Good router, okay table

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Review by RandyMorter posted 01-24-2011 06:18 PM 4183 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good router, okay table No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I got the Bosch 1617EVSPK 2.25 HP Router Kit with the fixed and plunge bases as an upgrade to my Ryobi router. I was looking for more power and also for a router I could mount in a table (I never could get the Ryobi in a table for some reason, and I even tried a Ryobi table).
I got the router from Lowe’s on 11/15/2010 for $189.00 in Phoenix, AZ. Home Depot had the same unit for $209.
Those are only the two routers I’ve ever used and I like the Bosch much better. I chose it over others mainly based on the reviews from and haven’t been disappointed with the router. I’m not going to go into it much because there are other good reviews of it here, such as from Tim from Iowa City.
I also got the Bosch RA1171 Benchtop Cabinet Style Router Table, again from Lowe’s, for $179.00, which I will discuss a bit…
I read a lot of reviews and info about router tables. The most common advice for getting a table you like is to build it yourself. Some of that advice includes waiting until it is you see what you want in a table and then build it yourself.
Being pretty new, and impatient, and ignoring the advice from those more experienced, I decided to get a store bought unit. I settled on this Bosch unit because the router fits in without much hassel. I liked it better than the other, non-cabinet model, mainly because of the laminated top and the cabinet.
I got a stand from Sears to mount it on, the Model# 22284, for $34.99.

Pros -

1. I like the cabinet. It gives me a great place to store some of the accessories such as the inserts, wrenches, featherboards, etc.
2. The switch is convenient, has a removable safety interlock, and has 2 switched outlets so you can use it to control a shop vac (which I did use for a bit).
3. For the projects I’ve done so far (as of January 2011) the table size is sufficient. I have always used the fence and haven’t done anything using the starter pin.
4. I added some hooks inside and out to hang the wrenches on, including the height adjusting wrench.
5. The router height can be adjusted using the supplied T-handle wrench from the top of the table.
6. The bits can be changed from the top of the table (I put the shaft wrench on from underneath the table then loosen/tighten the collet from above the table. An offset wrench would be better but the supplied wrench works fine.).
7. Dust collection works pretty good using an attached shop vac. The cabinet still gets quite a bit of sawdust in it though.
8. I didn’t have to build it – and it’s giving me good ideas for when / if I do build one.
9. It came with a couple of nice plastic feather boards.
10. The router mounting plate is pretty thick aluminimum with levelling adjustments.
11. The fence is split with hardwood faces that can be replaced. The fence can be shimmed for jointing.

Cons -

1. I don’t like the slots for the fence adjustment. I wish they were T-slot aluminum. The routed out through-holes seem sloppy and will likely wear. The fence uses carriage bolts through the slots and they bind when trying to adjust the fence. I haven’t had a problem with this, but it seems like the fence doesn’t tighten down very securely and could move during a cut. I haven’t looked into it much but I don’t think it’d be too hard to mount T-slots to the table top to replace the slots and if I can do that I’d be plenty happy with the table. Just cutting those slots square and parallel will be the biggest challenge.

2. I don’t like the plastic inserts. They are thinner than the aluminum mounting plate and there’s no provision for adjustment. I’d really like to machine some aluminum inserts but I don’t have the tools. As it is, I added 5 thicknesses of masking tape to four locations in between the four “snap” portions of the inserts to level the insert to the table. Without something like this the work piece dips down when it’s over the insert and then comes to a stop when it hits the end of the insert. I also wish there were more inserts with a bigger variety of holes. Sometimes you have to go to a bigger insert hole that leaves a lot of empty space around the bit, allowing material to fall into the cabinet and/or making you watch so that the work piece doesn’t droop into the hole as your cutting it.

3. I wish the switched outlets were easier to get to. They’re tucked up against the underside of the table top making it hard to plug in a vacuum (once the router’s plugged in you don’t need to change it much). You can plug in a short extension cord and then hang it out of the back, but I just hate using a bunch of extension cords.


