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Thread: Recommendations on Medium Dedicated Plunge Router

  1. #1
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    Recommendations on Medium Dedicated Plunge Router

    My beloved Porter Cable 2 1/2 hp 7529 died. It was a popular design in the 80s similar to the famous Elu 3338 and was light weight yet with power and a 1/2” collet. I am looking to replace it.

    I have a half dozen routers and this fills a particular niche for template routing of mortise and tenons with a shop made jig attached to my bench and it will be held up in the air at shoulder height, so weight is a factor and the smaller is better to a point. The dedicated plunge routers have better balance but I haven’t tried one of the new combo kits in DeWalt or PC model line (PC 893 or DeWalt 618 ). Nor have I tried any of the big boy plunges which are usually 11-12 lbs (DeWalt 625). My requirements are:

    —2 hp or so
    —1/2” Collet
    —Dedicated Plunge (not a combo kit)
    —Will not be anywhere near a router table
    —Must work with Porter Cable guide bushings
    —Should be light

    I like the looks of Bosch 1617evs but will it work easily with my PC guide bushings?

    I also like the DeWalt 621 at 9 lbs but don’t have a lot of information on it.

    Porter Cable doesn’t seem to make a mid-sized dedicated plunge router anymore but I could missed it. Makita and Ryobi also abandoned that product line.

    I could be convinced to go with a combo kit or one of the big boys if any of you have real world experience but would prefer a medium sized dedicated plunge.

    Thanks in advance to all who respond.
    Regards,

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Thomas,

    The Bosch 1617evs will accept PC guide bushings with the Bosch RA1129 adapter kit. Readily available from many sources for less than $10.

  3. #3
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    What you will miss after the 7529 is the awesome depth adjustment. Mine is the only router I have ever found that the micro adjust works with no need for depth stop screws. It is by far my favorite mid sized router and I have a pile of them. If 1/4” shanks will work for you I recommend the Festool OF1010 for it’s great balance and ease of use. In the 2hp range every router I found has serious compromises. i have a couple different Dewalts and the Festool 1400 and don’t like using any of them. I had the Dewalt 621 years ago and gave it to my son. It was a very nice router. The ones they sell now are made in Mexico last I knew and were not near as well made as the earlier version. If you can afford it move up to the Festool OF2200!
    Last edited by Peter Kuhlman; 01-12-2020 at 4:53 PM.

  4. #4
    I've had a DW 621 for probably fifteen years and it's just a really, really nice tool -- well designed, enough power for most things without being too big or heavy, simple, precise depth control and a very nice accessory fence. It also has integral dust collection, though I don't use that often. I think it's probably the closest thing on the market to your old PC.

    I also have the DW 618 with both the fixed and plunge bases. It's very good, too, but, only having a 1/4 inch collet, it's a different animal -- a great complement to a 2 HP router, and better within its rightful domain, but not a substitute.

    Years and years ago, I had a Ryobi 3 HP plunge router. It was overkill, and clumsy, for most things I'd use a plunge router for and I've never felt the need to replace it. (A 3 HP fixed base router, by contrast, is useful and great in the router table).

  5. #5
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    David, the Dewalt DW618 handles .25", .5" and 8mm collets with no issues. I have all three for my DW618 kit. Perhaps you mean a different Dewalt model.

    OP, the Dewalt DW621 is a well spoken of dedicated plunge router and has very good dust collection compared to most routers.
    --

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

  6. #6
    Hi,
    I vote for the Dewalt 621. It is essentially a re-branded Elu router and though it has been out for a long time, the design was ahead of it's time.

  7. #7
    Oops, you're right: I was referring to the little guy, which I wrongly recalled as the DW 613 when it's actually the DW 611.

  8. #8
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    The DW621 gets my vote. Just have to get used to the somewhat finicky “double trigger” switch.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  9. #9
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    As noted, the Bosch 1617 can accept PC bushings with the Bosch adapter...or...if you remove the sub-base plate from the 1617's fixed base you'll also find the PC 690 hole pattern tapped. If you have base plates with the the 690 triangle mounting holes, they are plug-n-play.
    earl
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Thomas , have you considered looking for another PC 7529 or 8529 on eBay or Craigslist ? I see them from time to time , often less than $100.

    Bosch made a similar router labeled B1450 and 1613. They have the same depth adjustment knob as the subject router. I'm not positive but the 1613 may have been discontinued too. All take the PC bushings with the adapter ring. I have both routers with both guide bush setups and the PC is just a much smoother and refined tool. However , the Bosch is much tougher and the bayonet bushing system is easier, faster and better for changing them out.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Rosenthal View Post
    Thomas,

    The Bosch 1617evs will accept PC guide bushings with the Bosch RA1129 adapter kit. Readily available from many sources for less than $10.
    I don't care for Bosch' system at all. Even with the adapter mentioned above there is still slop in it. I have two Bosch 1617 and I put new base plates on both that have the hole for PC guide bushings. You can get a blank plate at Eagle America

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Hi,
    I vote for the Dewalt 621. It is essentially a re-branded Elu router and though it has been out for a long time, the design was ahead of it's time.
    If I was purchasing a new mid-size router, it would be a toss up between the Festool OF1400EQ and the DeWalt 621. I have the Elu predecesor version of the DeWalt, the Elu MOF97. It is a fantastic router - excellent fine adjustment and the best dust control I have experienced in a router. The Festool also has great dust control, and this is a big factor for me as the router is one for using hand held.

    Regards from Munich

    Derek

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Crout View Post
    I don't care for Bosch' system at all. Even with the adapter mentioned above there is still slop in it. I have two Bosch 1617 and I put new base plates on both that have the hole for PC guide bushings. You can get a blank plate at Eagle America
    A new base plate is a good solution. What I noticed about the Bosch is that if I let the spring alone lock in the adapter for PC bushings, some slop remained. If I also pushed in the direction the spring pulls to tighten it a bit extra, the slop went away.

  14. #14
    Yea, I have the 1617evs and if it's tightened I have no slop. I like it because I can get my fat fingers in more easily with that system to position the bit and tighten the collet and such. Less working in a tight spot.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    My power tool store guy (yes I still shop at a brick and mortar store) recommends the Porter Cable 890 over any 1/2” router today. Second would be the Bosch 1617, and third the DeWalt 621. His reasons are:

    The PC 890 is lightweight and comes in a blow molded case. The plunge base does not have a micro depth adjustment but the stationary base does. As an authorized factory repair center, he sees very few of these come back. It’s such a good router that he is surprised that DeWalt hasn’t discontinued them. There is no DeWalt corresponding router. Yes, he is disappointed that every tool is turning yellow.

    He likes the Bosch 1617 and contrary to some reviews on Amazon, he hasn’t experienced any issues with the template guide bushing issue. It does not have a case. He believes, as do I that cases preserve tools.

    Last was the DeWalt 621. It’s a good basic router based on the Elu design, and DeWalt purchased Elu of course.

    He remembered the PC 7539 and stated that while it was discontinued, it did enjoy a brief upgrade for a year or so in the PC 8539 if you can find them. They are very rare. He can get some basic parts like brushes, switches, and other stuff unrelated to the armature.

    I’ll have to noodle this.
    Regards,

    Tom

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