|Item Weight||27.3 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||19.9 x 24 x 7.8 inches|
|California residents||Click here for Proposition 65 warning|
|Item model number||DW618B3|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
|Warranty Description||One year warranty, one year service contract, and 30 day no-risk trial|
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DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base
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- 2-1/4 max horsepower, 12-amp electronic variable-speed motor provides power to rout smoothly through toughest hardwoods
- Full feedback control for constant speed under load from 8,000-24,000 rpm and soft start to reduce start-up torque for enhanced control
- D-handle incorporates trigger switch with lock-on feature
- Provides precise depth adjustments in 1/64-inch increments and adjusts vertically for constant switch/cordset location
- Integral through-the-column dust collection collects 95 percent of the dust and provides superior bit visibility
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This item DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base
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|Item Dimensions||24 x 19.94 x 7.75 in||24 x 15.88 x 9.13 in||19.5 x 6.25 x 14.5 in||10.25 x 7 x 19.25 in|
Offering excellent versatility and professional grade quality, the DEWALT DW618B3 router kit includes three bases that can tackle a wide variety of jobs: a fixed base, a plunge base, and a D-handle base for more precise handling. It features a 2-1/4 horsepower, 12 amp variable speed motor that provides the power to rout smoothly through the toughest hardwoods.
The 2-1/4-horsepower, 12 amp motor allows the router to cut through the toughest hardwoods. The router's electronic variable-speed trigger lets you select from between 8,000 and 24,000 RPM for specific applications. And because this system employs full electronic feedback, you can trust the router to provide constant speed under load. In addition, the motor's soft start reduces start-up torque for optimum control.
The router's fixed base features a micro-fine depth-adjustment ring that provides precise bit adjustments in 1/64-inch increments. Because the ring--not the motor can--turns to adjust bit depth, a constant switch/cordset location is maintained when you are using the router in a table. This minimizes difficulty in turning the unit on and off and keeps operation consistent.
The D-handle base also offers 1/64-inch micro-fine depth adjustments, but it's complemented with a two-position, rubber overmolded handle. Combined with a low center of gravity, this D-handle base provides excellent balance and control as well as comfort during long routing jobs.
The plunge base features an adjustable five-position turret stop for use when making repeated plunge cuts. It offers a micro-fine depth adjustment of 5/128-inch per turn for precise routing in veneer and inlays. The easy-to-reach plunge-release lever and switch keep control at your fingertips during routing.
Quick, Secure Base and Bit Changes
The clear, LEXAN sub-base offers optimum bit visibility and base durability, and it accepts standard template-guide bushings to make application-specific setups easy. Also, a sub-base concentricity gauge is included. If you insert this into the collet prior to bit installation, it will help you center the sub-base relative to bit location when making your cut line off of the side of the base.
Moreover, the sub-base and other included bases are designed to make both base and bit changes easy. Quick-release motor latches allow for fast and easy motor-pack removal, while a spindle-lock button allows for single-wrench bit changes. The fixed base also offers a flat top, so the router can be set upside down for easy bit and depth changes. Additionally, long, self-releasing, eight-slotted collets provide improved bit retention and prevent bits from jamming.
Built for Consistency and Durability
Routing applications produce a lot of dust, which can result in extra wear and tear on electronic parts. That's why this system features a dust-sealed switch that protects against dust ingestion for longer tool life. Other components that contribute to the tool's overall consistency and durability include heavy-duty metal housings, precision-machined brass bushings, and case-hardened steel guide rods on the plunge base.
Comfortable Operation with Integrated Dust Control
Each base features comfortable rubber over-molded handles and a low center of gravity for improved balance and control and reduced user fatigue. The base also has a patented through-the-column dust-collection system. This allows a vacuum to be attached to the router without blocking your line of sight.
In addition, this router kit offers you the ability to work with the switch and cordset on either your left or right side. Also contributing to this setup's usability is a detachable cordset that can be easily serviced.
This DEWALT tool is backed by three-year limited warranty covering any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship (from the date of purchase).
What's in the Box
DEWALT Three Base Router Kit with DW618M motor pack; DW6184 fixed base; DW6182 plunge base; DW6183 D-handle base; 1/4- and 1/2-inch collets; operating instructions
Plunge base with Micro-fine depth adjustment for precise routing in veneer and inlays (view larger).
From the Manufacturer
DEWALT DW618B3 12 Amp 2-1/4 Horsepower Plunge Base and Fixed Base and
Top Customer Reviews
So is this kit for you? What sets it apart from other kits?
