Here's my review of the Festool OF 1400 EQ Imperial Router
This past week or two I got to play around with this new router of mine. I wanted to test out the unit for the first time basically blind to see if I could figure it out. To set the router I just used a scrap piece until I got the correct depth on the bit. I had done it this way when using routers in school so I used the same technique on this router. I felt like the router had potential to be a great router. Before my second use of this router I wanted to see how to accurately set the depth of the router. I watched a tutorial and it was a game changer. I didn't realize setting the depth of the router could be so easy. After you zero the router you can accurately use the scale to set the desired depth of cut.
This router comes with a fair bit of accessories. You get a dust collection attachment and adapter, template guide, chip catcher, 3 collets (1/2in, 1/4in, 8mm), wrench, and 2 rods for using in conjunction with the edge guide or guide rail adapter. I was unimpressed with how the contents shipped. The systainer has a place for most everything but there is enough room for contents to move out of place and eventually become loose items in the box. Not sure if this is an issue with Festool or the shipping company/retailer. Also doesn't help the box was upside down when I saw it in my garage after I got home from work.
Bit changing is good enough. The ratcheting feature is nice when the resistance is enough to where the ratcheting function engages. Sometimes the collet is too loose to engage the ratchet. I found getting it finger tight seems to help with engaging the ratcheting function. The collet loosens and tightens very smooth. I found with the 1/2in collet some 1/2 inch bits are tighter fitting than others. Some bits I installed with the collet as loose as possible and it was still tighter than I am used to.
The dust collection adapter is easy to instal. Insert the 2 tabs then tighten the lever. It does a decent job at collecting dust. There is some dust not collected but it collects enough to where dust isn;t flying at your face and if it does it is not really a bother. I used the chip catcher to aid with dust collection when routing a couple edges. Did it help? I would guess it helped a bit but I wish I had payed more attention when I used it. Like the other attachments it was easy to instal. This accessory tended to snag on corners
The plunge mechanism is very smooth and does not provide too much resistance like I have noticed in other plunge routers I have used. The depth stop system was enjoyable to use because of its ease of use and the fact it worked. I felt the micro adjust worked well and was found it to be useful.
I got the guide rail adapter for the router so I can cut dados and found it works well. Setup is pretty straight forward but the rods did not instal as easy as I would expected from a Festool product. The rods seemed to have troubles being inserted into the holes located on the 2 sections that go onto the rail. If you have a Pozidriv bit you can adjust the guide rail system to remove any play you may have with the router to ensure it is as accurate as possible. The Festool track is one of the best in my opinion. The router runs very smooth on the track.
Many say the price is too much but the precision engineering, included accessories, ease of use, and system integration make it worth the price.
Pros- Easy to use once you know how to use it, includes a few extras in the kit that you may not get with other kit routers, Includes a Systainer which may not be quite as tough as other systems but the precision and quality is much higher but is a nice storage solution after the tool has been shipped, ratcheting collet is a handy feature, dust collection is included.
Cons- The contents inside the Systainer could be better secured and protected during shipping. Systainer is not built for a jobsite and has a bit more flex than other systems ie Packout/Tough System. This is not a huge issue but could be something to consider if say a framer wanted to get into Festool. The removable power cable isn't compatible with all Festool products
What would I want changed in the next version of this router- Built in dust collection would be nice instead of using an attachment, led light would be handy in some situations, brushless motor would be nice as to help keep the router running cooler.
Would I recommend this router? Yes this router is the (insert luxury car brand here) of mid range power routers