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Bosch 1613AEVS, 2.25HP Plunge Router
Full time plunge router built the way you'd make it
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 5-14-2009
Over the years I have reviewed great routers from many manufacturers. However, when I need a new router for my shop I keep coming back to Bosch. When I wanted a full-time plunge router for upcoming joinery stories (and my shop) the Bosch 1613AEVS 2.25 HP Plunge Router seemed to be a perfect match.
The Bosch 1613AEVS is loaded with user-friendly features including a tough, dependable motor, comfortable grips and easy to use controls. Bosch also includes 1/4" and 1/2" collets, a collet wrench, hinged chip shield an effective (removable) dust collection shroud, a Bosch tool-free templet guide adapter and more. What it doesn't include is a big price or razzle-dazzle junk you will never use. One feature you will learn to appreciate every time you use the Bosch 1613AEVS is the 10-foot-long cord!
Bosch has long been known for their smooth-running, powerful motors. The Bosch 1613AEVS is equipped with a 2.25 HP motor (120V only) that turns bits at speeds up to 22,000 RPM. (No Load)
Though compact, this motor uses high-end, permanently lubricated ball bearings that keep it running smooth for a very long time. The motor also has a one-piece armature shaft that eliminates common sources of wobble and misalignments. That means your bits cut a little cleaner and stay sharp longer.
The motor is equipped with the Bosch soft-start circuitry that dramatically reduces start-up torque. That means the router doesn't "jump" when you pull the On trigger. They also added their Constant Response(tm) Circuitry that stabilizes the bit speed under load. As the circuitry senses additional load, it increases the power of the motor, preventing the bit from slowing. This system works so well it is hard to notice any change in RPM, unlike many other brands that can surge noticeably.
Controlling the Speed
The Bosch 1613AEVS features a trigger-style On/Off switch with lock-on button that is built into the right hand grip. The location of this simple switch means you have a firm grip on the router throughout the job.
Bosch placed a large diameter, infinitely adjustable Variable Speed Dial on the front of the motor housing where it is easy to reach. Because it has no detents it allows setting bit speed anywhere in the available 11,000-22,000 RPM range. Combined with the Constant Response(tm) Circuitry, this variable speed feature makes setting the Bosch 1613AEVS up for the specific bit and species of wood being worked with simple and effective.
Like many routers, the speed control dial has six numbered positions. Unlike far too many routers, Bosch added a simple chart directly
above that dial that clearly shows the bit speeds each of those numerals represents. Just why so many manufacturers fail to provide a similar chart on their routers is beyond me - and lots of you judging by the email I get on this subject.
The Bosch 1613AEVS motor also has a built in spindle lock plate that functions much like an on-board wrench. Pull the lever out and the plate pivots in, engaging flats on the spindle shaft to lock it positively. The included collet nut wrench can then be used to easily tighten or loosen the collet nut.
The Bosch 1613AEVS comes with 1/4" and 1/2" capacity collets. Both collets are positive release in that when loosened sufficiently, they automatically free the bit. Installing bits is done normally. However, to remove a bit after use the collet nut must be loosened initially, then spun a revolution or two to where it gets "tight" again. Use the wrench to turn it through that "tight" spot and the bit pops free. It takes far longer to explain this than to do it but this self-extracting design will save untold frustration and maybe a router bit or two.
The Bosch 1613AEVS has a full 2-1/4" plunge depth capability, controlled by an easy to use lock/release lever on the rear near the left grip. This lever operates smoothly and locks the plunge mechanism securely when released. To keep the plunge mechanism working freely the dual heavy-duty ground steel columns are covered with rubber boots that prevent contamination by dust and debris. The spring compensation is effective, reducing the effort needed to plunge the router to the depth needed.
Bosch includes a traditional depth rod and turret for pre-setting plunge depths. The depth rod has a finger-operated lock and a repositionable indicator in front of an inch/metric scale on the front of the main housing where it is easy to read on the job. The turret has eight "steps" but three of those are equipped with screws that let the operator fine-tune those settings. This combination of preset steps and the adjusting screws make setting ultra precise plunge stops for your job easy.
The Bosch 1613AEVS also has their exclusive Afterlock Microfine Bit Depth Adjustment System. This innovative system lets the operator make ultra fine height adjustments without having to release the plunge lock lever. The knob near the top of the Bosch 1613AEVS has a repositionable scale with major graduations at 1/64" intervals. Between those are hash marks, each representing a bit height change of a remarkable 0.004"!
The base of the Bosch 1613AEVS router is 6-11/16"-in diameter with a broad flat portion on the rear edge that makes following guide fences without rotations easy and secure. The base has a 3-5/16" opening that allows the Bosch 1613AEVS to work with large diameter bits when mounted in a table and increased visibility all of the time. Bosch also includes their Tool-Free Templet Guide Adapter that accepts a full range of Bosch Guide Templates.
The base has cast-in bosses for a Bosch accessory guide fence. Those same bosses can often be used to mount the Bosch 1613AEVS to popular aftermarket jigs and fixtures. Bosch also built-in a clear, flip-up dust shield that affords a great view of the bit while offering a basic protection from the dust.
Bosch also includes a full dust collection shroud system that surrounds the bit area. This shroud has a vacuum hose adapter that accepts 1-1/4" or 1-1/2"-diameter hoses. The dust shroud is secured by two thumbscrews making it easy to install or remove as needed.
In the Shop
The 1613AEVS is typical Bosch in terms of the quality and design I have come to expect from this company. This is a well-built router throughout with its controls laid out logically in easy to reach positions. The handles are very comfortable to the hand and give a good sense of control in all hand-held routing operations.
The motor seems to exceed its 2.25 HP rating, no doubt because of the stabilizing circuitry Bosch builds in. This behind the scenes electronic fanciness is both fast acting and restrained because you don't see the major RPM variations I have seen with other manufacturers routers. The Bosch 1613AEVS keeps the RPM very close to the setting without surging or stalling without the hysteria.
The height adjustments are easy to use and very familiar, except for the fine adjustment. Making the fine height adjustment functional without having to release the plunge lock makes the Bosch 1613AEVS far easier to set accurately whether in hand-held or table mount mode.
Throughout the evaluation the Bosch 1613AEVS performed perfectly. The plunge action is smooth and locks securely. This router has plenty of power for all hand-held operations and will do fine in a table situation as well. Though I intend the Bosch 1613AEVS in this review to be dedicated to a special joinery jig, this router is more than capable of handling virtually all of your routing operations.
The Bosch 1613AEVS is a versatile router with the capacity and capability to handle your shop projects with ease. The Bosch quality means that the Bosch 1613AEVS will continue to serve your needs well for many years with a little common sense care on your part.
With a street price of $203.49 (5-13-2009) the Bosch 1613AEVS is also a very good value. Considering the frequency with which woodworkers turn to their routers, the Bosch 1613AEVS could easily represent one of the lowest cost-per-use tools you will ever buy.
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