LumberJocks

Skil 1830 router - Bosch clone? (2.25HP, fixed/plunge bases)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by DonnyBahama posted 07-08-2011 08:58 AM 19428 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1994 days


07-08-2011 08:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: skil router router kit bosch router lowes

I was in Lowes today and looked at the Skil 1830 2 1/4HP router. Interestingly, it was sitting right next to the Bosch 1617EVSPK display model – and (at least from a features/controls standpoint) it looks pretty much identical.

On the surface it’s pretty impressive…
Fixed and plunge bases that look almost identical to those on the Bosch
Variable speed: 10,500 – 25,00 RPM with soft-start.
1/4 and 1/2” collets
“Micro-fine” depth adjustment (very similar to the one on the Bosch)
Depth rod and adjustable “turret” – just like the Bosch’s
Quick-release lever for motor removal – just like the Bosch’s
And (one-upping the Bosch), it has a (very thoughtful) LED “Site Light” for improved visibility and to let you know it’s plugged in.

I have to assume that the above-the-table height adjustment (as found on the Bosch) is also on the Skil.

All this for $109!

Is Lowes trying to compete with Harbor Freight?!
With my meager budget, this thing looks very appealing, though there’s little in the way of reviews to be found anywhere. (It must be quite new – there doesn’t seem to be even a mention of it on LJs.)

I’d love to hear from anyone who’s had any experience with this router.

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451


23 replies so far

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 2513 days


#1 posted 07-08-2011 09:08 AM

It has been around for a bit, and while it is NOT a Bosch clone and not for a high production shop, it has recieved good reviews from no less than Popular Woodworking for one. Good power and features for that low price. If you take it apart, yopu will find parts are more lightly built, but still adequate for a hobbyist’s needs. Even a pro could use one as an extra. They aren’t the best out there, but if it meets the need, it could be the best buy.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View bdjohns1's profile

bdjohns1

43 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 07-08-2011 10:28 AM

Given that Skil, Bosch, and Dremel are all the same company, I could see this being a rebadging of the Bosch.

-- Ben - resident cheese whiz.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#3 posted 07-08-2011 05:03 PM

Donny – If your budget is in the $110 range, I think I’d be looking for a more proven contender. If the router is for table use, you’ll definitely need the variable speed, but if it’s for hand use, VS isn’t required. There are several really good routers that go on sale in your price range periodically that I’d feel more comfortable with than the Skil…..Hitachi M12VC, Milwaukee 5615, PC690, DW616, Craftsman 28190 (by Chirvon Tools), Ridgid, Triton, and even the single speed Bosch 1617 can approach that price point. Sometimes it’s better to invest a little more than to spend too little and squander all of it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2156 days


#4 posted 07-08-2011 05:15 PM

I’ve got a Skil router in a little portable table, tucked away in the shop. It’s a vestige of my very early years in woodworking and suffice it to say, a Skil tool hasn’t entered my shop since. It’s a pretty pathetic device. $110 is 1/2-way towards several quality routers. I’d hold out.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View JackhammerJace's profile

JackhammerJace

5 posts in 2002 days


#5 posted 07-08-2011 11:22 PM

Skil is to Bosch like Toyota is to Lexus. If you’re a hobbyist on a tight budget, I’d stick with the Skil, or shop around real hard for a good deal on something with a better reputation.

-- Jace, www.toolsandmachinery.com

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#6 posted 07-09-2011 01:02 AM

I know its all subjective but I think Toyota has earned a hefty edge in reputation over Skil though….I’d be more inclined to compare the Skil & Bosch brands to B&D & DeWalt as far as quality and aim market goes. IMHO Skil or B&D tend to go squarely for the occasional weekend DIYer, and have very little to offer to even remotely serious woodworkers. Bosch and DW tend to be well regarded by hobbyists, dedicated wwers, and pros who rely heavily on their tools.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1994 days


#7 posted 07-09-2011 07:46 AM

While I appreciate the input from everyone, I wasn’t really looking for a discussion on the general quality of Skil products as a brand or the relative quality of one brand vs. another. I do understand that the quality of Skil products has been suspect in bygone days—but that doesn’t mean things can’t change. (Look at Hyundai automobiles for example.)

Based on fussy’s input (thanks, fussy!) I think I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of these if (I had $100 to spend and) I had a project lined up where it would be getting a lot if use. Knowing that Lowes would take it back if it didn’t meet expectations makes for a nice safety net – and no reason not to give it a try.

