Black & Decker - Midsize Plunge Router RP400 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Midsize Plunge Router RP400

Black & Decker - Midsize Plunge Router RP400

Black & Decker’s low-cost plunge router features a 2-hp variable-speed motor.

$99 (As of 6/1/2001)

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Editor's Review: Midsized Plunge Routers

by Tom Begnal

review date: June 1, 2001

Midsize plunge routers, those in the 2-hp class, have enough muscle to tackle most tasks, yet they're relatively easy to handle. Unlike a fixed-base router, a plunge router lets you lower the spinning bit straight down into a workpiece. That makes it a good choice for those who cut a lot of stopped grooves, dadoes, and mortises. So with that in mind, I gathered all eight of the midsize plunge routers on the market and gave each a thorough going-over. 

I checked to see how fussy it was to turn the machine on and off, to change router bits, and to set the plunge depth. I looked at how much finger contortion it took to set the switch locks and the plunge-lock mechanisms. I also wanted to see how well the multiple-stop systems worked. I checked the handles for comfort, then measured each router for noise, vibration, and collet runout. And after all of that, I tested each router by running it through a sheet of plywood.

The Black & Decker machine features comfortable handles, a lock-on switch that’s effortless, and a bargain-basement price. But it accepts only 1/4-in.-shank bits and has no micro-adjust or multiple-stop systems. Consider it if you run a router only occasionally.

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Editor Test Results:

Bit Changing N/A
Base Changing N/A
Plunge/Height Adjustment N/A
Runout 0.0030 in.
Quality of Cut N/A
Vibration at Handles Good
Router Table Suitability N/A
Noise Rating 92 dB (no load)

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Black & Decker
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-544-6986
Opening at Base 2-7/8 in. dia.
Built-in Dust Collection Dust Port: yes
Horsepower 2 hp
Amps 10 amps
Watts N/A
Volts N/A
Speed Variable Speed, 8,000-25,000 rpm
Collet Size 1/4 in., 1/2 in.
Maximum Plunge/Height 2-1/4 in.
Tilting Base N/A
Special Features N/A
Product Warranty N/A

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