What size (power) router needed?

Hi all,
I'm looking into buying a router for speaker building, ie cutting driver holes in 3/4 to 1" MDF and rounding over or flushing up edges etc. Does this require a 2-3 horsepower router or can a 1.5HP model get the job done. How 'good' a router do I need also? Skil($60)<---->Porter Cable($160-$300)
I have no illusions of becoming a fine furniture maker, no cove molding or 4" router bits in my future, just speaker cabinets..after all if I built enough speakers there won't be any room for furniture.:)

Thanks for any input...
1.5HP is enough unless you plan to work a lot with hard wood. Hard wood needs good bits (shaft of 1/2'') and more HP (2+). The difference in the price are mainly related to the precision and the facility to adjust the router to the expected value. Variable speed is nice to have but not necessary. I also recommend to buy a table router, it will be easier to work with small parts.
Porter Cable has one

with two bases -- so you can use it for plunge routing and table, etc. I have two routers, a somewhat underpowered black and decker which works just fine for work on plywood, particleboard, etc. and a Porter Cable. Building Cabinets the PC is great, building speakers, the B&D is fine. It's the bits which matter. You will find that the greater investment in carbide tipped bits offsets a lot of regular ones which you will throw out after a few uses.

Vermont American has a serviceable router-table, but I would suggest building your own.

but I am surprised that anyone at Stanford would do this without trying to buy a CNC milling machine first.
Are you talking about this?;) I bought it in 1989 at Canadian Tire, didn't see any of there stuff here lately. I'm using that setup to cut aluminum (very handy).;)


  • saw1.jpg
    42.9 KB · Views: 127