Bullsfan586

Which Router?

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I am a craft woodworker, and I am looking to add to my tool chest by adding a router. My intention is to build some simple furniture, and whatever strikes my fancy. Right now, I am considering three different models. All three are kits that include a plunge base.

Dewalt DW618PKBR 2-1/4 HP (Refurbished for $179.99)

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2-1/4 HP (New for $189.99)

Makita RT0701CX7 1-1/4 HP (New for $139.99)

Which would be best? I am a teacher, and my budget is limited. That's why I've included the Makita.

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I am not much of a router guy, but I have a couple of them.  If you are looking at the Bosch the MR23 is nicer than the 1617 set.  I have both and I found that the unsheilded switch on the 1617 filled with sawdust and had to be taken apart and cleaned out in a short time.  The switch on the MR23 is in the handle, which is nicer, plus it has the LED light on the workpiece.  Other than the mentioned switch problem the 1617 is a pretty fine machine though.

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I have multiple routers in my shop as well and have always enjoyed the Bosch 1617.  I haven't had the issue that Jim mentioned or really heard of it for that matter.  However, if it happened to Jim, I'm sure there are others.

I saw your welcome post and you also asked what other tools should be on your list.  There's quite a few shop tours here and on YouTube.  You might take a look at some of those for some inspiration.  Regardless, the big 3 is pretty much where it all starts.  Planer, Jointer, and Table Saw.  After that Dust Collector, Bandsaw, and Drum Sander would be my list.  Then, Drill Press, and Miter Saw.  That's just my opinion but, the first 3 is usually agreed upon. 

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I have the Bosch 1617 set and like it, but then I've not used many others, so no comparisons, and I don't use a router that much.  

When I do use it I do wish it had it's switch in the handle instead of the top of the case.  

I like the idea of both bases, but honestly use the plunge base more.

Oh, and I believe in "buy once cry once".

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Another thought on routers.  Think ahead to a track system.  The track systems, such as Festool's, are most commonly used with track saws, which are themselves a wonderful invention.  A router that can also ride the same track is very usefull for a long straight router run.  So I would give some consideration to what track saw and track system I'd want to be in.  

Triton and Makita have track saws, but I'm not sure of Bosch and DeWalt.

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I also have the Bosch 1617 kit and like it. 
I have the fixed base in my homemade router table and like that it has above the table adjustment. For handheld operations I put it in the plunge base. I do wish it had a switch on the handle, but that hasn’t really been a big issue for me. I’ve been very happy with it overall.

I also bought the Bosch edge guide to go with it and it is sturdy and works well.  Take a look at the accessories available, available accessories may help you make the decision.

My only comparison is an old Craftsman router and a Ridgid trim router. 

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We all tend to recommend those things that we have had success with.  I have left DeWalt behind and have replace a few bearings in Bosch routers (Which I really like which explains why I replace the bearings). In contrast, my Milwaukee routers just run, and run, and run.
 

You would normally think that was a recommendation but unfortunately in today’s retail climate, I don’t know that the current Milwaukee’s are as good. My newest Milwaukee is about a 2007. I use them a lot so that speaks to the quality level, at least at that time.

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On 11/10/2019 at 8:55 AM, Mark J said:

I have the Bosch 1617 set and like it, but then I've not used many others, so no comparisons, and I don't use a router that much.  

When I do use it I do wish it had it's switch in the handle instead of the top of the case.  

I like the idea of both bases, but honestly use the plunge base more.

Oh, and I believe in "buy once cry once".

Well, I guess I'll see if I cry over my decision, but I bought the Bosch kit. I heard someone say once that you buy the best tool you can afford. And while this kit with a table guide and a basic bit set was a little more than my budget, it wasn't something I couldn't afford. After agonizing over the decision for weeks, I finally bit the bullet. Now I need a table. I can build one (which is my tendency!) or I can purchase one. I could leave the fixed base attached to the table if I like, taking it off if need be. Now I need to take a class on using it! Rockler here I come!

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There is a Bosch 1617 kit with the plunge that nobody likes, Iq may offer one of my PC 690 kits with plunge and trade.

 

Tells you what I'm thinking.....

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