Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Variable Speed Router

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Review by Timber4fun posted 07-18-2008 03:06 PM 21725 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Variable Speed Router No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Introduction – After 20+ years of woodworking, I have discovered a couple important facts about routers – safety is very important and it is convenient to have more than one router. I have had the opportunity to use a number of branded routers, with my favorite two being Porter-Cable and Bosch. This review discusses the Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Variable Speed Router. My priorities included safety, accurate/efficient cuts, performance, quality components, functionality, size, and price. I am not into a bunch of fancy features that can potentially breakdown easily. I like it simple, clean, intuitive and solid. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is just that. Read on.

Installation – I am not going to go into much detail about installation. If there were problems, I would go into more detail. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router was easy to setup. Just pull it out of the box, get familiar with the components, base, and motor, and fire it up. Of course, read all the safety instructions provided with the tool. When it comes to safety in the shop, the router has always worried me the most with a turning speed of 20,000+ RPM. I bought the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router specifically to be mounted in a router table. Mounting the base was simple. I positioned the adjusting levers of the base facing the front of the router table for ease of use.

Quality – If you have ever used a Bosch tool, you already know they have a reputation for quality that always seems to be a step above most other manufacturers. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is no different. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is very well balanced and has an exceptional feel when held. As I mentioned earlier, I purchased this router for the sole purpose of mounting it to a router table. The quality of the base and levers are very good. The wood handles are a nice touch, but not really a priority for me. I guess having the solid wood handles is nicer than plastic handles. When you power on the motor, you can just feel the quality, precision, and efficiency of this tool. There is no question the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is built with top-notch components.

Performance – For me, one of the primary reasons for upgrading from a smaller router to a larger router was performance. I don’t need the capabilities of a large shaper, but I would like a nice router that can handle large bits. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is perfect for creating cabinet doors using different router bit sets, including some very large bits. It performs extremely well. Since this router was purchased for a router table, I had considered going with a larger 3.5 hp Milwaukee router. I also looked at the 3.25 hp Porter-Cable router, as I have a smaller 1.5 HP Porter-Cable router that I really like a lot. In the end, I stuck with the Bosch 1617EVS 2.25 HP Variable Speed Router. I have no regrets. It has handled everything I have thrown at it. At this point, I am not sure there is a woodworking project I have done or will do that requires anything higher end than the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router. There may be a project that requires one or two extra feeds/passes, but for safety reasons, I would probably do that anyway with a larger router or shaper. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router performs at a very efficient and high level.

Safety – As I mentioned earlier, I try to put extra emphasis on safety when it comes to using a router. A lot can go wrong if you don’t understand your tool. One of the reasons I went with the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is the soft start. When you first start the router, it doesn’t try to jump out of your hands. This is not a very big deal with the router mounted to a router table, but I still appreciate the feature. I have an older Porter-Cable router that I use free hand, but it does not include the soft start feature. I am really growing to like the soft start feature with the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router. While the soft start feature is very nice, the intuitive nature of the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router right out of the box make it a safer tool in the shop. This is a very important design/engineering characteristic of a good tool. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router and I have a good understanding of each other.

Functionality – The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router really shines in the functionality department. There is often a fine line between good functionality and overkill or useless functionality. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router has just the right combination of functionality and simplicity. It all starts with the base. It comes with a coarse and fine bit depth adjustment on the base. The fine bit depth adjustment is very nice and one of my favorite features, especially when your router is mounted to a table. I have come to appreciate that feature. Another nice feature is that the router motor removes completely from the base for easy bit changes. Again, this is a nice feature as the base remains mounted to the router table. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router also comes with their “Constant Response Circuitry”. In short, no matter how hard or soft the wood, the router maintains the appropriate RPM settings for a nice smooth and accurate cut. Furthermore, the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router comes with a “precision centering system”, which makes the router bit track at true center. Again, this improves the accuracy of cut. While many of these features are advanced, the actual router is simple and very intuitive to use. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is rock solid from a functionality standpoint, but also extremely easy to use and maintain.

Size – The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router is relatively small in comparison to other routers in the same class. Personally the size was not an issue for me, as again the router is mounted under a router table. At this point, I have no intention of using it free hand. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t mind if it were a bit heavier. I am old school where the belief is that heavy usually means stronger and less vibration. Anyway, the size of this router is not a big issue for me, but I wanted to mention it for the purpose of this review.

Conclusion – The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router has been a pleasure to work with up to this point. It provides for a solid combination of performance, functionality and simplicity. Although I wish it had a bit more weight to it, the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router performs at a very high level with accurate cuts along with safety features. The Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router really shines from a functionality standpoint, including the fine bit depth adjustment, “Constant Response Circuitry”, “Precision Centering System”, noise reduction, and general ease of use. Although the Bosch 1617EVS Variable Speed Router includes many advanced features, the simplicity and intuitive nature of the router make it a great tool for any workshop – amateur or professional.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4373 days

19 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4421 days

#1 posted 07-18-2008 03:32 PM

Nice review! I have the same one,

I have the plunge base for freehand work, and the regular base permanently mounted in my router table. I like the fact that is starts off without the desire to run away from your hands, and it’s precision height control is superb.

bit change is easy, and the accessories rock – they are simple, easy to use, and perform very well.

now if only they protected that power switch from dust getting in there… it would have been perfect (I heard some people that had dust get in the power switch and disabled it… I just blow air at it after each use and keep it extra clean (cause I’m anal about cleanliness) so I haven’t gotten anywhere close to such a thing… but apparently it’s a possibility).

