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View fiddlebanshee's profile

handheld router - what to get

by fiddlebanshee
posted 09-24-2018 11:51 AM


39 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

6273 posts in 2691 days


#1 posted 09-24-2018 12:40 PM

I’ve got a small Craftsman trim router that is my most used tailed router. It works just fine for anything that can be done with a 1/4” shank bit, including dadoes and grooves. Because of the lower power and smaller shank, you do have to be cognizant of how much load is being applied. As long as I’m careful about how deep a cut is being taken, especially for larger diameter bits, like a 3/4 straight bit for dadoes, it does a good job. It does sometimes mean taking more passes at a shallower depth could be done with a bigger machine and a 1/2” shank bit.

And no, that is not a recommendation for the Craftsman. If doing it over again, I would spend the extra and get the Dewalt you mention.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

663 posts in 1229 days


#2 posted 09-24-2018 12:56 PM

I have a Bosch Colt trim router, though I don’t think they call it a trim router. Finally bought the plunge base for it, and have really gotten a lot of use out of it. I can use th same template guides that the Bosch 1617 uses.

That said, I also have a Milwaukee Body Grip router and do a lot of my heavier duty hand routing with it.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3516 posts in 1961 days


#3 posted 09-24-2018 01:06 PM

DeWalt 1Hp is an excellent tool.

I opted for the kit with the plunge base, which has proven hand.

DWP611

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1678 posts in 3113 days


#4 posted 09-24-2018 01:09 PM

I’m in the market for a compact router (with plunge). This Makita kit will likely be the one I purchase.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-RT0701CX7-1-1-Compact-Router/dp/B00HAQMHEO/ref=sr_1_3?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1537794450&sr=1-3&keywords=makita+router

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#5 posted 09-24-2018 01:16 PM


That said, I also have a Milwaukee Body Grip router and do a lot of my heavier duty hand routing with it.

- Kirk650

Yea that one is now stuck in my router lift, I’m not taking that out again until it dies. Being a petite woman I found the Milwaukee heavy and clumsy, and hard to handle, let alone with one hand using the grip.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6373 posts in 1193 days


#6 posted 09-24-2018 01:50 PM

I love my 7310 no plunge base but very easy to lower into wood with great control GOOD LUCK :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5518 posts in 2831 days


#7 posted 09-24-2018 02:58 PM

I am looking at trim or palm routers but I guess none of these come with a plunge base.

Not true, you can get the Bosch Colt with a plunge base, here. I use mine a lot more than I thought I would when I bought it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#8 posted 09-24-2018 03:38 PM



Not true, you can get the Bosch Colt with a plunge base, here. I use mine a lot more than I thought I would when I bought it.

- bondogaposis


Yea, I realized that as soon as I posted and edited my post. My bad.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2026 posts in 1084 days


#9 posted 09-24-2018 03:49 PM

Love my Dewalt DWP611K. Bosch 1617 in the table. Porter Cable above the table when I need a 1/2” collet. It may seem like a trivial thing but the light in the Dewalt is very nice to have. Get the dust collection attachments too.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5338 posts in 2789 days


#10 posted 09-24-2018 04:03 PM

My vote

Dewalt 611 would be my choice

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#11 posted 09-24-2018 04:48 PM

I guess the dewalt 611 gets an overwhelming nod from y’all. Thanks!

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#12 posted 09-24-2018 04:52 PM


My vote

Dewalt 611 would be my choice

- AlaskaGuy

Who would’ve guessed? Lol. Can’t have enough!

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

207 posts in 1777 days


#13 posted 09-24-2018 05:15 PM

Love my little Dewalt router. Barely ever use the Craftsman I have mounted in the table.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

921 posts in 2065 days


#14 posted 09-24-2018 07:40 PM


I m in the market for a compact router (with plunge). This Makita kit will likely be the one I purchase.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-RT0701CX7-1-1-Compact-Router/dp/B00HAQMHEO/ref=sr_1_3?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1537794450&sr=1-3&keywords=makita+router
- Tester

I got that Makita kit and I am very very impressed by every aspect of it. I purchased form H Depot, but it is sold by many outlets. I recommend it fully.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4592 posts in 4222 days


#15 posted 09-24-2018 07:51 PM

The 1HP routers are nearly all about the same… but pick one with an LED light.

