Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Recommend me a plunge router for light/medium duty DIY use?
  • Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    Hi,

    I have a few bits coming up that I could use a router for, but not sure what size collet makes sense for light/medium duty DIY work?

    Looking at stuff like lipping shelves, plunge cut for handles, trimming laminate, maybe a lap joint or two plus cutting grooves for fitting T edging strips etc. Already have a circular and and a jigsaw.

    Not looking to spend Festool money, would prefer more compact but still up to the job. Interested to hear recommendations, is 1/2” a better choice in general or would a 1/4” still give a decent range of cutters?

    Trend T4EK 1/4” – https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/trend-t4ek-router-230v/
    Clarke 1/2” – https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-contractor-cr4-router-230v/

    Premier Icon hotstuff
    Free Member

    1/2″ router will be a bit big for more delicate work, hinge cutting etc. but 1/4″ one won’t trim work tops without problems. There’s a good argument for having one of each if you think you’ll use them a lot but if I only had one if would be the 1/2″.
    The Trend one you linked to is available from Screwfix for under £100 and comes with a case of bits I think. They are pretty problematic though, usually on/off switch, speed control, that sort of thing. Bosch is a better candidate for the smaller one in my experience.
    If you want 1/2″ then you might consider a second hand Elu, Freud or Makita. Can be had for a fraction of new price and Elu especially last well. Best to avoid ex kitchen fitters ones if possible, usually have had a hard life.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    1/2″ is more versatile in that it accepts more cutters, but can be unwieldy for certain things.

    I’ve got 4 routers at the moment. I have the two models of Triton routers, the Tra001 and Jof something or other.

    The bigger of the two is my table router and stays there. It’s perhaps a bit big and heavy for some hand work. The Jof is that bit lighter and still very powerful and good value too. The good thing about buying from Screwfix is very easy returns if you do have problems.

    I also have a Makita cordless Palm router which is awesome but not what you’re after.

    Fourth is a Katsu Palm router which is essentially a corded copy of the Makita. It’s £40 and I am actually mightily impressed by it. It’s brilliant for the smaller tasks. Comes with a fixed base but you can get a plunge base too. It’s cheap enough to keep one for the smaller jobs and get a bigger 1/2″ one too.

    A couple of years back I bought the Erbauer one from Screwfix and ended up taking it back..I found it had play in the plunge side to side.

    Premier Icon cb200
    Free Member

    By the sounds of things a 1/4″ should be fine for what you need. Up to 18mm is fine, but, as above, when you start trimming doors and worktops, maybe start looking at 1/2″. I find 1/4″ much easier to handle, to the extent that I’ve successfully done some freehand writing on mine.

    I’d second the recommendation of a second hand Elu, or the Dewalt, which is the exact same design. Great little routers and very versatile.

    Premier Icon cb200
    Free Member

    Katsu Palm router

    Yes! Amazing for the money. Just swap out the annoyingly short cord and off you go

    Premier Icon reluctantwrinkly
    Free Member

    I bought a Triton MOF001 for a kitchen refit and is very good. It doesn’t come with a 1/2” collet but can be bought for around £15.
    The router was £160 from tool-station. Slides are free from play and it has a fine plunge function via one of the handles. Spares are readily available as well. Also soft start and variable speed.only downside is it is a bit heavy and doesn’t come with a case, only a cardboard box.

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    Cheers everyone, that is a good bit to think about!

    I will have a Google on the other brands that have been recommended as I haven’t heard of some before.

    Not going to be fitting any sinks or worktops any time soon. Plus our doors are old non-standard sizes, we need them replacing but definitely getting a carpenter in as it’s an old house with slightly uneven floors/lintels.

    Probably going to get a smaller one as long as it copes with 18mm sheets and look at a heavier duty model if I have a job which justifies it.

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    @kayak23

    Was it this Katsu one?

    Katsu Trimmer w/ Tilt and Plunge Base with 6&8&10MM collet chuck Europe Plug
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143730008041

    Premier Icon alanl
    Free Member

    I’ve got a Trend T4, it’s great for smaller work.
    I had an half inch one too, but sold that as I wasnt doing kitchens anymore, so it wasnt being used.
    I’ve used it recently to chamfer oak edges on a table, really nice and smooth.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I have a couple, the one I use the most is a small 600W Bosch one..

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/C1odoW]Untitled[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/bosch-gkf600-600w-electric-palm-router-240v/68002

    Hunt around for the full pack, so you get all the adaptors, which are really handy:

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Was it this Katsu one?

    Not mine. Mine didn’t come with the plunge base. Just came with a 1/4″ collet, spanner, dust extractor shroud and fixed base.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274338227100

    That one seems to come with 3collets, the plunge base and a couple of other bits. You’d have to work out if that’s worth it.

    I have the genuine Makita plunge base which is excellent quality and the katsu fits perfect.

    I have an eBay special offset and angle base that isn’t up the same quality. Useable though.

    You don’t necessarily need a plunge base. . Depends what you’re doing. It can make things easier and safer though particularly if you’re not experienced with routers.

    Premier Icon flyingpotatoes
    Free Member

    I had a Trend T4 and it’s perfect for the project (new business venture) I had.

    Was cutting 5mm acrylic and it gave a really smooth edge and used it in conjunction with the Trend ptfe spray.

    Just make sure you get a decent brand cutter. I originally bought cheaper cutters and they were a bit rubbish.

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    Thanks for all your inputs. Looks like I’m going for the Katsu palm router with a separate Makita plunge base off eBay as it looks to be finished better than the bundled set I found. Next step is a set of bits for it.

