Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System Review
Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System Review
For the couple of years, I have grown fond of the Bosch MRC23 range. The Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System is Bosch’s latest entry in the router combo kit market where you get a plunge base and a fixed base that share one motor, so it’s like having two routers in oneVisit Website
For the couple of years, I have grown fond of the Bosch MRC23 range. The Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System is Bosch’s latest entry in the router combo kit market where you get a plunge base and a fixed base that share one motor, so it’s like having two routers in one.I first saw it as a prototype and then earlier this year, I had the chance to try it out.First off I used the plunge setup and found it to be the easiest to operate of the plunge routers I have used. The switch placement on the handle makes more sense than placing the switch on the motor unit, allowing me to keep both hands on the router during start-up and shut-down.
The lights on when power is active feature I like. Some of my tools have this light feature built into their plugs, which is handy, but putting the light where the work is actually taking place makes more sense. Other highlights of the MRC23 are the low voltage switching that allows the user to swap out the fixed and plunge bases without concern for connecting power cords between the base and the motor.
Bosch uses a system of contacts that handles switching. This system is a nice advantage over the older models. The clear bases provide a view to the workpiece. Coupled with the LED lights, the Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System provided excellent visibility. The always on feature of the LED light avoids the user having to switch on the motor in order to see the workpiece.
But one subtlety about the handle mounted switch I have not seen mentioned. The bases have tracks with contacts in them that fit into a track on the router body. They communicate the control from the switch handle. I have not seen a router lift that can accommodate the track or do the controlling. I don’t think there is a way to bypass the controls going through the track either (e.g. a body switch) for under table applications. Until that base is covered I think you have to plan on using the Bosch base and the manual through table height adjustment feature.
This system is much safer and once again, it just makes more sense than a light controlled by the switch. The fixed base has a microfine adjustment. The plunge base has a spring loaded lever that locks when released, a feature I found more useful than I thought I would. Many plunge routers require you to manually lock the lever after depressing it. With the Bosch you merely release the lever and it locks the position where it was released.
Where the Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System really shined was in its use in combination with Bosch’s 1171 Cabinet Style Benchtop Router Table. I was able to adjust the speed of the router without removing the router from the table and changing between oak and softwood. Adjusting the bit height is easily accomplished by using the included T-handle hex key through the access port built into the table, releasing the cam-lock and adjusting the bit to the desired height.
Assembly of the Bosch 1171 was straight forward. All of the pieces fit precisely and all pre-drilled holes lined up perfectly. From Box to final set-up took about 45 minutes and 10 of those were spent making sure I had adjusted the table insert correctly. I used an aluminum level to match the edges of the insert with the plane of the tabletop. The process was easier than I made it out to be. I like the tall fence that comes with the table. The table comes with a starter pin for curved pieces, feather boards for securing work pieces to the fence, dust collection and several inserts for various router bit widths.
The depth adjustment and zero system on the plunge base are simple to set. In addition to the fixed step turrets, this model features a pair of adjustable steps, which increase the accuracy and versatility of the depth stops. In use, the router is well balanced, with comfy handles on each base that help ease maneuverability. The variable-speed, soft-start motor (15 amps) had plenty of power to shape thick hardwood (I used white oak for the test cuts) with very little vibration, leaving excellent cuts.
Switching out bases takes just 6 seconds. And each base accepts optional dust-extraction shrouds and edge guides, as well as Bosch’s proprietary guide-bushing system. The router comes with 1?4-in. and 1?2-in. collets and requires two wrenches to change bits.
Our initial impression is that the Bosch MRC23EVSK Modular Router System is a top tier router performing as we expect Bosch Power Tools to perform, equaling or exceeding our expectations. The MRC23 combined with the 1171 Cabinet Router Table is a setup any woodworker would be served well by.
Finally, the router has a long (10-ft.) power cord with a nifty ball-and-socket swivel where it attaches to the motor. The design makes it easier to maneuver the tool and reduces strain on the cord.
I’m a hard-core router guy, and I give this Bosch router kit two thumbs up.
I do like the LEDs. I find it hard enough to see what I am doing even with them.
