A couple months ago we reviewed a budget-oriented Plunge Router from Craftsman. It was a pleasant surprise to us that sub $100 routers could deliver very respectable performance. While a cordless drill and a circular saw are must-haves for just about every weekend warrior, the router sometimes takes a lower position on the list of tools to buy. There comes a time for most DIY’ers where they either wished they owned a router, or they realize they have to buy one. Some remodeling projects just can’t be done another way. For those that aren’t planning on routing custom cabinet details daily, some budget-friendly router options are what’s needed. Our sponsor Skil has been listening, and they recently announced a line of three new routers (model numbers 1817, 1827 and 1830) that pack some great features into routers around $70, $90 and $110 retail pricing.
SKIL’s goal with this new generation of routers is to provide professional features with pricing affordable to the DIY market. “The updated design of the SKIL routers provides optimal comfort and control for smooth and professional edges,” said Rick Bauer, brand manager, SKIL Power Tools. “These routers will elevate do-it-yourselfers’ woodworking projects to the next level.”
Skil also was aware that some DIYers are a little bashful about routers. Let’s face it, routers are loud, they have an unprotected bit spinning wildly fast, and they also require some skill to wield without having your material look like a rabid tasmanian devil gnawed on it. Skil kept some of these realities in mind with several features. Soft Start™ Technology makes these routers more smoothly behaved on start-up, as well as reportedly increasing the router’s motor life. Having a tool jolt on start-up is annoying for anyone, which makes the Soft Start tech a welcome feature for any level of router user.
An LED SiteLight™ improves visibility and provides a powered tool alert. We’re glad to see Skil and others integrating LED lighting into more and more tools. It’s hard to have too much lighting when you’re working with power tools and wood, especially with the fine detail work often done with a router. We’re also happy to see a dual position on/off switch (one access to the switch is at the top of the tool, the other is a convenient thumb’s distance away from the right handle). And speaking of handles, Skil added soft grips for comfort and control. Here is a quick break-down on the differing spec’s, straight from Skil:
Model No. 1817: 1-3/4 HP Fixed Based Router includes a quick-release lever for easy motor adjustments and removal. This router is perfect for rounding and forming edges, as well as cutting basic patterns in wood.
Model No. 1827: 2 HP Plunge Base Router features a quick-clamp release lever for easy motor adjustments and removal, a depth rod and adjustable turret for repeatable plunge routing applications and variable speed. This router is perfect for making more intricate cuts and designs in wood pieces.
Model No. 1830: 2-1/4 HP Combo Router Kit has the most powerful motor for more demanding projects and features both an aluminum fixed base and an aluminum plunge base to allow users to choose their method of routing. Additional features include a quick-clamp release lever for easy adjustments and removal, a depth rod and adjustable turret for repeatable plunge routing applications and variable speed. The 1830 is ideal for more advanced projects such as counter top installation, cabinet building or detailed woodworking.
Edge guide and dust hood accessories are also available for all three routers. Visit Skil’s Facebook page or www.skiltools.com for additional product information and project ideas. Starting this month, the 1817 and 1830 routers are available at Lowe’s stores nationwide and online with suggested retail pricing of $69.99 for the No. 1817 and $109.99 for the No.1830. The 1827 router is available at other various retailer and online outlets with a suggested retail price of $89.99. You can find the Skil 1817, Skil 1827, and Skil 1830 currently in stock at Amazon.