Porter Cable 7538

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Forum topic by Alex Lane posted 09-09-2008 08:27 PM 3218 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alex Lane

583 posts in 4862 days

09-09-2008 08:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: porter cable router table plunge variable speed

I’m looking to replace my current table-mounted plunge router (Chicago Tools 3.5HP 19A) with another beastly router of far superior quality. I’m considering the Porter Cable 7538 because I already own a router speed control from MLCS.

The Chicago router immediatedly jolts up to maximum RPM when turned on, so I use the speed control to soft start it and adjust to the desired speed (the real reason for my wishing to replace it is because when I try to use panel raiser bits or a bit extension shaft, the whole router makes a frighteningly loud vibrating noise which I think means a crooked shaft or bad bearings). The PC router claims to have soft starting built in, but I still want to use my variable speed control WITHOUT HAVING TO REACH INSIDE MY ROUTER TABLE to adjust speed on the router motor like Norm Abram’s 7539 5-speed router.

Is it worth saving approximately $40 to buy the single speed soft-start router and use my own variable speed control with it? Are the two even compatible (meaning: will the soft-start router even work with the v-s control?)

Any input or personal experience is appreciated.

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

3 replies so far

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 4750 days

#1 posted 09-10-2008 12:21 AM

Some routers (I believe soft start routers fall into this category) are not compatible with external speed controls. Be sure and check before you invest in one. I have a Freud 2.25hp and it is not compatible.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

583 posts in 4862 days

#2 posted 09-10-2008 01:12 PM

IF no soft-start routers are compatible with external variable speed controls, does anyone know of a modern 3HP router (besides Chicago brand) that is premium quality, yet has no soft start or variable speed built in?

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View waynet's profile


22 posts in 4846 days

#3 posted 09-10-2008 07:33 PM

The variable speed comes in very handy even if you have to change the speed manualy on the router. In real terms I personally rarely ever change the speed of my table mounted PC except when using VERY large bits then I slow it down a little. Most of the time I am using a mid range speed on the router for everyday use and average sized bits.

-- Wayne, Tennessee Mallard Design

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