I'm a firm believer in the woodworking
axiom that one can never have too many routers and to that end, I
purchased a new Festool OF 1010 plunger router from Bob Marino. I was
looking for two things, something black and green to fulfill my need for
a new Festool and something small. I have a number of routers,
Triton's, Milwaukee's, Bosch and even a Craftsman ranging in size from
large to trim but I was looking for something to fall in love with.
All reports were that the OF 1010 was one such router so after some
deliberation I clicked the "Buy" button on Bob's site.
As with all my reviews I'll try to touch
on every feature of the tool and use plenty of photos. Since many people
purchase tools over the internet and don't actually get to touch them
until after purchase, my goal is to present enough information so that
you can make an informed decision and not be surprised by anything that
is or isn't in the box.
What's in the Box!
The OF 1010 comes shipped in a Systainer
(size 3) which is wrapped in bubble wrap and then placed in a cardboard
box for shipment. Mine arrived two days after ordering undamaged
from the new Festool Fulfillment center in Ohio. The accessory
items were out of place in the Systainer, a common occurrence with
Festool shipments because the accessories just sit in recesses in the
molded plastic insert and are not secured in any way. The router
itself however is secured and was not jostled around in the Systainer.
The photo at left shows all the pieces;
OF 1010 router (#1), Guide Stop (#2), Guide Bushing adapter (#3), Chip
Catcher (#4), Two Guide Rods (#5), 19mm Wrench (#6), 1/4" and 8mm
Collets (#7, 2 places), Plug-It Power Cable (#8) and the Manual and
warranty card (#9).
The photo at right shows all the parts in
their proper place in the Systainer 3. The Guide Bushing Adapter
doesn't have a specific place because I believe it was added after the
original release due to customer demand.
Power consumption: 1010 W (8.4 amp 120 v
Drive shaft speed: 10000 - 23000 rpm
Quick height adjuster range: 2.165"
Fine height adjuster range: 0.315"
Weight: 6 lbs
The OF 1010 has an electronic controlled
motor that Festool refers to MMC Electronics. The electronic
control provides for a constant speed under load for a better and more
consistent cut. It also features step-less variable speed for
different routing applications and overload protection. I'll
probably repeat this again in the review but Festool has the best soft
start I have ever used. When starting a Festool router there is
absolutely no, zero, zilch start-up torque felt by the operator.
The OF 1010 is a small and comfortable
full featured plunge router. You see it pictured here on the left
next to the Bosch Colt 5.7amp VS trim router and on the right paired
with its big brother, the OF 1400, and lastly with the Milwaukee 5616
below for a size comparison.
As I said in the opening remarks I was
looking for something that would handle much of my routing tasks and
that would be comfortable and lightweight. For me, my hand routing
is primarily edge treatments so small and light is important but I also
wanted more power than a trim router.
At 6 pounds the OF 1010 is a bit heavier and larger than the Colt and
obviously requires two hands to operate but it is very light as routers
go and is comfortable to handle and operate.
starting from the top we'll point out the features and controls of this
router. The first control you see right on the top of the router
is the speed knob which is pictured at left. This knob, located at
the base of the handle is within thumb reach if you need to adjust the
speed between 10,000 and 23,000 rpm while routing. To start the
router Festool uses a trigger switch. This is simply on and off
and not variable speed as you may have experienced using this type of
power switch on a Jigsaw or similar. The trigger (right) can be
locked in by squeezing it and then pushing the button in towards the
handle....an operation which should be familiar to most users because it
acts just like the lock on a drill or Jigsaw. To release the lock
you just squeeze the trigger again and let go.
I said I'd mention it again so I will,
when you squeeze the trigger the router will start up smoothly and
without transmitting torque. It's is a pleasure to use.
down to the end of the handle we see the Plug-It receptacle. A
note on Festool Plug-It cords. Festool supplies either of two
gauges of power cord depending on the wattage of the tool and control
which tool can use what by keying the connector. The OF 1010 is
keyed for the smaller gauge Plug-It which allows either cord to be used.
My router came supplied with the heavier gauge cord (pic Left) which was
welcomed but did surprised me. I don't know if this is the
standard or an oversight.
To attach the power cable you line up the
connector, push it in and twist it until it locks. Some users have
complained that their power cords fall off during use but that is user
error as they are not twisting the connector for enough for it to lock.
There is a short demonstration video which can be selected by clicking
on the photo at right.
at the router with the handle on your right you'll see the depth stop (pic
at left). The depth stop and locking lever allows you to control
the amount of plunge and thus the depth of your cut. We'll get
into its operation later in the article when I describe the OF 1010 in
use. In order for the depth Stop to function you also need some
thing to reference it to and Festool like many other manufacturers uses
a turret system (right). The steel turret has three positions,
each one individually adjustable for fine tuning your cut.
