"Best" router type for table

CCEX3

New User
corey
I am planning to use a 2 1/4 HP Milwaukee router in a new table build but I'm wondering if I should drop back and punt to a 3 HP. Does anyone else have learned experience with this? is there a remarkable difference in the 2, if so, in what specifically? material? stock? bit type? etc.

Thank you in advance!
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
It will handle everything unless you’re getting into panel raising bits, even then it will probably do the job, or force you to take shallower passes (not a bad thing).

To me the big issue is height adjustment, which is going to depend on the specific model. The standard routers I own aren’t well suited. Plus, above table adjustment is far easier and better. That said I got by for years without it, but never could really easily dial it in for that final smidgeon.

I went from there to a Router Raiser, and from there to a Jessem Powrtek + MastR lift with the remote speed control. Compared to where I was, it’s an absolute dream to operate - but, I’ve got $600 tied up in it :-(

IMO you plan on doing much work like door building, you really need the micro adjust capability a lift offers. It an absolute necessity but it sure makes life a lot easier.
 

CCEX3

New User
corey
Thanks, DrBob! I don't anticipate doing much, if any, in the area of raised panels.

Ironically enough, the basis for my OP is due to the return window closing on a
JessEm 02313 Rout-R-Lift II I purchased for my router. I'm wondering if I'll have to buy another router once this one is put into a table/lift. Do you find most of your routing needs can be done on the table? or do you have a need for a "loose" router to use on bigger items?
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Can speak to your precise question. I only have a Bosch trim router and a few PC 690s. It is handy to have more than one router for the various tasks. It can be done with one router, but I find that I keep checking Craigslist for more (than the 3 or 4 I have already) .... it's an addiction!
 

creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I find that I keep checking Craigslist for more (than the 3 or 4 I have already) .... it's an addiction!
Agreed. Why change router bits when you can simply change routers. :) I have a couple that keep the same bit so they're always ready to go.

I second the part about having a router lift. To me, this is more important than the extra horse power. Unless you plan to do a lot of work with large bits you probably won't notice the difference. The lift however will give you fine control over the vertical adjustment. I'd put any extra $'s towards the purchase of a lift rather than a larger router.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Thanks, DrBob! I don't anticipate doing much, if any, in the area of raised panels.

Ironically enough, the basis for my OP is due to the return window closing on a
JessEm 02313 Rout-R-Lift II I purchased for my router. I'm wondering if I'll have to buy another router once this one is put into a table/lift. Do you find most of your routing needs can be done on the table? or do you have a need for a "loose" router to use on bigger items?
It’s nice to have a dedicated router in the table and one handheld, but you’re probably asking the wrong person LOL
6C1CA2E0-AD6F-4488-823A-DCA0242E47A0.jpeg
 

CCEX3

New User
corey
It’s nice to have a dedicated router in the table and one handheld, but you’re probably asking the wrong person LOL
View attachment 197946
Dang....I like your style. My wife asks me, "Why do you have so many of the same tools?" She doesn't understand why I have more than 1 plane. So every time I get a new one she thinks its redundant and rolls her eyes. For the record, I don't have a single duplicated plane, and everyone I have is a user. The closest thing I have to duplicated tools is a 4 and 4 1/2, or a 62 and 605, which we can all agree are vastly different tools.
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
Add me to the list of owning multiple routers.

I have an older (probably 70’s) model craftsman 1/2 hp that is mounted in a cheap table that use for cutting grooves in cabinet door stock. I can’t feed stock as fast as my larger Bosch, but it works well overall.

I have a 2 1/2 hp or 2 1/4 hp Bosch mounted in another table for bigger bits used for larger panel edging (ogre, rounder etc).

I have another dewalt 2hp (or more) that is used for cutting mortises that also works well.

My point being I don’t necessarily think hp is the answer. Is the router to be permanently mounted to a table or also used free hand? Planning on multiple routers? These will probably influence your decision along with weight of the router (higher hp usually means more weight).
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Dang....I like your style. My wife asks me, "Why do you have so many of the same tools?" She doesn't understand why I have more than 1 plane. So every time I get a new one she thinks its redundant and rolls her eyes. For the record, I don't have a single duplicated plane, and everyone I have is a user. The closest thing I have to duplicated tools is a 4 and 4 1/2, or a 62 and 605, which we can all agree are vastly different tools.
Very proud of you. My routers all have different serial numbers. Does that count?
 

llucas

luke
Senior User
Well, I couldn't resist chiming in on the number of routers a woodworker should have ( or should want to have)!
One pretty good size one that stays in the table (and has all the required up/down precision capabilities), another one set up for drawer making with dovetails (sorry hand-tool folks), a smaller, easy to handle one for trim and finish profiles on edges, etc., maybe one that the plunge base stays on all the time, a laminate trimmer might be handy as well.
But that's just me. I also have had 4 tractors at one time because I just hated changing implements.
 

Roger45

Roger
User
So does it come down to 21/4 horse router with a JessEm Router lift or Triton with built in lift is my question. What one works best in your router table?
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I’ll tell you all my experience with Triton, and let me be clear: I am not saying this is a universal problem, but one I know others have had, and that Triton support acknowledges.

The router developed a back lash in the height adjustment gears, so that when the lock was released the collet would drop. You can see the issue trying to dial in a height, as you loose the previous setting. Got to the point where the drop was 1/8” or better.

I spoke to tech support about this and the response was (quote) “It’s the nature of the beast.” To their credit they offered to send to a repair shop, which I did not do, as I felt it was a design flaw.

My understanding the gears are plastic. Its very possible the problem has been fixed on newer models, but I do know the issue wasn’t unique to me. Other than that is the router is superb.

Something I think bears some research for anyone considering this route.

I have a MastR Lift II & it is excellent. I opted to get the Jessem router and remote power control. I never thought I would spend that much money on a router set up, but it’s worth every penny to me.
 

CCEX3

New User
corey
Well, I couldn't resist chiming in on the number of routers a woodworker should have ( or should want to have)!
One pretty good size one that stays in the table (and has all the required up/down precision capabilities), another one set up for drawer making with dovetails (sorry hand-tool folks), a smaller, easy to handle one for trim and finish profiles on edges, etc., maybe one that the plunge base stays on all the time, a laminate trimmer might be handy as well.
But that's just me. I also have had 4 tractors at one time because I just hated changing implements.

"I also have had 4 tractors at one time because I just hated changing implements." This is a flat out boss move right here......
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I have used one of my two PC 690 motors in a router table and it worked. I made a few raised panel doors with it. But I prefer a bigger motor so I don't have to make as many passes. I don't think you hardly can make multiple cope and stick passes but the PC 690 would do it, but it seemed to strain a bit. I currently have a PC 7518 in my router table and I like that a lot better. It has enough power that the collet is more the limitation (it has a good collet but it's the same collet as the 690). My table has a home made lift and a top that tilts up for bit changes. I like this setup a lot.

The two PC 690s are my bigger hand held routers (I have four bases including a plunge). I use a Bosch Colt about as much - for little roundovers or small chamfers. I have a fixed base for the 7518 but it would be a hand full hand held. My theory is a 15 amp motor for the router table, a mid sized for hand held and a little one for what it will do. The mid sized will do it all but it is really nice to have the bigger and smaller ones.
 

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