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i'd really liketo buy a router.   theres so much you can do with them. but theres so many different brands  fixed or plunge  really don't know which one   any advice out there    just have small shop

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Hi Ken - Good idea and nice score on the Bosch. With this economy, pawn shops and craigs list are good sources. Same precautions with craigs list apply. Another source is the reconditioned market, think "used with a warranty", right now Tyler Tool has a reconditioned deWalt 618 kit for $140. Several good recon sellers on the internet;,, to name some. Many of those also sell on eBay or Amazon but going direct you usually get better shipping.
It is hard to beat a Craftsman professional combo for the price. It will give both fixed and plunge capability.  They are not the highest quality, but the newer versions have great features and are great for a small shop.  I would recommend a router table.  I do most of my work on a table and over the years I have ended up with 4 of them.  I just got a horizontal router table to make molding.  Set up time usually takes more than actual routing time.  Variable speed is a must if you want to use larger router bits.  I have this one and this one  They are on sale tonight

I have one OLD Craftsman that is a PIA to adjust height on, hence, it is a dedicated dovetailer. This Craftsman looks like a good deal though:

If you are going to get the skill go to lowe's they have the combo for 89. I would not get the skill table top router table. I have one and hate it. The router will not stay tight and wobbles. If you are just using it as hand held it is not bad for the price.

Fixed base and plunge routers are very handy.


The plunge feature is very handy, but not a must, for making plunge cuts.


1-1/2 to 2hp is adequate, for the homeowner and DIY woodworker, and for most routing tasks. 

Larger HP models are heavier and more difficult to handle.


PC (Porter-Cable) 690 series is my first choice, and probably the most popular with woodworkers and many  cabinet shops.


Bosch offers routers that are excellent and are the choice of many.


I also have another router, a hand-held router, that features a ''micrometer'' type adjustment, an integral light, and a trigger switch---these features are very important to me. 


Routers that offer 1/4 & 1/2 chucks, are the way to go---they accept both size router bits.

For many uses and smaller tasks, the 1/4" shank will suffice.

For heavier cutting and larger cutter bits, the larger 1/2" shank is the way to go.

A larger selection of router bits are available in the 1/2" size shank, which will result in less vibration, when using the larger diameter bits, making larger cuts and heavier work.


Do a search on web sites, and read the various reviews that are posted---under ''router discussions''.

Evaluate the pros and cons of the various models and the features they offer.


Get a router model that can be used for both hand-held routing and for mounting in a router table.

Sometime in the future, you may be looking into a router table.

A router table will be very useful.  Many routing operations have to be done on a router table.


Bosch offers router tables that fit-up nicely with there routers and other brands/models of routers.

The bench top style router tables are very handy.

They can be portable as well and mounted on the portable stand, for mobility.


For many uses/applications, a ''speed controller'',  for your router will be very useful.

You'll need to make cuts, at a slower rpm than the 25,000 rpms, rated on most routers.


Buy the best you can afford.


Good luck---Wishing you the best in your findings.



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