I find that the small footprint base makes it really tough to get enough light in. I put a clear home made lexan base on my colt… but have been looking at one with more light.
Getting old isn’t for sissies I guess.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Richard's profile

Richard

11298 posts in 3513 days


#16 posted 09-24-2018 08:17 PM



I have a Bosch Colt trim router, though I don’t think they call it a trim router. Finally bought the plunge base for it, and have really gotten a lot of use out of it. I can use th same template guides that the Bosch 1617 uses.

That said, I also have a Milwaukee Body Grip router and do a lot of my heavier duty hand routing with it.

- Kirk650

Also a user of the Bosch Colt. Works well and is easy to use.

Rick S.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4592 posts in 4222 days


#17 posted 09-24-2018 08:34 PM

deleted dup

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 970 days


#18 posted 09-24-2018 10:20 PM

I have the Rigid trim router and I have had no issue with lowering it down using the micro adjustment knob. Of course, I don’t use it this way all that often so I don’t find it worth the extra money for a Dewalt or Bosch. YMMV.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7498 posts in 3848 days


#19 posted 09-24-2018 11:27 PM

I have:
one 40+ year old Craftsman, 1/4” collet only, stated 1 hp
two Porter Cable 1/4” and 1/2” collet, stated 1 hp
one Bosch Colt, 1/4” collect only, stated 1 hp
Like to have a DeWalt 611

You can never have enough routers, ask a1Jim, I believe he stated he has 10 routers!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

707 posts in 391 days


#20 posted 09-24-2018 11:28 PM

I keep my router in the table for the same reason. For hand use I have a trim router, a Craftsman 1 3/4 horse fixed speed, and a couple 2 1/4 horse variable speed routers. It’s nice to have extra routers that are easy to handle. I think the Craftsman and the Dewalt are made by the same manufactures. IF AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA, GET A TRIM ROUTER THAT DOES NOT HAVE A PLASTIC BASE.

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#21 posted 09-25-2018 12:00 PM

Thanks guys. It seems to me that the obvious brands are all more or less the same (dewalt, makita, bosch, pc). So I’ll get whatever I can get locally or on Amazon prime. I will spring for a kit (with plunge base) as I see the main use of this router to be cutting stopped dadoes on sheetgoods.

IF AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA, GET A TRIM ROUTER THAT DOES NOT HAVE A PLASTIC BASE.

- WoodenDreams


@WoodenDreams: what is your reason for stating this? I would have thought a see-through base was a pro not a con?

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

663 posts in 1229 days


#22 posted 09-25-2018 01:38 PM

As I mentioned earlier, I am fond of the Bosch Colt with the plunge base, but if I didn’t have it I would sure look at the Dewalt. Having a light, to see what you are doing, would really be useful.

And, regarding stopped dadoes, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that a 1 HP trim router might (will) have problems with dadoes as big as 3/4”. I tried it, parked it, and went back to the 1617 Bosch and the Milwaukee.

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#23 posted 09-25-2018 01:59 PM



And, regarding stopped dadoes, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that a 1 HP trim router might (will) have problems with dadoes as big as 3/4”. I tried it, parked it, and went back to the 1617 Bosch and the Milwaukee.

- Kirk650

I am aware of the limited power of the small routers, but could this not be done in a couple of passes, or even with a smaller bit and a jig?

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

663 posts in 1229 days


#24 posted 09-25-2018 03:06 PM

I suppose a person could do it in several passes. I haven’t ever done that. And you are right. The Milwaukee Body Grip router is heavy.

If you have a Home Depot nearby, look at their Ryobi fixed base router. A buddy had one, and it was fairly small and light. I think it was a 1 3/4 HP router. Maybe they still offer that model. Ryobi is Ok gear as long as it doesn’t have a spark plug.

And if you have plenty of money, I think Festool has a small router you might like.

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 970 days


#25 posted 09-25-2018 04:15 PM

And, regarding stopped dadoes, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned that a 1 HP trim router might (will) have problems with dadoes as big as 3/4”. I tried it, parked it, and went back to the 1617 Bosch and the Milwaukee.

- Kirk650

I am aware of the limited power of the small routers, but could this not be done in a couple of passes, or even with a smaller bit and a jig?

