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Best edge router for hard wood?

829 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ratherbefishing
I'm hoping to make some oak furniture soon, and need a router to cut dados and grooves, as well as small roundovers.

I don't really want to get a full size router, so hoping there's an edge router strong enough to use reliably on hard wood. Does anyone have any suggestions that won't cost an arm and a leg?

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I have old porter cable 1.5hp and it is a combo of stationary base and a plunge cut base. Can't do one big cuts but made do with series of small cuts. I see $200 dewalt (homedepot) and not sure if you can do better. Maybe corded rigid or ryobi? It's important that the collets are precise, so don't go too cheap. I assume they all have centered base.

Good, sharp and balanced bits are more important. Names like amana and whiteside. Rockler is a store that can be trusted. I see it has its own brand too. Solid bits than wings.

Dado depends on ply or solid board. Ply is 1/32 thinner or so. It needs a dado bit made for plywood.
Either one of these will work and easy to use.

1. Makita compact router

2. Bosch Colt

3. Dewalt compact router

My full size routers just set in the shop most of the time.
I bought a Bosch Colt because it was the highest regarded at the time, and I found a killer deal at a pawn shop. If I was doing it again, I'd look hard at the DeWalt Compact with the fixed and plunge bases.

For doing dadoes and grooves, I usually use the table saw.
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll most likely pick one of those and get to work! :)
The primary tool is important, no doubt, but keep in mind too that the bits you choose are as important as the tool itself.
You will likely burn the Bosch Colt up if you use it with too big of a bit. I'm on my 4th one and have found that if you push them too hard it shortens their life considerably. But I keep buying them cuz I like them.
Forgot. Factory round hole base will fit small bits. You can use bigger bits but must buy third party base with bigger hole. If yes, look for a base that has your router's screw holes. Also for dado. Dado bit cutting edge may be spiraled. There are spiral cutting up or cutting down bits. Cutting down will minimize splinters along the cuts.
The primary tool is important, no doubt, but keep in mind too that the bits you choose are as important as the tool itself.
I've had good luck with bits from MLCS. Free shipping makes it easy to try new profiles and shapes.
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