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Buying a Router

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Anonymous

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I am looking to buy a router for general DIY use.
What sort of features / spec should I look for?

I was thinking about the Power Devil from Argos £30 reduced to £20 as it is 1020 Watts, but they have sold out.
On looking at the B&Q 'Performance Power' own-brand £30 machine I noticed it is almost identical to the Power Devil (same casing, controls etc).
I read a pretty good review of the Power Devil, so if this is the same, I am tempted....

Other possibilities are:
Clarke CR1 from Machine Mart; £33, 710 Watts, variable speed
Trend - T3EK - About £40, 550 Watts, variable speed
JCB - Reduced to £30, 550 Watts, variable speed

Any advice, other suggestions appreciated

Chris
 

gidon

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I'm generally beleive, as most others, that you get what you pay for when you buy woodworking tools.

But, one if the cheapest tools I have ever bought, and still going strong, is my power devil router. I bought mine a good few years ago so can't promise it's the same. But if you get from Argos you could probably take it back if not up to scratch.

I have had little luck with any B&Q performance power tools - their Performance Pro are a little better.

You can't go wrong with the Trend router, and also have a look at a very similiar looking one that Screwfix do (a Ferm one). I friend of mine bought it and is very impressed. Bear in mind these are lower powered routers but a good introduction. If I were starting out I would probably go for the Trend T3 - it's a very good price. And you'll see if you find it useful. Then you could move up to some 'bigger' routers if need be. It's not unusual for woodworkers to have >>2 routers - for different things!

Cheers

Gidon
 

sawdustalley

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The screwfix ferm router is the same, just trend hit the price up coz of the 'trendy' brand :p

There is a review on the review section Mike did a while back. I owned the ferm at one point and loved it (My 1st router)
 

CYC

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I, like gidon, have a Powerdevil from argos for the last 2 years and it's still doing just fine. The locking lever is getting weak now but for the money it's certainly a good DIY router.
Of course the real difference will be if you stick a good bit in it or not. I don't remember getting any bit with the power devil (may be just the straight bit). Eventually I bought a Freud bit which is as expensive as the router and it's considerably improved the quality of the work.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chris

I am also a newcomer to WW and I bought the Trend router.

The reason is that Trend have a base that allows you to fit lots of different guides etc. (James might be able to tell us whether the Ferm has the same base as the Trend)

Gidon is absolutely right in using the Freud bits, they make such a difference, but it does come at a price.

Cheers
Neil

I have just realised that this is my first posting. Welcome one and all.
 
A

Anonymous

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I have the Ferm 850w router (from Screwfix) which is fine for general use. One thing it does not have however is a fine depth adjuster that would be useful if you are putting the machine inverted in a table.

Any tips from you more experienced folks out there on how best to get good depth adjustment in this this situation (I'm planning on building a table and would value such input whilst still at the humming and harring stage).

Router bit kits can get you going (got mine in the same Screwfix delivery) but you definitely pay for what you get in this case!!!! You may also get several bits you will never use in kits but they are a good start and you can always experiment on some offcuts.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Trevor

Depth of cut with safety is always the biggest problem with home made router tables. The problem is the thickness and strength required of the plate to hold the router securely.

Trend have overcome the problem by making a steel insert plate (Trend code CRT/PLATE A, B C, D E & X - dependent upon router - The Ferm FBF-6E and 8E are both plate A) and the cost is 19.60. It gives you a strong thin support for your router.

Other companies also have their own solution for what is just a piece of steel with holes drilled in the correct place.

A number of people have built the NYW router table and this has plans and a video available from the NYW site. www.newyankee.com Cheers Neil PS I have no connection with Trend, apart from owning two of their routers.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Trevor

I've just realised that the Trend fine heoght adjuster also fits the Ferm FBF-6E and 8E.

Which makes me think that the router you have might be the same as the Trend T5. Does anyone know?

Cheers
Neil
 
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Anonymous

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I have the 8E but I'm not sure if the adjuster will fit.... The Ferm web site shows the 1000E with a knurled adjuster above one of the legs but my 8E does not have an apperture for one of these. Or does the adjuster go somewhere else??

