Variable speed switch for a router

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Forum topic by James posted 03-29-2018 11:07 PM 668 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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142 posts in 2558 days

03-29-2018 11:07 PM

Recently I got a Jessem lift. I have a Bosch 1617 EVS in. It. The variable speed setting on the switch does nothing. ON turns the router on at whatever speed the router is currently set on. Can this work somehow?

-- James - Semper Fi

8 replies so far

View James's profile


142 posts in 2558 days

#1 posted 03-29-2018 11:09 PM

Let me clarify. I have an aftermarket variable speed control switch. The router also has a variable speed rolling switch. Sorry for that confusion.

-- James - Semper Fi

View MrUnix's profile


8085 posts in 2970 days

#2 posted 03-29-2018 11:27 PM

Try it and see. If your router’s slow start function (does it have one?) is still working though, I doubt it will work.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WyattCo's profile


93 posts in 875 days

#3 posted 03-30-2018 03:45 PM

You need to bypass the variable speed switch on the router if you intend on using an external/separate VSS.

View LesB's profile


2551 posts in 4214 days

#4 posted 03-30-2018 04:50 PM

I seldom find a need to vary the speed of my routers so an external control is unnecessary, unless you are using a large bit (say over 1 1/4” in diameter) there is little need to slow the router down. A second reason would be the rare chance you are getting a lot of surface burning…. Cherry wood is bad about that and dull bits will also cause it.
If you are removing a lot of wood do it in several passes instead of one deep cut and make a the final pass very thin to get a smooth finish.

-- Les B, Oregon

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2762 posts in 1374 days

#5 posted 03-30-2018 04:52 PM

Yes. The slow start feature on the Bosch 1617 prevents a VSC from working. (Ask me how I know) In practical usage though I have found that I don’t need to adjust the speed very often. As a rule I keep mine just a hair below the max speed and only change it for special situations so my setup allows me access to the speed control on the router by reaching under the table. I think I’ve slowed it down twice in the past year when I was using miter-lock or large raised panel bits.

Edit – LesB is saying the same thing but I wrote it so I posted it.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12174 posts in 4199 days

#6 posted 03-30-2018 06:58 PM

My router also has VS and it’s mounted in a Jessem lift, too. I’ve never found it to be a problem to operate the VS controller from under the table. Maybe because my table is mounted to the TS and so, it’s a bit higher than normal and, it’s got gobs of room under it.
The best thing I ever did was hook the router to a foot switch.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Andybb's profile


2762 posts in 1374 days

#7 posted 03-30-2018 08:43 PM

The best thing I ever did was hook the router to a foot switch.
- Gene Howe

Yes. Once I realized the $19 harbor freight VSC wouldn’t work I took it back and bought the $13 foot switch.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4014 days

#8 posted 03-31-2018 10:15 PM

I have a HF VSC on my Hitachi 3-1/4 hp router and it works perfectly. The speed control quit, so I bypassed it with the HF unit.

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