- Includes deluxe hinge template, regular and extra large top gauge assembly, template guide, bit, handy metal case
- 1-year warranty
I use this tool for retrofit and for new construction and no longer carry fixed templates anymore. For new construction, you simply spend a few minutes assembling and configuring the template and then it is good to go for days of door hanging. It takes just moments to switch the hinge size for different door thicknesses, a time saver compared to fetching another full size template that could be lost in a different part of the jobsite. Retrofitting new doors in old jambs is cake as you can easily match the template to the old hinge layout for perfect mortises that fit the first time.
The rails have holes that engage ball bearings on the template frames. This prevents the hinge layout from changing if you should drop the tool on end. If you have ever used the PC template and bumped it while transferring from the door to the jamb, you know what a problem it is too have the template spacing change on you.
On room additions, it is easy to match the hinge layout for the new doors and jambs to match the old doors due to the adjustability of the Bosch template (this is important in situations where the new doors are close to old doors and the homeowner would notice the hinges not lining up). The kit comes with 2 top guides of different lengths that accomodate any top hinge spacing you will find in the field. The rails allow infinite adjustment so you can quickly match any hinge layout.
One thing the PC has over the bosch is that edge stops retract. This is only an issue when remortising the hinge gaines on an old jamb that has casing and caulking too close to the jamb edge. On the Bosch, the fixed edge stops can sometimes hit the caulking or casing and prevent the template sections from laying completely flat. On the PC, the stops can retract to counteract this problem, but overall the Bosch is significantly more accurate in retrofit situations.
When you first get your new Bosch template kit, you need to fine tune the hinge length stops. From the factory, they are not correct. Two screws loosen and allow an adjustable plate to be moved into the correct position. A quick run on a 2x4 lets you check for perfection before you ever touch an expensive door.
As mentioned by others, the small metal case is much more user friendly than the extra long PC box, but it doesn't hold the 4 hinge conversion kit or the 3 hinge extended rail kit. What most guys do is buy an additional standard kit, and make custom wooden rails for 8 to 10 foot doors. This way you have 6 template sections instead of four, and you can theoretically have 2 guys hanging 6-8 doors for more production.
The nails are very strong, I have spares but haven't had a problem with breakage at all. In fact, you can order from Bosch any part you need and can get stuff shipped next day if the parts are in stock.
The jamb gauges only fit Timely or hollow metal frames, so you need to file them down to fit wood jambs for retrofit jobs. But there are other ways to match existing hinge layouts so I don't recommend the jamb gauges unless you like to order book doors for commercial jobs or do nothing but retrofit.
Like any metal template, when you hit it with the router bit, it gets nicked and the bit can get damaged. But the template sections completely disassemble so any damaged part can be replaced. More than once I forgot to put the template guide in the router and got some healthy gouges in the template. A call to Bosch and all was fixed. Usually, though, you will nick the sides or length adjustment plate and these are quickly fixed in the field. The sides can be "reversed" and the length stops can be filed flat and readjusted. The hinge size adjustment bar can be rotated to move the nick out of the way. Very reliable even when damaged!
This is a terrific professional tool for the professional door hanger. And it works with any router that has a 1/2" mortising bit and 5/8" template guide. It even works for 5/8" radius hinges with a 1 1/4" mortising bit and 1 3/8" template guide. A homeowner would not need this tool, and it is not efficient for hanging just 1 door.
So why not just buy pre-hung doors and not bother to deal with it? The problem is that in order to trim the jamb to the thickness of the wall, you have to remove it from the door, disassemble it, then run it through the table saw, then reattach it. Or, in the event of a wall thicker than the pre-hung jamb, having to live with a seam, or a very large molding to cover it. With this kit, you can buy doors that are not pre-hung, and buy jamb boards that are wider than the jamb, trim them to size on your saw, then assemble for installation. Additionally you might want to create your jamb out of something other than the standard pine.
My hat is off to the Bosch engineers for designing this one. A complicated job made simple. Highly recommended. This tool falls in the category of most favored tools. It solves all of the problems.