Pwk5017

Initial Thoughts on the OF1400

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Ive been using this router for a week and a half now, but wanted to get other people's take on this router. My handheld users the last year have been a pair of bosch 1617 combos with the big PC router in my table. I was excited to add the festool router to the line up for the guide rail versatility, and because I was under the impression that I was missing something by using a $200 router versus a $550 router. For those that don't have green routers, I am not so sure you are missing anything. Without a doubt the build quality on the festool is sweet. The depth stop is no nonsense precise. I find the bosch unit works, but it's kind of sloppy. Dust collection is sweet on the festool. It was pleasant not to get blasted with chips while using the router. My bosch has a hood, but it isn't as effective, and the vertical nature of the connection means my shopvac hose tends to pinch on itself. This might not be the case if I had something like a boom arm to present the hose from an elevated position. Regardless, festool wins that fight. Where the rubber meets the road I am just not sold on the OF1400. I find it to be incredibly unbalanced when doing edge treatments. I need to measure the bases to compare, but the OF1400 feels very "tippy" on edges. I don't know if it is a product of the base, or a product of my shopvac hose causing the imbalance. Next, I hate the ergonomics of the grip. The bosch is my idea of perfection, and I haven't grown to appreciate the odd asymmetrical festool grip at all. Also not a fan of the plunge mechanism. I find the bosch's lever to be a much simpler and effective means of engaging the plunge mechanism mid-use. Lastly, I cant find true specs of the weight for each machine, but dannggg the festool feels heavy. I cant imagine using the OF2200 if it's supposed to be as big and heavy as others say. I cant discern a difference in power between the festool and bosch, but I don't routinely .

 

Am I missing something? I realize I need to spend more time with the tool, but so far I am pretty disappointed with what I expected to be pure awesome. This isn't a bash on the tool, just more curious about if other owners had similar first impressions, but gradually grew to love the tool. This cost me less than the price of the bosch new, so it has that going for it, but im having a hard time understanding why people would knowingly spend 2.5x on this model. I have yet to buy accessories for it, and that might be a major win for the festool.

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That's weird, I like all of the things you don't like.

We agree that the precision and dust collection is unmatched.  I love the ergonomics of the handle and it almost feels weird to me now to use a traditional router.  I don't mind the locking mechanism on the plunge but there might be room for improvement there.  I don't use my 1400 for edge treatments...I relegate grunt work to my cheaper routers and leave only the "important" work for the 1400 so I don't put more hours on it than necessary...but I don't find it any more tippy than any other router I've used.  And I love the mass of it...feels more stable...like if I catch grain it might tend to muscle through and stay put rather than jump out of my hands.

All that said...it's just a router...not one of Festool's game-changers like a Domino or track saw.  I think with the routers you're mostly paying for the bells and whistles, the high quality and the great dust collection.

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I am not a huge fan of that grip. I own the of1010 and the 2200 amd i far prefer the 2200. Obviously a different beast but it is one of the finest pieces of tooling ive ever used. I cant comment on the 1400 never used it but the of1010 has that grip and i dont love it. I think its a fantastic little router but i just don't like that grip. So i could imagine having a bigger, heavier router with that grip and liking it even less.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk

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It is a different grip to get used to but I actually like it with an edge guide. Like Eric said the plunge lock could use some improvement but I tend to crank mine more that I probably need to. All routers will be "tippy" on the edge routing unless you have an offset base. Watch this video to see how the 1400 can be even better than an offset base:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoMRlzeCA1M&list=PL4A85F0E096ED9739&index=2

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The OF 1400 and the Bosch 1617 are my main pair of handheld routers just like yourself. I agree that like a lot of folks, I'm not much of a fan of the plunge mechanism. It works, but I don't like it as much as the simple mechanism on the Bosch. Otherwise, it's been a solid router for me. I haven't found it to be any more or less prone to tipping than the Bosch.

About my only other beef is that when using the dust collection insert it makes it really hard to see what you're doing if you want to do something like freehand route a deep mortise. The easy answer to that problem is that I just use the Bosch when I want to do something freehand. Long term I do plan on getting an OF 2200 which doesn't have the same dust collection mechanism, so it will be a non-issue soon enough.

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I cut a small window into the DC hood on my 1400. It didn't change the effectiveness of the dust collection, but now I can see the bit. The plunge micro adjustment is my favorite feature, but that plunge lock really needs help. 

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49 minutes ago, Janello said:

I cut a small window into the DC hood on my 1400. It didn't change the effectiveness of the dust collection, but now I can see the bit. The plunge micro adjustment is my favorite feature, but that plunge lock really needs help. 

Gotta pic?

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If you tallied router hours, then the PC 450 and 690 would be maybe 80% in my shop... And 100% for edge routing... I just like fixed-base routers for that application... Don't know why, just do... Maybe the simplicity -- the 450 and 690 are just so simple... Actually, I've probably got ten PC fixed-base routers against two FT plunge -- I suppose that just reflects my use pattern... I keep bits in all (maybe) the fixed-base routers and just grab the one I need...

