Canadian Woodworking

BORA 3.25 HP fixed-base router

A powerful, vibration-free router that can easily handle the largest bits and toughest jobs throughout the work day.

Fixed-based routers are a staple in many workshops, for both professional and hobbyist woodworkers. They excel at edge shaping, mortise work and template work, and are ideal for use in a router table. The handles are low, close to the base, which provides a lot more stability in use. About the only limitation is that you can’t begin routing in the middle of a work piece, as you can with a plunge router.

The new BORA PM-6250 with its 3-1/4 HP motor has the power to handle the largest router bits in a production setting or on the jobsite.

Manufacturer: BORA
Model: PM-6250
Price: $429US
Warranty: 1 Year
Made in: China
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  • 3-1/4 HP, 15 amp
  • 10,000-22,000 RPM
  • Cast aluminum base
  • 1-1/2″ of bit travel
  • Soft start
  • Electronic speed control
  • Electronic overload protection
  • 12.1 pounds weight
  • 42″ power cord

 

Includes: 1/4″ and 1/2″ ER20 spring collets, standard and large polycarbonate sub-bases, wrenches, lube stick (to lubricate the motor housing), spare carbon motor brushes.

Bora router

Fixed-based routers essentially have two components: a motor and a removable base. The motor cover on the PM-6250 is made of a tough high-impact ABS plastic. It has a flat top that allows you to securely set the router upside down on your workbench to change router bits. Slightly recessed into the top are the power button and variable speed dial. The base is made of a durable cast aluminum. It has two angled “D” handles that provide excellent control, and two rod holes tapped in the bottom to hold an edge guide. The motor fits snugly into the base without any lateral movement and a simple and a very effective locking knob secures the motor firmly in place (BORA includes a lube stick that you apply to the motor housing before first inserting it into the base – you only have to do this once).

Bora router

The 3-1/4 HP, 15 amp motor delivers speeds from 10,000 to 22,000 RPM. Electronic variable speed control monitors speed and torque to ensure that the motor maintains optimal cutting speed under load​. This means you get a consistent, even application of speed and torque regardless of changing grain direction in your stock. Electronic overload protection will shut the motor off if it begins to overheat. Electronic soft start ramps up motor speed in stages, which reduces the jerking motion that occurs when you initially turn the router on. This is especially welcome when using the router freehand. Soft start also reduces stress on the brushes, bearings and shaft, and helps extend the lifespan of the router.

Router speed is controlled by means of a dial at the top of the motor cover. There are no preset speeds – you simply turn the dial to accelerate or decelerate the router bit.

You get almost 1-1/2″ of depth adjustment with the PM-6250. I’ve found this adequate for all the routing I do. Two large wrenches make quick work of locking the router bit into place. Bit height adjustment isn’t as quick and easy as on many plunge routers. First release the motor locking knob and then flush the bit with the base. Align the “0” mark on the micro-adjust ring with one of the vertical lines on the motor housing.

bora router

Each marking on the micro-adjust ring indicates 1/128″ of router bit travel. Turn the motor housing to the depth of cut you want. Then tighten the base locking knob and you’re good to go.

bora router

However, I find the markings on the micro-adjust ring difficult to read in all but optimal lighting.  A quicker way to set bit depth is simply to turn the router on it’s head and use set-up blocks to set the cut depth.

bora router

The PM-6250 is well balanced, even with all that motor weight (upwards of 12 pounds) sitting on the top of the router. I attribute this to the innovative handle design and the wide base. For such a large router it’s quite comfortable to use freehand for long periods of time and easy to control.

The 1/2″ and 1/4″ capacity ER20 spring collets are of high quality – excellent clamping pressure and no runout.

Bora collets

I found them difficult to insert into the spindle, so I insert the bit into the collet, slip on the locking nut and then install the package over the spindle.

bora router

While eminently suitable for freehand routing, the PM-6250 would be equally at home in a router table set-up. It will work with any router lift that accepts a 4.2″ router (including my favourite, the JessEm Mast-R-Lit II.

In use the PM-6250 is very smooth running throughout its full speed range, and I didn’t notice any vibration, even when spinning the largest of my router bits. Of course, like any high-end router, it’s loud. At the highest speed it emits a high pitched whine in the 81.5 dB range –  close to the 85 dB danger threshold, so you’ll want to wear hearing protection at all times. A brushless motor would likely have helped reduce the noise level. I checked the arbour for runout, and at less than .0015″ found it to be negligible. There isn’t any dust collection feature on this router, which would be a bit of an issue if I were using it primarily for hand-held routing. I’ve yet to try it with the Oneida dust-free router hood.

There are three issues I have with the PM-6250, though none are deal-breakers. The operators manual isn’t overly useful – there is nothing on setting bit depth or using the micro-adjust ring. The 42″ power cord is way too short – I’d have appreciated a 10′ or even 12′ cord, especially when I’m  working around a large panel. It lacks an electric brake, which stops the bit almost immediately when you switch the router off. On the PM-6250 you have to wait for the router to wind down before you can safely set it on the workbench.

Still, if you’re looking for a powerful, vibration-free router that can put up with heavy duty use throughout the work day then the BORA PM-6250 is well worth considering.


Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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