Router Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

New poster here.

Going to replace my 20 year old Craftsman. I figure it's time for a real router. Probably going to go with a 2+ hp fixed base / plunge base combo kit.

Been reading all kinds of reviews. Can't decide which way to go. Porter-Cable is having recalls, Bosch 1617 gets rave reviews but I also read about switch problems and corrosion problems. DeWalt seems to be in the upper middle of the pack. Ridgid has just come out with what sounds like a great package but it's too new to have any meaningful feedback.

Please let me hear your opinions.

Many Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
Hi,

We have had a lot of people ask about this and if you do some seaching you will find that no one can really answer this for you. I ended up reading a lot of good things about the Bosch but when I went to actual handle them I found I personal didn't like the plunge base at all... enough so as to go looking in other directions. Now you will find people who like the bosch and the plunge base is just fine for them. I like the new Freud until I found it has the chuck/collet design I dislike.... The Porter Cable one I wanted was a bit more then I wanted to pay... and so on.

What you need to do is figure out what you want and don't want in a router then go to stores and handle them... you can always come home and search on-line for prices and other reviews even places like Amazon have them.

I personal like the Hitachi KM12VC (this is a kit with both bases and extras), I liked it so well I have now added two more to my collection (these were the M12VC). But again it is a personal thing and no matter who makes it or how much it costs if it doesn't fell right you will most likely be unhappy with it or learn to live with it until you get your next new router.

Here is how my quest went:
http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=1038

Good luck and happy shopping,

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,786 Posts
Smidgeon
Porter-Cable would be my pick hands down,they have been making routers for a long time and they got it down right.
I have 6 of them plus others and when I open the door to get router I always get the P.C.
They make many add on items for them unlike the others.

Just my 2 cents.
Bj :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
508 Posts
smidgeon said:
Hello All,

New poster here.

Going to replace my 20 year old Craftsman. I figure it's time for a real router. Probably going to go with a 2+ hp fixed base / plunge base combo kit.

Been reading all kinds of reviews. Can't decide which way to go. Porter-Cable is having recalls, Bosch 1617 gets rave reviews but I also read about switch problems and corrosion problems. DeWalt seems to be in the upper middle of the pack. Ridgid has just come out with what sounds like a great package but it's too new to have any meaningful feedback.

Please let me hear your opinions.

Many Thanks in advance.

Hello smidgeon, Welcome to the RouterForums :)

I have both the Bosch 1617 EVS Combo Kit and the 1619 EVS and like them both. But I cannot make the decision of which one you want or need. The best advice I can give is to go the Sears, Home Depot and Lowes and pick up the routers both the fixed and plunge bases and see what feels best in your hands. If it does not feel right then do not buy it or you will not like using the router. I made several trips to all 3 of the mentioned stores and drove my wife crazy till I decided on the Bosch 1617 EVS Combo kit, because it felt right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
My weapon of choice is the Bosch 1617... but not with the EVS(Electronic Variable Speed) I have a pair of them so one stays mounted in my table all the time, the other is ready to plunge away. This is not a new design. This model has been in production for almost 10 years. They suffered a batch of bad switches (which they replaced) which also made it into the Craftsman 26620 which is a Bosch built unit using a Craftsman base plate and with above the table depth control. My logic behind using the regular on/off switch version is a speed control is the weakest link in the router. It must handle loads of up to 15 amps in a 2 HP model. You are far better off using an aftermarket speed controller which is much larger and should last longer. (See the great deal on a speed controller in the bargin bin section!) The new Hitachi KM12 is their version of the 1617 design. It has a different feel than the Bosch and for my money they perform about the same. Its just a matter of which feels best in your hands. The PC 890 series is a bit more money than the others I have listed. It is a good machine too. Bad points for the Craftsman base plate which uses only Craftsman plastic guide bushings, the others use steel or brass(Prefered).
Rigid is made in China where labor costs are very low. It is a reasonable quality unit that should sell for a lot less than they charge! Everyone that has commented on owning a Dewalt has said nice things about them. Tough choice but it boils down to which feels best in your hands, after all... you are the one who will be using it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks to all for your advice. I guess as far as quality is concerned they are all good. I have been lurking in the big box stores trying their displays but I just can't seem to get a feel for them, their either bolted down so you can't pick them up or the leash is too short to really handle them. I think I will hang out for a while and look for the best buy. Thanks again everyone.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,437 Posts
Find a sales clerk, if they want to make a sale, they will allow you to hold one right out of the box. As everyone has stated, it has to be what feels right in your hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
Smidgeon, here are a couple more comments to help you with your decision. The Bosch 1617 and 1617EVS use the same base units, the switch type is the only difference. One real nice feature is the wooden knobs on the fixed base come off in a flash to make it easier for loading the router into a table while attached to a base plate. There are 3 rough position notches and a small micrometer type adjuster for fine tuning the height or depth of cut. A simple flip of the locking lever and you are ready to make the dust fly. Remember when the router is table mounted it will be upside down. Turn any router you consider over and see if you can make the adjustments with one hand. The Bosch units adjust so easily you do not need an above the table height adjuster. Bosch has their own quick loading guide collar design, but they are smart enough to know many people prefer using the PC style bushings. As a result they offer an adapter to use the PC style which works with the quick release. A quarter turn on the locking lever and you are free to remove the guide bushing from the router and trust me when I say it is much easier to get the knurled nut on the bushing tight when the guide is off of the router. All the listed manufacturers offer accessories such as guide fence attachments, circle jigs and guide bushings. Hope this helps a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Mike,

Thanks for the advice. Bosch seems to come out on top in most of the tool reviews I read. Now I'm thinkin about going for the Bosch 1619 3.5 hp plunge for hand routing and the 3.5 hp Milwaukee for the table. At 13 pounds the Bosch might be a little heavy but it sure feels good whe I grip it. What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
558 Posts
For hand held routing the 3 HP will get heavy in a hurry, A large table mounted and a smaller HP for portable routing is easier to deal with over the long haul.