First, the motor, interchangeable between all bases. Of the routers I have used--Fein, Makita, a 3 hp Dewalt, a Craftsman, and a cheap Grizzly--it rates tops with the Fein. Soft start, and very quiet. Quiet matters--particularly if you have ever used a high-pitched, high decibel router that has your head spinning after every cut. When the router is quiet, you can concentrate on your workpiece, and hear a lot that is going on with your cut. If some wood starts tearing out, you can know before you rip a big chunk out of your edge and adjust your cut. The motor is also very compact. Used with the fixed base, this is one of the smallest routers I have ever used, making it very maneuverable. It's the perfect balance of being solid but not too heavy, and pretty powerful.
(Amendment, Dec 17 2007: I had a problem with the motor that is mentioned in several other reviews: the disintegration of a magnetic ring that controls speed. One reviewer suggests that this may be due to running it upside down under a router table, which I do a lot, though mine actually fell apart while upright. The router would only run on high until I got this replaced. Replacement requires a bearing puller to remove the ball bearing that sits above the magnetic ring. I also had problems with the pin on the collet lock coming loose (also mentioned by others), which I resolved by placing a drop of glue on the side of the pin that goes into the base. I thought I should mention these problems, but it does not affect my overall opinion of the router.)
With a multi-base kit, one thing you are going to look for is how easy the motor moves from one base to the next. With the Dewalt bases, it's a snap--as in, snap open the latch, then squeeze two tabs with one hand and lift the base out. The motor has to be aligned to put it in a new base, a fast eye-ball operation. The whole thing can be done in half a minute with no tools. The 2-1/4 hp motor is quite enough. I've been using it lately on Ugandan Elgon olive, a very dense, cross-grainy wood. It's quite adequate even on the end grains. When I really have to dig some wood, I will go to my 3 hp routers, but this one can do the job. It just requires more passes. The on-off switch is a solid toggle type, positioned such that you can flick it on and off with both hands still on the router--a real plus--and great under the router table, because you flick it, and it's on. The variable speed is nice--I slow the router down to prevent wood burns on edging and rounding operations, which saves a lot of sanding time. And the lower speeds are even more quiet.
Now, the bases. All of them can be used as vacuum bases, and other reviewers can tell you more about that than I can, because I don't like a vacuum hose trailing around, so I never use the vacuum accessories. All of the baseplates (the flat part of the router that glides across the workpiece) are clear, thick polycarbonate. This lets you see your workpiece as you cut, a real essential. The cutting hole is pretty small, accomodating bits of only 1-1/8" diameter. But Dewalt includes an extra baseplate with the kit which can take bits up to 2-3/8". The smaller diameter baseplates are built to take standard template bushings, which are very useful. On my big routers, you have to attach a steel plate to hold template bushings, which blocks the view of the workpiece, and takes time to swap out. That small diameter hole gives you the extra surface area for stability when you are cutting on a narrow surface, such as a chair leg. My monster router baseplate holes are inconveniently large for this application. The larger diameter baseplate is switched out by removing 4 screws. If you need to use bits larger than 2-3/8" diameter, you can just take off the baseplate altogether, and the thing will accomodate huge bits, all the way up to just under 3-1/2". This is larger than even my monster routers. These are the ONLY router bases in my collection that can handle my box miter joint bit, which is 3-1/4". That bit was just sitting around gathering dust until I got this router. Now it's one of my frequently used.
My favorite base is by far the D-handle. Dewalt has wired it such that it is controlled with a trigger, so you turn the motor switch on, which passes the power to the trigger, which you then use to on-off the router for exceptional control, because your finger is always right on it. It has a trigger lock as well--sweet! The router is very easy to control with the D-handle.
The fixed base router is smaller. The great thing about it is that because I have the D-handle base, I can mount the fixed base permanently to my router table, and click in the motor when I need it--30 seconds and no tools, compared to 5-10 minutes to switch in the entire router. That makes using the router table a lot more appealing! Both the fixed and D-handle base (which is also a fixed base) have a fast, accurate, easy-to-use depth adjustment. As for the plunge base--good plunging action, but it could use some improvements on the depth adjustment. You can still nail the exact depths, but it's not exceptional. This is the only aspect of this kit that could use improving.
The kit also comes with a nice edge guide with a fine adjustment. I should mention that if you are going vaccum, the kit comes with one set of vaccum snap-ins that are interchangeable between all bases.
