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Freud FT2000E router review; Pics and persistance by Noely

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Midnight

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Straight out of the box, any previous thoughts that this tool is intended for the DIY market are blown out the window. This puppy’s built like the proverbial brick chithouse; everything about it’s visual appearance oozes longevity. In use, powerful though it is, that power is harnessed perfectly with both soft start (no kick like a mule when you flip the switch) and electronic constant speed control (negligible change in speed under load).

The kit comprises the router itself, the side fence (supplied disassembled to keep it compact), collet wrench, ½” collet with a ¼” reducer, a 30mm guide bush, dust collection shroud and a chip deflector. Offhand I can’t remember if it came with an Allan key to fit the socket head caps that secure the rods to the side fence.

Ergonomically, the layout of the major controls are about as close to perfect as it gets; the handles are HUGE, ensuring a good strong grip. The handle mouldings are textured to ensure that even with dusty or (god forbid) sweaty hands there’s no fear of your grip slipping. The On/Off switch is a positive click up for on/ down for off affair with a huge actuator, perfectly placed for the left hand index finger while gripping the handle. Plunge lock has a similar HUGE actuator, placed ideally for the right hand index finger while gripping. The speed control selector is moulded in a high visibility yellow plastic, settings A through G give speeds ranging from 12,000 to 22,000RPM with an analogue progression; there’s no click stops on the dial. The speed control scale is printed on the side of the machine in a bar graph format, nice and clear, although one personal gripe of mine was that the scale could benefit from carrying the max. speed / bit size data.


Plunge depth is via a screw type adjuster with fine / course adjustment. A button in front of the control disengages the lock allowing the threaded bar to slip through the lock. Releasing the lock, the fine adjustment (a knurled knob on the top of the threaded rod) can be used to creep up on the desired depth. Staged cutting is facilitated through the customary 3-step turret directly beneath the threaded rod.

Judging by the differences in the 2 examples I have, the side fence saw some refinement over its production life. The earlier one, while perfectly functional was a rather crude affair; the bearing face (where it bears against the edge of the job) was nothing more than a powder coated piece of formed plate steel; the powder coat quality leaving a lot to be desired. The later example had replaced this with an aluminium extrusion faced with low friction acetyl plastic faces; far better IMHO. In both examples, the micro adjust was simple if a little crude; cracking the tightness of the butterfly lock nut allows you to twirl the adjuster in/out, gauging the offset against a scale cast into the aluminium frame of the guide. It’s not micrometer accurate, but the scale will get you in the ballpark fairly quickly; best to double check the actual offset with an accurate scale before making the cut though.

The dust collection shroud is a bit of a challenge to fit; even with my slender fingers, getting the butterfly nuts to engage onto the screw threads is an exercise in patience. That said, it’s worth persisting with; while far from 100% effective, the shroud does capture the bulk of the waste, but more importantly, it keeps the fine dust out of the air. With the shroud fitted it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be spattered with waste, but just in case, a transparent chip deflector slips into slots in the base, retained with a single M4 screw to render eye protection all but unnecessary.

The feature that decided it for me has gotta be the built in depth micro adjust control (an expensive optional extra with the Trends). Although this is primarily intended for table use, it can be used hand held; effectively converting the tool into one with similar use characteristics as a fixed base. That said, you DO need to make sure the plunge lock is ON once you set the depth in hand held mode; the adjuster prevents the spring return action, there’s only the lock to stop you plunging any deeper.

Last feature I feel worthy of note; the mains cable is a handy 5m long; its outer insulation being a ruggedised synthetic rubber as opposed to easily damaged PVC. More than tough enough to handle site work, while being flexible enough to coil neatly

Now then… how does it perform…..
In hand held use, this sucker doesn’t take any prisoners; it has more than enough power to handle the largest cutter you’ll use hand held, the base plate is large enough to ensure good stability even when making light passes. The only gripe I have with it’s overall performance is the all up weight of the tool; bending over the bench for long periods of time really hammers my back. That said.. I gotta fess up to having “Made in Scotland from shot knicker elastic” tattooed on my lumbar region. Remedy would be to build a Pat Warner type routing beam, and/or take FREQUENT rest breaks. Other than that… it does exactly what it says on the tin…as they say…
Where this tool really comes into its own is when table mounted. The power, low speed control, constant speed ALL come into play when raising fielded panels; something that this tool performs effortlessly… Removing the acetyl base plate exposes 3off M6 tapped holes in the base casting; plenty meat on the bone there to suspend the tool from. The combination of shaft lock / single collet wrench combination make bit changing from under the table a breeze. Provided the tool is PROPERLY cooled, it’s capable of working for hours on end in the table without the slightest hint of protest; overlook the cooling at your peril however, damage to the speed control circuitry occurs when the motor housing gets too hot. (don’t ask why I know this.)
The one functional improvement I’d make to the tool would be to give it a dedicated ¼” collet. When table mounted, fitting a ¼” shank bit can be a bit of a balancing act, maintaining just enough compression on the reducer to keep it in position in the collet while it’s loose enough to allow you to load the bit can be a touch frustrating; the reducer has a tendency to disappear into the bowels of the collet if you’re not careful.

