Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings from UK. Amateur DIYer and looking to get my first router. Dont intend to do any prolonged heavy work. Just general work around the house. Since I dont intend to buy many (no more than 2) routers I am hoping to choose my first router wisely and a machine that can be as much of an all-rounder as possible.

I have been researching different brands and models and have narrowed it down to the following:

DeWalt DW625ekt
Makita RP2301fcxk
Festool OF1400

I've gone for the 1/2" collet routers since they accept both 1/4" and 1/2" bits. However I believe that the tradeoff is that they are larger and heavier than the 1/4" routers. Not sure how this might affect me considering that I have not used routers so it's hard to understand the implications in practice.

Also, the Festool OF1400 does cost double the others and there seem to be some complaints regarding its handle which some people find a hinderance at times. Is it right considering the OF1400 or should I consider on of the other models above + the OF1010?

Any advice please? Am I looking at the right models?
 

·
Administrator
David - Machinist in wood
Joined
·
4,359 Posts
Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute complete your profile with location and first name to clear the N/a in the side panel. We won't remember UK after this post but if it shows in the side panel most of us will pick up on it... :wink:

Have you looked at the Bosch 1617EVSPK? A lot of folks here have that model and I know I really like mine.

David
 

·
Registered
Mike
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Welcome to the Router Forums. Please take some time and fill out your profile, it helps us help you.

The 3 routers you list seem to be in different class sizes. A lot will depend on the project you want to work on.

First they all look like good choices but for different jobs.

The largest is the Makita RP2301fcxk. It is 15 amp - 3 1/4hp, 9000-22000RPM, and is the heaviest at 6+Kg - 13.4 lb.
The mid-range unit is the DeWalt DW625ekt. It is 2000w - 2.68HP, 8000 - 20000RPM, weighs in at 5+Kg - 11 1/4 lb.
The lightest is the Festool OF1400. It is 1400w -1.88hp, 10000 - 22500RPM, and weighs 4.5kg - 9.9 lb.

From the work you say you will be using it for I would say the Mikita will be a little heavy to handle for prolonged routing jobs.

The other 2 seem to fit your requirments better but lets see if there are any other recomendations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: britwood

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,212 Posts
The Bosch router, model 1617 is a favorite around here, but is not offered in UK. The closest model there is the GMF 1600 CE Professional router, https://shop.bosch-professional.com...unction-router-gmf-1600-ce--23291--0601624072

It has most of the features you'll want, ample power and can be used in a table. It is tempting to try to do everything with a freehand router, but it is FAR SAFER to use it in a table of some sort. Any router is a very dangerous tool if it goes out of control. A slip can cause a gash in whatever or whoever it touches.

Mounting it under something as simple as a sheet of plywood changes the risk because you're moving the workpiece against the protruding router bit. It is much easier to control your work that way and a huge number of woodworking operations are best and most precisely handled this way. One of our members will surely post a link to a number of PDFs on using the router safely and effectively. Please read them, regardless of which model you buy.

There are many posts here on building your own table, but summing it up, the minimum you need is a flat sheet of plywood set over saw horses or some other support, and a piece of straight lumber about 50mm x 100 mm, which you clamp in place so you can push your workpiece against it. You cut an opening in this fence for the bit to protrude.

If you use your router mainly in the table, I believe almost any of the ones listed will work, but we're pretty much Bosch folks in the USA--The company has earned our loyalty through high quality, good value and excellent customer service. But any one of those brands will serve you well. I'm not much of a fan of festool. They're wonderful tools, but priced out of my reach.

When you do the research, find out how well each model works in a table. They must be able to work upside down, and you must be able to lock the bit height solidly. Perhaps you can search for some reviews from fellow Brits.

The table saw, to my thinking, is the basic work horse of any shop, and you are lucky because I'm pretty sure the Bosch job site saw is available in the UK with the instant stop mechanism. Touch the blade and it instantly falls down without cutting off a finger or thumb. That is not yet available in the US. The Bosch 10 inch saw has a wide variety of desirable features, inluding the ability to use a dado stack (multiple blade sets that can cut a smooth bottom groove up to 18-19 mm wide). It is also made to pack away if space is a consideration. A good table saw with premium blade can handle cutting joints of many types. There are many European brands with which we are unfamiliar, and well regarded. Voltage differences are why the model numbers differ from our 110 v vs the 220 v standard in your country.

Do give careful consideration to mounting your router in the table, regardless of which you buy. You'll be safer and on the right track for maximum versatility.

And welcome to the Forum. We're an international lot and we all love to answer questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,459 Posts
Tom and I would disagree on the relative safety of freehand vs table mount. To say that table mount is to quote "it is FAR SAFER to use it in a table of some sort." is not terrible helpful.
Both methods have their advantages and this topic has been rehashed many times here.
Basically jobs like freehand sign making just can't be done on a table. Large planks or panels are difficult if not downright dangerous to manoeuver over a table mounted router.
Personally speaking I prefer to have both hands on the tool and the bit safely buried under the bottom plate.
To each their own, but having both options available makes a lot of sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
Hello N/A and welcome to forums..

