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The fixed base Bosch Router 1617EVS is a nice 2.5 horsepower router, and one that can be used freehand or, more often for mounting in a router table. The 1617EVS has many of the features of other Bosch routers such as variable speed, soft start and “constant response under load” circuitry, macro and fine adjustment for depth control, right of left on / off switch.
One feature the 1617EVS does have that is not wide spread among it’s competitors is the ability to adjust the height of the router – above the table! For anyone who uses a router a lot, and especially those using the router in a table, this feature alone will capture hearts.
We only used this router in a router table, which was really too bad because when you look at the tool it has such lovely hardwood handles, its almost a pity to hide them under a router table.
We did find in using the router, the common attributes of Bosch routers, smooth operation, ease of use, convenience etc. This router with only 2.5 hp, we felt was a wee bit weak in power. We did try it with some larger panel bits and found that when cutting maple, we actually needed to make 3 or 4 passes to get suitable cuts. For most other work the Bosch 1617EVS performed flawlessly, even when we challenged it somewhat with a large round-over and some red oak. The bit did not slip and the router zipped through the wood with no problem.
Another fine product from Bosch and one we would recommend, particularly as a router dedicated to a router table, his unit would make a great second router.