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Router buying advice

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adavies169

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Hi guys, I'm new here and new to woodworking. I'm looking at buying my first router and done some research into it already. I have read from some people that a 1/2" collet is better than a 1/4" one as there are more bits for them. But is this true? I was looking at purchasing a Bosch POF 1400 ACE Router. Would someone be able to tell me if this is a good idea? And I can't figure out if this would then be able to be mounted to a router table. I'd be happy to make my own router table from scratch, I'm just not sure what I would need from the router in the first place.

Thanks,
Alex
 

sunnybob

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Its very simple, a small router will ONLY take small bits.
A large router will take ANY size bits.
Therefore the larger (1/2") router is far more versatile if you are only going to have one router.
I have the collets for my 1/2" table mounted router to take 1/4", 8mm, 3/8", as well as 1/2"

That said, if you only want to round over edges on small pieces of wood, a 1/2" router hand operated is very unweildy.
If you want to mount it in a table and do "furniture" sized things, a 1/4" router just aint gonna cut it.

The answer is to buy more. =D> =D>
I have 6 now, but in my defence, one of them is up for sale :roll: 8) 8)
 

Droogs

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It all depends on what you want to make. There are about an equal amount of shapes of bits available for both but a 1/2" has a greater flexibility and a little more options. If you are looking to make small things or are intending to use it just for edging shapes on the fronts of tables etc then a 1/4" is perfect and can be used to do more. But if you want to make joints and prepare stock then you will need a bigger router. Most people end up with several of each size
 

DBT85

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I have the Bosch GKF 600 palm router for rounding over edge on things like worktops and stuff, it can handle that kind of job just fine.

At the other end of the scale I've got and used a cheap Erbauer 1/2" plunge router for cutting worktop joints many times and it does the job just fine.

I have also now started on the trend of collecting routers as I picked up a newer model £60 Erbauer plunge refurb on ebay mostly becase it has soft start and I want to nail it to a router table. £60 for a 2100w soft start router was tempting enough that I don't mind buchering it if I have to to make what I want!
 

MikeJhn

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I don't know what it is about anyone that use's a router we all eventually own a half dozen or more LOL, but it seems that most of us only really use one or two of them on a regular basis, cutting worktops needs the heaviest most powerful router you can get, heavy because it's so easy to tip the thing if your not careful and ruin your jig, powerful to cut a man made worktop in as few pass's as possible, but still with enough fines that it cut a natural wood top in lots of pass's, this is also the same router specification for putting into a table IMO, but a table is again IMO no good without a on the top of the table lift, and able to be locked on and operated from a NVR switch, I use a Hitachi for this type of work.

For dovetail work and freehand I use a Draper Expert 1/2" in fact I bought two for ease of use when making dovetails, it saves changing bits and loosing the settings.

I have three 1/4" Routers that generally sit in the tool box unused, can't remember the last time I used them, when rounding over table tops and that sort of thing, I have a large sliding table that I can put on my router table this stops the problem of the inevitable curve on the corners I can keep the edge nice and sharp against the fence.

You will find whatever you buy you will think the grass is greener just the other side and will end up with more than you need.
 

Sideways

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I have two 1/4" and a 1/2" router - good ones - and a little Katsu 1/4" trim router.
The 1/4" routers are most useful to me.
The Katsu was great value but trim routers do nothing my other's can't do better so I find I never use it.
I don't cut worktops so the big guy doesn't get as much use. It is better for table use because you can lose a lot of depth of cut when you mount a router under a table and even more with a "router lift" , but it's too big for delicate freehand use and the small tools are better for the myriad grooves and edging that can be routed just fine handheld along a straightedge.
1/4" routers will cut as wide as you want, they just won't take the long cutters you can easily get for a 1/2" machine. You take a little more time and a few more passes and they get there. I'd start with a 1/4" machine personally. You may never need to add a bigger one, but if you get the bug, it is handy to have both.
Beware the beginner mistake I see time and time again by people who have never been taught better: taking cuts that are too deep and / or too wide. Take several passes building up to deep or wide cuts. Feed a router too much wood at once and it is hard to control. It will kick and bite. The wood hopefully rather than your fingers.
Oh, and be nice to your neighbours. They are noisy. A dozen households in my neighbourhood were cursing the guy that switched on his router in a table in a paper thin shed with the door open last nice day. He left it running for probably 90 minutes and maybe 5 of that was actually cutting something. Dick !
 

MikeJhn

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My workshop is in a quite rural village in France, but whenever I open the barn and turn on any machine it's amazing how many people turn up to ask if I can just run this through the router for them, and there aren't any neighbours for 600M in front of the barn and further away on the other elevations, do you think they are spying on me?
 

sneggysteve

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There is an Elu MOF 177 plus all bits on e bay at moment - get it if you can. I have same model and it is excellent. E bay listing no connection to me.
 

Yojevol

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Hi Alex.
If you're seriously thinking of a router table, I would go for one of the larger machines up in the 2kw range such as the Elu mentioned above. With that set-up you'll probably achieve 90% of your needs. The downside is when you need a portable m/c and it'll be a pain to extract the table router. Also it may well be too heavy to handle comfortably. So when one of those 10% jobs arises and it's obvious that a smaller unit is required, there's a huge choice, new and s/h, quickly available.
Regarding collet sizes I have ¼" and 8mm sleeves to fit in the ½" collet. I have a small collection of basic Trend 8mm cutters, which are my favourites as they're a bit more rigid than the ¼" ones.
Brian
 

John McM

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I really like the Triton MOF001. It is designed for dual use handheld or in a router table. You can adjust the height From above the table with the included winder handle and it auto locks the spindle. No need for a router lift.

Have a quick look on YouTube
 

Alexam

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Using a table without a means of raising the head from above is a pain. As mentioned, the Triton TRA001 is really good and as a 1/2", you can use a 1/4" collett when using smallr bits. The 1/2" bits will give greater strength if you need it. I mounted the TRA 001 under my own home made, hinged table and have another 1/2" and palm router when using in hand.
 
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