|Review by pintodeluxe||posted 05-22-2013 05:31 PM||6554 views||1 time favorited||27 comments|
The 1617 has rave reviews, so I thought I might give it a try. The base is tricky to release, because you have to align the tabs, then twist the router together. The old version had a magnesium motor case, but this is the newer version with an aluminum motor case. I played with both versions at the store, and the aluminum version is an improvement, but not as smooth or easy to operate as my Dewalt 618.
The switch is known to fail frequently, and mine works intermittently. I guess the rocker switch is not sealed, and dust causes it to stop working. Replacement switches are available, yet they have the same problem.
The handles are okay, I put some lock-tite on the theads to keep them from vibrating loose. They are the right size, just not as confidence inspiring as the Dewalt 618, or Freud FT1700 handles. Overall ergonomics feel top-heavy compared to my 7 previous routers.
The course adjustment lever has a cheesy spring that helps release the base from the motor. The spring has to slide on the metal casing as you turn the height adjustment knob (bad design). As a result, the spring will occasionally pop out. When this happens, it is nearly impossible to separate the base from the motor.
The variable speed is nice, and the slow speed is much slower than my other routers. The motor is smooth, and relatively quiet. Power is adequate, and on par with other 11-12 amp machines. The top of the router is flat, allowing you to turn the router upside down for easy bit changes. It is surprising how useful this simple feature is.
I like many Bosch tools – their colt routers, and left blade circular saws are great.
This router feels like it needs a major overhaul to be on the same playing field as other modern routers. Not trying to be a tool basher, just trying to give an honest review.
Interestingly, Bosch bought the Freud power tool lineup. I hope Bosch’s next generation of routers includes Freud’s clever built-in router lift, and full above-the-table adjustments.
-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush