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May 6, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router Review

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router
PTR Review
  • Overall Rating 9.0

Bosch's 12V router is only designed for light edge routing, but it's effective for the job they designed it to do and weighs much less than most compact routers.

Overall Score 9.0 (out of 10)

When you take a look at the landscape of cordless routers, you might now expect to find a 12V model. However, the Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router isn’t bothered by what we expect to find and delivers a niche router in a compact frame.


Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Wide-open sightlines to the bit
  • Ergonomics designed specifically for edge routing
  • Super-fine 0.04-inch per turn micro-adjustment
  • Only 12V model

Cons

  • Niche edge functionality limits the types of routing you can do compared to other cordless models
  • Limited runtime

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router Design

Brushless Motor

If you’re going to make a cordless router, especially on the 12V platform, you have to take advantage of a brushless motor. Bosch checks that box.

Physical Traits

Designing a cordless router like the Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router begins with the question of how to position the battery and motor. With 18V systems, sliding the pack on top of the router is the best bet. 12V isn’t much different, but with a stick pack battery instead of a slide-style, there’s a little more wiggle room. Bosch brings their battery in at an angle to the front of the motor, giving it an odd look compared to the other options out there.

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router Profile

It’s the placement that allows you to keep your hand closer to the cutting edge and wrap your fingers around the front, giving you control as you pull the router across the grain. Rubber overmold helps maintain your grip and offers some comfort.


Considering this tool’s sole goal of edge routing, the design works well. Even though it’s far different from standard trim router designs, it not difficult to find a comfortable grip.

Accessory Changes and Depth Adjustment

You’ll need an included wrench to change router bits. To lock the collet, just pull the red bar above it out. You may have to rotate the collet a little until you find the right placement.

Collet Lock

Depth changes are pretty simple. A button on the left side releases the base for rough depth setting and the thumbwheel just below it gives you fine adjustments. On the right side, a twist of the knob locks the base at the depth you set.

Size and Weight

Considering you can get higher performance from a cordless router, it’s the size and weight that may draw you towards this model. Dimensionally, it’s 8.5 inches tall without a battery and 5.7 inches long. The shape is much different than standard cordless models, of course.

The router weighs just 2.2 pounds bare. There are a couple of other models that get near 2.5 pounds , but most of the best are closer to 3 pounds or more.

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router Performance

To set a clear expectation, this isn’t a DIY router or something designed to do what your corded or 18V routers can do with a shorter runtime. This is a palm router or edge router. With 13,000 RPM to work with, it’s well under what you see from trim routers, including on the cordless side.

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router

As long as you’re using the router for light edge routing and trimming, it’s not going to be a problem. I ran the router through some tests with a 1/4″ x 1/2″ beading bit and a 22° x 3/8″ bevel bit and am impressed with the confidence the motor delivers. The key to getting the best performance from the Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router is to take your time, especially in hardwood, and let the motor do the work.

Additional Noteworthy Features

  • Drop detection: the router automatically stops if it senses a drop
  • Restart protection: the motor won’t start up if you switch batteries with the power switch on
  • Finger barriers: help prevent accidental finger contact with the bit and collet
  • Constant speed circuitry: the brushless motor automatically adjusts the power with the load

Bosch 12V Cordless Edge Router Price

As a bare tool, this Bosch 12V router is $149. There aren’t any kits or combos available at the time we’re writing this, so you’ll need to grab a battery and charger if you don’t have other Bosch 12V tools. There’s a chance you can get an 18V cordless router for a similar price, so shop around if you think you can use more power and versatility.

The Bottom Line

The Bosch 12V Edge Router is an excellent solution for wrapping up trimming and edging, especially for job site carpenters. When you produce most of the build at the shop and have to make some slight tweaks during installation on-site, it’s a huge help to bring out this 2.2-pound router and leave your corded trim router in the truck or back at the shop. That said, there are other cordless routers in the same price range that offer higher performance, so make sure this is what you want before pulling the trigger.

Specifications

  • Model: Bosch GKF12V-25N
  • Power Source: Bosch 12V batteries
  • Max. RPM: 13,000 RPM
  • Height: 8.5″
  • Length: 5.7″
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Width: 3.1″
  • Dust Collection: No
  • Includes:  1/4″ self-releasing collet chuck, forged collet chuck wrench
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Price: $149

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