Two plunge kit routers head to head it's the Bosch 1617EVSPK vs DeWalt DW618PK.
If you are new to wood routing and you are unsure if you will need either a fixed base router or a plunge router then my advice would be to go for both in the form of a mixed kit.
Having the option to use your router in either configuration is generally the best value for money.
Fixed base routers are great for trimming edges and they are used extensively when making high quality joints.
A fixed based router is generally preferred when using a dovetail jig. The fixed base router is considered more accurate than a plunge router. As it easy much easier to mount on a router table and generally can be adjusted in much smaller increments.
A plunge router really comes into it's own when you need to cut into the middle or away from the edge of a piece of board.
The plunge enables you to place the router over the board and then lower the bit accurately and perpendicularly to the board. It is perfectly suited to making cuts using a template or making mortices and flutes.
If you are in a hurry then the Bosch 1617EVSPK is the one to buy. It is a better built router and has a slightly higher top speed.
More accurate plunger, higher quality motor locking mechanism than on the DeWalt.
Higher top speed of 25,000 RPM versus DeWalt's 24,000 RPM
Let's take a more in-depth look at each router kit. Both have there strengths and weaknesses and price wise are roughly the same.
Bosch 1617EVSPK Review
The Bosch 1617EVSPK is a 2.5HP 12 Amp variable speed plunge and fixed-base router kit. The 12 Amp motor is more than capable of cutting through hardwood boards and edges.
It features a soft start; which means it raises the rpm slowly until it hits peak rpm. A slow start helps to ensure that you don't damage the surface material surrounding your cut. Plunging a router too quickly onto wood a max speed can result in small nicks and tears around the cut.
The constant response circuitry gives a smooth and consistent power and torque delivery at your desired rpm.
It is compatible with both a Bosch router lift and numerous router tables such as the Bosch RA1171 or RA1181. For added reliability there is a definite click when it is secured in either. On the third click the router is properly affixed to the table/lift.
It's variable speed of between 8,000-25,000 rpm allows you to match the bit speed to the materials you are cutting. Matching the speed means better cleaner cuts and certain router bits perform at their best only a specific rpm when used on certain types of wood.
As stated above this is a fixed/plunge router kit which means you have the option to do both.
- 12 Amp 2.5HP motor
- Variable speed 8,000 - 25,000 rpm
- Constant response circuitry for reliable constant cutting speed
- Soft start system, centering system
- Plunge depth 2-1/4 inch
- Fixed based adjustment in 1/64 inch increments
- 1 year warranty
DeWalt DW618PK Review
The DeWalt DW618PK is a 2.25 HP 12 amp variable speed plunge and fixed base wood router kit. With variable speed from 8,000 to 24,000 it has a versatile cutting range suitable for a variety of different wood strengths.
Like most router in the smaller range settings of the rpm it will perform best on larger type cuts and hardwoods. When set to the higher end of the rpm range it is more suited to smaller sized cuts and softer woods
It comes with 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch collets included. It has a through-the-column dust collection system which should accept a standard shop vacuum keeping your work space clear ad clean from dust.
For fixed base use there is a micro-fine depth-adjustment ring enabling precision adjustment of the router bit in 1/64 of an inch increments.
For the plunge base there is an adjustable turret on the right hand side that has five different positions. Each position allows for a change of 1/32 inch incremental adjustments.
- 12 Amp 2.25 HP motor
- Variable speed 8,000 - 24,000 rpm
- Soft start up
- 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets
- Clear Lexan sub-base for enhanced visibility
- Through column dust collection
- 3 year limited warranty
Bosch 1617EVSPK vs DeWalt DW618PK Router
Who is the winner in the Bosch 1617EVSPK vs DeWalt618PK head to head ?
The clear winner is the Bosch 1617EVSPK. It has a more accurate plunger, better motor locking mechanism and is a better built power tool than the DeWalt.
Reliability wise there have been numerous reports online of the Dewalt's variable speed control failing. And the occasional motor burning out after a few months. Although it has a three year warranty versus the Bosch's one year, it is apparent that is the less reliable of the two.
Cost wise they are priced at roughly the same depending on where you purchase the units from. Value wise however we feel that for the money the Bosch unit is the better option.