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Bosch 1617EVSPK or Bosch 1619EVS

24801 Views 25 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  almost there
I am somewhat of an amateur woodworker, and this is my first time to post in this forum. I have a radial saw but no table saw, etc., and I’m just starting to get into routing. I have just purchased and assembled a Bosch RA1171 router table, and I’m looking for a quality router for it. Since I would prefer not to have to change the table’s mounting plate and since I’ve read good reviews on both the Bosch 1617EVSPK and Bosch 1619EVS routers, both of which will fit the RA1171 mounting plate, I’d prefer to buy one of those two, and I have some questions for anyone who can help.

First, I’ve heard that you need at least a 3 HP router for raised panel, etc. work, and even though I don’t plan to do any of that at this time, I’d like to think that whatever router I buy will be able to handle that level of routing later, so my first question is, can the 2 ¼ HP Bosch 1617EVSPK adequately handle large bits and raised panel work, or will I need the 3 ¼ HP Bosch 1619EVS for such applications?

Second, if I buy the 1619EVS (which is a plunge router only), would it be difficult to use the 1619EVS router in a router table, and would I have to do anything like removing springs, etc., in order to get proper bit depth settings with the 1619EVS?

Third, if I buy the 1619EVS, would it be too heavy or unwieldy for handheld work?

I know that the 1619EVS is a more expensive router than the 1617EVSPK, but cost is much less of a concern to me than performance, so I will appreciate any advice that anyone has on the issue.

Louis Brandt
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Welcome Louis. The 1617 is about as good as it gets in all around performance. Keep in mind that wrestling a larger router around will be a pain. The 1617 is very easy to control. Mount the fixed base to your table and it is only a matter of seconds to switch it to the plunge base for free hand work. Keep in mind that the new Vertical panel raising bits are much smaller in diameter and require less power. They also cost less. I have long been an advocate of the 1617 but I have to admit the new Hitachi combo kit is very similar in quality and at this time is actually a much better value. Amazon is selling the Hitachi kit for $87! I would recommend this kit as a best value to all members since it includes guide bushings, dust collection and otherwise is almost identical to the 1617. $100 savings over the Bosch will buy you some quality bits.
Hello Louis: I believe if you go with the 1617 you will be very pleased. I have been using the 1617 in my table for about a year and have made a variety of moldings for some cabinets that I built. I haven't gotten to the raised panel doors yet but I have no doubts that this machine will do the job effectively. It's also easy to remove from the table for hand work and the plunge mechanism is smooth and accurate. I also have a Porter Cable 690 so I leave my Bosch in the table and use the PC if I have hand work to do. I don't think you will be unhappy with the Bosch. Good luck- Smootcut
This is a reply from Bosch about the switch problem that has been discussed..

"Thank you for writing. We never had this issue with the 1619 router. This was only the case on the 1617 and 1618 series routers. The switch issue was corrected as of June '05 when we did extensive testing and changed the switch to one that was internally dust sealed. Please let me know if there is anything more I can help you with."
Hello Louis, Welcome to the RouterForums :)

I have both the 1617 and the 1619. I used the 1617 in my Bosch Table until recently when I bought the 1619 and it went straight into my table. I like the 1617 for free hand and if you buy the 1619 you will find it too heavy for free hand, it weighs 13 pounds.

I used my 1617 in the table until I could afford the 1619. It was a hard choice between buying the 1619 and buying another 1617. I believe you will be very happy with the 1617 which I liked from the day I purchased it.

Also the best piece of Advice I can give is go pick up the routers and see how they feel in your hands before buying, if you have not already done so.
Yes, I've had the same reply from the Bosch rep, and I was told the same thing that you were, that the switch problem was corrected in June 2005. The problem is, I would rather not have the switch fail in the middle of a project, then have to wait for a replacement switch from Bosch. Even though Bosch says that the problem was corrected in June 2005, the only way that they have told me that one can determine whether a unit has one of the corrected or non-corrected switches is by the serial number stamped on the router housing. At all of my local Lowe's (the only local retailer selling that model), the display models all have the older serial numbers, indicating the older, unsealed switches. I can't open the cartons of the non-display units to determine whether they have the sealed switches or not, and Bosch has nothing on the outside of the carton to distinguish the older from the newer.
LBrandt, ask your local Lowe's or Home Depot to order you one. If they want you as a customer, they will do this for ya.

