Thank you Ron,
Handheld router! - It's why I'm here. But how powerful router do I need, what speed - actually I'm scary to chip a board. And I understand that training is everything, but I can train only on spruce (and this is a quite different song than oak).
Ok. If you were going to be doing other work in oak over the years, I would definitely opt for a >3 HP plunge:
1. ½" chuck
2. 2 wrench collet
3. Variable speed (nice but close to useless <3HP, but mandatory >3HP)
4. plunge base
5. Soft start
6. Light weight but versatile and powerful.
7. 1¾" (1 ½" hole with a " shoulder) brass template guides (ideal but not likely)
This basically describes the Hitachi M12V and the Makita 3612. The Makita is nice right out of the box and requires little or no modification for table use. The Hitachi is my preference only because I couldn't afford the Makita at the time.
There are those that support Porter Cable but I find them wanting in many respects; to wit: fixed speeds, bases that are not compatible to skis or other non-Delta/PorterCable ideas; template guides and inserts that are smaller than optimal.
I would stay away from "house brands" and department store offerings. Parts will become problematic over time. Machines like these don't wear out, they are broken. There is nothing more frustrating that having to buy a new router because some simple, cheap part broke - usually the plastic parts.
Now, Hitachi/Makita are serious machines designed to work all day, every day. If you chose to purchase something lighter, you are purchasing something with much less capability. However, you do not purchase routers, you collect them.
So, whatever you chose, you will probably upgrade later. Now, start digging in this forum and read other threads. Use the search window at the top of every page and start reading.
Go to The Woodworking Channel
. Find the videos for "the Router Workshop." Sit down with some popcorn and start watching. Pay attention to the sounds of the router when it's working. Try to tell when they're pushing it or just letting it do its' thing. There are quite a few so be patient and learn.
At any point, return here for direction, council or just plain encouragement.