The Festool OF2200 is Festool’s top-of-the-range plunge router, which packs in so many innovative features that you really don’t know where to start – ergonomic offset grips, tool-free hinged base system, retractable spring-loaded dust shroud, double locking plunge columns and ratcheting spindle lock, plus the smoothest plunge on the market and easy, intuitive macro and micro depth adjustment.
The Porter Cable 7518 is a heavy-duty, five speed, 3-1/4 hp fixed base router designed to be primarily used in a router table, and has all of the important features that you need for heavy-duty router table work, such as a 1/2-inch collet, good range of depth adjustment and the motor unit is easy to remove from the base to enable quick and easy bit changes without skinning your knuckles.
The Milwaukee 5616-24 Router Combo is Milwaukee’s excellent entry into the highly competitive 2-1/4 HP router combo market. As you would expect from Milwaukee with their reputation for tough, get-the-job-done power tools, the 5616-24 is one of the most solidly built router combo kits we have tested, plus it’s got a wrap-around palm grip on the fixed base which makes it really easy to use and control.
The Milwaukee 5625 is Milwaukee’s top-of-the-range, heavy-duty, fixed-base production router with a massive 3-1/2-hp motor which will eat anything you can throw at it. It has a number of features such as an integrated router lift that make it an excellent choice for router table work, and the large, angled D-handles are more comfortable and give you more control than conventional handles when routing freehand.
The Hitachi KM12VC Router Combo Kit is Hitachi’s complete router kit which gives you the router motor plus a fixed and a plunge base, plus 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch colletts giving maximum versatility in one cost-effective package, and at only $150 – $160 it really is good value. It’s also quieter and smoother than most other routers in this class, making it less tiring to use for prolonged periods.
The Porter Cable 892 Fixed-Base Router is Porter Cable’s entry in the mid-sized 2-hp to 2-1/4-hp router bracket. For all-round use, a mid-sized router can be the perfect compromise between the 3-hp behemoths and the new breed of smaller trim routers. They have enough power to cope with the majority of work, but without the bulk and weight of the larger routers than can be a handful to use freehand.
The mortise and tenon is a very traditional joint and is popular with woodworkers due to its strength. There are many different forms of mortise and tenons and also many uses, but they’re mostly used in the construction of tables and doors. If you’re really fortunate you may own the Leigh Frame Mortise and Tenon Jig which makes cutting the joint a piece of cake, but for the rest of us, this great video shows how to cut mortises using a plunge router without the help of any fancy jigs.
Half blind dovetail joints are the preferred joint for drawer construction as they are strong mechanical joints that are also visually attractive. The are particularly suitable for the front of a drawer since pulling the drawer open pulls the joint together more tightly. The video below shows how you can easily cut half blind dovetails in one pass (i.e. cut the pins and the tails at the same time) by using a router and a dovetail jig.
How to choose a router is one of the most common questions facing woodworkers. Of all the woodworking tools available, a router has to be one of the most versatile. Most wood workers realize the value of having a router, and a lot of them have more than one, permanently setup for different applications. However, with all the different types available it’s not always easy to decide which one is best for you, so we’re going to look at a number of the important features that you should be considering before you make your decision.
Dewalt Fixed Base Routers come with a clear, LEXAN sub-base which offers optimum bit visibility and base durability. In order to center the sub-base a sub-base concentricity gauge is included. If you insert this into the collet prior to bit installation, it will help you center the sub-base relative to bit location when making your cut line off of the side of the base. The video below demonstrates how this works.