Festool MFK 700 Modular Router
Along with their OF 2200 Plunge Router and the MFT/3 Workbench, Festool has just announced the U.S. release of the MFK 700. To date, it's the smallest of their routers, but this in no way means that it's light on features. In fact, it's pretty heavy on them, and from what we can tell, there isn't a bad one on the list.
The MFK 700 comes with two bases; one for horizontal routing and one for vertical routing. The change from one to the other is made with a tool free system (just a locking knob) and, from the looks of it, it can be done very quickly.
The horizontal base has a separate bearing guide that sits below the router bit (and removes the need of a roller on the bit itself). As well as increasing the life of the bit, this also serves to stabilize the cut to a greater degree, seeing as the bearing sits a little distance below the bit, as opposed to at the tip of it. The horizontal base is also slightly offset (1.5 degrees) to lessen the chance of harming the workpiece during the routing process.
Both of the bases are fairly large and, with the position of the base handle, look like they have a good deal of stability.
The motor is just a hair short of one horsepower and can spin the bit at anywhere from 10,000 rpm to 26,000 rpm. It's got a 1/4", single wrench collet with a locking button on the body of the tool and a micro adjustment that's, well, micro. Very micro. According to Festool, the MFK 700 is capable of making a 1/256" adjustment.
In addition to all of this, the base plate is made of some sort of material that theoretically prevents scratches on the work surface.
And of course, there is a dust extraction port compatible with the rest of the Festool system.
There are two things that we don't know about this tool; the official release date and the price. As far as the price goes, we've discovered the following Festool estimation formula: find the equivalent Bosch/DeWalt tool and multiply the price by at least two, and sometimes four. That being said, the Bosch Colt with four bases and an edge guide goes for about $175, which would put our guess on the MFK at about $350 - $400. But, like we said, that's just a guess and likely a low one, seeing as the MFK 700 looks like one very nice tool.
Visit the MFK 700 website here.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at March 1, 2008 5:12 PM