Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Speed Router Kit review

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The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a powerful, mid-sized router that comes in with an impressive 2.25HP. If you’re looking for something that’s best for workshop applications, this is a respectable choice and might just be the exact thing you want to buy.

Apart from the higher horsepower, this product comes withboth a plunging and fixed base which allows for versatile function. Those who might need to use both bases on the same project will be glad to know it comes with a quick-release function so you can switch the motor over quickly and efficiently. Both bases feature great handles which will allow you to handle the tool deftly.

It also comes out of the box with two different sized collets. With both a ¼” and ½” collet you’ll be able to use a wide variety of bits with this model. The more bits you can use, the more function you’ll be able to get out of it, and having the extra options directly out of the box makes this one a great way to get your workshop started.

It comes with the normal features to make it friendlier for use as well, including a soft start and variable speeds ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 RPMs. It’s not the lightest tool on the market, but for the size and power, you’ll find that it’s still easy to maneuver at just under twenty pounds. It also comes equipped with Constant Response Circuitry, which will keep your RPM level stable even when you make contact with the wood you’re cutting.

This router is tough and meant for heavy use. You shouldn’t have any problems with thelongevity of your purchase with this great tool. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase, so be sure to register it just in case. Manufacturer error is pretty unlikely, but it’s still always nice to be well protected.

Variable Speeds:

This medium size wood router is equipped with a variable speed dial on the front side close to the top of the router which gives you the right speed just by rolling you’re thumb across the dial. The RPM ranges between 8,000 and 25,000 and six different speed settings.

The setting from 1 to 3 gives you an RPM range of 8,000 to 16,500 that can be used with large diameter bits, cutters and nonferrous metals.
If you set the dial in the range from 4 and to 6 this gives an RPM range of 20,000 to 25000 allowing the router to works with small diameter bits and cutters on softwoods, plastics and laminates.

The router’s Constant Response Circuitry also helps to monitors and adjusts power to maintain the desired RPM for consistent performance which gives you a wide range of bit sizes that this wood router can handle in the shop on a router table.
Another nice feature on the Bosch Wood Router is the electronic speed control which maintains the speed under load to minimize twisting during start up, along with preventing overheating.

Bases Plunge vs Fixed:

Do you want a durable wood router to install into a router table, but also want the option of a plunge base with in the same wood router Well the Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router has you covered as this model comes in a kit with both bases included.
Why would you want both the plunge and fixed base in your shop?
Both bases also feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design, which allows the bit to be centered with the sub base or optional template guides (sold separately). This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guidance devices such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures.

Both of the included bases, fixed and plunge, feature quick clamp systems for quick tool-free conversions, so moving the motor between the two bases takes only seconds and requires no tools. The plunge base features soft grip handles on either side for easier operation, plus a depth rod and depth stop turret to control cutting depth.

The fixed base includes hard wood handles and threaded holes for mounting it to router tables. The fixed base’s advanced bit height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table.
This Bosch router comes with a locking lever on both bases, but the centering precision on this model seem to have a problem with side to side wobbling and is really difficult control during operation making it really questionable to use for high end fine wood working projects.

Collet and Bit Shank Size (1/4 Vs ½):

What is a collect and how do you decided which size is the right one for the wood router that you will be using on the site or projects you have in mind? A collect is the steel sleeve that holds the router bit in the wood router. The collet works with the router shaft that is connected to the motor and is tighten down with a nut.

When purchasing a router you need to consider the bit shank size on most routers, but not with the Bosch 1617EVSPK Wood Router. This model of router comes with the ability to use both a ¼” and ½ “collect giving you a wider range of bits that you can use on this router. The range of bits sizes are 1/4, 3/8, ½ and 8mm and this allows you to use large bits that are designed to make rabbiting joints or dovetails without any kickback or causing the motor to overheat.

The best part about being able to change collet sizes is that it one of the best routers to install on a router table as the fixed base has an advance bit height adjustment system that allow for raising and lowering bit heights while installed on a router table. The self-releasing collect chuck make changing out the bits a breeze.

Additional Features:

This router is equipped with an exclusive quick-change template guide adapter, which firmly grips the guides with a spring-loaded ring.

A dust sealed power switch that prevents dust from building up and causing early switch failure on the job, but also can be move to either a right or left location for ease of use on the worker.

The router motor housing is made from aluminum with air vents on the top and a Bosch Precision Centering Design that allows the user to center the bit with the sub-base or optional template guides. This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guides such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures.

This router use a base clamp lever to provide quick and easy changes between the different bases. The 2.56” wide base opening will accommodate larger bits and provides better visibility while using the router.

The fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting to router tables, and its advanced bit-height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table. Another nice feature is the chip deflector which helps keep dust and chips out of your face.

The plunge base lock lever is located on the back of the plunge base and is spring loaded allowing it to returns automatically to the locked position.

Bosch 1617EVSPK Accessories:

Some of the different accessories that can be purchased separately for this model beside the various bits are the RA1173AT Dust Extraction Kit for the plunge base, a 3/8” Collet Chuck and 8 mm Collet Chuck. The RA1126 Quick Change Template Guide Adapter and the RA1165 Under-Table Router Base with Above-Table Hex Key.

Pros:

• Template guide Adapter
• Quick Change template Guide
• Removable chip shield
• Work light
• Double insulated
• Wide Base opening 2.56” sub base for larger bits
• 10 Foot Cord
• Motor Alignment arrows
• Self-releasing Collet Chuck
• 16mm and 24 mm bit change wrenches
• Contoured soft grip handles-For enhanced control and comfort
• Fixed base has threaded holes for mounting to router table positioned in common 3-hole pattern

Cons:

• No Adapter for Template guide- Not included and hard to find
• Dust builds up in Switch-cause it to fail. This has been fixed with a dust cover for the power switch
• Still Needs wrenches to change out bits/collect- These are included, but can still be a hassle for some users.
• High tolerance operations are challenge for this router
• C-ring keeps falling off or breaks when used in router table.
• Changing bases difficult –to tight or loose causing the router to wobble when using plunge base.
• Bushings get clogged with sawdust when in table mount

Summary 

What level of wood worker would this router fit? This router is perfect for the intermediate or advance wood crafter that needs a router that can be use separately or installed on a router table to cover a wide range of routing jobs around the house or on a construction job site.
If you need a wood router that has plenty of horse power and can easily handle heavy duty jobs in the work shop, then this is the right wood router for you.

If you are looking for something that can handle more of the light duty jobs around the work shop, then you might want to consider the Bosch PR20EVSPK Colt Palm Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router.

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