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Thread: Best all around plunge router for both woodworking and finish carpentry?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Falls Church, VA
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    83
    Another vote for the DW621. I would like to try a Festool router one day, but havenít taken the plunge yet ... see what I did there

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    36
    +1 on the DeWalt 621.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    lost in the NW Atlanta 'burbs
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    151
    I'm in the DW 621 camp for best all-around plunger along with the rest. Pat Warner(RIP, Pat) thought the same. I have a lot of routers including the Festoy 1400 and the 621 is my go-to plunger. For heavy work the OF2200 can't be beat.

    Here's my router shelf, there are a few more scattered about in drawers and Systainers:

    IMG_1234.JPG

    Hi, I'm Bill and I'm an addict. And a student of Pat's to boot.

    Yes, that's a USA made P-C 7539 in the back left corner in case you're curious, ditto for the motor in the 7518.
    Last edited by Bill Graham; 12-06-2017 at 11:09 PM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    184
    Ok, hearing a lot of noise about the DW621. As I said in my original post, if the DW611 was 1/2" and slightly more powerful then I wouldn't be asking this question. I really love that router. So if the DW621 is close in overall feel and features to the DW611, I will likely be happy with it. Does it have an LED light built in?

    I've used a Bosch 1617 EVS plenty of times and wasn't crazy about it overall. I just don't love the ergonomics of it and some of the plunge components wore prematurely, which was annoying.

    Festool is out of this discussion bc of price alone. No way that I can justify double or triple the price of every other choice just for potentially better dust collection and a fancy case. Festool is top quality, but their prices are just too high on most items.

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying that I will only have 1 router to do every task. I already own 2 and use them both...Just asking, in your opinion, what the most versatile 2 hp sized router is for both woodworking and on-site finish carpentry. I will likely always have a smaller trim router around for edge work and smaller work like hinge mortises, etc where the smaller weight and size is advantageous.
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 12-06-2017 at 11:12 PM.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    lost in the NW Atlanta 'burbs
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    151
    Phillip,

    I haven't played with the new DeWalts so I can't comment on the 611. I still use my old B&D 7616, a fixed -base 1/4" router that was the predecessor of the DW 610, best handling router I've ever owned and at 30 years still running. If the 611 can carry on that legacy good on it!

    Like I said, I'm a big fan of the 621. It has decent power, I like that the DC connection is at the top instead of dragging a hose across the work and it handles very comfortably. The switch takes some getting used to, its' only drawback as far as I can tell. It doesn't have an LED built in. It handles well, has decent dust collection and doesn't break the bank. I'd much rather use it than my OF 1400.

    I also have the Bosch 1617 and MRF23 routers but only in fixed base. I prefer the MRF because it's quieter but I keep both, one set up with a straight bit and the other with a dovetail to use with the Leigh jig. Sometimes it's the little things that make life worth living.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    4,310
    Bill, a man after my own heart. At last count I had 27 routers. Why change bits?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    lost in the NW Atlanta 'burbs
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    151
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    Bill, a man after my own heart. At last count I had 27 routers. Why change bits?

    Only if they wear out!

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I just don't love the ergonomics of it and some of the plunge components wore prematurely, which was annoying.
    This is probably more important to a router meeting your satisfaction than any other feature. Like a hand plane, a hand held router is very personal and one that fits my hands well may feel like a handful of spaghetti to you. After I tried my first Milwaukee 'body grip' I was hooked and have a half a dozen various Milwaukees; some have been running over a decade. They had a popular spurt and I read that the quality dropped but, cannot say from experience as all of mine are older.

    I love the Bosch intelligent design and features but, they feel awkward in my hand. This is a good example of something that I should like but, do not. If the De Walt ergonomics and adjustments/controls (I like the height adjustment ring but, the quality just wasn't there for the 618 combo) feel good to you I would stick with that. You already know what you like. You just need to choose the power level that you want.
    Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    5,109
    Ok, hearing a lot of noise about the DW621. As I said in my original post, if the DW611 was 1/2" and slightly more powerful then I wouldn't be asking this question. I really love that router.
    When I bought my DW611 a few years ago, I thought long and hard about getting rid of my single speed fixed base Porter Cable 690.
    Then I thought about it and decided to hang onto the 690 - in case I needed a 1.75 HP w/a 1/2" collet.
    So far, that need has yet to come about.
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    42,633
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    Ok, hearing a lot of noise about the DW621. As I said in my original post, if the DW611 was 1/2" and slightly more powerful then I wouldn't be asking this question.
    The DW611 (single speed) and DW618 (variable speed) are great general purpose routers, especially with having three different bases to choose from. The DW621 is a little more of a "workhorse" ... and sounds to be a good fit for your stated need and budget. It's been around for a LONG time and is a proven tool.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #26
    My mid-sized are two PC690s with 4 bases and home made base plates. If I was to buy another today, it would be the DW621. I've never used one but the late Pat Warner really liked it as do a lot of you. I like my PCs but they do throw dust around the shop. It would be nice to collect even part of it. Both are single speed at this point so I might break down and get another router some day.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    4,603
    Well, you guys do realize that he who dies with the most tools wins don't you?

