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Review of the Bosch 1617EVS Fixed Base & Plunge Router Kit

User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Bosch 1617EVS Router Kit

Bosch 1617EVS Router Kit

(c) 2007 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

The Bosch 1617EVS Fixed Base & Plunge Router kit is a very well-engineered unit that has stood the test of time since its introduction. The fixed base works great whether used by hand or in a router table, and the height adjustment is quite precise. The plunge base is one of the best we've ever used, with extremely comfortable handles, a very good locking mechanism and a smooth plunge action.

While we'd love to see Bosch add a spindle lock mechanism to allow for one-wrench bit changes, this is a minor wart on an otherwise exceptional tool. The price is comparatively inexpensive, making this unit a terrific value.
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Pros

  • Ergonomic handles on plunge router base among the best we've ever tested
  • Plunge locking mechanism is quite precise with little slippage
  • Easy-to-use depth adjustments on both fixed base & plunge base

Cons

  • Requires two wrenches for bit changes
  • Requires a special adapter to use 3rd party collars needed by many dovetail jigs

Description

  • Includes a storage case with slots for wrenches, optional accessories and router bits.
  • Optional T-handle hex wrench allows above-the-table depth adjustments when used with fixed base in a router table.
  • Bosch also offers a D-handle style fixed base model (1618EVS) with the same features as the 1617EVS.
  • Electronic variable speed controls are easy to adjust and allow the router to start very smoothly
  • Comes with well-written documentation with safety instructions written in English, Spanish & French

Guide Review - Review of the Bosch 1617EVS Fixed Base & Plunge Router Kit

The Bosch 1617EVS is a router kit that we've come to like a lot. The 2-1/4 HP, 12-amp motor allows for speeds from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM and comes with both 1/4" and 1/2" collets. The Electronic Variable Speed control starts the motor smoothly and does a good job of keeping the speed up when the unit is under a load.

The fixed base is solid, whether used in a router table or by hand. However, it is when the motor is mounted in the plunge base that this router kit really shows off. The handles of the plunge base are angled very comfortably and the plunge locking mechanism is easy to reach and quite precise. The plunge action is smooth and the depth controls with the turret are very simple to use.

That being said, Bosch is one of the few router manufacturers that still require two wrenches for bit changes. Simply put, this is the only item that kept this router from receiving a perfect 5-stars rating. While it is a bit of an inconvenience to have to use two wrenches to change a bit (particularly when trying to change a bit when the router is mounted to a table), it certainly wouldn't keep us from buying one of these kits for our shop. This is a terrific tool, one that we highly recommend.

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User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
SWITCH PROBLEM, Member GRUMPYOLDBILL

I have two of these routers. They are truly great tools but there is a design flaw that makes them annoying. The motor sucks sawdust into the housing which corrupts the on-off switch. I have had to take one of my tools in to the repair center twice (luckily close by) to have the switch replaced. The problem is exacerbated when you mount the tool in a table. They tell me they are on the 7th iteration of this switch and are still having trouble. I also have a very inexpensive Ryobi which has been running in a table for about 5 years with no problem. Why they can't seal the switch to keep the sawdust out of it is beyond me.

94 out of 95 people found this helpful.

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