A Lot of Value for the Money

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Review by jaysuzi posted 02-01-2016 04:02 PM 8857 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Lot of Value for the Money No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This package comes with a lot. First as the product says, it has both a fixed base and a plunge base. It is 2 HP, plenty for most hobbyist, especially if used as a hand held router. I think the build quality is very good. I have not used it for a long time, but I certainly like it much better than the Craftsman router that I bought 12 years ago. The price is also very good. The website says regular price is $214, but I have NEVER see it for that much. The sale price online is $106, which is good, but I picked it up in the store for $89.99, and they gave me an extra 10% off for the Craftsman member discount, even though I am not a member. However, even at $106, this is a very good deal.

What really impresses me is all the extras that also come with it. I have the DeWalt DWP611PK which is a fine package but costs $170 and the Craftsman comes with so much more. I won’t be getting rid of the DeWalt as it a trim router, but it may not get as much use now. I will compare it to the DeWalt to show what a great value the Craftsman is. I know this is not completely fair since the DeWalt is a trim router and not intended to be the same type, but I am just trying to show how much you get.

Collet: Craftsman – both 1/4 and 1/2 which was the main reason that I bought it, the Dewalt can only except 1/4 inch.
Power: Craftsman 2 HP vs DeWalt 1.25 HP
Speed Adjustment – Both, a feature my 12 year old one did not have.
LED lights – Both, a nice feature versus my 12 year old one.
Soft Start – Both, another nice feature versus my 12 year old one. I really light this on a handheld as it doesn’t feel like it want to jump away from you on start up.
Dust Collection – The Craftsman comes with two vacuum attachments, one for each base and they work well. I had to buy these separately for the DeWalt
Edge Guide – The Craftsman came with one, the DeWalt did not and it could be up to $35 extra
Depth Adjustment and Wrench – There may be other routers that have this, but the Craftsman is the only one that I know of. You can mount this in router table and raise an lower the depth from ABOVE the table. This doesn’t give you a full range of a router lift, but what a GREAT feature. I used it in my old setup and loved it. The only issue that I had with it is that the dust would sometimes collect in the small hole and I would have to clean it out with a finishing nail. I have since purchased the Rockler router lift, so I will not be using this feature this time, but for a really cheap solution for the hobbyist this is a great feature.
Price – I paid $81 for the Craftsman with all the extras, I easily paid twice that for the DeWalt.

-- Jay in Pennsylvania,

View jaysuzi's profile


150 posts in 2646 days

8 comments so far

View rubber_ducky's profile


36 posts in 1724 days

#1 posted 02-01-2016 07:32 PM

Great review. And timely as I’m looking for a full sized router to mount in a table. I too have the compact dewalt that you have. It seems that more and more manufacturers are incorporating above table adjustability into their routers (some Bosch and ridgid models have it). Which I’m very happy about as I don’t want to have to buy both a router and a lift right from the get-go. Will check out this craftsman unit.

View nkawtg's profile


297 posts in 2097 days

#2 posted 02-01-2016 09:33 PM

It sort of looks like a Bosch 1617, I wonder…

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 3517 days

#3 posted 02-02-2016 03:26 AM

I had a similar craftsman, I really liked it, especially the led lights. But after a couple years of use the plunge stopped being smooth. I cleaned it out a few times which made it better but eventually it just wouldn’t plunge, think maybe one of the columns warped.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile


364 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 02-02-2016 03:46 AM

I have this exact same set, and i like it! Certainly a great deal for the money. The LED lights on mine don’t work very well though. Only thing that scares me is the long toggle switch for the power, it seems like it can be easily snagged or bumped.

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View Tim812's profile


13 posts in 1698 days

#5 posted 02-03-2016 07:02 AM

Thanks for the review. Looks like excellent value for money! I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is another 2Hp router for under $100.

-- Dust and coffee = ideal day

View Timberwolf323's profile


69 posts in 1689 days

#6 posted 02-04-2016 04:43 AM

I have a 20+ year old craftsman router that was my grandfathers. Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but it’s still running strong, long after he stopped working.

View simmo's profile


80 posts in 4318 days

#7 posted 02-06-2016 09:15 PM

This looks in essence identical to the Draper expert on sale here in the UK,I bought one recently,it is excellent value,the fixed base mounts easily into a router table,examination of the base will show a hole directly above the height adjuster,thru which a 5mm Allen key fits so it is an easy matter to drill the table for above table adjustment,1 turn =approx 3 mm lift so an incremented disc and a line incised on the router table will give the user micro adjustment.
I have other routers of better ,sic more expensive pedigree but this matches them for functionality,longevity remains to be seen.
Cost in the UK was about £130, we don’t get tools as cheap here as in the US.

View Henndoe's profile


30 posts in 2888 days

#8 posted 02-13-2016 02:17 PM

I have this router and the rockler lift I absolutely love it for the money great price for all the options it comes with. I use it with real big raised panel bits and it has plenty of power and I can turn the rpm up or down as needed.

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