PORTER-CABLE 7518 vs Milwaukee 5625-20 Review

When you’re serious about wood-working, you need a reliable fixed base router, especially one you can use both as hand-held and mounted on a table. These two models from PORTER-CABLE and Milwaukee are making a lot of carpenters happy. Let’s see which one will be the best for you.

PORTER-CABLE 7518 Speedmatic 15 Amp 3-1/4 HP Fixed Base 5-Speed Router


Don’t be intimidated by the size of the PORTER-CABLE 7518. It’s easy to control both as a handheld router and mounted on a table. It has a soft start, a wide base, large integrated cast handles for gripping, and it doesn’t vibrate when it’s working. You’ll feel in control and love how smooth it runs and how accurately you can cut with it.

It’s a variable-speed router with electronic controls that handle all sorts of bits well. There is a slider switch with detents at 10,000, 13,000, 15,000, 19,000, and 21,000rpm. The power of the 15-Amp 3.25HP motor makes quick work of hardwoods. Should the motor begin to overheat, like when you’re working with a dull bit or in wet wood, there is an internal circuit that shuts down the router.

When you need to set the bit depth, you’ll see the usual PORTER-CABLE graduated ring on the base. Put down the router on a flat spot, lower the bit until it touches the surface, then align the zero mark on the ring with the mark on the motor housing. Once you turn the motor to match the desired depth, use the clamp to lock it. You may like the T-shaped handle in the fixed base that makes it easy to release and tighten the clamp.

A handy feature of the 7518 is the 1/2-inch auto-release collet. Use the included wrench to loosen the collet nut and remove the bit to replace it with another. You can also purchase ¼-inch and 3/8-inch collets separately. The auto-release design is made to eliminate the problem of stuck bits.

Finally, the 7518 comes with a 10-foot long power cord. It has a coiled spring protection at its base to prevent damage from yanks. With this long of a cord, you might not need an extension cord at all.

More features of the PORTER-CABLE 7518 Fixed-Base Router:

  • PORTER-CABLE offers a 5-year warranty
  • Weighs 14.5 pounds


Milwaukee 5625-20 15 Amp 3-1/2-Horsepower Fixed Base Variable Speed Router with T-Handle Height Adjustment Wrench and 1/2-Inch Collet

Milwaukee 5625-20
Milwaukee 5625-20

The Milwaukee 5625-20 is also a fixed-base variable-speed router like the PORTER-CABLE 7518. In fact, they have some things in common. They both have 15Amp motors, but the Milwaukee motor is rated a little but more powerful at 3.5HP. They both have large handles to make them easy to control.

The Milwaukee handles are padded and slightly sloped forward for better control. But you may find that the power switch is placed just a bit too far away for you to reach it while you’re holding onto the handles.

At 11.8 pounds, the Milwaukee is a little lighter in weight than the PORTER-CABLE. Part of the reason the Milwaukee is lighter is that it has a motor cover made from ABS plastic instead of metal. But the motor housing and the fixed base are made of aluminum. The base has a transparent polycarbonate sub-base.

If you plan to do a lot of freehand routing, considering investing in another sub-base with a smaller center hole that Milwaukee sells so you can use their 9-piece template guide kit.

If you plan to use the 5625-20 in a router table, you’re in luck because it has a standard bolt-hole pattern. But unless you add another hole in the insert plate, you’ll be adjusting the router from under the table.

While the PORTER-CABLE tops out at 21,000rpm, the Milwaukee ranges up to 22,000rpm. It has electric start to keep it from jerking and damaging work pieces. Electronic controls keep operation smooth even if you have to work against the grain or hit a wet spot.

While the speed settings are printed on the dial at the top of the motor, some users have complained that detents are not super-accurate. On the other hand, bit depth is very precise, down to 1/128th of an inch if you use the space between the smallest hash marks.

More features of the Milwaukee 5625-20 Fixed-Base Router:

  • Milwaukee offers a 5-year warranty
  • Comes with two collet wrenches, a T-handle wrench, a 2-1/2-inch sub-base, and ½-inch collet
  • No dust collection port



It’s a tough choice between routers when both are about equal in power and both have a 5-year warranty.

If you prefer a lighter-weight router because you plan to freehand, consider getting the Milwaukee 5625-20.

If you want a great all-around fixed base variable-speed router built to last, consider buying the PORTER-CABLE 7518.

Click here to purchase PORTER-CABLE 7518 on Amazon.com!


Click here to purchase Milwaukee 5625-20 on Amazon.com!







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