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In this report

Wood Routers: Ratings of Sources

Total of 19 Sources
1. Wood Magazine
July 2008
Multi-Base Routers
by Bob Hunter with Randy Zimmerman
Our AssessmentThis review compares 12 router combos, testing each for power, comfort and feel, and features that make for ease of use. The Bosch 1617EVSPK is the clear winner, with the Craftsman 17543 chosen as a budget pick with some definite compromises. Other reviews from this publication cover trim routers, and in May 2007, the Craftsman 17517 plunge router (with digital readout) got a higher rating than at Popular Woodworking (see below), though it does come in for criticism here too.
2. Fine Homebuilding
Aug. 2008
Trim Routers
by John White
Our AssessmentThis review compares ten trim routers for performance and ease of use, including the expensive Festool MFK 700 and the cordless Ryobi P600. The Bosch PR20EVSK trim router is the overall winner, but a separate chart shows that seven different models excel in different features; e.g. the Bosch is the most comfortable, the Craftsman has the best base, Festool the best fence, etc.
3. Taunton's 2008 Tool Guide
Sept. 2007
by Editor of Fine Woodworking
Our AssessmentThe review of routers for router tables published here is basically a summary of the Jan. 2007 review published in Fine Woodworking magazine, but adds results from an annual survey of over 9,000 readers. The 2006 and 2007 Tool Guides review six 2.25-hp router combo kits, finding them equal in power, runout and cut quality. The Bosch PR20EVSNK and Porter-Cable 310 are recommended based on comfort, ease of use and plunge performance.
4. Popular Woodworking
June 2007
Real World Router Test
by Troy Sexton
Our AssessmentWoodworker Troy Sexton reviews nine two-base router combo kits based on his own workshop tests. He evaluates each router for vibration, along with ease of changing a bit, changing bases, operating the switch, adjusting depth and plunge action. The Milwaukee 5616-24 is judged best, and the Dec. 2007 issue names it one of the top tools of the year. A later February 2008 weblog entry tests the Craftsman 3-base router kit, and an earlier June 2006 review (available for download) tests nine trim routers and picks the Bosch PR20EVSK as the Editors' Choice. Older comparison reviews in this magazine are also useful.
5. American Woodworker
Mar. 2007
Trim Routers: One New Router Leads the Way
by Richard Tendick
Our AssessmentThis review compares eleven trim routers based on shop tests, giving the variable-speed Bosch PR20EVSK the highest rating. In addition to professional-brand routers, the review compares three budget models priced at $50 or less. A brief single-product review covers the Freud FT3000, a plunge router that allows for all adjustments from above the router table.
6. Fine Woodworking
Jan./Feb. 2007
Tool Test: Routers for Router Tables
by Roland Johnson
Our AssessmentThis review compares seven routers designed for use in a router table. These routers make buying a router lift unnecessary, but tests here find quite a bit of difference in convenience and ease of use. The 2.25-hp Triton plunge router outperforms the six fixed-based routers tested here. Earlier single-product reviews in other issues cover the 2.25-hp Triton MOF001C plunge router and the Milwaukee 5616-24 combo router kit.
7. Woodworker's Journal
Dec. 2006
Trim Router Rally
by Chris Marshall
Our AssessmentThis review compares eight medium-priced trim routers (no budget models) for ease of use as well as for performance, testing each by cutting dadoes and rounding edges on hard maple. The Bosch Colt and Ridgid R2400 get top ranking here, and the reviewer provides detailed comments about each router. Older reviews cover 3-hp routers, including ten plunge routers and two fixed-base routers, and inexpensive Chinese-made power tools, including the extremely inexpensive Chicago Electric trim router
8. Workbench Magazine
Aug. 2006
10 Plunge Routers
by Bill Link
Our AssessmentThis review compares ten 3-hp plunge routers, testing them for seven factors. The highest rating goes to the Bosch 1619EVS plunge router for excelling on all counts. The DeWalt DW625 is runner-up, but the dust control and bit opening aren't as good. The rating for best value goes to the Worx WT600K, which costs over a hundred dollars less. A June 2006 review covers the 2.25-hp Ridgid R2930 Router Combo Kit.
