Kreg Owners' Community

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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Steve,

PC (Porter-Cable) makes a nice palm router, but it doesn't offer the features as the Bosch Colt.

If one needs an inexpensive hand-held trim router, that is cordless (battery operated), 

Ryobi offers a good one.

It's a basic single-speed router---with no fancy frills.

You can't go wrong for the price.

I invested in one, some time ago (shortly after it came on the market)---

needed it for some exterior finish work---it worked out great.

Never had an issue with it.

Easy one-hand operation. 

Quick-change bit feature, using one wrench.

The cordless feature comes in very handy---

I don't have to drag around a power cord all over the job site.

Easy to make depth adjustments---using the Kreg set-up gauges for accurate set-ups.

I'd keep the collet wrench along with a small selection of router bits in a small plano tackle box, and the Kreg set-up gauges stored in my pouched apron, for ready access.

It sufficed nicely for making rapid plunge cuts and some simple mortise and tenons.

Just mark the desired lines, adjust the cutting bit, and cut-away. 

This tool comes in very handy for many routing uses.

It can also be used, in the shop, for trimming and the like.

Use a straight edge to make straight line cuts.
Handy for free-hand cutting and rapid removal.

Works For Me.

You might consider the following link and look into there refurbished tools .Warranty is pretty good also

http://www.cpooutlets.com/factory-reconditioned/factory-recondition...

Steve,

I purchased the Bosch 1617evspk about a year ago, and on the whole, I have been pleased.  The Bosch had the power and features that I was looking for, the reviews were generally positive, and the price was right.  All of the routers in its class had similar features, but I liked that the Bosch's fixed base could be fine-adjusted from above the router table should you choose to use it in that capacity.  It is not nearly as robust as a dedicated router lift, but it beats fumbling under the router table to adjust the bit height.

Two things to consider:

1) The 1617 had problems with the on off switch since Bosch didn't originally have a sealed switch on the unit.  Sure enough, after about six months of DIY level work, the power cut out.  It was under warranty and Bosch was very fast on the switch replacement and turnaround.  Regardless, I was surprised that Bosch would not have a sealed switch on a tool that creates so much dust (without dust collection unless you buy it as an accessory).

2) If you intend to use guide bushings, the industry standard Porter Cable bushings will not fit the Bosch subbase without an adapter. 

Since the switch replacement, it's been running like a dream, and the dust collection accessories are pretty good.  I have yet to find a job that it could not handle.

Hope the brain thaws out soon.  Good luck with the purchase!

OK I've been researching for a few days now and I have narrowed my choice(s) down.  I seriously considered the Bosch 1617, the Porter Cable 895, and the Dewalt 618.  Here's what I've come up with .......

  1. Bosch doesn't use "standard" base plate (could make for difficulty down the road).
  2. Porter Cable seems to have too many poor reviews with "slippage" as the major complaint.
  3. The Dewalt has mostly good reviews.  I did see a few that complained about parts being missing upon delivery, but that can easily be overcome.

As you can probably guess, I am leaning heavily towards the Dewalt.  Given this, I welcome any further suggestions/recommendations from you folks.  I haven't yet pulled the trigger on the purchase, but I'm very close.  Thanks to all who have responded up till now.  I appreciate your comments and ideas.

p.s.  to Stephen .......... Yes, the brain seems to have thawed!!!!!!!!

Steve,

Hopefully, some of the info, presented herein, will clear things up a bit.

1. Please define what's a ''standard'' baseplate''.

Every OEM has their own base plate design.

Some are interchangeable with one another.

Some OEM router base models may require an adapter to accommodate a bushing, or the like, that is made by another OEM and/or supplier.

Some base plates will need to have additional holes added, so to facilitate the router base BC mtg holes of a different OEM router.

Adding holes is a simple task to accomplish, either by a machinist or a person knowing how to add the applicable holes in plastics and metals.

Base plates for router tables vary.  Some base plates, contain multiple bolt-hole patterns to facilitate different OEM routers.

 

I have a variety of different OEM routers. 

Some are interchangeable---some need to have additional holes added in the base plate, to accommodate the applicable router.

 

If one is looking for ‘’one’’ base plate to ''fill-all''---

It isn’t there.

We need to adapt.

 

2.  Please define ''router slippage'', you've heard or read about.

Where does the slippage occur?

Are you referring to ‘’bit slippage’’ ?

Bit slippage can occur with any router, when and if:

  1. The collet is dirty---(residue in the chuck---sawdust, rust, or the like).  

Clean out the collet, seat and threads with a brass bristle brush, like the type used for cleaning guns.  Remove dust particles, by wiping clean with a solvent dampened cloth.  Blow-it clean, using compressed air.