I am hoping to choose my first router wisely and a machine that can be as much of an all-rounder as possible.
1½~2¼ hp fits this bill rather well... (1100~1600 watts)

I have been researching different brands and models and have narrowed it down to the following:

DeWalt DW625ekt
Makita RP2301fcxk
Festool OF1400
have you considered Bosch???...

the Festool OF1400 does cost double the others
Festool accessories costs will hurt your brain... and wallet...

Since I don't intend to buy many (no more than 2) routers
for that 2nd router a ¼'' colleted router will excel...
something in .75~1 HP range... (550~750 watts)

Amateur DIY'er and looking to get my first router.
Might be better than a very good idea for you to stop in at this link and do some reading...
 
  • Like
Reactions: britwood and Nickp

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Welcome to the forum. As you can see the opinions of what to use can be all over the place. What will work best for you is very dependant on you and the type of work. To know that one router likely is not the best choice for all types of work is very reasonable. I started with a Bosch 1617EVSPK that has both stationary and plunge bases. It's a 2.25 hp router with electronic variable speed control. When a load is applied the motor will do its best to maintain the speed as set which is very helpful. If you're not aware of this, bit size will determine the safe speed a bit should turn and deep cuts should be approached in steps. All this is covered in the material Stick has referenced. But as to Bosch, it may not be available to you in your location so finding a similar brand would be needed and that's where our UK members can help. Luckily for me I have Bosch to use and after the 1617EVSPK I also bought the smaller handheld Colt model which is for lighter duty routing tasks such as trim work and the like. It only accepts 1/4" bit shafts. It can be comfortably used with one hand but still requires respect. A good bit is sharp and turning very quickly. Proper cut direction, speed, and amount of cut is extremely important and you should always approach a cut with caution especially until you have become familiar with the tool. And then when you do use a larger cutter for the first time you may well be surprised so keep that in mind.

Having a router table, simple or elaborate is a very versatile tool. Allowing you to free your hands from the tool itself and hold the material either free hand or guided by a fence can make many tasks easier and safer. While not necessary to do router work, many who use a router table for the first time see a whole new method of routing open up. I know personally it made my life a lot easier but is not the answer to all routing by any means. There are taks you simply cannot do using a table. And one nice bonus for me was the dust collection I was able to benefit from when my table was connected to the DC system.

Again, welcome to the club...
 

·
Registered
Rick
Joined
·
17,592 Posts
Welcome to the forum N/a. As a Festool owner I wouldn’t spend the extra money on a Festool.
Same here . I have the Festool 1400 ,and although I love it, I’m not sure I’d buy it again if I started from scratch .
I’m all in now, so it’s kinda late . I can live with the weird handle, although I’d prefer them normal .
I think the handles designed that way if your pushing the router down it’s track , which I own a few
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I'm also in the UK and very new to routing. So new, I have bought a router and still not actually used it yet. The one I went for was chosen based on seeing online reviews on YouTube. Yet I see nobody here has recommended it; the Triton TRA001.
Here are the YouTube codes for the reviews. (I can't post URLs yet.)

NzXIgz6FH4s
ntFAiQcXogk

This is a heavy router, very powerful, which may be good if you're wanting to work hard woods. It's also excellent for height control.

Is this router worth Britwood also thinking of?
Have I bought the wrong machine?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,212 Posts
I also own the TRA001 and have it mounted in my table. It is too top heavy and too weighty for me to comfortably use it freehand, but I'm an old guy and find it hard to manage it safely freehand. I most often now use the small Bosch Colt for freehand tasks, and for heavier freehand work rely on my Bosch 1617, which for years served in my table. I have nothing but praise for the Triton TRA001 which will work well for most either freehand or in a table. At lease a couple of routers like the Triton require that you remove a long spring for table use, then reinsert it for freehand plunge work. I am able to leave it in the table.

As you can tell, there are a variety of opinions among members. Regarding table use vs. freehand, if there is a way to use the table rather than work freehand, I will always choose the table.

Router lifts are devices in which you mount the router, under the table, and that allow you to use a crank or key to raise or lower the bit from above the table. One advantage of the Triton is that it has a built in lift, which saves you the expense of a separate lift.

There are many twists and turns when selecting a router, including all the considerations posted so far. Of course, those of us in the USA don't really know the issues that apply in the UK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
I'm also in the UK and very new to routing. So new, I have bought a router and still not actually used it yet. The one I went for was chosen based on seeing online reviews on YouTube. Yet I see nobody here has recommended it; the Triton TRA001.
Here are the YouTube codes for the reviews. (I can't post URLs yet.)

NzXIgz6FH4s
ntFAiQcXogk

This is a heavy router, very powerful, which may be good if you're wanting to work hard woods. It's also excellent for height control.