I really like the handle mounted switch. That is actually a carryover from what I had on the old Craftsman. I have never had to use a body mounted switch. In a table it would not matter, and might even be better, but hand held I really like the stability it gives. The handle mounted switch on the old router was all that made it manageable for me.
Handle a broad range of routing applications with the versatile Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit. This router kit includes a powerful motor with advanced speed control technology, precision bases, and plenty of advanced features to help get a variety of jobs done quickly and accurately.
The Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Variable-Speed Router Kit includes: EVS Motor (16176) Plunge base (RA1166) Fixed base (RA1161) Fixed base chip shield Plunge base chip shield 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch self-releasing collet chucks Comfortable forged 16-mm and 24-mm bit-change wrenches T-handle hex height-adjustment wrench Rugged carrying case Both bases feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design for accuracy and control.View larger. Powerful, Variable-Speed
Motor with Soft Start
Take care of even tough routing jobs with the powerful 2.25 HP/12 Amp motor and its versatile speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. The variable speed dial allows you to set the optimal speed for the routing task and material. And with built-in Constant Response Circuitry, your router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get cleaner, more accurate results.
With the integrated soft-start feature, the motor reduces torque upon start-up for a much smoother transition and easier handling on your part.
Accurate Fixed and Plunge Base Cuts
This versatile kit provides all the components necessary for fixed-depth routing and plunge routing, as well. Microfine bit depth adjustment systems on both bases allow for accurate and fast bit depth adjustments.
The microfine adjustment has an overall range of one inch and is accurate to 1/64 inch.
Both bases also feature the Bosch Precision Centering Design, which allows the bit to be centered with the subbase or optional template guides (sold separately). This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guidance devices such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures.
Both of the included bases, fixed and plunge, feature quick clamp systems for quick tool-free conversions, so moving the motor between the two bases takes only seconds and requires no tools.
The plunge base features soft grip handles for easier operation, and the fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting it to router tables. The fixed base’s advanced bit height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table.
Rugged Design for Increased Durability
The Bosch 1617EVSPK Plunge and Fixed-Base Router Kit is durable and built for years of use. The motor housing and bases are now made of aluminum, and the power switch is now completely dust-sealed for added durability.
The rugged carrying case keeps all of the components protected. This routing system is backed by a one-year limited warranty, 30-day money back guarantee, and one-year service protection plan.
What’s in the Box
EVS Motor (16176), plunge base (RA1166), fixed base (RA1161), fixed base chip shield, plunge base chip shield, 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch self-releasing collet chucks, comfortable forged 16-mm and 24-mm bit change wrenches, T-handle hex-height adjustment wrench, and rugged carrying case.
The motor’s speed range features Constant Response Circuitry for clean, consistent results.View larger.
Combining power, ease-of-use, ergonomic features and innovations designed for visibility, control and overall performance, the DEWALT DWP611PK compact router can handle a variety of applications–from small bevel cuts to large edge profiles and heavy flush trimming.
In addition to its beefy 1-1/4 horsepower motor, the DWP611PK is equipped with dual LED lights for ample illumination. This package comes with both fixed and plunge bases, but it’s also available just with a fixed base.
The DWP611PK with plunge base
Dual LED’s and clear sub-base on fixed base ensure maximum visibility (view larger).
DWP611PK 1.25 HP Variable Speed Compact Router Kit
At a Glance: Dual LEDs and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility in operation
Variable speed control, soft starting motor
Up to 1.5-inch of depth travel with fixed base
Extended 8-slot, 1/4-inch collet maximizes surface contact
Includes both fixed and plunge bases
Three-year limited warranty
Power and Performance
The DWP611 compact router features a 1-1/4 peak HP motor that delivers significantly more power than competitors’ models to help you be as productive as possible. The variable speed control helps you to better manage the tool and determine the speed that is best suited for the application at hand.
A low, contoured grip that is close to the work surface also contributes to an excellent level of control–providing both precision and productivity on the job site. The soft starting motor features full time electronic feedback that maintains motor speed through the cut. An adjustment ring enables controlled bit depth changes to within 1/64-inch.