Most routers utilize a lever to release
the brake and allow the router to be plunged but Festool ingeniously
incorporates that function into the knob handle (right). To
release the brake you twist the knob counterclockwise and to tighten,
clockwise of course. This allows you to keep full control of the
router and not go searching with your thumb for a lever.
The router uses a spring to both provide
some resistance to the plunge and to return the router to it's full up
we're down at the base and this is where we attach the guide bars which
are used for the Guide Stop, Edge Guide accessory and other attachments.
The easiest way to attach the Guide Stop
is to slide the two Guide Bars into the plate and lock them by cinching
down on the thumbscrews (left). Next take that assembly and slide
it into the corresponding slots on the router base and again tighten
down the thumbscrews (right).
knob on the guide plate is just that, a knob for holding the plate.
At left you can see the underside of the Guide Stop. There are 4
holes that could capture screws for the imaginative DIY'er.
You'll also find a threaded hole (pic
right) with nothing in it but not to worry, there isn't a missing
thumbscrew. This hole will be used by other accessories like the
Micro Adjuster, which we'll look at a bit later on in the review.
to close out this page, how could I forget to mention the vacuum port.
While it is less flexible than the port on the OF 1400, I somehow feel
more secure in that it is part of the base and I'm not going to pop or
break it off. Also in this and the last few pictures of the base
you can see the clear plastic dust shroud.
last thing we're going to talk about on the top of the router is the
spindle and collet assembly. The spindle on the OF 1010 can be
locked by depressing the green button in the photo at left, thereby
making bit changing a one wrench operation. In the photo I've
turned the spindle so you can see the hole that the lock bar will fit
into. To lock the spindle put pressure on the button and twist the
spindle by grabbing the collet and rotating it. If you do this
with your fingers (I usually do) be careful not to cut yourself on the
bit. With pressure on the button, once the hole lines up with the
bar it will slip in and the spindle will be locked.
OF 1010 is supplied with two collets (left), sized at 1/4" and 8mm.
These collets are of the self releasing style so the sleeve and the nut
are attached into one assembly (right). To remove a bit you have
to loosen the collet twice. With the spindle locked you loosen the
collet by turning counter-clockwise. This is where the nut is the
tightest. Once the nut feels like it is loose you have done
exactly that, loosened the nut but the sleeve is still wedged in the
spindle and the bit will not come out so keep loosening the nut until
you feel it get tight again, then loose. At this point the bit can
be removed. What happened was the nut needs to be loosened until
it starts pulling the sleeve out of the spindle, then finally when the
sleeve is free the nut feels loose again and the bit can be removed.
You veterans know all about this but I
explained it because I cant tell you how many times I see folks pleading
for help removing a bit from their brand new router and you guessed it,
it is usually because they haven't released the sleeve on their self
added the photo at right simply to show those not familiar with 8mm bits
just how large they are. Here you see an 8mm and 1/4" bit and the
difference in shaft size is pronounced. My original intent was to
use 8mm bits in this router but I've not been able to find a reasonably
priced source. As a hobbyist I cant justify spending $50 or $60
minimum on every bit though I'm sure those who do this for a living can.
Festool is the largest supplier of 8mm bits that I could find.
And for those who have been clamoring for
a 1/2" collet for this router, it ain't gonna happen! The spindle
on the OF 1010 is just too small in diameter to accept a 1/2" collet so
there's no way Festool is going to be able to supply just a 1/2" collet.
They would need to redesign the router in order to accommodate a larger
motor and spindle. Just buy the OF 1400 if you want 1/4-1/2" bit
now going to look at the bottom of the router. The OF 1010 comes
standard with a phenolic Base Runner
covering the base plate and the standard Cover Ring installed. The
Base Runner is the brown material and the Cover Ring is the black
plastic ring shown in the photo at left. To remove either you will
need either a star bit or a flat bladed screwdriver. If you own a
then you have the required size star bit.
Festool sells a number of accessory
runners and includes two other rings with the OF 1010.
remove the two screws so that we can take the Cover Ring off and I can
show you the dust shroud. With the screws removed the Cover Ring
just pops off (left) which allows us to twist the clear plastic dust
shroud and remove it.
