I purchased a Ryobi plunge router yesterday for a few projects, and used it last night. After reading about the router online, and experiencing problems on day 1, I plan on returning it this weekend.
The specific problems I ran into are:
1. It threw 2 1/2 inch collet bits at me.
2. The plunge motion was sticky out of the box.
3. It's not centered in it's base.
4. The '1/4' inch collet is just a 1/2 inch adapter.
2 and 3 could be dealt with and may be acceptable out of a $100 router, but both at once is just completely unacceptable. Point 1 is a show-stopper. I've borrowed plunge routers in the past (cheap and nice), and never once had a bit slip out of the collet/the collet loosen. I read the manual, am 100% certain it was tight and set-up correctly.
I have the ryobi table router kit and am quite happy with it and the results I get from it. I needed a plunge router for a few projects:
1. Tap Handle Holder (Done)
2. Speaker Mounting Circles (Jasper Jig already in possession)
3. Sign Making for Disc Golf Course
I also plan on, down the road, making a proper router bench and either moving the Ryobi router into it, or using whatever I get next and have 2 router tables so I can do tongues on one and grooves on the other, etc.
I almost got the Bosch kit at Lowe's, but at the time (last night), it was out of stock, so I went the 'cheap' route. Is the Bosch Kit well regarded in the hobbyist market?
More about me:
I'm new to woodworking, having only started last summer (18 months ago) building benches for a disc golf course. It has quickly grown from a passion to an obsession. I built a cedar chest for my girl for Christmas, as well as a small (6"x6"x5") pirate chest for her son for Halloween. I have aspirations of building a dvd rack and a wine rack in the coming weeks, as well as some bench/chest combos. I already have a good saw (Craftsman 10" Radial), decent table router, good array of router bits, drill, million clamps, etc. I only recently found out about the true versatility of routers, and wish I had just gotten a good plunge router at first, and built a table then.
Any insight would be much appreciated.