I own a larger Porter Cable Router and decided I wanted a little Palm Router, so I picked up the Bosch PR20EVS at Home Depot for about $90. When we went to the Bosch event last year, I had a chance to see this router and learn a little bit about it. At the time I had a chance to play with it for a little bit, but not like I have since I’ve owned this router. One thing to note is they now offer this router with a Plunge Base or you can buy it separately if you already own this router.
With this kit you get the router, a plastic carrying case, fixed base, straight edge guide and wrench. When I took this out of the case, the first thing I noticed was how nice it felt in my hands. The over molded grip contoured my hand very nicely and made one hand operation easy. The unit is light, weighing only 3.2 lbs. The router felt nice, but let’s see what’s behind this ever popular router. The unit is powered by a 1 HP, 5.7 amp motor. On the top there is a dial to control the speeds, anywhere from 16,000 to 35,000 RPM’s. Because it is a palm router, the collet capacity is 1/4″. The depth adjustment is 1-3/16″ which can be controlled by a micro adjustment on the tool or the router itself, macro adjustment. The base is square instead of the rounded style I am use to. Plus the base is made out of aluminum. The router base will accept up to 1-5/16″.
Starting up the tool you will notice a nice soft start, so you don’t feel that jerk in your hands. Soft starts are great especially for routers. Bosch implemented a circuitry system to help keep the speed constant under loads and also the unit has an overload protection to help protect your router.
After using this router for a while on my bathroom project and some other small trim, I have fallen in love with this router. Now my Porter Cable stays put, well unless I have a bigger bit than a 1/4″. Besides the soft start, I really like the spindle lock and how easy it is to change bits. On my Porter Cable I need to use wrenches to change a bit and it is a pain to get a good grip on the nuts once the base is on. With the spindle lock and the nice wide open front, changing bits is a breeze. As with my Porter Cable this also has a quick clamp system to easily take the base on or off.
My only complaint is the carrying case. While the case is nice and offers plenty of room for bit storage, I wish it was set up a little different. In order to store the router in the case, the base needs to be at a certain position. Which means if you have the router set up for a specific height with the bit, you can’t just put the router away and then pull it out later for the same use. You will have to take time and get the router set up to that specific height again. Not a huge deal, but for one of my trim projects, I had everything set up and called it quits for the night. I had to make more trim the next day and it would have been nice to leave it set up and in the case.
All in all this is a great router. I love the size, power and performance of this tool. This is very easy to control and it creates quality work. I will be upgrading and getting the plunge base for this router. If you are looking for a palm router, this has all the bells and whistles and for under $100, it’s hard to beat.