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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!
Seems like I'm ready for my second router and after reading some reviews, I've narrowed down my choices to:
1- Bosch (1617evspk) 2.25 HP Combo router kit $209.00 at Lowe's
2-Craftsman 17543 11 amp 2 hp Corded Fixed and Plunge Base Soft Start Router with Electronic Feedback $99.00 at Sears
3-Craftsman Professional 28084 12.5 amp Corded Fixed/Plunge D-Handle Combination Router $149.00 at Sears
I don't have much use for the D-Handle, at least for now, I think, since I'm mostly making speaker cabinets, (dovetail, edges, circle cut) expecting to get into kitchen cabinets when I get more experienced.
I know the prices are all over the place, and it would be nice to save $, as long as I don't sacrifice quality and performance. I don't have a lot of experience with routers, I've been using mine (Harbour Freight 1-1/2 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router) for only a few months now.
Can somebody direct me to the better choice?
Thanks
 

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Hi Anthony:

Welcome to the forums!

The Bosch 1617EVSPK usually gets high ratings from editors and users alike. It is a solid tool, reliable and very usable. I have one and don't regret buying it.

Like you, I don't have much (any) use for the D-handle and the lack of having one hasn't caused any problems.

As for the two Craftsman routers you listed, I don't know about them.

Cassandra
 

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not replying to you question but:
Y looking for a 2hp if you look for "expecting to get into kitchen cabinets when I get more experienced."

The only major raison is if you wonna use it "free hands".

Buy yourself a 3 hp. Perso I am a Triton lover...

My 2 cents
Ray
 

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Hi

I would suggest you get the Professional 28084, you can use the D-Handle base in the router table if you want to, than you have a plunge base and a fix base for hand router jobs, it comes with a built in lift on all 3 bases, the red top router is a great router and that's a great price :) you can almost say you get 3 routers for one low price...take the 60.oo you can save and pickup some router bits if you are set on putting out 200.oo plus for a router..the Bosch as small down fall if you want to use brass guides down the road..other than that it's a good router..but it's a bit high in price..

Sears: Appliances, Tools, Electronics, Apparel and more from Craftsman, Kenmore, Diehard and other Leading Brands


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Hi there!
Seems like I'm ready for my second router and after reading some reviews, I've narrowed down my choices to:
1- Bosch (1617evspk) 2.25 HP Combo router kit $209.00 at Lowe's
2-Craftsman 17543 11 amp 2 hp Corded Fixed and Plunge Base Soft Start Router with Electronic Feedback $99.00 at Sears
3-Craftsman Professional 28084 12.5 amp Corded Fixed/Plunge D-Handle Combination Router $149.00 at Sears
I don't have much use for the D-Handle, at least for now, I think, since I'm mostly making speaker cabinets, (dovetail, edges, circle cut) expecting to get into kitchen cabinets when I get more experienced.
I know the prices are all over the place, and it would be nice to save $, as long as I don't sacrifice quality and performance. I don't have a lot of experience with routers, I've been using mine (Harbour Freight 1-1/2 HP Variable Speed Plunge Router) for only a few months now.
Can somebody direct me to the better choice?
Thanks
 

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I have the Bosch and it's a good router but I have to agree that it's difficult to use a guide bushing on it. The center hole in the metal base is too small and when using PC style bushings, the adapter makes it even smaller

The $99 Craftsman looks like a decent router in the picture. One thing I noticed is that it looks like the plunge base has a spring on one side only but this may not be bad. the 1617 plunge base also has a spring on just one side. The $149 ("Red Top") Craftsman looks like it has a spring on each side. This may make the plunge mechanism smoother.

Both Craftsman routers have la arge opening in the base and either might be better for guide bushing use. They also both have a removeable motor (unlike some Craftsman models). The removeable motor gives you more options should you decide to buy/build a router table.

When I bought the Bosch, I was looking for a good plunge router. I inspected as many brands as I could in person and the Bosch seemed to have the smoothest plunge mechanism and just felt like a better design. The guide bushing thing is an issue but it's not too bad.

If you can actually inspect each of the roputers in person, I would recommend doing so.

Also, I don't know about these 2 Craftsman routers but, depending on the router plunge base, the locking mechanism works differently. On the Bosch 1617, the plunge base is always locked and the lever releases it. In use, you would:

1. Pull the lever.
2. Plunge the router.
3. Release the lever (locking the router in position).
4. Make your cut.
5. Pull the lever.
6. Raise the router.

It becomes quite natural.

I also have an Craftsman plunge router that has a mechanism that is always unlocked and pulling the plunge lever locks it. Using it would go something like:

1. Plunge the router.
2. Pull the lever (locking the router in position).
3. Make your cut.
4. Release the lever.
5. Raise the router.

This would work just as well, as long as the locking feature is smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for all your input. I guess I'll take some time today to visit the stores and closely inspect each of those routers, you all make great points, and one thing I'm noticing is that you can never have too many routers, lol. It looks that which ever I chose of those 3, it wouldn't be terribly wrong I guess. Thank you, guys.
 

