Two Palm Routers Will Enter One Will Leave!

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Review by Brad posted 02-28-2012 07:46 AM 43342 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Two Palm Routers Will Enter One Will Leave! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So awhile back I knew the time had come to get into the palm router game. I know some woodworkers are loyal to one brand and their shop is a “Jet Shop” or a “Powermatic” shop. My tool collection seems to be pretty varied although I have exiled ALL that is Harbor Freight! So when I started my research on palm routers there seemed to be two major contenders for the title.

The Bosch Colt found for about $90 as a stand alone or $180 as a complete package with lots of accessories and bases.

Variable speed dial lets you match speed to workpiece and task.
Soft-start reduces start-up torque.
Constant Response Circuitry monitors and maintains speed under load.
Quick-Clamp System allows motor to be easily adjusted or moved from base to base. Liar liar pants on fire says I.
Convenient front spindle lock for fast, easy one-wrench bit changes.
Rubberized grip and unique finger support pockets provide additional support when trimming edges.
All-metal straight-edge guide directs router along edges of workpiece or up to 3-5/8” from edge.
Fast and precise depth adjustment system with micro-fine adjustment dial.
Accepts 1/4” shank bits.

And the Dewalt DWP611PK which runs about $115 stand alone or $180 with the plunge base.

Router Type Combination (Fixed & Plunge)
Power Used (Amps) 7
Operating Input Voltage 110 volt / 120 volt @ 60hz (North America)
Horsepower (HP) 1.25 HP (.25 more than the Bosch)
RPM (Rotations Per Minute) 16,000 to 27,000 (Bosch does go to a higher RPM 35k)
Collet Diameter 1/4-Inch
Plunge Stroke 2-inch
Spindle Lock Yes (The DeWalt lock only takes a tiny bit of depressing to lock which is awesome!)
Collet Capacity 1/4-inch
Base Dimensions 4-inch standard and 4-3/8-inch x 5-3/4-inch plunge

After going back and forth and talking to a few fellow woodworkers and Bosch owners, I finally settled on the Bosch Colt stand alone. So I grabbed it at Rockler and headed home to flush trim some book case parts. I soon realized my mistake… In paying attention to mostly price and not extensively handling the product in the store I made an impulsive purchase. I realized my mistake the first time I tried to adjust the bit height… it was difficult and not precise. Basically it’s a twist the unit to unlock adjust-ability and then twist the motor back to lock it in place. The problem with this is that it just doesn’t have that “I’m totally in control” feeling when adjusting the bit height. I started to play the “No that’s too low… no now that’s too high.” Eventually I got fed up and visions of returning it started to cloud my mind. I first decided to give it a fair shot before sending it packing. The adjustment clamp seemed to be holding on too tightly to allow easy adjustments so i tried to fine tune it’s hold. My efforts to dial in that adjustment clamp failed miserably. While routing a small dado I noticed the motor slowly slipping lower. That was it back to Rockler you go young Colt. If there is a company out there in the woodworking industry that understands customers service it’s Rockler. I took the Bosch router back and explained that I wanted to get the DeWalt instead they took it back with a smile on their face and I paid the difference. After getting in a few uses on the DeWalt I quickly realized it was by far that better of the two routers. Large adjustments can be done quickly by squeezing two unlock tabs on the side of the base and fine adjustments are accomplished by twisting the adjustment ring for slow fine adjustments. Plus the DeWalt includes creature comforts like bottom mounted LED lights, slow start, and easy spindle lock button, and a base that has better visibility than the all metal Bosch base. I haven’t tried the plunge base yes but if it functions as smoothly as the fixed base I’m sure I’ll have no issues.

My father-in-law said it best “Buy right and cry once.” I this case if you’re looking to jump into the arena of palm routers I’d tell you just get the DeWalt you won’t regret it!

-- Brad --

View Brad's profile


135 posts in 4745 days

20 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5337 posts in 4854 days

#1 posted 02-28-2012 01:16 PM

Thanks for the review.
Huh, I have always wanted a different palm router. I have a little Porter Cable that I hate, and have ogled over the Bosch. Always liked the other Bosch tools that I have. This makes me think about it more. That DeWalt looks good.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View poospleasures's profile


862 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 02-28-2012 01:54 PM

I have an old model little Bosch which has been a work horse for many years, but wanted a combination of fixed and plunge. After much deliberation decided on the Dewalt DWP 611 kit. I won,t say more than see Brads review. To add to it I do use the plunge which is smooth as silk. Big plus to me is how quite this unit is as I can easily hear my wife calling me to come eat. Most useable hand held I,ve ever had.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View vernonator's profile


75 posts in 3623 days

#3 posted 02-28-2012 02:29 PM

I will add a 3rd thumbs up for the Dewalt….very versitile little unit. I have come to use it almost exclusivley for handheld tasks and keep my full size BOSCH in the router table….