Is this router worth Britwood also thinking of?
Have I bought the wrong machine?

You are absolutely right...the Triton is an excellent choice. Some will only use it in their table (removing the spring for ease of height control)...Others would use it as a powerful freehand plunge router. The job required of it would dictate its use. A gentleman I know used the Triton freehand to remodel his whole kitchen with raised panel doors...he did not have a table.

Maybe the way to look at it is to have a powerful router for a table, a lighter weight plunge router (1400-1600W) for medium freehand jobs (heavier edge profile cutting, signs) and a smaller trim router for freehanding things like smaller signs, light edge work and the like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Grangur

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Hi Brit and welcome. Make sure that any router you choose is compatible with your power system. Our standard outlet in North America is a single pole 120 volt, 60 cycle, 15 amp circuit whereas yours is 230 volt, 50 cycle, 7.5 amp, single pole. To run our models would require a stepdown transformer for you to use them. Some router makers have the same model numbers for both configurations and others, like Bosch and Hitachi, have a different number for each. Be sure what you are getting if ordering online.

Quite a few people who have owned a Festool router have said that the difference in price isn't justified. For the price of one Festool you could buy one very large router for heavy duty work like making raised panel doors and one small trim router for edge profiles and trimming high pressure counter top laminate.

What size is right for you depends on what type jobs you want to do with it. If you aren't sure then go at least about 1400 watts. Generally a larger router is fine for most jobs. I also recommend that it be a plunge type router. Certain jobs can't be done well or safely without one and a plunge will still do any job that a fixed base router will.
 
  • Like
Reactions: britwood

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you very much everyone for the very useful advice so far. :smile:

The Bosch router, model 1617 is a favorite around here, but is not offered in UK. The closest model there is the GMF 1600 CE Professional router.

Do give careful consideration to mounting your router in the table, regardless of which you buy. You'll be safer and on the right track for maximum versatility.

And welcome to the Forum. We're an international lot and we all love to answer questions.
It looks like Bosch Professional has quite a good reputation in the US which I wasn't aware of. From what I have seen, here in the UK Bosch is not that highly regarded and is rarely mentioned in forums (even the professional range). It actually has an even worse reputation when it comes to household appliances.


Brands such as Makita and DeWalt are at the top of the table closely followed by Metabo, Fein, Milwakee and a couple of others. Festool is also at the top but because of it being priced twice the others it is often out of reach for a lot of people.

Following recommendations here I have had a look at the Bosch GMF1600CE and it looks like a decent tool. Certainly with plenty of features and its design well thought of. The price seems to be above the Makita/Dewalt but below the Festool which is a good thing. I'm sure I would be able to pick one up, when a sale is on, for a decent price. Does the 1617evspk have more features than the 1600?

I also take on board everyone's advice regarding router table and it's certainly something that I was thinking about as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The table saw, to my thinking, is the basic work horse of any shop, and you are lucky because I'm pretty sure the Bosch job site saw is available in the UK with the instant stop mechanism. Touch the blade and it instantly falls down without cutting off a finger or thumb. That is not yet available in the US. The Bosch 10 inch saw has a wide variety of desirable features, inluding the ability to use a dado stack (multiple blade sets that can cut a smooth bottom groove up to 18-19 mm wide).
I'm going to start another thread about saw recommendations since I need one of those as well but, out of interest, are you talking about the Bosch GTS10J table saw?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,212 Posts
The GTS10J saw is rated much more hp than the popular 4100 in the USA. It looks different too, with its tubular construction. I think from a quick search that it benefits from running on 230v, which explains the power increase. Looks like an excellent saw with many of the 4100's best qualities, but more power. Not sure how to compare it other than that. One of the important things to look for is whether it will take a dado set, a stack of blades up to 19 mm thick for cutting grooves and dados and also for making lapped joints. I would probably spend considerable time reading reviews of the saws available in the UK, and seeing them in the shops before making a choice. The different models in different countries is a bit confusing. I am also quite surprised at the much higher prices (USD) in Europe vs here. It is nearly double on comparable tools. I can see why you are being quite careful in your selection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Thank you very much everyone for the very useful advice so far. :smile:

It looks like Bosch Professional has quite a good reputation in the US which I wasn't aware of. From what I have seen, here in the UK Bosch is not that highly regarded and is rarely mentioned in forums (even the professional range). It actually has an even worse reputation when it comes to household appliances.

Brands such as Makita and DeWalt are at the top of the table closely followed by Metabo, Fein, Milwakee and a couple of others. Festool is also at the top but because of it being priced twice the others it is often out of reach for a lot of people.
Hi britwood, I am from Australia and the Bosch here has a poor rating as well, we have the Bosch GOF 1600 which looks identical to the GMF 1600, a lot of people complain about premature failure and that the plunge system has runout or way too much play in it causing wobble because the right hand plunge pillar has a brass bushing and the left hand one a loose plastic/nylon one.

Makita is well recommended here.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top