I'm uying a new plunge router, any advice on which one?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric M Jones, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Hi all,

    I'm tired of my crappy old B&D with the wobbly plunge base and am going to purchase a new plunge router. I'd like some suggestions of what to buy from you guys.

    I'm partial to the Porter Cable and Dewalts.

    Who's using them?

    What do you like about it ?

    What don't you like about it?

    I'd also like something with dust collection capabilities is there anything out there?

    Thanks for your help,

    -EJ
     
  2. Ron D Core

    Ron D Core Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, me too. I was thinking about asking the same question.[​IMG]
     
  3. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    Love my 690...
    Bases come about $89 each...depending on what you want.
    In kit form, you can get the 690 (Porter Cable by the way) with the fixed base, and the plunge base for $200. Sometimes Rocklers has a special in which they throw in another fixed base for free (to attach to a router table). I'd suggest getting the kit, with or without the extra fixed base, and then buying a D-Handled base.
    Excellent motor for a decent price.
    Not to mention there are a bunch of options available (for an added expense of course) such as dust collection. I believe the dust collection attachment hooks up where the edge attachment hooks up, so I don't know if you can do dust collection while using the edge attachment...???
    I too had a B&D until the aluminum tabs which held the motor to the base broke [​IMG]
    Tim
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Please do a search of the DIY forum. This question is asked and answered every other week.
     
  5. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    A search is the first thing I did. I found a few threads but nothing with the specific information I'm looking for or I wouldn't be asking.

    -EJ
     
  6. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Well, if a search didn't work, here's my two cents:

    If you're going to work with MDF, I strongly suggest you get a router with a dust collection port. MDF makes clouds of dust that will get all over everything in your shop/garage. Unfortunately, that narrows your choices considerably. The DeWalt 621 is a fairly high horsepower unit and its dust collection design uses an oversize plunge tube to route dust up to a vacuum hose connector. Freud makes a smaller, lower horsepower unit with a dust port and its small size makes it very maneuverable and non-tiring to use. The DeWalt would be my choice if you're going to own only one router. Its more powerful motor will handle large bits in hardwood.
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I have both the DeWalt and PC routers mentioned above. The DeWalt is now my favorite because of the dust collection feature. I use it with the Jasper Jig and have moved the PC to my router table.

    Brian
     
  8. James Mudler

    James Mudler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Eric,
    I am a PC fam. But I did stumble across this Dewalt 3hp for $250. Go to the bargin bin
    http://www.pricecutter.com/
    If you go with a PC plunge. You can replace the height ajustment knob with a 3/8 window crank (I found mine at lowes), workes much easier and great for router tables.
     
  9. Phil M

    Phil M Stunt Coordinator

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    I too am in the same position. I was really leaning towards the Dewalt 621, but then I read some very good reviews on the Porter Cable 7529. My local woodworking shop also said that they were teaching a class using both, and found it very hard to use the Dewalt with templates so they stopped using it?
    here are a couple links:
    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/router4.html
    http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/conte...ters/prod4.asp
    There were a couple more good online reviews comparing the two, but I can't find them right now.
    My only concern is, I don't think the Jasper Circle jig will fit the 7529 as it only lists that it fits the 693 and 7539?
    Any using the PC 7529
    Phil
     
  10. Justin Bowser

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    IMHO the big question should be how much is it going to be used. If you will be using it a lot then a good quality HD router should be considered. But, if you are only going to use it on a couple of projects go for a lower priced model.

    I have two routers. One is a Bosch 1 3/4 HP fixed base, micrometer adjust job that stays bolted into the router table all the time (90% of my router work is on the table) and I have a cheapo Skill 1 1/2 HP plunge router. The Skill cost between $60-$70 at Home Depot and so far has worked quite well for an economy unit. Depth adjustment is fussier than with the higher priced jobs but once set and locked down it's very repeatable. The base will also lock at any depth so it can be used like a conventional router.

    I just bought these these two last summer to replace the $10 pawn-shop 5/8 hp B&D router I had took the last 15 years wearing out!

    I totally agree with everybody that carbide bits are the way to go, I don't know whey they even make plain steel bits! If you will be doing a lot of projects you can get bit assortments that will save you over half the individual bit cost. I just bought a 24 bit carbide set for $98.
     
  11. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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  12. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    One last time guys: if you have the opportunity to borrow a router without a dust collection port, please do so, or ask a friend to demo for you. Use it on MDF and take note of the volume of dust produced. If you can live with it, then go for one of the best, PC or whatever. Please use that as one of your decision factors.
    nuff said...[​IMG]
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    What Hank is trying to say is sinus infections that last 2+ months because you inhaled MDF dust every day for a week is not fun! Believe me, I know! [​IMG] Not to mention the long term affects if you do this for years on end.
    Brian
     
  14. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    Or maybe...you could spend an extra $9 and get a contractors pack of nuisance filters???

    Tim
     
  15. James Mudler

    James Mudler Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Tim,

    I wear a dust mask when I use any of my tools with MDF.

    Brian
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I look like this when I use a router on MDF. I've upgraded to a better mask, and it seems to do the job as I've been routing MDF for the past 3 days in the afternoon, and have not had any of the MDF-sinus problems of the past years. The mask is just a bit more expensive than the cheap 3 for $2 variety, more like $3 each, but worth it if you don't have a respirator mask.
    I feel kinda guilty getting by on a cheapo $65 plunge router, but it has gotten me through many projects so far.
     
  18. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input guys.
    I currenty have three routers: an old not so accurate B&D plunge (I mentioned in my main post), cheap fixed base Craftsman, and a 3hp Dewalt which I use on a router table.
    I'm buying a new plunge becaue I'm tired of working with the inferior B&D and trying to get by. Plus I did some work for a buddy and he's paying me in power tools [​IMG] I'll probably be using it quite a bit because I'm going to start building speakers for Acoustic Visions.
    I was just at a local tool store and looked at the two I was interested in. The PC 7529 and Dewalt 621. I like these compaines because I've used their tools for years and have never regretted purchasing either one of their products.
    Compared side by side I decided to go with the Dewalt. Here's why:
    The Dewalt's dust collection setup is by far superior. It has a much larger "duct " hole. I could see the PC getting plugged up easier. Plus the tube coming out on top seems like it's less likely to get tangled up in instead of the PC which is on the base... I really want this feature becuse I've built a lot of speakers in the past few years and I've always dreaded the routing due to the MDF dust. I use a mask and all but the stuff just goes everywhere.
    I also like the plunger "locking" mechanisim on the Dewalt better. It just a seemed less likely to get "sloppy". The PC display model at the store had problems staying put as I played with it. I'm sure it has an adjustment but I've always stuck by the "keep it simple" thought and the screw type of lock on the Dewalt seems to fit the bill.
    One other thing I like about the Dewalt is it's size they're the same horse but the Dewalt seems a little more manageable... The only negative I see is possibly the odd shaped base plate. I can see how it might cause problems with templates. Fortunatley I really don't have a need for that.
    So there's my thoughts. Thanks again
    -EJ
     
  19. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    My Dewalt 621 is my new favorate tool. Haven't used the dust collection yet as I don't have a vaccum powerful enough. Maybe a shop vac should be my next purchase. How much are those things by the way?

    Anyway, dust got everywhere and on everything! Not good! I imagine the Dust collection feature is a real plus. The base plate is managable but I guess it could be better however, I have had no problems at all so far with it.

    An amazing tool!
     
  20. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    The DeWalt's aren't as noisy as the PC routers either!

    Brian
     

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