Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Wood Router Review

Bosch 1617EVSPK Kit

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Wood Router Review:

In the market for a heavy duty wood router that can be mounted to a router table in the work shop? During my extensive research of the various router models from the different manufactures, I learned that the third bestselling router model on the market at this time is the Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP.

This one fits into the mid-size range, but it can handle the work load that any Wood worker wants to throw at it. With its Aluminum housing, motor and the ability to use both ¼ and ½ collect sizes, along with already being designed to mount on several different router tables this one is built to last. This 2.25 horse powered router built with the intermediate to advance wood crafter in mind. Just check out all the features this wood router has to offer.

Horse Power/Soft Start:

One of the things that you need to consider before purchasing a wood router for your work shop is the horsepower rating and the Bosch 1617EVSPK has got you covered with its 2.25 horse power motor. This router is a real work horse and will fit into any type of shop without causing user fatigue when using the plunge base. The professional wood worker will appreciate the 2.25 motor in case inside the aluminum housing making it both powerful and durable, but the advance home wood crafter will love the router. This is the type of power that you want on a router table to handle any type of routing job that you throw at it.
What is a soft start motor? It is a device used with AC electric motors to temporarily reduce the load on the power train and electrical current surge of the motor during start up. This heavy duty wood router is equipped with a soft start feature to reduce the torque on the motor; plus the Bosch patent constant response circuit that helps maintains and monitors the speed under load to provide a constant performance and an overload protection. The other benefit is that the performance is consistent, reducing the chances of slowdowns or sudden increases in speed while you’re working. You’ll create better, more uniformed cuts.

Variable Speeds:

Bosch 1617EVSPK-3
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.

Bosch 1617EVSPK-4

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.

Adjusting Cutting Depth (Wrench vs Tool free):

Bosch 1617EVSPK-2
The second thing to consider when purchasing a good quality router that is being used every day in a home or professional wood shop is the cutting depth. The depth adjustment system features both coarse and micro fine bit depth adjustment with re-settable indicators. This adjustment systems come on both bases which allow for accurate and fast bit depth adjustments.
This wood routers RA1161fixed base has 3 different adjustment provides precise adjustment of the router bit position for unmatched accuracy. The first is the coarse adjustment features with three horizontal notches on both sides of the housing for coarse adjustments. These notches are spaced 1/2″ apart which allows you to quickly lower or raise the tool depth in three 1/2″increments by simply depressing the coarse adjustment release lever. Each cast indicator mark next to coarse adjustment lever is equal to 1/8 An indicator ring to allow precise settings is in both graduated English and Metric increments and the micro-fine adjustment dial which has a total range of 7/8” making it accurate to 1/64 inch.

The RA1166 plunge base has a fine adjustment system that allows you to micro adjust the plunge depth of the router bit for superior routing accuracy. Each complete revolution of the fine adjustment stop adjusts the plunging depth by 1/32”, and each of the four indicator marks on the knob represents 1/128”.
Some problem reported with this system is that it has a poor adjustment system due to the fact that the screw is weak and the c-ring will fail or break. Another problem is that release clamp on bases are tight and can cause scratches on the motor when changing out the bases. Not sure how to fix this problem except to get the c-ring and screw replaced at this time.

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.

This router is backed by a one-year limited warranty and service protection plan.

Bosch RA1181 Router Table
Router Tables:
Yes, this router is built to use on its own or with a router table. The RA1161 fixed base is designed to allow easy depth adjustment in a table. There are several router tables made by Bosch that will work with the 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Bosch Router. A few models are the RA1171, 1180, 1181, 1182 and 1200.

Can you make circles with this router?
Yes, but like with all wood routers you need to purchase templates and circle cutting jigs that are sold separately.

 

 

Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25HP Dimensions:

Weight: 19.5
Base : 6”
Height: 6” fixed base, 6 11/16” plunge base
Amps: 12.0
Volts: 120

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

Consumer Ratings:

This model router had an average rating on most tool site. Those that love it, would purchase another and those that gave it a low rating stated many of its problems that have been pointed out in this review.

How much would you expect to pay for a router kit like this?

The kit includes both bases, a 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch self-releasing collets, and comfortable drop-forged wrenches, along with a case making this combo kit an incredible value for the price. The best price I found for this kit is on Amazon.

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Summary of the Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Wood Router:

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.