I'm new to this, too. But, I bought the Craftsman 26620 router, and I love it. I've got some raised panel bits on their way to me, so haven't tried them yet. I don't see why it wouldn't work. I've been putting mine through drills, and it seems pretty strong. It's only 12 amp, whereas the 3.5 hp is 15 amp. But, for the same price, you're getting the fixed base (with above table adjustability) and the plunge base (which operates nicely). One thing that was pointed out to me about plunge routers, which I would have been so p##### if I hadn't noticed it until after i bought one, is that with some the lever releases to the open position, and with some the lever releases to the locked position. mine releases to the locked position, so when i let go of the lever, it doesn't move. The dewalt on which I was shown this, when you released the lever, the router moved up and down. you had to push it to get it to stick and be "fixed". that would really blow to be in the middle of a board and bump the lever and have it gouge in.
Just something I thought I'd pass on. There are a lot of little things that aren't obvious to the first time buyer. A lot of places know this, and they rely on the consumer seeing the pretty yellow color, or that they will know the name because they have a coffee maker made by them, too.....
I'm new to this too (well, it sounds like you aren't new, but getting back into it), but I did A LOT of research (about 10 trips to each store- Lowes, Menards, Sears, etc), and I really like mine. It operates smoothly, no power switch problems, it is made by Bosch, so it's not a B&D in disguise. I leave my fixed base in the table and slip it out and into the plunge router when I need to. It's like two routers for the price of one!
Or,, I did see that Amazon had that Bosch, along with free shipping and the bonus accessory package, for 188.00 a couple days ago. Don't know if it is still on sale, though.
Last edited by saltysteele; 02-11-2005 at 06:47 PM.