Home Care + Re­pair

The Family Handyman - - CONTENTS - GARY WENTZ, ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF

Do-it-all com­pact routers, snow blower smarts, and an easy front-load washer fix.

My full-size routers have been gath­er­ing a lot of dust since I pur­chased a com­pact router for trim­ming plas­tic lam­i­nate. Com­pact routers only ac­cept 1/4-in.-shank bits, which lim­its the size bits you can use. But my com­pact router can han­dle about 75 per­cent of my rout­ing tasks: light edge pro­files, shal­low da­does and rab­bets, round-overs and cham­fers. One-handed oper­a­tion is a nice bonus. If you’re new to routers, a com­pact router is a good in­tro­duc­tion. They’re less in­tim­i­dat­ing than their full-size sib­lings. You can grab a ba­sic com­pact router for as lit­tle as $30. Or, you can spend about $200 for an en­tire kit that in­cludes var­i­ous bases and at­tach­ments.

COM­PLETE KIT: $200 BA­SIC KIT: $30

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