Wood Routers: How to decide on just one - Part 6
What this means is that, while the five year Hitachi and Milwaukee warranties are great incentives, the two year Skil and three year DeWalt and FesTool's may be more than you need when you compare price and features to warranty. Remember, warranties add cost. The bottom line is warranty should be a consideration after several models have been identified and needs to be compared to the cost of the wood router as well. Consider two routers, A and B, with identical features. All else is the same except A has a 1 year warranty and B has a 3 year. What choice would you make if you can buy three A's, that will only work for a year each, for the price of ONE B that has a three year warranty? After all you aren't buying the warranty, just the tool. You know you can replace A (twice) if it does fail right up to the warranty date. But A has a lower price point than B. It seems to be a simple choice.
You can "have your cake and eat it too" with a Bosch 1617EVSPK Router Combo Package.
Moving on, for many people the only hard choice is plunge versus fixed base. A plunge router can, for the most part, do all of the tasks of a fixed base. Yet a plunge router provides additional features that give it its name, mainly, the ability to begin a cut by plunging the bit straight down into the work piece AWAY from the edge. Learning this plunging technique takes practice and you will make some mistakes. You may notice plunge router to be a little top heavy when used hand held as compared to using a fixed base hand held.
In general, the plunge feature adds cost to a wood router, perhaps $80 to $100. You can make plunge cuts with a lower cost fixed base router. However, the plunge feature greaty reduces your chance of making a costly mistake when you need to make plunge cuts. Fine wood costs a lot which means mistakes can cost a lot in terms of time lost and wood rendered useless for a project.
The Bosch 1619EVS plunge router makes for a great first purchase. Priced at about $275, it's durable 3 ¾ HP provides plenty of power for most entry level applications. Worth metioning here is the closely related and very popular Bosch 1617EVSPK Router Combo Package, at around $220. The 1617EVSPK has 2 ¼ HP, but it boasts 2 interchangeable bases: one fixed and one plunge. So, you could have the best of both worlds. Just keep in mind the engineering fact that two features merged together always results in some kind of functional loss.
Also available are other less expensive but just as capable models such as the Hitachi M12V at about $170 - and again the pros and cons have to be considered. For instance while the Hitachi doesn't feature the self-releasing collet system of the Bosch or include a dust port. The Hitachi does have a five year warranty as compared to just one year for the Bosch. Both have a whopping 3 ¾ HP of power. Both include variable speed rpm control and soft start engines.
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