The range of the fine height adjuster is excellent - over 60mm. From below the insert plate to this height:

Overall I’d rate the tool as excellent, that’s why I bought 2 of them and still had change compared to the cost of the T9. While an offset sub-base is considered essential with some of the DW models, I honestly don’t think the Freud needs one, that base is plenty big enough for reassuring stability. The manual is clear in instruction, comes complete with an exploded parts diagram giving the impression that this tool’s built to give Elu-esque longevity. Time will tell if that’s the case…

Mike

Edited... cos the author canna spell
 

kityuser

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I too am an owner of one of these and agree with everything said above.

A point I think is also worth noting is the spindle lock, which is very positive with very little play.

another good review, for the price I think you`d be hard pushed to find a better table router. 8)

regards
steve
 

Philly

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Mike
Thanks for the review, very nice!
Without starting His Neilship off, how much did you pay for it?
cheers
Philly :D
 

Midnight

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Philly... I bought both of mine through Screwfix, maybe 15 months between them. If I remember right (mem like a sieve) the later one was £10 cheaper than the first, somewhere around £160-£170..
 

Noel

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As Mike and others have said the Freud is exceptional value for money and so well built, ok maybe a little bit rough around the edges but but nothing that detracts from the overall quality and performance of the tool.
If you need a 1/2" router or an additional one for the table this is the one for you. I'm pretty sure the current Screwfix price can be beaten or matched on a local basis.

Rgds

Noel
PS Looks like Mike and Philly share the same plane, do you post it back and forth?............
 

Philly

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Noely,
If you could tell me how to easily get my own picture as an avatar I would be VERY grateful (you could have "my" plane :lol: ) Please make it silly person proof though.
cheers
Philly :D
 

johnelliott

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Midnight":bqapnnug said:
Overall I’d rate the tool as excellent, that’s why I bought 2 of them and still had change compared to the cost of the T9.
Excellent review, but I have to take issue on that bit, I bought a Trend T9 from D&M for £259 incl postage, whereas Screwfix list the Freud at a price of £165
John
 

Noel

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Alas Philly, I have no pictures of any Draper or Silverstone planes. But I'll keep looking...........

Rgds

Noel.
 

Midnight

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Excellent review, but I have to take issue on that bit, I bought a Trend T9 from D&M for £259 incl postage
John..
I take your point, however at the time I bought mine, the list price for the T9 inc the fine height adjuster and trigger lock was around the £350 mark. For the record, Trend's online catalogue list price for the T9 without the case is £299 ex VAT, £315 with the case, again ex VAT
 

llangatwgnedd

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Last feature I feel worthy of note; the mains cable is a handy 5m long
Don`t all routers come with a flex that long then?

Excellent review and pictures Midnight :wink: as a Frued owner I also second every thing you said and my second router will also be the beefy Freud.

btw I took the leg gaiters off mine for extra plunge.
 

Noel

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Hey SP,

Ref removing the rubbers from the Freud - easy enough done? How much extra plunge? Haven't found depth a problem but just in case in the future.

Rgds

Noel
 

Midnight

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Does anybody (apart from my local tool shop ) take the Trend catalogue prices seriously?
Interesting question John..
Obviously retailers will change their price over the RRP to some extent to attract custom, but a saving of damn near 40% has me wondering how bit the difference is between how much a T9 is worth against how much it actually costs. Seems worryingly similar to the designer clothing pricing; how much are you paying just for the name??
Either way, for me it's a moot point; I've nailed my colours to the mast. If and when the day comes when I'll need to consider replacing the Freuds, I'll be looking to them long before I consider a Trend.
 

Noel

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Well, as I've mentioned before my Freud cost £140 including vat early last year. Now the tool guy said that was cost but then he's a lying toad, to say the least......So at that time I'd say dealer cost was about £125 including vat or so. From experience of pricing structures with other tools and machines cost out of the factory door in sunny Spain was around about £50 - £60 max although perhaps £40 might be nearer the mark. Go figure.

Rgds

Noel
 

Mike.C

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Hi Mike,

Excellent review and pictures. Oh S--T i can't put on a brave face anymore.
You think that you are cleaver don't you? You wait for me to do a review and then BANG you make it look like rubbish with your oh so bloody good words and pictures.
You couldn't even lesson the blow by making sure the photo's were out of focus could you?

oops sorry i forgot to take the tablets. Hmm it is a good review really. Got to run now their coming to take me away ha ha.

Seriously though excellent review

Regards

Mike.C
 

Midnight

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Mike.C":tg6zw7qh said:
You couldn't even lesson the blow by making sure the photo's were out of focus could you?
Noely.... see the mess you've gotten me into...???????????

<sighs.

there's nae pleasin some folk....

;)

thanks Mike
 

Noel

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We'll just have to make the next one even better...........

Rgds

Noel
 

Midnight

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Mike.C":186lgima said:
You couldn't even lesson the blow by making sure the photo's were out of focus could you?
Noely.... see the mess you've gotten me into...???????????

<sighs.

there's nae pleasin some folk....

;)

thanks Mike
 
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