Reliable, lightweight, accurate
I've owned this router for the last several years and would defintely support someone else buying it for its intended use. It's versatile, reliable, and despite being a bit less powerful than other similar 1/2" routers on the market, is defintely good for jobs requiring accuracy. Most of my work has been on plunging mortises in softwoods to make tables and chairs, which uses a fitted universal base plate, attached guide bushing and mortising jig. So bearing this in mind, the following are some pros and cons that I have come up with :
- 1/2" collet - any router bit can be used.
- a depth stop which zeroes - by that I mean you don't have to calculate differences in depth stop measurements to determine the depth of plunge. The depth stop simply has a rotatable dial so once the router bit is plunged to the touch the wood, the dial can be zeroed, and then simply adjusted to the required plunge depth. This can be very handy when plunging to various depths as no mental arithmetic is required, something which can sometimes be a bit tedious.
- reliable - it's never stopped working. I've used it for hours at a time routing up to 100 mortises in a session with no problems and have had it for several years now used every few weeks or so.
- soft start and variable speed - fairly common these days but still nice to have.
- lightweight - most of the 1/2" routers that I looked at are at least a few kilos heavier. The lightweight version of a 1/2" router is definitely a plus, although I mainly use it on softwoods, so I don't require the extra power for say hardwood use.
- accurate - millimetre accuracy for plunge depth. Spot on, never had a problem there.
- The unique method of controlling the plunge - by twisting the left handle back and forth to lock/unlock - can take a bit of getting used to. It can be a hindrance if you're coordination is a bit lacking, but the upside is that it's a much safer way of plunge routing as no hands or fingers are needed to come off the handle to lock the plunge. So it depends which way you look at it.
- The small nut which locks the plunge rod can sometimes vibrate loose. This may simply be my router which has that problem, but I've overcome the problem by checking the depth dial everytime anyway, so it's no big deal.