    Bosch one looked nice but I couldn’t see a plunge base that was included.

    Hopefully some more fun stuff to play around with if we get more restrictions over the winter etc.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    The katsu is great.

    It does so many of the jobs that a monster router can be cheap as with minimal features.

    You also don’t NEED a plunge bas with a pal router you can drop it in*

    *Not saying you should just saying you can.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Go for the trend. – Or triton

    Worked in a cabinetmakers and the owner was mad for cheap tools like routers and screw guns.
    Working on the principle that given we go through them, you get 5 cheap, for one quality.
    Oddly enough he only bought in makita belt sanders.

    He just never got it.

    The cheap routers are rarely centered, which means as you cut on one side, turn it around to cut the other face and it cuts a different line. This will destroy whatever it was you were making. For the bin professionally or diy you’d never be happy that it wasnt right, and wasnt your own cackhandedness or such.

    Usually more of a prob if using the fence or holding it against a jig or template. But even then the cutter isnt directly straight, as the base for it is cheaply made, so forget precision, and routers are supposed to be precise.

    I bought a Triton MOF001

    I use the TRA001 in my router table, and handheld. Very very good, im well impressed with its power and features. The locked on/off switch, the through table spindle lock and 1/4 turn to tighten.
    The only problem the TRA has is it doesnt take guide bushings for templates or jigs.
    But I’m possibly going to buy the smaller triton because its guide bush system and the other features makes it a wel thought out bit of kit.

    I’ve also the makita RTO700 with all the bases, only for laminates and ome jig work as i needed a 1/4″ (Should have went the festool, but at the time it was that or a set of 5 Lie nielsen chisels),
    The little makita gets pricey to get all the bases, and the plunge base is fing pathetic. Plus when you swop bases, the cutter is pushed off center, so just as bad as a cheapo(Admittedly they include a couple of centering tools, so it can be fixed, whereas the cheap ones it is the entire thing that is fubar.

    Triton vid showing the differences between the 2. – FOR EVERYONE

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    @joshvegas – After getting my wrist whipped using a corded drill and a big auger bit, not that keen on having the cutter catch if I went too fast… 😢

    @dyna-ti – The 1/2” ones look huge, sure you get the hang of them after a while though. Can’t you check for motor run out or spindle misalignment problems by doing some test cuts, turning the tool 180 and seeing if it follows the same path?

    Saw a good deal on the Makita RTO700 so might give that a go after all.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Full Member

    What not to get. I have one of these….and I’m thinking of getting rid of it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001E4EJ6M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_5SlJFbCMEB6SR

    Big router but only 1/4″ collet, I been eyeing up the Bosch GKF 600 instead, the one @footflaps has. Looks much handier.

    Premier Icon k1sport
    Free Member

    Another vote for the little Katsu.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    If you want a cheap palm router, our Aldi had them in on Friday.

    Myself I’ve a Trend T5 and a palm Makita. Originally I had a cheaper 1/4, then bought the T5 s/h – streets apart.
    The Makita I bought after watching a joiner finish off some bits/pieces.

    Premier Icon spacemonkey
    Free Member

    I disagree with dmorts re the Bosch 1400. I ummed and ahhed 3 months ago about getting a 1/2″ Trend or similar for around £250 but decided to get the Bosch 1/4″ for nearer £100 and see i) how capable it is, ii) how much I actually use it.

    Turns out it’s bloody good IME (with Trend 1/4″ cutters) for edging, plunging and all the odd bits and bobs I’ve thrown at it. Really clean pick up on the motor, doesn’t bite, plenty of power and accuracy on softwood, hardwood and MDF. Plush plunge out of the box and easy to set up.

    The only quibble I had at the start was that I – like other 1400 owners on various forums it seems – didn’t know how to replace the pre-installed collet with the 1/4″. But there are links with the answer and it takes only seconds once you know how.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Full Member

    @spacemonkey It is a good router, no doubt, but I think I’d rather have two*. A smaller, handier one like the Bosch GKF 600 and then a larger one (Trend?) with a 1/2″ collet that I can also use in a table if needed.

    *read three, as I’ll probably end up keeping the 1400 anyway.

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Full Member

    ^^^ Ref the Aldi palm router – be aware that it looks like its single speed , variable is much nicer as you can tune for application and vibration.
    My view is based on having a Trend T5 1/4″ since they started making them (20 years, Elu std clone) , a big Freud 1/2″ ,and the “legendary” Katsu , is – 1/4″ is multi talented but master of none , 1/2″ best kept under a table , 1/4″ Palm router is perfect for rounding off – quick small jobs.
    So Trend T5/Elu clone for versatility , 1/2″ under table or experienced hand held , 1/4″ palm totally worth having for the price.
    Another tip – nice to have 8mm collet in 1/4″ routers as the 8mm shank ones are a fair bit stronger,
    I would get a reasonable multi set of cutters so that you can do some try outs and usually reasoable jobs with them – and buy individual higher quality bits for specific/bigger/critical jobs.
    Pay attention to direction of cut at all times, dust/chip extraction where possible gives a better finish and safety, do not over tighten collets and keep them clean, always make test cuts before attacking masterpiece!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Pay attention to direction of cut at all times, dust/chip extraction where possible gives a better finish and safety, do not over tighten collets and keep them clean, always make test cuts before attacking masterpiece!

    yes, was routing the intumescent strips in a friend’s fire doors, the collet came lose and we started in the middle at one end and by the other end the groove was on the edge of the door!

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    @finishthat – Thanks, I will bear that in mind and have a few test runs first!

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