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Router shopping...

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  • Router shopping...

    I'm shopping around for a router now that I have a few furniture projects in mind that will make use of one. Can't remember who suggested specs to look for, though I've been focusing on 2 1/4 HP ones for the most part, as recommended. I saw that there are some Ryobi ones that are 1.5 HP, one even comes with a router table. I like the prices on them, but should I hold out for something more powerful?

    I'm noticing that some have changeable bases for fixed and plunge, is it worth the extra cost to buy one that can do both? The Ridgid 2 1/4 HP router is like that, but it's twice as much as the Ryobis.

    Last thing I noticed when browsing routers Somebody mentioned that Skil's parent company is Bosch, though when I look at the picture for the Skil 2 HP router at HD's site, it clearly shows a Bosch router. Did somebody goof up the product listing, or are all Skil routers Bosch now?

  • #2
    Re: Router shopping...

    I'm very happy with this one.

    I would definitely spring for a plunge/fixed base kit. The plunge will be required for things like mortises. The fixed base is better for edge profiles.

    I'm happy with this kit that I got on sale for $99 (thanks to the forum):

    There is one closer to the Ryobi prices here:


    • #3
      Re: Router shopping...

      That's a nice one, even has the soft-start on it. Maybe Sears will have some deals for 4th of July, though the price probably won't be as good as what you got it for.


      • #4
        Re: Router shopping...

        Since your in the market for a new router now is the time to think about what all you will or might want to do with it. Are you going to want to use a bushing kit with it? do you want to be able to put a straight edge on it?

        I ask these things because if you do than make sure you can do these things. I have a black and decker plunge router that untill I bought ridgids bushing kit did not know that it would not work with it or my craftsman fixed router, not sure about the bigger router yet have to take it out of the table to see.

        Just some things to think about


        • #5
          Re: Router shopping...

          Next time you're out, see if you can't pick up the latest version of Fine Homebuilding and take a look at the 2 1/4 HP router review. I believe they test the leading 6 or 8 brands that are currently on the market.


          • #6
            Re: Router shopping...

            I have a couple of Ryobi routers, including the one that came with their aluminum table kit and a 3-base kit that they offered a couple of years ago. I also have the Ridgid 2930 combo, which is unquestionably the best router that I own, and I'm very satisfied with it.

            The Ryobi router that comes with the aluminum table is only a single speed 1/4 collet router. The table is mediocre, as it sags over time (not a good thing). The router is plenty strong, but a 1/2 collet router is a far batter choice.

            The Ryobi 3-base kit that I bought on close-out for $87 is a pretty decent router and even at the asking price (around $185 IIRC), it was a fairly good bargain. But, it had a serious problem in that the motor case swelled and within a couple of months it was impossible to adjust. That gave it a lot of bad press and it was soon removed from the market. But, I had it repaired under warranty and now some three years later the kit is just great and I've had no further problems with it. The plunge base works great, and the basic fixed base and the D-handle base are very good. The motor is equipped with electronic, soft-start speed control (variable speed), has a 1/2 inch collet and a 1/4-inch adapter.

            The Ridgid 2930 combo is great and now is my most used router. I have it in my Rockler table where it serves very well. In hand use is nice and the LED lighted work area is a very nice feature. It has a 1/2-inch, very well designed collet with a shank release function. It also comes with a separate 1/4-inch collet assembly with the same features.

            The Ridgid is also compatible with many Porter-Cable accessories.

            It's a bit tall, but the relatively quiet, and smooth running motor and ease of handling is very nice. At $199 I think it's a very good deal, especially when you consider Ridgid's warranty and the offering of a limited lifetime service agreement (free w/registration).

            I hope this helps,



            • #7
              Re: Router shopping...

              I own many routers. The DW621 is what I would have if I had to have only one. Pat Warner's AKA" Routerman", web site is a good info site.
              I have a made in Japan RE600 Ryobi that is 20 y.o. and still going , nothing like the newer Ryobi routers, the ones with the plastic ring adjuster are really bad in holding depth, really frustrating inaccurate routers, I tried them many years ago, all went back. The RE600 was when Ryobi made tools like Makita in quality, before the OWI degrading of the tool line to compete with homeowner tools. Any other Ryobi/CM 's that were not made in Japan have been poor performers. My old CM from the '70's. with trigger and light is still going with my stepbrother, Ryobi made that and the trigger is an excellent feature.
              The new kit you mentioned seem to be OK but you will see Sears will change it if they do not sell many. The CM/Bosch , made in USA, 2 pc I have was the top rated set in a Wood mag. test, Sears dropped it because they could not make enough on the price point, and went with overseas no name routers. They did drop the Ryobi/CM routers after so much bad press and user problems/returns, they were know as the auto depth adjusting routers. I would not buy any Ryobi router, the Ridgid are much better if you want a TTI built one.
              Freud had a 2 pc. combo on clearance at HD for $75-99 if you can find it.
              Last edited by Andrew M.; 06-27-2009, 02:12 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Router shopping...

                Did some more browsing this weekend, and decided against the Ryobi routers. I do like the Ridgid one currently available, and will also keep an eye out for deals with Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Makita, and DeWalt. Seems like any router normally priced at the $200-$300 price point would be a good choice, and if I can snag a good deal, I wouldn't be going over budget too much.