In sum--this router kit is capable of taking care of practically all of your router needs. A bigger router is nice to have for some very heavy applications, but this kit is still capable of doing everything if you don't want to spring for a monster router, and in fact has a better ergonomic feel. There are other kits out there, but none I looked at had all of the features of the Dewalt kit, and they are features that matter: very solid but not bulky, quick base change, fully accessorized with the extra clear base and the edge guide, and a collet lock to boot, so you can change bits with a single wrench (not so on many of the other kits I looked at). Great view of the workpiece, vaccum possibilities if you are into that. Good positioning of the on-off switch, and an overall solid feel, quiet running. Great case too. If you are out to buy just one router, spring the extra money and get this kit. I feel a satisfied grin creeping up my face every time I use it, and I hope it will give you the same pleasure.
1.) The bases on all three are narrow enough to hold brass bushings to follow templates and it was a snap to start the dovetailing like I wanted. It does have soft start like the bosch.
2.) The D handle is nice too I use that the most. I have had some trouble with the bit coming lose on the 1/4" shank but only because I did not tighten it good from the excitement of having a new tool (no harm done).
3.)It does have variable speed which I love to control on various hardwoods.
4.)The other feature I like are the cord connectors which have their own plugs and are easy to connect. The ends of the cord twist and latch so you know they're in place.
5.)The plunge base has a vaccum port on one of the shafts that I have yet to use.
6.)The dial on the router bases are smooth and raises and lowers the motor with precision and locks tight.
1. When routing some stock you can really see the coils and bushings wind up the eletricity through the top vents which is normal but can be distracting, I'll get use to it
2.I like the one wrench bit removal with the push pin to hold the collet in place, but it takes some practice. (No more loose bits!)
Overall the machine is excellent and I am happy with the purchase and performance. The cons are very minor. I would have to choose this machine over the bosch if it were my only router because of how veritile it is (dovetail & inlay bushing bases, three bases, vaccum attachment, and variable speed) but what serious woodworker can only get away with one router? Oh yeah, and I did get the free bits......nice too.
After using it just a few times, I discovered the following minor annoyances.
1. The D handle base has a very stiff trigger switch that is very uncomfortable to use for more than a 30-60 seconds. I used a trigger pull gauge and it clocks in at 10 pounds. Much too heavy for a switch where you are trying to navigate the router and concentrate on the work. The trigger switches on my DeWalt circular saw and miter saw (and cordless tools) aren't nearly that heavy, so I don't understand why they went crazy on the router switch. You can lock the switch in the on position, so at least you have that option, but it makes me nervous fiddling with the trigger lock to start and stop the router. I forgot to see whether I could lock the trigger switch and just use the power switch on the stop of the router motor--that might be an alternative.
2. The clear plastic "sub base" or "base plates" that come with the three bases only have a 1.25" hole for the router bit. The first bit I tried, a Freud 1/4" round over bit, wouldn't fit through the 1.25" hole--it is just over 1.25" in diameter. That is hardly a large bit, yet I couldn't use it with any of the three bases out of the box. The router kit comes with one "large hole base plate", so you have to pick one of the bases that you want to use, swap base plates, and then use it for any bit 1.2" or larger. If you want to use a different base, you have to swap base plates again. This is baffling to me. The standard base plates need a slightly larger hole, or DeWalt should supply more than one large hole base plate with the kit. So I ordered an additional large hole base plate (part # 397531-01), which costs about $35 with tax and shipping. So that's $35 more for a clear piece of round plastic. Not terribly well thought out.
3. As others have noted, the hard case is huge--it's the size of a medium suitcase. It's understandable given what it includes, but if you want to use the D-handle base, you can't put it back into the box if you have the router motor installed in it (EDIT: This is incorrect, you are able to store the router in the case when it is in the D-handle base. The motor can be in any of the 3 bases when stored in the case).
4. The "precision" depth adjustment ring is a bit tedious to work with, since you have to release and close the base clamp every time you need to make an adjustment. This introduces some slop into the process, so it's a bit of guessing and trial and error to get the right depth. It works okay, but is probably very inefficient if you are having to change depths regularly (in which case the plunge base may make more sense).
5. During startup, my motor makes a pretty strange noise--like bearings vibrating. I've read a few reviews where the DeWalt router motors have died, so the noise has me a little paranoid. I've also read several comments where the motor stopped working properly when mounted upside down in a router table. Apparently something breaks and / or the variable speed feature stops working.
But other than those minor gripes, it works well. With the insanely sharp Freud bits, the router produces the softest fluffiest "snow" sawdust I've ever seen.
UPDATE: I noticed that the product description says that the dust collection attachment will collect 95% of dust. This is laughable. I would say it collects 40% - 50% under the best of circumstances. When I cut dados on soft wood, the shavings pile up so fast that they pack themselves into the dado as the router moves along. A second pass will remove them, but at that point it's easier to just vacuum them out after the cut. Routers are really messy, so I don't consider this a downside, but the 95% claim is absurd.