ajthomas5009

Festool OF 1400 (advice)

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Im in the market for a new router. I currently have a Craftsman Pro 2.5hp combo and a Makita laminate/trim router.

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Festool OF 1400 or the Bosch MRC23 combo. I'm close to pulling the trigger on the OF 1400 but before I do I want to make sure it will do what I'm expecting no questions asked. The main reason I'm getting another router is because 2 is not enough and most importantly I don't care for the plunge lock mech on my Cman. Its cumbersome to plunge and it doesn't lock with the precision I'm looking for. I want a midsized plunge router that will plunge and lock precisely no questions asked. I gravitated to the Festool because it had 2 bushings and double lock. I know its double the price of the bosch but I have the money ATM and would kind of rather take the buy the right tool once route. But I definitely don't want to spend the extra dough if plunge lock mech deflection is still in play.

.In general I've read a lot of good reviews on the festool in regards to its smooth and accurate plunge / lock. But there also some that complain about the plunge mech but aren't descriptive about what they are referring to and this worries me.

So those of you with the Festool of1400 or Bosch please chime in.

Thanks,

Andrew

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I own the OF1400 and the Bosch 1617 and absolutely love them both.  DC is the biggest upgrade on the 1400!

I've had no issues with the plunge mechanism on the 1400 and do not regret the purchase.

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I think some people find the plunge mechanism ergonomically akward.  Personally I don't find it akward, but I adapt pretty quickly to things like that.  Some people have used a PC or Dewalt for 25 years and any change is "bad".  

I have not had issues with slop or deflect on the 1400.  I think it is a very good router.  It is the primary router in my shop.  

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I currently own Makita and Dewalt plunge routers. I'm planning on buying an OF 1400 for use with edge guides. IMO the ergonomics of the OF 1400 make it a lot more precise when using guides.

In fact, I think this router was designed with that particular use in mind.

 

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I have both the Bosch and Festool 1400.  

Love the 1400.  Yes, the ergonomics of the 1400 is a bit different but it is easy to get used to; and the plunge mechanism is more precise.  It is not to say that Bosch is bad but the Festool router is really good.

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Oh wow, probably the one topic on WTO that I'm well-qualified to answer, as I own the OF1400 and previously owned a pair of recent Craftsman models, the 17543 and 28084 three base unit. I'll compare them a bit.

Worth the upgrade:

  • dust collection with the Festool units are about as good as you are going to get for handheld routers.
  • if you are going to dive into the Festool system at any point, they work exceedingly well. Rails, LR32, dust extractor, etc
  • the available accessories are very good, and there are quite a few
  • three collets come with it, at least in the US. 1/2, 1/4 and 8mm
  • the locking mechanism and power switch, on the handles, is much better than being on the back like you are probably used to.
  • the dust port and power socket line up, so you don't have cords and hoses coming each direction off the router
  • Ratcheting lock. Brilliant. Superb. Perhaps the best feature.

A bit disappointing:

  • Complete lack of lights in the base. 
  • Price. You'll pay for the privilege, and you'll pay for every accessory. A lot. Edge guide is $78 by itself.
  • It honestly didn't feel like much of an upgrade over my old routers, particularly for the price, but that may reflect more on the quality of the Craftsmans than anything else. I never had any issues as you describe with mine, so you will probably be more impressed.

If you can overcome the sticker shock, it's a solid router. I have since picked up a 1010 to accompany it, and can see myself one day getting the big boy just to have around (when I'm lighting money on fire to keep warm). If you have no interest in getting anything else Festool, don't have the need for exceptional dust collection (for a router, anyway), and are more into shop-made jigs and accessories, it might not be for you. It's not one of their game-changing tools, IMO. But it's good.

 

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I kind of had a feeling they were referring to the pistol grip and twist lock nob ergonomics but it was clear. I think the best was to settle this is to just make a trip to woodcraft this weekend and get my hands on one. This way I can see for myself and then if the particular one I take home isn't to standards I can return or exchange.

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I'm also considering the Bosch vs. the OF 1400. Whichever I end up buying I am going to have to use for both handheld and table routing. I was just wondering how well does the OF 1400 perform as a table router. I'm mostly concerned because of the handle that seems unique to Festool routers.

