Reviewers recommend the Milwaukee Body Grip 5615-21 as an excellent first router -- easy to learn to use. It's designed so you can hold it with one hand, and it's lighter than most routers at just 8.8 pounds. This single-speed 1.75-hp Milwaukee wood router lacks dust control, but does have self-releasing collets, so bits are easily changed. Reviewers say height adjustment is easy even when the router is table-mounted. Like most Milwaukee tools, it comes with a five-year warranty. For more versatility, consider the more powerful variable-speed Bosch 1617EVSPK router combo kit (*est. $250), which includes a plunge base as well as a fixed base.
We found the best review of the Milwaukee Body Grip 5615-21 wood router at Popular Mechanics, where it's tested in comparison with six other routers. The single-product review at NewWoodworker.com adds excellent illustrations and more detail, but notes no drawbacks. Owner-written reviews at Amazon.com (plus a handful at Epinions.com) are more balanced, noting pros and cons plus a few apparent quality-control problems.
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For the best fixed-base router, Popular Mechanics gives top ranking to the Milwaukee Body Grip 5615-21 after testing it in comparison with six other routers for performance, ergonomics, ease of control, adjustment and bit changes. The reviewer praises the way it's usable with one hand and offers easy bit-height adjustment when mounted in a table.
Review: Router Roundup, Tom Klenck, Dec. 2003
2. New Woodworker.com
This detailed, well-illustrated review recommends the Milwaukee 5615-21 BodyGrip router for hand-held routing operations like edging and joinery, saying its single speed is adequate and makes it more affordable. The review also praises the fine construction and long warranty, noting no drawbacks.
Review: Tool Review: Milwaukee #5615-21 1 3/4 Hp, BodyGrip Router Kit, Tom Hintz
Nearly three dozen owners review the Milwaukee 5615-21 router here, most with praise but several noting excessive vibration -- apparently a quality-control issue.
Review: Milwaukee 5615-21 1-3/4 Max HP BodyGrip Router Kit, Contributors to Amazon.com
A handful of owners give the Milwaukee 5615-21 mixed reviews here, some comparing it favorably with competing models, others noting quality-control problems. The collet and bit-changing systems earn special praise.
Review: Milwaukee 5615-21 1-3/4 Max HP BodyGrip Router Kit, Contributors to Epinions.com