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Does anyone else dislike routers?

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Doug B

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Personally I feel the problems with routers as with quite a few tools is folks use poorly designed tools & think they are all the same.

A well designed router will have dust extraction that works well built in & not some cheap plastic bolt on shute that appears to be an afterthought on the part of the manufacturer.

Most less expensive routers will be fixed speed so when ever you’re using it you it’s like a banshee squealing, a router with speed control allows you to slow the router down & it’s surprising how dialling the speed down just a touch reduces the noise considerably & makes no impact on the quality of cut.

Another problem mentioned here is difficulty changing cutters & most manufacturers have little imagination when designing their routers & simply copy a basic design which makes access to the collet fairly awkward thankfully some brands have addressed this making the collet far more accessible.

Obviously routers with this level of design aren’t cheap & when I started out I had an old 1/4” DeWalt single speed router that had all the problems mentioned in previous posts & it certainly wasn’t a joy to use, but not all routers are the same, some are a pleasure to use.
 

Mike Jordan

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I agree that they are noisy and produce a mess and dust, but a good one is totally indispencible and a vital part of my tool kit. I first used one in 1966 when my boss bought an Italian made Centec one horsepower machine for £100. ( that was about eight weeks pay at the time)
For anyone who had previously cut the housings on a stair string by hand it was love at first use!
Jobs that can take days to do using hand methods can be done in an hour using a router and home made template. I recently watched a YouTube video of wartime production in American factories in the 1940s, routers seemed to be in regular use in their workshops at that time.




W
 

Andy

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I love routers - my favourite tool. The stuff you can achieve with a router and a well thought out jig is hard to match with any other tool. And the noise and the mess just all add to the fun.
 

SammyQ

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Option one: Power routers equal speed and repeatability and are versatile with jigging.
Option 2: Power routers equal damaging high frequency noise and gyro-effect gives difficult stabilty in the hand.

Vote now please, ticking the appropriate box...or, you could just accept a router isn't a magic wand....

Sam
 

Just4Fun

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Jobs that can take days to do using hand methods can be done in an hour using a router and home made template.
I don't disagree with that, but for some of us it does not matter. For me this is a hobby and something taking a lot of time is not in itself a problem. Now when a boring job takes a lot of time that is a different issue.

For paid work the situation is of course completely different, but I am not in that position.
 

Benchwayze

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I am quite used to my hand held routers (No table for me). For the sake of neighbours I close the workshop door when routing. I like the solitude that provides but it doesn't stay quiet. Still I have ear defenders and I hang a 'do not disturb' notice outside when I am working in there.

My routine is deep breathing exercises for about 5 minutes, and then get on in perfect happiness, using my routers.

But it's the Meditation... It works wonders!

John 😇
 

Benchwayze

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Option one: Power routers equal speed and repeatability and are versatile with jigging.
Option 2: Power routers equal damaging high frequency noise and gyro-effect gives difficult stabilty in the hand.

Vote now please, ticking the appropriate box...or, you could just accept a router isn't a magic wand....

Sam
Sam.

It's the bits you own that provide the magic! 😎

John
 

deema

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I’m with you, blinking dangerous tools if you ask me. You have a blade with the same knife projection as a spindle moulder that your holding.....no thank you. I do use them, but when ever possible always use what is for me, a far safer option, the spindle moulder with a power feed.
The top of my list of dangerous hated tools is a hand power plane! when using a traditional hand plane I use my fingers as a fence, curling them under the sole.......its very hard when occasionally using a power plane not to curl my fingers under the sole as normal only to lose them.
 

billw

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This is exactly why I want mine bolted into a table. Saying that a sharp piece of metal spinning at what, 15000rpm, sticking through a table top is a recipe for disaster in my eyes. Might have to have some prominent signage reminding me of the dangers.
 

