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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:03 pm 
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I'm looking to get a router for light use at home (not for trade use) and wanted some advice on what to look out for. What features do I need to make sure I get? What brand is best? 1/4" or 1/2" or is there one that has both? I am not looking to spend more than £200-£300.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:00 pm 
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This is very much a "how long is a piece of string?" type of question, IMHO, akin to asking for advice on buying, say, a car or a washing machine. TBH I think that you need to focus your enquiry a little bit better in order to get a reliable answer. So, to start that off could I please ask you to answer the following questions:

What sort of tasks do you envisage for the router (a) immediately and (b) longer term?
Do you have any experience of using routers?
Do you have any personal preferences?

Routers in your budget range vary enormously in size, power and capability from small one-handed trim routers (derived from laminate trimmers) right up to 1600watt 1/2in plunge routers, but as with so many things in life, biggest isn't necessarilly best! So for an appropriate response I'd request that you give the team just a bit more to go on

Thanks

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:23 pm 
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If its for diy jobs you cant go far wrong with a 1/4" Makita RT0700CX2, you need to shop around and make sure you know what your getting for the price

toolstop has it with the extra bases and carry case

http://www.toolstop.co.uk/makita-rt0700 ... -24-p40025

if you want something a bit cheaper look at the RT0700CX4


I also have a 1/2" Ryobi what is a bit of a monster and is a bit heavy for freehand work



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:26 pm 
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I have both a 1/4" Bosch and a 1/2" dewalt and to be honest I prefer the heavier machine. With others I know it's the other way round , it's all about how you feel with a router and of course what you wish to do with it. I do like the "solidity" of the bigger machine and of course it will take the smaller shank cutters but it doesn't work the other way round.
One thing you could do is to hire a couple for the weekend and just have a play with them



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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Job and Knock wrote:
This is very much a "how long is a piece of string?" type of question, IMHO, akin to asking for advice on buying, say, a car or a washing machine. TBH I think that you need to focus your enquiry a little bit better in order to get a reliable answer. So, to start that off could I please ask you to answer the following questions:

What sort of tasks do you envisage for the router (a) immediately and (b) longer term?
Do you have any experience of using routers?
Do you have any personal preferences?

Routers in your budget range vary enormously in size, power and capability from small one-handed trim routers (derived from laminate trimmers) right up to 1600watt 1/2in plunge routers, but as with so many things in life, biggest isn't necessarilly best! So for an appropriate response I'd request that you give the team just a bit more to go on

Thanks


Thank you for the guidance on this one. My experience with routers is 0 which explains my ignorance on this matter. The router is pretty much a hobby rather than a necessity and it will be used in small projects (small joints, etc). I dont foresee it to be used in heavy big projects. In terms of preference my tools generally tend to be Makita and Metabo although I dont mind DeWalt either. I do like the plunge function and I think I will be using it. At the same time I think something that offers flexibility and as many functions as possible would be preferred considering the purpose it will be used for. I have seen the likes of Makita and DeWalt offer 1/4" models that come with a separate plunge base and wondered if they are any good?


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:25 pm 
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mahoak wrote:
The router is pretty much a hobby rather than a necessity and it will be used in small projects (small joints, etc). I dont foresee it to be used in heavy big projects. In terms of preference my tools generally tend to be Makita and Metabo although I dont mind DeWalt either. I do like the plunge function and I think I will be using it. At the same time I think something that offers flexibility and as many functions as possible would be preferred considering the purpose it will be used for. I have seen the likes of Makita and DeWalt offer 1/4" models that come with a separate plunge base and wondered if they are any good?

I have a variety of routers (the wife would probably say fleet as we're up to more than 30 now including the working vintage ones..... :help: :oops: , moi, obssesive? :roll: ) and as a starter router, assuming from your comments that you want just a 1/4in router (which it sounds like you do) I don't think that you'll go far wrong with the Makita RT0700 or one of its' clones. The plunge base RT0700CX2 comes in with a street price of around £200, right at the top of your "spectrum", but at that price is arrives with a plunge base, a tilting base and a fixed base. They really are nice little buzz-boxes, although the dust extraction isn't really the best.

