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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default New Router choices

In researching for a new router and table, I've read nothing but good things about the Bosch 1617. However, I'm wondering if all the mentions of the 1617 are for the variable speed model of the fixed speed model.

I make small furniture and am now attempting a shaker blanket chest with all dovetail joinery =:-0 and want to upgrade from my little Craftsman table and router. For this (and future) project(s) I will need something strong to make end cuts for sliding dovetails for the lid. The side dovetails I'll make by hand. I've tried edging with my table, but it just isn't flat enough any more.

The difference in cost between the Bosch fixed and variable speed is maybe $10 so that's not really an issue. I have a variable speed now but I only use one speed since most of my work is cherry or walnut. So I just don't know which way to go.

Any suggestions? I'm sure there many posts on this topic, but I couldn't find one that addresses the Bosch directly.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 08:04 AM
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Mary, I have no experience with Bosch routers. However, for $10, you can't go wrong with the VS feature.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 08:12 AM
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hello Mary,

i have the bosch and its a great router. i also have a craftsman pro combo and like it very well also. the bosch 1617 i got has 2 bases and above the table adjustment. the craftsmans has 3 bases each again with above table adjustment. i do like the fact that the craftsman has worklights and is very easy to adjust.

the variable speed is to me a lot safer router. you dont need a bit spinning at 25,000 rpm's that much. i use the lower speeds mostly!

as for the table i built mine and couldnt advise you on that. i am pretty much new to this type woodworking and dont profess to know it all. this is just my humble opinion.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 10:45 AM
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I use the Bosch 1617EVS under the table. I bought the 1617EVSPK (the kit with plunge base, fixed base, and accessories). I believe I purchased it three, maybe four years ago at Rockler. At that time, Bosch didn't have the above table adjustment in the fixed base. I have, since, bought the RA1165 adjustable base and that is mounted unde the table. It worked out well since I can now switch between bases or table to hand held very quickly.
The only problem I have had with the 1617 EVS was the switch. An email off to Bosch CS and I had a new switch in hand within five days, no charge. Bosch has sealed the new switch and all 1617EVS routers since 2006 have this new switch. All 1617EVSPK kits come with the adjustable fixed base, as well.
The Bosch is a treat to use, very smooth and well balanced, in hand. The plunge base works well and has upward detent, using the release lever. The plunge base also has a graduated height stop. I use and like that feature. In table, it does a good job, has plenty of power for my use and doesn't bog down when hogging out on the occasional full dado. I think most of the newer offerings would do just what the Bosch does and some (Craftsman ?) may be cheaper. I think the Bosch is a quality tool and should last a long time.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 05:02 PM
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Go with the variable speed, there will be a time when you are glad you spent the extra money.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 05:04 PM
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for 10 bucks. having the option there when you might need it, is money well spent....
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 05:43 PM
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I am considering the Bosch 1617 series also but the more I read the reviews about the Dewalt 618 the more I like it. More favorable than the Bosch.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 06:13 PM
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Mary, I own two of the 1617's and both are single speed motors. I use an aftermarket speed controller which is much larger, removed from much of the vibration that occurs in the router body and able to disapate heat easier. Speed control is a very important feature for a router. Some woods require very fast cutting speeds, others require a slower cut for best results. (You can learn more about this in our wood species identification forum.) The answer is yes, you really need the speed control, and the built in model is only $10 while the aftermarket is around $20. I suggest you get the variable speed 1617EVSPK.

Joe, People like more than one kind of ice cream, and that is why Bosch and DeWalt are out there. The controls are different, as is the feel in your hands. The Bosch 1617 combo kit is the one all the rest are competing against. They all have copied/varied the design slightly so the routers do not respond the same way in action. The best way to find the right router for you is to get them in your hands, try the adjustments, flip the router up side down like it will be when table mounted and try them again. Make it a point to switch the motor between bases, both ways. If possible make a couple cuts with the different routers. Check on repair parts and service in your area. The more information you have, the better chance you will love your new router. I own 2 Bosch 1617's, a 1613EVS, a 905, a Ryobi I load out to friends, a Rockwell that is what later became the Porter Cable model 100, a PC 7518, did own a PC 690 combo kit, did own several Craftsman and Craftsman Commercial routers, and of course a couple of trim routers and RotoZips. I have used routers belonging to friends like the GMC, an ancient B&D and one of the DeWalts, cant remember which it was. So far my favorites are the Bosch 1617's... one left in the table, one ready to plunge. I use them almost all the time.

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Last edited by Mike; 06-22-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. . .I did go with the variable speed Bosch 1617. I also found a good deal on a Bench Dog ProTop Phenolic table so I got that too. (Merry Christmas to me!)

I enjoy reading the posts so I'll be back regularly, thanks! I teach so I'm taking a much needed summer break and trying to just work in my shop!

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