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Old 12-12-2016, 06:05 PM   #16
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I have nothing to add really, but a few reaffirmations if you will. First off, as Joe said, a router is not something that most people use regularly, so think it through, particularly if you have a tool budget to work with, but, on the other hand, they are great to have when you need one, and, personally, I enjoy putting my routers to task periodically. Once you're sure, I agree with what Mort said. Although I can't swear that I have hefted one in a little bit, I think that Craftsman always carried affordable yet efficient routers, and would use them as a baseline for "beginner's". Anything that you find priced under them is probably not what you want to take home, but they will do the job, and probably for a good many years. The other thing Mort mentioned was the Dewalt 611, and I think that's a good choice. I opted for the 618 for my last router purchase, and, as far as I know, it's essentially the same as the 611, except for more horsepower and the fact that I can run either 1/4" or 1/2", which is a blessing because a friend since gave me some some very high quality, brand new 1/2" bits, and the difference is definitely noticeable, although I'm not sure that enough so to warrant purchasing the larger bits unless you were doing commercial work. And, although I was a little apprehensive, the transition from fixed base to plunge is easy, with no loss in accuracy or performance. Finally, Dan mentioned a table, and that is definitely something that you want to include in your budget; a table, in my opinion, increases the value of a router tenfold.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:54 AM   #17
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Re: Router for a Beginner


So the Dewalt 611 will do every thing that the 618 does except only on the 1/4 bit's . I'm not looking at using it every day, only some projects i mention for now an more if I find down the road . Does the compact fit on a router table?
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:16 PM   #18
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Re: Router for a Beginner


Not one of the ready made tables, like from Woodpeckers and JessUm, but Rockler (I think) has a compact router table available. And of course, you can always make your own.

Most people don't bother putting compact routers into tables because they're not powerful enough to run the bigger cabinet and profile bits.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:54 PM   #19
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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So the Dewalt 611 will do every thing that the 618 does except only on the 1/4 bit's . I'm not looking at using it every day, only some projects i mention for now an more if I find down the road . Does the compact fit on a router table?
The 618 is a 2 1/4 HP router. The 611 is 1 1/4 HP. The 618 takes 2 hands to use. The 611 can be held in one (big) hand. 618 will take 1/4" or 1/2" shank bits. 611 only takes 1/4" shank bits. Some tasks can be done with either tool. Some tasks will be easier with the 611 dues to its size and compactness and some tasks will require the extra oompf that the 618 and 1/2" shank bits provide.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:59 PM   #20
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Re: Router for a Beginner


1/4 inch diameter bits are used in compact routers, and special applications for routers which take 1/2 inch bits, such as laminate trimming, fine groove routing, and small diameter spiral bits. Many bits are available in 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch format. In my experience, the 1/2 inch bits are always preferable if you have a router that can take them. They chatter less, cut faster, last longer, and cut cleaner than an equivalent 1/4 inch bit. But of course you can't use a 1/2 inch bit in a router with a 1/4 inch collet. As a note, my Dewalt 1/2 inch router, like virtually all 1/2 inch routers, has a 1/4 inch collet you can insert to use 1/4 inch bits.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:28 PM   #21
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Re: Router for a Beginner


Be certain it has 2 handles and use them both. Evidently this guy thought only 1 handle was needed. He would have been better off scratching his a$$ with the that other hand rather than where ever it was.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:37 AM   #22
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Re: Router for a Beginner


Is the Skil or the Ryobi routers any good? I see they sell bits an routers in a lot of local stores.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:43 AM   #23
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I'm a bit of a tool snob so I haven't used them. For me, they're priced about the same as a used Bosch or Porter Cable is on Craigslist, and I'd much rather have one of those.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:49 PM   #24
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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Is the Skil or the Ryobi routers any good? I see they sell bits an routers in a lot of local stores.
Good is subjective. Depends on your needs and expectations. Not high end bits but again depends on what quality and bit life you want. Good questions but you won't know what is good and what isn't until you try them out. Most responses are based on users' personal experience.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:21 PM   #25
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I guess I do have some Ryobi bits. They were a starter set so I could figure out which ones I used most and buy nice ones of those.

They're not terrible, but not great. Guide bearings leave a bit to be desired but they give you a couple extras.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:18 PM   #26
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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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.

No problem. And with the one handed compact I feel you have more control.
And again you will use it more since you can hold the project with the other hand.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:28 PM   #27
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Re: Router for a Beginner


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No problem. And with the one handed compact I feel you have more control.
And again you will use it more since you can hold the project with the other hand.
Will my son was showing me his dresser an I need to rebuild new draws for it now, Can a compact handle this , I would need to put a 1/4 grove on the sides for it to slide in/out and the front board would need some kind trim work. I guess I will be looking at something with a fix/plunge combo or can I get away with just a fix router?

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Old 12-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #28
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Re: Router for a Beginner


A fixed base trim router would work great for that.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:17 PM   #29
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Re: Router for a Beginner



This guy is a member on Woodworking Talk, kinda gives an overview on the different router types.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:03 PM   #30
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Re: Router for a Beginner


I'm not a big "learn how to use a tool from a book" guy, but Bill Hylton's book "Woodworking with the Router" is worth every penny and then some, seriously.
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