Bosch PR20EVSPK Colt Palm Router Review

Bosch PR20EVSPK Colt Palm Wood Router

Bosch PR20EVSPK Colt Palm Wood Router Review:

When doing research on the different routers on the market, I discovered that the second bestselling wood router is the Bosch Pro20EVSPK, also known as the Colt Palm Router to many experienced wood workers. These wood routers were once considered trim routers, but in my review you’ll see these small palm routers can do so much more.

The first thing you will notice on this router is the over molded grip that contours to your hand very nicely which makes one hand operation easy, along with the finger guards on the front of the fixed base. This gives the user a comfortable, safe grip and reduces the vibration on the arm during long periods of working with a router. This variable speed, light weight wood router combines power with a push button spindle lock for quick bit changes, this gives the user a faster way to add or remove bits on the router creating a perfect compact router for the intermediate or advanced home wood worker.
The DIY homeowner, professional carpenter or kitchen remodeler will find that the Bosch Colt Palm wood router can handle a wide range of tasks. This router trims laminate for kitchen counter tops, edges wood projects, makes dadoes and decorative edges for wood cabinets. The Colt Palm PR020EVSPK Wood router comes with both a fixed and plunge base in a combo kit or can be purchased with just the

Horse Power/ Soft Start:

When purchasing any wood router, one of the first things to consider is the horsepower rating of the motor, and this especially applies to the compact palm router like the Bosch Colt. This palm wood router has a 1.0 peak HP motor that produces 5.6 amps of speed, although it is the lowest horse powered router on the market at this size. This little router has a lot of power and torque, making it the perfect size for small wood working projects like cutting trim around the house or tool shop.

This compact wood router is equipped with a soft start feature to minimize the torque on the motor; along with Bosch’s patent constant response circuit that helps maintains and monitors the speed under load to provide a constant performance and an overload protection. A motor soft starter 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 feature helps to reduce the stress on the router motor. The other benefit is that the performance is held consistent, instead of having to deal with slowdowns or sudden increase in speed while you work. This allows you to create better, more even cuts.

Variable Speeds:

This compact router is equipped with a variable speed dial on the top of the router that easily allows you to set the right speed for the routing task and RPM range of 16,000 and 35,000 RPM. The electronic speed control maintains speed under load to minimize twisting during start up, along with preventing overheating.
Setting the dial from 1 to 3 gives you an RPM range of 16,000 to 20,000 that can be used with large diameter bits and cutters. These bits are your rabbits, round overs or any bit that is between 2.50 to 3 inches. The lower speed in combination with a larger bit gives you more control of the router and reduces friction, keeping the router from overheating during use. These larger bits are used for projects like special decorative cuts, chamfering wood or creating edges on cabinets. If you set the dial in the range from 4 to 6 this give an RPM range of 22,500 to 35,000 allowing the router to works with small diameter bits and cutters between 1 to 2.25 inches. These types of bits are your dovetail, rabbiting and flush trim bits that are best used on softwoods for sign making, plastics and laminates on counter top.

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 and material that this small wood router can handle in the shop for a hobby wood crafter.

Plunge vs Fixed base:

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Are you looking for a small palm size wood router with a plunge base or fixed based? A fixed base router is one on which you set a specific depth, and that depth stays consistent while using the tool. A router that has a plunge base gives you the ability to plunge the router bit downward into the stock to make that desired cut, then allow you to lift the bit back out.

One basic requirement of a plunge router is that it should plunge smoothly without hanging up when moving up and down. This produces clean cuts when you lower the cutter into the work piece and out again; since any type of jerking can spoil the cut. I found that the plunge action lock lever is conveniently located near the left handle on the back and springs to the locked position when released making the Bosch Colt palm router base easy to use.
The PR011 plunge base offers fast and accurate depth setting with a 7-step depth stop turret and a depth indicator knob. The clear sub-base allows woodworkers to see their work piece at all time This allows the user to keep a bit on the intended cut line at all times when using jigs, templates, dovetail fixtures and other guidance devices. The rubber handled grips on either side of the plunge base makes it easy to control and comfortable for the user.
711KTGsyk5L._SL1500_Sadly there were many complaints about the plunge base for this model. It seems that the dial wheel designed to make adjustments just does not handle being able to lock the settings into place and it move just a hair every time you plunge the base into a project cause the user to have to readjust the setting. Due to the dial wheel adjustment problem, I would not recommend this router to any one that is planning to do any type of fine furniture projects. It will work fine for routing edges on larger pieces or cutting opening for kitchen sinks.

This small compacted router is easy to move back and forth between the two bases. So just lock it down and you are ready to go. If the adjustments slip, then remember that you may need to monitor the micro setting. The simple fix for the adjustment problem would be to double check your measurements and reset the micro setting after locking down the router into the base.
The fixed base is used for trimming and edging, while the plunge base allows you to turn this compact trim router into a fully capable plunge router, making it large enough to tackle most wood projects that are done around the house or shop.

