Review and photos by Neil Scobie
The Bosch GOF 1600 CE Professional router is a solid unit with a 1600 watt variable speed motor that gives plenty of power when using bigger cutters. Being able to slow down the speed is almost a must these days as it helps with control and halves the noise.
I used a 13mm diameter cutter to plunge rout a mortise about 30mm deep and at half speed it had plenty of grunt. The speed control dial is at the top front of the router and is recessed so it will not be bumped easily.
I liked the plunge action and 76mm of travel is more depth than most other brands have. The plunge action is smooth without sideplay — just hold back the depth locking lever with your left thumb, then let it go when you’re at the desired depth.
One of the best features is the micro-adjusting depth or ‘afterlock’ adjustment. Turning the knob one increment on the scale changes the depth 1/64” (0.4mm). To set depth of cut, use the thumb controlled lever to get close to your desired depth, then wind the afterlock to fine set the depth.
Two strong LED lights under the body coupled with wide openings on the sides give really good vision. Having the switch mounted on the right means not having to reach out with your finger to turn it on. The switch can be locked on or held on.
The router comes with 1/2” and 1/4” collets. Change cutters via the side opening (push the spring-loaded spindle lock and use the spanner to undo the collet), or take the motor section out, turn it upside down, then loosen the cutter.
The motor is removable so the unit can be coupled with the GMF 1600 non-plunge base. This gives a lower centre of gravity for edge routing. I wasn’t sent this second base unit, but looked it up on the website. The non-plunge base is recommended for router table use.
Setting the depth gauge is also quite simple via a front- mounted knob which lets you see how close you are to the full depth of cut. Below the depth gauge is a three-step block that can be set for different depths, for example when routing grooves for soss hinges.
This router also comes with 17mm and 30mm guide bushings or template followers. These are easily inserted from inside the base via a spring-loaded lever after you screw on the guide bushing adapter.
A parallel guide, available as an accessory, attaches to the base for routing grooves and rebates. Two of the micro-adjusting thumbscrews were missing so testing this was difficult until I chased up replacements. The thumbscrews lock onto the router base and also onto the outer side of the guide. You then fine adjust the knob to rest the gap on the inner thumbscrews. I found this very positive when winding the fence in, but a little sloppy on winding the fence back where it seems to have too much free play. Being able to widen or reduce the gap between the plastic fence and the wood is a good feature.
Overall this is a great router and one that I would be happy to have in my workshop, if I needed to add to the six others plunge routers I already have...
Review tool supplied by Bosch Power Tools: www.bosch-pt.com.au