Attachment:
Makita RT0700CX2 Trim Router Kit 001 01.JPG
Makita RT0700CX2 Trim Router Kit 001 01.JPG [ 42.92 KiB | Viewed 1215 times ]

Above: Makita RT0700CX2 full kit. All the items are available individually as well

Now whilst I'm not a fan of Chinese clone products, I do have to say that there is a copy of the RT0700 on the market, sold under various names but originally introduced to the UK as the Katsu by AIM Tools in London. Cynic that I am I bought one of these last year with the intention of thoroughly "rubbishing" it in a review, but I've found myself reaching a different conclusion - that it's not only 95% compatible with the Makita accessories, but that at £60 (again street price) it seriously undercuts the Makita and for hobby us it's pretty unbeatable. In reality it's not as nicely finished as the Makita but overall I have to say that it's about 90% of what the Makita is, possibly more. I have a 110 volt version (the 101749G) and both I and several fellow carpenters have tried it out on production work against the RT0700 and been generally impressed - especially when the price is revealed. Will the Katsu last as long? Probably not, but at under 1/3 the price if you get 5 years out of it you'll do well, and it certainly looks and feels like it will do 5 years of trade work at present (nearly 6 months in)

Attachment:
Katsu 101749 Trim Router Kit 001 01.jpg
Katsu 101749 Trim Router Kit 001 01.jpg [ 50.71 KiB | Viewed 1215 times ]

Above: Katsu 101749 full kit. Most of the items are available individually as well
Below: My Katsu and Makita side by side together showing how alike they are. The Katsu is in its' plunge base (right) and the Makita is in their fixed trimmer base (left)

Attachment:
Makita RT0700C and clone 001 01.JPG
Makita RT0700C and clone 001 01.JPG [ 64.46 KiB | Viewed 1215 times ]


I have to admit that I've about 3/4 written a comparitive review of these two tools, but sort of stopped before completing it. Maybe no would be a good time to finish it, publish and be damned? In the meantime if you have any questions about these two models I'd be happy to answer them

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:11 am 
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ive bought one of the katsu little routers but ive not used it yet....

looks a decent little thing though. and probably right up the op's street



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:23 am 
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The Makita works very well for small jobs the plunge base is a must but you can lock the height and/or plunge depth

Have a look on youtube there are plenty of vids



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:06 pm 
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j&k 30? :shock: :shock: I dont blame your wife for calling it a fleet. :lol:

The Makita looks like a good choice and the 3 stage depth stop adjustment capability is a good one to have. I have noticed that the plunge depth is only 35mm-40mm. Is this average for 1/4" routers? The reason I ask is because I have noticed that 1/2" routers have a plunge depth of around 80mm.

In terms of dust extraction I use a lovely Metabo ASR25 with M filters and I assume i would be able to attach the Makita to this one? Through an adaptor?


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 3:44 pm 
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plunge depth - all depends on the bits you are using, Of course if you go up to 1/2" bits they are physically larger the equipment is larger and the bearings on the machine will take higher loads

routing over 30mm can be a bit dicey and tbh theres not much reason to go over 30mm

If your thinking of making mouldings a router table is a good bit of kit - home made or purchased



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Well, the thing about this pair is that they only have 700 watts available - this isn't really such a problem as my first Elu years back had a scant 600 watts and I still regularly use a 60 year old Stanley router with just 450 watts - but the thing is that with 1/4in shank cutters you really don't want to go too big or too deep for the motor. 30mm is therefore not a problem for me because I do heavy jobs, such as worktop jointing, mortising, stair housing cutting with a heavy (2000 watt) 1/2in router. Equally though, that big router is terribly clumsy for freehand work, small mouldings, edge trimming, hinge recessing, lock faceplates, shoot bolt recesses, etc. So it's really horses for courses and IMHO there's no such thing as a one router fits all tool

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Looks like I better start with the Makita and then add a 1/2" to the toolbox later on when need arises. :thumbright:


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:59 pm 
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mahoak wrote:
In terms of dust extraction I use a lovely Metabo ASR25 with M filters and I assume i would be able to attach the Makita to this one? Through an adaptor?

I omitted to respond to this comment. Neither the Makita nor the Katsu have brilliant dust extraction. I find the dust extraction tube a little awkward and I've been experimenting with improving its' location and robustness. TBH I've not been much impressed with the extraction on the Bosch GKF600 either, although the small DW trimmer is better at that. To me one of the biggest issues is that NONE of these trimmers can cope adequately with the dust extractio requirements of running a medium size rebate in MR-MDF as supplied, and none of those manufacturers has an off-the-shelf solution for the problem. I have worked out something for this which works well and has been tried in a production environment (prototype only) and I do intend to publish the detais at a later date when I can get the time (work is keeping me occupied at present)

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"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



For this message the author Job and Knock has received gratitude : mahoak
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