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Thread: What's with Festool?

  1. #1

    What's with Festool?

    I recently picked up a Festool OF-2000E/1 router at an auction and can't figure out what the fuss is all about with the Festool brand, at least with respect to this tool. The other routers I have from Makita, Bosch, Milwaukee and Porter Cable are just as capable at a fraction of the cost. What am I missing? However, the box is pretty cool and easy to store.

  2. #2
    The router, while having some nice features, isn't nearly as differentiated from the competition as their sanders, Domino, drills, and dust extractors. You might (or might not) feel differently if you had picked up a sander, instead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Hey Steve,

    I had a OF2000 that i picked up in a used lot years ago and immediately turned around and sold it for a profit. I wouldnt judge the entire brand based on just that router. One, im guessing your unit is 15-20 years old. That tool was discontinued from production 10-12 years ago, so its atleast that old. Two, i dont remember it having too many of the latest design features. Dust collection was marginal compared to the newer hood designs for their current routers. I dont remember its accessories playing nicely with the guide rail system etc. Finally, i think your observations are accurate and i agree with them. It is a quality router, but nothing special compared to the biggest makita/comparable. My last point i will say about the OF2000 is that it was always a less expensive router offered by Festool, and i can speculate that it was tailored more towards the carpentry/construction community. Going way way back, i think it was maybe 50% less expensive than the OF2200, and even less expensive than the OF1400(which is a less powerful motor).


    If you are interested in exploring whether festool is 'worth it', then i would go play around with an OF2200, domino(500 or 700), and a sander. The OF2200 is really expensive--especially when you combine the accessory kit, which i definitely think you should--but it is 100% the best router ive used. The only way it could get better is if they included an LED light onto the workpiece. My router is years old, so this very well could have been added already. The slight offset of the handles to the base adds a natural but subtle side pressure for using the edge guide accessory. The quick connect/disconnect base plates are very handy for specific exercises. The ratcheting collet with one wrench is another nice feature. Some other brands may have caught up, but a decade ago that router really impressed the heck out of me. It still does when i use it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    Northern Colorado
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    I've never seen/used the OF-2000E so I have no idea how it compares. I personally own Bosch, Milwaukee, Dewalt and a Festool OF-1400. Hard to directly compare them, but the quality, build, dust extraction and design of the Festool is by far the best. The Bosch is for sure a workhorse (I own two), nothing fancy, but built well. The Dewalt/Milwaukee are my go-to palm routers that I use on every project. But when it comes to precise work, I reach for the 1400. But different strokes for different folks I guess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Millstone, NJ
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    I have the mid size one. the advantages i see are the easy hookup to rails/edge guides and the dust collection is very good for a router

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    I have the 1400 last year the bearings need to be replaced so I did that. I bought it when they first came out it’s a great router compared to the porter cable model I used to use.
    Really don’t like routers but the 1400 is a good precision one.
    Aj

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Northern Illinois
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    The main differences for me are:

    1. Exceptional dust collection (which might not be as developed on older tools)
    2. Festool routers have precise markings on the base for the center of the bit so it's much easier to layout and rout exact locations (certainly not impossible to do on other router without that feature)
    3. It appears to me that Festool router motors have the edge in power for the same number of amps, but that I get from use more than specs.
    4. Festool routers can be used on their tracks (like a tracksaw) and this comes in handy when I'm using a router to precisely rout a dado or groove or a specific area out of a board.
    5. The edge guides and hardware used to rout on a track have very precise adjustments to rout exactly where you want.

    I found the differences significant, but they are expensive and the features may not be valuable to others.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    That particular router is very old and doesn't necessarily represent the current brand. The current version of that class router is the OF2200 which is a "beast" of a router. I don't own that one, but do own the OF1400 and the OF1010. The OF1400 is my primary router when I need a hand-held router and I find it outstanding, including dust collection capability and versatility, such as compatibility with the track as Randy mentioned. I have a lot of their tools...about half bought in the mid-2000s and the rest more recently, including about a week ago for the latest. I like the brand and "system" and for me, they have been a good value. But that absolutely may not be true for others. It's ok not to prefer them.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    I have been a Dewalt DW621 user for-e-ver, and I love that router. However, the OF2200 looks pretty tempting. I’m especially interested in the larger plunge range. I think it’s like 3” compared to a little over 2” for the Dewalt.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Northern Michigan
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    Bought one new, hate it. Collects dust for me now.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    Bought one new, hate it. Collects dust for me now.
    Superior dust collection is something Festool prides themselves on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
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    Northern Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Harris View Post
    Superior dust collection is something Festool prides themselves on.
    LOL! Well played Jimmy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Columbia, MO
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    I have the OF2200 and love it. Plunge is easy and easy to adjust, soft start, excellent dust collection (it has this transparent collar that you can pop down, hose stays out of the way), easy swap of different router bases and collars, good ergonomics. But in the end it spins the bit the same as my 3.25hp Porter Cable. Yet the PC scarred the hell out of me when I used it free-hand. I feel much safer using the OF2200 when I need a big router occasionally outside a router table -- YMMV.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    As mentioned, Festool is marketing off of their superior ROS sander performance. Their router routinely came in somewhere in the middle of the pack in reviews. The original Kapex was a joke for the price. I believe Festool responded to this and resolved some of the issues in their more current offerings. If you have ever owned a Harley, a Jeep, or even Oakley sunglasses and are not blinded by the marketing fluff you know of what I speak. Reliability of a product quality and performance simply based on the badge has been dead for some time.

    I have almost every color of paint you can imagine in my shop. I choose the tool, not the tool maker. Make your own short-list of "gotta haves", compare unbiased review sources, and buy accordingly. Things like budget, use-case, and susceptibility to paint color prejudice all influence our decisions and our satisfaction with them.

    I just realized this post sounds very negative and that is not my intention. We have to be well educated consumers and speak with our wallets. Let makers know when things fall short, not with wild rants but with solid, repeatable facts. Sellers want to sell products. If we don't give them good feedback they don't have a chance to do right.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    – Samuel Butler

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    How is posting here giving a manufacturer feedback?

    Serious question.
    ~mike

    happy in my mud hut

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