9. PopularMechanics.com
Dec. 2007
7 New Workshop Routers: Comparison Test and Buyer's Guide
by Tom Klenck
Our AssessmentThis review tests and rates seven router combo kits, with the Bosch 1617EVSPK ranked at the top. The review is succinct and clear, with pros and cons listed for each router kit, but the testing procedures aren't well documented. A 2003 review tests seven fixed-base routers for performance, ergonomics, ease of control, adjustment and bit changes.
10. Tools of the Trade
July/Aug. 2005
Tool Test: Trim Routers
by Brent Hull
Our AssessmentFive laminate trimmers (also called trim routers or palm routers) are tested here over eight weeks on precision restoration work. The review evaluates each trim router for convenience, power and overall feel -- especially looking for easy bit changes and fence adjustments. All five routers perform well with oak, so the main differences lie in convenience and comfort. In a separate article, Tools of the Trade editors give the Bosch palm router a 2005 Editors' Choice award.
11. Journal of Light Construction
May 2003
Tool Test: Fixed-Base Routers
by David Frane
Our AssessmentThis review compares seven pro-grade fixed-base routers, most of which can also be adapted for plunge use if you buy the combo kit. Reviewer David Frane notes that while most models have 2.25-horsepower motors, these are only one amp greater than 1.75-horsepower motors, which he finds adequate for most hand-held operations.
12. About.com
As of Sept. 2008
Reviews of Fixed Base Plunge and Router Kits
by Chris Baylor
Our AssessmentAbout.com's Guide to Woodworking, Chris Baylor, reviews and rates ten routers – with two sharing top ranking – in separate reviews based on his own testing and use. Ratings on a five-point scale are supplemented by useful details. (Note ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
13. The Woodshop
Not Dated
Router Reviews
by Jack Loganbill
Our AssessmentThis site offers comprehensive, well-illustrated reviews of two routers: the DeWalt DW618PK router combo kit and the Festool OF 1000 plunge router (now the OF 1010). Loganbill compares them with four other routers, including the Bosch 1617 and Porter-Cable 693, and notes useful criticisms as well as overall recommendations.
14. Benchmark
As of Aug. 2008
Tool Review Index
by Phil Bumbalough
Our AssessmentWoodworker Phil Bumbalough reviews five routers separately, including the Bosch 1617EVS fixed-base router, Ridgid R2930, Festool OF 1000 E (now the Festool OF 1010 E), Festool OF 2000 and Triton plunge routers. All the reviews are conscientious and critical.
15. RayGirling.co.uk
Updated Nov. 2006
Triton Router Review
by Ray Girling
Our AssessmentThis lavishly illustrated review of the Triton 3.35-hp plunge router is quite detailed, almost a user's manual. The only comparison with other routers is about noise: Girling says the Triton router is loud but lacks the whine that makes most routers quite annoying. He praises the safety features and overall performance, adding that he is now a Triton affiliate, but wrote this review several years before becoming one.
16. Festool USA
Mar. 2005
Review of Festool OF 1400
by Strother Purdy
Our AssessmentThough hosted by its manufacturer, this well-illustrated review of the Festool OF 1400 router is written by furniture maker and woodworking teacher Strother Purdy, which gives it more credibility. Purdy is also a former associate editor of Fine Woodworking.
17. New Woodworker
As of Aug. 2008
Tool Reviews: Routers
by Tom Hintz
Our AssessmentWoodworker Tom Hintz provides well-illustrated, in-depth reviews of 15 different routers of various types and brands, including three trim routers, testing each router in actual shop use. With this much experience with so many routers, Hintz is able to provide some valuable comparisons in the latest reviews.
18. OnlineTool Reviews.com
Not Dated
Festool OF 1400 EBQ Router, Triton 3-1/4-hp 1/2" Precision Router Reviews
by Dean Bielanowski and Bill Esposito
Our AssessmentTwo woodworkers provide well-illustrated, detailed single-product reviews. Dean Bielanowski tests the Festool OF 1400 EBQ Router and Bill Esposito tests the Australian Triton plunge router with useful comparisons with the Bosch plunge router and Milwaukee body-grip router. Both reviewers are enthusiastic but do note small criticisms.
19. American Router Magazine
Jan./Feb. 2006
Worx's Mean Green Machine
by Tom Rounds
Our AssessmentThis in-depth review of the new Worx 3-hp plunge router finds the tool well balanced with plenty of power and smooth, precise operation. It's unique in having two different dust ports, one for the baseplate and a second as part of the edge guide. We'd rank this review higher if it included any comparisons with other routers.
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