Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Read This Before You Buy A Router - Buying Guide

By Ryan Henders

Anyone that is into woodworking or is even a general handy man will tell you that the tools of the trade are not cheap. If they are well looked after though they will provide many years of satisfaction and service.

Ideally, to start with you want to purchase tools that can be used for multiple things. A good example of this is the Router. It?s wonderful for cutting shapes, patterns and trims for example.

When its time to buy one then there are some specifics that you should know and there will be decisions to make.

You will need to choose between a fixed base and plunge router. With the fixed how deep you are going to cut has to be preset. These are the cheaper of the two. A plunge router will let you do your depth adjustments while it is running. This is good when you need to make several passes.

When you are looking for how much power a router consists of you will note it is rated by HP. Naturally the higher the HP the more power but also more weight. Motors contain copper wire and the more wire there is usually the stronger the motor is. You may have noticed that most of your tools are rated by amps as opposed to the HP. Amps requires independent lab testing but HP ratings are done by the manufacturer so may not be as accurate. So when you are purchasing check out the amp ratings.

Router bits are referred to by their shank, which is the part of the bit that goes into the router. There are three sizes ? inch, 3/8 inch and ? inch. There is a wider choice of ?-inch bits available so keep that in mind when you are buying your router.

You may hear the term EVS this is referring to electronic variable speed which are the newer type routers for the woodworking enthusiasts. This means you can adjust the speed of the bit. This is a safety feature that allows you to slow down the larger bits. The smaller bits are not a major concern at higher speeds. Your project will determine if you really need this type of router.

Changing the bits on routers can be a bit of a drag especially for the older models, which require the use of wrenches. The newer models have spindle locks, which only require the use of one wrench instead of two.

Various models come with different switches with some being toggle and others trigger switches. Then aside from your router, there are several accessories you can purchase such as edge guides, jigs, bushings or router tables.

When you are ready to purchase shop around and see what the newest models have to offer. Then make you choice of that which is going to meet your needs and your budget. It?s better to buy a quality piece of equipment that you may pay a bit more for now but is going to last you a lot longer than one of the budget models.

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