Shop Talk

The Featured Tool of February 2012

  • The Ultimate High-Efficiency Router:


    Festool’s OF 2200 EB 


    Festool is known throughout the woodworking industry for manufacturing some of the finest, most evolved woodworking equipment. Although this reputation is well deserved, in the presence of their latest and most powerful router, the OF 2200 EB, Festool has not only out-shined the competition, they have truly outdone themselves. Creating a high-efficiency router that performs quite like a portable hand-held shaper, Festool has taken routing, and that reputation of theirs, to an entirely new level.

    Among other design improvements, the OF 2200 EB is built for superior maneuverability and despite the size and immense power of the router, it is simple to use and offers almost unbelievably smooth operation. The thing is built with dual angled handles that are ergonomically positioned to optimize the comfort of both hands and body while simultaneously minimizing any strain or fatigue experienced during use. One such handle is outfitted with finger-tip controls for the tool’s lockable power switch ensuring you don’t need to relinquish control of the router to (dis)engage this switch. Integrated into the other handle is a rotary locking knob which allows users to easily trigger a lock to both columns of the router. This, of course, allows for perfectly secure depth setting without any deflection between the base and the router motor. With a simple twist of this locking knob, the double locking mechanisms eliminate movement in the plunge columns for exact plunge depths.

    The router additionally offers a huge plunge depth capacity allowing 80mm of travel. To achieve this staggering capacity, the router collet actually plunges 10mm below the router base; of course this increases versatility while also allowing users another avenue to change bits. In addition to this unparalleled plunge depth, the router also offers superfine depth adjustments (in increments as slight as 1/256” or 1/10mm) to ensure optimal precision. A four-position locking depth stop turret which, with a 5/64” (2mm) offset position, additionally allows users to make a finish pass (after an initial pass) without needing to reset the plunge depth. This, of course, saves your very valuable time, energy and patience.

    Festool’s OF 2200 EB also features an exclusive tool-less multiple base plate system. This innovation allows users to switch task-specific plates quickly and without tools. Like the integrated handle controls and depth stop turret, this utilitarian design lends the router greater versatility and efficiency which, of course, allows users to be more productive as well. The tool also features intuitive controls that are labeled with icons that reflect each function as well as the adjustment direction. Because these adjustments are indicated directly on the tool, users will no longer need to race to (nor search for) the tool’s manual before performing uncommon tasks.

    Of course, the router also features variable speed control allowing users to input desired spindle speeds depending upon the application being performed and the material being cut. The thing also includes an integrated cross-reference RPM guide as a resource, and MMC electronics (multi-material control) to ensure constant speed under load. With MMC technology, the speed of the bit will not change despite aggressive cuts or hard materials. In fact, because the tool also boasts 2200 watts of power, the router can easily plunge into some of the hardest woods and can create beautiful cuts, grooves, coves and curves with just a single pass.

    The router spindle boasts a triple bearing design with bearings at the top, bottom and middle of the spindle. This design reduces if not eliminates spindle wobble (even while working with large bits at super-fast spin-speeds) and, outfitted with a magnetic spindle brake, the motion of the spindle can be stopped more quickly and with less stress to the motor. A retractable spring-loaded 360-degree dust shroud optimizes dust extraction while still allowing unimpeded visibility of your workpiece. Although the shroud retracts back into its locked position after the router is completely plunged, a finger tip release lever allows you to easily release the shroud. The dust extraction column at the rear of the tool (this extends to the top of the router and includes a swivel nozzle for convenience) ensures maximized extraction and router performance.

    The standard base on the router has a 3-3/8” opening to allow for use with a huge assortment of router bits, and with the OF 2200 EB’s 1/2” collet, none of the router’s 2200 watts of power are superfluous. Altogether, the router is an amazing tool with Festool ingenuity and unchallenged superiority; where routing is concerned, there is not a better tool on the market.