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Needing a plunge router - lift mechanic - 11-19-2020

My next couple of projects will require a good quality plunge router. Main use, for now, will be loose tenons. I would like a soft start, variable speed and smooth plunge. I will also get the fixed base. Which brands and models should I look at?


RE: Needing a plunge router - Cooler - 11-19-2020

For loose tenons I use Rockler's Beadlock. 

I have a mortise machine, but often the Beadlock is easier.  If you don't have a lot to do, then I recommend the Beadlock.  It works exactly as advertised.  The jig is just $30.00 and uses your electric drill.  A poor man's Festool  Domino joiner.

https://youtu.be/ohP3mrblbVk


RE: Needing a plunge router - Cabinet Monkey - 11-19-2020

What size M&T joints are you making ?

What we recommend will be influenced by this. 



The usual suspects for the "kit" you ask about are Bosch, DeWalt, and hitachi/Metabo.  Keep in mind Porter Cable routers are discontinued.

Milwaukee and Makita make them too, but are a bit tougher to see in person.


Lots of guys are happy with Triton plunge routers, but no fixed base option.


Got a drill press ?


RE: Needing a plunge router - jteneyck - 11-19-2020

The Bosch 1617EVS kit is a great all around mid sized choice with both fixed and plunge bases, soft start, good speed control and smooth plunge action.
John


RE: Needing a plunge router - lift mechanic - 11-20-2020

Thanks guys, Going to Spokane to pick up some 8/4 poplar. I will see what I can find in a couple tool store there.


RE: Needing a plunge router - nodima - 11-20-2020

I've been happy with the plunge base for my PC router.

They have been an institution/standard for years, and there are no shortage of accessories and parts available.  I'd not shy away due to them being discontinued.  I'd actually look secondhand, they seem to be a dime a dozen here in MA, based on CL.  Of course the big ones seem to hold value.


RE: Needing a plunge router - Tapper - 11-21-2020

Lots of good recommendations so far - any of the above would probably do you a nice job.

I have two of these Makita 1101's in the D-handle version I picked up a few years ago on Ebay for a song. Of all the routers I have (too many), including Porter Cable, Dewalt and Bosch they are the smoothest in the lineup. Soft start, plenty of power, nice ergonomics and quiet relative to the others. If the plunge model is anything like the quality of the base model it's a winner.

Very good reviews.

Makita Kit on Amazon

Doug


RE: Needing a plunge router - WxMan - 11-21-2020

(11-20-2020, 09:21 AM)nodima Wrote: I've been happy with the plunge base for my PC router.

They have been an institution/standard for years, and there are no shortage of accessories and parts available.  I'd not shy away due to them being discontinued.  I'd actually look secondhand, they seem to be a dime a dozen here in MA, based on CL.  Of course the big ones seem to hold value.

I have the PC690 with the associated D-handle and a plunge base.  I bought it all in a kit with a bench-top router table over 20 years ago when I first decided to get into woodworking.  I decided on the 690 because it seemed like the standard-bearer router for home shops at the time and I saw Norm Abrams use that model all the time on New Yankee Workshop.

I hate the plunge base.  

  - The plunge base has never been smooth to push down and the spring has a great deal of force, making for difficult minor adjustments.

  - It's very easy for the barrel of the motor to get wedged into the base, making it extremely difficult to remove.  At first, I thought there might be a small burr on the motor, or inside the base, but no matter how many times I've tried to clean the mating surfaces with steel wool or even very fine emery cloth, the problem remains.

  - The locking nut that secures the motor into the base can be dang-near impossible to remove at times.

My issues with the plunge base caused me to find other ways to do things, so I guess that was a "blessing in disguise."  I've never upgraded to a better plunge router; early-on I didn't really have the funds to do so, and I've become accustomed to not having an effective plunge router, so I use other means to do things.  Occasionally, I get a hankering to look at adding a Dewalt unit, or perhaps just picking up a plunge base for my Bosch 1617.


RE: Needing a plunge router - shoottmx - 11-21-2020

(11-19-2020, 10:25 PM)jteneyck Wrote: The Bosch 1617EVS kit is a great all around mid sized choice with both fixed and plunge bases, soft start, good speed control and smooth plunge action.
John

I'll second John's recommendation. I've had 2 of the 1617's for 10+ issue free years. Additionally there is a base available to mount in a table that allows above table height adjustment.

g


RE: Needing a plunge router - greenacres2 - 11-21-2020

(11-21-2020, 08:53 AM)shoottmx Wrote: I'll second John's recommendation. I've had 2 of the 1617's for 10+ issue free years. Additionally there is a base available to mount in a table that allows above table height adjustment.

g

Agreed.  Actually--the stock fixed base can be used the same way as the "table mount" they sell--just remove the maple handles if you need the clearance.  Keeps the plunge base free for hand-held use, and i almost always use the plunge bases (can't recall the last time i've switched to a fixed base for hand-held).  Another bonus for the 1617 is that the fixed base has both the 4-hole Bosch pattern tapped as well as tapped mounting holes in the same 3-hole pattern that PC used for the 690--the most common aftermarket hole pattern for accessories.  Finally--the Bosch edge guide is top-notch, a worth-while addition that functions incredibly well, not just a sort of straight piece of bent metal.
earl