Comfort and Convenience
The fixed base’s dual LEDs and clear sub-base ensure maximum visibility in operation. The extended 1/4-inch router collet provides greater bit contact with the bit shaft than traditional routers, allowing you a firm grip on the bit and less vibration.
The D-shaped sub-base provides stability and flatness when running edge profiles, and the spindle lock has been designed to greatly improve the ease of bit change by incorporating a large button that can be actuated with the same hand that stabilizes the router.
The plunge base features a clear and precise depth scale and marker, a release-to-lock lever to maintain the designated depth setting, and rubber handles for a non-slip grip. It delivers excellent user control via its smooth and light depth stroke, and the five-step adjustable turret stop enables stepped plunge cuts for accuracy and consistency.
The router also features two tabs that allow for a quick and simple base release, and a new base/adjustable clamp design so the motor location is maintained through the toughest applications.
This DEWALT tool is backed by three-year limited warranty covering any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship (from the date of purchase).
What’s in the Box
DEWALT DWP611 compact router with LEDs; standard fixed base; wrench; operating instructions
Variable speed control feature enables bit speed to be optimized for changing applications (view larger).
Featuring a 12 amp variable-speed, soft-start motor, the DEWALT 2-1/4-Inch Fixed-Base/Plunge-Base Router Combo Kit is packed with smart design features that make routing easy. Depth adjustment and base changes are tool free, and integrated dust control keeps work spaces clean and improves cut line visibility.
2-1/4-Inch EVS Fixed Base Plunge Router Combo Kit
with Soft Start
At a Glance:Versatile two-in-one setup with powerful 12 amp motor
Soft start, electronic variable-speed control from 8,000 to 24,000 rpm
Quick, easy bit and base changes
Comfortable handle for optimum accuracy
Backed by a three-year limited warranty
Kit includes a router, sub base, and depth adjustment ring.Powerful and Accurate with Variable-Speed Control
The 2-1/4-horsepower, 12 amp motor allows the router to cut through the toughest hardwoods. The router’s electronic variable-speed trigger lets you select from between 8,000 and 24,000 rpm for specific applications.
And because this system employs full electronic feedback, you can trust the router to provide constant speed under load. In addition, the motor’s soft start reduces start-up torque for optimum control.
The router’s fixed base features a micro-fine depth-adjustment ring that provides precise bit adjustments in 1/64-inch increments. Because the ring–not the motor can–turns to adjust bit depth, a constant switch/cordset location is maintained when you are using the router in a table. This minimizes difficulty in turning the unit on and off and keeps operation consistent.
The plunge base features an adjustable five-position turret stop for use when making repeated plunge cuts. The easy-to-reach plunge-release lever and switch keep control at your fingertips during routing.
Quick, Secure Base and Bit Changes
The clear, LEXAN sub-base offers optimum bit visibility and base durability, and it accepts standard template-guide bushings to make application-specific setups easy. Also, a sub-base concentricity gauge is included. If you insert this into the collet prior to bit installation, it will help you center the sub-base relative to bit location when making your cut line off of the side of the base.
Moreover, the sub-base and other included bases are designed to make both base and bit changes easy. Quick-release motor latches allow for fast and easy motor-pack removal, while a spindle-lock button allows for single-wrench bit changes. The fixed base also offers a flat top, so the router can be set upside down for easy bit and depth changes. Additionally, long, self-releasing, eight-slotted collets provide improved bit retention and prevent bits from jamming.
Built for Consistency and Durability
Routing applications produce a lot of dust, which can result in extra wear and tear on electronic parts. That’s why this system features a dust-sealed switch that protects against dust ingestion for longer tool life. Other components that contribute to the tool’s overall consistency and durability include heavy-duty metal housings, precision-machined brass bushings, and case-hardened steel guide rods on the plunge base.
Comfortable Operation with Integrated Dust Control
Each base features comfortable rubber over-molded handles and a low center of gravity for improved balance and control and reduced user fatigue. The base also has a patented through-the-column dust-collection system. This allows a vacuum to be attached to the router without blocking your line of sight.
