Author Topic: Router buying advice needed  (Read 1991 times)

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Offline Al49

  • Posts: 8
Router buying advice needed
« on: July 14, 2021, 06:07 PM »
Hi everyone
I am trying to choose between the OF1400 and 2200 routers.

I have some hardwood slabs to flatten for a benchtop and am looking for something bigger than my current router (a 20+ year old 1/4” Elu, which is great but too small for slab flattening)

Things I like about each:
2200
- handle ergonomics
- dust shroud
- interchangeable base plates

1400
- smaller / lighter (which might be a -ve when using larger bits?)
- cost

I really like the design of the 2200, but wonder if it is more router than I need, and potentially too big for comfortable day to day use? 

Is the 1400 suitable for slab flattening, or am I likely to wish I had the extra power (and weight) for such tasks?

Anything else I should consider?

Thanks in advance!
Al

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 583
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 07:34 PM »
I would say that "it depends", which is the worst answer ever. But it really does depend upon how many slabs you are talking about now and if you might ever do it again (or at least similar). If there is enough "need" for the OF2200, sure go for it, you will not be disappointed. It is a beast however, so for daily tasks, where it is serious overkill, it might not be the thing to deal with. The cost factor is there too, but if it is what you really need, that is less important.
The OF1400 will certainly do the job too and it would be much more friendly for everyday routing. You "might" need to cut your slabs a bit slower (again depending on how flat they aren't) with the OF1400, but if that is not it's everyday job, it will be fine.
It's a balancing act. The bigger/heavier tool is better for the more intense work, but if that is not frequent enough to warrant it's purchase, it just sits. Then again, if you do it often enough, the potential slow-down of the lighter tool can be frustrating.
I hope this helps, but ultimately only you know the answer.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Online Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 143
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2021, 08:25 PM »
Agree with everything crazyraceguy said, and I’ll add that if you have other Festool stuff, the 1400 will play nicer with the rails and the LR32 system if that’s something you’re interested in for the future.

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 144
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 07:41 AM »
I use a 1400 for slab flattening, it works fine but a larger router would probably be better. I did 40 red maple slabs in a month with it.

After the amount of slab flattening I did (and still needed the router for other tasks), I have seriously considered putting a dedicated router on my sled. I don't feel that it needs to be a Festool, since the sled uses a 2.5" (expanded to 4") hookup instead and makes the dust control portion of a Festool irrelevant. I might consider just getting a cheaper 3-1/4 HP plunge router if you see yourself doing it a lot and saving the $$$. The Festools are nice, but definitely shine more in other applications where the precision and dust extraction is warranted.

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 208
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 09:46 AM »
I have a lot of respect for the OF2200 for when a big, bad, heavy router is the right tool for the job. I would be reluctant to use it for any kind of general hand-held-routing, however, just due to size and weight. My OF1400 is the "go to" for most operations in my shop with the OF1010 and my DeWalt 618 for the rest. I have a heavy router in my table. (PC) Now if you're going to largely dedicate the OF2200 to a flattening option beyond your benchtop, such as slab processing, it's a great choice. Same for under a table where you want to swing large cutters.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline JonathanJung

  • Posts: 204
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    • Timberlight Designs
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 10:31 AM »
I was in the exact same scenario. Had a 1/4" plunge router, needed a bigger one for flattening slabs and larger material hogging. I got the 1400 but wish I would have gotten the 2200. The 1400 with a 2-1/2" surfacing bit gets bogged down really easy and it overheats to the point of shutting down. Just flattened a desk-sized walnut slab and it shut down several times.

The best combination would be: trim router, OF1100 and 2200. Skip the 1400 is what I'd do.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 10:42 AM »
Get the OF2200, then pick up a DeWalt 20v cordless router with the plunge base.
You'll have 98% of what you'll ever need to do covered.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline StanB

  • Posts: 561
  • I like building stuff with my hands.
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 12:23 PM »
Get the OF2200, then pick up a DeWalt 20v cordless router with the plunge base.
You'll have 98% of what you'll ever need to do covered.

This. I have the 1010, 1400, and the 2200. I also have the 20v router and it is awesome (i have two now). I find myself using the 2200 over the 1400/1010 mainly because its ergonomics and stability. I now just leave bits set up in each of the routers. I do not find the weight to be a hindrance and as long as you have the accessory kit you are good to go interfacing with the rail.
OF1010 EQ Router | MFT/3 | DF500Q | Mafell P1CC | ETS EC 150/3 | CT 36 Auto Clean | TSC55 | LR32 | OF1400 EQ Router | ZOBO Metric Set | CXS Li 2.6 - 90 Limited Edition | Universal Cleaning Set | HKC55 | Centrotec CE-SORT | RO150 FEQ | DTS 400 | RO90 DX | CTSYS | C18 Drill | SysLite KALII | Syslite STL 450 | RAS 115 E | OF2200 EB | OSC 18 Vectoro | VAC SYS SYSTEM SET | MX 1200 E MIXER | DF700 XL | PDC 18 | TID 18

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2186
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2021, 04:45 PM »
In reality it doesn't have to be a DeWalt, that is the one I have and know. Whatever battery platform you're into would be the way to go I guess. The Makita cordless router gets high ratings too.

