The Bottom Line
We were very pleased with the performance, versatility and strength of this woodworking tool.
- Above-the-table adjustment built into fixed base. Adjustment wrench is included.
- Fixed base offers wrap-around grip or dual handles
- Operator's manual is well-written and easy to follow in English, Spanish & French
- Three-section case required a lot of counter space to open
- Need to remove motor from fixed base to change bits
- We loved the wraparound palm grip on the fixed base, and found the router to be very stable when using the fixed base.
- Unique depth adjustment on plunge base.
- Dust collection port (included) installs quickly and doesn't impair vision when in use.
- In our test model, the fixed base's locking lever needed adjustment out of the box. After adjustment, it held well.
Guide Review - Milwaukee 5616-24 Router Kit Review
The plunge base was just as comfortable to use as the fixed base. We loved the stability and feel of the handles on the plunge base, and the plunge release lever was easy to reach for release, yet held firmly when engaged. Visibility and depth adjustments on the plunge base were very good.
When using the fixed base, the motor needs to be removed from the base in order to change bits with the two 1-1/8" open-end wrenches. On most routers, changing bits with the motor removed is a sure-fire recipe for a mashed finger. However, the large collet assembly and sturdy wrenches made changing bits a breeze.
One area that could use improvement with this router kit was the case. It essentially has three sections, with the two sides opening out away from the base. As such, it takes a lot of table or floor space to open up the case and access the tools. In its defense, Milwaukee did provide numerous spots for router bits and accessories, so there's a good chance we're being nit picky on this point.
Our preferences on the type of case certainly shouldn't detract anyone from considering what is a really well-built woodworking tool.