Router Question...Recommendation

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Blog entry by Matthew Archibald posted 03-08-2009 06:15 AM 1996 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I’m working on a box, just a small box and I’d planned on doing dovetails and the whole 9 yards. But my dads old craftsman router crapped out. In the next coming months i’m looking to pick up a more modern and sturdy router. The most bang for my buck. Honestly I don’t know much about this market. Do i go with a PorterCable router and just get the most amperage/hp router i can afford?? So yeah if anybody out there has a recommendation on a good soild router totally share in the comments seciton! please! thanx!

is this good??

13 comments so far

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 03-08-2009 07:05 AM

Well I don’t know how much cost is, but if your looking for a good value, then the new Craftsman is quite good. I reviewed it Here if you want to look at it. It is actually a really nice router, and it comes with some pretty nice stuff, including a case, and edge guide standard. The 2HP motor is strong, and I don’t have any problems cutting anything. The soft start is nice, you don’t feel like your arm is going to ripped off when you start it. I have mine mounted in my router table, and I haven’t had a problem with it to this day. I got it last summer. Hope this helps. I have used that Porter Cable at school, and I like pretty much everything about it except the handles, I don’t get why they can’t make handles that are nice to hold, after all I like death grip those things when I’m routing. lol.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View lew's profile


12863 posts in 4270 days

#2 posted 03-08-2009 07:35 AM

Personal Opinion-

Porter Cable

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View wing79's profile


33 posts in 3969 days

#3 posted 03-08-2009 07:40 AM

This is an awesome router for all around use. It is light enough to handle, or put under a table. The plunge actiion also works great. Not much you can’t do with this router. wing79


View mrsawdust's profile


48 posts in 4081 days

#4 posted 03-08-2009 07:53 AM

what i like and the next guy likes, you may not like. you need to go shopping and see what the different brands, models, etc., feel like in your hands. and cost, too! do some comparisons and go SLOW. after you do some research you will be better prepared to ask questions prior to making your purchase. that’s my 3 cents worth. good luck.

btw, the link you posted shows a good one (my opinion). it’s been in production for years.

-- mrsawdust, pittsburgh,pa.

View LesB's profile


2206 posts in 3957 days

#5 posted 03-08-2009 08:25 AM

It is hard to beat Porter Cable. I have two of them. A model 690 for hand held work and a 3 hp (forgot the model #) that stays on my router table. If you get the larger router I suggest the variable speed. I also have a couple of Craftsman routers but seldom use them.
Of Porter Cable’s line I would chose the 890 model for an all purpose tool. It uses all the same attachments and bases as the 690 but has more power. They package them with different handles/bases so check them all out.
Also most aftermarket attachments made by other companies fit the Porter Cable. Other routers often take adapters.

-- Les B, Oregon

View jcame's profile


72 posts in 4091 days

#6 posted 03-08-2009 01:16 PM

If I were going to only have one router it would be a Triton. I have the 3 1/4 H.P. in my table and its awesome. The 2 1/4 Horse model is great as well and with these you don’t need a router lift if you want to put them in a table. They come equipped to raise and lower in a table. (Both models that is) JMO.

-- Jed,Ala,

View hokieman's profile


196 posts in 4268 days

#7 posted 03-08-2009 05:48 PM

I have the 2 1/4 horse Triton and I really like it. I also put it in my table which is a home made cabinet that has the router up top and a small shop vac in the bottom half that acts as a dust collector. Yes you can adjust router height without the routerlift but you have to unlock the router height adjustment lever to make the adjustment. So for my set up, I have to open the cabinet every time to make an adjustment and unlock the height lock. I little bit of a pain but, still, the set up is pretty good. Fine woodworking has an article on best routers for a router table and the Triton was deemed to be the best AND the least expensive.

Hope you can get to it.

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4467 days

#8 posted 03-08-2009 08:56 PM

See if you have a Woodcraft store nearby…..Last saturday I was able to pick up a Freud 2 1/2 hp fixed base for 99 bucks. You can order the plunge base for 71 bucks from Amazon.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4503 days

#9 posted 03-08-2009 09:41 PM

I have 7 or 8 Porter Cable routers and they all work well.

I have also heard good things about the Triton.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 4264 days

#10 posted 03-09-2009 04:24 AM

PC makes a great router. I have the one you first posted, picked it up for 210 dollars and I love it. You can’t go with with PC routers.

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4227 days

#11 posted 03-09-2009 04:50 AM

I’ll cast an additional vote for the Triton. Good tool, good price point uses the PC screw pattern for faceplates.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View pyromedic602's profile


164 posts in 4262 days

#12 posted 03-09-2009 05:30 AM

I just replaced my old craftsman routers with a new multi base pc. It came with an adjustment for thru table use when you have the fixed base mounted on a table. So far I love the unit the soft start is great no more fighting the start up torque. I actually enjoy using my routers again.

-- Pyromedic602, free wood is always good wood

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4639 days

#13 posted 03-09-2009 07:48 AM

Think about how you want to use the router. If you’re doing boxes, you might just need one mounted in a router table. I got along for a while with an el-cheapo Craftsman that I probably paid under fifty bucks for new. I now have a Porter Cable 7518 in a Jessem lift, but if you’re handy building such things anything cheap off of Craigslist will work in a router table, and the Triton or the Porter Cable 690 with the built-in lift would work really nicely, spend the extra bucks on a good indexing fence to cut those fancy nested dovetails.

(I have some ideas for building an indexing fence like the Incra using threaded rod, but haven’t done it yet, so I can’t claim expertise.)

I love my little Festool OF1010 for my dovetail jig, but that’s probably spendier than you were thinking. I do think that while it’s nice to have a big router, you can never have too many little ones. So a high quality small router that’ll cut your small dovetails and, later, when your budget allows you to have 8-10 routers, be a fixed setup for inlay work or veneer trimming, might also be a good direction.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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