Sure would be nice to have a 18V cordless router that used Festool 6.2A Air Stream batteries.

Just saying.

Oh, and don't forget the LED lights and a plunge base ! !
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 583
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 06:08 PM »
I was in the exact same scenario. Had a 1/4" plunge router, needed a bigger one for flattening slabs and larger material hogging. I got the 1400 but wish I would have gotten the 2200. The 1400 with a 2-1/2" surfacing bit gets bogged down really easy and it overheats to the point of shutting down. Just flattened a desk-sized walnut slab and it shut down several times.

The best combination would be: trim router, OF1100 and 2200. Skip the 1400 is what I'd do.
So every time you need to use a bit with a 1/2" shank, it's all the way to the 2200? I just can't see that. The OF1100 is great, I use mine a lot, but it is limited to 8mm shank bits. There are some out there, but at least in the US market, not common. I have expanded my 8mm collection, but there are still plenty of bits that I use with 1/2" shanks. The biggest percentage of them don't require a monster router though. The OF1400 or one of the 1 3/4 HP Milwaukee body-grip routers do the job just fine.
I see a mid-range 1/2" router as a necessity.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 69
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2021, 06:37 PM »
I do this for a living. If you really want to make life difficult for yourself and go down the router route = the 2200 every time. My go-to option is to take rough slabs down to my local sawmill, slip £50 into a guy’s back pocket, and have him run the slabs through their vast 6-feet-wide Wadkin planer/thicknesser. Perfectly planed, dead-flat slabs in under 5 minutes. Search around - there will be someone close to you.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 06:40 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline JonathanJung

  • Posts: 204
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Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2021, 11:53 PM »
I do this for a living. If you really want to make life difficult for yourself and go down the router route = the 2200 every time. My go-to option is to take rough slabs down to my local sawmill, slip £50 into a guy’s back pocket, and have him run the slabs through their vast 6-feet-wide Wadkin planer/thicknesser. Perfectly planed, dead-flat slabs in under 5 minutes. Search around - there will be someone close to you.

Running a slab through a planer or sander does not flatten, it only makes the top and bottom surfaces coplaner. A slab can go in one end with a large cup, bow, or twist, and come out with a large cup, bow or twist. That's why we have jointers to use before sending things through the planer.

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 252
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2021, 08:10 AM »
Running a slab through a planer or sander does not flatten, it only makes the top and bottom surfaces coplaner. A slab can go in one end with a large cup, bow, or twist, and come out with a large cup, bow or twist. That's why we have jointers to use before sending things through the planer.

In the UK, a planer/thicknesser is the same as a U.S. jointer/planer.  If the worker ran the slab through a planer/thicknesser properly, then he did flatten it.

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2021, 10:36 AM »
Hi @Al49

This might help:



Peter

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 69
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2021, 01:33 PM »
MikeGE - “In the UK, a planer/thicknesser is the same as a U.S. jointer/planer.  If the worker ran the slab through a planer/thicknesser properly, then he did flatten it”.

This ^^^^^

As I said - I do this for a living.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 01:36 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Peter Parfitt

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  • Posts: 4466
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2021, 04:51 PM »
Hi @MikeGE

I think @woodbutcherbower is probably talking about an FSP - a four sided planer which straightens and dimensions all in one go and £50 would be about the right amount to slip the guy.

If not, it is planing first (for flatness and a square edge) followed by thicknessing for parallel square sides.

Peter

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 69
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2021, 05:53 PM »
Hi @MikeGE

I think @woodbutcherbower is probably talking about an FSP - a four sided planer which straightens and dimensions all in one go and £50 would be about the right amount to slip the guy.

If not, it is planing first (for flatness and a square edge) followed by thicknessing for parallel square sides.

