Author Topic: MFK 700 getting started tips  (Read 3070 times)

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Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 899
MFK 700 getting started tips
« on: March 20, 2019, 09:36 AM »
Out of all the Festool tools the MFK 700 has to be the winner in terms of trouble wrapping my head around its usage and applications. In the US it comes in two variants, the MFK 700 EQ SET 574368 and the MFK 700 EQ/B-Plus 574456. Over in Europe and elsewhere they make it even more confusing with an OFK variant.

Having just taken the Cabinets and Doors and Drawers class in Asheville last week I wanted to share a few notes while they're fresh in my mind to maybe help others figure this tool out. This is going to be a quick rundown and I'm sure I'll leave a lot out but hopefully others will chime in.

My reason for wanting the MFK 700 was for iron on edgebanding. I have a nice quad trimmer from Fastcap and it inevitably gives me a lot of tearout and not the finish I'd like. For this purpose the MFK is fantastic, if not a little overkill. The set version includes an offset horizontal base and a vertical base. The horizontal base is the one for trimming edge banding but it is offset a degree and a half so as to not ruin the surface finish of a counter top if it is laminated. I didn't use the vertical base much but in the class we used it along with the edge guide to run the 1/4" or 6mm dado to receive the back panel in the cabinets.

The EQ/B-Plus variant only comes with a vertical base (Festool 500590) that is offset with a bearing follower/brake. I never understood why anyone would want this. This is the "Conturo" version. What it's good for: say you're using PVC edgebanding. The base has a step in it so you can put the router over your edgebanding and onto the surface of the material the edgebanding is applied to without resting on the edgebanding itself as you bring the router forward to mill the edgebanding off. Easier to show than explain. The bearing brake stops the bearing of the bit from ruining the PVC edging as it spins at thousands of RPM's. You use this base with a combination edgebanding trimmer and roundover bit (i.e. Festool 499809) that will clean up and soften the transition of the edgebanding to the surface in one go. With the set version these are separate operations that require a bit change and possibly a base change.

For doing the cabinet backs Festool sells a rather pricey 6mm bit that fits the MFK 700 (490980). It took me a while but I found CMT 191.007.11 which is 1/4" diameter, 3/4" CL, and 2" overall length. That last part is what matters a lot with this router. Anything longer and I don't think you'd be able to chuck the bit into the router enough to do a 9mm deep groove in 18mm material to receive a 6mm or 1/4" back panel.

An unofficial use of the MFK 700 is that it will insert vertically into either the 0 degree or 1.5 degree horizontal bases. Then you can use a very short mortising bit like CMT 801.128.11 to flush trim protruding dowels, dominos, etc. A member here @tjbnwi did a video demonstrating this operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vDySNAnrok&feature=youtu.be

In summary what seems like a one trick pony router has a lot more uses than I ever thought from first look. All the knobs on the bases and attachments are confusing but when you start using it they all make sense like most everything else Festool makes. This router is not officially supported for guide rail use which is a real shame given that the depth of the bit is adjustable in 1/10 mm increments. Microfence makes an adapter or you can make one yourself if you take a look at Jerry Work's guide on the subject. If there's enough interest I'll try to get some pictures up but so much of this has been covered already by others.

I hope this helps
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 10:27 AM by DynaGlide »
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Offline Route24Design

  • Posts: 187
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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 09:48 AM »
I've been going back and forth looking at the MFK for purchase.  I was not clear on the difference between the 2 models offered.  I think I will go with the Set version and I will look up the CMT bit you referenced.  Any other bits you recommend for the MFK?

Thanks for the write up
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Offline jobsworth

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 10:03 AM »
I just got this "kit" one thing youll need to buy extra is the edge guide. It doesnt come with the kit anymore. Youll need to to route the drawer bottom grooves and the groove for the cabinent back and trimming edge banding.

I learned the hard way about the bit length limitations. I first used a down spiral bit that was 3" long. it screwed up the piece as the collect couldnt hold the bit due to its length. Fortunately I had a bit that was 2" longand even though it was a cheap bit, it worked great cut a nice groove. Which reminds me Im going to go get it sharpened.

Anyway

Hey @DynaGlide Im glad you liked the class. I checked his site and he has a lot of new  on festool classes hes offering no dates are posted yet. Im interested in taking a couple of them.

thanks for the MFK700 review it was pretty good. Wish Id known about te bit length before I screwed those pieces up    [embarassed]

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 899
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 10:17 AM »
I've been going back and forth looking at the MFK for purchase.  I was not clear on the difference between the 2 models offered.  I think I will go with the Set version and I will look up the CMT bit you referenced.  Any other bits you recommend for the MFK?

