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289 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best router for anyone, great quality, good price.
Bought this router after a week of research. Looked at porter cable, dewalt, and this bosch router. determined through reviews on this site as well as other reviews that the bosch was the router that I wanted after the first day, but decided to wait and read through some more reviews. Saw the Bosch 1617 router combo at Lowe's for 219, but it was not the 1617evspk,...
Published on November 5, 2003 by Phill

versus
320 of 336 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware - high tolerance operations a challenge for this router
I bought the 1617EVSPK 2-1/4HP bosch combo router some 9 months ago and have logged a lot of hours on the machine. Overall I echo the positive comments that other users have provided re: power, versatility, ease of use, etc. There are two areas where the unit falls down, however. First is the base plate; although it is allegedly centered at factory, if you are doing...
Published on August 22, 2005 by AmazonBuyer


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289 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best router for anyone, great quality, good price., November 5, 2003
By 
Phill "alienspine" (Oceanside, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
Bought this router after a week of research. Looked at porter cable, dewalt, and this bosch router. determined through reviews on this site as well as other reviews that the bosch was the router that I wanted after the first day, but decided to wait and read through some more reviews. Saw the Bosch 1617 router combo at Lowe's for 219, but it was not the 1617evspk, which comes with a free edge guide/ circle cutter and also lists as 2 hp, may be the same motor, but I want the newer, updated router . Looked on amazon and found this router, the Bosch 1617EVSPK which came with a edge guide/circle cutter and the router mat for $219.00. I agree with another buyer who said that this router does very professional work and can make anyone look like they know what they are doing. Even my wife who has never used a router was able to use this with ease. It is very easy to switch between bases, clean design.
The included cast wrenches for changing bits are sign of a better quality router

and the edge guide/circle cutter is a must and a cinch to use. I like that it comes with functional carrying case that holds everything but the edge guide, even has places for most commonly used bits of both shank sizes. A major plus is depth adjustment that stays the same even after switching back and forth between bases; you don't have to readjust and hope its the same depth. The router has a feel of solid design, cuts soft and hard woods like butter, no vibration and is quite. Slow start is a must to prevent damage when kicking on. I read complaints of the switch location, but has not really bothered me and I don't know of a better place to put the switch where it would not create other problems. There is not really a better place to put the switch that would not interfere and either get dirty or turn the unit off/on accidentally. Flat top makes for easy bit changes and ensures that router does not turn itself on for those of us who do not unplug the unit (bad habit). The real wood handles make for a solid feel, instead of hollow plastic. The plunge base has an easy to reach lock that allows user to keep both hands on the router and minimize mistakes. A couple of thoughts on why I bought this router. When buying a router, could have bought 2 routers, 1 plunge and 1 fixed base, would have costed me the same for equal power, but not equal quality, and may need to buy separate accessories for both routers, like dust kit, edge guides, etc. I also figured I would spend at least $120 for a decent low end router, but would have to replace it after 4 years and would not have all the functions that I wanted. Rationalized that since getting the Edge guide for free, normally $40, took the price down; since most routers do not come with an edge guide or a circle cutter, especially one tool that does both. Figured that all the wood work that I would do, and plan to do, would only like to make the purchase once and have a nice router to boot, so I might as well buy it right the first time. I am not a hardcore woodworker, but routing is something that cannot be done by hand and the few times that I may use it you need the right equipment; it's value is immeasureable. There is nothing worse than having bad tools or tools that are a hassle to use. This router is something that I may keep till I get really old and pass off to my kids, and will still be a great tool then. Simply could not waste my time and patience with a lesser quality router. Bosch really put a lot of time into designing this router and its carefull placement of things, even the switch. Free shipping through amazon and no tax saved even more than buying from store, another plus. Have recommended this router to several friends and they have nothing but good things to say about it. If you are into woodworking, would also recommend the Bosch 1594 3-1/4-inch planer, another well designed tool that performs better than expected, only way to describe is that it literally glides over the wood surface and no sanding is needed afterwards, who could ask for more?

