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Good Stable Router?


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Sorry if this has been asked before... But can you guys give some recommendations for some routers?

Mine has this nasty habit of letting the bit slowly slide out of the collet so I cant possibly make a decent even cut to a specific depth and since I just got a bench planer so I can finally continue with my builds... This is holding me back.

Just need a decent router so I can continue,

Thanks guys!

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Maybe buy a better collet?

The collet on my router has destroyed four guitars now. I did some research and found it was a common problem and for only $22 plus $8 post I could buy a much better collet that will actually hold the router bit.

I have done just that. Much cheaper than a new router.

I also found many people confuse a 6mm collet with a 1/4" collet as they look very similar and thus can also cause slippage.

I'll post a link for the collet I bough, I'll have to hunt for it. Their service was quick

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I was looking at Bosch as a option... But it's difficult to choose when most reviews are done by odd-job DIYer's where their use doesn't matter if it slips a little because usually it's straight through cuts or for truing edges... But as you're a guitar maker, I'm assuming you find the Bosch accurate enough for precision jobs?

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Unfortunately Porter Cable are 110V products and that would mean lugging a transformer around with me wherever I needed to use it... And those things aren't light!

I really need a 240V tool, shame though since the reviews on Porter Cable stuff isn't bad at all... :(

Ah! I missed your location. Across the Big Pond. :)
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  1. Bosch 1617EVS dual kit base is a great buy. The European equivalent (newer model, similar) appears to be the GOF GMF1600. Much more expensive than the US version (as always), and stay away from any green Bosch tools. Blue or bust. The Bosch colt palm router is also great for smaller work.
  2. Triton makes great routers

Having noted all this, all my current routers are 110v US machines, because the price differential at the time between buying US tools and running a transformer was huge. Little less now, due to exchange rates, but still significant.

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Festool baby, all day long. OF 1400 for smaller work and OF 2200 for tough use (I think I got the model numbers right...). They are a bit pricy, but part of a system (priceless if you need that) and extremly well buildt. Generally; Stay away from all cheep machines. As soon as a low quality router ruin a piece of work it will become extremely expensive.

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While I was routing today I snapped a pic of the old and new collet.

The small one is the original triton collet. Evil, untrustable. Has killed four of my guitars.

The large one is the Grifkins one I linked you to. It sits a couple milimeters outside the chuck of my router, but I trust it. I now feel like I can route and know the bit will be where I clamped it whenI've finished.

A note on Triton routers (as I saw them mentioned above) - my current router is a triton. Their larger model. It was great when it was new. But after a couple years hard work, the speed selector no longer stays where its adjusted to. I have to tape it in place. Sometimes I cannot wind the guard all the way up to the lock position so it's a pain in the butt to get the bit out at times. Like I said, new = great, doesnt wear well. Next router I buy will probably be a Makita.


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I have a Makita router (the previous model to the current RP1800) which I've always been really happy with. Never missed a beat.

Also have a cheapie Maktec (Makita budget version of the above) which has been surprisingly good for the money. I keep it permanently set up as my makeshift table router.

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True. Go up in the price range and you see some major realisable improvements in quality. At the bottom end, the best you can do is get your hands on the router and check for play in the structure when locked down. Wham it with your palm a few times and see how sturdy it is. If your collet is giving you troubles, check the internal surfaces with a maglite or whatever as scoring and other damage can cause slippage and also damage your bits. Clean the bit shafts and collets regularly as pitch from wood can collect and attract dirt reducing traction between the contacting surfaces.

Easiest way to calculate this out in your head is to factor in how many workpieces your cheap tools or components are wrecking or causing you to have to fix or bodge, add in the wasted time and you soon see the cash to justify a router costing 2-3 times as much as a cheap DIY router. I cringe when allowing a cheap wood destroyer work in close proximity to a workpiece with a high pocket value.

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I agree with what prostheta says above.

At the time I went in to buy the makita router and the sales guy talked me into the more powerful triton. It had more features. I should have got the makita.

The triton I have is the 2000w which cost me about $380 from memory. A similar size makita is around $700.00 - you'll find they're much cheaper in USA

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  • 3 weeks later...


can anyone explain?

Yeah, mine's a 1617EVS and it is smooth and powereful. I've never had any slippage or vibration from it at all. I've got all the confidence in the world in it.


Porter Cable, Bosch, Makita and Festool are really the top names in routers, and it does not pay to cheap out on such an important tool.

The OP says he ruined four guitars due to his slipping collett.

At what cost?

Add this to the price of your router and see how much closer you are to a Bosch 1617 EVS.

I'll bet you are getting close!

Now a new router will run the price of the old router plus the four ruined guitars, plus the cost of the new piece of kit.

Where is the economy in that?

Edited by headstack
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