Bosch 1617EVSPK -Read THIS COMPARISON before BUY!

Bosch 1617EVSPK - Best Wood Router

The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a powerful 12 Amps 2.25 HP wood router that is present in many professional and amateur woodworking workshops. Many popular wood router reviews consistently position this product as being amongst the best wood routers available on the market today. But how much is all this true?

If you want to buy a wood router, here are some reviews that I recommend to read such as Bosch 1617EVS, Bosch PR20EVSK, Porter-Cable 7518Makita RT0701CDeWalt DW618PKDeWalt DWP611PK.

Today we will give a detailed analysis of this popular power tool and try to find if it is a good fit for your need or not. Here is a quick specs sheet of the Bosch 1617EVSPK:

Motor:12.0Amp
Base Diameter:6" Fixed/ 6-11/16" Plunge
Case Type:Hard plastic
Collet Capacity:1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 8 mm
Fixed-Base Depth Range:1-5/8"
No Load RPM:8,000-25,000
Plunge Depth:2-1/4"
Rating:120V AC
Router Table Compatibility:RA1171, RA1180, RA1181, RA1182, RA1200
Weight:19.5lb
Warranty:1 year
Learn more:Check reviews & rating on Amazon

1. Technical Features

We will now concentrate on how those features translate to direct benefits. At the end of the day, this is what actually matters to you.

Horse Power/Soft Start:

The 12 Amps motor is quite beefy and excellent for almost any router tasks; from trimming edges to deep cutting hardwood boards. It has a soft start, which means that it starts slow so as not to damage your material. Basically, this unit will never lack performance regardless of material you are working with. It feels solid and will send a constant linear torque to the router bit at all times.

Furthermore, you can fit this router on a Bosch router lift in both directions and it has an audible 3 click mechanism that tells you it is secure. This makes it practical whether you want to switch on this unit with the right hand or the left hand.

Bosch 1617EVSPK 12 Amp

Variable Speed:

The variable speed control of 8,000 - 25,000 RPM provides great versatility when working with different type of materials. It can easily adapt to the material and allows you to get more control over your finish. The variable speed control toggle switch is easily accessible with the finger, even if you have small hands.

Base Plunge vs Fixed:

As with any premium router, this model can do both plunge and fixed routing. In fact, it is one of the pitching points of Bosch for selling this router. It is delivered with both a plunge and fixed base which provide a tight and secure fit. As pointed out before, it will make a click when used with the bases. On the third click, you know that the router is secured in either the plunger or the fixed base and ready for use. You do not need any tools to fit this router to either the fixed or plunge base. It is tool-less.

For those who are new to routing, basically what this means is that when this router model is working with a fixed base, it is ideal for shaving off edges. When working as a plunge base, you can bore through anywhere on the material and start routing. You do not need to drill a hole with a power drill as you would with only a fixed base router and this saves you a lot of time. It is also much easier, more practical and fun to use. This 2-in-1 action brings a lot of versatility to the table, so to speak.

The fixed base router has a micrometer adjustment that can be made using the provided T-wrench. It is extremely accurate and allows you to make increments of 1/64 inch. This works great in conjunction with a router table where it will easily shave edges of up to 1-5/8 inches. However, you absolutely need to make sure that this router is compatible with your router table. (Refer the specs above for a list of Bosch router tables that will fit this unit.)

When fitted to the plunge base, this is where this unit really delivers. The centering system (also available in the fixed base) keeps the router bit in position at all times, right at the center of the router. It requires little force to press on and does not feel stiff or mushy. The plunge depth is a very respectable 2.25”, which means that it will work with any commercially available wood boards and planks, usually no more than 1.25” in thickness.

>>> Plunge Router vs. Fixed Router

Router Bits/Collets:

Changing router bits on this model is very easy. You will need the aid of 2 spanners to secure or remove the collets. This is a better system because you can secure the bit more firmly which greatly reduces the risk of wobbling. Right out of the box, this unit is delivered with a smaller 1/4” bit shaft, but it will also accommodate larger 1/2” shafts if you want to work with bigger router bits.

Adjustments:

The microfine bit adjustment of this wood router works exceptionally well and is very precise. It can perform 1/64” increments in a fixed base, which is more precision that you will ever need.

Other Features:

This router comes with an etched indicator sign that shows you the correct position the router goes into either the fixed base or plunger unit. This is a very user-friendly feature for beginners who have never used a router before. Moreover, one of the best things about this unit is the ability to use with either the right hand or left hand. All you need to do is position the router in reverse inside the base.

The plunger base handles feel solid and made from wood, coated with a glossy transparent plastic layer for protection and durability. We would have preferred an elastomer grip but it’s still quite comfortable and slip-resistant as it is.

Accessories:

Beside EVS Motor (16176), plunge base (RA1166), fixed base (RA1161). Bosch deliveries basic accessories: fixed base chip shield, plunge base chip shield, 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch self-releasing collet chucks, comfortable forged 16-mm and 24-mm bit change wrenches, T-handle hex-height adjustment wrench, and rugged carrying case.

2. Price

The Bosch 1617EVSPK is positioned as a mid-range to high-end router. It has a better price than the DeWalt DW618PK which is another very popular router solution with the same features. At around $200, we think that this model is competitively priced and offer much value for money. Especially when the versatility (fixed and plunge base included), performance and durability are taken into account. Despite being 13 years old now, this router has paved the way for many modern routers that cost much more but offer almost the same specs, features and benefits - give or take.

3. Expert Reviews

Since this is a fairly old and popular router, many experts use and recommend this model. Celebrity woodworker John from WorkshopAddict uses this router every day and vouches for it. He talks about the versatility and ease of use of this model along with giving some invaluable advice for everyone who is new to routing. His video demonstration of the unit is worth checking out:

4. Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Powerful motor of 12.0 Amps can easily tackle heavy-duty routing tasks.
  • Beginner-friendly and decent features for more skilled users. 
  • Variable speed control of 8,000-25,000 RPM for more routing versatility.
  • Delivered with both a fixed and plunge base kit
  • Vertical miter gauge on plunge base for easy reading for plunge depth
  • Router can be positioned for either left-handed users or right-handed 
  • Micro bit adjustments with increments of up to 1/64”. Very accurate.
  • Router bit centering mechanism for both fixed and plunge base.
  • Ability to change collet (shaft) size - 1/4” or 1/2”

Cons:

N/A

5. Who Should Buy?

The popularity of the Bosch 1617EVSPK is largely explained by the fact that it is a router that simply works. It is not very difficult to use or make adjustments to. Additionally, it is delivered with a fixed base and a plunge base at no extra cost. Sure, it lacks accessories but that is not a big issue since router bits are quite inexpensive these days.

Remember that if you want to use this router with a router table, it only works with Bosch router tables (see introduction for compatible tables). If you do not own any of those router tables then it will quickly become expensive since you will need to purchase a compatible table as well. However, if you simply want a router that is performing and easy to use, especially when used as a plunge router or handheld fixed router without affixing to a table, this is a fantastic model to get.

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Tom Bradly
 

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise.