116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Like other Bosch tools I have used, this router is terrific. I use it in a router table, where it is delightful: it's light enough to handle when installing under the table, it's controls are easy to get to, and the height adjustment is fabulous. More on the height adjustment of this router -- I have used many other routers, but none adjust their height as precisey and smoothly as this Bosch. All you have to do it unlock the adjuster, then turn a turret, and the bit raises and lowers slowly for you. Then you lock the adjuster and you're set. The soft-start feature is also wonderful. The speed adjustment is very responsive and has many settings, which is good if you're doing raised-panel doors. As far as cutting goes, I am very pleased. The router keeps the speed constant through the wood, whether you're cutting a dado or routing a shape on the edge of a board. Once again, I have nothing but praise for another Bosch power tool.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2000
As you can tell from the title, I am impressed with this router. I have had this router for about a year now and have not attempted a project that I have been any less than pleased. It is quiet and the noise it does make is smooth and almost muted compared to the high pitched PC 690 that I also have. The unit is very nicely built. Precision is a word that comes to mind. I use this one under my Rout R Lift and the D handle ( non variable ) for freehand work. Despite the fact that I love the maple handles, I still get too nervous with my hands being so close to that 25,000 rpm spindle and bit, especially after using the D-handle for sometime now. Anyway, when changing a bit this unit drops down from my Rout R Lift with a smooth controlled descent,then just release the sub base lever, depress the thumb latch a 1/4 twist and the motor is out. You can just tell by looking at this unit that it is chock full of exceptional engineering and thoughtful detail. The variable speed is very handy, the Microfine adjustment is just that, and the 2 HP is more than up to any tasks ( including some raised profile work ) that I have asked of it. Ironically, I also purchased a few BOSCH router bits, that have been excellent as well, quite the compliment to a superb router. Strong, lightweight, quiet and precise. Truly a great product that will not disappoint.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2001
I do a lot of routing, and I've owned a lot of routers over the years. The Bosch 1617EVS is, by far, the best fixed-base router I've ever owned. The design, coupled with the exceptional manufacturing quality, will meet or exceed anyone's expectations. Its variable speed, light weight, comfortable handles, large bit capacity, and power are just the beginning. The crowning achievement is the height control. This is absolutely the best in the industry, with no competition that I've found. You really have to try it to see for yourself-- rings and racks found on the competiton not only don't compare, they're not even in the same class. Plus, this system works equally well on the router table as well as in free-hand use. The Makitas, Porter-Cables, etc., need to wake up and take notes. By the way, if you're looking for a plunge router, there is still nothing that compares with the Makita 3612C, even after 20-plus years of production. Bosch 1617EVS fixed-base, Makita 3612C plunge-base -- this is the combination the serious woodworker wants.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2001
I had never bought a Bosch product before and needing to replace my cheaper craftsman ...router I did a lot of research. I went to a wood worker show and let PC, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee etc tell me about their routers. After the reviews and the sales pitches I bought the 1617EVS. I love the variable speed, not only for the softstart, power and speed adjustment for various size bits but also it adjusts the power to maintain a constant speed when the bit is under load. The contant speed mean a lot when routing Hardwoods - there is no burning in the softer areas due to bit speedup. It is extrodinarialy light weight and easy to handle. The bits are self extracting (no stuck bits) and they are dead center. Adjusting the height and depth is quick and the fine adjustment is in the thousands of an inch. The only thing I wish they had is a locking hub so you didn't have to fiddle with 2 wrenches to change bits. It also came with a quick release attachment for various size router ring inserts. Finally when mounted in a table you can drop the motor out of the mount with a simple quick release lever (no wrenches here) and change the bit and then replace the motor with very little effort.
For a change I feel like I made the best decision. Now I'm planning on purchasing the Plunge attachment that should be available soon. No buyer regret here!!! I'll be buying other Bosch tools if they are of the same quality as this. I already own there 5" orbital sander.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
No one router is all things to all people. This Bosch comes close. I have the 1617EVS, and liked it so much, I bought the 1617EVSPK, combo pack as well, with the fixed base and the plunge base. The motor easily slides out of one, and into the other. The slide out feature is built into the 1617 whether you are buying the combo pack, or the fixed base router. Makes it possible to add a plunge base, or remove it easily from under a table. It's so easy, I change bits that way.
I have a Fein RT-1800, the Bosch 1619EVS, and a Porter Cable laminate trimmer router as well. I can't say enough about each one of them.
The thing that makes the Bosch line, especially the 1617 so special is two features: One is the bit centering feature. The other feature which sets is apart from the others, is the fine adjusting knob. Typically, you get close to the setting you want, on a regular router, but it is off by a little bit. So you loosen the clamp, and it jumps completely away from your setting. In frustration, you try again, and realize it is still off a little bit.
What did Bosch do? They allow you to get a gross setting, that you lock in, by releasing the spring loaded motor locking lever, then you are able to fine adjust your setting with the fine adjusting knob. Once you get it precisely where you want it, you lock the clamp. If you make a test run, and it is off a hair, no problem. You loosen the clamp, without losing your setting, and tweak the fine adjusting knob, and reclamp it. Takes about 30 seconds to get the perfect setting that way. Once you experience the fine setting you can get with this router, and so easily, their is no going back. You have to love this router for that feature alone. One critical note: For under the table work, most fixed base routers, including this one, have a shifting anomalie. When loosening the collar to change a setting, the router is capable of shifting slightly off axis, leaving a slight angle to the work. Machinist level accuracy without controlling that variable is tough. It may not show in your work, but if you want a base that keeps total accurate alignment, as in now swaying left to right, you need a plunge base router to do it. Unfortunately the plunge base that comes with the Bosch two base kit, does not have any kind of fine setting adjustment to it at all. The Bosch 1619evs 3 1/4HP behemoth is great for that, and with the spring defeat button, enables you to make adjustments without fighting a spring upside down. Porter Cable in their 8529 2HP plunge router came up with a simple idea to take care of that as well. They made their adjustment knob work independently of the plunge. That way when you loosen the collar, you do not lose a setting, and are able to fine adjust and reclamp.
