Real World Router Test

A woodworking pro takes on 9 router kits to find his favorite.
By Troy Sexton
Pages: 57-63

From the June 2007 issue #162
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I’m a full-time professional woodworker, so I need my tools to be reliable. And I absolutely hate to waste time. I make money when I’m doing something to a piece of wood, not when I’m adjusting a tool. When the editors asked me to test two-base router kits I agreed to bring them into my shop and put them to work, but on my terms.

Most of the magazine tool reviews I read seem kind of silly. I don’t need a chart comparing motor amperage draw and I don’t care to see a router rigged up with weights and pulleys. I want to know what it’s like to hold the tool and cut wood with it.

When the nine routers arrived in my shop, I put them to work, comparing them side by side. I looked at what was important to me, and I tried to push them to their limits. Any of these routers will do typical router work. I was looking for the one I would want to keep, and those I’d avoid.

I compared the most common tasks first. What was it like to change a bit? Was it easy to reach the switch? Did the motor vibrate too much and was the plunge mechanism easy to use? Then I looked at the finer points, the little things that make a router easier or better to use.

From the June 2007 issue #162
Buy this issue now