Routers for a table

I need a variable speed router for cabinet door making. It looks like the router forum’s people strongly recommend the Triton routers for under table mounting. I’m about to pull the trigger on the 2 1/4 HP model but I’m reluctant for a couple of reasons.

  1. Triton doesn’t have the long term reputation of the Porter Cable or Bosch routers. I really want a tool that will last for 10-20 years of around the house work. I can’t afford to keep replacing tools. They only offer 1 year warranty and I’m not going to be working it hard so I will not be testing it that hard.

  2. Why are the prices so variable from sight to sight?
    Amazon has it for 270, Rockler has the 3.5 and 2.25 hp for the same price of 250. has the 2.25 for 220. I’d love to touch one of these before buying it, but no one carries these in stock.

Any other advice?

I worked at a custom door company for a few years, we made all sapele impact rated doors for hurricane rating. We used Porter Cable 892 2-1/4" hp routers for all of our router tables. I had no real complaints on them, and they are variable speed 10,000 - 23,000 rpm. They were fairly easy to adjust from under the table as well.

Only real complaint would be they could be difficult to remove if sawdust gets jammed between the router and the base, but we never had any form of dust collection hooked up to them either. Usually just an air hose could clear it out and it was good to go.

We were running all insert custom profile bits in this, with matching cope and stick setups.

Since working in that shop, I have been partial to the PC routers.

I have a couple of ideas:

  1. If it’s going to be permanently mounted under a table could you get away with a fixed speed router with a variable speed router controller? It might open up more options and it’s easier to mount the speed controller on the front of the table rather reaching underneath the table. I have a couple of these from Harbor Freight (different model shown below), and while I don’t run 10’s of feet a day, I have run hundreds of feet through my fixed speed porter cable with the speed controller and had no problems.

  1. All else being equal, more power: go for the bigger sized router, you are less likely to bog it down with bigger bits. I can see using a smaller router because it’s lighter and easier to control by hand, but if it’s in a table weight and control don’t matter. I bog my 2-1/4hp down all the time with cuts that I can’t figure out why it’s slowing the router. (probably dull bits, or user error). I just wish my router lift would accept a bigger router.

  2. The Triton routers have a lot of fancy bells and whistles and I know that they can be used under a table without a lift, but I don’t know if they can compete with a real router lift for adjustability and ease of use.

I have quite a few routers. I tried my big old Porter Cable 7539 in a shop-made table – but it was inconvenient to use. I also have a PC 892 – but use it mostly hand held. What I have mounted is a Bosch 1617EVS which can be bought in a kit:

I use it with an under-the table Base:

I currently have 2 router tables for my home shop, one (Bosch RA1171) that I picked-up for a song at a Lowes Clearance sale is used strictly for on the road projects. It now sells for a lot more – and I would not recommend it at this price – as the edge banding around the top needs work – but for the $50 I paid for a display model it was a good deal.|THD|G|0|G-BASE-PLA|&gclid=CL-7osTl2csCFYEehgod-UQNKg&gclsrc=aw.ds

After using some homemade router tables – on the wings of my table saw – I ended up buying dedicated table from Kreg:

Mine was a bit cheaper when I bought it and did not come with the setup bars