Thanks. Well, I've done something very close to what you've suggested. One of my 3 Lowe's was out of stock (except for the display), so they have ordered one for stock. It's not actually ordered for me, since I didn't pay for it yet. Hopefully, it will be shipped from newer stock and will have the corrected, sealed switch. Of course, I still won't know until it comes in and I pay for it and check the serial number (according to Bosch CS, serial numbers beginning with H578 have the newer switch). I've also emailed Bosch CS and asked them whether they would be willing to ship a new switch to me, on the chance that I buy one with the older switch, even before the switch goes out, thereby keeping me from being in the middle of a project without a router. I haven't heard from Bosch on that question yet.
Hello Louis,

From what I have read is that if you have a switch to go out on the Bosch router they will send you one.
I almost hate to bring this up but has anyone looked at the box to see if the serial number is on the outside? With all the inventory controls and such I have found that most tools have the number in plain view. Now I can not speak to Bosch but this is the box my hitachi trim router came in and the M780073 is the serial number. I also looked at a Porter Cable sander box I have it too has the number on the outside... I also checked a Milwaukee drill box I still have and it too has the serial number on the outside of the box.



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Yes, I've thoroughly checked the outside of the Bosch 1617EVSPK carton (the one with the edge guide "promotion" package), and there is no serial number on it. The only number on the carton (other than the model number) is a number that is exactly the same on all of the Bosch cartons for that router, so it can't be a serial number. Yes, I agree with you that other manufacturers sometimes put serial numbers on cartons (a Hitachi that I looked at had its serial number on the outside of the carton), but Bosch apparently didn't do that on this product.
My problem is that Bosch CS told me that they ran this "promotion" (with the edge guide) at Christmas. If they meant Christmas 2005 (and they've already told me that the switch problem was corrected in June 2005), then one would expect that these cartons have the corrected switch. But I've heard from at least one person who said that he bought this router "promotion" during the Christmas 2004 season. If that's so, then the routers in the promotion packages may be the older non-corrected switch models. I'm still at a loss. I want the router, but I don't want to be in the middle of a project and have the router go out.
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Hello Louis,

I bought mine back in March or April of last year and have not had any problems with the switch so far. I also bought the Combo pack from Lowes which I believe it was left over from 2004 Christmas. I am not say it won't go out the next time I use it but so far so good. One thing I do after each use is blow out the motor with air before putting it away. I did that even before hearing of a switch problem. HTH

The final choice is yours.
Thanks for the info, Randy. I suppose that I'll just have to bite the bullet, buy one and hope that the switch will be ok. Your advice about blowing out the switch with air is good, and I'll try to remember to do that.
Incidentally, I assume that the serial number on your unit is below H578. Bosch told me that the corrected switch models start with serial number H578 and above. If you've got the time, would you post your serial number?
Hello Louis,

I just checked mine and it started with H489. If it does go out then I will call them to see about getting a new one.
Thanks very much for checking the serial number. From everything that I can tell, my guess is that all of the units that were packaged with the free edge guide, etc., were the "pre corrected switch" models. I'm sure that Bosch will replace the switch if it fails, but I'm just trying to avoid being in the middle of a project when it does.
Hello Louis,

Mine also came with the free edge guide. It was a packaged combo from Lowes and if I had not bought the 1619 I would have bought another 1617. I really like the Bosch and I think if you keep the switch blown out it should be fine. If you do not get a newer one.
I'm in totaly agreement with Randy about using air on your tools. Dust will build up inside them. Blow them out on a regular basis and you shouldn't have any problems with them.

For what it's worth, I've just discovered a new piece of information about the Bosch 1617EVSPK router combo. It seems that the newer units include the newer fixed base, the RA1161. According to Bosch, this fixed base replaces the RA1160 fixed base previously included with this router combo. According to Bosch, with the RA1161 base, you can do above-the-table bit depth adjustments (I had always assumed that you could do it with any Bosch 1617EVSPK fixed base). I was also told that the cartons containing the RA1161 base would probably have that stated on the box and that those cartons would contain units with the new sealed switches.
Louis, the new base is a nice idea. I can assure you that when adjusting any router you are going to lower your eyes to the level of the bit and in this position it is a breeze to make the height adjustment on a 1617 with one hand. In or out of the table this really isn't needed unless you are using a router lifting attachment.
I now maybe understand my ongoing switch failure problems. I purchased my 1617EVS kit from Lowes and then got all my replacements for the failed units from Lowes. The latest replacement unit they gave me was just over a year ago and the switch failed on it this evening. Maybe Lowes had a multi year supply of routers - or - maybe they look over my many returned units and find them looking perfectly like new including the packaging materials and just keep reselling them and putting them back into circulation? Maybe I'm getting my own bad units over and over? I'm getting the idea that I'm the only one currently experiencing switch problems and everyone else's problems were in the past? Please let me know if I'm the only one still fighting the switch problem.
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