like a glove. Didnt know they had the collet release like PC does..Wish they all would follow that design.

Glenmore has a good suggestion about a gift card for your husband ... but ... with all the research you have done I suggest you help him shop as his tech advisor! You have picked up a lot of background on routers and would be a great help to anyone shopping for one.
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