We'd all love to have a fleet of routers at our disposal, but few of us can afford that luxury. So we went on a quest for the ultimate router: one machine that does it all. After compiling a list of what's required for a do-everything router, listed below, we rounded up every router that meets the criteria-three dedicated plunge routers and six multibase kits-and put them through extensive testing. Here's how each router scored from 0 to 5 in each of the six requirements.
6 requirements of a do-it-all router
1) Ample power to run any bit, even the largest panel-raisers.
2) A variable-speed motor with soft-start and electronic feedback for maintaining speed under load.
3) Good balance and features for handheld fixed-depth routing.
4) Smooth, easy-to-use plunge action and features.
5) Through-the-base bit-height adjustability for router-table use.
6) Helpful included accessories: edge guide, dust-collection attachments, multiple subbases with different-size openings, guide-bushing holder or adapter, subbase centering cone, and a carrying bag for storage.
Featured in the October 2010 issue of WOOD.
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