To close the door on the quality discussion, if one of you will send me a Bosch 1617EVSPK and another of you will send me a Skil 1830, I’ll volunteer to disassemble each one and report back my findings. ;)

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

View MyFathersSon's profile

MyFathersSon

180 posts in 2776 days


#8 posted 08-20-2011 03:18 PM

I’m shopping for a replacement for a Craftsman combo that has died twice and was all set to buy the Bosch based on reviews when I saw this same unit on the shelf next to it at Lowes. Had the same questions.

I did NOT see any above table adjustment on the Skil.

I just did a comparison on Lowes’ site. Noticed one interesting thing.
The Skil unit, even thought it APPEARS larger—is nine pounds LIGHTER than the Bosch.
That’s not necessarily a red flag—- but it does tell me there is substantial difference in construction.

I am hobbyist that does the occassional larger project—so I tend to make decisions based on price.
Did that with the Craftsman set—got burned. My cheap side is gonna hate me—but right now I think I am going to grit my teeth—and go for the Bosch.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1420 posts in 2328 days


#9 posted 08-20-2011 03:51 PM

9 lbs?

View MyFathersSon's profile

MyFathersSon

180 posts in 2776 days


#10 posted 08-20-2011 09:59 PM

You caught that too huh?
I was half asleep this morning when I was reading the Lowes comparison.
By the time I was awake enough to realize how strange that sounded—I wasnt around a computer.
I just looked again. Sure enough – that is what it says—10# for the Skil——19# for the Bosch.
Thinking about it—I have to conclude they must be talking—shipping weight which would include cases and accessories. Either that—or its just a plain old fashioned typo.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View dpwalker's profile

dpwalker

273 posts in 2294 days


#11 posted 08-20-2011 10:17 PM

DonnyBahama I bought a Skil 1825 a year or so ago from CPO reconditioned tools. Refurbished but like new at 1/2 the price. This was my 1st router & it did what it was intended for. I can’t use it in a table tho. The motor is loose in the base when hanging upside down & this causes the router & bit to be off at an angle from 90*. I have since upgraded to a PC 690LR but the Skil got me started. I still have it as backup.

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

View DonnyBahama's profile

DonnyBahama

215 posts in 1994 days


#12 posted 08-21-2011 01:24 AM

My guess is that Bosch got the weight down on the Skil router by making it out of titanium and carbon fiber! :P

Thanks for the input, dpwalker. I’ve been looking at the Skil 1830 at CPO. They have them for $80 (+ $7 shipping). This is probably what I’ll go with due to budget constraints. If it has the same problem as yours and doesn’t hang straight, I guess I’ll call Skil/Bosch and hope they’ll do something about it. If not, I could always wrap the motor in duct tape! ;D

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society - http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29451

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#13 posted 08-21-2011 04:16 AM

Donny – I know I’m gonna get clobbered but heres my experience with inexpensive routers: I bought a Ryobi router/router table 4 years ago. I sold the table, built a bigger table, and still use the Ryobi router almost daily. It has been tortured and has never let me down. It also has above the table height adjustment. Maybe it works for me because I never use a bit larger than a 1/2” roundover. Just my 2 cents. Oh, I almost forgot, I paid $100 for the router and table combined at Home Depot. I will buy another if this one ever lays down!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MyFathersSon's profile

MyFathersSon

180 posts in 2776 days


#14 posted 08-21-2011 07:08 AM

. . .To close the door on the quality discussion, if one of you will send me a Bosch 1617EVSPK and another of you will send me a Skil 1830, I’ll volunteer to disassemble each one and report back my findings. ;)

Just stumbled across this article from the November 2004 issue of Wood Magazine where they did pretty much just that to illustrate the difference between what they considered a DIY model (Skil 1825) and what they considered a Pro model (Bosch 1617)

Obviously things can change in the 7 years since then—but for general “broad brush” comparison purposes it makes an interesting read.

http://www.woodworkerscenter.com/hotdata/publishers/meredith_wwc/advertiser/7714694/1014436/da-00188.pdf

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7210 posts in 2838 days


#15 posted 08-21-2011 12:58 PM

In addition to using different materials of construction, some of the weight differences between the Bosch and Skil could also be due to the thickness and number of copper windings in the motor. I once read a comment from an EE who considered weight to be a fairly reliable indicator of actual motor power….that doesn’t make him correct, but neither are the manufacturer’s “horsepower” claims!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com