I remember my dad’s Bosch sander, jigsaw, and drill were the tools that had to be properly returned to their cases, with the cords wrapped up to his specs, as soon as you were finished with man-practice. Those were the ones you’d get in real trouble for mistreating. To this day, I go out of my way to select Bosch O2 sensors for my vehicles. It’s this air of quality and precision that precedes the Bosch name. I get the same feel when I handle the Bosch 1619EVS variable speed plunge router.
I, like most tool guys, own quite a few brands of tools, but my Bosch tools are among my favorites. This is especially true of my 1617EVSPK plunge router. As my small furniture company has grown, so has my use of my one and only router. This thing gets a workout! I rout 2-1/4” deep box joints (among others) on an almost daily basis. And although I have no complaints about it, I’ve been feeling the need to upgrade to a heftier motor.
For me, the logical move was to the 1619EVS, which is why I jumped at the chance to plug one in and write about my experience.
Bosch 1619EVS Out of the Box
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a nerd! I get excited about flipping through the manuals of the tools I acquire. I like to fit each and every attachment and tweak every available adjustment to its fullest extent before I even plug it in. I like to know about even the smallest detail that might improve my process or technique. In reading through the 1619EVS manual, I notice one function which specifically caters to using this tool in a router table: With the push of a button, you can disengage the plunging springs and then lock the plate to the body via the height adjusting dials which will prevent you from fighting against a spring when cranking the router bits up and down from underneath the table. It’s both convenient and easy to operate.
There’s no doubt the Bosch 1619EVS router is an absolute workhorse when mounted underneath a router table, but for me it really shines when I use it freehand with jigs and straight edges. Having spent countless hours chewing wood chips with my 1617EVSPK, I immediately noticed two specific differences in the 1619EVS. The first and most noticeable change is the placement of the on/off switch. Having the switch located on the right side of the ergonomic handles, as opposed to the side of the motor, meant I was able to maintain full control even while starting and stopping the motor. This also eliminated the “dust in the switch” issue common on older runs of the 1617EVSPK. The second was how low it plunges when compared to the Bosch 1617EVSPK. Most of the routing I do is done with handmade jigs, using top-bearing flush trim bits. With the 1617EVSPK, I’d have to bump the router bit out of the chuck to get the bearing to reveal deep enough to track along the jig. On the 1619EVS, I can fully insert the bit, which helps prevent chatter, and still plunge it completely out of the base.
Hands on the Wheel… er… Handles
It was hard for me to imagine holding more horsepower in my hands than I have in my Powermatic table saw, but with the Bosch 1619EVS plunge router it is surprisingly manageable. Actually, it feels more manageable than my 1617EVSPK at 2.25HP. It’s a little heavier than the 1617EVSPK in the plunge base, and it spins at 4,000 fewer RPM, but the result is a softer start, with more control, and a less rackety pass. Additionally, because I use several different bits on a regular basis, I’m used to using two wrenches to change them out. The locking spindle on the Bosch 1619EVS allows you to change them out with the press of a button and only one wrench. I will say that although I found this to be convenient, it didn’t feel as secure as tightening wrench against wrench. At the end of the day, I’d chalk this up to personal preference. It’s also worth mentioning that if you rout in the horizontal position, the power cord placement keeps your shirt from getting sucked up against the motor fan intake.
Every router bit I threw in this thing seemed right at home. Whether I was plunging into a 1/8” groove (smooth and controlled), profiling with my razor sharp GUHDO bits (not that I’m biased!), or devouring 2-1/4” of end grain (yawn-fest), the 1619EVS just felt like the right tool for the job.
I never thought you would need a 3.25HP router unless you were making massive cuts on a regular basis, but now I get it… you need a 3.25HP router for a steadier, more controlled cut and better results. Don’t get me wrong; the Bosch 1617EVSPK is a fantastic router. Mine has had many hours of use and serves me well (although it will likely be my backup from here on out). I’m advising you to go for the big one. At $290 on Amazon (Prime, no less), it’s well worth the minor stretch in budget.
I have an ounce or two of nerves, still, every time I ease a router bit into my carefully prepped work piece. It’s hard to anticipate exactly when you will hit a hard section of grain or a knot just below the surface. The Bosch 1619EVS does everything possible to help you maintain control and power through the wood’s inconsistencies. In my opinion, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a daily push-the-limits router user, the Bosch 1619EVS will help you achieve the results you want, regardless of what type of routing you’re doing.
Bosch 1619EVS Specifications
- HP: 3.25
- Amps: 15
- Base Diameter: 7-1/2”
- Base Opening: 3-3/4”
- RPM: 8k-21k
- Plunge Depth: 2-9/16”
- Weight: 13.2 lb
- Warranty: Limited 1 Year
- Cord length: 10ft