Back to the Bosch. The soft start is nice, so it doesn't try and torque it out of your hands. The smart electronics is nice too. That way you pour on just the right amount of power, to keep the bit running at a constant speed.
I also like the way the maple handles look. All in all this is one sweet router. No wonder everybody raves about it.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2001
I have read the other reviews and all they say is true but no one has mentioned the neatest feature of all. Many other routers have some of the features incorporated in this unit but none to my knowledge have the bit cetering feature. If one is using a dovetail jig or in fact ANY jig it is essential to have the collar perfectly concentric with the bit. This one does it and as a result it is the only router I reach for when doing these operations. Also, as nearly as I can tell, the outside of the base plate is concentric with the bit. This allows me to use the base plate as a guide for my dado cutting jig.(see Shop Notes for this jig) Last but not least, great thought was put into designing this router to keep it SIMPLE. This straight forward design makes it easy to use.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I actually really like this router. It is smooth, powerful, light and the smooth-start and constant speed features are great. The maple handles are a fine touch. The Bosch accessories are good quality.
However, I really wonder about the switch that fills with sawdust (and is not easy to use), and the less than slick sliding base interfaces.
When my switch failed, I took it apart, cleaned out the dust, filed the contacts and sealed it up with silicon. I also added a remote switch to the router table and turn the router on and off with it. This keeps the switch from closing onto sawdust particles and burning the contacts (the router's switch is always closed this way and so nothing can get in between the contacts). Also, the big remote switch is easier to locate and turn off quickly. This has all worked very well for a long time now.
Occasional use of wax makes the bases slide around and adjust more easily. Clearly, slick material like teflon on the sliding surfaces would have been a better design.
The Bosch adjuster knob extension (see my reviews) is a cheap and big improvement.
It just seems to me that engineers would have designed a good switch and nice sliders at the outset as they did everything else right. It must be that bean counters and lawyers exerted themselves and screwed up a couple of things.
The wretched bean counters saved a buck on the switch and the sliders and that is their life. I am guessing that lawyers specified the clumsy switch location to prevent accidental turn-ons; actually it just makes it harder to turn it off and that is a much more dangerous situation.
The router is great after my modifications, but it was not sold as a do-it-yourself kit and should have been good right out of the box. Not everyone can or should take new power tools apart and modify them. Bosch designed a great product, but shipped a lesser one. Minus two stars.
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2005
I own a cabinet business and we use 7 different routers on a regular basis. This router is without question the worst. When it's working properly, it is powerful, balanced and easy to operate. However, it is rarely working properly.
The height adjustment is always jamming forcing us to take the entire assembly apart in order to clean it. In addition, the on/off switch often times does not work.
I can honestly tell you that we spend more time repairing this router than we spend using it.
If your interested in a simple, easy to adjust and trouble-free router, consider the Porter Cable 9690LR.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2005
After just over 30 days, my switch is also broken. I am a hobbyist, take excellent care of my tools, and by no means placed any unreasonable stress on this tool. It is the second Bosch router that has failed on me, the other being the Bosch Colt.
I'm adding more because of additional problems with Bsoch tools.
I got one of these last year. I used it once routing 1/4" x 1/8" with a brand new bit. It overheated and refused to restart. Broken on the first day. I had it replaced but it's still very limited in it's applications, anything over 1/16 x 1/16 and I might as wel use one of my bigger routers. My router bits are Freud Industrial brand- excellent bits I would recommend to anyone, so that is not the issue.
I also purchased a Bosch 1617evs 2.25HP router and it refused to start on day 15 of use, about 32 days after purchase. Apparently too much sawdust is bad for it. Amazing engineering - sawdust is bad for a woodworking tool.
Rather than trying to solve my problem and get me a new router the Bosch technician was more concerned with insisting that they did not make the model in 11amps. Despite the fact that 11amps was clearly stamped on my router. After about 15 minutes of arguing with the Bosh technician he finally admitted that they had a known problem with sawdust and the switch.
Still relying on the past reputation of Bosch I purchased to more items- a router bit and 6" random orbital sander. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment. Both mistakes.
The router bit was supposed to be a 1/2" solid carbide spiral upcut. When I made my first cuts with it I noticed it was only 3/8". When I called Bosch for a replacement the attitide of the service rep was - we can't do anything about that. And also insisting that my bit was really 1/2". They eventually - after about 30 minutes of arguing with the service rep- did agree to send me a new bit, if I made sure to return my bit. As if one of my pastimes is arguing with customer service reps so I can scam companies out of cheap router bits.
I was then foolish enough to purchase a Bosch 6" random orbital sander. It broke on the second day of use. I didn't ever bother to take it apart or find out exactly what broke, but part of the shaft that connects the sanding pad to the motor must have been involved because it had a bad wooble in it. I took it back and got a Porter Cable. This will be my last purchase of any type of Bosch product.
I was lucky enough to have purchased the tools (except the router bit) at Western Tool Supply, which has excellent customer service and helped me replace or exchange my lemons.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2005
Everyone raves about the Bosch 1617EVS router, primarily
because it has a good depth adjustment mechanism. However, as a
previous reviewer pointed out, the On/Off switch is flakey.
Mine died for the first time very quickly after I started using
the router. I had to bring it to a repair place and let it sit
for a month while the switch was on order. It just died again.
I suppose it is best to get two routers, so you have one to use
while the other is in the shop.