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Good stockists of Routers?

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Digizz

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I was going to ask what Plunge Router to go buy today - having read a bit of the book 'Woodworking with the router'. I also read a few posts here on the subject and realise it's a lot to do with personal taste (so i won't ask that question). But I will ask this...

What stores (I'm near Oxford and Swindon) are worth looking at as stockists of the widest range of routers? - I can then go have a look and compare a few.

I'm thinking of spending £150-200 ish and quite like the idea of a Woodrat (bad demos etc aside!!!).

Ta!
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Digizz

Sorry I'm not able to recommend any stores near you for you to go and look at today. Please don't just go out and buy one.

It's probably the way I read your post, but I think I need to clarify that the Woodrat is a jointing "jig" or milling machine, it is not a router. I'll apologise now for my mistake. :wink:

The first decision to make is whether you buy a half inch or quarter inch router. Normally it is better to look on the tool web sites for the best prices and then try and find somebody locally who will price match.

Why don't you go to Alexander Palace on the 21st/22nd of this month? That is when the big woodworking show is on. You would get a chance to touch and feel all the routers from the major manufacturers. Buy The Router magazine.

If you are going to be doing template work then it is worth considering a TBC (Trend Base Configuration) compatible router. What this means is a router with a base that will take the Trend fittings. This could prove to be invaluable.

Try to have a look at the Trend T5/T9, DW625EK and the Makita 3612C. There are too many to mention. Try and do some research on the internet using google or some other search engine.

Sorry this is a bit rushed but SWMBO is calling and we have to go shopping.

Cheers
Neil
 

Digizz

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Thanks Neil,

Sorry - should have made it clearer - realise the Woodrat is a jig - wanted a router to use with it + use freehand.

Decided 1/2" is the way to go - seems to give me more options as to what I can do with it???

Show sounds good - where can I find info about it?

Thanks.
 

Alf

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Digizz,

http://www.getwoodworking.com/iwe/

You might find it useful to look on the Woodrat forum, as I think there's a thread on what router people use on their 'Rat. As a rule it always seems to pay to go with the "trade standard" on these things, 'cos that's what all the extras are geared up to. So the Trend or DeWalt would be my first choices to look at.

Cheers, Alf
 
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I too am in a muddle as to wich router to buy.My budget is less though, about £100. I've seen the Power Pro in B&Q, lots of extra bits but I am veering towards the Axminster AW127R.It also takes the trend bushes.Any comments would be appreciated.
 

Digizz

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Are there any independent rated reviews of this kind of kit in existence on the web? i.e. a bit like the roundup reviews in computer mags like PC World?

Would be pretty useful :)
 
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Dunno about their Router Jaymar, but in my modest experience the Power Pro range is suitable for my needs. But there again I guess I'm merely tinkering with woodworking at the moment rather than producing the fine products that some of these guys are capable of.
 

Alf

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Your best bet for reviews of routers seems to be the UK DIY newsgroup. Well to be honest, more like opinions than reviews :? , but from users with a range of budgets and skill levels. IIRC the Axminster ones get fairly well spoken of, but for a big 1/2" on a budget, the Freud sems to have a lot of support. But you're best off having a search for yourself rather than me giving edited highlights :D

Cheers, Alf
 

frank

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digizz dont get the power pro i have had four and the 12 months isnt up yet i only use it on the rat so it is not hammered,
woodrat use the d/w if i had the dosh thats what i would get .

frank
 

Digizz

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Thanks All,

I'm definately going to try to get to the show - will be like a kid in a sweet shop I'm sure!

Are there generally any good deals on kit at these shows - or are prices similar to mail order/online stores?
 

Newbie_Neil

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Digizz

Digizz":1nrs82ew said:
Are there generally any good deals on kit at these shows - or are prices similar to mail order/online stores?
The short answer is no. Treat them as an opportunity to hold and feel the different products you are interested in.

To get the best prices look at the various sites on the internet and also the mail order companies in the magazines.

Whenever you are making a purchase make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. There are so many variants of the same tool that is is very easy to think you're getting A, B, C, D and E included in the purchase when actually the variant that you have purchased, because it was 20 pounds cheaper, only has A, B C and E.

Cheers
Neil
 

Adam

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I dunno, I got a great deal on a Mafell router when I was at the show at Epsom Racecourse several years ago 5+! (can't remember which one exactly). It was "ex-demonstration" and was about £120 cheaper than list price. I was very pleased and it has been fantastic. I couldn't have it until the show finished however, so had to pick it up later that week in Worthing.

Adam
 
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Anonymous

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Recommend www.dm-tools.co.uk (eg DW621K with case & supplementary fine height adjuster for table use £150). Top postal service in my experience.

To add my humble pennyworth to the 'which router?' debate....

I don't have a proper workshop, so end up using power tools in the kitchen, etc., therefore dust collection and level of noise become major considerations.

I wouldn't compromise on the smoothness and accuracy of depth adjustment.

1/4 v 1/2 - horses for courses, I think. Try using a weighty half-inch held vertically up against a door frame! (Now everyone's going to tell me I shouldn't be doing that, of course!). If you're going to end up doing lots of heavy work, plan for buying two machines.

I've used a number of cheap routers, all of which have had excessive play in the plunge mechanism (and this can be true of some not-so-cheap too). Typically, if you plunge and then put the lock on you can see the bit being pulled sideways. Try it next time you're in B&Q!

I have a healthy fear of routers and circular saws - both can do you very serious damage - so I wouldn't take the quality control risks of buying cheaply. The same goes for the very cheap router bits (e.g. Draper distributed stuff).

I've just purchased a DW621 and am very pleased with it.
 
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Digizz

I got my Porter Cable from Rutlands website and was chuffed with the speed and service. When the collet was damaged, they replaced it by 9.00am the next morning by post!!


Good luck with the search


http://www.rutlands.co.uk/
 

Chris Knight

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Digizz,
You should not be too far from Isaac Lord in High Wycombe. Last time I was there they had a pretty good tool selection. I go there once in a while because they have a very good selection of hardware for cabinets, also a good selection of finishing stuff if you mainly want retail kind of stuff/quantities.
 

Digizz

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Thanks guys :)

Yes - should go to Isaac Lord, someone else mentioned them the other day. I'm going to the woodworking show anyway so should be able to look at them all :)
 
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