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Plunge router recommendations for DIY use?


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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/

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I would agree with the previous comment ref Trend   V Clarke.   Horses for courses ?  For lightweight work the Trend would be fine BUT you are limited in choice of cutter shank size , will restrict you to small cutters and type / variety..   For trimming lippings / laminate and edge grooving the 1/4 " would be fine also for sinking small handles / fittings (for this the larger one would feel rather clumsy).

How do you intend using it for lap joints ? in what dimension material ? purpose ?  Are you thinking / contemplating work top jointing ?.

With larger routers you have the choice of collets 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 " and a vast array of cutter types / sizes and purposes.

Do not buy cheap cutters.  Remember even TCT cutters dull / blunt and need sharpening / replacing.

Further details of your projects/ future projects will garner more information.

 

 

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For light/medium use I d say 1/4 would suit very well. They chew up 18mm MDF no problem. Trimming laminate etc...

For lap joints, material and thickness plays a huge role. 

Trend t7 is about £119 only £30 more than T4 variant. 

It really depends on your future projects. 

 

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Thanks guys.

@El carajillo Not going to be doing any worktop or sink fitting, same with door trimming etc. as we have an old house where the doors and walls aren’t all standard sized or completely square. Definitely would get a carpenter or kitchen fitter in for that.

Future projects are things like small shelving units, lipping a wooden headboard, redoing the tops on existing cabinets, boxes with cutouts or lightweight frames in the garden. Cutting plywood/laminate to shape around door frames etc. Basically stuff that would take an age to sand into shape or mean getting out a tenon saw/chisels/block or plough plane really in plywood/mdf/pine.

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I would go for the little katsu laminate trimmer. Sounds ideal for the lightweight tasks you have in mind and is cheap. I have one with the fixed base but you may want to add the plunge base too. 

 

Aim tools are out if stock but they may be available elsewhere. 

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Went for a Katsu 1/4” palm router and a Makita plunge base for it on eBay in the end. Think that should have me covered for a while once I get some cutters and do a hobby project or two over the winter to keep me busy.

Edited by Northern_Monkey
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55 minutes ago, Northern_Monkey said:

Went for a Katsu 1/4” palm router and a Makita plunge base for it on eBay in the end. Think that should have me covered for a while once I get some cutters and do a hobby project or two over the winter to keep me busy.

The Katsu's an awesome little machine and ridiculously good value for money. I've got two and know a few people with three or four that they keep them permanently set up for chamfering, roundovers etc. Just don't overdo it with a router that small and 1/4" cutters. You'll hear when the cutter starts to chatter and that's your cue to back off, take shallower passes and/or slow your feed-rate. Like @El carajillosays, don't cheap out on the cutters, buy quality and just the ones you need and go from there. The Trend sets can be okay value when on offer but otherwise you're just paying for a load of ogees and other profilers you'll probably never use. Wealden tools are superb and decent value too.

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@Skizz - Thanks for the pointers. Didn’t go for the Trend set as half the profiles look like I would never use them.

Really liked the Axminster carbide 40mm Forstner bit that even my cheapo pillar drill could get through 50mm of hardwood ply.

I decided to get their starter 1/4” four pack of under/over trimmers, 3/16” ovolo and 45 deg chamfer bits. Slightly more expensive, but hopefully with fewer in the set it means they are the same quality as their other stuff.

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Do not forget when routering clockwise when routing inside curves / cutouts.    Anti clockwise when routing outside edges.

Failure to do this will cause "climb cutting" Ie = router pulls itself forward.  Get into the habit of NOT putting it down until it stops = bit standing out underneath.

 

PS Hinge sinking bits are 35 mm

Edited by El carajillo
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I bought an Aldi 1/2" Router and bits. Lost the flipping box now that has the guide plate and some stuff in. Screwed it to some plywood and fasted it into a workmate to make a router bench. Biggest mess I've made in ages rebating architrave to fit onto mdf panelling. Keep looking at the small palm routers though so will look the at the one mentioned above.

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Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3  + Niche

Output: Slayer One Group + La Pavoni + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

 

 

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@El carajillo - Good point on placing it down after it stops. Reading some horror stories of people putting down grinders/saws that are still spinning then being chased/injured by them has made me very careful to make sure it has always stopped.

Will take the same approach with the routers, a super sharp spinning blade in the base is not to be trifled with 😬

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1 hour ago, -Mac said:

Oh, you mean a router. I thought you meant a router.

Close.. he means router :popcorn:

Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3  + Niche

Output: Slayer One Group + La Pavoni + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

 

 

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