Like most power tools these days, you can find at least a couple of routers in the product lines of any major manufacturer. But after testing a couple of Bosch’s winners this year — the PS20 and I-Driver in particular — we decided to check out the Bosch Colt when we needed a small but powerful router for the shop.
Besides its reasonable $120 price point, we chose the Colt because it’s quite powerful for its size. With an available 1 HP and variable speed, we had pretty high expectations.
The Colt didn’t disappoint. Read on past the jump to see how it did in our testing.
The Colt ships inside a Bosch Blue hard case that’s familiar to anyone who owns any Bosch tools. What surprised us is how much space there is inside the case. The Colt is tucked up into a corner and takes up less than a third of the space, leaving room for various bits, guards, and other gear.
Note: Click on smaller pictures for larger ones.
The Colt only gets better once you free it from its cavernous cast. It feels very solid and comfortable to hold, and all the controls are located in useable, practical locations. A 6-position speed control is perched on top of the unit next to the motor vents, and the on/off rocker switch is positioned on the front of the cylindrical body right under the Bosch moniker and “Colt 1.0 HP” logo.
The rest of the controls are all about cutting depth. The large, black “quick-clamp” buckle lever releases an aluminum slide which moves the bit up and down along an inch scale. The fine adjustment wheel near the rear of the base adjusts the depth by half a millimeter increments (for each turn of the dial) for uber-small adjustments.
Two finger support pockets are located at the front corners of the base so you can hold the unit firmly and guide its cutting progress with more stability. There’s also an attachment receptacle on the back of the base that supports the addition of guides for added stability — but we didn’t try these guides out in our testing.
1/4″ bits load from the bottom via a 17 mm collet nut that loosens to receive the bit. To lock the spindle to loosen the nut, just push the large red button near the depth scale. Though it may look like there’s too much going on in such a small spacem, it was actually quite simple to load and lock.
Read on to page 2 for our experience using the Colt with hardwood in the shop.
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