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

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4373 days

#2 posted 07-18-2008 03:57 PM

I have heard about the switch problem. I think it is good to be aware of it. I’ll have to remind myself to blow some air through there from time to time. I remove the motor from my router table each time I change bits, so I usually clean it out then. However, I have been thinking about adding a router bit extension that will allow me to leave the motor on the table and change the bits from the top. I am all about convenience. I’ll have to blow some air through there a bit more often if I decide to go that route.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4541 days

#3 posted 07-18-2008 05:03 PM

cool! i’ll have to take a look into this router. i already have 2 but i am looking to dedicate one or two for my dovetail jig. right nows its either another dewalt, a pc, or maybe the bosch. thanks for the review.

View Festool4's profile


78 posts in 4551 days

#4 posted 07-18-2008 11:37 PM

Yes, a very good review. I would suggest looking at Bosch’s Under-Table Base with Above-Table Key (RA1165). It allows you to make fine adjustments from above the table. Amazon sells it for around 50 dollars. I have been using one for years and it works like a charm.

-- Festool4

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4588 days

#5 posted 07-19-2008 05:53 AM

I have had this router under my router table for about 6 years now. I have never had a problem with it. It does everything I ask of it. The only thing negative about it is that it doesn’t take the PC style bushings. Bosch sells an adapter for that though. Other than that, it rocks!

-- Scott - Chico California

View Russ553's profile


19 posts in 4472 days

#6 posted 07-19-2008 06:55 PM

I concur with everyone. I have the Bosch with 2 fixed bases, one mounted to my router table, and the plunge base.

It is all everyone said it is, plus. I have owned about 5 routers and the Bosch is the best so far.

-- Getting to be an antique - been there, done that, can't remember!

View DrsHobby's profile


38 posts in 4660 days

#7 posted 07-19-2008 07:54 PM

thanks for the review. I just order one form Amazon.

-- -Alex, St Charles, MO - "Measure twice, cut once, and go back to the lumber yard because you still screwed up."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4517 days

#8 posted 07-19-2008 11:10 PM

Thanks for the review. I have a pile of the 1617 one speed models and I love them. I haven’t heard anything about the vs model. Glad to here it’s as good as the rest of the Bosch tools. I may have to look into getting another router.

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4373 days

#9 posted 07-21-2008 01:18 AM

DrsHobby – I purchased mine from Amazon as well. In an effort to help our own, the next time you order from Amazon you may want to think about going through The WoodWhisperer website. You have access to the exact same pricing/product and you work directly with Amazon, but I believe Marc (The WoodWhisperer) gets some credit from Amazon if you search for the product from his site. Just a thought. Marc or someone else may need to clarify that. I am going to try that the next time I order from Amazon to see if I can help Marc.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View roundabout22's profile


94 posts in 4859 days

#10 posted 07-22-2008 12:11 AM


I have this router kit and did a review. I like the power and most everything else. I have a problem changing to the fixed base. I never know if it’s going to go smooth, or be a pain in the a**.

Also Martin has an Amazon site for Lumberjocks as well. When I order tools and whatnot from Amazon I usually split between the two.

-- remember always measure once and cut twice

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4546 days

#11 posted 07-22-2008 06:30 AM

Hi Tim

Great review and great router. I just got the combo set with the plunge and straight base not to long ago. It is one of the nices routers I have ever owned. Thanks for the review.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4658 days

#12 posted 07-22-2008 06:35 AM

I have this great router, a plunge base, and another stationary base that I leave attached to my router table plate. It’s a good one.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Timber4fun's profile


218 posts in 4373 days

#13 posted 07-22-2008 02:11 PM

Roundabout22 – I just noticed the LJ Amazon site that Martin set up. I’ll have to split between the two sites as well. Thanks for the heads up. I am a rookie. Seems like I am learning something new on here everyday.

-- Tim from Iowa City, IA

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 4400 days

#14 posted 07-22-2008 03:16 PM

I too have this router. I purchased it as a multibase kit. I don’t think I have felt a heavier router, so not really sure where that comes into play. I suppose larger routers (3+HP), but I also don’t see the need for those with what I do. It has a much better heft than my old ryobi.

I like this router a lot. Good power, soft start is a great feature, variable speed, and as mentioned simple intuitive controls. I give mine 2 thumbs up or 5 stars.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4647 days

#15 posted 07-28-2008 06:24 AM

I concur with all. I’ve had this combo for about a year now and I’m very pleased with it. I’m considering buying a second motor only though so I can keep one dedicated to the table. Also, I have never had a jammed bit with this router, something I cannot say about my older Makita or Craftsman.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

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