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A couple things I forgot. The $99 Craftsman has a light (can be handy); the other 2 don't. Both Craftsman have shaft locks and require just one wrench to tighten/loosen collet. This is a personal preference. i find it easier to use 2 wrenches. Two wrenches allows me to leverage one against the other like a pair of pliers.
 

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I have had the Bosch 1617 for over 5 years now, and have been very satisfied with it. I have been thinking about getting a second one.
Hi Mike:

We're on the same wavelength. Now that I have a router table, in which my 1617EVSPK router spends most of its time, a second 1617EVSPK is looking good for free-hand work.
Cassandra
 

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Hi

Just a add on Note,,,both Craftsman routers have work lights :) bright LED's in the motor head..plus a light showing the power cord is in the outlet..and is hot..just a safety item telling you to unplug b/4 working on the router...just in case you forgot to.

One more Note...the Craftsman 17543 has 3/8" diam.holes for the edge guide and the Craftsman Professional 28084 has 5/16" diam.holes for the edge guide, that's why I use the 17543 for my ski jigs..bit less power than the 28084 but you don't need a tank for the ski jigs but the bigger the hole the better... :)


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A couple things I forgot. The $99 Craftsman has a light (can be handy); the other 2 don't. Both Craftsman have shaft locks and require just one wrench to tighten/loosen collet. This is a personal preference. i find it easier to use 2 wrenches. Two wrenches allows me to leverage one against the other like a pair of pliers.
 

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I like the dust port on the Craftsman, And the router is easy to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went ahead an got the Craftsman 17543, it's the cheaper one, since they have a good return policy, I thought I would try it and then return it if I didn't like it. Well, I tried cutting a dovetail, and I'm not very happy with the adjustment on the fixed base, the first one I cut the bit was set up at the right depth, but as I proceeded, it started going deeper and deeper, by about 1/16, which in dovetail work means a lot. Seems like the collet was not tight enough, and the bit moved out of place, so i tried again, even thought I'm sure I had it very tight the first time. Second time the bit stays in place, but then I had to pull the motor, out of the base, clean up, because the mechanism got stuck, put it back in, got to lower it to the right depth, but still, not too happy the way the adjustment works. I'm gonna return it and try something else next, I was looking at a Porter Cable they have for 149.00, which seems to have a different mechanism to adjust the depth of cut. It's a spiral groove on the body of the motor, and my priority is extremely precise depth of cut, so I'll give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Porter Cable 9690LR 1-3/4 Peak HP Router. This is the one I'm thinking of getting instead, less HP, but I think it might be better for dovetail work. If I need a more powerful one in the future, I'll add another one, I guess.
 

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Hi

I would suggest you get the Professional 28084, you can use the D-Handle base in the router table if you want to, than you have a plunge base and a fix base for hand router jobs, it comes with a built in lift on all 3 bases, the red top router is a great router and that's a great price :) you can almost say you get 3 routers for one low price...take the 60.oo you can save and pickup some router bits if you are set on putting out 200.oo plus for a router..the Bosch as small down fall if you want to use brass guides down the road..other than that it's a good router..but it's a bit high in price..

Sears: Appliances, Tools, Electronics, Apparel and more from Craftsman, Kenmore, Diehard and other Leading Brands


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Who makes the red top routers for Sears? Thanks
 

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Hi anthony

I love the PC also and I have many of them but you want one with the VS built in. you don't want to cook your bits plus the soft start is nice on the dovetail fixtures, plus you want a easy way to suck up the dust from the fixture..

single speed motor
Amazon.com: Porter-Cable 9690LR 11 Amp 1-3/4-Horsepower Fixed Base Router with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets: Home Improvement

Variable-speed control feature (10,000 - 23,000 rpm)
Amazon.com: Porter-Cable 895PK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Fixed and Plunge Base: Home Improvement

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Porter Cable 9690LR 1-3/4 Peak HP Router. This is the one I'm thinking of getting instead, less HP, but I think it might be better for dovetail work. If I need a more powerful one in the future, I'll add another one, I guess.
 

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Another vote for the Bosch. A very good router and I personally like the guide bushings over the PC guide bushings. With the Bosch, you just push a lever and drop it in. No messing with the lock nut, or having it come loose if you didn't lock it down tight enough. Had that happen to me once, nothing like looking at your work wondering why the wood shavings look like brass....

Rick in Pittsburgh
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, I finally tried the Porter Cable: It was very easy to change bits with 2 wrenches that are included, and adjusting the depth of cut couldn't be any better, and also very accurate, I know it lacks tons of other features, but I really needed a reliable tool for cutting dovetails, and I found it.
 

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i have the 1617evs and I've replaced the switch twice, but it's a great machine. it stays in the verticle table mostly and I thought of getting a second one but I was talked into the "dewalt 618b3". I have the fixed base in a horizontal table and keep the plunge and D-handle for free-hand stuff.
 
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