Expert reviews differ as to whether plunge routers or fixed-base routers are more convenient to use in a router table. As noted above, the most recent Fine Woodworking review recommends the 2.25-hp (12-amp) Triton MOF001C plunge router (*Est. $200) as the most convenient router for table-mounted use. For heavy-duty routing, reviews recommend the Bosch 1619EVS plunge router (*Est. $280) .
Among fixed-base routers, Bosch and Milwaukee share top ranking. The 1.75-hp Milwaukee BodyGrip 5615-20 (*Est. $150) is also available at the same price with a nice hard case as the Milwaukee 5615-21 (*Est. $150) . This same fixed-base router is found in the Milwaukee 5615-24 (*Est. $220) combo kit, which adds a plunge base for only a little more money. The 2.25-hp fixed-base Bosch 1617EVS (*Est. $155) is also available as part of the top-ranking router combo kit, the 1617EVSPK (*Est. $250) , which adds a plunge base. The similar fixed-base Bosch 1618EVS (*Est. $200) has a D-handle for easier control but isn't available as part of a combo kit.
If you go for a kit - a cost-effective idea - then, as noted below, the Bosch kit gets higher ratings. If you only want a fixed-base router, though, reviews say the lighter Milwaukee 5615-21 is very comfortable. Though designed for one-handed use, the Milwaukee can also be gripped around the body with both hands. The Journal of Light Construction likes the way the Milwaukee fastens to your hand with a Velcro-type strap, making one-handed routing safer and easier.
Among big, fixed-base routers for continuous use or work in hardwoods, the 2005 review at Woodworker's Journal recommends the 3.5-hp Milwaukee 5625-20 (*Est. $280) and the 3.25-hp Porter-Cable 7518 (*Est. $350) . Both wood routers also earn praise from owners reviewing them at Amazon.com. The Milwaukee has a soft-start EVS motor and two-stage depth adjustment that can zero out for accuracy. It comes with tilted D-handles.
The Porter-Cable gets top marks for low vibration in the Wood Magazine review, but loses points for lack of dust control. The controls are located better on the Milwaukee fixed-base wood router, which also has more power. The Porter-Cable warranty is for only one year.