Ridgid - 12 Amp 2-1/4 HP Plunge/Fixed Base Combo Router (Rating: 5)

If you compare this router set to others, you might say that it's only slightly less expensive for the same power… and you'd be right-UNTIL you look at the included accessories.

This router includes a clear base (which you'll want), a centering jig (which allows you to align the bit perfectly-a must for dovetailing), two chucks, and dust collection ports. This accessories will cost you quite a bit if you add them after market to another brand. So… if you're going to do a comparison, make sure the compare the whole package.

But wait, there's more! Make sure to look at the specific features that set the Ridgid apart. An extra long cord with an integrated cordwrap. A plug that lights up when it's live (a HUGE safety feature… just a glance across the bench to know you're working with a live bit). A nice bag you'll use, instead of a plastic case you'll store away. And nearly all the attachment screws are thumbscrews-no tools needed. Nice touches abound and these convenience features really add up to a nice and easy experience using this tool. The microadjust method is particularly good.

Once you do that comparison, I think you'll find that this router is a great VALUE. And the accessories are ones you NEED… they are not just tossed in there at random. If you bought all these items separately, it might cost you another hundred bucks-including the time to collect them all together or order them online.

I'm very pleased with the router. The control points are easy to use, it's light, it has variable speed (with real numbers on the dial, not just random statements of hi low and medium) and the soft start is a blessing. It runs smooth and true. No detectable runout; nice smooth cuts and great tolerances with my dovetailing jig.

And, did I mention that it fits virtually 100% of Porter Cable accessories since the hole patterns are the same? Very nice touch.