Recommended Router Size?

I’m seeking recommendations on size of router for use on M2. I’ve heard that larger, more powerful, such as Rigid 2HP is best since it has the power to more easily cut more material, apparently making it capable of faster linear speeds, and/or fewer passes required to cut a specified depth of material. I’ve also heard that small, such as DeWalt or Bosch, is better since it it’s lighter and less burden on the M2’s positioning gear motors. (Haven’t heard of a gear motor burning out, particularly due to heavy loading.) Perhaps there are other reasons that a larger or smaller router is better. In any case, which is recommended, a larger or smaller router?

what you want is a router that spins slower, with electronic speed control to
keep it from bogging down. The maslow only moves at 20-40 inches/min, which is
very slow for a CNC machine, a router spinning too fast will rub the bit against
the wood, burning the wood and overheating the bit (which causes it to dull)

the power of the router is far less important, you can do multiple, shallower
passes if you are running a big bit and your router struggles, but most people
run 1/4" or 1/" bits, and there is unlikely to be a power issue, even with the
cheaper handheld routers. Many people have successfully run 500w spindles, which
is < 1 HP but has an electronic speed controller to apply more power if it
starts bogging down.

in general you want to run your router at it’s slowest speed, and consider using
a single-flute bit to maximize the amount of wood removed by the cutting edge in
each pass. You want chips, not dust.

The Rigid 2HP is widely available, relativly cheap, it has an electronic speed
controller (which you can tweak to allow you to run slower), and it has a height
adjustment mechanism that is easy to add a motor to. As a result, it is the
default for the Maslow. But if you have a different Z axis mechaism (as I
believe the M2 does), you can use any motor you want. Seriously consider the
cheap spindles available from China and Ebay

David Lang

I believe the mounting for the M2 is for a dewalt palm router. You can get mounts for the makita or Bauer knock off of the makita palm router. All have the speed controls mentioned previously by @dlang and will work. You will want to spend your time on assembly precision of the frame and calibration accuracy over router power in my opinion. The thing I have found that most affects speed is the material and a sharp bit. Cutting oak vs pine, ply vs mdf is very different and will need to have different feeds and speeds. If you have a dull bit, you can make chunks of material fly, but things make weird noises and the cutting can occur in surges with jumping and it should be smooth. Sharp corners can then chip where not desired and overall finish quality suffers with suboptimal settings and dull bits.


note that not all routers with speed control have the same range. IIRC the
default one is from 8000-12000rpm, while many of the palm routers are
15000-30000 rpm

we really want 4000 rpm or under with with the maslow.

David Lang


I thought that the M2 used the makita by default? I could be wrong about that. The advantage of the Maktia is that there are cheap knock offs available, but the dewalt one runs quite a bit cooler which I think is worth it.

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The only caveat for the palm routers is that in general they aren’t designed for long duration operation like their larger cousins. They are designed more for edge routing and trimming operations which are usually a light duty application.

that being said, I much prefer them still over the full size variants because of the size and weight savings that results. There really isn’t much of a sacrifice as far as power is concerned. My little makita has been just plugging along for a year now. Like @bar said, it does get hot if I run it too long

Hi All- Thanks very much for your input; much appreciated! I think I’m going to try out the 1HP model now being sold by MakeMade. Since this I’m a rookie at this it might take some time, but I’ll try and get back to you with how well it works.