Bosch is known for their measuring and concrete tools. The Bosch router is a hidden gem in a blue world of big and tough tools. The router is powerful, smooth and easy to work with.
What do you think of when it comes to Bosch? I know I think of concrete tools, measuring tools and cordless tools. In the past, I never thought about Bosch as a power tool manufacturer that designs and manufacturers routers. When it comes to routers I usually think of Porter Cable and Festool for those who have megabucks. Over the last couple of years, we have tested a variety of Bosch routers and they have really impressed us. So let's jump into the Bosch Router Review, model GKF125CE.
Bosch Router Review Overview
I know some of you might try and compare this to the Festool because you might be a hardcore woodworker. For me, this isn't competing against the Festool routers. This router is designed for the carpenter and someone who takes their work seriously. This is not the router for the hardcore, serious woodworker.
I have always been a huge fan of the Porter Cable router, maybe because that was my first router and I am used to them. However recently I have been grabbing for my Bosch router, the Colt. It has been dependable and I just love working with the Bosch Colt. The router is smooth and easy to maneuver around. So when I heard Bosch had a new Colt router available, I had to jump at the chance and check out the Bosch GKF125CE.
Before I jump into the features, I want to clarify the models. Looking around online you will probably see three different models. You will see the GKF125CE, GKF125CEN, GKF125CEK. It can be a little confusing so here is a breakdown.
- GKF125CE – The is the bare tool, router only.
- GKF125CEN – This comes with a case.
- GKF125CEK – This is a kit which includes a straight edge.
Bosch Router Review Features
The Bosch Colt Palm router comes in a hard plastic case which protects it when not in use and makes it easy to carry around from place to place.
Opening up the case you will not only find the router but if you bought the kit, you will have a straight edge accessory with it. There is also a little room for some router bits, but they would have to fit under where the power cord is kept.
The Bosch palm router is very slim and doesn't weigh much. Bosch designed this with a 7 Amp motor and it only weighs 4.4 lbs. The router is a 1.25 hp router which is a bump up from their previous version of 1 hp. The slim design is 8.25″ high and has a length of 4.134″. The motor also has a Constant Response system which maintains speed when under load.
The router has finger-support pockets, which provides stability and control while using. One feature that helps is the ball-joint swivel cord. I found this nice as I was never fighting the cord when using the router.
Right where your hand rests, Bosch designed it with a nice rubber grip to not only add comfort but also allow the user to have better grip, even if it's dusty.
Towards the top of the router, there is an on/off button which is red, making it easy to see. Some may or may not like the setup. The button is recessed and some might have a hard time turning it on and off, but I like the set up so I will never accidentally bump it to the off position.
The variable speed is controlled using a dial switch on top of the router. You can set it from 1-6, which is equivalent to a no-load speed of 6,000-35,000 rpms.
On the bottom of the router, sits two LED lights. While we didn't test it in the dark, the two LED lights do a great job eliminating most of the shadows and do a good job lighting up your work area.
To change a bit, there is a large red collet stop. So instead of needing two wrenches, you can use the stop button with a single wrench.
The router has a 1/4″ Collet Capacity. The router will accept bits up to 1-5/16″ wide.
Taking the base on and off is easy. There is a single lever, like most other routers. Just depress and remove the base.
On the side, there are large engraved numbers that indicate your depth. The side shows both inches and metric.
While this router is one of my favorites, here is where the router shines. I love how easy it is to get a precise depth. Just turn the knob and you can adjust the wheel. While there are a lot of routers that will allow the user to have micro depth adjustments, the Bosch just seems so easy and so smooth. No chattering or jumping when making adjustments. Very easy and accurate.
Bosch Router Review Performance
I used this router a lot when we were replacing the soffits. While I understand that a bit has a lot to do with the quality of the cut and the user feedback, I can say I loved using this router. The router is smooth, easy to handle and love the soft start.
The depth adjustment system is awesome and head and shoulders above the competition. The depth adjustment is very easy to set up and a user can be extremely accurate.
Bosch Router Review Value
On Amazon, you can get the GKF125CEN for about $120. For some reason on the pictures, they also show the straight edge, but that is not included. You have to get the GKF125CEK in order to get the straight edge.
Either way, you will find these between $120 and $140 (Kit), which I think it's worth every penny. Considering how smooth and easy they are to handle, it makes a routing job so much easier.
Bosch Router Review Final Thoughts
The Bosch GKF125CE is a hidden gem among a long line of Bosch tools. The router is comfortable, easy to use, easy to maneuver around and easy to control. With a price tag of around $140, I think this is a great investment for those who want performance.