The Bosch 1617EVS router has been a popular mid-sized router available from Bosch for quite a while now. It’s a workhorse in many shops and can be used for a wide range of routing applications. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Cutting Power & Motor
This router sports a 12 amp motor which can produce a maximum of 2.25 HP. That is about right for a router of it’s size, and it falls somewhere between a compact router and a more full sized style of router. The motor is plenty powerful and when combined with the 1/2 inch bit capacity it allows this router to be used for many types of applications.
There is a variable speed system which is indicated in the model number (EVS). The variable speed is adjustable from 8,000-25,000 RPM which is a pretty good range to work with. Faster speeds work best for smaller diameter bits and slower speeds tend to work better for larger diameter bits. It’s also nice to be able to adjust the speed to be able to avoid burning the wood during cuts, depending on what types of wood and what size of bit you are using.
This router also employs a constant response circuitry, which will maintain the speed of the motor throughout a cut. This is a nice feature to have and is pretty common on most modern router tools.
Collet & Bit Size
This router includes both a 1/2 inch and a 1/4 inch collet, which gives you plenty of flexibility in the types of bits you can use. The collets are easy to remove and swap out when needed.
Changing bits on this router is done with two wrenches, one to hold the shaft in place and one to adjust the collet chuck. The wrenches they package with this tool are pretty nice, actually, and don’t feel cheap. The router has a flat top so when you flip it over to change bits it sits flat. There is no spindle lock mechanism like some routers – some people might like this and others might not like it. In our opinion it’s just fine, and changing bits is still pretty easy regardless. Not having a spindle lock also means one less plastic part to break.
This router comes standard with a fixed base with a 2 inch sub base opening. The fixed base is made from aluminum and the plastic sub-base glides over materials during cuts. There is also an included clear plastic chip shield that can be attached to the base to prevent wood chips from coming back at you.
The fixed base is pretty easy to use on this router and making adjustments is straightforward. The router can be mounted into the fixed base either facing forward or backwards, which give you some flexibility depending on your preferences.
When mounted into the fixed base, there is a coarse adjustment lever that latches the motor in place in one of three depth positions. Beyond the coarse adjustment, you also have a fine tune adjustment knob. Once you have the fine-tune adjustment set where you need it, the clamp is used to clamp the base fully into place on the motor.
One issue people have with the fixed base on this router is that it can’t fit standard sized template guides without an adapter. Bosch does offer an adapter kit though, which is great.
Template Guide Set
This router requires an adapter to use template guides which we touched on lightly. We figured it’s worth covering here in more depth.
Bosch offers the template guide adapter which fits on the fixed base for this router, part number RA1129. The template guide adapter is a ring that fits into the base which then can fit the various available template guides. There is also another adapter available that fits Porter-Cable template guides. So it gets to be a lot of adapters but template guides are possible if you have the needed adapters.
In addition the template guide adapter itself, Bosch makes a kit that includes the adapter as well as some guides. The kit includes:
- RA1113 5/8 In. Radius Hinge Guide
- RA1100 Adapter for Threaded Template Guides
- RA1121 Quick Release Template Guide
- RA1126 Template Guide Adapter
- RA1103 Small Dovetail Guide
- RA1105 Large Dovetail Guide
- RA1109 and RA1115 General Application Guides
When using the template guide adapters and any guides you need to properly center the plastic base on the router.
To do this, Bosch makes another part that is a sub-base centering pin and cone. This can be attached as a bit to then allow you to center the sub-base to the collet chuck and any bit that is then used.
If you are going to be using this router and it’s fixed base with template guides, it’s probably a good idea to just grab the whole kit. You can then be sure you have the proper adapter when you need it.
Some versions of this router come with the plunge base, or otherwise it’s available for purchase on it’s own. The plunge base works pretty well on this router and is straightforward in design.
The plunge base attaches a little differently that the fixed base and doesn’t use a coarse adjustment lever. The motor slides into the base and then adjustments are made with the fine adjustment knob on the depth rod. There is also a depth stop turret with steps in 1/8 inch increments.
Once adjustments are made and the base is clamped into place, the plunger works by pulling the plunge lever and pushing down against the spring action. The plunge lever can be released to hold the router in the down position of the plunge. The spring action returns the motor back to starting height when you no longer are applying pressure.
Overall it works well and doesn’t feel awkward to work with. If you need the plunge base make sure you are looking at a kit that includes it.
Handheld Design & Table Mounting
This router has a handheld design and is meant to be used in handheld applications. It’s larger than a compact palm grip router, and don’t expect to be able to use this one handed. It weighs about 8 lbs, so it will have some heft to it when you are working with it but it’s not overly heavy.
This router can also be mounted to a table, and has mounting holes on the base to do so. It also comes with mounting screws, so Bosch is expecting people might be buying this to mount to a table.
People that have used it while mounted to a table have had decent results. Some find that it doesn’t have quite the power of a larger sized router and that it couldn’t handle the most demanding of cutting applications on a table. Others have found it to work just fine for them and to provide enough power for that type of usage. So it might depend more on what types of materials and cuts you are trying to make in regards to if you will have success with this as a table mounted router.
Bosch hasn’t changed much in the long time they’ve been making this router, and overall build quality is good. The design isn’t overly complicated or feature ridden, so this tends to just work and do what it does well for a long period of time. There’s not much that can go bad outside of plastic parts breaking over time or just general wear down from use.
One issue that people who own this router seem to run into more often is the power switch can get jammed up with sawdust and affect ability to turn on or off.
Bosch offers support and a warranty if you end up with a bad unit from the manufacturer or faulty parts. If you get a good unit initially out of the box, expect it to last a while.
This router comes with a few accessories, and there are more available to purchase depending on how you intend to use your router. We looked at the basic kit, but there is also an option that includes the plunge base. Here’s what comes packaged with the base version of this router:
- Fixed Base
- 1/4 Inch Collet Chuck
- 1/2 Inch Collet Chuck
- (3) Screws for Table Mounting
- 16mm Shaft Wrench
- Collet Nut Wrench
- T-Handle Hex Height Adjustment Wrench
- Chip Shield for Fixed Base
Other Available Accessories
Dewalt offers some accessories to expand the capabilities of this router, which need to be purchased separately. There’s may also be kits or packages that include these accessories. Here’s what’s available.
Setup & Assembly
This router is pretty straightforward in terms of assembly and setup. As always, read through the manual so you understand the details of making adjustments and bit changes. Overall, you’ll be up and running pretty quickly with this router.
Bosch offers a 1 year warranty on defective parts or workmanship. This is good enough to help you out if you have quality control issues in that first year of use.
- Variable speed motor with excellent cutting power
- Not overly large or heavy
- Quick and accurate depth adjustments
- This model has stood the test of time
- Long power cord
- Power switch can collect sawdust inside an affect operation
- Fixed base doesn’t fit template guides without adapters
- No LED lights
8,000 – 25,000 RPM
1/4 Inch and 1/2 Inch
12.25 in x 10.5 in x 7.75 in
6 Inch Diameter
Yes with attachment
The Bosch 1617EVS is an excellent router tool that offers a handheld design and plenty of power for most applications. It’s variable speed motor, smooth operation and ability to use 1/2 inch bits make for a capable tool. It’s fairly straightforward in design without many frills and extra features, but that also helps keep it affordable. This particular model has been around for a while and it’s a good pickup for people that like Bosch tools.