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Router with best dust extraction

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msparker

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I'm looking to buy a router. The current motivation being to churn out a lot of mortices for a kitchen butchers trolley which I fear will take forever if all done by hand.

I'm working in a spare bedroom that must stay as clean as possible so the number 1 requirement is the best dust extraction (I have a good numatic shop vac to connect to - NVD750). Noise level, versatility etc also important.

I can find surprisingly little on the dust collection capability of different units. Does anybody have any advice here?
 
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Austin Branson

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I wish you luck on this one. I have several routers, none of them are ‘good’ at catching the residue, but the best is a DW623. It’s not designed to work in a table, though. I think you would be better off using a morticer - it’s still impossible to catch the chips, but the chips aremuch larger, easier to clean up, and much easier to reduce travel throughout the house.
Must you do it in a bedroom? Can you not do it outside? It’s bound to be pretty anti-social.
Regards,
Austin
 

dickm

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The dust extraction on the (old) Elu MOF098 is pretty good, but it's not a specially comfy beast to handle. My instant thought was also a morticer. If you have a pillar drill, even one of the rather dodgy mortice attachments might be better than a dust storm.
 

Spectric

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You will find dust not only in your spare bedroom but throughout the house, it is just something that a router is good at and you are lucky you are not using MDF otherwise it would be a lot worse. I have only used a router in the house when the workpiece cannot be taken outside, this was to cut two circular rebates for a bathroom towel rail and I had two vacs on the go to minimise the fallout.
 

recipio

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I'd make life easier and spring for a Festool Domino. Mortises are made in 5 secs as opposed to an hour by hand. There is an attachment available to connect to the Numatic range of vacs.
 

Spectric

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I'd make life easier and spring for a Festool Domino. Mortises are made in 5 secs as opposed to an hour by hand.
A reasonable suggestion and the dust extraction is very good but it only does the one function whereas a router will perform many and there is a huge price difference, about £350 for a 1/2 Dewalt and just over a £1000 for the 700 Domino plus another £310 if you want the FC tools alignment jig.
 

Doug B

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The only routers I’ve used that have decent dust extraction are Festool ones the OF1010 has it built in & an add on shroud that fits on the base to aid collection but there can still be an escape of dust.
 

Illy

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I've got a DEWALT D26204K (1/4in Premium Plunge & Fixed Base Combi Router), which is pretty good for dust collection. It works best of course when all the router base is flat on the work, so mortices might be ok but if cutting tenons dust will fly everywhere because the bit is exposed ! The ability to change bases is very useful as well, especially as you can flip the base off to get unrestricted access for bit changes, which makes life so much easier.
 

msparker

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Takeaways so far (keep recommendations coming):
> Will go outside if I can, but some routing will definitely occur indoors
> I have limited space and so like the versatility of the router option over a morticer
> Would love a domino one day (or ripoff when patents are up), but cannot justify the expense with the volume of making I do
> Will start browsing festool or more likely dewalt
> @Illy good note on mortices vs tenons.. I've seen lots of folks doing loose tenons with a router as a budget domino hack, this could be a good option
 

TRITON

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Have you a window in the spare room ?. I'll guess so.
I'm the same, using a spare bedroom as the workshop. So I can testify that the dust will invade the rest of the house, even with extraction on the machines, the airborne dust does seem to permeate throughout..

I was toying with the idea of having the window open a bit, and using computer fans to pull the air out the room. I thought about 6 mounted to a board, sat along side the gap, or to fill the gap space rather.
As opposed to having maybe a bathroom window extractor fitted. It will draw air from the room doorway and out, so should take care of much of the airborne dust.
For me it would prove too much of a hassle and maybe too pricey to have one of these window fans fitted hence having the window partly open and fitting some outtake fans there.
 

JobandKnock

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As it happens most routers have pretty poor dust extraction, at least as they come from the factory. Also for mortises of any size you ideally need a 1/2in router (the bigger the better in power terms).

So in 1/2in routers the best dust extraction is really on just two routers: the the Festool OF1400 and the deWalt DW622. The DW622 extracts up one of the columns which helps keep the dust hose out of the way. It is a slightly more powerful version (1400 watts) of the 8mm (in Europe) DW621 (1200 watts) - in the USA the DW621 is a 1/2in model with a completely different collet arrangement. I had an OF1400 but found it a bit quirky - I now have a DW622 which has an odd switch arrangement and a slightly undersized sub base but is otherwise excellent - one problem is that DW have ceased distribution in the UK, so it might now be out of production. I don't really know

After those I'd say the Festool OF2200e is the next best 1/2in plunge router in terms of DX. Bags of power and beautifully built. I find mine has better DX than the (firm's) Makita RP2301s I sometimes use at work, or my other 1/2in routers - Elu MOF98, Trend T11 (Elu MOF177e/deWalt DW625 clone) and Bosch GMF1600. In terms of depth of cut the DW625 have the deepest plunge i know of at about 75 to 80mm, but I find the Trend/DW dust extraction kit only so so.

In 8mm routers I'd say it was between the Festo/Festool OF900/OF1000/OF1010, the European deWalt DW621 and the Makita RP1110

TBH when you start routing out deep mortises your extraction will need to have sufficient suck to extract waste from the bottom of a small hole.

