|Review by Chris Wright||posted 10-29-2012 12:24 AM||18904 views||0 times favorited||36 comments|
So, I had the opportunity to play with the new CMS Router table that Festool just brought to America. Now, I’m not a big Festool fan to start with, I agree that there tools are well made and dust collection is top notch, I just feel they are greatly over priced when there are numerous other options available. The CMS I feel is another example. The one we have set up is the stand alone complete set (retail price $1600), in the box is a table with folding legs, the router lift plate, an extension table, a sliding table with a T-square, the fence and dust collection hoses. My first impression was the table is a little wobbly, I’m sure Festool will recommend that to solve that you should purchase the leg braces, but I’m of the opinion that for $1600, it should be a rock steady table, but that’s just me. Other issues I have, it can only be used with either the OF1010 or OF 1400, if you use the OF2200, it will void the warranty (only in the USA, else where you can use the OF2200 in the table, UL Issues). When you go to open the gap in the fence, it only opens about 3 inches, unless you loosen the set screw on the back
Once this screw is loosened (on both pieces of the fence) you can open it to about 4 inches. On the fence there is a rather elaborate hold down and feather board system that I feel are just in the way. The clear acrylic piece on the bar in the picture is the feather board.
A big issue I have is with the power switch, it is located on the end of the table behind the rail for the sliding table. I’m sure they put it there for the table saw set up (in Europe the same table is used with a different insert to turn the TS55 into a table saw) but on this set up it is difficult to get to if you’re in a panic. And it is not movable.
Finally I have a problem with the size of the table, it is rather small, in my opinion. I’m use to using a router table that is a bit bigger, especially if I’m doing panel routing.
To change bits you either have to lower the router all the way down on the lift (which does work very well) or remove the plate and turn it over to reach the collet nut. Unless you have some metric bent wrenches, the collet is not accessible from the top of the table.
As for performance, well if you’re familiar with Festool routers, then you have a pretty good idea how they preform.
In conclusion, I feel the table is way over prices and poorly designed. You have to use a Festool router with it (which if you have either the OF1010 or OF1400 they are pretty easy to take in and out). Since the OF1400 is the largest that can be used in the table (in the USA) then it is under powered and would be difficult to use large bits like raised panel bits.
If I had $1600 to drop on a router table set up, I’d purchase the Jess-Em Mast-R-Lift Excel II table for $999 and get the Porter Cable 7518 motor for $299 and save just over $300.
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