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Forum topic by pigpencbr posted 01-20-2017 07:00 PM 912 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1892 days

01-20-2017 07:00 PM

Trying to buy my first router for around the house basic wood working, shelves and minor project stuff. Not sure all what I will use it for just yet other then the shelf I am building for my daughters bed at the moment. I came across a deal at sears on the craftsman 27683. I can get it for about $90 and can definitely afford that right now. Would I be better off waiting and saving a few more months to get the Bosch 1617 or do you all think the 27683 will be plenty to last me unless I get serious into routing? Seen a few posts talking about craftsman router being junk has me a bit trigger shy.

Thanks for the help!!

6 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4280 days

#1 posted 01-20-2017 07:11 PM

You are right to be shy. LOL I have to recommend the Porter Cable 690. Get the set and you will have fixed and plunge bases. These are a standard for woodworking with the power to also work in a router table. The PC 690 is also cheaper than the Bosch 1617.

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16 posts in 1892 days

#2 posted 01-20-2017 07:41 PM

The PC 690 combo kit looks to be he same as the Bosch 1617. The Bosch also is 2 1/4 vs the PCs 1 3/4 hp. Not sure that matters though? Regardless you think the craftsman isn’t worth buying and save up a few months, and the 690 over the 1617 at the same price?


View OSB's profile


147 posts in 1437 days

#3 posted 01-20-2017 07:50 PM

With Craftsman being bought out by B&D, the future of service for that router is a bit questionable.

I think Porter Cable is also a B&D brand but it is their high end.

I bought a Triton a few years ago and I am 100% satisfied but it is not in the same price range and I got it specifically for a difficult router table job that needed a lot of power.

If my budget was $100, I would have looked for used quality routers in the $50 range. If I didn’t find a nice used router, I would look for comparison tests and pick one that scored well in tasks I think I would want to do.

View greenacres2's profile


355 posts in 3079 days

#4 posted 01-20-2017 08:05 PM

Several years ago, I bought a PC690 and a Bosch 1617 (both fixed/plunge kits) at close to the same time. Have since bought 2 more 1617’s and gave the 690 away. Some of the reasons I prefer the 1617…
Self-releasing collet—both have, both work, 1617 collets seem to work MUCH better
Fixed base adjusting—didn’t care for the PC screw method, for me it lacked the fine touch of the 1617
Table mounting—Bosch’s fixed base is designed for table mount, keeps the plunge base free for hand work. (plunge base can work like a fixed base when hand-held, but a fixed base cannot plunge)
Ease of adjustment in the plunge base
Maple handles—when I do use a fixed base hand-held (rarely), those have a nice feel and good grip
Guide bushing mount—the Bosch guides with the quick change (RA1126) have never loosened on me. The normal knurled knobs of the PC style bushings have—maybe that’s my fault. I have two sets of the Bosch bushings, one I kept like they sold and one that I ground the snouts to use with 1/4” patterns.
Bosch Edge Guide (RA1054)—for $35 or so at the online superstore, has great function. Rivals the aftermarket M-Power MK3CRB7 in function, for way less money. One of the best values I’VE purchased (for me)

The 690 has been around a long time, and almost every aftermarket product has a version to fit the 690 base—Bosch base is tapped with the same hole configuration, so no loss there.

Other than that—I don’t have a real strong opinion. Good luck!!

View knotscott's profile


8391 posts in 4287 days

#5 posted 01-20-2017 08:19 PM

The current line of Craftsman routers actually have a pretty good track record, and are largely considered good value for hobby use, but the purchase of Cman by Stanley B&D adds uncertainty. The Bosch and PC690, along with the Milwaukee, DW, and Makita are certainly a step up, but whether or not they’re worth waiting longer for is debatable. The Hitachi router is another good option that’s often priced in between the Cman and the others mentioned….nice router IMHO. Sometimes you can find a good deal on a refurbished unit that’ll save some money.

For hand use, it’s important to get one that feels good in your hands and has good balance. For use in a table, variable speed is a must, and ample power is definitely a plus. I suspect that most remotely serious hobbyists end up with more than one router…one for hand use, one as a dedicated table router. Regardless of which router you get, be sure it can accept 1/2” shanks, and buy decent 1/2” shank bits whenever feasible.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1660 days

#6 posted 01-21-2017 12:50 AM

I like the 1/2 inch shaft router bits, but I’m a guy with a couple of trim routers too. A fellow needs enough basic 1/4 inch shaft bits to get max use out of his trim router.

And, just to mention it, if someone decides they need a trim router, get the Bosch or the Dewalt and also get the optional plunge base. The Bosch Colt, like I have, when I use the plunge base I can also use the same quick change bushings that I use with the two Bosch 1617 big routers. Mine gets used a lot these days. I have become a fan of Bosch routers.

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