I used to rout (deep) lock mortise slots with a Trend jig and a Wealden deep pocket cutter and getting half decent extraction with that is a big headache
 
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msparker

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As it happens most routers have pretty poor dust extraction, at least as they come from the factory. Also for mortises of any size you ideally need a 1/2in router (the bigger the better in power terms).

So in 1/2in routers the best dust extraction is really on just two routers: the the Festool OF1400 and the deWalt DW622. The DW622 extracts up one of the columns which helps keep the dust hose out of the way. It is a slightly more powerful version (1400 watts) of the 8mm (in Europe) DW621 (1200 watts) - in the USA the DW621 is a 1/2in model with a completely different collet arrangement. I had an OF1400bbut found it a bit quirky - I now have a DW622 which has an odd sl switch arrangement and a slightly undersized sub base ut is otherwise excellent - one problem is that DW have ceased distribution in the UK, so it might now be out of production

After those I'd say the Festool OF2200e is the next best 1/2in plunge router in terms of DX. Bags of power and beautifully built. I find mine has better DX than the Makita RP2301s I sometimes use at work, or my other 1/2in routers - Elu MOF98, Trend T11 (Elu MOF177e/deWalt DW625 clone) and Bosch GMF1600. In terms of depth of cut the DW625 have the deepest plunge i know of at about 75 to 80mm, but I find the Trend/DW dust extraction kit only so so.

In 8mm routers I'd say it was between the Festo/Festool OF900/OF1000/OF1010, the European deWalt DW621 and the Makita RP1110

TBH when you start routing out deep mortises your extraction will need to have sufficient suck to extract waste from the bottom of a small hole.

I used to rout (deep) lock mortise slots with a Trend jig and a Wealden deep pocket cutter and getting half decent extraction with thstvis a big headachr
Holy S**t, you have quite the range there.. how do you find the Bosch GMF1600. It's out of stock temporarily but I was thinking it looked like it could fit the bill as a single router to rule them all (or at least 90%) and a few reviews mention that the dust extraction is good if a little fiddly to attach.

Re-removing waste, it seems like spiral upcut bits get the nod here and potentially help funnel the waste towards the extractor
 

AJB Temple

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Job and Knock nailed this. I only really use 1/2" shank routers, and have Elu, Hitachi, Trend and Festool. Festool best dust extraction by a country mile.

But....cheap solution: high quality auger bit run at low speed in an electric drill to rough out most of the waste. Then chisel the remainder. You could make life easy if you have a decent multitool by plunge cutting round the marked line first. I have cut maybe two hundred mortices in oak framing using auger bits and it is quiet, fairly quick and makes little mess.

I have both sizes of domino, routers, chain mortiser etc, but for the kind of job you are doing I would be quite happy with either and auger or Forster bit. Quality counts. Eg Fisch.
 

C64

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I just use a cordless hand drill driver to take out the bulk of the mortise waste as chips followed by a quick (ie. 2-3 minutes) hand chiselling to roughly square up the walls inside the mortise gauge lines. Then I use my DW625 to finish off the mortise. There’s always fine airborne dust even with the dust extractor attached to the router but it’s minimised and each mortise doesn’t take eons to do.
 

C64

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@AJB Temple I had wondered in the past about using the multitool to cut mortises. Is that something you have tried with success in the past? Clearly, it will only work with mortises larger than the blade width.
 

monster

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I have a Festool OF1400 and the dust extraction with the shroud fitted is very very good.
 

JobandKnock

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Holy S**t, you have quite the range there.. how do you find the Bosch GMF1600.
I think.they call it having a bit of a fetish... For work I need a laminate trimmer, a small router and a big one (or two) so it just sort of grew over a long time as I collect as well (yes, that's probably sad as well). That is why I ended up with a 1931 Stamley electric router

I bought the GMF1600 because I wanted to try a D-handle router on a variety of jobs (mainly lipping). I ended up with the fixed base, the D-handle base and the plunging base. It is quite a big router and the plunge range isn't as good as my DW625-type routers, so I find it's less useful on joinery size tasks than, say, a DW625, but there are some advantages to the fixed base for certain tasks. It also doesn't have quite as much power. The dust extraction is no better nor worse than the DW625, but not in the OF1010/OF1400/DW621/RP1110 league
 

David C

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The DeWalt 621 is unparalleled for dust extraction.

Dust is sucked up the larger tube and exits at the top.

This is much better than the Festo design where the dust hose is dragged across the work surface.

Undoubtedly the best design, I cannot understand why this has not become standard.

David Charlesworth
 

Spectric

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I cannot understand why this has not become standard
or why Dewalt never used it on the 1/2 inch 2000 W 625 .

The 625 is certainly more popular and stocked in more places and one of the few that has stocked the 621 is

Dewalt DW621K 1100W 1/4in Variable Speed Router 240V at £330 whilst the 625 can be had for £300 from


so price could be the reason.
 

msparker

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Yeah I also found there was a 1/2" version marketed as the 622k in Europe (621 in US weirdly) but it doesn't seem to be available any more. In fact I can't see any 1/2" routers available new with that design
 
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