The cordless revolution continues unabated with the latest entry from Bosch, a battery-powered palm edge router.
Electrical cords always present a challenge for edge routing, especially if you are doing something with more than two sides. That pesky cord routinely snags or gets in the way as you round the corners. It would seem an obvious choice for a cordless option. But routers need plenty of power and cordless options have not taken off. Perhaps that will change with this new unit from Bosch.
Officially designated the GKF12V-25N and described by Bosch as a palm edge router, this machine is definitely compact. Although the instructions explicitly tell you to use two hands, the ergonomics of the unit and its size tempt you to one-handed operation. Rather than a standard cylindrical configuration, this tool has a kind of kinked shape, offering a solid grip for the right hand. Instructions urge you to place the left hand on the base for stability.
Power comes from the same 12-volt max battery also used in other Bosch cordless tools such as cordless jigsaws. The brushless motor develops 13,000 rpm. The collet sized for ¼-inch bits is appropriate for this power range and application.
Using the tool for its primary intended function of edging is wonderful. It’s so nice to go around the corners of a piece and not worry about snagging or even accidentally cutting a power cord. Despite the compact size and light weight (2.3 pounds), the router’s base is large enough to offer a stabile footing.
Changing bits is easy with a solid collect lock and single wrench (included). Adjusting the depth setting is also straightforward with push-button release, fine-tuning wheel, and simple locking knob. There’s not a huge amount of travel available, but that’s to be expected in the narrow target for which this tool is intended.
Speaking of which, like all woodworkers, we couldn’t resist pushing the envelope on what this tool could do. In addition to edging, we tried hogging out some hinge mortises and other small router tasks I would normally do with a corded Bosch Colt router or similar. The cordless router could indeed handle the work, although it was much slower than its corded big brother. It might also be useful for some inlay work.
With a street price of about $150, this router definitely encourages you to do away with cords when edging. For more information, visit www.boschtools.com.
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