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Table Mount Router Reccomendations


Mattia
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The title says it all, really. I'm likely heading stateside in a few weeks (nothing firm yet), and figured I might pick up a router to pop into the table. I was also pondering either a bosch or hitachi plunge/combo set, since one can never have too many routers, and the PC plunge setup doesn't look quite so solid, somehow....thoughts?

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The title says it all, really. I'm likely heading stateside in a few weeks (nothing firm yet), and figured I might pick up a router to pop into the table. I was also pondering either a bosch or hitachi plunge/combo set, since one can never have too many routers, and the PC plunge setup doesn't look quite so solid, somehow....thoughts?

Love my porter cable. I use it all the time in my table. I have a plunge Bosch which I also like a lot. The Porter Cable is a real workhorse though.

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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I've done a little more digging and reading (and more reading, and then a side order of reading), and I'm leaning slightly towards a Bosh 1617EVS dual base kit, just so I can have another plunge router again (and it gets better reviews re: plunge mechanism than the PC 690 bases do...I don't plunge much, just pickup cavities would be nice once in a while).

If I can get a good deal on a big huge PC 7518 speedmatic (3.25 HP monster) for the table, although the Tritons look good too, with their built-in above-the-table height adjustment. They do look far more plasticy and less sturdy than a huge hunk of Porter Cable metal, though. I have a sneaking suspicion it's massive overkill (3 HP, I mean), and that a second PC 690 will do just as well. Keep in mind I do not use raised panel bits or anything else that massive. I will be using 1/2" carbide mills and 2" cutting length straight bits, likely also as a 'router jointer' setup, and routing some hard-ish woods, but I'm still unsure as to whether double the price is worth it for extra power I don't know that I'll ever use. Then again, too much power is never going to be a problem, now is it?

Oh, and my flight's booked, so I'm definitely coming over soon. NYC, first two weeks of January, wa-hey!

Edited by Mattia
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On the big porter cable, or even the 690 with the non-plunge base- I used the big one in a router table once, and had a huge problem with dust getting packed in the spiral grooves inside the base. If you are thinking about either of these, get a plunge type, or remember to clean out the grooves frequently. The one I had got so jammed up I couldn't adjust the height anymore, or even get the motor out of the base to clean them. I never had this problem with my 690, even in a router table, just that big speedmatic.

Also a note on the horsepower- they say they are 3hp, but they rate high speed motors differently than normal ones. Even the biggest hand held routers draw only 15 amps at 120v. That's really only 1.25 hp at best. Granted it is 1.25hp at 20,000rpm, but keep in mind the smaller ones like the 690, and other routers in that range pull 11-13 amps, so it isn't as huge a difference as the nameplate HP ratings make it out to be. But yes, there is a noticable difference in power. I doubt you will need that extra power for what you are doing, but it's nice to have it available. :D

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That's my big concern re: the Speedmatic, and that's not the first time I've seen it voiced. On the other hand, I figure there must be some sort of way to get better dust collection/airflow going (have a big dust collector, after all), and a bit of wax/sealant should go a long way. Advantage to that unit, as I see it, is the fact it's a time tested design. Second choice will likely be the Triton, since most reviews are positive, seems to have great customer support, and is cheaper than the PC.

Still dithering about the plunge (have an old Bosch plunge that's OK, but doesn't have a 1/2" collet, which is my main beef with it. And it's got cracked housing, and generally stickyness issues...) Those hitachis look tempting, too....hmm.....

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I really like my Dewalt DW618B3 3 base router kit. Excellent quality all around and I've used it in a homemade router table.

Regards,

Robert

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I don't know which model it is off hand, but my friend has a Dewalt 2hp plunge router which I have used. I really like the depth adjustments on it a lot. They allow for a great deal of precicion, and easy to use. The Porter Cables I have used seem a bit clunky in comparison.

I also have the Makita 3612, and like it quite well. It has tons of power, and is real smooth running. I have used it under a table, but found it awkward to adjust.

I've heard great things about the Triton as well, and I would definitely consider it over the PC for table use. It just seems ( from what I can see ) that it is better suited for high precision router table use.

and a bit of wax/sealant should go a long way.

towards trapping more dust in the grooves, yes. :D

Best to keep them dry, and use a dry teflon type spray. Then just pull the motor out of the base frequently, and blow it out with air.

Edited by orgmorg
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Right. I've found a few great deals on the Triton online, so I'm thinking I'll go with that one. Going to ponder whether to get another plunge router or not (probably am, as I just noticed my Bosch plunge's collet wrench/threaded motor shaft housing has cracked, which I really don't feel comfortable with...)

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Holiday, no business for me!

I run US tools on various voltage converters, up to 2500 watts. Have two Porter Cables already, as fixed base routers are non-existant here. The madness of pricing here coupled with the weak dollar makes buying US tools extra attractive. I mean, I can get a 220 volt version of the Triton here, but it costs a good 60% more.

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Holiday, no business for me!

I run US tools on various voltage converters, up to 2500 watts. Have two Porter Cables already, as fixed base routers are non-existent here. The madness of pricing here coupled with the weak dollar makes buying US tools extra attractive. I mean, I can get a 220 volt version of the Triton here, but it costs a good 60% more.

I would just buy the biggest router I could afford, 3 1/2 HP VS plunge. If you already have a few smaller routers why buy anything else. Maybe some day you will need to make a cabinet door for all your new tools and for a large cabinet door bit set you'll need the extra power. Just make sure parts are available for whatever you buy. As long as you stick to the upper line of pro tools you should be fine, Triton seems expensive even here, But that 50% discount seems like a bargain. better hurry before the euro drops LOL

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Just FYI: I ended up ordering the big Triton from Woodcraft (214 dollars, shipped), and I'll probably get a Bosch fixed/plunge combo, as my current Bosch plunge (which is nice, but doesn't take 1/2" collect bits) seems to have a cracked motor shaft (threaded bit the collect is attached to), which is Of The Bad, like.

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Cool! let us know how you like it. That's one I have been interested in.

Just a side note Porter cable has been bought out by craftsmen--so new routers that bear the name pc....are just craftsmen

Black and Decker, actually. They bought Pentair's power tool division in 2004, which included Porter-Cable, Delta, Oldham, and a couple other entities. B+D also owns Dewalt.

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Just a side note Porter cable has been bought out by craftsmen--so new routers that bear the name pc....are just craftsmen

or might be mastercraft---either way they aren't pc anymore...if you can find one that is about 5 years old and running(well), grab it!

Craftsman is just a name stuck to any tool Sears tries to pass off as a real tool. In fact Rigid used to build all the hand tools for Sears, they wised up and started making better tools using their own name. I don't include the sockets and similar items in my distaste for sears just anything that uses a power cord or a battery. An example would be watch a million home improvement shows and find the one who uses Sears tools. It would be like asking a pro to sell out and recommend one; LOL. Even Bob Vila stuck to hand tools, smart man.

orgmorg pretty much summed up what the story is. Company's own many divisions and you cant compare one brand or division to another because they are all different. Black and Decker always owned the Dewalt line considered the pro line, even the upper end of Black and Decker is an inferior tool to any Dewalt. They are different tools different divisions and all moneys go to one big company.

What I wanted to say is let us know what you are putting in your egg nog, I would like to try some.

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The PC 7518 speedmatic is as good as it gets for a table-mounted router. I use mine regularly and love it. I do, however, use mine with a precision router lift, not the standard base.

Whatever you do, don't use a plunge base under a table. I haven't seen any plunge base yet that is sturdy enough for that job (or pretty much any other one either, IMO).

Good luck with the Triton.

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