Another Router Question - Evaluating What I have

While I’m not opposed to buying the recommended Dewalt - for reasons I won’t go into I now have several routers on a shelf, including trim, full-sized, and something labeled a “laminate trimmer”. How would I evaluate these as being a good option for a LR build? These are not routers I’ve used so I don’t have experience with them or know what (id any) modifications to the LR are needed to mount them.


If they have baseplate, just make sure they fit between the rollers and drill some mounting holes. It’s not necessary for them to be perfectly centered.
If they are just sitting there not being used, also them in and give them a shot. If they work, great. If they don’t, back to the shelf. If they break, you just earned some more space on the shelf!
Some people might worry about the weight of heavier routers, but Ryan has a video of his fully assembled lowrider with router lifting up a couple of steel plates. Can’t remember if they were 5 each or 10 each, but either way I don’t think I’ve seen routers that heavy. You might have to replace the brass nuts a little sooner, but those are WAY cheaper than a new router.

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Probably the smallest one is the best choice. Most mass manufactured routers will be more than powerful enough for our uses.

If it is too big it won’t fit, and it will be too heavy. I have a 3/4HP porter cable that is way too big. The dewalt 660 is 600W and it works great.

There are some ways routers might be bad for this:

  • If you can’t find a 1/8" collet
  • If there is a lot of runout (if the shaft moves side to side while turning, or when being pushed).

It might be nice if your router has integrated speed control. Especially the brushless type, which will keep better speed control.

But honestly, that is all overthinking it. If you can fit an 1/8" but in it, it will work.

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You use a dewalt 660 on your lowrider?

No, I use the 611. But it works great on the mpcnc. I was just saying you don’t need a ton of power to run these routers (but probably more than a dremel).

Is variable speed important?

What about this one

What about this one


  • It appears to be significantly heavier than recommend routers. Any weight on the core has to be accelerated and decelerated. If it is as heavy as I suspect given the limited information, you will pay a significant penalty.
  • It does not come with a 1/8" collet, and it is unclear that you can get a 1/8" collet for it. The are a lot of benefits to being able to use 1/8" bits.
  • I have some concerns about longevity and runout (bit wobble) with cheaper routers.

Is variable speed important?

Can be. Depends on what you are cutting. For acrylic for example, you want to use a lower RPM to avoid having the plastic melt. And for certain kinds of bits (more flutes for example), slower speeds result in a better chip load. If your chip load falls too low, you get grinding and burning rather than cutting. Note that the better brands of routers like Makita and Dewalt have a feedback loop in the speed control that maintains the RPM under varying loads. In the cheaper brands, or when using external speed controllers, the RPM will vary as the load changes.

In the MPCNC documentation, it list this imported spindle I assume it would also work for the low rider. Some kind of mount would have to be constructed. Are there advantages to going with a spindle designed for CNC?

The biggest advantage would be the ability to control the speed of the spindle. The “default” spindle, a DeWalt 611 is variable speed, but theoretically, the spindle you linked to has better/more precise control, allowing you to slow down even more than the DeWalt would allow you to. Plus, it’s already got the ER11 collet kit.

The downside is that it looks like the runout could be bad, and the components may be cheapest available chinesium. Although, to their credit, the specific spindle you linked to didn’t seem too bad, but it also only had 18 reviews. I highlight the conditionals because there are so many brushless spindles from so many vendors, it can be a crapshoot.

I decided to get the Makita RT0701C since it was only $80 on Amazon

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