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Advice on buying first router

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Tetsuaiga

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Hi, i'm looking at getting a router, fairly cheaply most likely under 150.

I plan to use it for cutting round templates and making mortise holes. I'd like to be able to work with strong hard wood, like maple or walnut. I'd like it to be compatible with a router table.

I've found two fairly cheap models im considering, a bosch Bosch POF 1400 ACE 1400 Watt Router and a JCB router. I had a quick look at them in the store and liked the JCB more, the bosch depth stop was actually quite loose and moved diagonally, meaning surely the accuracy cannot be guarateed too much. Both these models are about 80 pounds

Something im also looking at is getting a Dewalt off ebay (possibly buying new), if it looks in good condition and comes with its accessories.

Can anyone recommend me something? Would the cheaper models be unsuitable?

Thank you
 

Tetsuaiga

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I'm also looking at the Triton brand now. Im a little usure what watt to go for i'm guessing 1400+ would be okay for what I need?
 

baldpate

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Tetsuaiga":1qxrf0sv said:
I plan to use it for cutting round templates and making mortise holes.
I think we need a bit more information about your intended use. What depths and widths if cut do you expect to make? I'm not quite sure what you mean by "cutting round templates". As far as mortices are concerned, there's a vast difference in size. If your looking to make joinery-sized cuts (1/2" wide, 2" depth say) you probably need a 1/2" shank router. I've successfully made 1/4" wide, 1" deep mortices with an old Bosch POF 500 router (500watt). It's not just the power but the shank size of bit it will take.
Tetsuaiga":1qxrf0sv said:
I've found two fairly cheap models im considering, a bosch Bosch POF 1400 ACE 1400 Watt Router and a JCB router.
I don't personally know these models. The JCB will accept 1/2" bits, so it is more appropriate for heavy-duty work. The Bosch you mention only takes the smaller-shank bits, so it is more appropriate for lighter work. That doesn't make the one better than the other. I think there may be comments on these routers in previous threads - worth a look using the forum search function?
 

Steve Maskery

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I bought a JCB once. It went back. The hole in the plate was tiny, so it wouldn't take many of my edge profile cutters and the plunge was only about 40mm, IIRC.
Can't comment on the others, but you won't go far wrong with a DeWalt.
S
 

siggy_7

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I have a big Triton (TRA001) and a Draper Expert dual base (model 45368). The Triton is fantastic in a router table, but I found it too heavy for hand held use, so I bought the Draper, which with its two bases is very versatile and a much more manageable weight. Others have also been impressed with this router. It will go in a table fine, but won't be as convenient to use as the Triton. If I were buying one router to o everything in your budget, I'd either buy the Draper or the mid-range Triton (MOF001), which will be better in the table. Have a play with one in your local supplier first though and check you'd be happy to handle it for your intended hand-held purposes, it's lighter than the big one but still no featherweight.
 

RogerP

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I have a Triton MOF001 Dual Mode router and I'd recommend the model. Takes all sizes of collet, auto-locking one handed bit change, when inverted in a table has built-in through the table rack and pinion height adjustment. Large plunge depth and good fine adjustment.
 

Tetsuaiga

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Thanks for the replies. I think the Triton 1400w does seem quite good and its probably worth investing a little more.

Can anyone explain what the 2000w model is capable of doing that the lower power model couldn't do? Is there much difference?
 

siggy_7

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The TRA001 just has more power. For most jobs you'll probably find 1400W more than enough. Once bits get above 2" in diameter though you will need to slow them down in order to limit the tip speed to safe levels - this is mainly an issue with large panel raising cutters. The combination of reduced speed (which means increased torque from a motor to produce the same power) and larger diameter cutter (more torque produced by cutting at a larger diameter tip) really loads up the router, and you will need to take smaller cuts with the 1400W router. You may also encounter this issue with smaller bits when taking very heavy cuts in harder material. Staging a cut is considered best practice anyway though and I would suggest that 1400W is plenty for most, unless you're planning on doing a lot of work with big cutters. The main thing with routers is to keep the feed speed high with lighter cuts; if you have to reduce the feed speed to avoid bogging down the router then you run the risk of burning the wood as well as shortening the bit life, as the extra heat build up is what destroys the material holding carbide cutters together. Bigger motors just mean you can get away with heavier cuts.
 

Tetsuaiga

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Just to go into a little more detail when I said template cutting I meant forming vertical edges using a template guide after initially reducing the stock. I'd like to do this with probably be a maximum of 4cm thick pieces of hardwood, if it can handle that much. Then also mortises around roughly 1cm wide, maybe 3cm deep.

I imagine the edge forming would be the more strenous on the router? Like people say though it would be okay to simply take more passes. I have thought about the 2000w models but I dont imagine they are very suitable for hand work like mortise cutting above a table due to their weight.

The Triton looks quite good, though i'm not sure its reported to be as lastable as a Dewalt, the triton also lacks soft start, but if it can still do the job I dont mind about that. From what i can see the tritons plunging isnt so smooth and models like on a Dewalt, how much that actually matters im not too sure.

Right now i'm really considering the 1/2" 1400 models, that are a grade above the bosch and jcb.

Thanks again.
 

pswallace

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I think the Triton 1400w would suit your needs well.'great height adjustment winder available for the router table which you can get for £7-£8 ,I think some packages include it. Whatever you do stay clear of JCB,they may be good at heavy plant gear but not when it comes to power tools. p.s Have fun with your new router !
 

Tetsuaiga

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Thanks for all the help. I'll do a bit more research but think im getting closer to being able to choose something.
 
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