Regards

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
Charles M said:
Ed,

Whose collet design do you prefer?
Hi,

The feature names vary but any one that has a chuck/collet that releases the bit when the nut is first loosened (and does not require to keep turning until a second tight spot is found then once past that the bit is ready to be removed).

The (two) Porter Cable 690's I have have and my newer (three) Hitachi routers have the feature I like, but different designs. I'm sure other brands also have this feature but I don't own any of them so I can't offer names

My (three) sears routers are the ones that gave me enough experence to know what I like and what I don't with the chuck/collet designs, they all have the design I don't like.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Ed,

I believe they all work basically the same but some have less travel before releasing the bit than others. Ours do, indeed, have some travel. I'll do a little more research and post it back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
i have used a ryobi in my router table for sopme years now and have had no problems with it, in fact, i am thinking of getting a new plunge router and am thinking i will go with ryobi again...i also like the fact they use only one wrench not the usual two.i too have looked at many but as i am on a very limited budget i find ryobi is my best bet but it is really up to you....go to home depot and ask to touch, feel and heft their ryobis, but the final decision is really up to you...good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
The Ryobi really is designed differently than most of the other routers we have mentioned. The bearings and motor dictate a much shorter life span and no repair, just replacement. That being said I will vouch for the fact that you can get great results with most any router and given proper care they all will last a reasonable amount of time. My first router was a Craftsman model built by Ryobi and I owned it for many years. It worked fine when I sold it last year. But there is no comparison between that router and my Bosch 1617. Instead of an awkward ring with ball bearings that liked to fall out for height adjustment, a simple 3 notch rough positioning system with a micrometer for fine adjustment and a locking lever. Much better balance, more power, easier to use guide bushings made of metal instead of plastic... the list goes on. The ability to switch between the fixed and plunge base alone would be enough reason for me to go with the Bosch.
Smidgeon, I do the bulk of my routing with the Bosch 1617 (2-1/4 HP). I have the fixed base table mounted and the plunge base for free hand work. In the case of panel raising I lift my bosch out of my table and drop in my PC 7518 (3-1/2 HP). Both are mounted on Rousseau mounting plates so the switch takes seconds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Mike,

You just about have me convinced. Right now I'm looking at a reconditioned Bosch 1613EVS for freehand, one of the big ones for the table and maybe the Bosch Colt.
Keep workin' on me and I'll end up with the 1617 yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
Unless you intend to be building a ton of raised panel doors using the 3-1/2" bits then the 1617 has plenty of power for about anything you would tackle. Keep in mind that if you use a verticle panel raising bit it is only about 1-1/2" diameter and does not require as much power or reduced speed like the horizontal panel raising bits do. Did I mention that vertical bits also cost a lot less than horizontal bits?
I mentioned that I also own a PC 7518 3-1/2 HP router. The sad truth of the matter is I have never needed to use it for any of my projects. I do use it on heavier routing jobs but the Bosch 1617 has never let me down. Rather than buying two routers now I would get one of the combo kits and invest in a few high quality bits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
Bosch is making their tools in Malaysia, DeWalt in Mexico and Hitachi is not Japanese and porter cable some other third world. The point is, they are not as good as they used to be but still high priced. All things being equal or in this case not made in USA or Germany then the best deal on combo is Rigid. A friend just got one and it’s dead on accurate. Can’t say that for Bosch and DeWalt any more.
http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Heavy-Duty-EVS-2-14-Peak-HP-Router-Combo/index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
Router is still my name said:
Bosch is making their tools in Malaysia, DeWalt in Mexico and Hitachi is not Japanese and porter cable some other third world. The point is, they are not as good as they used to be but still high priced. All things being equal or in this case not made in USA or Germany then the best deal on combo is Rigid. A friend just got one and it’s dead on accurate. Can’t say that for Bosch and DeWalt any more.
http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Heavy-Duty-EVS-2-14-Peak-HP-Router-Combo/index.html
HuH?

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,921 Posts
Router, Rigid is made in China to standards higher than Harbor Freights Chicago electric tool line. This being the case they should cost more than Chicago tools but still less than any other brand. Rigid is always among the most expensive. Home Depot is the main distributor but others are coming online now. I own a Rockwell router. It is almost 50 years old and has seen use in a job shop for pattern making, was installed onto a custom built arm and functions as an overarm or pin router. When Rockwell split into Stationary(Delta) and hand tools(Porter Cable) this router design wore the PC name and I can walk into any PC parts counter and purchase any repair part needed.(none to date) The Bosch 1617 design is almost 11 years old now and still top rated. I believe you will find that it is the best selling router in the world. The new Hitachi is their version of the 1617 design with some improvements; quieter, above the table height adjustment and lighter. DeWalt is the professional version of Black & Decker power tools. More power, rugged and built with contractors in mind. All of these are quality tools. To this list you can add Makita, Freud, Metabo, Fein, Milwaukee, Trend and Triton. All of these tools are accurate if set up properly. All of these tools have good parts distribution centers. The link you posted shows a chinese imitation of the Bosch 1617 design. It appears to be identical to the Bosch built Craftsman 26620 router. Since this is built in China it should retail for under $100, don't hold your breath.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top