When it comes to routers, spare no expense

Accuracy, safety top handyperson's wish list

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For many carpenters, woodworkers and home improvement enthusiasts, a router is one of the essential tools in their collection. Routers are extremely versatile, and once you have one, you'll no doubt find any number of uses for it. A router is actually a fairly simple tool, comprising only a few basic elements. The heart of the router is a compact, high-speed electric motor, capable of rotating a shaft at speeds of 20,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) or more. At one end of the shaft is a collet into which different bits are secured, which is what gives the router is great versatility. The motor is held into a base with handles attached, giving the router stability, height adjustment for the bit, and a way for you to guide the tool when in use. Routers can be used in one of two ways. By holding the handles with the bit facing down, you can move the router over the surface or along the edge of the wood to shape the edge of a board, or cut slots or patterns into the board's fac...