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DeWalt DW618PK Fixed & Plunge Router Kit

User Rating 1 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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DeWalt DW618PK

DeWalt Fixed/Plunge Router Kit

(c) 2006 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

The DeWalt DW618PK is a versatile, useful woodworking tool with some nice touches that make the router stand out from it's competitors. However, there are some areas that could use improvement, beginning with the very frustrating instruction manual. Once you wade through the documentation to understand how to safely use the router, you'll find the unit a pleasure to work with. It starts up smoothly and has the power to handle most tasks, whether used with the plunge base or the fixed base, by hand or in a router table. I felt I was very productive with this power tool.
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Pros

  • Height Adjustment Ring on Fixed Base is a nice touch
  • Spindle Lock allows bit changes with only one wrench
  • Hard case has spaces for edge guides, collets & 1/4" shank bits

Cons

  • Map-style instruction manual is very aggravating
  • Plunge Lock Lever on plunge base tends to vibrate loose when locked

Description

  • The height adjustment ring on the fixed base makes adjusting the bit height very easy when using the unit in a router table.
  • The roomy, protective hard case has spaces set aside for numerous accessories for the router, a very thoughtful touch.
  • Reading the map-style instruction manual requires almost six square feet of table space. DeWalt could do a lot better.
  • When using the plunge base, be sure to depress the plunge lock lever securely & check often, as it tends to vibrate loose.

Guide Review - DeWalt DW618PK Fixed & Plunge Router Kit

DeWalt engineers their power tools for the professional contractor, which ensures that any tool they build will be a very solid performer for any woodworker, from an inexperienced beginner to a seasoned master craftsman. The DW618PK continues to uphold that reputation. It is a solid tool that is a pleasure to work with, even though there are a few items that could be improved that could make it an exceptional tool.

My biggest beef with this unit, and with DeWalt in general, is their continued use of map-style instruction manuals. I have no problem with them printing the document in English, French & Spanish in the same document, but the fact that I need to clear off nearly six square feet of table space, then read a step in one section that references a picture in another section of the manual is nothing short of frustrating. A book-style manual that has the actual picture referenced next to the instruction would be a much better option.

Once I was able to get a grasp on the recommendations from the user guide, the tool itself was a pleasure to use. I found the height adjustment ring on the fixed base a very helpful feature when adjusting the bit height for routing dovetails or, better yet, when the router was mounted in a router base. The height adjustment ring made setting the bit height almost as easy as using a router lift.

The switch of the motor from the fixed base to the plunge base is very quick. However, I felt that the plunge base could be improved a little bit. The plunge lock lever tended to vibrate loose when in use, and the turret stop seemed a bit wobbly and imprecise. Otherwise, the base was easy to use and I was able to get relatively consistent results.

Overall, the DeWalt DW618PK is a very solid power tool that, while I feel a few improvements could be made, I'd be happy to use in my workshop on a regular basis.
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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Design flaw or am I missing something, Member audioman1222

I have a large collection of Dewalt power tools that I'm more than happy with and I've always thought: ""Go with Dewalt, you won't be sorry."" Well, the DW618PK plunge router I bought recently didn't live-up to my expectations. Now I'm not an expert, and I (and the tool guy at Lowes who I asked [before I returned it]) could have missed something, but quite unexplicably, the router smashes into the rubber bonnet and jams and catches onto one of the plunger's springs. I'm at a total loss of words as to how this unit could hit the store shelves with this type of design flaw.

17 out of 20 people found this helpful.

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