Tool Review: DW618PKB Dewalt 2 1/4 HP plunge Router

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BKHam

Bradley
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I bought this to try and improve the dust collection (DC) and avoid paying for the Festool. i was using a mortising jig and having trouble clearing the chips, dramatically increasing the time i was taking. So i sold my porter cable (PC) with the plunge base and bought this yella machine.

Positives:
-not that expensive (~$200)
-soft start is nice
-on / off button is easy to reach and work
-depth stop is decent
-the plunge base has a flat side that is helpful (the PC was round which is not a reliable in my view for doing longer grooves)
-hard to lose because it is yellow
-not as loud at my PC

Negatives:
-it does have DC in the post but it works poorly
-you have to put a clear shroud around the bit to get what you can out of the DC which nearly completely obscures your view
-the collet lock designer should be in jail, just give me two wrenches.....i find the spring loaded collet lock to be annoying
-the same clear shrouds for DC limit the plunge travel
-the plunge travel up is not as far as my old porter cable, some standard bits (whiteside 3/8 dia. 1.5 inch plunge bit) stick beyond base when all the way up
-the plunge lever is the WORST
*my old PC would stay in place when you let off the lever, you had to pull the lever to move and it sprung back
*this one has to be pressed and then pressed back, no spring back, which is a crucial thing when you are trying to be accurate or hold the router steady
*the lever pops out of lock and then router shoots up out of the plunged position (wrecked a couple jigs already
*the PC never popped out of lock so you could use bearing guided bits and collars for hours with no worries

Final - if this was your first router, you'd probably like it. you wouldn't know how others worked. if you went from an old craftsman to this, you'd be thrilled. but if you are really fighting the dust war, really starting to use your router for some cool joinery and mortising applications, or have dreams of what you envision as festool performance.....don't buy this. Also, when i put this up for sale on the classifieds after christmas.....ignore this message.
 

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Phil S

Board of Directors, Events Director
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you would like to give the Festool OF1400 midsize router a try, come on down. I think you will be amazed at how well and how smooth it works. Festool is very expensive and very hard to find at a discount but they are out there. I happen to own 10 Festool products, seven were bought at deep discounts - some less than 50%. Watch the ads and jump real fast
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Festools at a discount?

Festool is very expensive and very hard to find at a discount but they are out there. I happen to own 10 Festool products, seven were bought at deep discounts - some less than 50%. Watch the ads and jump real fast

I digresss from the OP point but...

Ok Phil - really??? Festool products purchased at less than 50% of new prices? WOW! I need a tutorial on your search methods. Do you have 'watches' for notifications on all the sites - CL, OfferUp, FB Marketplace, and others?
I check CL pretty frequently, and have for years, and the largest discount I have ever seen is about 30% off new pricing (which was the Domino in Fayetteville that I re-posted here a week or two ago). I know acting fast is imperative for 'real deals' posted online - but I am not even seeing many Festool products offered, let alone at much of a discount. I find the interfaces of the other sites (besides CL) so much harder to navigate and so user fatigue sets in easily. I have not set up watches. Now that your Festool stable is filling up maybe the rest of us will have a shot at these.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, Events Director
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Re: Festools at a discount?

I am on the festoolrecon mailing list. The send offers for up to 30% off but sell out within minutes so if you see something you want you must buy right then. Currently they have their T15 drill set with two 5.2 ah batterieties for 35% off. That is a good buy
I have found a couple of festool items on Craig’s list but not in tool section. Typically found in misc not listed but in the pictures
Happy hunting
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Re: Festools at a discount?

Thanks for the hints Phil - I am on the Festoolrecon list too. That is a decent source.
A Domino is really what I want, but haven't justified yet.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Re: Festools at a discount?

I have the DeWalt 621 on my wish list for similar reasons - a desire for dust collection without the Festool price level. It is not similar to the 618. Dust collection gets good reviews but not everybody likes the "twist the handle" plunge lock. I also use PC routers (690s for me) so the controls will be and adjustment. Less spewing chips all over the shop could make working through the different controls worth it. The 621 used to be a "Elu" brand - it has been around a long time and was a favorite of Pat Warner (now deceased router guru).
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Re: Festools at a discount?

Brad, I have the same Dewalt router, but model DW618B3. I've experienced few of the problems that you describe.

-the collet lock designer should be in jail, just give me two wrenches.....i find the spring loaded collet lock to be annoying

I find it much easier than 2 wrenches.

-the plunge travel up is not as far as my old porter cable, some standard bits (whiteside 3/8 dia. 1.5 inch plunge bit) stick beyond base when all the way up

Strange. Is the cutting depth of the plunge cutting part 1.5" and how long is the overall length of the bit (3" or more). I can't find your bit in the Whiteside catalog.

https://www.whitesiderouterbits.com/collections/up-cut-spirals/products/ru4100
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
Re: Festools at a discount?

Brad, I have the same Dewalt router, but model DW618B3. I've experienced few of the problems that you describe.



I find it much easier than 2 wrenches.



Strange. Is the cutting depth of the plunge cutting part 1.5" and how long is the overall length of the bit (3" or more). I can't find your bit in the Whiteside catalog.

https://www.whitesiderouterbits.com/collections/up-cut-spirals/products/ru4100

I mispoke, its a 1 1/4 inch depth bit.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K28U2...colid=OZ7TEM638W3P&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Re: Festools at a discount?

Bradley: After writing my post I looked on CL and found that deal - and I do consider that CL post a deal. I just can't justify it right now - but I will someday.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Re: Festools at a discount?


My Onsrud spiral upcut bit protrudes about 3/32" above the base plate when fully seated. It's overall length is 3 3/4" with a 1 1/4" depth of cut. Your Whiteside bit (#4900) is 3" overall length with a 1 1/4" cutting depth.

How does my bit seat in the same router with only a very small projection beyond the base plate with the plunge all of the way up?
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
Re: Festools at a discount?

could be i need to look how the router is seated in the base. i'm curious so i'll check it out. maybe it can be seated higher up.
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
Re: Festools at a discount?

could be i need to look how the router is seated in the base. i'm curious so i'll check it out. maybe it can be seated higher up.

For the plunge router the motor slides in the plunge base as far as it it will go. There is no adjustment.

I'm puzzled too!
 
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