There's no need to remove it now but I
just wanted to show you what it looked like. It is actually
comprised of two pieces as the cover pops off. I reinstalled it so
that we could install the next piece.
the OF 1400 the 1010 has a Chip Catcher but this one is completely made
from plastic. It installs in the same place as the ring but also
covers up the square vacuum port. This Chip Catcher, or more
accurately chip deflector, is used during edge treatment operations and
can rotate 360° around the bit. It actually works pretty well
forcing more chips up through the vacuum and deflecting those that don't
make it so they don't travel too far.
US version of the router comes supplied with a Guide Bushing adapter
which fits the standard Porter Cable bushing size (left). Festool
supplies a metric adapter with it's routers not sold in America and also
offers it as an accessory. While you could remove the bit and pull
the top off that dust shroud and install a bushing without removing the
adapter ring, it is far easier to just remove the two screws and install
the bushing. The photo on the right is a rear view of an installed
bushing. We now have to mount it on the router base.
that same bushing from the front (left) and then after it is installed
on the router with the bit poking through (right).
There is no play at all either between
the ring and the bushing or the ring and the base plate. By eye
the bit looks centered and it should be repeatable.
Well, that's everything that came with
the router. I did buy one accessory which is described below.
Guide Stop does not come with a micro adjuster as with the OF 1400 so if
you want the ability to easily dial in the position of your router with
relation to the Guide Stop or Edge Guide you'll need to purchase this
$20 item (left) It attaches to that threaded hole on the base that
we talked about on page 1 of this review and one of the Guide Bars get's
inserted into it and locked in place (right).
To operate the Micro Adjuster you loosen
the thumbscrews on the router's base and twist the green knob on the
micro adjuster. The dial is marked in 1/10mm (1/256") increments
OF 1010 in Use:
I had intended for this next section to
include videos of the router in use but as [bad] luck would have it,
when I was filming the OF1010 being used with a Leigh D4 dovetail jig I
bumped into my cheapo tripod and the camera took a tumble and landed
square on the steel mobile base of my table saw and broke. I never
finished the review and even forgot about it until I received an email
wondering if I was ever going to finish it.
I have used the OF1010 for through
dovetails in 3/4" hardwood and blind dovetails in 1/2" hardwood using my
Leigh and Woodhaven jigs. The router sits nicely on each jig and
handles the larger stock with my Leigh 8mm bits while also working the
half blind joints nicely with a 1/4" bearing bit. As can be
expected with any router, even though with good dust extraction like the
Festool, the dust flies all over being flung by the exposed bit.
You won't want to do dovetails in a clients living room :)
Edge treatments and dados are a different
matter as far as dust and the Festool does a pretty good job of
collecting it. I like the Festool so much for edge treatment that
I pretty much have gone to it exclusively for that task. It's
comfortable and light to use and is small enough to steal most jobs from
my Bosch Colt which now just sits in the drawer. I don't own any
of Festool's 8mm bits so I do most of my edge treatment with 1/4" bits.
I don't take as big a bite as I would with my larger routers but I
prefer the more comfortable size and weight of the OF1010.
The OF1010 works well with the Festool
guiderails and hole jig though I prefer to use the OF1400 and it's 1/2"
bits for larger dados. I feel confident plowing through the work
while attached to the guiderail if I'm using my 8mm straight bits but
feel that the 1/4" bits vibrate too much.
I cant talk about
the OF1010 without touching on the subject of bits. If you're
happy using 1/4" bits then you can stop reading here but if you intend
on using 8mm bits and haven't checked the prices you should do so before
ordering the OF1010. Festool sells a
wide assortment of 8mm shanked bits but I
consider the prices above my reach as a hobbyist. Other than bit
sets designed for the Leigh jigs, you will not find anything with 8mm
shanks other than those sold by Festool so there aren't any lower priced
alternatives. Honestly, I'm very happy with the router and was it
not for the lack of 8mm bits the OF1010 would be my everyday go to
In Conclusion I really like the OF1010
for its super smooth operation, its comfortable size, weight and grip
and it Festool quality construction. Every feature on this router
works just like it's supposed to and it has adequate power for most
jobs. I do wish there was a supply of more reasonably priced 8mm
shank bitts but that is my only complaint. I would certainly buy
this router again.
Thanks to Bill
Esposito for allowing us to mirror his great OF1010 review!
PURCHASE ONLINE FROM THESE RETAILERS...|
Festool OF 1010 EQ 1-1/2 HP Router|
NOTE: No International shipping on any Festool item. Items marked "Direct Ship" can only be shipped within the Continental United States. The OF 1010 is a full-featured plunge router that weighs in at..
Festool OF 1010 EQ 1-1/2 HP Router
Festool OF1010 From Hartville Tools