I use the 1400 and 2200 anytime 'accuracy' is required... The bases, guide bushing, etc are really superior to my PC setups... The 2200's mass is also seems to add some level of stability... And let's not forget the DC...

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26 minutes ago, estesbubba said:

Gotta pic?

Nothing fancy, but effective. It's really just for doing inlays. I found it impossible to do inlays without the cutout. The swing door that they provide is blocked by the turret and post, and not on the side where it should be!

20151223_191232_resized.jpg

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That's really good to see. I had contemplated doing something similar but was worried that it might shoot the dust collection to complete crap. Might just give that a try here over the holidays. I didn't realize until checking just now that it was only about a $20 part. Not a huge deal to replace if I don't like the end result. Thanks for the pic.

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If you do it, just be careful not to put your nose to close jerkface. I lost a close friend when he got sucked into that hole and wound up in the shop vac. 

RIP little buddy.

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I've said on these forums many times that I like my 1617 as much as my 1400 except for the dust collection.  The other items that bugged you didn't bother me so, will just chalk those up to personal preference.

Completely agree with Eric that it's not a "game changer".

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I have both the Bosch and the OF 1400 routers.  I have been using both for the past 6 months.  I think they are both really nice routers.  I must admit I have come to love certain aspects of the Festool: it is so solid, great dust collection, and the bit height adjustment is awesome.

My only complaints with the Bosch router: dust collection and I have a hard time making accurate depth adjustments.

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Ok, sounds like everybody is on the same page, and I am not grossly overlooking certain features. I didn't want to come across as bashing festool, because this is still a good tool, but there definitely was a tinge of disappointment when using it. I suppose that is an occupational hazard of being one of the top dogs; the absolute best is always expected. At the same time, I did want to throw it out there for someone considering the 1400. At $225 for me there is no regret. At $550+...ooooh, I wouldn't touch this over the bosch.

 

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15 minutes ago, Pwk5017 said:

At $225 for me there is no regret. At $550+...ooooh, I wouldn't touch this over the bosch.

 

Depends how much precision and DC is worth to you.  I do all of my mortising with my 1400...that's joinery...it's important.  I'm not saying you can't do it with a Bosch but I like the smooth and easy adjustments.  I also appreciate the killer DC but that's #2 importance to me.

It's just like any other Festool...it's better than the competition and way more expensive.  Only you can decide if that disparity in price is worth it.  This hobby is my money dump so I don't really care.  I like nice stuff.

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Felt like I needed to post an update, because I have had more time with the tool and its accessories. The guide rail accessory is pretty nice. I easily see this doing the dadoes my router table cannot(fence gives me like 10-12" of cut capacity on the jessem table). It is pretty clever, but I wish you were able to maintain the micro-adjustment dial when using the two pads on the guide rail. I believe its their demo video where festool tells you to use both rail adapters for added stability and precision. Well, don't I want a micro-adjuster for added precision?? It just doesn't make sense you cant use it in conjunction. Edge guide seems to be pretty nice. I like the length of the bars, which afford me more capacity than the edge guide on my bosch router. I take back all my comments on the ergonomics of the machine after using the accessories. This thing was only intended to be used with the edge guide or guide rail. It works very well in both cases.

 

I still find the need to post about the stability. I get it if guys want to say im an idiot, and festool knows what they are doing etc, however, this router for routing edges with a bearing is the most ballstastic thing ive ever used in my woodshop. It sucks beyond imagination. I shouldnt have to buy an "edge routing adapter" or an MFK 700 or whatever the heck else they sell to make up for the inadequacy of this thing. It's bearable when routing a straight edge, but when you round a corner, good luck. I guaran-fing-tee you will tip it on that corner and royally F your project. Example, edge routing a simple roundover on a 24x36 end grain cutting board for a restaurant last night. Freaking 1400 tipped on two corners and now I have some touch up work to contend with this evening.

 

Thumbs up for this router as a dedicated edge guide/guide rail machine. I am excited to get an MFT and really see the guide rail functionality blossom. As a general all around router though, the inability to rout an edge profile out of the box is a real bummer. Maybe the answer is I need one of their small trim routers to do edge profiles, but what do you do for a monster ogee bit on a table top or something similar? Is the OF2200 much better for this? Can you tell im kinda not enamored by this company? The accessory price gouging is most annoying. Especially when said accessories aren't an option.

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Yeah I don't really have the same troubles with edge profiles that you have.  Maybe take a deep breath and slow down a little? :)

I think I mentioned in my other post in this thread that I pretty much dedicated my OF1400 to mortising, grooves and dadoes.  That's where the precision of an expensive router like this one really shines.  I put highway miles on the other routers that I don't care so much about when something doesn't need to be so precise...so I do most of my profiles and other grunt work with one of the beaters.

