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Forum topic by Beams37 posted 06-06-2015 12:04 AM 1446 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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166 posts in 2106 days

06-06-2015 12:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

Hey guys,

I’m starting to get my shop in order and when I look at a lot projects, people are using routers. Right now, I’m not looking for a router table. I think I am looking for a solid handheld router. I know there are probably some resources out there. I would love to get some resources and some opinions.

I would like to keep it under $200, but would like some opinions.

Thanks in advance for some resources, opinions, and recommendations!

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

35 replies so far

View sawdustjunkie's profile


410 posts in 2633 days

#1 posted 06-06-2015 12:41 AM

Stick with a name brand such as Porter Cable, Bosch, Dewalt. They usually last a long time and you can get one for less than the $200 you have. I just saw a Porter Cable for $139 at Rockler.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 2277 days

#2 posted 06-06-2015 12:49 AM

I started with the Dewalt DW611PK router kit (fixed based and plunge kit), and it has served me very well over the last couple years. It’s currently $170 on Amazon and it qualifies for the Dewalt Father’s day $20 off promotion. Because it is only 1.25 HP, you have to get used to taking multiple light passes, but that wasn’t a big deal for me.

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2106 days

#3 posted 06-06-2015 01:00 AM

Thanks for the insights.

I was looking at something (can’t remember right now), but it said it fit “Porter Cable style routers”. What the heck does that mean? Or did I just imagine that? Are there different “router chucks”?

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View BurlyBob's profile


8016 posts in 3181 days

#4 posted 06-06-2015 01:24 AM

Got agree with Steve. Don’t buy a low quality machine. There are several fixed and plunge based kits like Nerdbot is talking about. You won’t go wrong with one of those. When it says it’ll fit a PC style router, might mean the base plate. Each company has it’s own screw hole patter for the base plate. So when you go to accessorize your router make sure you get the extras that will work with your router. I ran into that adding a new base plate to my PC 890. Another thing, buy good quality router bits, carbide if at all possible. They make all the difference in the world.

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2106 days

#5 posted 06-06-2015 01:38 AM

Thanks Bob. I think that is what I saw with the PC style router. Is there a reason to get a PC over a DeWalt or Makita or Rigid?

Any reason I should get a plunge over a fixed depth?

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View jmartel's profile


9108 posts in 3066 days

#6 posted 06-06-2015 01:39 AM

If you can spare $20 over your budget, get the bosch kit.

Otherwise, get the dewalt kit which is right at $200.

Then you get both bases. The Bosch can take the Porter Cable style template bushings with a $6 adapter, as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View waho6o9's profile


8953 posts in 3493 days

#7 posted 06-06-2015 01:40 AM

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2106 days

#8 posted 06-06-2015 01:52 AM

Very cool!

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2805 days

#9 posted 06-06-2015 02:08 AM

Bosch 1617evspk. No doubt. Incredible router for the money.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21275 posts in 2772 days

#10 posted 06-06-2015 02:15 AM

I recommend this hitachi. With the two bases you can eventually put the fixed base in a table. I used mine many years this way. For handheld I would put the motor in the plunge base. I finally got a larger triton to dedicate to the table and now use the hitachi for all my handheld work. It’s a great router with soft start, variable speed and comes with 1/4 and 1/2 collets. Good luck with whatever you get.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View dawsonbob's profile


3860 posts in 2671 days

#11 posted 06-06-2015 02:17 AM

Bosch 1617 EVSPK. Great router. You might check places like CPO outlets for reconditioned kits. I bought mine for $164 from them.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 2252 days

#12 posted 06-06-2015 03:25 AM

A lot of jigs are made for the porter cable routers. Bushings and such. Most routers do have available porter cable adapters.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4493 days

#13 posted 06-06-2015 04:21 AM

I have a lot of routers but I always grab my PC “D” handle first. Porter Cable has been the pros choice for years,part of the reason is that PC parts and accessories are readily available. “D” handle routers are easy to control great for beginners(I know I teach lots of new-bs )
If you decide on another brand try and settle on one that’s a brand name with locking hub,soft start,led light, and adjustable speed control. Lot’s of folks seem to like the bosch 1617,but I find their center of gravity a little too high.


View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3987 days

#14 posted 06-06-2015 04:27 AM

One thing’s for sure, don’t spend too much time agonizing over a decision. You’ll probably eventually own at least a couple routers anyway.

Pretty much any router in the $150-$200 price range will serve you well for your first router. If you’re only interested in handheld routing, a trim router like the Bosch Colt will also serve you well and they have a few accessories available for them which are not available for larger routers (e.g., offset and angled bases).

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4493 days

#15 posted 06-06-2015 04:49 AM

One other point is you want in a hand held router you want one that comes with 1’2” and 1/4” collets,some of the trim(smaller) routers only accept 1/4” router bits and I find 1/4” router bits vibrate more the 1/2” shank router bits and vibration can cause a cut that is not as smooth as a 1/2” bit.

Another thing you will want to think about are router bits,a good starter set that are very inexpensive are these

After you gain experience you can buy better brands of the router bits you use the most.


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