Tool Test: Router Combo Kits
A pair of bases with an interchangeable motor gets you two different machines for little more than the price of one
Synopsis: Even though plunge routers and fixed-base routers have more similarities than differences, many woodworkers buy both. The reason? A plunge router is the better choice for making a stopped cut, while a fixed-base router is lighter and more compact. A router combination kit has one motor and two bases, eliminating the expense of buying two machines. Models reviewed fall into the 2-hp to 2-1/2-hp range, including the Bosch 1617EVSPK, DeWalt DW618PK, Makita RF1101KIT2, Porter-Cable 895PK, Ryobi RE1803BK, and Skil 1825.
Plunge routers and fixed-base routers have more similarities than differences. Why, then, do many woodworkers purchase one of each? Because each type has its advantages.
A plunge router lowers, or plunges, a spinning bit straight down into the workpiece to start a cut, and then raises the bit out of the workpiece at the end of the cut. It also makes it very easy to lower…