View w8n4simplertimes's profile


37 posts in 4362 days

#4 posted 02-28-2012 02:36 PM

Thanks for the review. Great details and info.

I have the Colt and I guess I have been lucky with it. I am an occasional user so I may not have pushed it enough to find all its faults.

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 3578 days

#5 posted 02-28-2012 02:36 PM

There is a thumb wheel on the back of the Bosch base that operates the fine adjustment. I bought the bosch when it first came out and there were no other options out there. The kit gives you a tool that you can not find anywhere else. There is a base that allows you to pivot the router over and create profiles you normally can not. I wish bosch would upgrade the router with bottom LED like most of the new routers but I would not trade this in it is my go to router for all small edge profiling and mortising work

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4280 days

#6 posted 02-28-2012 03:00 PM

Good review…
I have a Ridgid palm router that I have had for about 4 years. It is OK but not the best available. I don’t use it much since it is difficult to adjust…but it is paid for. I have looked at the Dewalt combo kit and it really does look nice. Porter Cable also has a small 1.25hp kit that I have seen photos of but have not seen in in person to play with it. The PC is not variable speed but I don’t ever remember using a palm router other that at full speed…unlike a larger and more powerful router.

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 4607 days

#7 posted 02-28-2012 04:54 PM

Bosch shot themselves in the foot by not having a plunge base for the colt. I got rid of mine and got the trend t4 to replace it. I’ll be using it this weekend hopefully.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3855 days

#8 posted 02-28-2012 05:11 PM

I bought the Dewalt a few months ago after looking at several reviews of both it and the Bosch Colt. I find the clear base-plate especially helpful on the Dewalt. I haven’t used the plunge attachment yet, but even without it the Dewalt is an awesome unit.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3906 days

#9 posted 02-28-2012 06:16 PM

I started with the bosch about a year before the dewalt dw611pk release.
I never liked the way you adjust the bit height. At the time it was probably the better router from the existing batch.

When I saw advertising for the dewalt last year, I knew I will be getting one.
I never regretted that purchase. The plunge base is awsome.

I still keep the bosch as a backup, you never know.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4660 days

#10 posted 02-28-2012 11:52 PM

I’ve been very happy with my Colt , but the DeWalt has me lookin’ for a possible new mistress ; )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View AmandasHusband's profile


58 posts in 3665 days

#11 posted 02-29-2012 01:21 AM

If I didn’t already have the Colt, I’d be looking to get the DeWalt.

But I have been really happy with the Colt and I expect Bosch to overhaul/redesign it very soon.

The Colt was pretty much the standard of trim routers for years.

Thanks for the review. Sounds like you made the right decision.

-- In this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

View JohnLee's profile


25 posts in 3271 days

#12 posted 02-29-2012 12:28 PM

I gave the colt to my son in law and bought the DeWalt. The Colt seemed nice, but I kept fighting with it. I love the DeWalt!

-- John, Omaha

View Mark's profile


1817 posts in 4246 days

#13 posted 02-29-2012 08:22 PM

i have a problem with the dewalt and the bosche. I have a rigid and its the cats ass. My problem with dewalt and bosche is the baseplate, theyre square whereas the rigid is circular. the circular follows guides/ odd shapes much better which is more comfortable for the wrist. If i use a guide with the palm router that has a square base, one side can only go against the fence and i always have to reposition myself to stay comfortable.

-- M.K.

View Drew's profile


411 posts in 4072 days

#14 posted 03-10-2012 08:06 PM

I bought the Colt when it first came on. Never totally happy with it. The DeWalt is a much better router!!!


View apkitz's profile


12 posts in 3594 days

#15 posted 03-21-2012 04:49 AM

I agree…. The colt is inferior to the dewalt… The Dewalt is freaking awesome! My colt—I went through 3 bases with as no matter what I did for cleaning and maintaining it—it would get all scratched up and eventually trash the base. It was always a pain to adjust…. I did some inlay work with the plunge part of the dewalt and it was so smooth and had go balance… I might pick up another one if I find sale!

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