- fiddlebanshee

Using a jig with a guide bushing is the best way to do dados with a router, IMHO. This will allow you to use a spiral bit, and you should have no issues with the width.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3033 posts in 2828 days


#26 posted 09-25-2018 05:34 PM

I have a Bosch 1617, 2-1/4 HP router with variable speed that can handle stuff too big for the Dewalt 611. It comes with a plunge and regular handle base.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7498 posts in 3848 days


#27 posted 09-25-2018 06:31 PM

With regard to plastic bases, I have found that the molded plastic bases are NOT totally flat so I make my own out of polycarbonate or Plexiglas.
The bases for my Porter Cable routers have typically been flat but I typically make new ones anyway.
I made a Porter Cable style base for my Bosch Colt so I can use my Porter Ccable guide bushings.
That way I can also make specialized bases, offset, square, etc..
So, beware of molded plastic bases!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View ruger's profile

ruger

120 posts in 575 days


#28 posted 09-25-2018 11:16 PM

I wish my routers had a built in light. but none do. i use a bosch colt for small letters. a light would be nice. some times it.s hard to see what your carving

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5338 posts in 2789 days


#29 posted 09-25-2018 11:32 PM

I have in the neighborhood of 16 routers. I’ve never had a bad (not flat) plastic base.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 970 days


#30 posted 09-25-2018 11:43 PM



I have in the neighborhood of 16 routers. I ve never had a bad (not flat) plastic base.

- AlaskaGuy

The first step is to admit you have a problem. :)

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5338 posts in 2789 days


#31 posted 09-25-2018 11:47 PM


I have in the neighborhood of 16 routers. I ve never had a bad (not flat) plastic base.

- AlaskaGuy

The first step is to admit you have a problem. :)

- lumbering_on


I have plenty of problems…....just not plastic router base problems.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 970 days


#32 posted 09-25-2018 11:58 PM


I have plenty of problems…....just not plastic router base problems.

- AlaskaGuy

I was actually referring to the 16 routers. I wouldn’t know what to do if I had to take off my shoes to count the number of routers I had. :)

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

921 posts in 2065 days


#33 posted 09-26-2018 12:15 AM

As you can see, fiddle, everyone has their own opinion of what they like.

After being on LJ for quite a while now, I always think that many of us buy something, then get accustomed to using it, and then we like it a lot because of that familiarity.

I feel just like that with the Makita fixed & plunge base kit mentioned in a couple of posts above, but there is no doubt the other people love their own tool models.

I also have the little Ridgid mini router, and it is a real workhorse. I liked it a lot until I wanted the plunge base and got the Makita kit. And now, compared to the Makita, the Ridgid is not as easy to change bits, nor adjust the depth as the Makita.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View clin's profile

clin

1057 posts in 1476 days


#34 posted 09-26-2018 02:30 AM

Another vote for the Dewalt DWP611. It’s powerful enough for a lot of typical jobs such as round overs and trimming to a pattern. While bigger than a trim router, it is very easy to handle. The plunge base also works very well.

-- Clin

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3060 posts in 2505 days


#35 posted 09-26-2018 04:38 AM

Grizzly has a trim router that comes with a plunge base, for $84. It is a nice little machine with a metal body. Very easy to adjust and switch bits. I use it all the time for edge profiling. With its 6.5 amp draw, it has ample power, more than some of the big name brands.

For a slightly larger router, I like the PC 690 (newer model is 691, I think) with a D handle. Gives much more control of the router. Of course, other brands may be had with a D handle too. This is bigger and heavier, but it will take both 1/4” and 1/2” bits. I even was able to get a 3/8” collet for it, which I used with a 3/8” shank end mill for cutting aluminum.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View mpsprunger's profile

mpsprunger

33 posts in 2341 days


#36 posted 09-26-2018 01:13 PM

PORTER CABLE 690 best one going, 1 3/4 hp router w/ a D-handle

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4592 posts in 4222 days


#37 posted 09-26-2018 01:42 PM



I wish my routers had a built in light. but none do. i use a bosch colt for small letters. a light would be nice. some times it.s hard to see what your carving

- ruger


lots of the new handhelds have a light…
Bosch, Rigid, Porter Cable PCE6435, DeWalt DWP611
There is a good review of “best palm routers”
http://7routertables.com/best-palm-router-compact-router/#list

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View fiddlebanshee's profile

fiddlebanshee

240 posts in 3426 days


#38 posted 09-26-2018 04:50 PM

A million thanks everyone! I think I have pretty much decided on the DeWalt. This is what is in my amazon shopping cart, haven’t pushed the button yet, though!

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

663 posts in 1229 days


#39 posted 09-26-2018 09:56 PM

A good choice on the router. If I didn’t have the Bosch, the light on the Dewalt would push me in that direction.

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