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I had the OF 1400 and it was a great router for handheld applications. The problem is putting it in a router table. The only non-Festool table that could mount the OF1400 was a lee valley steel router table top with adjustable under mount clamps. The plunge-only base on the OF1400 also made precise height adjustments a bear once it was mounted in the table. There are guys who've made home brew height adjusters modeled after Festool's but that was too fiddly for me. I now use a Bosch and it works great in the table and has above and below table height adjustments built into the fixed base. I'm very happy with it. YMMV.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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6 hours ago, Joseph Madden said:

I'm also considering the Bosch vs. the OF 1400. Whichever I end up buying I am going to have to use for both handheld and table routing. I was just wondering how well does the OF 1400 perform as a table router. I'm mostly concerned because of the handle that seems unique to Festool routers.

For less than the price of the OF1400, you could get two Bosch routers.

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13 hours ago, Darren B said:

I had the OF 1400 and it was a great router for handheld applications. The problem is putting it in a router table. The only non-Festool table that could mount the OF1400 was a lee valley steel router table top with adjustable under mount clamps. The plunge-only base on the OF1400 also made precise height adjustments a bear once it was mounted in the table. There are guys who've made home brew height adjusters modeled after Festool's but that was too fiddly for me. I now use a Bosch and it works great in the table and has above and below table height adjustments built into the fixed base. I'm very happy with it. YMMV.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Why didn't you just buy a second router?  I can't imagine anything more irritating that mounting/dismounting a router every time you need to use it.  Every serious shop "needs" at least two routers.

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A router for table use would be much more useful if it has above the table adjustments . I know some brands offer this. The other route to go is buy a powerful motor to put in a lift.

Taking a router in and out of a table to use it another way or to change bits gets real old real fast. 

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If I could choose I'd pick the 1400 for handheld and either the big Triton or the big Milwaukee for the table. Then I'd add the 1010 for smaller handheld use. Problem is the cost, lol. 

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I had the OF 1400 and it was a great router for handheld applications. The problem is putting it in a router table. The only non-Festool table that could mount the OF1400 was a lee valley steel router table top with adjustable under mount clamps. The plunge-only base on the OF1400 also made precise height adjustments a bear once it was mounted in the table. There are guys who've made home brew height adjusters modeled after Festool's but that was too fiddly for me. I now use a Bosch and it works great in the table and has above and below table height adjustments built into the fixed base. I'm very happy with it. YMMV.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Why didn't you just buy a second router?  I can't imagine anything more irritating that mounting/dismounting a router every time you need to use it.  Every serious shop "needs" at least two routers.

Well.......the money tree was not in bloom at the time . There was a point when I had green fever and everything had to be Festool, to the point where I didn't even have enough cash to buy wood. I'm over it now.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 3/11/2016 at 8:29 PM, Darren B said:

I had the OF 1400 and it was a great router for handheld applications. The problem is putting it in a router table. The only non-Festool table that could mount the OF1400 was a lee valley steel router table top with adjustable under mount clamps. The plunge-only base on the OF1400 also made precise height adjustments a bear once it was mounted in the table. There are guys who've made home brew height adjusters modeled after Festool's but that was too fiddly for me. I now use a Bosch and it works great in the table and has above and below table height adjustments built into the fixed base. I'm very happy with it. YMMV.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you for basically confirming my fears.

 

On 3/11/2016 at 10:00 AM, Eric. said:

Why didn't you just buy a second router?  I can't imagine anything more irritating that mounting/dismounting a router every time you need to use it.  Every serious shop "needs" at least two routers.

My home shop is a detached single car garage with a single 20A outlet. Every tool change is irritating!

My ultimate goal is to have both a handheld router and a dedicated bench router plus a trim router. I'm just looking for the most universal solution right now, which would probably not be a Festool. The main reason I'm attracted to Festool is the ease of transportation and superior dust collection. A few times a year I work in dust sensitive environments, sometimes 5 miles away, sometimes 500 miles away. The systainer system, although not nearly as durable as I would like, is super convenient and time saving for my applications.

I could buy the Bosch now and figure out another way to deal with the dust situation or I can buy the Festool and figure out a way to deal with the bench issue. I do own a router, but its a 8ish year old fixed base Ryboi that came with a bench. Does it work? Yes. Is it accurate? Not a chance.

I am planing on getting over to Woodcraft this week to check out the OF 1400 to check the ergonomics and such before I make a decision.

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