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Thread: Old huge router - keep? Or look for something else?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    463
    I loved my Sears Router and used it weekly for many years. It was very comfortable and fit my hands just perfect. Sadly it was a 1/4" collet, so using it for the router table or for 3/4" dados was a no-go. It sat in my attic for the last 10 years until I sold it for $20 on Craigslist.

    For a starter router, I would suggest a Porter Cable 690 or the DeWalt equivalent. Fixed base for router table work, plunge base for edge work.
    Regards,

    Tom

  2. #17
    There are worse routers out there. My first router definitely wasn't as good as that one. If you don't have a router that size, I'd go for it.

    Most of us end up with more than one router. I've got at least six, including my trim router. Even though you will likely want a better router at some point, a router like that is handy to leave a 1/4" round over or a chamfer bit in.

    If you did get a combo set, I personally am a fan of the DeWalt 2 1/4HP fixed+plunge+D handle combo kit. I am very partial to D handled routers though. Most people seem to get by with just a fixed base and a plunge base.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,786
    It is a little used router.

    It's free.

    Of course you want it.

    Even if it only takes 1/4" bits, it is still very useful, and because of the larger, more stable base you may find it handier than you think.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,469
    My question is how much money do you have/ want to put towards woodworking? If money is going to be tight then I would use it, free is free. However if I was ok with spending money I would want a router with a soft start feature while learning. Maybe years down the road you will have more routers than you know what to do with but for now I wouldn't dedicate one to a router table. You don't need a giant 3hp router either. A nice mid-sized one (2hp ish) would serve you well for most anything you will want to do. Those older non soft start routers tend to jerk when you turn them on. If not careful and depending where the switch is it can twist it right out of your hands. Your trim router is going to be limited on what it'll do so you will want something larger.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    6,528
    Quote Originally Posted by Chess Baloo View Post
    I suppose it could be. I only know the routers that I have seen in HD or Lowes. This thing is a beast compared to those.
    The picture may be deceiving. I don't recall it being any larger than a Porter Cable 690. As mentioned above if you take to woodworking you'll probably end up with at least two routers. One for handheld use like the 2.25 h.p. kits mentioned and a larger one with features that make table use easier. I bought a little trim router that yes only takes 1/4" shank bits but I've used that one more than the 2 h.p one, it's just so light and handy.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Chesapeake VA
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    Chess - that is a lousy router for use in a table.

    Besides the drawbacks mentioned , I donít think it accepts a 1/2Ē collet. Itís also single speed, ugh. The spindle lock is a pain to engage under a table. The on off trigger is not ideal for switching in a table setup. And , height adjustment is a real faff table mounted. Donít believe it will fit any lift plates either . So, itís a bad choice for table work.
    Thanks. I was sorta thinking that was the case.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Chesapeake VA
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    It is a little used router.

    It's free.

    Of course you want it.

    Even if it only takes 1/4" bits, it is still very useful, and because of the larger, more stable base you may find it handier than you think.
    No, I don't necessarily want it because it is free. I would have a shed full of junk if I took everything my BF wanted to hand off to me.
    And I mentioned in my OP, I DO have a trim router - a new Ridgid - that I really like and am learning to use.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Chesapeake VA
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    My question is how much money do you have/ want to put towards woodworking? If money is going to be tight then I would use it, free is free. However if I was ok with spending money I would want a router with a soft start feature while learning. Maybe years down the road you will have more routers than you know what to do with but for now I wouldn't dedicate one to a router table. You don't need a giant 3hp router either. A nice mid-sized one (2hp ish) would serve you well for most anything you will want to do. Those older non soft start routers tend to jerk when you turn them on. If not careful and depending where the switch is it can twist it right out of your hands. Your trim router is going to be limited on what it'll do so you will want something larger.
    Money is not too much of an issue. I can easily afford to get decent woodworking tools. BF knows that, he just is the type to make use of something that is cheap or free rather than spending money on something better.
    I, fortunately or unfortunately, do not have that same view.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,469
    Quote Originally Posted by Chess Baloo View Post
    Money is not too much of an issue. I can easily afford to get decent woodworking tools. BF knows that, he just is the type to make use of something that is cheap or free rather than spending money on something better.
    I, fortunately or unfortunately, do not have that same view.
    Since you are learning and don't mind buying tools I wouldn't bother with his gift. Learning is hard enough so why add the challenge of that router's limitations. With COVID learning is even harder since your more likely to try and learn without guidance. When your ready to add a larger router think of the projects (and the bits that will be required) you would like to do and I'm sure you will get plenty of help narrowing down the choices.

  10. #25
    I may still have an old Craftsman like that. I haven't seen it in years and may have thrown it away. The last time I tried it to cut a dado was over 10 years ago and the bit slipped in the collet and deepened the cut substantially ruining the wood. I used it a little more recently to cut a groove in a PT separator in a driveway to put a wire into. I used a bit I did not care about and a router I did not care about - figuring I would touch concrete a few times before finishing.

    My big router is a PC 7528 that I have a fixed base for but I've only used it in my router table. It draws 15 amps. My normal hand held routers are two PC 690s, I think they draw 10 or 11 amps, and a Bosch colt - it's motor is small but I don't remember how small. The Colt has a 1/4 collet and it slips sometimes too. The PC 1/4 collet is better in my opinion but for any large cut I use a 1/3 inch shank bit.

    A good place to start is with a 10-12 amp router in a set with a plunge base and fixed base. They will work in a router table and one way to use them is just attach the fixed base to a piece of plywood so you can have a simple router table and use the plunge base for free hand. I have 4 bases for my 690s and used to have a fixed base under the extension table of my table saw for this sort of use. I like PCs so I would look for a PC 890 but Boschs mid sized router usually gets better reviews. Nearly everybody makes a 10-12 amp router. If the collet is OK, other brands would work. If you want to see what sort of collet you want go to a big box store and see if their display model has the collet and examine it. Or just buy a DeWalt, Hitachi, Bosch, Milwaukee, etc.. Expect to spend around $250.

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