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Woodworking Review of Bosch MRC23EVS Router Kit

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Bosch MRC23EVS Router Kit

Bosch MRC23EVS Combination Router Kit

(c) 2012 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Bosch MRC23EVS Router Kit (which includes a 2.3 HP motor with both a fixed-base and a plunge router base) is a testament to Bosch's commitment to innovation. Building on the long-time success of the Bosch 1617EVS Router Kit, the company's engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with a real winner. New features include a power switch trigger on the right-side handle of both of the bases, the ability to adjust the depth on the fixed-base from above a router table, an LED to illuminate the routing area and much more.

If you can have only one router in your woodshop, this is certainly one to consider.

Features

The Bosch MRC23EVS Router kit includes the 2.3 HP router motor, both a plunge base and fixed base,two collet wrenches, a T-handle height adjustment wrench (for adjusting the height of the router bit when the router is installed in a router table), both a 1/4 and 1/2-inch collet, 3 M4 screws for mounting the fixed base in a router table, operating instructions and a hard shell carrying case with room for optional accessories.

Features include a cord swivel where the 10-foot power cord connects to the motor, preventing twists or kinks in the power cord, LED lighting beneath the motor that illuminates the work area and a handle-based trigger switch in the right-side handle of both the plunge base and the fixed base for easy on/off of the soft-starting, variable-speed (10,000-25,000 RPM) router motor. Additionally, the plunge base has a smooth plunge action with a spring-loaded locking lever defaulting to locked position to make locking the depth position quick and easy, and an afterlock microfine depth adjustment for making minute depth changes without releasing the locking lever. The fixed base has a hex connection to accept the T-handle height adjustment wrench when the fixed base is mounted in a router table, basically eliminating the need for a router lift on the router table.

Specifications

The Bosch MRC23EVS Router Kit has the following specifications:
  • 2.3 HP (maximum), 15-amp motor
  • No Load Speed: 10,000-25,000 RPM
  • Fixed Base Diameter: 6-inches
  • Plunge Base Diameter: 6-11/16 inches
  • Plunge Base Depth: 3-inches
  • AC Power Cord Length: 10-feet
  • Sub-base opening: 2-inches

Optional Available Accessories

To extend the abilities of the MRC23EVS, Bosch has a number of additional accessories available, such as a dust port for connecting a dust extractor or shop vacuum, a deluxe router edge guide, template guides (for guiding router bits along a pre-cut template, a guide adapter that fits into the base of the router, a centering sleeve (for centering the sub-base or template guides) and more.

Using the Bosch MRC23EVS

While the MRC23EVS is obviously update of the classic Bosch 1617EVS router that so many woodworkers have used for years, there are many improvements. For instance, having the on/off switch on the handle of the base allows the woodworker to keep both hands on the router at all times, from before they turn on the motor until after the bit stops spinning after turning off the motor. This keeps the operator from needing to fumble for the power switch on the motor, a definite safety feature.

One concern that I had about the power switches in the handle is the reliability of the connection between the motor and the handle in the base. This connection is through a three-channel, 5-volt motor to base connection track. There are connections in the bases that make contact with the three tracks in the motor which allow for the on/off switch to be in the bases. I was originally concerned about sawdust interfering with this connection, but have heard no reports nor have I encountered a problem in testing of the router, so obviously this is not an issue. Kudos to Bosch engineers for such an ingenious idea.

Additionally, the speed adjustment dial is much larger and easier to adjust on the MRC23EVS, allowing the operator to easily see the speed setting (in increments of 1-6 correlating to the motor speed of 10,000-25,000 RPM).

One feature that I really like about the MRC23EVS is the quick motor release button for removing the motor from the bases. On the 1617EVS, there was a pin on the motor that needed to align with a groove on the base. Once the motor settled into position, then the motor needed to be twisted to get it to lock into place. If the pin and the groove weren't properly aligned, the motor could get stuck in the base, a situation that I encountered more than once in my use of the 1617EVS.

The MRC23EVS does it completely differently. The base is locked onto the motor with a large buckle latch, but once that is released, one can press on the coarse setting lever to allow the motor to slide up and down in the base (for major height adjustments). However, to remove the motor, instead of twisting and turning the base and motor, now one only need to press the motor release button and the motor can be easily removed from the base. In testing, I did find the coarse setting release lever to be a bit stiff, but perhaps that would loosen over time.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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