Ergonomics Make this Router Stand out in the Crowd

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 12-14-2010 08:50 PM 6747 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ergonomics Make this Router Stand out in the Crowd Ergonomics Make this Router Stand out in the Crowd Ergonomics Make this Router Stand out in the Crowd Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have read the reviews for all brands of routers that appeared in woodworking magazines or online. I have used Hitachi, Freud, Craftsman, Dewalt, and other routers. I have carefully inspected Porter Cable, Ridgid, and Makita.
The fixed base is lower profile than any other 2-1/4 hp router on the market. This low center of gravity helps when forming an edge. The plunge base action is “gorgeous” as described by a fine homebuilding magazine review. The router tied for 1st place with the Bosch 1617. I opted for the Dewalt due to the squat stance. The Bosch has a known power switch problem. The Bosch also uses non-standard template bushings, which is a pain. The Bosch wooden handles felt slippery. The Dewalt handles felt the best of the bunch – large overmolded handles for good control. The Dewalt handles are similar to the Freud handles, very nice. The Bosch also uses two wrenches for changing bits – while the dewalt gives you a choice of a spindle lock or two wrenches.
The cord is detachable and works great. Plunge base locks easily and stays put. One reviewer commented that the plunge lock would vibrate loose – if that is the case then it needs to be adjusted. The turret depth stop on some store floor models is usually loose and sloppy. Mine arrived tight and well-adjusted, with no slop whatsoever.
Plunge base has a flat face for following a straightedge guide. The fixed base is rounded for more surface contact when edge profiling. Dewalt really spent some time engineering this tool.
I use mine exclusively as my hand router, which it excells at. My Freud FT1700 stays in the router table, however I’m sure the Dewalt could pull double duty if needed.
As far as the occasional motor failure – Dewalt has a standard three year warranty, and Lowes offers an extended warranty of 2 additional years for $29. There, problem solved. If it breaks, I will go back and get another one because I love this router!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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6204 posts in 3660 days

9 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


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#1 posted 12-15-2010 12:41 AM

that was my first router – indeed very comfortable. but the plastic ring that adjusts the height on the fixed base just snapped in half after a day of light use – I returned it. my point is – just be mindful of that part, otherwise it’s a great router.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3888 days

#2 posted 12-15-2010 04:12 AM

That was a very informative and precise review thanks. I have the same set and really the only thing I had break was the push in spindle lock, I returned it and haven’t had any problems with the new one since. I basically leave the fixed base in my router table.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3793 days

#3 posted 12-15-2010 04:38 AM

Good review, this is the first item on my Christmas list.

-- Smitty

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3953 days

#4 posted 12-15-2010 07:48 AM

This was my first router as well. I’ve had mine for going on 4 years and no problems at all. My only complaint is that you have to have a good grip in this little sucker when you turn it on. Wish it had the soft start feature of my Hitachi m12 vs.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3660 days

#5 posted 12-15-2010 08:29 AM

Actually the DW618 which is the 2.25 hp unit does have soft start. You must have theDW616 which looks very similar but with slightly less horsepower and no variable speed.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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alan coon

115 posts in 4559 days

#6 posted 12-19-2010 12:08 AM

Have the same one,sweet!

-- Al, South E. Az., But it's a dry heat.

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4041 days

#7 posted 12-23-2010 04:40 AM


We caught a great sale at the Big Orange Store a couple of years ago on the DW618 kit with three bases for $150 on a closeout. The 3rd base was the D-handle which we use a lot for cutting shelf dados in large panels too big for dado blade on table saw. It really gives great control reaching across 24” wide panels. The plunge base work very well also.

Really like the power of this router and use it a lot. You are correct, it does have soft start.

Thanks for the great review.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Yupa4242's profile


116 posts in 3447 days

#8 posted 04-18-2011 04:47 AM

After reading you review and similar others I tried finding it the local stores here in Madison,WI know has it In stock ? I’m wondering if it was mainly a X-mas item. I’ve got Menards,Home Depot,and Woodcraft trying to order it but no one has had luck as yet. I see it available thru Amazon but the reviews I read about the motor failure has me wanting to buy an extended waranty as well. I read another fellow had Issues twith the Bosch unit shifting 1/16” when dovetailing which is not cool. Waiting for a phone call yet wondering if I’ll have to settle for best that is avaible locallly.

-- "If the Universe is Infinite, Then all dreams are real."

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3660 days

#9 posted 10-10-2012 10:28 PM

Two years later of regular hobby-level use and many,many projects later this router still performs flawlessly. Cutting circles, accurate inlays, edgeforming, dovetails, dados and rabbets too. Usually in white oak, and the 618 is running like a champ.
I picked up the “D” handle base, but I usally reach for the plunge base. The fixed base is best for edge routing and dovetails, but the plunge base handles everything else.
5 stars

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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