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Thoughts on Bosch Colt Palm Router as first (and initially, only, router)

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Forum topic by RickR posted 01-29-2008 05:23 PM 15475 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RickR

19 posts in 2536 days


01-29-2008 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router joining shaping question

As you can imagine, budget is a big consideration for me and I’m thinking of getting a router – but I thought of perhaps getting the Bosch Colt Palm Router initially and using it for most of what I would use a router for. Then down the road getting a proper router and table setup, etc. But for most of what I would do with a router, like cutting rabbets, and chamfering edges, I thought I could get by with the Colt. Granted, it won’t be as powerful or as fast, and I might have to do things in multiple passes – but I’d only be out $120 and it would still serve a purpose when I buy a big router as there’s still some things that the smaller one-handed router is good for over the big two-hander.

Anyone have any thoughts on that one?

-- - living vicariously through lumberjocks


10 replies so far

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2929 days


#1 posted 01-29-2008 05:49 PM

You should look into the Triton router as your primary. It has received great reviews over the past year and is supposed to work great as a hand-held and in a table. I don’t have this router, so I can’t personally attest to it, but I know two guys who have it and they both love it.

If you’re not as concerned with table-mounting, you might want to look at the Bosch fixed/plunge combo (1617EVSPK). I DO have that, and it is a great and versatile router package. I also happen to have the table-mounting base w/the above-the-table adjustment feature, so that’s what I use in my router table (hence no need to buy the Triton).

Don’t get me wrong – I have a Bosch palm router (the 1608, the model prior to the Colt), and I absolutely love it. But I use it for routing out inlay spaces and running small roundover bits to ease the edges. I don’t use it to route dados or grooves or to run large bits for large projects.

Summary: Be wary about using a tool for purposes other than what it was designed. The Colt is a great router – when used in the right way. You might find yourself with a burnt motor if you try to push it too hard, though.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

View CutNRun's profile

CutNRun

122 posts in 2601 days


#2 posted 01-29-2008 06:11 PM

I would echo the recommendation for the Triton router. I have the 2 1/4HP unit and love it. Right now, Woodcraft has it on sale for $189, so you are not talking a huge difference from the Bosch. That price includes a case and a lot of accessories. If I ever win the lottery I will purchase a second unit so that I don’t have to remove the one from my router table. Of course my odds of winning would improve if I actually played the lottery, but only slightly.

-- CutNRun - So much wood, so many trails, so little time

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4441 posts in 2717 days


#3 posted 01-29-2008 06:18 PM

I have a Colt and use it for lots of little things but mostly on laminate. Also have a Bosch 1617 that I use in the table. The Colt will prove to be too small.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2819 days


#4 posted 01-29-2008 06:51 PM

I’d get that Triton too. And one Powerball quick pick with power play. Fella’s got to dream.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4941 posts in 2637 days


#5 posted 01-29-2008 06:57 PM

I don’t have a colt, so I can not comment on it. But if I only was allowed to have one router, it would be a bigger one than that. You should be able to find a larger router for that much money. Watch for factory reconditioned ones also. I picked up my last Bosch through Amazon that way. Enter “router factory recon” into google and Amazon.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2916 days


#6 posted 01-29-2008 07:37 PM

I recently was looking at the laminate trimmers. While the Bosch has the best ratings, I did not like the way it fit in my hand. I almost bought a DeWalt, since Lowe’s had it for $72, but I went with the Ridgid for $99. The Ridgid felt better in my hand, and it included a routing guide and flush trim bit. So far I have been happy with it.

As everyone has said, it is not really a substitute for a full size router. I would recommend getting one of the sets that has a fixed base and plunge base. Then it is like 2 routers in one. If you wanted to save some money, get a fixed base router that you can buy a plunge base later (DeWalt, PC, etc.). While bigger and a bit more than the Colt, they are a lot more versatile and will last a long time.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View whit's profile

whit

246 posts in 2732 days


#7 posted 01-29-2008 07:39 PM

Rick,

I have to agree with the Triton recommendation. I have both the Colt and the Triton (TRC001). I use the Triton mostly table-mounted but also hand-held when I have to. With 2 bum shoulders, it gets heavy. The Colt is great for lightweight work but it would be a bit frustrating to use it to make dados or pattern cutting work. At 10#, the F001 is about 75% the weight of the C001 and Woodcraft has a really good offer on it right now. You’ll also have a better selection of the larger bits with the Triton. Yes, you can make lighter cuts with the Colt and get the job done . . . if you can find the profiles (or sizes) you’re looking for.

It looks like a top-heavy design but after you use it for a while, it works well. And the controls are very handy. For my bucks, I’d try to for the Triton.

whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1046 posts in 2823 days


#8 posted 01-29-2008 07:45 PM

Got the Colt. I keep a Dewalt 618 in the table. I use the Dewalt’s plunge base with 1/2” collet when using my Dovetail Jig or for the rare heavy duty freehand applications. I use the Colt for standard free hand and have no issues. Love it actually. The bit visibility is the only drawback IMO. Detailed inlay is a little tougher as a result. Also, the standard base will not accept normal template guides. A $10 add-on will though or it is simple to make it out of scrap. Edge profiles are simple and the Colt’s power is more than enough on edge. Dadoes, grooves, and other non-edge cuts are nice as well but should be done in two or three passes. Collet lock is nice. Quiet relative to the Dewalt. Base comes off or adjusts with a quick twist. Don’t use the microadjust much, but it’s there.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2629 days


#9 posted 01-29-2008 08:56 PM

I have a Colt, and I love it. I would never consider it for my only router, though.

View RickR's profile

RickR

19 posts in 2536 days


#10 posted 01-29-2008 09:21 PM

Thanks for all of the replies guys.. What really gets me about the full-sized routers is that by the time I factor in all of the accessories, I’m not just a bit more than the Colt, but WAAAAY more than the colt. But the smaller (read: cheaper) Triton that Whit mentioned and numerous others alluded to looks like a great buy. It’s about $70 more, but it comes with a ton of good accessories that I can start using right out of the box. I’m sure the bits and such aren’t the highest quality, but from what I’ve heard about Triton they won’t be crap either.

Now to convince the warden that I need a router..
Or as someone online once said SWMBO….

She Who Must Be Obeyed :-D

-- - living vicariously through lumberjocks

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