Collet and Bit Shank Size: (1/4 vs 1/2):

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What is a collet and what is the best size? A collet is that steel sleeve that holds a router bit in the router. The collet works with the router shaft that is directly connected to the motor and tightens down with the collet nut.
When purchasing a router you need to consider the bit shank size. The two most common bit shank sizes are 1/4″ and 1/2″.
The second thing you should take into account is the projects you want to work on and the range of bit sizes that are available for the model of router that you want to purchase. The Bosch Colt Palm Router has a 1/4″ collet which is a good size for a compact palm router. It is not compatible with ½” bit shanks. But understand that this model is designed for trim and lightweight wood working, not heavy duty routing projects.
The Colt Palm PR20EVSPK has a drop forged collet and a convenient front push button spindle lock for simple one-wrench bit changes, but some owners have complained about this feature. Some suggest that you use either the Quick-Clamp base release and take the router motor completely out of the base to get easy access to the spindle and collet nut. Another alternative is to use a two-wrench method and that will only add a couple of seconds to the bit-change process which is included with this model.
These collect are drop forging which mean that the manufacture is hammering hot metal into dies by either a falling hammer or a powered hammer. The reason why they want you to know that a part is drop forged or not is to let you something about the strength and durability of the tool.
Why the collect shatter on this Bosch Palm Router is not really explained, but just be aware that you might have to replace these collects and that Amazon does carry replacement parts.

The Cutting Depth-Bosch PR20EVSPK Router:

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This compact palm wood router has a fast and precise 7-Step adjustable depth stop turret system that allows both macro which is large adjustments and micro which is used for small fine adjustments that are achieved by the knurled wheel dial that is located on the left hand side in back. The Depth Scales shows measurements in both Imperial and Metric with each complete rotation of the dial you get approximately 3/64” or 1.25mm cutting depth.

Additional Features:

The Bosch Colt Palm router has a rocker on and off switch located near the top front making it easy to access while you are running the router.
The router motor housing is made from aluminum and has a palm-shaped, rubber over-molded grip that allows for stable, one-handed operation and two finger support pockets in on either side of front part of the base make this palm router easy to handle.
This compact palm router comes with a hard case to hold all the parts in this kit and any accessories that you might purchase like bits or guides in one place.Bosch offers only a 1 year limited
What type of router table can this model use?
This little router is not really recommended for use on a router table, but Bosch does have one that might work with this little router. I would consider a larger router if you are looking for one to attach to a router table. These types of router are really designed for use on trim, fine furniture making and small precise project around the house or shop.
Can you make circles with this router?
Yes, but like with most wood router you will need to purchase a circle cutting jig that is sold separately.

Bosch PR20EVSPK Colt Palm Grip Dimensions:

Weight: 11.8 pounds (fixed base) 14 lbs. (plunge base)
Height: 15 inches

Bosch tilt base

 

Bosh Colt Wood Router Accessories (bits):

Bosch has a lot of different accessories that can be purchased separately for this model that will make it an even better router for the home or shop. The Bosch PR004 Offset Base which allows you to route near-vertical surfaces such as laminate applied to the top of a counter top or back-splash.

Another attachment is the PR005 Tilt Base with a tool-less 70-Degree tilt adjustment range that goes from 30-Degree to 45-Degree with detente every 7.5-Degree For easy setting of common angles and a variety bits to create different cuts.

 

Pros:

• Air vents on top to keep it cool
• Quick Clamp Lever System for easy base changes
• Speed dial is mounted on top
• Bit rotation Arrow is used to line up the placement of the bit.
• Contoured grip area for precision control of the router
• Course adjustment unlock/lock indicator on the side
• Versatile bit-changing system – fast, easy bit changes using two wrenches or spindle lock and one wrench.
• 7-step adjustable depth stop turret for fast, accurate bit depth setting on plunge base
• Angled cord keeps the cord away from your work area
• PR002 Straight Edge Guide is included
• Hard case

Cons:

• Push button Spindle Lock is difficult to operate, but can be worked around by using two wrenches.
• No dust cover on the power switch
• Not cordless, but the angled cord design helps keep cord out of the way during use.
• No side handles – palm grip only, except on plunge base
• ¼ “ collect only, but can handle maximum bit diameter 0f 1 3/8”
• No notches or markings on the edge guide
• Gets very hot during use-gloves recommended

Consumer Reviews:

I found that the reviews are mixed on this compact palm wood router from Bosch with most of them being that home wood workers love this little compact router. Yes it has some problems, but most of these can be overcome with minor adjustments and learning how to use the tool in the long run. The first complaint is the poorly designed spindle lock button being hard to push, but Bosch has fixed this problem by including a second wrench to remove the bits for the collect. The owners that where the most unhappy with this tool seemed to be more of the shop or professional cabinet makers that want a router for heavy duty use and the buyers that really liked this router used it for trimming, chamfering or rounding over corners and other small jobs around the house.

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

This router combo kit is an incredible value as you don’t need to purchase the plunge base, edge guide or case separately, but it does require purchasing bits and extra guides as do all routers on the market. I found the best price for this Bosch PR20EVPK Colt Palm Router kit is on Amazon. You can get a real saving when you purchase either of the Bosch Colt Router kits.buy3._V192207739_

Summary of the Bosch Colt Palm Grip Wood Router:

Who should purchase this product? After a lot of research and reading I found that this router is for the intermediate or advance wood crafter that enjoys spending time working on projects around the house or is in need of a small trim router.

But the professional on the job site will appreciate the range that this little router can handle on the job site from kitchen remodeling to building custom staircases. Even precise pattern making is an easy task for this compact wood trim palm router from Bosch.
If you are looking for a palm router that has all the bells and whistles, then this little hand router is the one for you as it’s hard to beat.