Update: I have ran into 2 instances of the switch not working, probably due to dust on the contacts inside the switch. Not enough to change my rating though, since all it took was a little compressed air around the switch to get it working again. The second time I had to use Electric cleaning spray, found at your Pepboys, near the brake cleaner sprays. Hopefully in future designs they seal the switch off entirely. This router is still one of my most favorite tools.
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320 of 336 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware - high tolerance operations a challenge for this router, August 22, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
I bought the 1617EVSPK 2-1/4HP bosch combo router some 9 months ago and have logged a lot of hours on the machine. Overall I echo the positive comments that other users have provided re: power, versatility, ease of use, etc. There are two areas where the unit falls down, however. First is the base plate; although it is allegedly centered at factory, if you are doing close tolerance work (eg using a leigh dovetail jig) you will probably need to buy a base center and reset the base plate. This is a pain but at least it is fixable. A far more serious problem is the fact that the router seems to have developed a side to side wobble when used in plunge mode, so that the bit swings a fraction from side to side when plunging, despite my carefully applying pressure equally on both handles. Not a problem for many applications, as the swing is very small, but when close tolerances are a must (eg routing mortises) it is hard to achieve. I cut several dozen floating tenon mortises this weekend using a new spiral upcut bit, and half the mortises were 1/32"-1/16" oversized, meaning I now have a lot more stock in my scrap bin. The unit does not appear to have any way to tighten up the plunge mechanism. This far more serious flaw makes it difficult to use for high end woodworking.
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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 years later ......., May 26, 2005
By 
The Happy Clamper (Edmonds, Wa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
I've had this router package for about two years now & use it on average 2 or 3 times a week. At first I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now that the honeymoon is over I've come to the conclusion that it's a decent design with a few minor annoyances & a couple of major faults. Some nice idea's but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

1. I like the handles on the plunge base, good ergonomics, good control. I don't like the wooden handles on the fixed base. Poor fit & finish. They regularly come loose & need to be retightened. Lockwashers don't help. I don't use locktite because I remove the handles for some of the jigs & baseplates I use.

2. I love the 8 position turret on the plunge base. This should be an industry standard.

3. The Bosch plunger is a normally locked type. I like the plunge lever to be normally unlocked like Hitachi & DeWalt it makes it much easier to set depth of cut.

4. Changing bases. When the router is cold it's a wrestling match to remove the base. It gets better as it warms up & then becomes too loose on the plunge base. I've tried adjusting the screw on the latch & haven't been able to hit the magic spot yet.

5. The fine adjustment on the fixed base. This is undoubtably related to the previous issue. It's too tight when it's cold & then gets easier as it warms up. The adjustment knob helps quite a bit. But then you can't turn it over on it's head to change bits unless you balance it on the edge of the table. Kind of a pain. Also the knob has to be removed to remove the motor. Too many steps, too many parts. I prefer the simple continuous adjustments that DeWalt & Milwaukee use.

6. Template guides. These are OK but again too many parts, levers & steps leave too much room for error. I made baseplates that accept PC type guides. Much better.

7. The edge guide is a nice unit.

8. The motor has a plenty of power. The soft start & constant response are both excellent features.

9. That pesky power switch. I've replaced 2 & keep a spare on hand. My parts guy tells me there is nothing else that will fit. We're stuck with a lousy switch. I don't need to know how or why it fails, thats Bosch's responsibility, it should never have failed in the first place. They flat out blew it on this one & have not stepped up to the plate to resolve the issue. Bosch has been aware of this for quite some time & continues to sell a router with a known bad part. A poor product coupled with an apparent total disregard for their customers speaks volumes.

Knowing what I know now I would not buy this router again. I think Bosch was attempting to reinvent the wheel & may have started out on the right track, but ended up missing the mark Happy woodworking!
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187 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love this combo kit Bosch 1617EVSPK 2HP, November 13, 2001
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
If you were looking at getting a combo kit now is your chance to get a 2 HP unit instead of the 1.5 HP units. The softstart and self center bits work great both as a plunge router as well as a fixed base and the 2 HP soft start and mag body makes it easy to control as well as light weight.
The 2 HP unit has plenty of power to be used in a router table a nd if you can only afford one router don't skimp for a few dollars more you get more power, variable speed and the bosch 2 HP variable speed router with the micro fine adjustments.
I have had the 1617EVS fixed based for over 6 months and the extra cost to buy the plunge router attachment added up to more than this whole kit with the storage case costs.
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105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better made, March 1, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
Purchased this router kit after reading many of the reviews. Thought it was the greatest thing until I built a jig to plow out a bunch of dados for some cabinets I was building on site. I found out that the sub base is NOT centered to the center of the bit. The jig I built is just a phenolic plastic base with a straight edge glued to the top for a guide. That way you just line up the edge to the reference line and start routing dados. Well, I cut the edge with my undersized bit for plywood bit to size up the jig and clamped it on and started cutting. But when I turned the router around and started cutting in the opposite direction, my bit started to resize my jig. It was off by about 1/16". Needless to say, I went back the the building supply store where I bought this thing, and all of their other Bosch routers were just about as far off center. Thankfully they allowed me to return it and I got my money back. Then I went directly to Tool Crib, ordered a Porter Cable 892, and the first thing I did was check for center. It was right on, and the manual even says that the subbase can be adjusted for center. I never had a problem with my PC 691, and should have stayed with PC. Think I'll get the 895PK next so I can have a router permanently dedicated to my router table. Bosch, you make a lot of top rated tools, but I don't think this is one of them.
03 March 04
Just found out that there's an optional centering guide to center the sub base properly. Hat's off to Bosch for this, but why is it optional? Something like this should be standard equipment.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Router combo a mixed blessing, June 17, 2005
By 
D. H. Webber (Westborough, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
I have many Bosch tools, and like 99% of them, so I was expecting great things from this combo. It was not what I was expecting. The good points are:
1) Generally very good fit and finish. Excellent machining of surfaces.
2) Fixed based router has a good depth mechanism; works well and easily.
3) Best wrenches I have ever seen for the collets.
4) The electrical cord is long, soft, and well made.

