Hitachi M12V2 Half Inch Router
Friday 11 March 2011
Derek Jones gives Hitachi a thorough going over and discovers that it might not be for everybody
The M12V2 comes with a parallel fence made up of two components plus the rods. The cast section used to hold the rods is well finished and attaches to a pressed steel cross section. The whole device is well made and of very good quality but is lacking in size for some applications. The rods aren't really long enough to attach a second fence for instance which could be used for mortising into thin sections. The fence plate is also on the short side and although easily modified any additional material will have a knock on effect for the already short rods.
Bumpy startI didn't get off to a very good start with the M12V2 and wasn't going to bring it up but decided in the end it was worth a mention. Before I could get down to business I noticed a problem with the fine adjustment rise and fall lock-off. The threaded bar had detached from the base allowing the body to separate itself from the main plunge bars. To reassemble it was necessary to remove the black plastic cover plate on the face of the base plate and hold a nut in place while tightening the threaded bar. In itself not a difficult procedure but not made any easier by the need to remove the plunge lock lever as well to reinstate a brass spacer which had become dislodged in the process. Is this unfair to point out? I don't think so. I can't think why you'd want to remove the bar for anything other than replacing a damaged base so a dab of thread lock might be in order if you encounter this yourself.
Precise adjusterThis machine has three preset adjustable depth stops on a firm rotating turret above which there's an interesting design incorporating the depth scale. A removable cover plate in two sections allows you to clear any waste material from this obvious dust trap. The scale however is clearly marked out in metric and imperial with a travel indicator for quick reference. The whole mechanism is precise in feel despite the awkward appearance. Considering the ergonomics I can see no practical benefit for having the raised rubber over-moulding to the main body. Not withstanding the side grips, during set-up and cutter changes the only things to come into contact with the bench or working surface are the usual protrusions and hard edges found on any router. The inference here is that this is more cosmetic than functional.
The main base is a well finished casting that takes a separate machined base plate which is used to secure a range of guide bushes, two of which are supplied. A centring tool is also included for use with either of the two collets. The secondary plate is necessary to enable extraction of the working area through a 32mm angled port. In this configuration the maximum tool dia is 40mm. The clear plastic cover allows good visibility but the channel for transporting waste from the working zone is small and prone to clogging. A good vacuum extraction unit would certainly help to overcome this.