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100
08-27-2014 7:43 am

Routers are some of my favorite tools to review. There are so many things about a router that a manufacturer can get right or wrong. It's impossible to judge a router based on a few pictures on a website. This week I got my hands on the Bosch MRF23EVS router, a tool I erroneously though would be just another average router. Let's take a look at what's so special about the MRF23EVS.

The Bosch MRF23EVS Router

The MRF23EVS is a variable

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90
03-23-2014 3:30 pm

One of the best values in full-size plunge routers is the Hitachi M12V2. It has all the features of a large production router, but the price tag of a bench router. Needless to say, I had to get it into my shop. Let's take look if the M12V2 performs like a proper plunge router, or if the price is too good to be true.

The Hitachi M12V2 Router

The M12V2 is a full-size plunge router from Hitachi. Equipped with a 3 1/2 HP motor this route

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60
07-01-2013 1:23 pm
The second part of our Milwaukee 5615 router review concentrates on the plunge base. Like the fixed base we tested last week, the plunge base is heavy and very well built. The same innovative depth adjustment feature that caused some stirs in the fixed base review makes an appearance. So far so good. Lets take a look at what we will find upon closer inspection, shall we?

The Fixed Base

The fixed base is part of all kit versions ...
80
06-23-2013 6:23 pm
Working our way through all full-sized routers we got our hands on the 5615-21, a member of Milwaukee's premier line of routers. Judging from the size of the box it arrived in we knew we were dealing with a serious tool. The 5615-21 even comes with a strap to keep your hand in place. Let's take a look if the BodyGrip the line is known for is worth getting excited over, or if it is just another gimmick.

The Milwaukee 5615-21 Router
60
04-30-2013 11:59 pm
Sticking with our principle of reviewing tools that people actually used, we took a look at the Black&Decker RP250 plunge router this week. This entry level router looks like a full-featured router, but cost a lot less than the competition.

A lot of novices will find themselves looking at the RP250 wondering if it is a good first router for woodworking. Always wanting to warn our readers about potential lemons, we decided to ...
Router Guide

DeWalt 618 RouterOverview

Routers are used to guide a spinning bit over a stationary work piece. They are used to shape materials and create joinery.

In addition to detailing, router bits exist for slot cutting, panel raising, joinery, and many other purposes. The router is an essential tool in every woodshop.

Trim routers

Small routers that are held with one hand are called trim routers. They are primarily used for edge routing in situations where the bulk of a full-size router is a hinderance.

Features

There are several different types of routers available. Each one has its own use case:

Fixed-Base Router

A fixed base router keeps the bit at fixed depth as it is spinning. They are best used for edge routing where a plunge action is not needed. Fixed based routers are typically cheaper than plunge routers.

Plunge Router

A plunge router can plunge the bit into the work piece during a cut. This is a useful feature for cutting slots. Woodworking joinery often requires the use of a plunge router.

A plunge router can do everything a fixed base router can do, but the added bulk of the plunge router makes it handle a little worse. Most woodworkers have one of each.

D-handle Router

The D-handle makes it easier to guide the router in some applications. This type of router is a specialty model often purchased last. Only consider these routers, if you have an application in mind.

Kits

Kits contain a single motor and multiple bases. The user can mount the motor in the fixed base for edge routing, and quickly switch over to the plunge base for making joinery. The kit systems represent some of the best value in routers.

Porter Cable 450Shopping Guide

Fixed Base Router

The main router in your shop should should be a medium size model (~2HP) that supports both 1/4" and 1/2" collets. This model represents the best combination of power and weight.

The fixed base router is the best tool for a wide range of tasks encountered during furniture making. A medium size router remains useful even if you later add a larger model.

Fixed-Base Router first

A solid fixed based model is a good starting choice, because fixed base models are much cheaper than plunge routers. If you do not need the plunge feature, you can learn about routers on the cheaper model.

A fully stocked woodshop includes many routers of different shapes and sizes. No one model will do it all. A medium size model, however, can do just about anything given enough patience.

The router kits sold by some of the bigger manufacturers represent the best value in routers. If you are willing to pay extra for all base options, you will get a system that you will never outgrow.

Plunge Router Second

The most useful plunge router in a woodshop is a larger model in the 3HP range. A large, powerful router is a better platform for slot cutting. You could buy a smaller plunge router to start out with, but that would only delay the eventual purchase of a larger plunge router.

On the flip side the bulk of a plunge router makes it a bad option for general routing tasks. With its high center of gravity it is significantly more tippy than a low fixed base router. If you can, use the plunge router to fill in when the fixed base router can't get the job done.

 

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