Would like to upgrade to Router with 1/2" Collet for my Shapeokok XXL

I am predominantly working in wood, occasionally plastic/acrylic - so for me, a spindle is a lot of money to spend for precision I probably don’t need. However, the thing that drives me crazy about CNC work is the fragility of the trim routers.

I think the best upgrade, for me, would be to go to a 1 1/2 or 3 HP router with a 1/2" collet and upgrade to all 1/2 tools (or step down to 1/4" when I need to get into tight spaces). I own the HDZ on my XXL already, so I think I only need to upgrade to the larger mount.

Am I thinking correctly? Who has made this upgrade? What did you upgrade to (brand/model)? What are the considerations? Is there something to watch out for?


  • Gary

Yes, a larger router would address this, and w/ an HDZ all you need is a larger mount which matches the diameter of the trim router, and a dust shoe to match.

Big concern is it increases the distance to center and lever effects.

That said, 8mm tooling is a lot more rigid and durable than 1/4" and easily done (just get a collet from Elaire Corp.) — have you considered that?

Interestingly, I hardly ever hear people mentioning “precision” as the key factor for their spindle upgrade.

Won’t a durable 3HP router cost as much as a decent ER20/2.2kW spindle?
Out of curiosity I checked the Bosch blue/pro line-up (my new favorite) and their 2HP router is circa $600

Not trying to convince you to reconsider the spindle approach, just thinking out loud.


@WillAdams Would you mind expanding on that a bit? This sounds like the kind of thing I would be concerned about.

I can’t get the 1600 CE in the states, but the 2.25HP Pro Bosch routers go for $169 USD to $219 USD. You really need to get over here some time :slight_smile:

For me, the key is the 1/2" shank. The cutters are compatible with my other routers (I have 8 of them for a variety of dedicated uses) and they can be driven deeper and faster than 1/4" shanks.


which you can also get using ER20 collets on 2kW spindles. Check out this 1/2" endmill I got recently (1/32" endmill for size, by lack of a banana)



Which pushes me to a whole new area of tool I know nothing about…Routers I know. Spindles with VF and such…not so much. Since I’m not an Engineer and not a tinkerer, I’m a ‘do what you know works kind of guy’ - who needs this stuff to be reliable and repeatable quickly - because I’m using it to create product components that I sell.

So, if someone said, “Gary, you live in the states - you should buy xxxx spindle with these options, hook it up like this using the xxmm HDZ mount, with a water bucket (or advanced water features like the chiller you mentioned) linked up like this…and you’re good to go”…I might go. CNC-ing was trial and error enough - I finally feel like I’ve got those techniques down-enough. This feels like a lot of variables to add in the name of stability.

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Imagine an L shaped bar — the bottom tip of the L is where the center of the router is, shift that up/down — now increase the length of the bottom of the L and shift the center of the router further out — there is now greater mechanical advantage to shift things.

Arguably cutting forces shouldn’t reach a point where this is an issue, but that kind of axial loading is the worst possible for the V wheels.

On the gripping hand, this would increase the overhang cutting area (reducing the supported cutting area — not too much of an issue w/ an XXL, but XL and SO3 folks should keep it in mind) which would be nice for ganging up boards at the front.

The larger routers are popular on larger machines — perhaps look for one which is well reviewed for use on a router table?

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