View Full Version : How long can I run a router?

Tom Hammond
02-24-2010, 7:24 AM
I have a number of routers, which saves a lot of time in changing bits and helps with accuracy and consistency of similar jobs. But, some of our upcoming projects are going to require a lot of pattern routing using a specific bit. I'm just wondering how long my Porter Cable and DeWalt routers can run to avoid overheating, overuse, etc. Can they run an hour... two... ? I haven't seen any info on this and don't have any experience on 'pushing the envelope' on these tools. Any experiences shared are appreciated! btw - this is might-medium duty work... all in poplar.

Peter Quinn
02-24-2010, 7:31 AM
I have run a PC690 nearly 8 hours per day for a week, stopping once at 10AM, once at noon and again at 3PM. The same router has been doing this for several years as part of an end grooving operation with a slot cutter on an intermittent basis. I wouldn't think a few hours would be a problem. A shop vac, however, is another story. If you are using dust collection with the router, a shop vac might not be the best choice. DAMHIK

Charles Bender
02-24-2010, 7:41 AM
I'm with Peter on this. I, and my employees (when I had them) have run the PC690's I have for an days on end without trouble. Dig in and let the chip fall where they may.

Van Huskey
02-24-2010, 7:44 AM
I ran a PC7518 for hours maybe 4 at a time turning a BIG bit making molding in oak for my last house we built, I never even thought about it and it never seemed to mind.

Dave Gaul
02-24-2010, 8:56 AM
I would be willing to bet that the motors on routers are rated for 100% duty cycle, meaning they are designed to run constantly. Some motors, like small pancake compressor motors are only 50% duty cycle, meaning they should only run 1/2 of the time...

Pete Bradley
02-24-2010, 9:23 AM
I'm just wondering how long my Porter Cable and DeWalt routers can run to avoid overheating, overuse, etc. Can they run an hour... two... ?
Simple answer is run 'em.

Your question makes me wonder whether how far what we accept from tools has sunk since the invasion of cheap machines. There was a time that the notion that a tool would need to "rest" would be ridiculous and thankfully for the most part it still is. Still, there are some manufacturers putting compressor-duty motors on tools though and a lot of stuff coming out of the big boxes that's almost more trouble than they're worth. Cheap tools aren't cheap.

Tom Hammond
02-24-2010, 10:16 AM
Simple answer is run 'em.
Cheap tools aren't cheap.

Excellent observation.

Well, based on what I'm hearing here, as long as I stay with the good-rep tool names like Porter-Cable and DeWalt, Delta and Ridgid, I should be OK.

So... I guess we're going to "run 'em." Thanks guys.

Larry Frank
02-24-2010, 9:35 PM
I think how long you can run one depends on the router, type of cut and dust collection. If you have a bigger router like a PC 7518, it can probably run all day on any kind of cut. If you have a 1-3/4 HP on a heavy cut, you may be pushing it. I think that dust collection makes a difference in drawing cooling air across the motor. Heat is likely the worst enemy and build up of dust in the motor would be second.

My last comment is that my router will run a lot longer than I can. Must be getting old and I am a lot older than my router.