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Thread: Smoked Another Router

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Elmodel, Ga.

    Smoked Another Router

    I started a major kitchen renovation back in Feb. of this year. After about 3 weeks into the build, I smoked my DW 618. This router was about 6 years old with minimal use. I opened it up and found the magnetic ring broken. Ordered the part and was back in business a week later. It lasted to the end of that week. The blasted thing caught on fire with my dust collector and shop vac running full of dust. Fortunately, I was able to put out the fire, clean out the dust bins, no worse for wear except a smoked router.
    Went to the box store and bought another DW. Should have listened to the reviews. This router lasted less than 3 months with minimal use and it's toast also. I will take it back for a refund and exchange in the morning.
    I will not buy another DW. What is your preferred router for a Rockler router table. It has to be in the 2-2 1/2 HP range to fit my setup. I am looking at the Bosch 1617. This router has good reviews. What is y;alls opinion on this machine?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    I'm getting close to 50 years of woodworking, and ran a custom woodworking business for 8 of those years. I have yet to burn out any router. My first router was a cheap Craftsman with way too much plastic in it. A piece of plastic failed, but was able to fix it with epoxy and some copper wire wrap. I have Porter-Cable routers that are at least 30 years old, and my main plunge routers are Elu before they were bought by Dewalt. The point to my story is that if you use the router like a shaper, load it too heavily, and use dull bits, you can burn them up. If you use a router like a router, take smart depth of cuts, blow out the motor once and a while, and watch the brushes, they last forever.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 06-20-2021 at 9:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Tampa Bay area
    Answering your question, the 1617 has been a good router for me with no trouble.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    I burnt up a Bosch because I was using it in a router table making raised panels out of PVC boards. The PVC dust got into the bearing. When putting the bit in the router would spin freely but as the bearing heated up the PVC turned into a glue like liquid and increased the load. Being in a table with a dust collector connected to it by the time I realized something was wrong it was too late to save. For fun I tool it apart and found the bearing and loads of PVC dust throughout the router. It was an old one and I was using it for something I don't think it was made for so I can't complain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    So. Fla
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    ....... if you use the router like a shaper, load it too heavily, and use dull bits, you can burn them up. If you use a router like a router, take smart depth of cuts, blow out the motor once and a while, and watch the brushes, they last forever.
    I totally agree with what Richard says. Routers are not shapers and thus cannot handle the load that the shaper can. I have had my DW618, DW621, DW625, PC690n and PC 890 for over 15 years and they're still going strong. I take small depth of cuts in increments until I reach the desired depth. If I'm going to be making a significant amount of cuts I use my router table with the 3-1/2hp Milwaukee 5625 mounted on it and I still make cut in small increments until I reach the desired depth or width.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    North Dana, Masachusetts
    What were you doing with the routers when the smoke came out?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    I'd also consider Milwaukee. There's no chance you could fit a 3+ h.p. router in your existing setup? Years ago Hitachi was a favorite for table use. I don't know where they're at today. Big Sky tools has some very good deals on Hitachi 3+ h.p. routers on occasion. Triton routers seem to be designed with table use in mind but I've recently seen some negative durability reports on Triton.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Millstone, NJ
    The PC I have in my table has been going well for 4 years or so no issues. (aside from me accidently cutting throught the cord with a jigsaw when I was building a dust box around it).
    The festool stuff is very nice, the 1400 has been running strong for me for 5 years. Alot of nice features but the price point is a bit ridiculous

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Allentown, PA
    I burned up a large PC router about 20 years ago. The cause seemed to be powering it through a long 16AWG extension cord.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Okotoks AB
    That many burnouts would indicate overworking the router. You need a big boy, like a Milwaukee 5625.

  11. #11
    Does your router table have enough air flow?

    The only time I have burned out a router was when I had a Bosch 1617 installed in my enclosed cabinet style router table. Not knowing any better, I added a port for below table dust collection, and the effect was to create a vacuum inside the space where the router hung. The table opening space around the bit was not sufficient to let in enough air to compensate for the dust vacuum. The lack of make-up air caused the router to overheat and the bearing burned out.
    The solution was to drill some large holes in the front access door of the cabinet to allow make-up air.

    I do not know if your set up might be creating the same problem for you, but I thought I'd share my story in case it helps.

    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 06-21-2021 at 10:20 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Lots of long term 618 users out there. I’m not aware of any trend that they are prone to smoking - like Festool’s Kapex miter saw.

    Plenty of happy users of the 1617, but there are also some unhappy ones too.

    I’d check the root cause of the failure as others have suggested.

  13. #13
    Two things:
    I came close to smoking my 1617 last night. Was doing raised panels, and 50 of them, so I figured I could do them in two passes. Nope. Poor thing got so hot I couldn't touch it. Had to go back to the hours-long 3 or 4 passes for raised panels. I'm happy with the Bosch but I personally feel it is a bit underpowered compared to a PC of the same size.
    I have noticed that Dewalt has followed Ryobi in terms of quality last few years. Borrowed a buddies DW biscuit jointer, loved it, bought the same one....but then I didn't. The solid steel fence has been replaced with some flimsy aluminum/magnesium afterthought, but the price went up 30$. I'm better off using noodles the keep panel parts aligned during glue up then I am that DW piece of junk, which, BTW, requires I set the depth to "10" when I'm using 20 biscuits and vice-versa. Same with my Recip saw. Had a 20 year old DW recip saw finally die on me, bought another one 3 years ago, didn't last 6 months.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Central North Carolina
    I have 14 routers of various better brands and have never let the magic smoke out of any of them. Those who treat their tools properly use the right tool for the job and maintain them with adequate air flow and maintenance. Our better tools last our lifetime. Those who punish their tools by lack of air flow and overloading them just keep destroying their tools and complaining about them. I own three DW618 routers plus other sizes of DeWalt and other brands. They all work well, but some do certain things better than others, and that's why I have so many routers. A router is not designed for continuous heavy duty use. If you need to work it that hard you should maybe get a shaper with a 5 hp induction motor, but then if you continue to treat your tools like that you will probably kill it too.

    Last edited by Charles Lent; 06-21-2021 at 12:21 PM.

  15. #15
    no idea how many I have one time over 20 in a one man shop with set ups that remained on all of them. No router table though one was in a shaper. Smaller Porter rattle trap. I burned out makita lam trimmers till I got porter cables.

    Ive got four of the largest porter cables and while ive read enough bad about them, for me they turned out massive work being left on for hours at a time. Customer of over 5 years told me I had to have CNC to do their work, I never told them I didnt. They did tons of hogging work and still have original bearings in all of them. Guess I lucked out compared to others. To me they look like a power tool not a bumble bee.

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