Did you folks see the home made height adjuster in Practical Woodworking? (with the sun lounger on the cover - my next project). The jig (effectively) looks very sensible and possible even for me to make. I will make myself a basic router table at some point and may just add one of these to the underside.

All I have to do now is find a good place to buy wood in High Wycombe where they are patient enough to deal with someone who has no idea about what they're talking about.... and some spare cash of course.... and off I go.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Trevor

The Trend fine height adjuster fits in place of the depth stop and threads onto the longest revolving turret screw.

The Trend code is FHA/001 and it costs 9.95.

Cheers
Neil
 
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Anonymous

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A-ha, I see. Thanks for that Neil. I can run to a tenner to save the hassle of building one so I'll add it to my shopping (wish) list.

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

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Its been a while since ive posted on here, anyway here is my 2 cents worth :lol:

I use a "Powerbase" router which is the same as that one you mention, its a 1020w & has the usual gubbings, however the plunge action is terrible!! ive made my own router table & have removed the springs in the router which has helped but to be honest this router is a piece of rubbish!

Im thinking about buying yet another router now, ive gone through 2 cheap models & so now im thinking about a "Porter Cable" or something like that, im fed up throwing away money on these cheap chinese clones, they really are not worth the money.

If I were you I would have a look in "homebase" (I think thats where I saw it), they have for around £60ish a Bosch router, you would be better off with something like this as the one you mentioned in your post sounds ideal to mine, they are all just chinese clones & each company puts its own brand to it, in the end though you get what you pay for, £20-30 is not going to get you much & will most likely give you a false impression of what routing is like, I know that is the case with me, I own many top quality machines now (Sheppach 4010 table saw etc..) & while they cost an arm & a leg they are a pleasure to use, the router on the other hand is something I hate using, hopefully this will change when I get a better model.

Good luck with whatever you end up buying,
Nick
 

The Wizard

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I have Trend T5 router which I am generally pleased with. The plunge action is a little jerky and I hope I can resolve this with some lube of some sort. some fine height adjustment would be good and sooner or later I will buy the thing for £9.95. However, what I have learned in my short routing career is that the bits used make all the difference. My first set of cutters were included with the router, average, but gave me an idea. fortunately, I needed a specific size cutter for a job and bought a Trend bit from my local supplier. When I first used this cutter I thought I had set the height wrong and missed the timber completely, I hadn't. This changed my view of routing and I would advise anyone who is new to the practice to spend on good cutters from the outset. Remember, if you buy poor cutters, they will still be poor when you upgrade to a top of the range router.

Good luck

Wiz
 

Steve

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The router itself is a just a motor, albeit with various bits and pieces or varying quality/power depending on what you buy. The important part is the cutter. A Porter Cable with a rubbish cutter will be outperformed by a Power Devil with a Freud or good Trend cutter. Don't get too hung up on the router - but do buy the very best cutters you can afford. Better to have a few really good ones than a boxful of adapted shrapnel. Ultimately, what matters is the job, not the gadgets you use on it. A pal of mine recently bought a big Power Pro router for under £100 and put it in his table. He only uses top quality cutters and believe me - it works like a spindle moulder.
 

Gill

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We've got a T9 and an ancient Bosch 400. Both are really nifty but the most frequently used is a Dremel in a router attachment!

I definitely agree that the most important factor in getting a good cut is how you look after your cutters.

Gill
 

Gill

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Since making my last post, I've been thinking (which is always bad news, folks :roll: )...

Is there a router out there with handles that lie almost on a level with the base when fully plunged? Most of the routers I’ve seen have the handles about half-way up the body. This means that there is more chance of the machine rocking as it’s used. I think that one of the reasons I like my Dremel router attachment so much is that you have to hold the base to move it. Now, the Dremel is quite tiny so this technique simply won’t work for proper routers which are much heavier. Nevertheless, I’d still like to find a router that can be properly controlled at the base without having to construct some sort of jig.

Yours

Gill
 
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