Tool review: Do-it-all Routers
Big or small, fixed base or plunge, you'll appreciate a router that adjusts up and down quickly for fixed-depth routing. Among the fixed bases in the kits, we prefer a rack-and-pinion adjuster, shown top right, best because it has a quick release for coarse adjustments and a fine-adjustment knob.
Fixed bases on some models, as shown bottom right, engage one of three detents on the motor body. You then get a limited amount of up-and-down movement before you must switch to another detent. If you select the wrong detent and run out of fine-adjustment range, you'll have to move to the next detent and then thread the rod all the way to the other end.
Ease of handling proves as important as being able to quickly adjust the bit depth. We found two beefy 3-hp plunge routers bulky, top-heavy, and more tippy than the others, especially when routing along edges and corners. And only one Bosch has a handle-mounted power switch similar to those found on big plunge routers. With other kit routers you have to remove or adjust your grip on one handle to turn it on or off.