It takes guts to completely redesign a woodworking tool, especially if you throw out most of what everyone has come to know and use. But that’s exactly what the design team at Bosch has done to the company’s router.
We are fortunate to have a prototype Bosch router combo set (MR23EVS) in our shop, with a fixed-base and plunge-base system. I need to mention this is a prototype so you’re not shocked if some small adjustments are made prior to this tool coming to market, but I can’t imagine what needs to change.
The Bosch team has tossed out the old designs and engineered a new setup that will make everyone sit up and take notice. For starters, and possibly the most innovative design change I’ve seen in routers, is a trigger-control system that puts the on/off switch in the handle of the router. You say that’s not new? You’re right, except I’m referring to the fixed base of the router and not just the plunge or D-handle bases as other companies have done.
Here’s how Bosch gets the trigger into the fixed-base handles. The router’s key element , and this is where the innovation is most noticeable , is a low-voltage track connection where the track half is attached to the 15-amp, variable-speed motor, while the rail half is mounted to the router’s fixed base and plunge base. Align the motor to either base, then slip the two together to engage the connection. Without the connection, it’s impossible to turn on the router.
What about dust getting into the connection? We asked the same question when we first handled the tool. We’re told that Bosch ran through myriad tests to identify any issues and found no problems. I did a few non-scientific tests as I used the router in my shop and I found no problems, either.
This connection not only allows the trigger to be in the handles, it also changes the way you use the fixed-base arrangement. Instead of twisting the router motor to make height adjustments, you have to make changes in the cutting height as you do when using a trim router. The fixed base has three notches for quick adjustment setting, and has a range of 1-5/8″ of fine-tune adjustment (one revolution of the knob equals a 1/16″). It takes a little getting use to, but after you make a couple adjustments, the changes are simple and exact.
Other design changes are:
– The handles on the fixed base are redesigned for the better. These handles are similar to those on the plunge base , easy to grip and comfortable. No more round wooden handles to deal with.
– The cord connection is offset to the motor and on a swivel that keeps the cord out of the view of the cut line. And with no cord coming out of the top of the motor, it’s easy to set this router upside down on the bench.
– A few companies have lights placed somewhere on the cord to indicate there is power to the tool when the tool is plugged in. Bosch has taken that concept a bit further and located twin lights (LED) in the bottom of the motor. There they shine on the work area, too. That’s innovative.
– The plunge base has a 3″ plunge range, new ergonomic handles and smooth operation , I did notice that you could slightly rock the motor as you plunge if you apply all your weight to one handle. That could cause a minor deflection in your cut. (I’ll bet the Bosch folks look into that before launching the tool.) In addition, the base plate is beefed up to enhance long-term rigidity.
– Both bases come with a clear polycarbonate sub-base, for a better view of your workpiece.
This router is balanced as you work and with the trigger in the handles, you have total control at your fingertips. This router, when it becomes available, will most certainly be in our shop.
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