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bote110 12-12-2016 08:02 AM

Router for a Beginner
What will be the best beginners router to get ? Should I just look at getting a second hand or a Ryobi Router. I've never had power tools before now I'm collecting tools for my first house an have some projects to do.


ZZZZZ 12-12-2016 08:21 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
Ryobi offers a decent entry-level router. I have one myself.

Most pro routers use 1/2" shank bits, the less expensive routers use 1/4". The 1/2" shank generally give slightly better results, due to less chatter and vibration.

Check this out this router buying guide from HD.


joecaption 12-12-2016 08:31 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
Projects such as what?
Different routers for different jobs.
If I was starting a new tool collection from scratch a router would be very low on my list.
I own three routers and have not used them for at least 5 years.
If I was going to buy one I'd be buying another Porta Cable.
Buy a cheap one and you'll regret it.

Mort 12-12-2016 08:37 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
This is one of the few Craftsman purchases I would recommend. If you want to buy just one that does everything at a decent price, they're not bad. The exact same router is sold by some other big box stores under their brand names too.

My one caveat would be to buy one with variable speed, plunge and fixed bases, and 1/4" and 1/2" collets included. Craftsman product support is atrocious, so if you buy a bare bones kit, and want to buy a 1/2" collet later, you're out of luck.

kwikfishron 12-12-2016 09:29 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
199 Attachment(s)
Whatever you do stay away from the harbor freight routers. Recently I was working out of town, forgot my router so off to HF. The one I got the collet wasn't even square to the table.

RRH 12-12-2016 10:02 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
I would get the Makita compact router, Bosch Colt or even the ryobi RTR400-S

I have a couple large routers but 99% of the time use the above Makita, Bosch or an older Ryobi laminate trimmer.

With these you use a router much more. Can use it one handed so dont have to clamp the wood.
Simple to just pick it up and put a decorative edge on anything. With the larger models would not be worth the setup time for something simple.

I can do just about anything with these that I would do with a larger model.
But so much easier and quicker to use.
Again the large models collect dust most of the time.

You will be very happy getting a new or used Makita compact or Bosch Colt.

Mort 12-12-2016 10:21 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
If it's trim routers you want, I have the DeWalt 611 kit with both bases and recommend it highly. If you're patient you can find it on sale for $150. It's one problem is you can't put a 1/2" collet in it.

For a do-it-all router I'd still recommend the Craftsman as a price/features compromise.

bote110 12-12-2016 11:41 AM

Re: Router for a Beginner
My first project is a hall tree bench for the mud room , would like to do some round off edging . My basement I need to do a knee wall but will be doing a shelf all the way around and would like to round of the end of the board and window sill . Would a compact router handle this?
I end up getting a Poter Cable 560 pocket hole jig and planning on doing some projects with this too later down the road.

Mort 12-12-2016 12:34 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
A compact router would be perfect.

JIMMIEM 12-12-2016 12:50 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
Bosch Colt or DeWalt DW611......both compact and get very good reviews....but not inexpensive. RIDGID R2401 got a Best Value rating @ $99 from Home Depot.
Bit prices vary and like with everything else you will get what you pay for. If you are going to use the router to put the finishing touches on your project don't go cheap on the tool or bits.

Mort 12-12-2016 03:11 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
The LED lights on my DeWalt are worth the extra money in my opinion.

joecaption 12-12-2016 03:37 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
If all your doing is rounding off an edge a random orbital sander will do the same thing, and be able to be used for hundreds of other jobs.
Not against routers, there's just dozens of other tools that are far more important that your going to need and use far more often than a tool you use for 10 min. And it sits on a shelf for years.

Mikeron 12-12-2016 03:37 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
I have the makita 1/4 shank router, great for rounding trim.

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Daniel Holzman 12-12-2016 05:06 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
Routers are amazingly versatile tools, however they often require construction or purchase of a jig to get optimal results. Here are a few things you can do with a router that is difficult or impossible to do with other common tools.

1. Cut molding edges. There are hundreds of bits available that make molding edges such as roundover, roman ogee, bevel, cove. Almost impossible to cut these shapes any other way.
2. Frame and panel doors. Special bits cut the groove and make the overlay in one pass. Virtually impossible to make doors any other way, unless you are a master craftsman with hand tools.
3. Cutting circles and ellipses. Simple jigs allow you to cut perfect circles and ellipses, almost impossible to get perfect results any other way.
4. Pattern routing. You can cut shapes into wooden blocks for marquetry and insets using a pattern cutting bit, I don't know any other way to do this.
5. Trimming. A router makes a great tool for trimming laminate and similar materials.
6. Jointing. You can use a router table to joint boards for making table tops. The other option is an expensive jointer, which is essentially a single purpose tool.

I have no idea what types of projects you are planning. As always, the tools you need are determined by what you are trying to accomplish. I have two routers, I use them a lot, but only for the purposes they are good for, such as the ones I listed above. My suggestion is to buy a high quality tool, there is absolutely nothing worse than owning a low quality tool. A router can be dangerous, you want one that does not chatter, holds the bits firmly, remains locked at the height you set. Cheap tools may allow the bit to loosen in the collet, and may go out of alignment.

Canarywood1 12-12-2016 05:34 PM

Re: Router for a Beginner
I agree with Daniel, i have a 3 1/4 hp Hitachi mounted in a table for the last 30 years, and couldn't have built some projects without it, it's one invaluable tool.

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