Router
Photo: Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Craftsman 28212

$90, 4.4 pounds; craftsman.com

The only tool here that comes with a two-handed base plate (not shown), this is your choice for inlay work. That said, the base's claustrophobic design obscures the clear acrylic base plate and blocks most of the light from the two LEDs—right along with your view of the work in progress. The motor starts smoothly and runs quietly, but a slightly clunky wheel design makes depth adjustments cumbersome, a serious liability for any router.

Fine print: 1 ¼hp, 6.5 amps, 18,000-28,000 rpm, 8 5/8-inch-circumference grip, 1-inch depth range.
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