About the Sears stand I mounted it on:

1. I think the work surface of the table is a bit too high. I wish it was maybe 5 inches lower or so. However,after getting my Grizzly G0555P Band Saw, the table on it is higher so I’ve kind of quit whining about the router. The stand height is NOT adjustable.

2. The stand is sturdy but it was kind of difficult to put together compared to other stands I have (the Grizzly, Ridgid, and Ryobi stands). It’s not that it’s hard but the way it assembles it’s like you have to hold everything together while fastening the bolts. Nothing is keyed or has any mating dimples, etc. Once together it’s plenty sturdy.

3. The stand has a couple of pieces of MDF to put on the top. I left those off and mounted the table directly to the stand. I may have had to drill a couple of holes in the stand for the bolts. I only have 2 bolts mounting the table to the stand (the 2 on the front of the table) but I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3460 days

9 comments so far

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 01-24-2011 06:24 PM

I bought the Skill version ( less money and Bosh owns Skill) about 2 years ago.
It has served me well.
Since then I mounted this table in my table saw.
All that works well together.

-- Bert

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3460 days

#2 posted 01-24-2011 06:40 PM

One other thought I have, after having this table for a couple of months now, and one that I hope more experienced router users can shed some light on, is this: if I plan to probably leave the router mounted in the table and NOT use it hand-held, would I have been better off getting a dedicated shaper instead? Grizzly has one for less than I paid for the router, table, and stand, the G0510Z (well, it’s not much different when you add in the Grizzly shipping cost). It allows you to use regular router bits. Right now I wish I’d got it instead. It seems like I paid a lot for the router kit (which is apparently the only way to get the 2.25 HP router), spending money on the plunge base and the fancy wood handles, that don’t get used.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Matt88's profile


22 posts in 3461 days

#3 posted 01-24-2011 07:19 PM

I purchased the ryobi router and table combo for $100. It works alright, but like you I have issues with the plastic inserts. When using a larger bit (and you have to displace the guide fence), it’s almost inevitable for the workpiece to drop down a little bit. I know eventually I will want something a little more of quality. You have turned my eye to this grizzly shaper. I am very much a novice and I am also looking at getting the Grizzly GO555 in a couple weeks. Do you consider this to be a good purchase? Thanks for the review.

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3460 days

#4 posted 01-24-2011 08:17 PM

Hi Matt,

As for the G0555 (I got the G0555P – same thing but in white and it costs $25 less now. I got mine for $395.), I like it. I have never used any other BS but it has better features (especially the bearing guide block) for the money than any others. I read a lot of reviews on band saws and it consistently came out on top from what I could see. Very few people have had any complaints with it.

I’m hoping to get more insight into whether it’d be better to have got the shaper instead of the router & table IF you’re planning on basically having a router dedicated to the table anyway. Like you, I could use my Ryobi router for hand-held work.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 4134 days

#5 posted 01-24-2011 08:57 PM

good review thanks for the info

-- self proclaimed copycat

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3905 days

#6 posted 01-25-2011 03:15 AM

The problem with a small table is if your just doing small work & that’s it, there alright…

But like anything else, the more you use it, the more you tend to out grow it, quick…

-- Rick

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3811 days

#7 posted 01-25-2011 05:34 AM

I have that same table. I like it for the most part. I have had it for two years and never had the fence move on me so I wouldn’t worry about it. You can always make an auxiliary fence and table for those larger project if needed. Great review and spot on.

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 4082 days

#8 posted 01-25-2011 01:15 PM

Good review. I bought the same two units a few months ago. I really like both.

I have not had the problem with the inserts that you have experienced with the dipping and catching.

Haven’t used the plunge base yet, but it looks well constructed and easy to use.

When doing a lot of routing, I will hook both my DC and shop vac up to the router table, and that works quite well. One of these days I will have to get another length of 2.5 inch hose and a wye so that I can run it all through the DC.

View manyironsinfire's profile


48 posts in 3453 days

#9 posted 01-25-2011 05:03 PM

Nice choice. I bought this same router back in december at lowes. Was going to get a craftsman combo but couldnt find any positive reviews on it. Couldnt find any negative reviews on bosch.

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