Hitachi - Hitach M12V - 3-1/4 HP Variable Speed 1/2-1/4" Plunge Router (Rating: 5)

I purchased mine about a year ago with one purpose in mind, using it strictly for dovetails on a Leigh jig. When I pulled it from the box I knew I had made a poor choice on this one. Thirteen pounds is no easy tool to handle for any long period of time. I have terrible tendoitis and back trouble, and this thing was a monster. Nevertheless, the money was spent and I was gullible. Besides it had the POWER.

This router has a variable speed knob on one handle with easy access. It is a plunge router and there's been times I needed that option. But for dovetail routing on a jig it wasn't the best choice. I did find locking the plunge mechanism made it easier to set the depth with accuracy.

For those of you who've used a Leigh Super Jig, you know that the bits provided and recommended are 8mm which is a TWEENER size, not 1/2, not 1/4, but a good choice for lowering the possibility of an accidental bit breaking. Using the 1/2" collet however, you must add the 8mm adapter provided with the Leigh jig to make the bits fit. In my case every bit stuck everytime giving me a fit removing them. Each time, collet needed to be completely taken loose, along with the guide bushing and plate. Then I would have to pry the bit free. But get this, it worked perfect using the 1/4" and 1/2" collets. Not one bit hung with these. This scene of pounding on the collet to free the bits, became a hassle, so much, I stopped using the jig for several months.

A few weeks ago I ordered an 8mm collet from After arriving I thought my problem with sticky bits had been solved. And they were.

The Hitachi M12V2 router has never failed me power-wise. No matter what hardness of lumber I've set it to as long as I use good quality carbide bits, it cuts like butter. It is loud but no louder than any of the more powerful routers on the market today.

Even as great as all this is and even with finding the new 8mm collet for mine, I may sell it. Power is great in a router, but power's not everything. If you're a huge man or workout daily you may love this baby. Personally, I think its better use is screwed into a router table. If I keep mine it will serve as a backup to the Triton brand 3-1/4 HP that's beneath my table, although the Triton is everything it was said to be. Well, that's my take. It's a great router with plenty of power, but certainly not your everyday tool.