    My issue is that with Harvey and my fading memory, I don't always remember what's what.

    Also, talking about routers brings back memories of Pat Warner. I enjoyed watching his videos.
    You might go back and visit his videos.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 12-07-2017 at 5:50 PM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    68

    Talking Bosch GOF 1600 CE

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I'm interested in hearing opinions about the most versatile plunge router to have around the shop for woodworking, but also for taking on jobs sites for finish carpentry tasks (pattern routing, flush cut trimming, mortises, rabbets, grooves, etc for custom doors, any odd-ball finish type tasks you can think of where a plunge router may be used on a jobsite.)

    I think a 1/2" collet capacity is a must. I have a Dewalt DW611 with the plunge kit, which would be the perfect all around router, but it's only 1/4" collet. I also have a PC690 with a plunge kit, but I need to buy or make a new round baseplate for it; the stock baseplate is off center (in relation to the bit) enough to mess up any sort of template jig (used "bumper style") accuracy. That was a frustrating discovery to find out the first time after wondering why my mortise/housing template jigs weren't coming out right....The 690 is a bit of a crude affair, but I do find it useful for a general purpose router where accuracy isn't absolutely critical.

    I don't think a 3+ hp size is necessary, but may be misguided? They tend to be too heavy and bulky sometimes to be useful in certain applications.

    To sum it up, I want to find a 1/2" collet plunge router that can handle pretty much anything I throw at as far as woodworking and finish carpentry, not be too heavy and bulky, and be designed well enough so that I don't get annoyed with using it often. New model or used model, doesn't matter to me. Effective dust collection options would be a plus, but not having it isn't a deal breaker.

    Fire away, gents.
    Recently I changed my 25+ years old Hitachi TR-12 by a new Bosch GOF 1600CE. It came with 1/4", 12 mm and 1/2" collets. I transform permanently the 12 mm one into 8 mm with a reduction sleeve because I have a lot of tools with 8 mm shank. With 1,600W motor it has a plenty of power.

    The main reasons that motivated my "upgrade" were variable speed, height adjust also under the base to use in a router table and something quieter. The bonus was a much better placed on/off switch in the handle, not in the motor body, an efficient dust collection and the LED that provide a pilot warning if the tool is plugged.

    The plunge mechanism although equal or slightly better than my Hitachi's is not so smooth like I found in the similar router model from Makita... but it is not difficult to cope with it.

    I like to have two routers: one heavy duty and another light duty (trimmer). This year I changed both of them (Hitachi and Porter Cable old models) by Bosch and Makita (respectively).

    Modern tools are so great compared with older ones that is difficult to go wrong now a days.

    All the best.
    Last edited by Osvaldo Cristo; 12-07-2017 at 6:43 PM. Reason: typo error

  14. #29
    I like my Bosch combo. That being said I do own all the other major brands and their really isn't a huge difference between them. The Bosch is marginally higher quality, but this was reflected in the price.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    4,310
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    This is probably more important to a router meeting your satisfaction than any other feature. Like a hand plane, a hand held router is very personal and one that fits my hands well may feel like a handful of spaghetti to you. .
    This! Of all my routers the ones that are most comfortable for me are the Big Porter Cables. I have five. To me the angle of the handles is perfect, the fine adjustment on the fixed bases is simple and precise, and the handle/trigger/lock on the big plunge is perfect. Some complain about the weight, but to me the weight is my friend. Things that upset lessor routers don't even make the beasts flinch.

    I have a 1010 and a 1400, nice, but I absolutely hate the lock mechanism. The fussy adjustment is a pain, I use brass gauge blocks. They run nice. I like the drop down shoe, but I hate the lock. I think I said that.

    Trying to find one good router for everything is like trying to find a vehicle that is good for canyon carving and hauling manure.

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