Keep the Festool 1400 router or take it back?

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Forum topic by KenBry posted 06-21-2012 07:39 PM 14166 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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484 posts in 2683 days

06-21-2012 07:39 PM

So last weekend I bought a Festool 1400 router at Rockler. I needed a bigger router than my 1.5hp unit so I was leaning towards the 2.25hp models. I have drooled over the Festool tools for a while, I keep telling my self that I want them and I need the vacuum system too. I didn’t get the Vacuum with the router and for right now, this router is making me think… Crap how much did I spend on it?(retorical)

So the main question is when/if I get the vacuum system will it make that big of a difference in how many shavings go flying?

I like the soft start of the unit. The 1 wrench bit changing is nice as well.

I don’t like the plunge lock, the ergonomics I think are odd as well… Might just need to get used to it.

I didn’t like the fact that the thing doesn’t come with a guide fence..Not real keen on the metric gauge for the plunge depth. But that’s about all I can say negative.

All you guys that have made the plunge to the Festool, give me your input please… Does it work out and should I just get used to it and buy the vacuum? and this thing will be gods gift to woodworkers?

Yea, I need to justify this expense and really am having a case of buyers remorse.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

10 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 06-21-2012 07:57 PM

You don’t need a Festool dust collector, just a compatible
hose and a vacuum.

With routers in edge cuts you need a fence with a shroud
below the base to get a lot of the chips. In mortising
cuts dust collection from above is what works. The
smaller Festool routers are optimized for one-handed
operation and chip collection in a range of tasks but
through-the-base chip collection is no better or worse
than other mid-weight plunge routers like the DW621.

I have the OF1000 by Festool and it is my favorite router
due to its pleasing ergonomics and maneuverability. I
don’t use it as a workhorse for mortising or any big cuts
for that matter.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 06-21-2012 08:28 PM

I bought this unit to handle my mortising tasks for my workbench build. I also had planned on using it for many other things down the road. Do you have experince using the Vacuum on this unit?

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 06-21-2012 08:31 PM

I’ve never used that router. Just the smaller version.

View DennySch's profile


9 posts in 2454 days

#4 posted 06-21-2012 08:39 PM

I know they r great tools but I feel they r way over priced

-- Denny

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3246 days

#5 posted 06-21-2012 09:06 PM

I have bought a lot of Festool over the last year. I spend a great deal of my time on the FOG forum, so you can definitely say I’ve been sucked into the green vortex at full tilt.

I will say that I experienced the most amount of buyer’s remorse with the OF1400 compared to all my Festools. While it’s kind of the do-it-all router in their lineup, it’s actually not nearly as great or Festool-like compared to the 1010 and the 2200. The 1400’s dust collection, when paired with a good vac e.g. Festool or Fein, is good to great depending on your previous experience with router dust collection, but not as good as the other two Festool routers. The 1010 simply has a much better designed dust shroud, and its ergonomics are vastly better. Its downside of course is that you can’t use 1/2” shank bits with it.

On the other hand, the 2200 is simply a beast of a router, but again, it’s overkill for an everyday kind of router in terms of heft and power. And $$. So the 1010 and 2200, while better products overall, don’t make a lot of sense for folks looking for a do-it-all router.

I guess the long and short of what I’m saying…is the 1400 the best midsize router available? Yes. Is it a little underwhelming from a DC/ergonomics perspective as compared to other Festools and other Festool routers? I think so…it’s still darn good though, but maybe not enough to prevent buyer’s remorse completely. I’m still keeping mine though.

Get the vac if you see yourself buying more Festools. Believe me that other Festools are much more of “game-changers” than the OF1400.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2683 days

#6 posted 06-21-2012 09:20 PM

Live 4Ever, I was considering buying the vac system but this router left me underwhelmed. So I was thinking … Should I get the Vac or not… I want a system that keeps my Dust under control in my work space and the sanders where the next logical step after buying the vac.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2427 days

#7 posted 06-21-2012 09:24 PM

I don’t know… I would rather spring for the ridgid, a milwaukee, a bosch or a makita.
I love the makita 3 1/2 horse power plunge router.
I Have the milwaukee 3 1/2 motor… (For my jessem router table)
The bosch is also reliable, and The ridgid is just pretty much a workhorse.

-- My terrible signature...

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3246 days

#8 posted 06-21-2012 09:35 PM

The vacs are good. I got a comparable vac (Fein) before any Festools, so that works perfectly fine for me. Quite frankly, any shopvac would work pretty well as far as maximizing collection from the OF1400. You just need something that sucks, stronger the better.

Where the Festool or Fein vacs are different is say, with a sander, where you can dial in the appropriate amount of suction. Collecting from a router, saw, etc….more suction is better, and the higher-end vacs don’t necessarily suck that much harder. But they are quiet, allow you to plug the tool into them for auto-start, and are HEPA-compliant (as a full unit, not just the filter).

Long way of saying don’t expect a Festool or Fein vac to make you fall in love with your OF1400 any more than a regular shop vac. But if you intend on getting Festool sanders in the future, get the vac. Don’t want to sound like a Festool ad, but their stuff really does work together as a system and that’s where a lot of its value and utility is.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2528 days

#9 posted 06-21-2012 09:43 PM

My advise is to get used to it. This should not be too hard as it is well thought out. Get the Festool dust collection system and add the sander(s). My experience with the dust collection has been better than with any other system. However, the 1400 has one major drawback and that is the lack of any way to center bits in the router template guide/bushing. I originally bought mine to use with the Leigh dovetail system but have found that I much prefer my Bosh 1617EVS since it has a great system for centering the bushing. I do like the depth adjustment on the 1400 the best of any router system that I have or have had in the past.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View TexasChris's profile


6 posts in 2278 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 04:01 PM

I actually went through the same decision process recently. I ended up buying the Dewalt DWP611PK because you can purchase a dust collection accessory for it as well. It’s only 1.25 HP and works great for trim. The dust collection feature is nice and is why I was strongly considering the festool. The Dewalt was far less expensive though.

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