New Bosch MRC23EVSK or 1617EVSPK

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Forum topic by steffen707 posted 03-03-2012 06:53 PM 17851 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View steffen707's profile


98 posts in 2257 days

03-03-2012 06:53 PM

Well I’m soon going to buy my first router. I have used one a few times and after playing around with the controls of the dewalt and bosch at lowes, I liked the bosch better. It sounds like the 1617 series is a pretty well reguarded router, but they just came out with this new MRC23. It is $100 more, but has a lot of enhancements over the 1617.

Any thoughts?

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

22 replies so far

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2228 days

#1 posted 03-19-2012 09:38 PM

Well, I haven’t used the MRC23, but I have the 1617. From what I have read about the MRC23, it isn’t worth the extra money for what I do. Sure, the new power switch is nice and it has about .08 more HP (2.25 vs 2.33) and LED lighting, but other than that, I can’t see where it could be any better than the 1617.

The prices are somewhat closer than when I bought my 1617 (which is now over $30 more than what I paid), but it’s still a big difference in price. You can buy some new router bits or heck, even a little Bosch Colt to go along with the 1617 for just a few dollars more.

As for the 1617, I can’t argue with it. It’s a great router. I have a PC 690 (great router also) and had a Skil, but it’s really hard to compare either to the 1617… it just feels solid, well-made, and powerful.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2777 days

#2 posted 03-19-2012 09:58 PM

The MRC23 is bigger, heavier, and is ill-suited for use in a router table (collet doesn’t extend above table so bit changes are a pain). The 1617 has good reviews, but for my money it is the Dewalt 618 because the bases are easier to change.
Good luck with your purchase

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

View steffen707's profile


98 posts in 2257 days

#3 posted 03-19-2012 10:30 PM

I didn’t know the mrc23 couldn’t extend above the table.

Does the 1617 extende above the table?

-- If you think it will take a week and cost $100, it will take a month and cost $400.

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2386 days

#4 posted 03-19-2012 10:32 PM

I agree with Doss. I also have the 1617 and have used it for years, its a great router. I haven’t had any problems with mine. I have even used it for raised panel bits, and it had no trouble spinning a bit of that size, i did take a couple passes through with the stock but it cut no problem.

Yes the 1617 can extend above the table

The biggest complaint i see is people who cant change the base easily. I dont see this as a problem….there are 2 arrows one on the motor and one on the base…line them up when you start sliding them together and there is never a problem.

Its really a matter of preference, i personally dont see the extra $100 worth the cost for a few nicer features

View mveach's profile


56 posts in 2346 days

#5 posted 03-21-2012 04:13 AM

Keep us posted on the MRC I wonder if the contacts getting dirty will be a problem or not.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2540 days

#6 posted 03-21-2012 04:53 AM

+1 for the 1617.
Great router, very smooth running.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View JSOvens's profile


78 posts in 1620 days

#7 posted 12-16-2013 05:25 PM

Thought I’d chime in about Doss’ comment. It isn’t necessarily 0.08 HP higher, it is 3 amps higher in power. At 15 amps, this is the highest power available in a router. Most other models of this rating are advertised as 3-3.25 HP. I suspect Bosch is just being a little bit more realistic with the HP rating in this case.

I’ve taken a look at the MRC23 in stores (I’m also toying with the idea of buying a new router), and another feature I think looks quite useful is the afterlock fine adjustment available on the plunge router (i.e. you can micro-adjust the depth after the plunge lock has been engaged a la the Triton series).

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2885 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 11:07 PM

I have Bosch 1619 mounted in a table. It is too heavy to use otherwise, in my opinion. It works well for me in the table.

-- Website is

View MJCD's profile


539 posts in 2335 days

#9 posted 12-18-2013 12:59 AM

I have the MRC23, and it’s a very good router.

However, I find the extra umph! that you get from 12 amps to 15 amps isn’t effective in either a table-mounted or handheld mode. Simply, you shouldn’t be pushing a cut that requires this much power. Prior to the MRC23, I was a Porter-Cable believer (the 890 series); thinking that I needed more (than 12 amps), I purchased the Bosch – effortless power, good ergonomics – heavy. In my view, the Bosch line-up is quite superior to the current Porter-Cables; probably superior to all but the uber-over-priced Festool. Still, get the 12 amp Bosch – unless you absolutely, positively need 15 amps – and then question why you reached that conclusion.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View lsiberian's profile


8 posts in 1585 days

#10 posted 12-18-2013 02:22 AM

I’ve had the 1617 for about 5 years and I got it from CPO. I’ve had zero issues with it. The Dust Collection attachments are a good addition for my work.

For bits I always use Whiteside.

I’ve had zero issues swapping bases.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2009 days

#11 posted 12-18-2013 03:42 AM

I like how a near 2 year old thread came back to life. I could have sworn I read this thread when I was debating between the Bosch 1617 and the Dewalt DW618 as my 1.5 year old daughter’s fathers day present for me 6 months ago…

-- paxorion

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2288 days

#12 posted 12-19-2013 03:04 AM

I do have a 1617, simply love it. I use it quite often either on a table or free hand. Never had any issue changing base or any issue at all. I did use 1500 wet sand paper to “polish” a little bit the inside of the base at first, Bosch customer service recommended that when I did call them to get more information. It has plenty of power for what I do.

Ask yourself the question if a LED and a tiny bit of “theoretical” more power (that you might never use) are worth an extra $100. If so go for it, if not stick to the 1617. With the extra money you can get their deluxe guide (worth the money) and the template adapter guide (RA1126) if you ever want to use a guide bushing. And you will need the adapter RA1100 if you ever want to use PC style bushing.

Good luck, have fun and play safe with your machine.

edit: did not notice that was an “ancient” post

View starblazer's profile


5 posts in 1407 days

#13 posted 06-13-2014 01:47 PM

hey guys!

new here.

i know this is an old post, but just wondering if the mrc23 router has a “built-in” lifting mechanism…whereas with the 1617, you would have to purchase a “lift” accessory?

also, i have read in places that the mrc23 doesn’t extend enough above the table surface, making it difficult (and time consuming) to change bits.

is this true?

also, what tables (offset) are compatible with the mrc23, if you don’t build your own?

any help would be appreciated!



View dawsonbob's profile


2818 posts in 1719 days

#14 posted 06-13-2014 07:31 PM

The mrc23 does have above table adjustment, and the NEWER 1617’s do, too. I can’t speak to bit changing, because mine hasn’t arrived yet.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View starblazer's profile


5 posts in 1407 days

#15 posted 06-13-2014 09:40 PM

thanks so much for the response db!

that is good to know. from my research, i have come to believe that the mrc23 is more suitable for hand work—and the 1617 is more suited for table work. the simple reason is that the body of the 1617 is much more compatible with tables—and you can even buy a 50 buck mount for it.

let me know if you agree. obviously, both are awesome for both hand or table; but, the 1617 just seems easier to swap.

one question remains: if the new 1617s are adjustable (like the mrc23)...what the heck is going on in this picture:




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