What Router would you recommend for a beginner?

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Cup of tea

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Hi, I'm looking to get my first router to expand my woodworking options. However the selection in the UK seems very different to the rest of the world, so most of the online / YT guides don't help.
Specifically we seem to not have any that come with a plunge and fixed base. There must be some new law in the past few years about spinning blades needing to be always attached to tools, because even the Bosch 1600 and 1617 are no longer available. :confused:

What I'm looking for is;
  • 1/4" and 1/2" collet
  • fixed and plunge based, so I can make a DIY router table and leave the fixed base in it
  • above table adjustment (bosch and tritan have)
  • corded, 240v
  • £300 max, but can be used

The Bosch 1617 or 1600, and DeWalt DW618 would both be perfect, and hit all the points, but I don't believe either are available in the UK.
I'm in DeWalt cordless tools, so go the other way and get a DCW604 18v to begin with, then get a 1/2" plunge router at a later date.
 
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Get a 1/4" router and learn to use it handheld. They are very useful. An old Elu MOF96E / Makita / Hitachi used would be a fair start for versatility and decent quality. Starting with a 1/4" would teach you to take multiple passes and not try to cut everything in one go - the classic amateur mistake.

Unless you are routing out for kitchen sinks, building sets of stairs or your own doors and windows all of which need deep cuts, you will manage perfectly well with 1/4".

If you only want to do small decorative edge mouldings maybe a cordless 18v 1/4" trim router like the makita will be most convenient but the tiny bases aren't very stable.

Get a 1/2" later if you get into bigger work or find you need a table for work on slender stock that you can't balance a handheld on top of. At that point you can spend anywhere between £100 and £2,500 so best to learn to drive before you choose between the moggy minor or the porsche.
 
my 1st experience with a router was a huge. 1/2 “ job , very lucky I didn’t injure myself . I put it away and went and brought a 1/4 plunge router did as @Sideways advises above and got used to the correct direction for the type of cut I was attempting .if I recall the 1st job I used it for was to replace a hardwood rail in and old kitchen unit . It was a double rebate for the drawer runners but it worked a treat .. so tbh avoid 1/2 “ for the time being . Only use small cutters hand held and pay attention to the safety k marks and invest in decent dust extraction and ppe etc ..
 
As others have said; start with a 1/4" router and only buy a larger one when you've some experience and absolutely need that extra capacity.
The Trend T5EB would be a great starter router, if buying new. An evolution of the trusty old Elu 96 series mentioned above. All the features you could want and well made.
 
Sounds like a 1/4" is a good starting point. I definitely don't want to start with one of the very large ones, but thought the Bosch 1600 and DeWalt 618 were a good mid size, between the two.
 
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You did not specify voltage and I presumed that you knew that these two models are only made in 110V as you had looked at them. Easy to find a converter which isnt expensive and what anyone buying a 110V would naturally use. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wincal-Converter-100W-Step-Down-Converter-Transformer/dp/B08L3SRFFF/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1VK34BKZT0FTG&keywords=240+to+110+transformer+plug&qid=1701376172&sprefix=240+to+110,aps,102&sr=8-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1
Ahh ok I get you, what I should have said was; I couldn't find an equivalent UK version with 240v of that model. How viable is it to import one and run it off an converter? Is this commonly done?
Does it effect the power and use?
The convert you linked to is going the other way right? that would be to run a 240v in the US on 110v mains.

What other places have you seen them for sale?
 
Running a tool through a transformer is tedious if you don't have to (like on site in the old days).
This is because transformers able to cope with the power of a router are bigger and heavier than the router itself and give you two lumps to lug around if you need to take it anywhere.
The resale value of the tool will be less too as any buyer will expect to pay less for the 110V standard that is quickly becoming less relevant as cordless tools take over on site.

There is nothing wrong with 110V apart from these factors. 110v tools made for the UK trades are strong, safe, and well made. In the USA however, everything is 110V so if you import, do make sure you are buying a trade rated tool and not some cheap DIY thing designed to wear out after 2 hours total use.

And lastly. Forget the fixed base router idea for under table use. It's out of date.
The only reason it was relevant was that the best router lifts are designed for a fixed base size motor directly mounted in the lift without their base.
Now, finally, we can buy a good 240V purpose made router motor in that size in the UK.
There's no reason to import from the USA anymore when we can buy something better here for a comparable cost.
Just realise that you headed towards the Porsche dealership ....
 
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Ahh ok I get you, what I should have said was; I couldn't find an equivalent UK version with 240v of that model. How viable is it to import one and run it off an converter? Is this commonly done?
Does it effect the power and use?
The convert you linked to is going the other way right? that would be to run a 240v in the US on 110v mains.

What other places have you seen them for sale?
The link is for a Step up /step down converter. This means it works either way.
 
Hi, I'm looking to get my first router to expand my woodworking options. However the selection in the UK seems very different to the rest of the world, so most of the online / YT guides don't help.
Specifically we seem to not have any that come with a plunge and fixed base. There must be some new law in the past few years about spinning blades needing to be always attached to tools, because even the Bosch 1600 and 1617 are no longer available. :confused:

What I'm looking for is;
  • 1/4" and 1/2" collet
  • fixed and plunge based, so I can make a DIY router table and leave the fixed base in it
  • above table adjustment (bosch and tritan have)
  • corded, 240v
  • £300 max, but can be used

The Bosch 1617 or 1600, and DeWalt DW618 would both be perfect, and hit all the points, but I don't believe either are available in the UK.
I'm in DeWalt cordless tools, so go the other way and get a DCW604 18v to begin with, then get a 1/2" plunge router at a later date.
The perfect beginner router something like the Makita trim router. Only 1/4" and 1 hp, it is nevertheless powerful enough to be comfortable when usedfreehand and may also be used in a router table. It has a range of accessories such as fixed- and plunge bases.

You can always add a larger router at a later date. The trim router will be a better learning experience.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
As others said, start small and simple then add additional machines as you need them.
I have ended up with two 1/4” routers, a 1/2” router plus a dedicated motor/lift combo in a table but still use the 1/4” machine I learned with for lighter tasks (Bosch POF500)
 
The link is for a Step up /step down converter.

The converter has 100W max written on it.

The DeWalt router is labelled as 2 1/4 hp. There is nominally 750W per horsepower. I make that about 1700W.

Should he buy 17 of the converters? That is a lot of sockets needed in the workshop. The cost of the converters (£302.43) exceeds his total budget.

Or can you plug one into the other into the next? He might need to extend the workshop to accommodate the depth of the stack.
 
My mistake sorry. This one will should be enough though. https://www.amazon.co.uk/tonchean-C...62&mcid=6cfcca5188c639c3887c36ae96fae716&th=1
The converter has 100W max written on it.

The DeWalt router is labelled as 2 1/4 hp. There is nominally 750W per horsepower. I make that about 1700W.

Should he buy 17 of the converters? That is a lot of sockets needed in the workshop. The cost of the converters (£302.43) exceeds his total budget.

Or can you plug one into the other into the next? He might need to extend the workshop to accommodate the depth of the stack.
hould be enough tho
 
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