Routers
#11
  
I've had my PC 690 and a plunge base for a long time. While it works, I'm starting to wonder if there's something better out there for general free hand router use.

The things I don't like as much are:
-swapping between the regular and plunge base
-the height mechanism for both aren't that great, part of that is wear.
-no dust collection.
-larger bits don't fit the standard plate.

I have different routers for my table and small trim work. Am I missing out on a better product these days?
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
Reply
#12
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
I also use PC 690 routers
My fixed base is a D handle then the standard plunge base, and a router lift for the router table.
I have dedicated motors in each base and the router table.
I have set-up blocks and such to set depth of cut.
I did make some custom bases with larger center openings for larger diameter bits.
Reply
#13
  Re: RE: Routers by MT Woodworker (I also use PC 690 ro...)
I've had a PC 690 fixed base router for about 30 years; first one I ever bought and I still use it regularly.  I bought a plunge based from someone here 10 years ago or so.  I made several 1/4" Melamine base plates for the fixed base for larger diameter bits, or other specific needs.  It's been an steady performer all these years.  When I wanted to upgrade to a variable speed router I bought a Bosch 1617 kit with both fixed and plunge base.  It has a little more HP, the speed control is very good, and there are a lot of accessories available for it including dust shields and vacuum ports.  

The fixed base will accommodate really large bits, over 2-1/2" diameter IIRC.  The base plate has a smaller diameter opening, so you'd have to replace that, but if you want to use large diameter bits the 1617 fixed base can handle them.  Height adjustment is straight forward and precise with the fixed base, and the plunge action is very smooth on the plunge base; I much prefer it over the 690 plunge base.  Overall, there's a lot to like and little not to.  Some folks don't like the old school wooden knobs on the fixed base, but they are fine with me.  It comes with two collet wrenches, which I prefer over some newer routers that have only one wrench where you have to push an arbor lock.  The collets are much deeper than on the PC-690, so you can better seat long shank bits.  The collets grip the bit very securely; never had one slip.  

John
Reply
#14
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
One of my PC routers is a fixed speed that has a toggle switch. I'm guessing it's pretty old. It is dedicated to the straight bit on my dovetail jig.

The Bosch kit did catch my eye, especially as Lowes here has a couple in stock. The wooden handles don't bother me. Interestingly, one of my PC handles has a bunch of JB-weld on it since that base fell victim to a sudden gust of gravity.
Big Grin

It seems some people think the dust port is flimsy, but it's not expensive.

I did have a bit start walking out on my once on my PC router.
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
Reply
#15
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
Any thoughts on the Bosch MR23EVS router? The switch in the handle is something I might like.
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
Reply
#16
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
I am fortunate to have more than one PC 690 router; they were the standard in the woodworking world when I first got serious about the hobby many years ago - they are still reliable routers. However, the one plunge base I have for the 690 is not my favorite; pretty cumbersome relatively speaking. The Dewalt 618 is my "go to" plunger. Soft start motor, smooth action, great ergonomics, plenty of power, just easy to use.

My absolute favorite general purpose router is a Makita 1101 D-handle - what a beauty! Smooooth, soft start, no vibration, plenty of power, great ergonomics and probably the quietest router on the market.

Doug
Reply
#17
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
Everything I've read about the Bosch MR23 router is very good (except the price). If I ever need another one, that is the one it will be. Until then I replaced my 690 with the Milwaukee line. The 5616 is my favorite, and when switching from a PC a fair amount of things work on the Milwaukee (bases, edge guides, wrenches, etc....but not the collets). The thing is, I bought my Milwaukees when they were a American company and production was in NA. I'm not sure sure of the quality under the Asian ownership/manufacture.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
Reply
#18
  Re: RE: Routers by lincmercguy (Any thoughts on the ...)
(02-20-2021, 10:12 PM)lincmercguy Wrote: Any thoughts on the Bosch MR23EVS router? The switch in the handle is something I might like.

Folks have reported issues with the switching arrangement. Not enough to lose sleep over, but be aware.  

You cannot use it in a router lift plate.  


- DeWalt DW611 is great little trim router. 
- Festool 1010 is also a nice all around handheld - if the grip and price don’t dissuade you. 
- Bosch gkf12v is gem of a handheld for quick and dirty edges.  Not good for much else.  And you need Bosch batteries.
Reply
#19
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
I ran a Dewalt 618 for 18 years for free hand work. The through-column dust collection was surprisingly effective. It made several trips to the shop floor, but shrugged them all off. Plunge action was smooth, though hard to make small precision adjustments. The turret stops sucked. Otherwise it was great.

Then I got the Festool OF 1400 and fell in love. Does everything a little easier, a little faster, a little more precise. Is it worth three times the cost of most other routers?  Was to me.  I put off purchasing it forever because the 618 did its job just fine. But it is probably the only Festool purchase that I instantly loved from the moment I pulled the trigger.
Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
Reply
#20
  Re: Routers by lincmercguy (I've had my PC 690 a...)
"But it is probably the only Festool purchase that I instantly loved from the moment I pulled the trigger."

As your DF500 stares at you with a little bit of anger and jealousy.
Big Grin

The QF 1400 looks pretty good and doesn't have a terrible price for something green. I could see how the rail attachment would be useful, but I've gotten used to using clamp-on straight edges for that.

I only have one other Bosch tool, the 6" sander, which has done quite well for me. I might have to get a dedicated dust extractor at some point. I have a hose from Peachtree that fits most of that size of fitting from a 4" hose on my cyclone, but I know the CFM is not the same. It clears out the mortises from the Domino tenons, but some chips do end up on the floor.
Project Blog Got it all up-to-date, and I promise to keep it up-to-date.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.