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Thread: First Router Combo Kit

  1. #1

    First Router Combo Kit

    Iím looking to buy my first router combo kit and having a hard time making a decision (like normal). I have narrowed the search down to two.......I think. Iím looking at the tried and true Bosch 1617 evsk and the Bosch mrc23evsk. I have seen the 1617 for $189 and the mrc23 for $259 on Amazon. The mrc23 is listed at $229 on cpo for a refurb and I think $449 for new. That is a huge discrepancy between Amazon and CPO. I canít make a decision! What do you guys/gals think?

  2. #2
    Jacob - I don't have personal experience with Bosch routers, but I've heard lots of positive comments. At $259 for the MRC23EVSK (new on Amazon) you really can't go wrong. You get a brand new unit at a very reasonable price and you have a plunge base for the times you need it.

    Since you are new to woodworking, another thing to keep in mind is that this won't be your last router purchase. You may pick up a smaller trim router and you'll eventually pick up a higher horsepower router for table mounting. The Bosch will be a great general purpose router that will serve you well for lots of applications.

    My advise is to grab one from Amazon and enjoy.

  3. #3
    One thing making me have second thoughts is that Iíve read that the mrc23 might not play well with router lifts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Coastal Southern Maine
    I'm a huge fan of refurbished. It is my experience that they have gone through a decent quality control check before being released for sale. That is very different than new products offered for sale.

  5. #5
    Before I weigh in, I would want to know what the intended use for the router is. Do you intend to have the router mounted under a table mainly? Will you be using guide bushings? Is this going to be a handheld router for inlays or edge work? Are you going to cut dados in plywood? Heavy duty stuff? Light duty stuff? Or do you want a good middle of the road all-purpose router that can perform all of these functions?

    I have several routers, and while not owning a Bosch routers, they are a good product. The 1617 is a fine middle of the road router that will be slightly undersized for table use, and will be a bit clumsy for some for free hand edge work. A similar router would be a Porter Cable 690. I tend to gravitate toward the Porter Cable brand.

    If I had to make a recommendation for you in a vacuum, I would get a big ass PC router (like a PC 7518 or Bosch 1619) that will be suited for a router table, and a very light weight palm type router for inlays and edge work, like the Bosch Colt or DeWalt 611. The big ass table routers can be had for about $100 used on Craigslist and if you stick to these two brands, you can't go wrong. The palm routers are a newer design and haven't hit the used market yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Probably either will work fine for you (which is why its hard to make a decision, they are both good choices). Dont over think it. Get one. Build a bunch of stuff. Get three more.... (seems to be the general trend when it comes to routers.

    I personally like the Porter Cable 690 with the D handle. I believe the big 3hp routers are not good choices for the first/only router, but great choices for router table mounting. I also like the Dewalt 621 plunge router. Maybe because I own both of these.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Atwell View Post
    One thing making me have second thoughts is that Iíve read that the mrc23 might not play well with router lifts.
    Jacob - If this router is going into a lift, you'll will want a larger motor. My choice is the Porter Cable 7518.

    The Bosch is a good router for freehand/edge work, but not powerful enough for table routing. Conversely, the PC 7518 is too much for freehand work.

    As I mentioned before, you will likely accumulate a few routers over time. The larger router that you table mount will ultimately be dedicated to the table. The mid-sized router like the Bosch you're looking at will be dedicated to the workbench for freehand work.

  8. #8
    You can't go wrong with either of the Bosch. The only difference is that the mrc23 has .05 more HP and 3 more amps. I don't know if that's a significant difference or not. I had the 1671evsk along with the DW 618PK and the PC 893PK. I chose to keep the DW and PC not because the Bosch was bad, but just because I lean more to PC and DW routers. I agree with the other posters who recommend a bigger router for the table. I have the 3-1/2 HP Milwaukee 5625 for table use. The PC 7518 is also a great option.

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