The 5.7-amp Bosch Colt Palm Router gets high praise in more reviews than any woodworking router of this type (also called a laminate trimmer or palm router). This lightweight 3.3-pound wood router comes with a self-releasing quarter-inch collet, variable-speed with electronic speed control and two-stage depth adjustment -- features usually found only on more powerful routers. It's also comfortable for either right- or left-handed use. The warranty is for one year. If you need more power for handheld use, consider the 1.75-hp Milwaukee Body Grip 5615-21 (*est. $150) fixed-base router.
We found several excellent comparison tests of trim routers, with the most recent review at Fine Homebuilding. Taunton's 2009 Tool Guide includes the same review but adds input from over 7,000 readers of Fine Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding. Comparison reviews of trim routers at American Woodworker, Woodworker's Journal and Popular Woodworking are also based on thorough tests. We also found over 50 owner-written reviews at Amazon.com.
1. Fine Homebuilding
This review gives the Bosch Colt PR20EVSK trim router top ranking after testing it in comparison with nine other trim routers for performance and ease of use. The Bosch Colt is judged the most comfortable and is the only router tested that has both a good fence and two-stage adjustment.
Review: Trim Routers, John White, Aug. 2008
2. Taunton 2009 Tool Guide
This review of trim routers includes the results of the annual survey of over 7,000 readers of Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking. Readers rank the Bosch PR20EVSK second only to the Festool MFK700 (which costs four times as much).
Review: Trim Routers, John White and Editors, Sept. 2008
3. American Woodworker
This review compares eleven trim routers based on shop tests, giving the variable-speed Bosch PR20EVSK the highest rating.
Review: Trim Routers: One New Router Leads the Way, Richard Tendick, Mar. 2007
4. Woodworker's Journal
This review compares eight medium-priced trim routers for performance and ease of use, testing each by cutting dadoes and rounding edges on hard maple. Comfort, a soft-start motor and "loads of power" give the Bosch Colt PR20EVSNK top ranking.
Review: Trim Router Rally, Chris Marshall, Dec. 2006
5. Popular Woodworking
The Bosch PR20EVSK earns top ranking in comparison tests of nine trim routers, not only for power but for the best depth adjustment and visibility, plus a large base opening.
Review: Trim Routers, David Thiel, June 2006
6. Tools of the Trade
This comparison review is unusual in that the five trim routers are tested over eight weeks of jobsite use on trim work that requires precision. The Bosch router is the top pick and also earns an Editors' Choice award.
Review: Tool Test: Trim Routers, Brent Hull, July/Aug. 2005
More than 50 owners review the Bosch Colt router here, giving it mostly high praise. However, we also find quite a few reports of varied quality-control issues.
Review: Bosch PR20EVSK Colt Palm Grip Reviews, Contributors to Amazon.com