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Currently, I only have a trim router, which is very weak. So I've decided to buy a invertible plunge router, but I'm not sure about which one to buy.

There's a limited number of plunge routers I can buy in my region, which are:

  • 1200W, worth R$510 (about US$130)
  • 1800W, worth R$1780 (about US$460)
  • 2100W, worth R$2049 (about US$480)

There're also some Makita MG routers, but I have used a MG trim router before and I didn't like it, so I'm crossing these off the list. I know the price tag between the two Makitas may seem small, but with such difference I could buy a belt sander or some router bits.

I know there're some other issues besides HP, such as overall product quality, availability of maintenance services, warranty, etc. But the difference in the price tag is huge, so I'm not sure about not buying the cheaper option.

I'm going to use this mainly to route handles (such as the ones in wood crates) into 2cm thick wood and route 5mm deep dadoes, mostly in pine and plywood. I do lots of theses, I've literally spent 3 days last week doing a bunch of these handles with a trim router and at least 1 day doing dadoes with a jobsite saw.

I've never used a plunge router before, so I don't know: is my effort going to be much smaller if I have a 2100W router available instead of 1200W or a 1800W one?

  • Eric, I think the Q as it now stands is essentially unanswerable except for generically, which may not be of use. Being generic it may not apply to what you choose. Not sure if you've heard of Lidl and Aldi in Europe but they have periodic promotions through the year and their tools can be stupidly cheap, like a 1200W router for ~€40. Despite being that cheap it's fully featured and seems to hold up well. Sorry to tease with that but the point is that cheap doesn't mean poor. Low cost is not now a sign of low quality, just as high cost has never been an absolute guarantee of high quality. – Graphus Mar 7 at 9:25
  • Even though there's cost involved, my questions is much more related to power than cost. My question is essentially wether 2100W is overkill for pine and plywood. – Eric O. Mar 7 at 9:27
  • [contd] You're already aware of the kinds of things you need to look for and really that's where one starts, then (if possible) you try to find reviews of the specific models you're picking from. If you want to try to get more feedback I would strongly recommend you ask this on a regular forum, with a much larger pool of active members than here, where mentioning the brand names is OK. Reddit's WW forum may be your best bet for this kind of thing and they welcome questions like this where it's clear the OP has done some research and thinking ahead of time. Best of luck! – Graphus Mar 7 at 9:28
  • Sorry there's limited space in Comments so I couldn't say all I wanted to, what I would have tried to get across is that Wattage doesn't necessarily equate with torque and therefore with power at the bit — it's easy to find a tool with a lower-Wattage motor that outperforms one with a higher Wattage. So it's the same as price, higher number doesn't automatically equate to better. – Graphus Mar 7 at 9:32
  • I had read in some other forum that most 3HP routers don't actually deliver it, so I should look for higher amps for more power. Is that true? Also, the difference in price from 1800w to 2100w is also that the 2100w has variable speed. I think this might be important to operate more safely with big bits, is that so? – Eric O. Mar 7 at 9:37
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I've decided to buy the most expensive one, as I was already leaning towards to. Not due to power or cost, but because it accomodates router bits with larger shank (12mm vs 8mm on the cheapest one).

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