MSRP: $349 (bare tool)
Over the last decade, the tool industry has made leaps and bounds when it comes to battery powered tools. Look at a battery pack from ten or fifteen years ago to today… It’s mind boggling how far they’ve come. I figured it was only a matter of time before tool companies started to release full-sized routers that could do everything a corded version could do. With that said, the new Milwaukee M18 kit comes with both a fixed and plunge base. Being able to flip back and forth between the two bases is a huge benefit—the kit even comes with an edge guide you can add to either base.
One of my favorite features of the M18 router is the fact that the fixed base has a rubber grip around the barrel and a loop for your hand. You still want to use both hands, but it gives you much more control using one hand on the barrel, and one on a knob. The M18 router is available with or without a battery, which is good if you already own Milwaukee items. One thing I would point out, however, is that the router, swinging a large bit, will eat through a small battery fairly quickly. If you choose to buy the battery kit, it will come with a 6.0 Ah battery, which is a pretty large one. It’s handled all of the routing I do at any one time in my shop. The biggest issue I’ve found with the router is explaining to my wife why another Milwaukee box showed up.—Bob Reynolds
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.