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My old (circa 1982) Craftsman 1.25 HP router would not hold a large (3/4" straight @ 1/8" depth) bit securely so I did some homework and picked up the DeWalt DW618PK router. The DW618 is a 2.25 HP variable speed router with 1/2" collet.  The PK indicates that it comes with both a fixed base and a plunge base and a nice soft case to carry everything. 

My  first use was cutting some 3/4" dadoes in a work bench top to install some T-track. I was able to set the depth stop on the plunge base for both passes (one at 1/8" and the other at full depth of the track.)  The router handled it all with no problems.  The router has "soft start", so there was no jerking when power was applied.  When the router came up to speed, I was impressed with how smooth it was.  The old Craftsman was fairly smooth - or I should say that I never felt vibration from it unless I was doing a lot of routing.  The DW618 is so much smoother, I started looking for stuff to route.  

The plunge base has an innovative dust collection connection that goes through the spring side of the base and will connect via 1.5" vacuum connection.  It is nice in that it keeps the hose out of the way, but it isn't quite as effective as the port on my Blue Hawk router.

I did consider 2 other routers before I selected the DeWalt. The handles on the DeWalt bases were more comfortable than those on the bases for Bosch 1617EVSPK, and the overall package was a better value to me than the Porter Cable 892 (which only had a fixed base and was at the same price point as the other 2).

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Comment by ZEINUDDIN SIDDIQI on March 31, 2015 at 2:05am

I also bought DeWalt DW618PK router couple of weeks ago. but still did not use it, I am totally new to wood working as a hobby, I wanted to cut some circles to make a helix for my electric trains and some other elevated lines, but still looking for a nice circle cutting jig which is more then 24 inches radius, maybe a 30" radius would be nice. thinking of making one myself.

Comment by Troy on March 15, 2015 at 11:06pm

Howdy Tim,

Congrats on your purchase! Sounds like you really enjoy using it.

I purchased this exact same router kit a couple of years ago, and I haven't regretted it. One of the best things about it to me, is the removable power cord. It makes safety and storage a breeze. Mine also came with a hard case, instead of a soft type, and it makes storing and transporting the router so nice. So if you ever find the hard case itself for sale, I'd highly recommend acquiring it.

Comment by Ken Darga on March 14, 2015 at 11:04pm

Tim,

I'd hold onto that older Craftsman router.

They don't make them like they use to---like when they were real Craftsman.

I still have my old Craftsman, and use it occasionally.  It only accommodates 1/4" bits, which is suitable when using the smaller bits. It requires two-hand operation.

 It also features an integral light---it sure comes in very handy to light up the area around the bit.  

The integral power on-off switch, built into the handle grip, is a really nice feature, that most other routers don't have.

My PR20EVS Bosch Colt Palm Router, gets used most frequently---it's smaller, more compact, and I can use it with one-hand operation.  This "Electronic controlled" variable speed model, outperforms many 1-1/4 to 1-3/4" HP models.

Great tool for doing the smaller routing machining tasks---using bits with 1/4" shank.

The plunge base for the PR20 is great.

Having two such units, with various bases---square and various round bases---

makes it very useful for making quick changes for various uses, so as to be more efficient and productive.

One of the Bosch round bases, features a hole in the base, to fit universal router bushings.

A separate round base plate, offered by Rockler, that fits into their mini-router table---

great little router table for the routing small size objects.

I can change bits easily and quickly, set the cutting-depth using the Kreg set-up gauge bars, as well as shop-made setup gauges for specific cutting tasks.

Also, very useful to have (make or buy), are templates for routing holes, inside and outside radius templates, and routing inlays.

When routing inlays, just route-out the majority of the waste material and make the fine-line edge cut-out with a carving knife.

The PR20 makes a router fun to use. 

If one has lots of small-size routing tasks, this unit is the way to go.

Need a router to recess door hinges?

Want to get into sign making???

This router is it.  

The compactness and one-handed use, make the PR20 a great asset for routing tasks.

BTW---I'm going to put another PR20 on the "wish list".

Comment by Tim Grace on March 14, 2015 at 12:50am

The Craftsman router was purchased new in 1982 to cut 3/4" x 3/8" dadoes for a large audio/video cabinet I was building.  It did just fine cutting them back then, and was able to do it in one pass. It still does do fine with smaller grooving and veining bits, but won't hold the larger bits like it used to.  I'm debating whether to hold on to it or not.

Comment by Ken Darga on March 12, 2015 at 10:14pm

The smaller HP routers, like the Craftsman 1.25HP, is intended for 1/4" shank bits and for using smaller bits, like up to 1/2" dia straight bits, and perhaps 3/8" radius bits.

Craftsman produced some very nice higher-end routers, that were favored among craftsman---

great for cabinetry and furniture building.  

Variable-speed routers generally feature the "soft-start".

The Porter-Cable 893 comes with a fixed base and a plunge base.  

The Bosch 1617 router is a great router, and favored by many craftsman.

As I recall, Porter-Cable was the first to introduce the dust vac port exhaust thru the tubular upright, in their plunge base routers.

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