Mastercraft 12A Plunge Router with Digital Display
Not good for larger bits
I don't have a ton of experience with routers, but the sale price and reviews led me to this one. It seems to work well enough.
My biggest complaint is that the plastic base plate accepts a maximum router bit width of 1.25". The manual clearly states that the router will accommodate larger diameter bits if you purchase a different base plate. However, neither Canadian Tire, nor the Manufacturer (Cdn Tire provided me the 1-800-689-9928 number to check) provide any additional or replacement parts.
So even though Mastercraft sells bits (both individually and in large sets) which have larger diameter than 1.25", the router cannot accommodate them.
Other Mastercraft Routers have base plates with larger diameter holes. So you may want to consider these instead. I suppose you could also have another base plate machined, or you may find one that fits from another manufacturer. But I think this is unacceptable.
April 27, 2013
bought it in sale at 99$,
It worth 99$ in my mind, but a 200$ OMG.
There`s not even a case included; big deception for me,
this is an important tool, and require appropriate storage device.
I just got it, I use it today, I cant really comment on the long run..but its working fine for now.
If you plan to spend $200 on a router and dont need the plunger model, go for the Dewalt instead, thats the one we are using in my shop..
November 5, 2012
Nice handling router
A mid-power, good looking router that is a pleasure to use. Only professionals or very serious hobbyists need more h.p. Well thought through and designed.
Bit change is easy (8/10). The spindle lock is quite acceptable and there is lots of room to install and remove collets and/or bits. No need to take it apart, as I think the manual suggests.
Locking the depth setting is easy, as the lever is easy to access and it locks definitely. The plunge depth setting is standard, but dependable; the additional micro setting on the top of the plunge setting rod is a treat.
Using the router to "plunge" is a good experience - the movement is comfortably light, but smooth all the way down ... better than my other, more expensive, machine.
Easy to see your work with this one, a fact enhanced by the light which is aimed where it should be. The soft start will please beginners as well as experienced router people. The balance, weight and "feel" are all good. My senior's hands like the handles: soft to touch, secure in use and very comfortable when you flip the machine over, to stand it on your bench.
The jury is still out on the digital capability. It seems helpful, if indeed it's needed. It may be overkill, but it's easy to read and seems sensible. Can't hurt to have it.
Unless you like taking apart and re-assembling tools, there is no reason to bemoan the lack of a fixed base. Fixed base routers sometimes have less "play" and the depth is sometimes easier to set and hold. While I haven't had this plunge router for long, it seems that those features are so well machined that you would never reach for the fixed base, even if you had one.
In all, this is an excellent buy (especially on sale). It is already my favourite bench machine; it's likely that the other two (fixed-base) routers will seldom be called into action.
August 31, 2012
Have only used it a few time but it has worked great for me.
August 24, 2012
Good product. Only draw back being the screws in the base plate. These screws strip out easily. Purchase some #10-32 X 1/2" counter sunk machine screws with a socket head and throw the originals away. You won't have any problems after.
March 10, 2012
Does what it says on the tin. I do like that the supports for the plunge have dust shrouds, and it's a nice smooth action all the way down. Having both 1/2" and 1/4" collets is very nice. Variable speed is a definitely a bonus.
It's a shame they don't do an after market fixed base for this, as I would buy that to compliment the plunge base.
My only concern is that the motor is a tiny bit under powered when you're using really big router bits (panel raising as I was). But that's ok - you should be doing several passes with that bit anyway. Just means you take three passes instead of two.
Price is perhaps a little high - especially considering it's not both plunge and fixed base, but I got it in the sale - $99 - totally worth it!
February 25, 2012
Excellent Value on sale
I have owned the mate to this which is the combo fixed/plunge version for over a year. Very pleased with it. When I needed a second router and found this one on sale I snapped it up. This is a steal on sale at 50% off.
December 14, 2011