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Forum topic by raduray posted 04-14-2021 11:33 AM 443 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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raduray

7 posts in 63 days


04-14-2021 11:33 AM

Hi all.

I’m a retired engineer and am setting up a woodshop in my basement. In addition to powered and unpowered hand tools, I’ve got a Dewalt sliding miter saw and a Makita track saw. I’d like to avoid a table saw for now and am thinking about a router for cutting dados for joints and for putting some tracks on a workbench I’ll be building.

So on to router selection. I would like a combo router (fixed and plunge bases) and I want it to be compatible with the Makita 194579-2 Router Guide Rail Adapter. I’m looking at a Makita 1-1/4 HP and at a Dewalt 2-1/4 HP. The Makita is obviously lighter and I think I like its ergonomics a bit better, but I’m wondering if it’s capable of doing the kind of work I want. For example, a dado for a track would be 3/4” wide and 3/8 deep. How would the two different models be able to handle that kind of work?

Thanks!


15 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1546 posts in 3848 days


#1 posted 04-14-2021 11:46 AM

You’ll never find one router or tool to do everything. Buy the router that is best for this project.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17554 posts in 2225 days


#2 posted 04-14-2021 11:49 AM

My personal feeling on a router is go bigger. A 1.25 hp router is going to struggle to cut that dado in a single pass. I’m not familiar with either of those routers personally but for cutting dados, more power wins for me.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2795 posts in 3076 days


#3 posted 04-14-2021 11:50 AM

Both would do it, just depends on how fast you want to do it, ie # of passes. HP required is about chip load on the cutter. 2-1/4 could do it in 1 pass, 1–1/4 probably 2. I would probably do it in 2 or even 3 passes (last one very light finish pass) and I have 2-1/4 Bosch. Depending on the cutter hi loads can cause burning. Dont have experience with smaller size. I use a small trim router, 1-1/4 is in between. 2-1/4 is overkill for what I’m willing to do hand held, but works well in my router table. The in between size 1-1/4 wasnt available 25 years ago when I got my routers.

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HokieKen

17554 posts in 2225 days


#4 posted 04-14-2021 11:50 AM

Also, Planeman is right. I’m up to 3 routers now and I’m eyeballing a cordless trim router to make it a nice even number ;-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6991 posts in 3580 days


#5 posted 04-14-2021 11:55 AM

+For the first router I would start with a 2 (+/-) HP router that has variable speed….you’ve already identified the plunge/fixed base part. This won’t do everything, but it will do more things that most of the other choices. I agree the 1 1/4 HP would be, well, not the best choice since it won’t handle a few things. This is nly the starter router, you wll do as needed as you put together more stuff.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2673 posts in 1675 days


#6 posted 04-14-2021 02:31 PM

Most of us have multiple routers. I have a 1/4” handheld and a big 3-1/2 hp Milwaukee in the table.

The table router is used for when you can bring the work to the tool. The handheld is for when your workpiece is too big to easily move and you need to bring the tool to the work.

This is why you have a hand drill and a drill press, a table saw and a circ saw, a stationary belt/disc sander and an ROS (or two).

You’ll spend more on router bits than the router itself. I just dropped $90 on a panel cutting set. Even a little 3/16” carbide bit is $15. I’ve got a full tray of bits. Straight cutters in various widths, radius cutters from 1/16” to 1/2”, beaders, bevel cutters, etc.


Tray ‘o bits, even more added since!

Why do you want to “avoid” a table saw? They are the core of most shops.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1556 posts in 2046 days


#7 posted 04-14-2021 02:36 PM

I used a PC 690 for years. Single speed… worked just fine. If your getting to the point of large bits you’ll need to reduce speed, need more HP and generally run it in a router table…

With the change in routers in the last 5 or so years the Bosch 1617 seems to be a good router today for the money..

View Loren's profile

Loren

11196 posts in 4734 days


#8 posted 04-14-2021 02:47 PM

Routers are messy. If dust collection matters to you consider the DeWalt and Festool models.

I like the Milwaukee bodygrip style routers. They make a plunge base too, but no dust collection.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2990 posts in 4530 days


#9 posted 04-14-2021 03:25 PM

I have 3 Porter Cable 690s and a larger 3 hp PC for real heavy work (it is too heavy for regular use). I also have a couple of ancient Craftsman I sometimes use for really light stuff.
One of the 690s is hand held with two bases, fixed and plunge. One is mounted in my router table….something you will want to have next I’m sure. And, one is mounted in my PantoRouter for making mortise & tenon, dovetail and finger joints, etc.

