One of the first handheld power tools that I bought was a router. Probably the first portable power tool was probably a sander to better finish the surfaces of the pieces I did.
My first router was a Dewalt DW616 combo kit, which included both the fixed base and plunge base which made it a great combo kit. I made good use of this kit but 2 things made it somewhat inconvenient. No variable speed and had pretty bad dust collection, as for many routers of the time
Hunt for the upgraded router
With these 2 things to try to upgrade, I went hunting for the the best that could be afforded and covered the variable speed and better dust collection as some of the cuts generated lots of dust.
About 7 years ago, I settled on the Festool OF1400
I also wanted an edge guide that was pretty good and after seeing a demo in a road show, this is what I got. At the time, 7 years ago, my opinion and my use, this was one if not the best router out there for what I was looking for.
it has variable speed and what I taught on the of the best dust collecting system that could be offered at the time. The clear dust shroud and the below the base chip catcher for edge treatment would do one for the best job I saw. I was pretty much on a mission at that road show and many of the dealers were represented so I had the chance to see pretty much all that had routers to present.
To this date, I had nothing to complain at this router and had been running flawlessly for the past 7 years. OK granted, I am not in the shop day in day out, but it still tackles the main criteria that I still hold true since then. I do not regret my decision and I even dove into more and more into the festool system since then. I bought the track adapter for the router, that uses the same rods as the edge guide so that you can leverage the festool track for straight cuts
The question bears to ask, would I choose the same model as about 7 years ago ? well, maybe, maybe not. The router market is not the same and new model has come a long way since then.
Quite frankly, I have looked a little bit about 3 years back at the market and same changes were already noticeable which would make my decision more difficult today if I had to select a router for my shop. I might still choose the Festool line of product. Does it bear the price now as it did then, don’t really know. Until I really need to change, I guess I will not know until then….