Recommendations for a router.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ray Holt, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Hey guys, I guess this will be a bit of an update too... I'm leaving Benedetto Guitars. I've been here about a year, but due to many reasons I'm leaving and going back to NY. I'll just work for a while but I'm planning on going back to college.

    Anyways, I'm going to keep building my own stuff as soon as I get home. I haven't been able to build my own stuff while here in Georgia because I don't have anywhere to work... Benedetto won't let us use the shop... and I don't really get paid enough to buy anything. That will change once I'm home.

    My birthday is coming up and my parents asked what I wanted, and I think I'm going to ask them to help me buy a router. I figure it's probably the single most versatile power tool when it comes to making electrics.

    So do you all have any recommendations? Here are the styles I'm looking at.

    Porter-Cable 691 D-Handle

    Bosch version..

    Any suggestions? Even on the brands in general? I have experience with the Porter-Cable D-Handle, because that's what they use at Roberto-Venn. I liked it a lot, worked just fine... just wasn't sure if you guys had some other suggestions. Thanks for your time.
  2. porter cable +1 , ive used a lot of stuff from them, all built very well.

    im not a fan of bosch to be honest.

    I use some older craftsman routers and old (70s) chicago electric. So im a bit out of date on new stuff : )

    quick edit:

    D handle i find annoying : / i like to have a small ( 1- 1 1/2) router for freehand type work, and a larger 1 3/4-2hp for my table......another IMO type thing here : )
  3. Yellow


    Apr 20, 2006
    Sooke, BC, Canada
    I have a Bosch but I must say they have gone down in quality in my opinion,

    You know what I came accross the other day is a Freud Router, vertually identical to older Bosch, still made in Italy and 5 year warranty. I might consider one I am also thinking of a new router.
  4. Thanks for your opinions. I'm leaning pretty strongly towards the Porter-Cable because I've used them before and thought they were great. Just wanted some other opinions :)

    I personally like the D-Handle, love the trigger switch for immediate on and off. And it feels more stable to me, especially around edges.
  5. i use my router table 80% of the time, and the rest usually i have goofy jigs i use : /

    I have a wierd rig i use that someone posted up here a long time ago for all my "freehand" type cuts, so stability isnt an issue.
  6. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Hey Ray, I was just talking about you today. People keep asking when I'm going to luthiery school.. whenever I get accepted. :D Sorry to hear the job isn't working out for you, but the experience is certainly great to have.

    I bought a Porter Cable router in the "clearance" aisle at Sears in 2005 and it's still a beast of a router. It's not as adjustable as I'd like it to be, but it's still as good as day one. Stick with a router with a sealed switch, I know of a good few people that have purchased routers with unsealed switches and after a year or two of time the switch needs replacement. A waste of time for such a simple feature.
  7. bump
  8. T2W


    Feb 24, 2007
    Montreal, Canada.
    I have used a Porter Cable for a while and the on off switch stopped workin at some point, it was always on basically, really freaked me out the first time I plugged it in, hehe. I also got two of those Freud ones, with the small red table, one of them stopped working, period. Perhaps it didnt like all the waynescotting I did with it. I still love my old black and decker, works marvelously, even after 30 something years. and Triton is definetely making some heads turn with their routers. You should check em out.
  9. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
  10. Thanks for the link! I really like your post in that thread, thanks for sharing your experience. Do you build guitars full time or just work in a woodworking shop?

    I was looking at the PC691 which is basically the 690 but has a D-Handle on the fixed base. Always found the D-Handle nice... don't have to let go of it to turn it on/off.
  11. radii


    Feb 16, 2007
    I always liked plunge routers. Porter Cable makes a good 2HP version. I own and despise the 2 HP Bosch version but love the 3 HP Dewalt (made in Switzerland by whoever used to make the ELU routers).

    Welcome back to humid NY ...
  12. I've never used a plunge router... just got used to fixed base.

    Psssssh NY has nothing on Savannah, Georgia when it comes to humid! I can't wait to be back!
  13. The hitachi V12 routers (2.25hp ones) are a great value! I got the kit with 2 basses and keep the fixed base table mounted and use the plunge base for freehand operations. It's been working great for me for the last 3 years and I don't intend to get another router unless I buy that table top pin router I've been thinking about.
  14. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I strongly recommend a variable-speed router with electronic speed control and soft start - an attribute of some PC routers, but not available in the PC 690 series.

    I have a PC 7518 (3.25hp) permanently mounted in my router table, have PC and Bosch 2.25hp routers for hand-held use, as well as PC and Bosch trim routers; they're all able performers.

    If you can find the money, take a look at Festool routers, but be forewarned, Festool gear is expensive AND one you're hooked, you'll be counted among Festool addicts ;)

    Here's an excellent website dedicated to routers:

    Pat Warner is an avid proponent of DeWalt routers.
  15. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    I have one PC691, and it is a very nice router. It was dropped a while back and the handle broke. I have been looking for another handle, but time and money have been thin lately. The Milwaukee has picked up the slack from the D-handle.

    I have never built a guitar, but I am a fifth generation cabinet maker and have owned a cabinet shop for 7 years.
  16. Awesome, you have all the respect in the world from me! You just had so much good information to share on the different routers I was curious what you did for a living.

    Building guitars is easy :D ... cabinet making is something I would like to get my hands into.