Festool OF2200 3-1/4 hp Plunge Router
Feature-Rich, Powerful and Ergonomically Smart
Festool set the bar high when it set out to develop the new OF2200 plunge router. An initial look at the machine suggests they made it over that bar, with room to spare. To accomplish this, Festool took a fresh look at this workhorse of a tool, and developed the OF2200 to better fit the routing habits of woodworkers. The number of user-friendly features reads like a wish list. Here's a run-down:
- Tool-free quick-release base plate – provides rapid changing of guide bushings and various accessory bases.
- 30-degree rotated base – positions the handles at a more ergonomic (30-degree) orientation to the work piece for routing.
- Ratcheting spindle lock –Festool has taken the much-appreciated spindle lock feature one step further by adding a ratcheting mechanism. This further simplifies the sometimes knuckle-banging job of changing bits.
- A soft start, self-braking, variable speed, triple bearing, electronically controlled 3-1/4 hp motor – Yes, that's a mouth-full but it's part of what make the OF2200 such a user-friendly and dependable router. The soft-start is standard on many routers today, but the self-braking feature rapidly slows the spindle for enhanced safety while the three bearings (most routers only have two) reduces shaft vibration for greater user comfort, quieter operation, and longer motor life. Variable speed range is 10,000 to 22,000 RPM and once dialed in the electronic control works to maintain that speed during routing.
- Exceptional dust collection when edge forming (99% according to Festool) – Combining an above and below the base shrouds with vacuum hose hooked to the dust port resulted in almost no dust remaining in the work area after our hands-on trail of the router. The 99% claim seems accurate and is quite an accomplished for tool with a reputation for spewing clouds of chips into the air.
- Handle operated column lock – the left-hand handle has a twist knob for quick and easy locking and unlocking of the plunging action.
- Double column clamping – this means that both plunge columns are secured when the locking mechanism (twist knob) is engaged. This removes all movement between the motor and the base during operation and results in more accurate routing and less vibration. Most plunge routers only lock one column during operation.
- Over 3 inches of plunge –that's a lot of depth and is going to be useful when making deep mortises.
- The fine adjustment knob- this allows the user to easily and accurately fine tune the depth of cut in 1/256-in. steps.
Festool, www.festoolusa.com, (888) 337-8600, Plunge router, OF2200, Available late spring or early summer 2008, the price of the OF2200 has not yet been announced.