February 28, 2007

Bosch Colt Variable Speed Router - Review

bosch_colt.jpgWe are big fans of Bosch tools. They're durable, they look good, and they're incredibly precise. That said, it comes as little surprise that the Bosch Colt Variable Speed Router is an outstanding tool and is now our go-to router for all small and medium sized jobs.

This little machine has some serious power behind it (one horsepower), and the ergonomic grip is far superior to anything we've ever seen on a router of this size. The adjustments, knobs, and on/off switch are all in the right place, making the operation of the Colt feel natural and easy.

The Colt's other perks include a soft start, a 1/4 inch collet, a nice carrying case, an edge guide, and a variable speed dial. Bosch does sell a version of the Colt that is single speed, but having the option to set the speed is worth the additional cost.

We found the depth adjustment to be the aspect of this tool that puts it way over the edge. To set the depth, get close to where you want it and give the foot plate a little twist, locking it into position. Once locked, you can use a micro-adjust wheel to fine tune the setting. Then, simply close the little clamping lever to fully lock the desired depth in place. In addition, the foot plate is molded around the body of the tool, giving it extra sturdiness and thus eliminating any canting during operation.

Changing bits was a bit tricky at first. The locking button is difficult to get at and slips from time to time. To solve this, we just remove the foot plate entirely each time we change bits. This allows more access to the button, as well as a better angle for tightening leverage. Since we started doing this, our problems went away.

Anyone from the home hobbyist to the full-time carpenter would benefit from having the Colt at their disposal. It's a great tool and worthy of the Bosch name.

Read More in: All Reviews | Power Tools | Routers

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 28, 2007 7:00 AM
Recent Comments

Bought one of these a year ago as well. Worked fine until yesterday when it would not start at all after a couple of minutes of use. The router was barely used in the time I've had it. To make things worse my other router from Bosch(1617) stopped working at about the same time. It was just the switch with that one though - a known problem.
Will never buy a non japanese power tool again, and definetely not a Bosch.

Posted by: Robert at August 25, 2008 5:54 PM

I bought one of these about a year ago. Out of the box it is very impressive - good power, solid feel.

It has a few problems. Height adjustment, though 'fine' is a bit cumbersome and not very intuitive with levers to flip, body to twist and thumbwheel to turn. I also had this impression that the body wasn't perfectly perpendicular to the base at times. I would sometimes see my round-over bit bite more on one side of a piece than the another.

Many people have mentioned the difficulty in removing bits so I won't repeat those comments here.

Finally, after just a few hours of actual working time over the year it just quit. No warning. I was working with it, put it down for a minute to change the work and when I picked it up it just wouldn't start. I even tried different outlets, just in case. Brought it to a repair shop and they decided it wasn't worth fixing.

So, if I can send it back to Bosch I will. Still, I'll be buying another one. I figure I could live with some of the irksome problems and that it died because it was just a bad electronics board or something like that. It's still an impressive little router.

Posted by: Joe Ruggiero at August 11, 2008 4:18 PM
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