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Multi-base routers give you more bang for your router buck. Instead of reaching for a different router, you just swap bases. The new Ryobi RE1803BK router ($179) comes with three bases: fixed, plunge and D-handle. (A D-handle base gives you more control when routing edges.) Most other multi-base kits cost more and come with only fixed and plunge bases. Like other multi-base machines, this router has electronic variable speed (15,000 to 25,000 rpm) and soft start. Its 9.5-amp motor is less powerful than other multi-base routers' 12-amp motors, however. Less power means more passes for large cuts. The Ryobi comes with a 1/2-in. collet and a reducer for 1/4-in. shanks. You don't need any tools to swap bases. The fixed and D-handle bases have an easy-to-use lever-style locking clamp and a great micro-adjustment ring, which simplifies setting bit depth. The plunge base has a micro-adjust for fine-tuning bit depth and a stop rod for setting plunge depth, but lacks a turret for setting multiple depths-of-cut.
The kit includes a dust-collection shroud, five template guide bushings, a fence and a bag to hold everything.

Ryobi Tools, (800) 525-2579
Ryobi RE1803BK, $179.

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