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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we were in Woodcraft not long ago and the guys in there just love to push the Festool lineup. I mean, they talk about those tools like you just sit back in a comfy chair with a cold one as the tool races around the shop doing all the work by itself.:blink:

I tested out their 6" orbital sander. Great tool, incredibly smooth consistent power, even when you leaned your weight down on it. They had a piece of 10" crosscut walnut that they had sanded up to a shine using the available discs up to 800gt. Cool stuff, but $500 bucks?

Chop saw. There may be such thing as too many features. Saws have come a long way in twenty years, but there has to be a ceiling and I think Festool created it with a $1300 price tag. The hundred dollar 10" blade didn't do much for either. For the last two years we went from DeWalt's higher end finish blades, to the gold RIGID blades from Home Depot. Great blade for the buck if you haven't tried them.

So I was wondering if any of you guys own any of these tools and if you do, is the price tag worth it? They have a great warranty on them, but so do most power tools these days.

All in all, I'm convinced they are a very good tool to own, and as with most imported technology I'm sure their accuracy is almost spot on. But! Skill on the user end has to be considered first when measuring the usefulness of the latest, coolest, you gotta-have-this gadget...right?

http://festools-online.com/shopproducts.html
 

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If I may be so impertinent, I think Festool is playing on folks desire to impress other people with the cost of their tools. It's kind of an American tradition - maybe worldwide - to value ones self with the cost of their possesions. Yeah, I've fooled around with their stuff at demos. Nice tools, but I figure 25-30% of the cost consists of bragging rights.

Me...I'd rather put the cash into killer hunks of wood to work with.
 

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A couple months ago I was in our local woodworker / contractor supply chain and the Festool was tucked away in the corner, didn't look like it was selling to well. I would also have to agree with Boardman.
 

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Ok, I guess I'll be the first to confess to owning a Festool!:eek: Yeah, the price sucks,:blink: but..... I have a small shop that is only 8' wide at my table saw area so cutting full sheets of plywood is a real you know what!:furious: :wallbash: I looked at those vertical panel saws but at $1500+ :thumbdown: and no room to spare in my shop I consigned myself to rough cutting the sheats with a skil saw and then finish cutting them on the table saw if they were manageable.
Anyway I was visiting a nearby cabinet shop and they had just purchased a bunch of Festool products (looked like Christmas)! They had a TS 55 EQ (circular saw) with a couple of guide rails sitting there and invited me to try it out. Wow! You put a pencil mark on the edges of the sheet, drop the guide rail right on the marks, place the saw on the guide rail and rip away! It made a no- splinter, dead straight line cut right then and there!
And the other bonus for my small shop is the saw and guide rail can be tucked away in a corner or overhead so I don't have to give up dedicated space!:smile: It may or may not pay for itself but my blood pressure and frustration levels has been reduced considerably and thus possibly adding a year or two to my lifespan so....:icon_smile:

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Work to live not live to work!
 

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Festool are nice tools but don't perform better enough than others to justify the cost.

As far as your blades, this is an area I am willing to spend the money on. The quality of the blade matters as much or more as the quality of the tool it's on. I use systematic on my tablesaw and freud has finer blades that are actually reasonable for your chopsaws and such. ($60-100 range). Not sure who actually makes rigid/dewalt blades, I think I'll research that.
 

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Are they WORTH the cost? I'm not qualified to speak for anyone but myself, but I'd have to say No.
are they good tools? no doubt they are fine tools... but are they up to 4Xs the quality? not on my budget, but other WW'ers may have more cash flo, or can use a business tax credit on purchases. having the best possible equipment is must in the business world,and should also be a consideration for the home-shop WW'er,too. but from what I've seen, they are too expensive for the average home-shop guys... at least for this one...:yes:
 

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I am too poor to walk into the Festool alter at my local Woodcraft. Last time I even got close to that section of the store my CC caught fire and my wife automatically started calling my mobile............
 

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joesdad:

"Skill on the user end has to be considered first when measuring the usefulness of the latest, coolest, you gotta-have-this gadget...right?"

In some ways it reminds me of the golf industry. Every year a new, "fail-safe" putter is trundled out at every increasing prices. But if you haven't developed to skill to read greens and judge speed and distance, a gold plated putter won't help. I've used the same $20 putter for years.

That's overstatement in regards to Festool - they have incorporated many top-of-the-life features into many of their tools. But it's not the magic fix.
 