The bad points are:
1) The switch needs to be closer to the grips. It is quite scary having to take your hand off one handle, esp with the fixed base.
2) The fixed base handles are the worst I have ever used in 30 years of owning routers. They are small, slippery, and dangerous. I am carving new (big) ones out of cherry. When I finish, I am burning these evil little balls of fear...
3)There is no useful method for fine depth adjutment on the plunge router. And this is after Bosch spent years advertising the 1613 Plunge, which had a depth adjustment so good, it was the focus of their entire ad campaign.
4) The collet lock ring is screwed to the plastic base, not to the chassis. Too cheap for words....

I have 6 routers now, and I wish I had spent the $200 on a Freud router (I have 2 now). The Freud is stronger and has all the bugs worked out. And the handles are the right size.....

Couple of years later.....
Learned to live with most of the oddities. Router and bases have held up well over time, and generally speaking, the quality is above average. I still dislike the little wooden ball handles!

BTW.... I bought a Freud router after this combo, and the Freud quality has plummeted quite a bit over time. I cannot suggest spending any money on Freud.....
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Router Set on the Market, December 2, 2002
By 
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
I can't say enough about this router combo set! One of the many things I love about this set is how easy it is to switch from the plunge base to the fixed base, and the variable speed adjustment.
I really enjoy woodworking and I work with this tool all day, it does everything I need it to do and does an excellent job.
What more could you want. This machine is powerful and very quiet. Setup is quick, easy, precise and locks down tight. The soft start is amazing - no kick when you turn it on. I recommend the dust extraction kit (RA1173). It gets about 99% of the dust and chips, you'll be happy you did because it puts an end to the mounds of sawdust that routers spread all over your work area.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Rube Goldberg method of Templates and Bushings, April 26, 2011
By 
Joe W "JW" (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
This may be a good router, but I will never know. It was to be my first. After listening to the PC and Bosch people argue it out, I settled on the 1617EVSPK. I bought it primarily so that I could do dove-tailing and other template work. Let the five steps to craziness begin:

1) In order to use templates one needs the Bosch RA1125 7-Piece Router Template Guide Set.

2) A Bosch template guide can only be set in an adapter - the Bosch RA1100 Threaded Router Template Guide Adapter

3) Now, the RA1100 adapter does not fit into the router, but itself needs an adapter - the RA1126 - which did not come with the router.

4) Apparently, it used to, but Bosch stopped including it. It's not sold here at Amazon, or at Lowe's, or at Home Depot, or at Klingspor or even Bosch, itself. The guy at Klingspor was so disbelieving that they had stopped including it, that he opened three packages to make sure.

5) Without the rare and much sought RA1126, I cannot use either Bosch, or PC style bushings. I could buy a different sub-plate, and in fact intend to get an acrylic one, but it seems nuts to keep a router that so closely resembles Mousetrap.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than pleased., July 16, 2002
By 
Mike (Yamhill, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
The first/last router I bought was a Rockwell 3/4 horse. Rockwell was bought out years ago by Porter-Cable. The router has been a tank and served my minimal usage well over the years but I'm now at a point where I can spoil myself with some new toys and get my home shop to a stage where I can keep myself occupied as I spy retirement years coming up. My Rockwell will be passed down to my son where it will continue to serve him. After reading as many comparitive articles as I could and many of the user reviews here, I settled on the Bosch 2hp combo kit. I also picked up a D handle base so I could mount the standard base to my router table permanently. Thus far the Bosch has lived up to all my expectations and the reviews. The soft start and adjustment features are a real joy. In working on an Arts and Craft bed for my daugher I have been able to set the cut depth via the fine adjustment, then use the macro adjust to add another 1/2" to the cut, then back to the fine setting, all with no wiggle in the fine setting. A feature not even advertised. Bosch came up with a great design years ago and stuck with it.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet, powerful, easy to set up., February 3, 2002
This review is from: Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets (Tools & Home Improvement)
What more could you want. This machine is powerful and very quiet. Setup is quick, easy, precise and locks down tight. Changing bases is quick and does not require any tools (unlike the comparable Porter Cable). Depth adjustment is done without twisting the motor, so you never have to work with the cord sticking out of the front of the machine.
The soft start is amazing - no kick when you turn it on.
I recommend the dust extraction kit (RA1173). It gets about 99% of the dust and 95% of the chips. Puts an end to the mounds of sawdust that routers up spread all over your shop/garage.
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