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Folks,

I am finally ready to purchase my first router.  I have to do a laminate trim (for my new table saw extension) and I haven't got a router.  I know that a trim router would be sufficient for this job.  However, if I'm going to buy a router I may as well buy a "full size" one that can be used for other routing tasks later on.

I need suggestions (and hopefully reasons) for which model to buy.  I have looked and am leaning towards the Bosch 1617EVSPK which would give me a fixed as well as a plunge router.  About the only feature this unit doesn't seem to have is dust collection.  I'd love to hear what others think and why.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Hello Steve; The Bosch router that you mention is a good one, however there are any number of good routers on the market today. About three years ago, I did a lot of research on routers and bought a Freud FT1700VCE that I put on my Kregg router table. About a year and a half ago I looked for a second router and though I took a long look at the Bosch router, I bought a Hitachi M12VE. Hitachi builds very good tools, but so do most of the other manufacturers. The M12VE is a 3 1/2 hp with no shortage of power, and the price was right, about $200.00. Do your on line research, take a long look at the Dewalts, the Porter Cable, Triton, the Frueds and the Hitachi, and then buy the one that you like best.

Hi steve i have a triton and about to buy my second for hand held work [ the 1400 watt model ] Ihave the 2100 watt model in my kreg router table.

Kenny & Michael .....

I see both of your replies to my query.  I am following your instructions and am LOOKING at several more routers than I had been.  You know the saying " this is getting to be TMI " (too much information)  I'm starting to get brain freeze!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for taking the time to respond.  I'm sure something good will come of all this

(hopefully s o o n).

Steve, 

For an all-around router, I like my PC 890 series (2-1/4 HP). 

Fixed base and plunge base.

Several accessories are readily available and easy to obtain. 

A few other things to keep-in-mind.

Peruse the various routers.

Pick them up and handle them.

The model you select needs to be comfortable to handle and operate, when in various body positions; such as standing, bending over, sitting and kneeling, just to name a few.

The power on-off switch should be in a readily accessible position so that you can shut the power off

without removing your hands from the routers grip.

Look closely at the plunge base style(s)---they need to function fluidly, when in various body positions.

Thanks Ken.  Excellent points you brought up.

Steve, 

Upon perusing several routers, back when...., I based my selection of the PC 890, on the 

info presented therein.

http://www.portercable.com/aboutus/News.aspx?BlockID=a7e68040-7ae9-...

I've got the DeWALT 611. It's a smaller router but has a 1 & 1/4 hp motor and does a fine job with dados, edge trimming, and sign making, and has 2 LED's to light up your work. It comes with a plunge and fixed base. 

You might also look at the Triton routers Kreg sells now.

Whatever you get, make sure to get the adaptor to attach it to your shopvac. It makes a world of difference.

Good luck,

Jason

Upon review of small hand-held trim routers,

my top choice is the Bosch Colt, VS 1HP model.

It's nice and compact, and easy to maneuver.

Several types of routing operations can be performed with just one hand.

A plunge base is now available for this unit---(became available in Nov '12). 

The micro-depth adjusting feature is easy to access, and dial-in for whisker-thin cuts.  

Since acquiring the plunge base, I now use the Bosch Colt most often, for all my free-hand routing, as well as several other routing operations, when smaller work-pieces are being machined, using the smaller cutting bits.

Rockler offers a nice compact portable trim-router table, that is a great asset.

The base plate fits directly on the Bosch Colt.

This is one very useful and handy power tool, for on-the-go and job-site uses, when a smaller size router is more appropriate.

Check out the nice features this table offers.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=30716&site=ROCKLER

Trim Router Table

Steve, I agree with Ken as far as the pc 890 series router goes, I have the 893pk combo kit that I purchased another fixed base for, I have one fixed base that stays mounted in my router table. This way I can switch out the router motor without the hassles of removing the base from the table. The only problem I have had with this set up is that you have to make sure you keep the sawdust out of the height adjuster.
 
Ken Darga said:

Steve, 

For an all-around router, I like my PC 890 series (2-1/4 HP). 

Fixed base and plunge base.

Several accessories are readily available and easy to obtain. 

I use compressed air, compressor with small tip---

blow-out the sawdust after each use, at the end of the day, before closing shop.

PS---I make in habit, to clean my tools before putting them away.

If a chisel needs honing, and I don't have time to do it right away, I place it a readily accessible visible location, 

so when returning to the shop, it's out there as a reminder.

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