I need a recommendation on a router. Nothing too expensive, something basic. What do you think about plunge routers?
Wood magazine and Fine Woodworking both run router review periodically.
A large factor in router choice is what (and how much) you plan on using the router.
I think a person needs to learn how to use a standard router before using a plunge model.
I have 8 routers, 2 have plunge bases that I seldom use, but I have a router table.
I bought three used Ryobi routers about 12 years ago for $10 each. They are not bad for a cheap router. My Porter Cable routers($200 each) are much better(they have the plunge and fixed bases).
Had a Craftsman router I have no idea where i got it---it is (unless a weed mower picked it up) still laying in the middle of a field where I threw it. Worst tool I have ever owned.
I was thinking about a table also. Which model/brand/ hp do you recommend for a newbie? Under $100, just for basic stuff,round off corners, maybe make a sign. Litle simple projects
The problem with the "Under $100" routers is usually they do not have enough power for anything larger than 1/4 inch shank bits, and those are small and give the poorest performance.
The slow cut feed rates lead to burning, or you have to make repeated shallow passes (especially in hardwoods).
A plunge router is useful if you are going to do things like mortising. If you are doing edge profiling, rabbeting, and dadoing, a plunge is either not needed or less useful.
A router that can take both 1/4" and 1/2" shanks will be versatile. But if you want to go inexpensive, I'd opt for a trim router over a cheap brand larger router. Unless you are headed for a router table or dovetail jig, then I'd save up for a 1/2" collet router.
I'd avoid the Joe Garage routers such as Harbor Freight, Skil, Black & Decker, and Craftsman in favor of Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee, or Makita. I have a Porter-Cable 690 that has been a workhorse for 30 years, but the recent owner has cheapened the line and I'm not sure of their current offerings.
Here is a link that might be useful: This guy lives and breathes routers
Ok...thanks. Maybe I will check out Craigslist or eBay for something used. I'm not going to get into cabinet making or anything complicated. Mostly to put an edge on something.
Maybe I will upgrade if this hobbie really takes off
Woodcraft is router table central.