Festool 1400 EQ - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Festool 1400 EQ

My 20 yr old Elu has seen the end of its useful life, so I am looking for a high quality replacement. I am looking at the Festool 1400, but it is a pricey model (not discounted anywhere). Does anyone have enough experience with Festool routers to provide me with any advice as to whether they are a good value for the price?

Thanks for any insights -- I would rather not spend $470 for a router if I can buy an equivalent quality for half the price.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friends_woodworker View Post
My 20 yr old Elu has seen the end of its useful life, so I am looking for a high quality replacement. I am looking at the Festool 1400, but it is a pricey model (not discounted anywhere). Does anyone have enough experience with Festool routers to provide me with any advice as to whether they are a good value for the price?

Thanks for any insights -- I would rather not spend $470 for a router if I can buy an equivalent quality for half the price.
G'day Charles,

Welcome to the forum.

I believe the Festool range has good reviews. Do you intend you use the router in a commercial or hobby environment?

James
Sydney, Australia
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I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 01:09 AM
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Charles,

You've just asked one of the most controversial questions around here. I do not own but have used a few Festool products at demo sites. The ones I've seen and used were definitely top quality. Are there others that are equal for half of the price? There's the question.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 02:47 AM
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In my opinion, Festool are top quality tools, that are over priced.
If you liked you Elu, why not consider a Dewalt ?
Amazon.com: DEWALT DW621K 2-Horsepower VS Electronic Plunge Router Kit with Carrying Case and Universal Edge Guide: Home Improvement
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 09:43 AM
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One of the benefits of the Festool line is their "system" approach to design. If you have, or plan to buy other Festool products, such as their plunge circular saw (and guide rails), buying the Festool router would compliment that, since both are designed to use the guide rails and dust extractors.

As a standalone tool, the value would rest solely on the engineering quality.

- Ralph
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 02:06 PM
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Festool kit is in no way good value for money, at least not in comparison with other makes, but when you buy Festool you are buying into a system. It's a system which includes guide rails, letterbox opening jigs, etc. If you don't buy any of the system accessories which are available from Festool then you potentially don't get the best out of your router.

I have an OF1400e for work. Would I recommend it? Yes and no, really. At 1400 watts it's underpowered for a lot of the tasks I do in trim carpentry - it certainly struggles with kitchen worktop joints and it isn't really powerful enough for heavy cuts in Corian - on the other hand it has a lot more power than the smaller 8mm/1-4in Festools (OF1010, etc) albeit in a substantially larger and heavier package. For me it works well if I need to travel light and only want to carry a single do-all router to a job whilst accepting that it's a compromise. It is exceptionally well made and (probably) very durable, but I have to say that I could get a large 1/2in plunge router and a small trim router (such as the Bosch Colt) for the same money and if I had to have one or the other I'd opt for two lower cost units rather than a 1400
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 01:30 PM
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The Festool is a nice router but it's hard to quantify it's quality/value vs. all the others mainly because of the Festool "system" and the features built into the unit.

The router I have that comes closest to the "feel" of the Festool would be my older (pre China?) PC 7539. That feel is the sense that the unit is well machined, smooth spinning with no "rattles", strong bodied and more than capable of doing work within its range of power. Subjective, I know, but I guess it's that power to weight/balance thing in terms of control, fit and finish, etc. The PC unit is 8 lbs heavier.

It took me a while getting used to the handle on the 1400. The single wrench bit change setup is the best config I've run across. Fine adjustment setting is excellent (metric indicators) but most newer plungers appear to be sufficient in this area. Dust control is very good and the included accessories kit/case is very complete.

The routers I have in this range are- Bosch 1617 & 1606, DW 618, PC 8529 and Milwaukee 5650. The Festool is definitely a notch (or a few) above these units but it costs a pant load more than these units, too. The Bosch 1617 (the two base kit) comes close in terms of included accessories and storage case. The PC 8529 ( little brother to the 7539 and discontinued, I believe) compares well to the Bosch with plunge base. Makita normally puts out good stuff and there are many others out there that I've not had in my hands to compare.

Value wise? Within the power range, the Festool is top dog in my shop but there is no reason to believe that one couldn't get better "value" with a good unit and take the extra money to augment elsewhere as Phil suggests.

A side note: I've had the Festool for over 6 years and it actually "feels" better now, don't know if it is a getting-used-to-it thing or a breaking-in thing. When I first got it, it was smooth but felt a little stiff (plunge wise) but it's now smooth as silk and haven't noticed any degradation in performance elsewhere.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 02:21 PM
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Have studied, does warrant a look.
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