Funny you should mention the Craftsman. The reviews seem to be mixed on this one. There seems to be some base plate issues. I have this router kit in my sights for only one reason and that is price. Being married to a lady that works for a store that sells these very routers I can get an additional 20% discount. But if it's going to be trouble down the road maybe it's not worth it. Any one have one of these and what do you think? Is the above the table adjustment workable in a table?
I would be interested in the Bosch except I don't know much about them. Other than Amazon who sells them? I would like to see one.
The 3 +/- hp units mentioned sound like monsters and quite heavy for hand work. But not having handled one maybe they would be ok. They are probably much more expensive. BTW I am just a hobbyist but I do work on projects with mortise and tenon joints and the like.
One last thing. How much reliability do you all place on reviews? Sometimes they seem a bit biased but I do read them for educational purposes.
Hi Charlie - I've one had the Craftsman a little over a month and have been fairly impressed with it's power, handling, dust collection and plunge action. I'm not overly impressed with it's microadjust function. It works pretty stiff but I only really use it with engravings.
The only baseplate issue that could occur as far as I can imagine is the bit hole is relatively small. The router comes set up to accept Porter Cable style guide bushings with no adapter. This means the through hole in the base plate MUST be 1-3/16" in order for that type of guide bushing to work. That also means that a 1/4" roundover bit (very common bit) won't fit through the hole. Sears, in all it's marketing wisdom, sells an accessory kit of base plates (six I think) to accomodate this. I simply installed one of these baseplate kits which includes a bunch of bushings.
I think the height adjustment could be workable in the table, just because of the small size of the hex finding the right tool in that size could be an issue. I can't say for sure as I haven't tried it yet.
Most reviews, especially the Amazon ones, I take with a grain of salt. First thing I look at is the distribution, if I see a lot of favorable with a few unfavorable (I don't count 3's) I read the unfavorable ones. If you read them carefully a lot you find packaging complaints and some just plain ol brand bashing.
Your best bet for looking at a Bosch 1617 could be a Lowes. You didn't specify the geographic area you are in so it is difficult to come up with suggestions.