Peter Sefton

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Love using routers, so adaptable. The Dewalt 622 is a great 1/2" router for general bench work, not the same league as the Festool OF1400 but was half the price, sadly I think no longer produced :( I have our AUKTools in a couple of my router tables along with a Dewalt 625 in the Prestige lift, again I think the Dewalt offers good value for money for a basic workhorse.
 

D_W

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I will use a router on trash work or in places where it's really nonsensical to do the same thing by hand (which isn't often for me). I can put noise canceling headphones on and listen to music or a podcast, and if the dust is an issue, I can use a dust attachment. But when you hate faffing around with all of the cords and hoses from the dust attachment...

...blech. you know what i'm talking about, that PITA feeling you get when a hose catches on something and you're mid cut.

I see lithium trim routers now (and not that expensive), and I'm sure bigger ones will come in not too many years as battery capacity gets cheaper and cheaper....

...but how are they going to make the dust collection cordless. Teleport?
 

jcassidy

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I attempted to T&G several dozen boards recently with the relevant router bit and gave up. Too much fluthering around to set up, painful bit changes, damned thing kept getting knocked off square by knots.
Reverted to circular saw, wham, bam, done.
 

Benchwayze

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Quite agree JC. I used to faff around like that but I went for a Lie Nielsen tongue and groove plane. So simple to use and it is as accurate as you require. Expensive for a plane I suppose, but half the cost of the average router.

John
 

Cheesehound

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I think routers are a totally marmite tool.
People keep telling me I must get one, but so far I've not taken that step.
One reason has to be that I've not really needed one, that is to say I could have used one, but I've managed ok without. But then I've only recently bought a scroll saw, and I felt like I'd gone over to the dark side in buying that.
And I quite freely admit that they scare me in some way that even chainsaws don't.
That's no doubt quite irrational in terms of actual risk, and I think it's mainly to do with not just the noise, but the type of noise, which makes me think it might just reduce my hand to dandruff in a millisecond.
There's much to be achieved with a bandsaw, sander and pillar drill, and for the time being, I'm resisting temptation.
Quite easily. Plenty of other lovely tools to collect.
 

Linwoodjoinery

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They are a tool that can do things others can’t I admit. I have decent quality routers and only use quality cutters. It has variable speed. I wear safety glasses and ear defenders. It’s just still the tool I enjoy using the least.
 

pe2dave

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About 3 years ago I bought a couple (OK 4) of hand routers (ebay). Awkward at first, easier once I learned how to sharpen them and listen to the wood, using it as a small chisel.
So much nicer than an electric router. I can correct mistakes, I can take just another sliver ('thou?) off without a problem. I can clean up that corner neatly. No burn marks.
Yes, it takes longer, but I walk away feeling much more satisfied, and having enjoyed the job.
 

Padster

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All, just moving slightly off topic, I quite like routers even though I only have the trend t5 but it mostly does everything I need including making lots of mess!
Anyway I was wondering about router tables I’ve had the same cheap one for years and again it does ok but I’d really like something that is more easily adjustable and accurate, is there something you can recommend without me changing the router or breaking the bank ?
BTW - using for just hobby stuff, decorative finishes on boxes, nothing major or regular.

Padster
 

Mike Jordan

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As I have said above, I regard my dewalt 625 as a vital part of my business. It replaced an Elu which lasted for years and trenched many a stair string, I don't use the router in a table since I have a spindle moulder and can use what I consider the right tool for the job in hand. In real terms routers are one of the best value power tools available.
Most of the other catchpenny gadgets are redundant if you know how to use a router efficiently, biscuit jointers and pocket hole jigs are just ways of doing some of the things you can easily do ( and normally do better) with a decent router and a shop made jig.

With regard to safety I have not known anyone who has been injured by a router, but most of the users I know have a large 2000 watt or similar size machine which need both hands on the handles, rather than a small one that can be operated with one hand.
 

Peter Sefton

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You don’t remember Wizer then @Mike Jordan :unsure:
Thankfully the photos are no longer available.o_O

& admittedly in a table.
I bumped into Wizer last year at Makers Central, glad to say he was looking well.
 
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