The Bosch PR20EVSK is Bosch’s excellent entry in the 1.0 hp trim router market. With its light weight, superb ergonomics and variable-speed motor, it sets the standard for small routers. The small size and light weight means it’s very agile and easy to control, and can even be used one handed, offering the perfect balance of power, precision and control. Once you start using it you’ll find yourself using it for more and more jobs.
The Dewalt DW616 is a simple, twist-to-adjust router with a lot going for it. Its depth scale is accurate. It has a gentle soft start, made smooth cuts, and is a very well-balanced machine with a low center of gravity. The grips give excellent control and the switch can be set up for left- and right-handers. Bit changes are easily handled with two wrenches which is easier than the single wrench/ spindle-lock system that some routers use.
The Porter Cable 690LR is a mid-size fixed-base router for medium-duty work with a single-speed (27,500 rpm), 11 amp 1-3/4-hp motor designed along the same lines as its bigger stablemate, the 7518, although significantly lighter at 8 lbs. The Porter cable 690LR has become pretty much the production shop standard due to its excellent value for money and no frills, get the job done design.
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 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 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.