DeWalt DW615 Quarter-Inch Router archive

Thursday 18 February 2010

Derek Jones finds out if this router is an Elu in disguise

Gallery

At first glance the DW615 is a direct replacement for the old Elu MOF 96E. You could argue this is rather worrying as things do not seem to have progressed an awful lot but maybe things were just fine the way they were. I am still using my old Elu after 20 years so it represents a thoroughly good investment. Time to check out the DW615.

A 900W motor in a machine this size sounds impressive but is necessary to cope with the built-in electronics responsible for maintaining speed while under load.

The base configuration for the DW615 is something of an industry standard. Its origins can be traced back to earlier Elu models and as a consequence a number of accessories from other manufacturers such as Trend will fit it.

After a few quick checks I noticed a slight wobble when the machine was resting on a flat surface, suggesting slight distortion in the base casting. Close inspection revealed a badly seated machine screw on the face of the baseplate that was soon corrected. It is fair to say I would expect this to be an isolated incident rather than a common fault.

Testing

A quick dab of wax polish on the columns to loosen them up and the machine was ready to go pretty much straight from the box. The fence and depth-stop gauge are basic with no fine adjustment, and it attaches to the base via two 8mm rods.

The casting of this component is a little on the rough side compared to that of the old Elu but that is just the way of things in general I guess, and as a result it seemed to pick up dirt quite easily as does the yellow casing.

I did not detect any slack in the plunge mechanism but did notice there is now only one phosphor bronze bush where there used to be one for each of the columns.

The machine did not falter while using a 30mm-diameter cutter - the maximum size recommended in the manual - even under load.


Tegan Foley

Tagged In:

Router , DeWalt DSW615 , quarter inch

F&c Verdict

This machine is certainly fit for purpose and in the right hands it is capable of being a precision instrument. It is perfect for free-hand work, offering good cutter visibility even with the dust extraction attachment fitted.
Pros:
Small
Compact
Light
Excellent for intricate or free-hand work
Cons:
Rough casting to fence and motor housing

The Numbers

Model: DeWalt DW615
Speed: electronic 8,000-24,000
Motor: 900W
Collet size: 8mm / quarter inch with spindle lock
Plunge depth: 35mm with 3 adjustable preset settings
Max cutter diameter: 30mm
Weight: 2.9kg
Average price: £139 inc VAT
From: DeWalt
Tel: 0700 433 9258