Monster power!

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Review by Josh Pendergrass posted 01-21-2008 07:15 PM 4244 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Monster power! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was trying to decide between a shaper and a high end router table when I came across some info on the Porter-Cable #7518 router. I decided to take a chance on it and I have not been dissappointed. There is a reason this has become the industry standard. While it may lack some of the features of some of the newer routers, the raw power and dead certain reliability of the 7518 more than overcome any shortcoming it might have. It has a 5 position variable speed selector switch that allows you to set the speed for your chosen bit/wood combination. The motor uses soft start circuitry that allows for smooth wind up then adjustment to the selected speed. One thing I had been worried about was wether the horsepower would change between the speeds and I really had nothing to worry about. It has the muscle to do everything regardless of the speed.

One of the few drawbacks is in how the height of the bit is adjusted. A series of grooves spirals through the inside of the base. Pins on the outside of the motor housing ride in the grooves and adjustments are effected by twising the motor in the base. While this allows for infinite adjustments, repeatability is sacrificed. This isn’t a problem for me because I also bought a Woodpecker lift plate for mine, but for someone who is only using the router base, it could prove problematic.

The 7518 comes with a 1/2” collet, but 1/4” and 3/8” collets are also available. Other accessories are also readily available owing to the large popularity of the 7518. Another thing to note is that this router is also available in single speed (7519), variable speed plunge (7538), and single speed plunge (7539). While the single speed is cheaper, I would only suggest that one if you have a rheostat switch on your router table.

All in all, this is a rock solid investment, especially if you intend to incorporate it into a router table. I had my doubts but the 7518 put all of them to rest. This will be a sure and steady resource in my inventory for years to come.

-- rtwpsom2

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Josh Pendergrass

123 posts in 4899 days

11 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4675 days

#1 posted 01-21-2008 07:36 PM

Sounds like a winner. I’d like a bit more power at the table than my 2 1/2.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4789 days

#2 posted 01-21-2008 07:37 PM

I have one of these in my router table and it works great.

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

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Josh Pendergrass

123 posts in 4899 days

#3 posted 01-22-2008 05:38 PM

Rikkor, there are only two 3-1/2 HP routers on the market, this one and the Milwaukee one. Of the two I have not heard about any reliability issues with either one. The Milwaukee has a couple more features than the Porter-Cable but the Porter Cable is easier to get accessories for. I found the Milwaukee for as low as $270 and the Porter-Cable was $290. I got the Porter-Cable because I didn’t like how the Milwaukee felt compared to it. There was just too much plastic in the Milwaukee for my taste, whereas the Porter-Cable just felt rock solid. I can’t actually recommend against the Milwaukee, as I have no experience with it. And yes, there is a big difference between a 2-1/4 hp and 3-1/2. Also, thank Gary for the support.

-- rtwpsom2

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11295 posts in 4675 days

#4 posted 01-22-2008 05:54 PM

Thank you for the follow-up.

View FloridaUFGator's profile


39 posts in 4814 days

#5 posted 02-01-2008 10:15 PM

Good review Rob. I too have this router. I went from a Dewalt 621 to this. It’s like going from a go-cart to a race car. There is nothing wrong with the Dewalt (for hand held use) but it was a dog in my table. I dropped this bad-boy in there and almost had to strap down my table. It’ very intimidating at first. I went with the Woodpecker router lift (works perfectly with this router) and love it. This fixes the adjustment issues. I’m sure I will have this thing until I can pass it off to my son. It is rock solid.

-- ...and remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these — safety glasses - Norm Abram

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 4411 days

#6 posted 06-30-2009 03:32 AM

Hi Rob
Great review on the router . I have to opportunity to buy this same router and Woodpecker Precision Router Lift both brand new in the box . How are you finding this setup after almost two years . Do you know what pitch the lift is ? 16 or 32 and whats your thoughts on it .


After looking through some of your other posts I see what model WP lift you have . Pitch was an option for that one .

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#7 posted 06-30-2009 03:36 AM

Hey Rob
Good review I have a few 7518 they are power houses and have served well over the years.


View Josh Pendergrass's profile

Josh Pendergrass

123 posts in 4899 days

#8 posted 08-24-2009 09:08 AM

After a year and a half with this one, I have not ever been dissappointed with it’s performance or the WP lift. The combination has shown remarkable repeatability and with the table I built, I have been able to turn out some prtyy tight joints. I got the 32nd pitch lift and it makes for some amazing precision. I am still very happy with both.

-- rtwpsom2

View Michael J. Moore's profile

Michael J. Moore

52 posts in 3670 days

#9 posted 08-12-2010 12:14 AM

I was wondering if these “big dogs” were worth the investment.

-- Michael Jos Moore | Farmington, UT

View bandit's profile


25 posts in 3077 days

#10 posted 03-03-2012 12:33 AM

I just received the same router for my Kreg precision router table and Kreg Lift. Haven’t tried it out yet. Just in the process of setting up shop. New to woodworking.

-- Michael Garrett

View handystanley's profile


169 posts in 3714 days

#11 posted 03-15-2013 05:23 PM

Looking forward to getting the same setup this year…BTW…do you by chance have a template for the router lift available?


-- "Projects beget projects and projects beget the need to buy new tools and that is what the cycle of life is all about." Stan Pearse, Novato, CA

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