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In some ways it reminds me of the golf industry. Every year a new, "fail-safe" putter is trundled out at every increasing prices. But if you haven't developed to skill to read greens and judge speed and distance, a gold plated putter won't help. I've used the same $20 putter for years.
:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In some ways it reminds me of the golf industry. Every year a new, "fail-safe" putter is trundled out at every increasing prices. But if you haven't developed to skill to read greens and judge speed and distance, a gold plated putter won't help. I've used the same $20 putter for years.
Yup.

True story: I'm lucky if I play golf a few times a year (wish I had more time) We were playing a benefit tournament consisting of all guys in the trades. Play a hole, drink a beer, repeat.

A good friend of mine was in our group and was slicing his tee shots horribly. Mine were about as good as they usually are, fairly straight but lacking any impressive distance. So about half way through the course my friend tells us to wait as we get to the next hole. He runs off the course and through about fifty yards of knee high grass, up over a small stone wall and then another hundred feet to the side entrance of the club house.

We all thought he ran up there to go in and drop a deuce or something and waited patiently for him to come back out. He finally exits the clubhouse and we could see he's carrying a brand new driver (tag still dangling) He runs back down to the tee where we're waiting, soaked in sweat and says something like "This should fix it" We're all laughing our butts off and ask how much the club was...$465.00

So as expected, he set his ball up and proceeds to crank up and launch the largest shovel full of earth and grass twenty feet out with his ball doing a slow roller just barely past the woman's markers.

We'll never let him live that one down.:laughing:

I got you beat Boardman, I think I paid $14.00 for my putter, and old set of Spalding irons, but I did spend a little on two of my Taylor Made drivers.
 

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If you are going to spend that much, go to a pro and see what he uses, read reviews from users and magazines. Do your research first. If you are a sometimes user, you can buy 4 cheaper ones for the price of one of them. It all depends on you and your use for tools. I have a couple of expensive tools that have only been used a couple of times. They did great for the few times I used them. Were they worth it. NO.
At least not for me.

my 2 cents.

Ron
 

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It can be argued that Snap-On tools are the best in the business. But a $10 Craftsman wrench does the same job a $100 Snap-On does. But if you work 40+ hours a week turning wrenches chances are you'll end up with a box full of Snap-On. They fit your hand better, IMHO. Built to closer tolerances so they don't slip,,as often. Rarely fail.

In today's world time is money, you lose money everytime you have to check accuracy before making a cut. A friend has the Festool "skil" saw and track system, he can cut down to size several 4 x 8 sheets before I do one, and his cuts are more accurate. I can see why a pro would use them, it's time and material saved = money. I don't think it's so much a matter of trying to impress anyone if your a pro. A hobbyist on the other hand is a different matter but if you have the resources go for it.

Btw, I do realize that many tool companies have copied the fit and finish of Snap-On tools recently. I bought mine in 1971 and have no regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It can be argued that Snap-On tools are the best in the business. But a $10 Craftsman wrench does the same job a $100 Snap-On does. But if you work 40+ hours a week turning wrenches chances are you'll end up with a box full of Snap-On. They fit your hand better, IMHO. Built to closer tolerances so they don't slip,,as often. Rarely fail.

In today's world time is money, you lose money everytime you have to check accuracy before making a cut. A friend has the Festool "skil" saw and track system, he can cut down to size several 4 x 8 sheets before I do one, and his cuts are more accurate. I can see why a pro would use them, it's time and material saved = money. I don't think it's so much a matter of trying to impress anyone if your a pro. A hobbyist on the other hand is a different matter but if you have the resources go for it.

Btw, I do realize that many tool companies have copied the fit and finish of Snap-On tools recently. I bought mine in 1971 and have no regrets.
Well said Jack. I agree. When I started out all my tools were just to get the feel for what the hell I'm supposed to be doing with the materials that were laid out in front of me. It was only after a number of years that I could appreciate something as simple as like you mentioned a better grip. I went through four different circular saws over a number of years till I tried the Makita one that I use now. It has the perfect balance and weight for me, and my cuts improved with the fit. The guys with their eight pound worm drives can keep'em.

With time and experience came the understanding and awareness for fine tuning my needs. I don't mind spending the dime if I think a tool is going to expedite and enhance my time in the shop, or on site.

As far as the FESTOOL goes, like I said, I'm not bashing them in any way, but I think the only tool in their line up that would be something I'd consider is their panel saw set-up.

