Router opinions

Good evening all, quick opinion question for yall which router do you prefer makita or dewalt? I have had a couple makitas and the arbor and brushes seem to wear out quickly.

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Note that most of what is said about the Makita also applies (in 110V locales) to the Carbide Compact Router (save that the latter has a longer power cord, different control layout, and a dial which has detents and won’t vibrate off a given speed setting) — there’s also an ER-11 collet option.

Thanks @WillAdams I was looking for a comparison and have been reading peoples opinions on the forum.

I have a Dewalt 611 that came with my used Shapeoko 3 XXL. I have had to change the brushes once in 4 years of use. The SO3 can have the 69MM Dewalt and came with an adapter for the 66MM Makita/C3D router. Some of the newer machines have the 66MM router mount so check if you can use a 69MM or a 66MM router in the mount you have.

I have seen a lot of problems with bearings on the C3D router over years on the forum. That may be because it is sold by C3D and so people talk about them more than the Makita and/or Dewalt routers. So I am not trying to run down the C3D router but it is a clone of the Makita. I bought a used SO3 XL with a C3D router and the bottom bearing was bad and the router shaft wobbled. I bought a Makita to replace it. The Makita and C3D routers are cheaper than the Dewalt.

So my personal experience with all 3 routers is the Dewalt is best for me. The only saving grace for the Makita/C3D router is they have a slightly lower speed than the Dewalt.

Another difference between the Makita/C3D routers and the Dewalt is the Dewalt body is longer so you can get the router bits to cut lower. When the SO3 first came out with the Z-Plus some people could not get short bits to cut deep enough. The Dewalt having a longer body could cut lower with the short bits.

So there are several options for your router choice but most important is the current mount you have is a 69MM or a 66MM. The 69 can have a reducer ring so you can put the Makita/C3D router in that 69MM mount but if you have a 66MM only the Makita/C3D router will fit.

Thank you for your detailed breakdown @gdon_2003! We have the same machine and i have been running the Makita for a few years now and my firat one lasted about a year and a half then my second only lasted 5 months, and during that time i have had to replace the brushes a couple of times. The issue that keeps occuring it looks like to me is something gets off balance and the where the brushes sit on the arbor, the arbor tabs get worn in one area and have even broke off. You can buy a new arbor but it is the same price as the router so just looking to see what other peoples experiences are. I am hoping to save up and buy a spindle but it is my understanding I need the Z plus or the HDZ to support the VFD Spindle. So it is easily a 1000 dollar upgrade which I cant afford at the moment.

The Dewalt 611 is a solid router. The only issues I have seen with Dewalt is price. The Dewalt is usually round $150.00 and the Makita/C3D is around the $100.00 mark. I goes to Lowes and they stock the Dewalt but seldom have it IN stock. I ordered a Dewalt from Amazon that has the plunge base and I use it for its intended purpose as a trim router in the shop. It is also my backup router if my primary one goes kaput at an inopportune time.

So the prices of the Dewalt and Makita vary so shop around. I found Makita for as little as $79.00 and the Dewalt for $127.00. I also found both of them for more than $150.00.

As stated above the Makita/C3D router can run slightly lower speed but I have never run any projects that required a lower speed than my Dewalt 611 can handle. Frankly my Dewalt is set on 3 (18,000 RPM) and sits on that 95% of the time. I am sure there are folks that run at more speeds but it is a non issue for me.

Spindles are likely nice but with an SO3 a Spindle is overkill. The tolerances of the SO3 are matched by the Dewalt and Makita routers. Most people do not upgrade to a spindle for the power but for the noise factor. Spindles are quieter and have a much wider rpm range over the routers but as I stated above I run at 18,000 RPM 95% of the time so even though I have an HDZ that could handle a spindle I still have the Dewalt 611 router. The HDZ is a great upgrade especially from the belt Z but just the HDZ has been great.

it is estimated that 50% of the custom auto parts that people buy never get installed. That is because people like to dream about building a race car. People seldom build a race car but that dream is what keeps the custom auto parts industry going. The same is true with other hobby items that people like to dream. However when cold water is thrown on a dream you realize that what you have is sometimes more important than what you want. Use what you have to the fullest and if you are doing that then it is time to upgrade. If you are not utilizing what you have to the fullest then keep your money in your pocket or spend it on materials to cut before you waste your resources on things that you really dont need.

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Just found this out recently. If you are planning on upgrading the limit switches to proximity switches, be aware that according to Carbide, the proximity switches are not compatible with the DeWalt router due to the shape/size of the top of the router. The switches are compatible with the Makita and Carbide router. Seems like we are being “pushed” away from DeWalt.

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