sorry if this has been asked before but i have been looking and hadnt seen anything. so im new to the whole router thing but i understand that it would make making my sticks easier which would be a great help because i have to make a couple. i just wanted to know what is the cheapest most functional router that is out and do i need a routing table. any help would be very appreciated.

You need to do some research on how to use it, and what are the various bits that are available.

Aside from router (2hands) , theres a smaller version call “Laminate Trimmer” that does the same thing but is smaller in size.

I purchased a Makita trimmer for like 50USD in singapore. However the expensive stuff are actually the bits.

For basic routing, you prolly need

  1. a straight bit, prolly provided with the router itself
  2. a flush trimming straight bit (with bearing) to trim joints
  3. a round over bit , if you fancy

what ccloo said.

i got my cheap $30 trim router from harbor freights. i love it. it’s great for touching up edges if you don’t feel like hooking up your regular size router.

i got my ryobi router from home depot for like $150 3 yrs ago. this one came with a router bit set that i have yet to replace and a routing table. i think it’s 2.1 HP in power. you’ll love it.

a router is forgiving in that you can cut a piece of lexan for your box and use the router with a flush trimming bit to get it cut to perfect size. just lay the lexan over ur top piece and trim. the flush trim bit uses the bearing on it to guide around the box part.

here’s an example. the angle cuts i did with the flush trim bit i secured it the lexan to the mdf with double sided tape when i did it.

you can prolly get a nice small ryobi bit set for like $40

If you have Northern tool they will have some inexpensive routers also like harbour frieght. The trim router should work fine especially if you’re only going to use it on Stick boxes. Just remember they take a smaller bit than a regular router so buy accordingly.

Any router would do fine, but in the long run, a decent one costing rougly $100 - $200 would be awesome and be way more reliable. Personally, I have the Hitachi KM12VC, and a BOSCH RA1181 router table.

I suggest routers from Bosch, Hitachi, and Porter Cable. Those are some of the main brands in that price range.

I find the router table not to be the expensive amount dollars I paid for it because once you practice the router free hand, it can be really easy.

Also, if you could, try to get a fixed base AND a plunge base.

The plunge base allows you to route in the middle of things.

I just keep my fixed base on my router table, and my plunge base free.

Links to my stuff -

If you wait a little, deals can come by and you can get them cheaper.

Also, try to atleast get one with variable speed, because on larger bits, it’s better to run them slower.

agreed with satek.

variable speeds are often than not better. none of my routers are variable and there are times i wish they where.

Hey pixeldotz,

How is that Harborfreight laminate trim router working out for you? Is it reliable and is it pretty nice?

When it comes to a router, I would invest a little more. Routers are tools that, once you have, you begin to wonder how you lived without…like benchsanders.

I’ve got the Harbor Freight laminate trim router. It works fairly well for its size and price. No chatter from the motor or anything. As long as you don’t over work it and make multiple passes it will do fine. I’d say, if you use it once, it has already paid for itself.

i’ve been using it for about a year now with no problems. like posted above - no chatter from the motor. the only thing that’s pretty cheap on it is the guard and that’s only because the tightening screw is plastic. i haven’t checked but i can probably pick up the parts from ace hardware for about $1 to have a steel tightening screw.