-- Les B, Oregon

View xedos's profile

xedos

293 posts in 387 days


#10 posted 04-14-2021 06:14 PM

The makita 1.25hp router ,or any 1.25hp router for that matter, is not the tool for making 3/4” dados. It’s good for a lot of things, but not dadoes. 2.25hp and above. The DeWlat you mentioned is good and so is the the OSU mentioned. The Bosch also has an good dust collection accessories. Makita has one in this category , but it’s hard to find and the dust accessories aren’t as numerous.

Any / all of them will or can work with a guide rail. How, well is another discussion. The makita mini works outa the box as do their big plunge routers. The 2.25hp will need adapting. DeWalt’s rail adapter is more universal and fits their routers as well as PC models. Festool’s of course only really works with festool. Bosch’s rail adapter isn’t readily available in the USA.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4463 posts in 3435 days


#11 posted 04-15-2021 10:38 AM

I have a Bosch 1617 (2.25 HP?) with the fixed base and plunger base that I use with the Leigh mortise and tenon jig as well as the Leigh dovetail jig. The router table has the big 3-1/4 HP Porter Cable router motor in it, and I also have a Dewalt handheld for little jobs, typically 1/4” shaft bits for edge profiles and such. Of the 3, the Bosch gets used the most since I do a lot of mortise and tenon work and dovetails.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View DougC's profile

DougC

18 posts in 3721 days


#12 posted 04-15-2021 02:47 PM



I have a Bosch 1617 (2.25 HP?) with the fixed base and plunger base that I use with the Leigh mortise and tenon jig as well as the Leigh dovetail jig. The router table has the big 3-1/4 HP Porter Cable router motor in it, and I also have a Dewalt handheld for little jobs, typically 1/4” shaft bits for edge profiles and such. Of the 3, the Bosch gets used the most since I do a lot of mortise and tenon work and dovetails.

- EarlS

I agree with Earl

I also have the Bosch 1617 with both bases and another 1617 that I use in my router table (so far no problem with the larger raised panel bits that I have used). I really have been pleased with the router. I am in the market now for a small hand held battery unit – I have been using an old Craftsman 1/4” router for smaller bits but think that a new compact unit would be a good add (and a reason to buy a new tool).

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1771 posts in 1266 days


#13 posted 04-15-2021 11:28 PM


I have a Bosch 1617 (2.25 HP?) with the fixed base and plunger base that I use with the Leigh mortise and tenon jig as well as the Leigh dovetail jig. The router table has the big 3-1/4 HP Porter Cable router motor in it, and I also have a Dewalt handheld for little jobs, typically 1/4” shaft bits for edge profiles and such. Of the 3, the Bosch gets used the most since I do a lot of mortise and tenon work and dovetails.

- EarlS

I agree with Earl

I also have the Bosch 1617 with both bases and another 1617 that I use in my router table (so far no problem with the larger raised panel bits that I have used). I really have been pleased with the router. I am in the market now for a small hand held battery unit – I have been using an old Craftsman 1/4” router for smaller bits but think that a new compact unit would be a good add (and a reason to buy a new tool).

- DougC

The dewalt 20v is great. Probably the best router I’ve bought.

2.25hp is the do it all router size. One with variable speed, both collets, and both types of bases is a great tool. It would be what I would get.

If on a budget, the new skil combo 2.25 is a pretty good buy for less than 150$. Occasionally you can find it on sale for 130ish$

View raduray's profile

raduray

7 posts in 63 days


#14 posted 04-15-2021 11:42 PM

I’m the OP. Thank you all for your recommendations. I decided to go with the DeWalt 2.25HP combo. Also got the Makita saw track adapter, which I understand works with the Makita.

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1737 posts in 3674 days


#15 posted 04-16-2021 12:54 AM

I have 3 Bosch 1617’s, 3 pic 690’s, a skill 21/4hp, triton 31/4 hp and a Bosch colt. I don’t have change bits very often. I have a Kreg full size router table, a Kreg portable router table that I use when giving presentations and homemade router table with the Incra fence system. Believe it or not I use all of them during the month for various projects. So I doubt the Dewalt router will be your last. You will keep adding to the inventory when good deals come along. 1/2 of my routers only cost me $5 each.

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