Thanks for the write up

The ones I own so far are the 491666 edge trimmer, which is used in the horizontal base for edge trimming. I also own the CMT mortising bit and the CMT 1/4" bit is on order. I could just as easily do the groove with a larger router but the MFK is so lightweight I liked using it in class.

I've seen @Sparktrician recommend the Amana Tool - 47150 Carbide Tipped No-File Trim .059 Radius x 1/2 Dia x 3/8 x 1/4 Inch for laminate work. I'm sure he'll be along to chime in as I have no experience with it. I'm assuming it could also be used after the 491666 edge trimmer to break the sharp transition from edge banding to the surface in the vertical base.
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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4096
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 10:19 AM »
I've been going back and forth looking at the MFK for purchase.  I was not clear on the difference between the 2 models offered.  I think I will go with the Set version and I will look up the CMT bit you referenced.  Any other bits you recommend for the MFK?

Thanks for the write up

I use the Amana No-File bit extensively when working with high-pressure laminates like Formica and Wilsonart.
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Route24Design

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 10:47 AM »
I've been going back and forth looking at the MFK for purchase.  I was not clear on the difference between the 2 models offered.  I think I will go with the Set version and I will look up the CMT bit you referenced.  Any other bits you recommend for the MFK?

Thanks for the write up

The ones I own so far are the 491666 edge trimmer, which is used in the horizontal base for edge trimming. I also own the CMT mortising bit and the CMT 1/4" bit is on order. I could just as easily do the groove with a larger router but the MFK is so lightweight I liked using it in class.

I've seen @Sparktrician recommend the Amana Tool - 47150 Carbide Tipped No-File Trim .059 Radius x 1/2 Dia x 3/8 x 1/4 Inch for laminate work. I'm sure he'll be along to chime in as I have no experience with it. I'm assuming it could also be used after the 491666 edge trimmer to break the sharp transition from edge banding to the surface in the vertical base.

Thanks for the info.  I have the OF1400 router.  I guess I can use that for back panel grooves but was looking for something smaller to handle and for round overs and edge work.  Looked at other small routers from Bosch and Makita, but I want something with dust collection. 
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Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 899
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 11:08 AM »
It's a quirky little router with a lot of limitations. But as long as you work within its limitations it excels where no other router would.

Festool really needs to do a better job explaining its capabilities and what router bits go with which bases and why.
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Offline Route24Design

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 11:10 AM »
It's a quirky little router with a lot of limitations. But as long as you work within its limitations it excels where no other router would.

Festool really needs to do a better job explaining its capabilities and what router bits go with which bases and why.
I agree.  Was also looking at the OF1010 if I don't get this router.
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1983
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 11:34 AM »
It's a quirky little router with a lot of limitations. But as long as you work within its limitations it excels where no other router would.

Festool really needs to do a better job explaining its capabilities and what router bits go with which bases and why.

This was precisely the feedback I gave Festool in their survey.  Their manuals are atrocious, the supplemental manuals were great.  In this age of video they really should invest the time and energy showcasing how the tools are used and what makes them unique.  A short 5 minute video could convey so much.  Not the sales-y videos with the music, but something instructional in nature.  All these knobs and parts and optional accessories are a barrier for customers to overcome.  Instead of making customers work to understand, just show us. 
-Raj

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 11:37 AM »
I have several 700’s, my favorite router.

Make your own guide rail adapter....

Tom

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 899
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 12:25 PM »
It's a quirky little router with a lot of limitations. But as long as you work within its limitations it excels where no other router would.

Festool really needs to do a better job explaining its capabilities and what router bits go with which bases and why.

This was precisely the feedback I gave Festool in their survey.  Their manuals are atrocious, the supplemental manuals were great.  In this age of video they really should invest the time and energy showcasing how the tools are used and what makes them unique.  A short 5 minute video could convey so much.  Not the sales-y videos with the music, but something instructional in nature.  All these knobs and parts and optional accessories are a barrier for customers to overcome.  Instead of making customers work to understand, just show us.

I think as a company they are making large strides toward better education regarding their products. They have Brian Sedgeley doing How To clips every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Instagram which then get put on YouTube. They have Festool.tv. They just did an 11 part building Euro and Frame cabinets series which echoed many of the techniques and tips taught in their Cabinets and Doors and Drawers class. They make available Rick Christopherson's supplemental manuals on their website. They have Festool Road Shows traveling the country. I can't say I've ever seen such educational outreach from another tool manufacturer.

