When I went out looking for a mid-sized router for the construction of a miniature tool shed, I came across the Bosch 1617EVSPK and after some looking over the specifications and price decided that it might just be the best one to suit my needs. The project is done now, but the wood router itself remains as one of the best purchases I’ve added to my workshop.
I wanted to make sure that the router I got had a soft start and variable speed, the cheap one I’d been using didn’t and it had led to some issues. The lack of a soft start feature is a complete turn off to me, wood routers have high torque motors and I noticed if I didn’t get a great grip on the router immediately it would often lead to some damage to my projects.
The handling is another major concern of mine, something which is easy to move around makes my jobs go a lot more smoothly. I was a bit skeptical about the wooden handles at first, but they fit great in my hands and don’t seem to transfer very much shock if I accidentally hit something too hard.
I was primarily using this wood router for paneling trim and to cut out windows for the shed, although I’ve used it for a lot more since, and found it was perfect for the task at hand. It was good enough that I simply gave away the older one I had within a couple days of buying my Bosch.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Specifications
Speed: 8,000 to 25,000 RPMs
Weight: 19 ½ lbs
Easy to Use
The best thing I found about this router is that I really didn’t need to fight it. Frankly, I’m kind of ashamed of myself that I didn’t think to invest in a real name brand earlier, as it would have saved me a lot of frustration and materials over the years.
The weight of this router is easy to handle, and the handles themselves both look classic and make things a lot easier. I particularly love the wooden grips on the fixed base, but the rubberized grips on the plunging base are also excellent.
It runs smoothly and cuts clean, regardless of what type of wood I was cutting with it. It came with a couple of different sizes of collet as well, so I didn’t have to hunt down an exchangeable one in order to use my old bits.
The bases can be changed out pretty quickly as well, although it’s a bit difficult when the router is cold. If it’s a particularly cold day and I need to change the base out I’ll run the tool for a few minutes first to make things a bit easier.
The bits are also pretty easy to change out, and I don’t think I’d trust any form of quick release on a wood router anyways so it’s no bother that it takes some tools to do so.
One of the coolest things I found while working with this one though was the fact that it maintains a constant speed as you’re cutting. I wasn’t aware of it when I decided to purchase this router, but there’s circuitry dedicated to maintaining a constant speed, a lot of cheaper products will just find themselves getting bogged down when you’re working with heavier materials.
The predictable speed makes things go really easily and makes for a consistency in grooves and cuts that I absolutely adore. It’s perfect for my workshop, and I haven’t had any issues with it since I made the purchase.
A Lot of Power and Function
I tend to want my tools pretty compact, I have limited space in my workshop. I was a bit hesitant about this purchase initially, it’s a fair sized tool, but the additional horsepower has opened up a world of possibilities for me that I hadn’t seen before.
Working with things like oak before tended to leave me exhausted and a bit frustrated and I’d avoided the higher density woods except when it was absolutely necessary. The additional power here has allowed me to easily complete some projects which were out of my reach before and makes the whole process go much quicker.
One thing that I learned pretty quickly is that I don’t need to set the RPMs super high in order to get the job done, in fact, it’s a bit counterproductive. It just wears down bits faster and leads to a greater chance of burning the wood I’m working on. The variable speed makes this incredibly easy to control and has led to higher quality in my finished projects.
The other thing I really love about this router is that it’s just amazingly tough. I can be a bit of a butterfingers and it’s been dropped a few times but doesn’t seem to have taken any visible damage at all. It’s been used to power through a lot of hardwood at this point, and it keeps on going so strong that I doubt I’ll need to use the warranty that came with it.
There is one thing that concerns me about this router, which is that the base seems to feel a bit looser when I’ve been running it for an extended period of time. It doesn’t come up a lot, and I’m not sure how much looser it actually gets, it’s more of just a feeling than an actual wobble developing. It only crops up when I’m borderline abusing the tool, though, so I just try not to do anything overly stressful in one go.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK was the wood router that convinced me I needed to step up my workshop game and invest in some serious tools. I recommend it to anyone who needs a mid-sized router for their woodworking. I haven’t been this impressed by a tool before, and I’m going to keep using this one for a long time to come.
If you’re in the market for a wood router, I’d strongly suggest just getting one of these. You’ll find that it becomes an indispensable companion in your woodworking experience.
If D-Handle and T-Handle are not really comfortable and neat in your opinion, Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Router should be a perfect tool, you can perform cutting easilly with one hand.