Guidance on a router for cabinet making
I know the issue of "what router" has been thoroughly discussed, so I'm sorry to beat a dead horse... again.
Right now, I have an old Bosch 1613evs and I'm probably getting one of the peachtree woodworking table packages used for a decent price.
After reading some and speaking with Bosch, I don't believe my Bosch plunge router will make a good router mounted to a table. Besides, it might be nice to have a free hand router and a permanently mounted router in the table.
I am on a budget and would like to spend as little as possible, but I also want a router that will last and big enough to drive raised panel bits.
So, I know I need a variable speed router. I dont care if its plunge or fixed base.
I'd like one that is easy to change the bit and adjust the height (and lock in the height without slippage) from the above the table, but dont necessarily need to get a lift. I know my weaknesses and bit changing and "exactness" come difficult for me without getting frustrated, so I need all the help I can get...
So my questions are:
1.) I'd prefer 3+ hp, but would like to hear folks opinion on if I could go smaller and still drive the big bits? I like the Bosch 1617evs. If I can go with a 2.25hp it puts me in a totally different price class, which makes me happier - but it seems like I really should be getting a more powerful motor.
2.) I like the hitachi price point and 5 year warranty, but I've heard bad things about the M12V2 (like the height adjustment knob breaking off right away) and people prefer the M12VE - but it seems the M12VE isnt as easy to adjust and change from above the table.
3.) What about a used (6-10years old) Freud? Are they reliable? How is the 2000e in a table?
4.) I've seen a lot of hype about the openings on the routers not being big enough for the big bits, but it doesnt make sense to me because the bits sit up above the opening? When would it matter if the bit cant go below the level of the plate?
5.) Above all else, I want the best reliability for the money. If that means spending 300 on a Triton, Bosch, or Freud brand new, then so be it. But, if I can spend 200 on a Hitachi, or 100-150 on a Freud, then thats even better.
6.) Tritons and Hitachis seem to rarely go on sale used, is that because people love them?
Sorry for all the questions, not trying to be a bore.