Wednesday 11 July 2018
Both routers are mid-range super-routers designed for 1/4in and 8mm shank cutters only but are backed with big 1,250W motors. Both of these models use a design that hasn't appeared very often, that is one grip knob and a pistol grip on the other side. The whole machine is built to professional standard with a very tough polyamide plastic casing with softgrip overmould rubberised panels. OK, it's a router – so 'what does it bring to the party?'
There's a list of interesting features that Bosch have applied to these machines that should appeal to diehard router users. The assymetrical grips give a very solid hold while machining. There is an oversize thumb-operated sprung plunge lock with a ridged contact surface. The switch on the pistol grip can be locked in the 'on' position and a squeeze of the trigger releases it again. A rather discreet speed change wheel gives you control to suit the material and cutter in use.
A lot of attention has been given to plunge depth setting. There is an easy to set depth bar and a black slider for zeroing the scale against. On top is a large fine adjuster knob for critical accuracy. The depth setting turret has five stages, three of which are adjustable. There is no perceptible waggle on the plunge columns; when releasing the plunge lever it needs to be held while the motor body slides back up the columns to the rest position.
The spindle lock is a brand-new Bosch design; a large snap-action lever is pulled outwards and that is enough to engage the lock and a spanner used to undo the collet nut, which is very easy to use indeed. Pushing the lever back in disengages the spindle lock.
The base is unusual in having two flat faces perpendicular to each other for running against a fence if needed. The rest of the base is round in profile and will accept the standard Bosch large fence with fine adjuster. This wide base opening is a major plus and it allows you to get a good view of the work area, although the cutter opening in the transparent baseplate is a lot smaller. There is integrated base extraction with a spout in the base casting. The standard Bosch guidebushes can be fitted using a bayonet fitting adaptor that is screwed to the baseplate.
Differences with the LCE variant
The LCE is the all-singing, all-dancing version, which is due for release in 2015, I believe. It features a digital depth setting scale and LED worklights around the spindle underneath the motor body. These features will be a benefit to users but otherwise it is essentially the same machine.
FSN OFA 32 KIT 800 Professionalp
This pair of routers will work with the Bosch guiderail system as you would expect, but the accessory kit contains both the guiderail adaptor and a special length of guiderail so you can make repeat hole drillings for shelf studs, etc. It comes with clamps and stops to make the job easy. The rail can be used conventionally for slotting, etc. as well.