Peter

Spot on, Peter. I watch your YT videos all the time. You'll always have my utmost respect for being the only woodworker who's used the word 'detritus' when talking about what goes into the cyclone bin of a dust extractor. Pure English gentleman class right there. 

https://www.wadkin.com/wadkin-fsp-four-sided-planer

My local sawmill (Hingleys at Hazlewood, Derbyshire) have the old, original version c1950 which is six times the size. Still works as well as the day it was delivered. Made in England, not made in China.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 06:22 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline JonathanJung

  • Posts: 204
  • www.timberlightdesigns.com
    • Timberlight Designs
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2021, 12:45 AM »
I was in the exact same scenario. Had a 1/4" plunge router, needed a bigger one for flattening slabs and larger material hogging. I got the 1400 but wish I would have gotten the 2200. The 1400 with a 2-1/2" surfacing bit gets bogged down really easy and it overheats to the point of shutting down. Just flattened a desk-sized walnut slab and it shut down several times.

The best combination would be: trim router, OF1100 and 2200. Skip the 1400 is what I'd do.
So every time you need to use a bit with a 1/2" shank, it's all the way to the 2200? I just can't see that. The OF1100 is great, I use mine a lot, but it is limited to 8mm shank bits. There are some out there, but at least in the US market, not common. I have expanded my 8mm collection, but there are still plenty of bits that I use with 1/2" shanks. The biggest percentage of them don't require a monster router though. The OF1400 or one of the 1 3/4 HP Milwaukee body-grip routers do the job just fine.
I see a mid-range 1/2" router as a necessity.

I agree 100%, for someone using the router every day. I wouldn't do without my 1400 if I had a choice. I was just saying, in selecting the fewest number of routers for this person's needs, those are what I'd suggest.

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 153
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2021, 02:34 AM »
Like others here, I have the MFK 700, the OF 1010, OF 1400 and OF 2200. Of the four, the OF 1400 and OF 2200 see the most use by far: the former tends to be the first router I grab for most tasks, while I save the latter for operations where I need to hog out a lot of material at once. You just can't beat its combination of power and control if you want to do something like cut an inch-wide dado in a single pass.

Also, while the OF 1400 has very good dust collection -- in a completely different league from every other brand I've ever used -- the 2200's dust collection is absolutely superb and makes it look positively messy by comparison. You can route an inch-wide, half-inch deep trench in material and leave almost nothing behind to vacuum up manually.

If you're only going to own one of these routers, my suggestion would be to go for the 2200 and then get an inexpensive fixed-base trim router like the DeWalt or Makita (or the MFK 700, if you want to stay in the Festool family). That will handle the light edging duties, which is the only place where you're likely to really regret the size and weight of the 2200. For most other things it's at most a very mild inconvenience compared to the 1400.

(And if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the 1010: for me, it has one and only one purpose: guide bushings for high-precision work, since it's the only Festool router that can be perfectly centered with any arbitrary Porter Cable-style bushing.)

Offline Al49

  • Posts: 8
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2021, 03:07 AM »
Many thanks everyone for all of your replies, lots of helpful comments
Thanks also to Peter for the great video, excellent summary!

Considering my current Elu router can handle any light duty work, then maybe the 2200 would make a good combination. I also feel like the 2200 would be a safer machine, with the bit more enclosed and handles that I find more comfortable. (or am I just trying to come up with a justification for the more expensive option ;) )

However, it also sounds like so long as I am prepared to flatten my slabs in a few shallower passes the 1400 sound be fine, and more user friendly for most normal tasks. 

Ultimately I might see if I can get a demo and make the decision base on that.

Al


Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 583
Re: Router buying advice needed
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2021, 08:47 AM »
Like others here, I have the MFK 700, the OF 1010, OF 1400 and OF 2200. Of the four, the OF 1400 and OF 2200 see the most use by far: the former tends to be the first router I grab for most tasks, while I save the latter for operations where I need to hog out a lot of material at once. You just can't beat its combination of power and control if you want to do something like cut an inch-wide dado in a single pass.

Also, while the OF 1400 has very good dust collection -- in a completely different league from every other brand I've ever used -- the 2200's dust collection is absolutely superb and makes it look positively messy by comparison. You can route an inch-wide, half-inch deep trench in material and leave almost nothing behind to vacuum up manually.

If you're only going to own one of these routers, my suggestion would be to go for the 2200 and then get an inexpensive fixed-base trim router like the DeWalt or Makita (or the MFK 700, if you want to stay in the Festool family). That will handle the light edging duties, which is the only place where you're likely to really regret the size and weight of the 2200. For most other things it's at most a very mild inconvenience compared to the 1400.

(And if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned the 1010: for me, it has one and only one purpose: guide bushings for high-precision work, since it's the only Festool router that can be perfectly centered with any arbitrary Porter Cable-style bushing.)

Just the difference in how people work, I use the OF1010 for the tasks that you seem to use the MFK700. Until I got a second MFK700, I never used one in a vertical configuration. Mine is set up with the zero degree base for flush trimming hardwood edges, much like a lipping planer. The second one has no dedicated purpose/bit yet, sometimes it takes a while. I may never do that, since it is so versatile.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75