In addition, this router kit offers you the ability to work with the switch and cordset on either your left or right side. Also contributing to this setup’s usability is a detachable cordset that can be easily serviced. A shorty cord motor pack is not required if you opt to place the motor can in a D-Handle base.
The DW618PK DEWALT 2-1/4-Inch EVS Fixed Base/ Plunge Base Router Combo Kit with Soft Start is backed by a three-year limited warranty.
What’s in the Box
DW618M motor pack, DW6184 fixed base, DW6182 plunge base, 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets, wrench, sub-base concentricity gauge, large-hole sub-base, vacuum adapter, and kit box.
Everything stays safe and secure in the durable kit box.
Powerful and efficient, the Porter-Cable 690LR Fixed-Base Router utilizes a hefty 1-3/4-horsepower motor to generate an impressive 27,500 rpm for precise cuts.
Two ergonomic handles are strategically placed to make routing easy and comfortable, even during all-day jobs. For added convenience, the router includes collets that will accept 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch shank bits.
690LR Fixed-Base Router
At a Glance:Single-speed router with
1-3/4-horsepower motor generates 27,500 rpm for easy routing
Fast, precise coarse adjustments via spiral can design and cam-lock lever
Auto-release collet system for easy bit removal
1-3/4-horsepower router makes precision cuts in a wide variety of woods. View larger.Powerful and Precise
An essential addition to any woodworking shop, the router owes its robust performance to a single-speed, 11 amp motor that produces 1-3/4 peak horsepower to handle a range of jobs. For consistent, steady performance, the cam-lock lever enables simple coarse height adjustments.
A quick fixed-base motor release allows th user to move the motor pack between plunge and d-handle bases (each sold seperately). Accurate to within 1/128 inch, a micro depth adjustor ensures optimum precision.
Rugged Construction with Dust-Sealed Components
As durable as it is efficient, the router features a precision-machined aluminum motor housing and base. A dust-sealed switch and sealed ball-bearing construction guard against wear and tear–even in a hardworking shop or busy jobsite.
Fast Bit Removal and Ergonomic Design for Stability and Comfort
For user-friendly performance and consistency, the router includes an auto-release collet system for easy bit removal. An under-table stop prevents the motor from inadvertantly rotating out of the base, and ergonomic molded grips keep your hands and wrists comfortable, even during extended jobs.
Dimensions and Warranty Information
The 690LR Fixed-Base Router measures 12.0 by 5.50 by 8.62 inches (L x W x H), weighs 8.0 pounds, and is backed by a three-year warranty.
What’s in the Box
Router with motor, fixed base, 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch collets, collet wrench, and operating manual.
Aluminum motor housing and base
for stability during operation.Auto-release collet system
for easy bit removal.
Handle a broad range of routing applications with the versatile Bosch 1617EVS Variable-Speed Router. This router kit includes a powerful motor with advanced speed-control technology, a fixed base for upright use or use in a router table, and plenty of high-performance features to help you get a variety of jobs done quickly and accurately.
The Bosch 1617EVS Variable-Speed Router includes:RA1161 fixed base1/4-inch and 1/2-inch self-releasing colletsDrop-forged wrenchesChip shieldAbove-table height-adjustment wrenchMounting hardware
Bosch’s Precision Centering Design delivers accuracy and control. View larger.Powerful, Variable-Speed Motor with Soft Start
Take care of even the toughest routing jobs with the powerful 2.25-horsepower, 12-amp motor and its versatile speed range of 8,000 to 25,000 RPM. The variable-speed dial allows you to set the optimal speed for the task. And with built-in Constant Response Circuitry, your router will maintain a constant speed throughout the cut, so you get clean, accurate results.
With its integrated soft-start feature, the motor reduces torque upon startup for a smooth transition and easy handling. The 1617EVS’s design adapts to let you work with the switch and cord on the right or the left, giving you improved consistency and precision, as well as the confidence knowing that the motor won’t rotate during depth adjustment.