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Having the Bosch 1617evs, Festool OF1400, and the OF2200 I can say that no router can compare to the OF2200,  when Trip said it was in a class of it's own he wasn't kidding. Every router should aim to be as comfortable and amazing as the 2200. The 1400 took a bit of time to get used to the ergonomics, but I've never really had any issues with the ergonomics. I've done edge profiles with a 1/2" chamfer bit and it didn't feel tippy, it's all in how you are holding the router, and where you place the weight, it's a technique thing. 

The think I really like about the handle of the 1400 is the switch placement. Ever get a catch on the 1617, and then have to hunt for the switch to shut it? I just release the trigger on the 1400 when things go awry. 

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Once I got the OF1010, OF1400, and OF2200... I got rid of my other routers. I did keep a little trim router, but I haven't used it since. I had a Bosch 1617 and it was a nice piece. But I prefer the ergonomics of the Festool stuff. I'm also pretty heavily invested in guide rails and the LR32 kit, Vac etc. I do think on their own they're not particularly groundbreaking machines, but once you are into the "system" everything really does work so nicely together.   I agree that it has the potential to be tippy on an edge depending on how you're holding it. But I can't say I've really ever had any problems with it. (Though now that I've actually said it, I'm sure I can kiss my next project goodbye! hahahahaha)  The good news for you is, if you're not in love with it, you have the 30 days to return it.... or you can sell it for almost what you paid for it.   And yes, the 2200 is a beast. It's got some heft to it! I reserve it for heavy work. 

I really don't understand the idea of buying a good tool, then not using it to save wear on it. Just use the damn thing and enjoy it! Worst case, you can send it in for service and they'll make it good as new... or if you literally wear it out.... treat yourself to a new one, because you would have to have miles and miles of use on it!   Well, except for the Kapex... I only use that guy for nicer trim work and furniture etc.  Framing stuff, decks, etc. the Dewalt comes out. 

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40 minutes ago, kbj said:

Well, except for the Kapex... I only use that guy for nicer trim work and furniture etc.  Framing stuff, decks, etc. the Dewalt comes out. 

Why?  Just use the damn thing and enjoy it.

It's exactly the same thing.  I use my 1400 for tasks that require precision and fine adjustment.  Why would I put the miles on it doing edge profiles or anything else that any beater router can do just fine?  If I owned a Ferrari I damn sure wouldn't drive it to work every day.

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Just now, Eric. said:

Why?  Just use the damn thing and enjoy it.

It's exactly the same thing.  I use my 1400 for tasks that require precision and fine adjustment.  Why would I put the miles on it doing edge profiles or anything else that any beater router can do just fine?  If I owned a Ferrari I damn sure wouldn't drive it to work every day.

I'd drive the wheels off a Ferrari everyday to work. Though I'm sure I'd end up in jail quickly. :rolleyes:

 For me, I feel the Kapex is underpowered for larger timber. The Dewalt cruises through it, though I've always felt a 12" blade suffers in the accuracy department for finer work.  I can also put the Kapex in a house and use it with the DC. The Dewalt not so much. So they have different uses based on design, not on being worried about wearing it out.  

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I agree about the Kapex being underpowered.  But I don't understand why you don't understand why a person wouldn't want to reserve his best tools for his best work.  I don't use my Japanese chisels to scrape glue, and I don't use my Kapex to cut construction lumber.  It just doesn't make sense to do it when there's a cheap alternative sitting right over there --->.

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I guess because I don't think edge profiling is ever going to wear that router out.  But at the end of the day it was just a random comment and truth be told I was just giving my input and I really don't care how or what you use your tools for. If you enshrine it the worlds most beautiful case and build a room to stare at it, then I support you for doing whatever you wish with stuff you bought!  Personally I'm going to take the Ferrari out and listen to the motor purrrrrrr. Cheers! 

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Sorry, never followed up on this thread. One, I probably am an idiot. I have bounced around on liking/hating this router from the very moment I possessed it. All Im going to say is, they make an accessory dedicated to stabilizing the machine for edge routing, which leads me to believe that festool engineers silently admit it sucks at edge routing. It is a good tool, but I suppose im mostly disappointed it isnt the "one router to rule them all". I guess i built it up to unattainable heights in my mind. Bit changing is slick. dust collection is good. I like the guide rail compatibility. I really cant complain after that. I paid under $200 for this new old stock router, so no return policy here. Not needed though.

 

Im with kbj on this one. I hope festool's build quality is high enough that this thing lasts me a solid 10+ years of hobbyist use. Im using my router maybe 15 minutes a week on average? I can understand not using the kapex on rough lumber, because it might get knocked out of alignment in a weird tension/binding accident, but if i drop the money for a top shelf product im going to use it.I hope the thing is obsolete before it's worn out.

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