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Old 06-05-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Best Quality in Power Tools?


I am looking to buy a router and have been checking out the Dewalt, Porter Cable, and Bosch routers that they sell at Lowes and Home Depot. They look nice but when I start fiddling with little things like the depth control knobs and dials it starts to become apparent that they feel really cheap. For instance, on the porter cable model 896PK (fixed/plunge combo) it appears that the worm gear attached to the depth control knob on the fixed base is plastic. And it also appears that it is meshing with a metal gear. To me it just seems that it would be a matter of time before the plastic wears down to the point that it is ineffective. The floor model appeared to already have that problem as the worm gear had a lot of play in it and it did not turn smoothly at all. Same problem with the dewalt depth control dial and the bosch had similar problems (turning the dial was kind of rough and you could hear the grinding of parts).

So if I wanted to find a tool that was designed to last, what brand should I be looking at?

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Old 06-05-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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Best Quality in Power Tools?


I bought the Bosch with the pistol grip about 5 years ago. A real comfortable, good performing tool. Iíve ran it over miles of trim and last year it intermittently stopped working. I thought it must need new brushes. Wrong, the armature burnt up and the brushes were fine. That sucks, it cost 2/3 of the cost of the tool to fix. So time for a new one. I need one now. I barrowed a Porta Cable to finish the job, nice tool too. I looked at everything Iím sure your looking at now going into it pissed off at Bosch. In the end I bought the same pistol gripped Bosch again. With the exception of letting me down in the end it was the best, most comfortable router Iíve ever used.

The depth knob on most of them suck. Donít even use it. I just unlock the collar and adjust it.

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jerseyguy1996 View Post
I am looking to buy a router and have been checking out the Dewalt, Porter Cable, and Bosch routers that they sell at Lowes and Home Depot. They look nice but when I start fiddling with little things like the depth control knobs and dials it starts to become apparent that they feel really cheap. For instance, on the porter cable model 896PK (fixed/plunge combo) it appears that the worm gear attached to the depth control knob on the fixed base is plastic. And it also appears that it is meshing with a metal gear. To me it just seems that it would be a matter of time before the plastic wears down to the point that it is ineffective. The floor model appeared to already have that problem as the worm gear had a lot of play in it and it did not turn smoothly at all. Same problem with the dewalt depth control dial and the bosch had similar problems (turning the dial was kind of rough and you could hear the grinding of parts).

So if I wanted to find a tool that was designed to last, what brand should I be looking at?
It would help if you posted the intended use. Are you putting this in a router table? Handheld? What are you going to use it for? Raised panels? Molding profiles?
I have a 1 1/2hp Porter Cable kit for years and have never had an issue with adjustment problems. Regular base is in a table. The d handle and plunge bases I use for hand held work. The 3 hp Freund, Porter Cable, Hitachi and Milwaulkee alternate in a table, attached to a router raiser system from Woodpecker's. The adjustments on the router are not used. The height is adjusted using the arm on the raiser unit.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:53 AM   #4
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Best Quality in Power Tools?


Once again,I'll ask,What are you going to use it for?

I've got a stack of routers---Mostly Porter Cable fixed base. Plunge bases are a pain to adjust compared to a fixed base.

I seldom make plunge cuts so those routers usually just sit around waiting for the special use that they are designed to do.

I work my routers hard and long---The Porter Cables have served me well.

-----Mike-----

Last week Home Depot was closing out the Porter Cable 2 1/4 horse fixed base variable speed--U.S.A.

Was-$189----Mark down--$89.( I've had one like this in a router table for over two years--running a panel raising bit--Works well.)
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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Best Quality in Power Tools?


To answer the question "What will I use it for?"

It definately would NOT get heavy use (or I wouldn't expect it to). I occassionally like to break into a wood working project and their is usually something that is best served with a router. In the past I always used my dad's porter cable but now that I live 1600 miles away from my dad that is not really possible. My main fear is that I will pay $200 for a new tool only to find out a year from now that the dang thing was never built to last. I have been frustrated lately because it seems like manufacturers would prefer to sell tools that will break down in a few years (to insure future customers) rather than build something to last. Granted I have become incredibly cynical lately.

I want something that (just in case) I decide to build a strip built canoe or kayak or something that requires a ridiculous number of bead and cove joints, that I would not have a burnt up router half way through the job.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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It's hard to beat a Porter Cable ---there are a lot of quality router available--Check out the Depot--
That was one sweet deal I got--There might still be one at your store.

That is a very versatile tool.---Mike--
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
It's hard to beat a Porter Cable ---there are a lot of quality router available--Check out the Depot--
That was one sweet deal I got--There might still be one at your store.

That is a very versatile tool.---Mike--
Looks like I will probably focus in on the Porter Cable. I've got about $200 worth of gift cards to lowes and they had a combo kit (plunge/fixed) for $199. Of course if Home Depot has a much better deal I may just shell out cash at HD and use my gift cards for more power tools at Lowes

Thanks everyone for the replies!

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