I just bought a new router (DeWalt 618, changeable fixed/plunge base). It comes with the motor mounted on the fixed base, which is what I planned to use anyway. I opened the locking lever and tried to turn the dial to adjust the depth, but nothing budged. The instructions were no help: in fact, they just added to the puzzle. In this diagram from the manual, the depth adjustment ring is part of the fixed base:


However, in this photo, you can see that the depth adjustment ring on the actual router is part of the motor assembly:


Moreover, the depth adjustment ring is allegedly removable (e.g., if you're planning to attach the plunge base), but I cannot budge it.

Obviously, I don't really care whether the diagram is accurate; I just want to be able to use the router. Is there something I'm missing? Did I buy defective merchandise? What is going on here?


Ok, revised my answer

I found the instructions here and the information is on page two under "Set-up: Fixed and D-Handle Base - ADJUSTING THE DEPTH OF CUT (FIG. 1, 3)"

Occurring to this there is no lock of the black adjustment ring so it should turn somewhat freely, though it might have some resistance so not to move when you don't want it it.

It's very possible that your adjuster (piece B) is stuck. As it is, it is 'bottomed out' at max depth setting and it might have been tightened in this direction too far causing it to be stuck. If you feel save that you won't break it, turn the adjuster in the direction of the grove going away from the power head, this should be obvious. Once unstuck it should turn freely

If this doesn't work, or you don't feel comfortable trying the above, then return it as it's not working as intended.

  • I do see the groove, but the head does not turn. – crmdgn Mar 22 '20 at 19:26
  • Looks like you have to turn the black ring, just under the head (top) of the router. – SteveSh Mar 22 '20 at 19:26
  • That's what I was trying to say: it's supposed to turn, but it doesn't. – crmdgn Mar 22 '20 at 19:27
  • Ok, I've looked up your manual and updated my answer to reflect – Ack Mar 22 '20 at 19:52
  • 1
    Your answer is likely correct. In one of the drawings, the ring appears to descend into the body of the base at a slight angle, certainly one to match the groove angle in the motor housing. The ring on the motor is square to the cylinder, pushing it out of the groove. I suspect it will snap into the groove with little force. – fred_dot_u Mar 22 '20 at 21:31

I have a Ryobi router that loves to completely lock up like I suspect yours did. I keep a tool very similar to the one pictured below handy to motivate it back open when necessary.

For $14, it's probably something worth having around, and it's a cheap test for whether the router is just stuck.

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is called a "strap wrench" and can usually be found in the plumbing section of a home store, sometimes the general hand tool section as well. – JPhi1618 Mar 23 '20 at 15:12

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