Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 49

Popular Woodworking 2001-10 № 124, страница 49



that threads over the inner sleeve. As the nut is tightened, it compresses the inner sleeve against the bit, holding it tight. The collet can be tightened using either two wrenches or one wrench and a spindle lock to hold the spindle in place. There's been some debate that a spindle lock places too much stress on the spindle; we're also divided on this issue, so stay tuned. Also, the versatility of interchangeable V4" and 1/2" collets on one router is preferable

Variable Speed, Soft-Start and Electronic Feedback

These three items offer improved performance and safety in a router. In any mid- to large-sized router (over 8 amps), variable speed offers better performance with larger bits because you can slow the motor down.

As a safety benefit, some of these routers also offer "soft-start." The motor starts at a slower speed and then ramps up to full speed after a second or two. Often a router can jerk when started at full speed. If it's touching the workpiece, the wood can be damaged, or the router can "walk" and be pulled from your grasp.

Another newer feature that's worth looking for is electronic feedback. This computer-chip technology continuously checks the torque resistance on the spindle and will

increase the amperage draw to maintain constant torque.

Depth Controls

With both fixed-base and plunge routers, there are a variety of ways to control the depth of the bit. Some models use a tension buckle that's fast and secure, others use a knob that you turn. While we all have our favorites, we recommend you take the time to visit a store and adjust a few of the bases to learn which method you prefer.

Template Guides

One of the versatile features of routers is their ability to use template guides to accurately repeat patterns. There are a few types of guides, and you should check the ease of fitting and removing them in the router base. Even though this function of the router might not be on your to-do list today, don't limit yourself down the road.

Dust Collection

While only a few routers are designed with built-in dust collection (with varying degrees of success) dust collection on a router is a great idea. Just make sure the benefit of dust collection doesn't complicate and distract from the way you use your router. PW

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occasional user

• Porter-Cable 693PK, Many beginning woodworkers can't decide if they should first buy a plunge router or a fixed-base unit. That's why we recommend the 693PK, which features the venerable 690 motor, a fixed base and a plunge base.

• Bosch 1617EVSPK, Bosch plans to enter the market with a similar router package, this one with variable speed. It costs a bit more, but if you ever plan on using a panel-raising bit, it's worth it.

serious home woodworker

• Makita RD1101, This 11-amp, variable speed D-handled router is a sweetie. It's quiet, powerful and easy to adjust.

• DeWalt 621, As far as plunge routers go, this one remains our favorite. The depth controls are intuitive, the dust collection is superb and it's just the right size for most operations.

advanced woodworker or professional user

• Bosch 1608, You can buy this trim router in a variety of configurations. It's the trimmer of choice in our shop.

• Hitachi M12V, This large-scale plunge router is a favorite among many commercial shops.

• Porter-Cable 7529, Long considered the industry leader, this large router has earned its stripes in cabinetshops all over the country.

• Fein RT1800, Like many Fein tools, this one costs a bit more, but it is a powerful tool and is built like a tank.

These tools have been tested or used by

the editors of Popular Woodworking

and have earned their recommendation.

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