treesner

Easiest plunge router

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Hey guys Trying to find the smoothest/easiest plunge router. I’ve got a ton of slots to cut on hdpe plastic whinch involves plunging down, pushing forward and plunging up. Basically it should be cnced but the quotes were super expensive to routing by hand is my solution for the product I’m making/selling. 

Ive got the large Milwaukee one, the thumb clutch is pretty stiff and the plunge down isn’t that smooth. This triton one looks pretty dialed though, I like that you can just leave the plunge unlocked and go up and down freely or even just turn the side handle wheels. Haven’t tried the restock ones yet but assuming they are dialed?

 

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Not sure what size or budget your are shooting for but the small Festool has pretty good power and I've read they are the smoothest router period. I don't know anything about trition.

Edit* I meant to add stay away from the PC 890s they are not very smooth. So if you do try out a triton let me know. The festool option is expensive probably too much so.

Edited by Chestnut
Finish what i meant to say.

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I'll toss in the Hitatchi as one that is a bit stiff to operate, at least when new. Mine seems to be getting smoother with age, but the thumb lever requires an uncomfortably long stroke to operate.

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First I admit I have a bit of a router issue...at last count like 11 in the shop and a couple more that I have tried and returned. Hands down for smoothest operation and best dust collection Festool is hard to beat...having said that are they worth the insane pricing? Only you can decide that but if it were me and I was looking for an all around plunge router I would be looking for a Festool recon OF1400.

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41 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

First I admit I have a bit of a router issue...at last count like 11 in the shop and a couple more that I have tried and returned. Hands down for smoothest operation and best dust collection Festool is hard to beat...having said that are they worth the insane pricing? Only you can decide that but if it were me and I was looking for an all around plunge router I would be looking for a Festool recon OF1400.

Thank you I see the 1400 all over the place so figure its good. routers are really messy so I imagine the festool dust collection would be worth it. 

how smooth/easy is the plunge up and plunge down. I wasn't quite sure how the lock works for it if you have to hold a lever down like my Milwaukee, I found one video of someone plunging and it didn't really look that smooth

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The Bosch with the switch in the handle is really nice for repetitive short cuts like that.  When I was doing my modular jewelry boxes I was using it to make 4 holes for dowels on each side of each drawer box with a template.  Being able to just turn it on as you grab it by the handle saves so much time.   I really like the Triton in the router table but not so much freehand.

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I have the Triton in my router table, the DC is outstanding, but it is very awkward hand held.  I have a Bosch plunge/fixed base combo with the handle mounted trigger and it is a nice router, but there is no DC.  I think there may be an add on for DC but not sure.  But I am really a fan of the FT 1400 and FT1010.  They are simply the best handheld routers I have ever used.  They both have outstanding DC, are easy to control and the plunge mechanism is very smooth.  If I were to have only one hand held it would be the 1400.

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56 minutes ago, treesner said:

Thank you I see the 1400 all over the place so figure its good. routers are really messy so I imagine the festool dust collection would be worth it. 

how smooth/easy is the plunge up and plunge down. I wasn't quite sure how the lock works for it if you have to hold a lever down like my Milwaukee, I found one video of someone plunging and it didn't really look that smooth

You turn the knob on the left to lock it in to me it is  a very smooth plunge, the handle does takes a bit of getting used too

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55 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

I have the Triton in my router table, the DC is outstanding, but it is very awkward hand held.  I have a Bosch plunge/fixed base combo with the handle mounted trigger and it is a nice router, but there is no DC.  I think there may be an add on for DC but not sure.  But I am really a fan of the FT 1400 and FT1010.  They are simply the best handheld routers I have ever used.  They both have outstanding DC, are easy to control and the plunge mechanism is very smooth.  If I were to have only one hand held it would be the 1400.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005RHPN/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

That'll fit the 1617 EVS plunge / fixed combo. 

 

And I was going to recommend the BOSCH plunge as well , but after seeing the Triton....i think i like that better!

 

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If you’re looking for a new router for a job that should be CNCd, is getting a small CNC router out of the question? Some of the YouTube makers seem to go ok with the xcarve machine. 

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Sorry to hear the Milwaukees have gone downhill.  Mine plunge with one hand but, are from a time gone by maybe(?).  Since you already have one maybe play with removing/weakening  the return spring on the lock and/or remove a turn or two on the plunge springs?

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One of the few routers I own that doesn't keep a dedicated bit in it, is a Bosch 1613.  It's a couple of generations back from the 1617, but I've had no need to upgrade it.  I know it's at least 28 years old.  It has a nice fine adjuster on it, that you can use after it's locked into the next plunge depth.  I don't really know the differences in the later models 1615, and 1617, but evidently I don't need anything they offer over this one.

I do have another plunge router that doesn't keep a dedicated bit in it, but it's a beast in every way, including having to adjust the plunge on the Porter Cable 7539.

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