Accurate Fixed Base Cuts
This versatile kit provides all the components necessary for fixed-depth routing. Microfine bit-depth adjustment on the base, with an overall range of one inch and accuracy to 1/64 inch, allows for accurate and fast changes. And the Bosch Precision Centering Design allows the bit to be centered with the sub-base or optional template guides. This makes it easier than ever to keep the bit on the intended cutting-line when using guidance devices such as jigs, templates, or dovetail fixtures.
The fixed base includes threaded holes for mounting to router tables, and its advanced bit-height adjustment system allows you to conveniently adjust the bit height from above the router table. The base also features a quick-clamp system for fast, tool-free conversions, so moving the motor between two bases takes only seconds and requires no equipment.
Rugged Design for Increased Durability
The Bosch 1617EVS Router is durable and built for years of use. The motor housing and bases are made of aluminum, and the power switch is completely dust-sealed for added durability.
This router is backed by a one-year limited warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee, and one-year service protection plan.
What’s in the Box
Bosch 1617EVS 2-1/4 HP Variable-Speed Router, RA1161 Fixed Base, 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch self-releasing collets, drop-forged wrenches, chip shield, above-table height-adjustment wrench, and mounting hardware.
The motor’s speed range features Constant-Response Circuitry for clean, consistent results.
Don’t let its compact size fool you. The award-winning Bench Dog 40-001 ProTop Contractor Benchtop Router Table makes use of a unique forward offset router location and the dual-position ProFence to provide as much usable work surface as most full-size router tables. Designed to be durable, easy to move around the job site, and ready to accept any router, it provides the versatility, stability, and guidance you need to complete precision projects safely.
The ProTop Contractor Benchtop Table adds versatility and precision to your router setup. View larger.Versatile Design for Precision Work
Whether you’re a professional craftsperson or a serious do-it-yourselfer, a router table like the ProTop Contractor lets you tackle jobs that would be difficult or impossible to complete precisely with a handheld router.
A top-quality fence is critical to the performance of any router table system, and this system relies on the feature-loaded ProFence. Its heavy-duty, one-piece aluminum frame is fully machined on the front and bottom surfaces to ensure it’s flat, true, and square. Easy-adjust sub-fences and bit guard are also included.
The ProTop Contractor provides a flexible setup that can be adjusted to project-specific needs, with an aluminum miter accessory track that is adjustable to fit all standard miter gauges, plus accessory T-slots on both the table and fence that are perfect for mounting featherboards, stops, fence risers, and switches. This allows you to accommodate the full range of router applications, from cutting dadoes and slots to crafting precise joints. For work with large panels, this table also offers dual fence slots, so you can flip the fence around quickly and easily.
An integrated 2-1/2-inch dust port fits standard shop vac hoses to help keep your work area clear of debris for safety, visibility, and operator comfort.
Dependable Construction for Tough Jobs
The non-marring laminate top is built using stress-skin construction for strength and flatness, and it measures 24 x 16 inches to provide a large work area. Exclusive twin steel rails support your router, while the enclosed birch plywood cabinet reduces dust and noise, and its solid panel construction makes it stronger than cheap plastic or stamped steel stands. The cabinet’s rubber feet prevent table slippage and double as isolation mounts for dramatically reduced vibration.
This table’s setup will accept any router, and the included router plate is predrilled to make installation extra-easy for most popular routers from leading brands like Craftsman, DeWalt, Fein, Hitachi, Makita, Ryobi, and Skil. The 15-inch inside-cabinet height provides plenty of space for whatever router you use, plus room for Bench Dog’s ProLift and other accessories (not included).
This portable router table weighs just 40 pounds, and it requires assembly. It is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
About Bench Dog
Bench Dog offers a growing line of router tables, safety accessories, and tools for everyone from building and woodworking professionals to schools and serious beginners.
The company began in 1995 with Norston Fontaine, Karen Slatter, and the simple idea that great tools are the result of great design and solid engineering. Since then, Bench Dog tools have received an enthusiastic response from customers, trade publications, and the woodworking community at large.
What’s in the Box
Table top, fence, dust port, bit guard, miter track, pre-drilled router insert plate, mounting screws, and cabinet.
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