What to Look for When Buying a DeWalt Router
Posted by Mark Hunter - November 21, 2013
The whole point of technology is to apply scientific knowledge to practical purposes. That's why power tool manufacturers pay the ladies and gents in white lab coats the big bucks; to research and develop science that can make the jobs we do easier.
And that's accomplished through the technology built into power tools.
Routing wood is much easier than it was 10 years ago, thanks to the technology applied to the job of routing. The bit will spin faster and more accurately in the collet, the cuts will come quicker, cleaner and straighter, and the router will be lighter, but incongruently, more powerful in your hand.
So, what should you be looking for when choosing a router from DeWalt?
At this point you may want to pause and listen to wood routing expert Ron Fox. He spoke to us on the Toolstop Podcast about routers and the common misconceptions people have about them and what to be on the look-out for when buying one.
The first thing to consider is fixed or plunge base.
If size is paramount, such as for trimming laminates, or doing quick cuts in wood, then a fixed base is what you'll be after, such as the DeWalt DC28200, pictured left.
It has a 100mm fixed base, coupled with an 8mm (1/4 inch) collet, and although it may look small and dinky (which it is), it's packed with features, such as variable speed to allow you to fine tune the cutting speed so as not to burn the material you're cutting, full wave electronic speed control, which is a bit like cruise control in your car, aluminium motor housing and twin LED lights which will illuminate your workspace.
It also fits easily in the palm of your hand, allowing you to work with it one-handed.
One of the great features of this particular router is the afore mentioned aluminium motor housing. With a twist you can remove the router motor from the 100mm D-base (fixed) and slot it into an optional extra plunge base.
Plunge base router are capable of more varieties of cuts than fixed base.
Pictured right we have the DeWalt D26804K combination fixed and plungebase router. In essence it's the same router, with the same technology and benefits, as the DC28200, but utilises the aluminium motor housing "can", allowing you go from a fixed base router to a plunge base router with a mere twist of the motor housing.
With any plunge router you're going to want to pay attention to the handles the machine is fitted with, and the accessories it comes with.
The handles, because you need to have a secure, firm-but-comfortable grip of the router as you plunge and cut. And the accessories because you want to be able to put the router to as many applications as possible.
Not all routers are made equal in the handle and accessory departments, though.
Such is the case with the DeWalt DW622K 12mm plunge router. This is a straight-up plunge router, but in this case we're looking at a beefier motor (1400w) and the plunge mechanism is kept smooth and true thanks to precision depth of cut micro-adjuster and two column precision guide with phosphor bronze bushing.
In simple terms, the column that facilitates the plunge action of this router is fitted with a phosphor bronze bush. DeWalt are claiming this make the plunge action incredible smooth, controllable and accurate.
The handles on the DW622K are, once again, over moulded rubber and are fitted low on the body of the router. This feature provides you with better control of the machine will you plunge and rout.
Routing creates lots of dust. That's a scientific fact! It's also a fact that dust extraction is becoming more and more of a consideration when we're buying new power tools.
Therefore the DW622K is immediately worthy of our consideration if dust control is important to us, and that should be obvious by looking at the machine.
DeWalt have applied science to the DW622K in the form of a through-the-column dust extraction system. While you're routing, the machine is sucking the dust through the column, and expelling it via the chimney on top, which can - of course - be attached to a dust extractor. This means you're going to be able to see your workspace better, but perhaps more importantly, harmful dust particles are funnelled away from you.
Every power tool manufacturer has a "hero" product, the sort of tool that is their flagship piece in an application range.
In DeWalt's case we would point to their DW625EK variable speed plunge routeras their "hero" product, borne out of the Elu versions which has been the tradesperson's router of choice for years.
This router is going to cut into wood, plastics and aluminiums. And thanks to its electronic speed control you're ensured that the same fine finish is achieved in all grades of timber, aluminium and plastics. Technology, once again, makes this possible. DeWalt have created "full wave electronic control" that maintains the speed you selected at the start of the cut, all the way to the end of the cut.
The accuracy of the depth of your plunge routing is achieved via the fine adjustments on the magnified scale, and like the DW622K, you have the benefit of phosphor bronze bushes, the smoothness of the plunge being controlled by twin plunge columns.
As before, the handles on the DW625EK have rubber over moulding, but are off-set, allowing you even better control over the router while you work.
A key benefit of the DW625EK is that you can fit it into a router table, essentially giving you two tools for the price of one.
If you've any questions about buying routers, DeWalt or otherwise, please drop us a line on 0800 107 8665 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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