The Bottom Line
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.
- 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
- Requires two wrenches for bit changes
- Requires a special adapter to use 3rd party collars needed by many dovetail jigs
- 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 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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