Router features

I'm considering buying my first router and not having used one much in the past, I'm unsure what the important features are. I'm sure more HP means better cutting power. I've seen some that say "fixed speed" so I assume some are variable or multiple speed. Is a fixed table OK or is plunge important? Any brands I should run screaming from? (I saw some poor reviews of Craftsman here.)
Chris
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Christopher Nelson wrote:

Knowing nothing about routers I suggest you try to buy from a place that allows returns in a reasonable time. Or perhaps rent one like you are thinking of buying. I am sure others will ask you what your intended uses and usage will be.
Lou
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LouB wrote:

That first.
I'd recommend a google search on rec.woodworking -- it's a common subject won't take a minute to find as many threads as you'll care to read.
--
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More HP means more cutting power. It also means more weight to handle when trying to do fine work.
Some are variable speed. If you are going to use large bits, the variable speed is important as they must turn slower to keep tip speed down.
I'd recommend getting a kit with changeable bases so you can have the best of both. De Walt and Porter-Cable are good, as is Bosch I have a Bosch mounted in a table that gets 905 of my router use. Visit www.partwarner.com for good router information and reviews.
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Just to clarify that is www.patwarner.com
thanks for the link Ed.
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You're welcome. Thanks for catching the typo.
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On Thu, 1 May 2008 18:57:55 -0700 (PDT), Christopher Nelson

Variable speed is good. Lets you slow down and safely use large cutters. Plunge base is useful for plowing out stopped dadoes. More HP means more power; king of the beasts is the 3 HP Porter-Cable, but it's very big and heavy for handheld use. Great for a router table. Soft start is a good feature to have - gives you enough time to get both hands on the router before the bit is up to full speed. I have a Hitachi kit that includes both fixed and plunge bases. Porter-Cable and DeWalt make good routers as well. Tons of accessories available for the Porter-Cable.
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On Fri, 02 May 2008 13:37:22 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@antispam.net (Bill) wrote:

One feature I REALLY like when using a router hand-held is illumination. Makes a huge difference to be able to see your work that well.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote in wrote:

With the light on mine I can really see much better....the sawdust on the inside of the viewing shield.
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Then you are doing it wrong, Red! LOL
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote in wrote:

Shit happens - good shit, bad shit - but shit always happens.
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