Bosch 1617EVS Router vs Dewalt DW618PK vs Ridgid 29302... your opinion

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Forum topic by hjt posted 07-24-2011 04:27 PM 21530 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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850 posts in 3166 days

07-24-2011 04:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I’m in need of purchasing a router and think I’ve narrowed it down to these three. I’ve read reviews on LJ and all get good yet mixed reviews.

I’m new to wood working (only a few years but am enjoying it.) Most of what I do is more rough, certainly not finish or furniture grade. Much of my tools came from my dad after he passed. As a matter of fact, this month was the first time I began to use the router.

I built a router table, practiced and was pleased with the results. Then I got the good wood (the wood for the project) and after the 2nd pass – this 1962 vintage Stanley router bit the dust. I brought it to the tool doc in town and was told that the brushes were shot and burnt up and that there were no replacements to be found for this old of a tool.

So what are your thoughts Bosch, Dewalt, Ridgid??

-- Harold

11 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 07-24-2011 04:53 PM

I’ve had the dewalt – I really liked it. worked smoothly, and I liked the power cord connections and dust protected power switch, but the height adjustment ring (how you set bit height) is plastic, and broke off on the first day.

I replaced it with the Bosch which is all metal construction and works great, but the metal body to metal base creates a lot of friction after a while and makes adjustments hard.

so they all have their issues, but all are decent routers as long as you know their weak spots and how to overcome them.

If I was in the market for a router again today- I think I would go with the dewalt. I find that it’s short comings compared to the bosch were easier to work with. for manual out of the table operation it felt more comfortable as it had a lower center of gravity and the handles were rubber.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#2 posted 07-24-2011 08:11 PM

It’s really a matter of opinion, and yours is the one that counts most. I’d consider adding the Milwaukee over the Ridgid… AFAIK both are made by TTI/Ryobi, but MW is considered the higher end of the two, so will likely have more robust components.

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

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4096 days

#3 posted 07-24-2011 08:41 PM

PurpLev, I have a couple Bosch routers and sure enough, they get sticky / bindy / hard to adjust. What works well for me is to take the motor out of the base, wipe everything down real well, and then apply a thin coat of paste wax, in the base and on the motor. Works like a champ, adjustment is all silky smooth, and I don’t have to do it very often.

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3428 days

#4 posted 07-24-2011 09:00 PM

I have the Bosch and the Ridgid. Right now I have the Ridgid mounted in the table and use the Bosch for hand held routing. Even though the Bosch is more powerful, I prefer it for hand routing since it seems more confortable to use, the handles on at least the plunge base seem awkward to use. I have had the Bosch for over 2 years and have had to replace the switch and brushes, the switch seems to be a common thing that goes bad. The Ridgid I got last December, the only problem I am having is it tends to get stuck in the base, but since I use it in the table, that is not a major issue. To me they are pretty much the same router, except the Ridgid lights up the bit when it is on, which may not seem like a big deal but makes a huge difference when doing stopped dados and mortises.

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#5 posted 07-24-2011 09:14 PM

Thanks for the thoughts, guys. Brian, you may want to take the advice of Colorado Climber, and use some paste wax on the base and motor. To finish my project I started just before my router died, I borrowed my neighbor’s router and his table. I found waxing the table made the wood slide nice and easy, so I’m certain the same would be true for the base and motor – nice and easy.

-- Harold

View Echofive's profile


98 posts in 3280 days

#6 posted 07-25-2011 08:20 AM

I have the Bosch. I’m fairly inexperienced with woodworking as well, especially routing. I primarily use it in a table. I have no complaints, though I have nothing to really compare it to, either. I’m impressed with it’s power and features, but since I have to compare it to, that simply means I haven’t run across a situation I haven’t been able to easily handle with the Bosch. I’m sure the others have the same features, but the thing I like most about the Bosch, with regard to being table mounted, is that it comes with a long allen key for fine height adjustment without removing it from the table. I simply unlock the collar on the router, slide the allen key through a hole in the router table, and make fine adjustments.

-- Chip, Virginia

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2841 days

#7 posted 07-25-2011 09:16 AM

I like the dewalt 618 combo kit. I agree with purplev about the Bosch being too sticky. I tried three display models, and could barely remove the motors they were so tight. I do like other bosch tools (I use their laminate trimming router, and circular saw). For me the dewalt will do anything from chamfering an edge detail, to cutting a clean dado, to inlaying a bowtie with absolute precision.
I also use a Freud FT1700 fixed base router in my router table because it offers above-the-table adjustments.

Good luck!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View StephenO's profile


44 posts in 2574 days

#8 posted 07-25-2011 11:48 AM

I have the DeWalt 618, I haven’t had any problems with it. I use it both in my table and freehand, and it is a good balance of power and size for most applications I have used it for.

-- -Steve, Seattle

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 3218 days

#9 posted 07-25-2011 12:20 PM

If the larger routers are similar in quality as the trim routers, I’d go with Dewalt. I have all three of these brands in trim routers. I started with the Bosch Colt and it remained my favorite after buying the Rigid trim router. The Rigid is much louder than the Bosch and not as comfortable as the Bosch. I recently bought the Dewalt plunge trim router and it is heaven. The soft start is superb and I feel more in control with the Dewalt versus the Bosch. The plunge feature is an added plus.

I own two Bosch (1617?) routers (one in my router table and the other on my Router Boss). I have no intention to replace them with Dewalt but if they burned up today, there’d be no doubt I’d look to Dewalt as a replacement.

-- Ted

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3340 days

#10 posted 07-25-2011 12:42 PM

I have the Bosch and just spray a little teflon lubricant on it every now and have no issues. Good router.

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#11 posted 07-26-2011 02:42 AM

Again, thanks to your fine folks – Seems like the DeWalt or Bosch are fine choices and I would not be dilsappointed with either. Surprised no one that has replied has a Ridgid. Now I have to convince the wife that another tool is just what the doctor ordered. Wonder if I can get the doctor to pay for it.

Lumber Jocks Rocks!!

-- Harold

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