By George Vondriska and Ken Collier
The new generation of general-purpose routers really shines!
A mid-size, fixed-base router is the workhorse of most shops. It's easy
to handle and powerful enough for just about any task. Seasoned woodworkers
find themselves picking one up every day, and for first-time router users
it's almost always the best choice. We tested 17 models, and found, to
our surprise, that some of our old favorites have been dethroned by a
new generation of high-tech machines.
Mid-Size Fixed-Base Routers
By "mid-size," we mean tools in the 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hp range. "Fixed-base"
means that they don't have plunge capability, although the Porter Cable
690, our Best Buy choice, can be bought in a package that has both a fixed
and a plunge base - a real deal.
Almost all of these routers can handle both 1/4-in. and 1/2-in. shank
bits. They typically have the classic twin handles, although several have
optional D-handles. Many models are extremely convenient for use in router