  1. Rust spots, dirt, scratches or galls on the bit shank.  Clean the bit shank---remove any ‘’high spots’’, nicks, scratches, and the like, use fine sandpaper and remove any remaining residue---wipe it clean.
  2. Apply a thin film of rust preventive material to the collet chuck and bit shank.  (I use a product offered by GIBBS).
  3. The bit locking nuts must be tight---firmly seated.
  4. Insert the router bit, ‘til it bottoms out, then lift the bit up 1/8’’.  (Bottoming the router bit shank into the chuck, may contribute to slippage).  (I prefer to use the ‘’two-wrench’’ system when locking the bit into the collet).

 

When performing the above tasks, I get NO slippage---none, zilch, nada.

I make it standard practice to inspect and clean my tools, before putting them away. 

( I witness some who are careless with their tools).

 

Bit storage is very important.  Store each router bit in its own individual container, so as to prevent the cutting edges from becoming damages.  (carbide tipped cutters can get easily damaged).

(I store each bit in a clear soft plastic tube--- (soft flexible tubing available in plumbing supply stores)---of adequate size to keep the bit snug in the tube).

For larger size bits, that won’t fit into those plastic tubes, I use a suitable plastic container, so the entire bit and cutters are protected.  Containers are available with removable top and bottom covers, either friction fit or screw-on.

 

Bits can also be stored in a suitable ‘’bit holder’’ fitted in a drawer of a router cabinet. 

Some router cabinets offer storage drawers.  Bit holders are available from some router bit suppliers---wood or firm foam material.

 

The router depth-lock clamping mechanism must be ‘’tight’’.  (vertical slippage can occur if the clamping is not tight).

Many customer complaints are generally the result of misuse or abuse, by the uniformed or misinformed.

Many don’t understand the basic mechanics and principles.

I’ve learned that some, who register complaints, are new to the applicable tool/not familiar with the tool.

Some have not used the tool long enough to give an accurate or reliable ‘’product review’’.

 

Keep in mind, future product service, for the applicable tool(s). 

Is service and/or replacement parts readily available?

Turn-around time?

Do you have to send the tool in for service, or can you take-it-in for service ?

HI Steve, nothing wrong with the Bosch, likely the highest regarded machine on many forums. For a starter machine though, I would recommend looking into the Craftsman model 27683.

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-12-amp-2-hp-fixed-plunge-base-router...

At little more than half the cost of the Bosch, the fit and finish isn't quite as nice but has all the functionality needed, including above table adjustments should you mount the fixed base in a table.

 

 

Steve,

I second the Bosch recommendations.  The quality of DeWalt, P-C, and Sears have slowly declined over the years, and I won't buy them anymore.  I have the Bosch 1613aEVS plunge router and the 1617EVSTB kit with fixed base and table mount base.  BTW, Bosch does have dust extraction hoods which can mount above or below the base depending on the application.  I have them, and they do cut down on the mess.

If this is your first router, I agree with Ken's suggestion to look at the Bosch Colt.  Smaller is better if you are just starting out.  And CPO Tools (new or refurbished) is a great place to buy.

Bosch switch problems, from long ago, were the result of sawdust getting into the switch.

Problem solved---the router now features an enclosed switch.

Most operators never cleaned the sawdust from their machines.

Some don't do any user maintenance on their equipment and tools, then they complain of a defective product.

I have blown air into all tools to clean up after every usage but now instead of blowing all dust further into tool I hook up my shop vac and suck it out. Makes more sense then packing in more dust

I've found a vac inadequate to suck-up all the sawdust particles from some areas or crevices in machines, or the like.

 

Using small crevice tools is necessary for some suck-up jobs.

 

When using an air compressor, sawdust must to expelled outward from the machine, 

so as to avoid getting the dust particles embedded deeper into the machine components.

The use of a long nozzle is essential for some cleaning tasks.  (long nozzles can be obtained from an auto parts store.  They are common in the automotive service business).

 

Router motors are designed with opening in the ends, to allow for air-flow.

Air enters the bell end and exits the shaft end.

 

Caution must taken, so that small objects, don’t fall down into the motor shaft end. 

This is most prevalent when the router is installed in a router table---the area around the motor shaft has large openings, that will permit the entrance of small foreign materials. 

If a small screw, or the like, is allowed to fall into the area, remove the entire motor a get it out.  If it’s left in there, and power is restored to the machine, it may cause permanent damage to the motor.

 

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