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Bosch vs Makita router
Bosch vs Makita router
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Old 11th October 2018, 02:26 PM   #1
Navyblue is offline Navyblue  Singapore
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Default Bosch vs Makita router

For a long time, all I had were Black & Decker stuffs. Some of you probably would frown on them, but they serve my amateur use well.

Lately I bought a jigsaw, I compared all the available brands including Makita and went with blue coloured Bosch, which costs more than the rest. When I received it, I was a little disappointed to learn that it was made in China, which made me wonder if I am getting anything from the premium I paid. Not that it is bad, only time will tell.

Now I am in the market for my first hand router, it's the same thing all over again, Bosch costs more around here. I shortlisted these two:

- Bosch GKF 550 (fixed base, 550W motor, 1.4kg)
GKF 550 Professional , Palm Router | Bosch

- Makita M3601G (plunge base, 900W motor, 2.7kg)
https://www.makita.com.sg/product/m3601g

They are both the same price (some stores the Bosch cost 10% more), while the Makita seems to be a class above the Bosch on paper. Though I wonder if the lighter machine is better in my amateurish hand? If so I could also go for the 530W Makita which is even cheaper.

Is Bosch worth the money in this case?
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Old 11th October 2018, 03:28 PM   #2
avtech23 is offline avtech23  Australia
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Bosch vs Makita router
Depends what your main purpose is for the router as those selected are two different types:

The first one is basically a trim router. It is good for light finishing of edges - flush trim etc where you are removing small amounts of material.

The second is a plunge router. That one can be used for everything but can be a bit ungainly for light edge work.

If you want to cut holes for speakers for example, the plunge router will give you much more control and stability through having a dual grip. That one would be less likely to escape from your grip if it bites.

I personally use a Makita RT0700C trim router attached to the CNC that I built. It has a variable speed but contant load motor which stops it bogging down. I detest the quality of a lot of the other Makita products I've owned but that router has been good to me so far.

For heavier work, I have a Kreg router table set up with a no-brand router permanently affixed.
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Last edited by avtech23; 11th October 2018 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Random sentence fragment
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Old 11th October 2018, 07:59 PM   #3
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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The Bosch JIG-saw is absolutely the King of its field. Much better design than any of the dozens of others. I have two and you don't dare touch mine; my Sears jigsaw you can have. Being Bosch product, I don't really care where it is made; I know the Bosch product managers are overseeing the factory tightly.

Makita has good stuff, some very good.

When comparing two routers of very different purpose (trim or hack), I think you need to decide what you are doing. Yes, there's a lot of work in the border-line where a trim router will work insignificantly slower, an axe-router could be faster but needs both hands. Unless you are a cabinet shop, I would not worry SO much about Brand. I learned a lot from $20 routers; my current fav is a 1980s Craftsman.
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Old 11th October 2018, 08:34 PM   #4
ILikeFoodz is offline ILikeFoodz  United States
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I can't speak for the makita, but I have a Bosch MRC23EVSK router, comes with a plunge base and a fixed base. It is an absolutely fantastic tool that I would highly recommend. In my opinion I'm generally willing to paya premium for Bosch over other brands because they ALWAYS are excellent, high quality tools for their intended use case. Made the mistake of buying a ryobi jigsaw last month, and it went straight back to the store as a return since a manufacturing defect caused it not to cut straight. Got a Bosch instead, it's wonderful.
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Old 11th October 2018, 09:13 PM   #5
Navyblue is offline Navyblue  Singapore
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Thanks guys for the inputs.

My immediate need is trimming wood veneers, thin plywood and PVC laminate. So I was initially set on the Bosch trim router.

But I started reading, a website recommended that for a one size fits all purpose, a plunge router can do everything a fixed based router does. Though from the look of it it seems more unwieldy to me.

For cutting speaker holes, I wish to have that ability, but at this point I have no idea how to do that with a hand router.

Pardon my for my ignorance, why canít I cut a speaker hole with a fixed base router? It looks to me all I need is make a small indentation on to wood surface and then a trim router can work from there? It will likely be slower because of the weaker motor.

Glad I asked.
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Old 11th October 2018, 09:46 PM   #6
ILikeFoodz is offline ILikeFoodz  United States
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I've actually only used the plunge base on mine, so I can't say from experience how well it would work fixed, but I can say that holes are very easy with the plunge router. I have a jasper circle jig that makes it super easy, but making a circle jig wouldn't be hard either, just need to make something that attaches to the router base and has a pivot point that can be attached to the center of where you want the hole on the workpiece.

Part of why I bought the router I did is so that I would have the ability to use it both for plunge and for fixed, almost like 2 tools in one
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Old 11th October 2018, 10:26 PM   #7
dahlberg is offline dahlberg  Sweden
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This package looks nice.

Toolstop Makita RT0700CX2 Router / Laminate Trimmer with Trimmer, Tilt and Plunge Bases
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Old 11th October 2018, 10:50 PM   #8
Navyblue is offline Navyblue  Singapore
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That indeed looks nice. I can find it locally, though it would cost more than the combined costs of its fixed speed siblings. I don't see the Bosch version around here though.

I did more digging, it appears that the cheaper Makita is in the budget MT series. It has a grey housing as opposed to the usual blue green, I suppose it is like the cheaper green coloured Bosch. So not quite a fair comparison. There is another blue green Makita with identical specs that cost more, though not as much as a similarly specced Bosch.

At this point I think I am leaning towards the Bosch trim router, I watched some youtube videos, with a jig it looks like cutting circular hole with is not too hard.
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Old 11th October 2018, 10:53 PM   #9
avtech23 is offline avtech23  Australia
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Bosch vs Makita router
Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyblue View Post
Pardon my for my ignorance, why canít I cut a speaker hole with a fixed base router? It looks to me all I need is make a small indentation on to wood surface and then a trim router can work from there?.
You can use a trim router to cut holes but it is like comparing cutting with a junior hacksaw with a full size one.

The trim router is lower powered so will take much longer to achieve the cut. It also uses 1/4" shank bits compared to 3/8".

If you are mainly concerned with doing veneer and laminate trim, then a trim router would probably be a good bet.. but you may end up buying a plunge router down the track anyway.
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Old 11th October 2018, 11:14 PM   #10
Earl Grey is offline Earl Grey
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I'm not a good woodworker but I also have a Bosch MRC23EVSK, and I'm probably going to end up buying a smaller (Bosch) router to complement it.

My experience has been that (as you noted) the big heavy plunge router has loads of power but is really awkward for some tasks where the trim router would be much easier to handle. Technically I'm sure it can cut anything the trim router can but you're right to think that doesn't automatically make it an 'upgrade'.

As always with tools, the right answer is "Well, I need one more".
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