Router Expert Bill Hylton Picks a Fixed Base Router and Plunge Router for His Router Table
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Bill Hylton and His Vast Selection of Routers Picking two routers from his huge selection was a difficult task for expert Bill Hylton, but he eventually came up with his two favorites.

I use routers in the woodworking I do. Lots of different routers for lots of different tasks. Whittling my collection down to a pair is... ahh ... difficult.

Small routers have always been my preference. Haven’t I often said, “You don’t need 3 horsepower to spin a 1/2" bit”? Yes, I have. So you’d think the essential routers for me would be small. But I’m surprising even myself here.

Milwaukee 5625 Router Bill Hylton prefers the Milwaukee 5625's vertical adjustment system to others for its simple, yet effective use on any router table with no lift.

The first time I handled the Milwaukee 5625, the first of my “indispensables,” I knew it was perfect for mounting in a table. I like the router table for many routing jobs. But give me a simple, functional table, please; spare me the lift. With the right router and setup, a lift is irrelevant.

Big Red is just right: powerful, good speed control, deep self-releasing collet, two wrenches for bit changes and a handle-free base. But best of all is its crackerjack vertical adjustment mechanism. You raise and lower the motor (and thus the bit) by way of a stout Acme-thread screw. (Oh, if only the screw were a little bit longer.) Truly coarse adjustments (including removing the motor from the base) are made by pressing a screw release button and sliding the motor up or down in the base. Note that all the movement is vertical. The motor doesn’t rotate in the base; the switch, speed control, and power cord are always in the same position.

My second indispensable — DeWALT’s DW625 plunge router — has been a favorite for close to 20 years, primarily as a table router. For plunge operations, I favored smaller routers, notably the DW621. The DW625 recaptured my attention when I started making architectural doors. That’s when I carefully checked the maximum plunge depth of every plunge router I could get my hands on. I wanted mortises just as deep as I could make them.

With a bit of tinkering, the DW625 will plunge 3-3⁄8", bottoming with the collet nut against the work. That’s a good 1/2" better than any other model. Having used it for the mortising jobs, I’ve found it manageable for all sorts of other handheld routing.

I’ve always known that small is beautiful, but I’ve discovered that, every now and then, big is indispensable.

posted on December 1, 2011 by Bill Hylton
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2 thoughts on “Router Expert Bill Hylton Picks a Fixed Base Router and Plunge Router for His Router Table”

  • Anna Phillips
    Anna Phillips June 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    You sent me a Handy Toughest Plunge Router 1/2". Base Dim 6 1/2" ov, 165 MM, QD6802R, please tell me what kind and where I can get a table for this, as I am anxious to use it.
    Anna P

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