I'm glad you brought up the mechanics tools because I used to wrench on my dirtbike a lot and have a modest small tool chest full of the basics and most of it is all Craftsman with the exception of those damn specialty tools that they really seem to rake you on.
No need for Snap-On, but I bet if I was doing it every day in a shop, I'd be emptying my pockets for that guy every time he rolled in.
 

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In today's world time is money, you lose money everytime you have to check accuracy before making a cut.
that's a very true, and very sad statement. I fear we've taken something away with that attitude, as a nation. I believe we're walking a fine line now between hand-made and mass produced because of time equalling money...
I do understand the reason tho...
 

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Festool owner?

I have Makita's copy of the Festool track saw, and a friend of mine has the Festool itself. There are a couple of subtle differences, but they are basically the same saw, systainer included, and the accessories are even compatible. So in both cases, we're talking about a great system, not just a great tool.

The Festool costs about 550 and the Makita costs about 350.

The Festool has a riving knife. The Makita doesn't.

The Makita has a finger that locks into the track, which is very helpful for doing those hanging-over-the-rail running angle cuts. The Festool doesn't.

The Festool has detents for the depth adjustment. The Makita doesn't.

Side-by-side, the Festool has a slightly better feel to it.

Are a riving knife, some detents, and a better feel worth an extra $200? I don't think so.

I love the Festool brand, and more importantly I love what they've done for the tool industry. If not for them, I don't think the track saw would exist yet, and the track saw is, hands down, the best tool that I own. It is expensive, but it's also phenomenally accurate and much faster to use than a table saw. When you put your mind to it, the range of applications can become staggering.

I recently purchased a Festool drill on Craigslist and another on Ebay. The one I got from Ebay came with all the chucks, which normally sell for $115 apiece, and a $60 systainer, and I got it for $125, but the batteries were no good. I got a newer model C12 without the chucks but that still works well and has good batteries for $220.

So this is a $345 drill, and for what it can do I think its worth every penny. But for the MSRP of $585 for the current model including the chucks? Nope. Soon enough, other tool companies will start copying the Festool drills, too, and in 10 years this won't be anything you can't get from Ryobi.

So the moral of the story is this: All us cabinet makers and woodworkers out there owe Festool a debt of gratitude, but that doesn't mean we should shell out that kind of cash for what they're selling.
 

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Festool is my first choice in handheld power tools and there are a few reasons for that. First one would be they make good high quality tools.

Second, if you ever do have a problem, give them a call and an actual person answers the phone and they do what it takes to help you out and make it right.

And the most important reason to me is you know what you're getting and where it is coming from. You buy a cordless drill, the drill is made in Germany, the battery is made in Germany, the charger is made in Germany, the case is made in Germany. Every single other manufacturer puts everything out to the lowest bidder. If they can get some company in some third world country using slave labor to produce a battery charger for 10 cents cheaper, that's where the new battery chargers are coming from. I find that practice absolutely appalling and want nothing to do with it.
 

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The Festool costs about 550 and the Makita costs about 350.
Makita costs about $350 for the saw, as far as I could find. The kit, with 55" track, is north of $700. That's on Amazon, if you know of a better deal, I'd be interested. Right now I'm considering the Festool with 110" of track which will be running about $850.
 

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I really hate how people bash Festool because of the price. If you can't afford them, you get the best you can afford.

For me, in my small shop, they are they best tools I've used so far. The dust collection is far superior to other hand tools and that's important to me and my lungs.

I have the Festool Kapex miter saw, a sander, the TS55REQ track saw, the MFT/3 table and clamps, and the Domino joiner. All of these tools have superb dust collection with their HEPA vacs and leave me with cleaner air and shop.

I can't handle moving a 4x8 sheet on the table saw, but now I can cut it down easily and precisely, repeatedly. The 3000mm track makes beautiful full length rips of 8 foot plywood, with finished edges.

Since I got the Kapex, my Dewalt miter saw sits in the corner for rough work outside, where dust control isn't an issue. I'd sell it if I can find a buyer. My old biscuit joiner hasn't come out of the case since I got the Domino.

I will be buying more of their sanders, as that's a job I used to hate because of the dust cloud, but their sanders are awesome for containing most of it.

I will be buying more of their tools, as funds permit.

People can talk about the Sawstop being high priced for a table saw, but I will eventually get one of those too, since it has great dust collection and safety.

Oh, and I really don't care who knows I have them, or if anyone even sees them. They're in my shop for me, and only me. Top notch German engineering, just like the VW Jetta I used to have... and would have no problem buying another someday.

My 2 cents.
 
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