I think the issue is that Festool USA is a child company to Festool DE. When this topic was brought up during class last week, Greg said to think about it like this. In the USA to be a carpenter you need tools and a license. In Europe you need an education, an apprenticeship, and by the time you're ready to set out on your own you've been trained to use the tools so well that you don't need a manual. You already know how to use the tools. I know this is a cop out excuse but it's also a look into the cultural differences between a company that is US based and a company that is not. Yes they can do better with their manuals but in this age video is what people want and I believe they are doing a great job. There's just some gaps that need filling like with the MFK 700. I've learned with Festool that if you want to do something, they've already thought of a way to do it and you just have to decipher which tools or parts you need to do it. On the plus side if I don't know a tool exists that does what I'm trying to do it's more money in my wallet. . .

Other fun tidbit from the class. .OF 1400, 1010, 2200 OF stands for oberfräse which is "Router." TS is some german word meaning track saw. FS is some german word for guide rail. A lot of the confusion I think stems from the fact that the nomenclature for all the tools is German based.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 12:29 PM by DynaGlide »
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Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 764
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2019, 03:03 PM »
TS is some german word meaning track saw.

Correction: TS stands for Tauch Säge (actually one word), lit. Diving Saw. Family of the HK (Hand Kreissäge), which of course is called Skill Saw in the US.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Route24Design

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 11:01 AM »
MFK good for solid wood edge banding as well?  Whats the thickest you can edge band to use the MFK and short cutter to flush trim?
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Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 899
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2019, 11:42 AM »
MFK good for solid wood edge banding as well?  Whats the thickest you can edge band to use the MFK and short cutter to flush trim?

Somewhere under 5/8" and you probably want the 0 degree base so it isn't obvious you trimmed at an angle.
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Offline Route24Design

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Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 11:50 AM »
MFK good for solid wood edge banding as well?  Whats the thickest you can edge band to use the MFK and short cutter to flush trim?

Somewhere under 5/8" and you probably want the 0 degree base so it isn't obvious you trimmed at an angle.

Thanks.....so far starting out I've done 3/4" edge band.  Going down to 5/8" shouldn't be a bad adjustment
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Offline Joe V

  • Posts: 20
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2021, 06:22 PM »
Quote
The EQ/B-Plus variant only comes with a vertical base (Festool 500590) that is offset with a bearing follower/brake.

Do you know if this base is the same base as the other set just minus the bearing follower/brake? I just ordered the 574368 MFK 700 EQ TRIM ROUTER SET but would like to have the option to use the 500590 base. So what I'm asking is all I have to order is:
 
   83   10015642   Brake   
   84   10013518   Brake   
   85   219075   Raised-head screw M4 x 16 (x2)

and that will make the vertical base that comes with the 574368 basically become a 500590 base?

Offline afish

  • Posts: 364
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2021, 08:05 PM »
I was confused when I bought my MFK as well and ended up with the set 1.5 horz. & vert. base.  I didnt realize the other one was designed to work with the insert roundover bits and do everything in one pass.  I bought mine mostly for doing 1mm real wood edgebanding since as you say its problematic with the razor style trimmer.  Those work fine for pvc but the real wood can be finicky.  After realizing I technically bought the wrong set im still not sure I would exchange it even if I could.  I have never used the vertical base.  What I do is trim first with the MFK & 1.5 degree base and then follow up with a cordless dewalt trim router that has a festool 499811 bit dedicated to it on a permanent basis.  This requires two passes and 2 routers but since everything stays set up it goes fast.  The MFK removes 99.5% of the material and the dewalt/499811 just comes behind and puts the finishing touch on and since its not really removing any glue the bearing stays nice and clean with no burning issues.  I may pick up the vert. base with bearing brake down the road to give it a try but for now Im happy with the system I have.   

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 205
Re: MFK 700 getting started tips
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2021, 06:48 PM »
MFK good for solid wood edge banding as well?  Whats the thickest you can edge band to use the MFK and short cutter to flush trim?

Somewhere under 5/8" and you probably want the 0 degree base so it isn't obvious you trimmed at an angle.

It's not even close to "official" because it requires a bit of modification to the 0 degree base plate, but you can in fact trim solid wood that is over 3/4" with the MFK700. There is an entire article about it buy another FOG member named Paul Mercel.
I went a bit further with it on mine. The bit has a 1" cut length and is 3/4" in diameter. It also has an 8mm shank. I got it from Lee Valley.

Thanks.....so far starting out I've done 3/4" edge band.  Going down to 5/8" shouldn't be a bad adjustment
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