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