Tools of the home improvement trade

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The router is an extremely versatile workshop tool, capable of performing any number of woodworking and home repair tasks. It consists of three basic components: motor, base and collet, each arranged in any of a number of combinations. The motor is held vertically in the base, with the bit facing straight down and held in place by the collet. At the heart of the router is a tough, high-speed, 110-volt motor (although there are also some cordless models now coming on the market). The router gets its work done via the very high rotational speed of its bits, and the typical router motor spins those bits at around 25,000 RPM. Most routers have only one fixed speed, but some higher-end models feature variable speeds ranging from 10,000 to 27,000 RPM. A fixed speed router is fine for almost all of your routing tasks, although the variable speed models give you a little more flexibility in adjusting bit speed to the type of wood you're working with.  Routers are rated by horsepower, t...