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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.
http://festools-online.com/shopproducts.html
That's because the gold Ridgid is really a Freud Diablo with a different finish. Any Freud blade is going to impress.


As for Festool being worth it - there's a subset of people it definitely is worth it. Then there's a subset of people who it isn't worth it but owning Festool brings a certain pleasure. Then there's a subset of show-off's...
 

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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.

Here's the makita with a 55" rail on amazon for 400. An extra rail costs 90.

I got really lucky when I bought mine. I found one on Craigslist for $250, brand new. Apparently thus guy had accidentally bought 2 of them and was unable to return the second one. After driving all the way to Sea Girt to pick it up (the longest of many lengthy Craigslist drives), I found a close out on the makita rails at a now defunct website and got 2 55 inchers for $85.

So I got my whole set up for $335. I'd like to pick up a 110" rail but I find the cost prohibitive, and I can't see the increase in accuracy over joined 55's being worth it.

If you do get a track saw, do yourself a favor and make the first project you use it on a rail case. I could maybe upload the one I made in the sketchup warehouse if anyone's interested.
 

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I own four Festool sanders (ETS 125, ETS 150-3, RO 125 & RO 90 DX), a CT26 dust collector and their tradesman vacuum tool kit. I bought the track saw but their track coupling engineering was too inferior so I returned the saw and track for a full refund.

I absolutely LOVE their sanders but I think a good part of that is because of the CT26. The sander-vac combo has virtually eliminated sawdust problems. I no longer hate sanding and I no longer feel drugged for days from the dust that sanding used to create. And I have always worn a respirator.

But there is no question that for some, owning a Festool is like owning a Matisse. You buy it, put it on a shelf and show it off to your friends. I don't get that. I saw a poll for those who owned a Domino joiner on how often they use it. On average, maybe once or twice a year. And it's a $1000+ investment once you have all the accessories and dominoes. If you go to the Festool forum you'd think some of these guys are addicts.

Festool really hits you hard when you buy their accessories and consumables. For each sander I bought, I'll bet I spent half again as much, or more, on their sandpaper. Their hole configuration is patented so you have to buy their paper. That whole thing doesn't sit well with me.

I doubt I'll buy any more Festools because I don't see the need for it, but I don't regret buying the sanders and vac. I no longer dread the after effects of sanding because they are gone. That was worth the price.
 
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John
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I bought the track saw but their track coupling engineering was too inferior so I returned the saw and track for a full refund.

Hi Julie - That's the system I am looking at. Can you be a bit more specific about the coupling issues? May help decide between that and the Makita although I haven't looked to closely at the deWalt yet...

BTW, you should check the Kreg forum sometime for a dose of addicts. :smile:
 

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Newb
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Hi Julie - That's the system I am looking at. Can you be a bit more specific about the coupling issues? May help decide between that and the Makita although I haven't looked to closely at the deWalt yet...

BTW, you should check the Kreg forum sometime for a dose of addicts. :smile:
I ignored the 'coupling' issue and bought the FS3000 rail... never have to couple rails and I can rip a full 4x8 sheet, straight as can be.

Most of the people with couplers have no issues, taking the necessary minute or two to align with a straight edge, and have been using two shorter rails with no problems.

:edit
 

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Their hole configuration is patented so you have to buy their paper. That whole thing doesn't sit well with me.
I'm unsure of other brands like 3m and Norton but I know Klingspor has sanding discs for Festool sanders.
 

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John
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I ignored the 'coupling' issue and bought the FS3000 rail... never have to couple rails and I can rip a full 4x8 sheet, straight as can be.

Most of the people with couplers have no issues, taking the necessary minute or two to align with a straight edge, and have been using two shorter rails with no problems.

:edit
The problem I would have with the 3000 rail would be storage, thing is nearly 10' long. I'm looking at the Guide rail accessory kit plus an extra 55" rail. From what I understand from my reading is that you need two couplers on each joint to attain the desired rigidity.
 

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Wood Snob
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I don't really do the type of work that many of these tools are made for. The first time I saw Festool I thought they were just another cheap tool. Mostly due to the green plastic. I realize they are a well made tool and have some very nice features but I don't really work the way they are made. I have a large shop and space isn't a problem. I never work in someone else's home and don't do much carpentry.

I have a question for any Festool owners. What are the advantages and reasons the sanders have such odd shaped handles.

Also something to consider when contemplating over the high price is the fact that Festool comes from one of the most economically distressed countries in Europe. Their taxes play a big part in the price.

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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Hi Julie - That's the system I am looking at. Can you be a bit more specific about the coupling issues? May help decide between that and the Makita although I haven't looked to closely at the deWalt yet...

BTW, you should check the Kreg forum sometime for a dose of addicts. :smile:
Okay, I'll try...

When you are coupling the rails, Festool gives you two bars to secure the rails together. If you go to the Festool website, they recommend taking a known straight edge and place it against the rails and then tighten the set screws, so you know the joined rails are in perfect alignment. Problem is you need to flip the rails to secure both joining bars. And in doing so, you need to put that straight edge against the joined rails again because flipping them can cause them to go out of alignment.

Now, if you make a cut with the joined rails and want to duplicate that cut in another piece of plywood (or whatever) you have to make sure you don't bang, knock or hit the rail and take it out of parallel. If you do, start over again.

Bosch makes a coupler that looks pretty solid. But they only sell it in Europe. Mafell makes the identical coupler but their saws and rails are even more expensive than Festool. But many say they are that much better. Betterly makes an aftermarket joiner for Festool rails (why can't Festool do this!?!) and from the videos it seems to work pretty well.

Personally, if I made my living with tools made by Festool, I'd buy them and let them pay for themselves. And they would. They are a tradesperson-type tool company. But if what I did required tools made by Mafell, I'd buy them first and use Festools to fill in the blanks.

And if I was in Europe, I'd be seriously looking at Bosch.

Now, as to cutting with the Festool TS 55 REQ... The saw did a great job, once it was set up properly. Edges were smooth, but if you don't follow the instructions, you could be disappointed. The splinter guard worked pretty well. Dust collection was good. (You have to make sure the splinter guard is set properly in order to get the most out of dust collection.)

What made me send it back was the rail connectors. Festool charges a lot and they usually give a lot in return. But when Bosch and Mafell were using superior rail connectors, why not Festool? And when I took those suggestions to Festool... Pretty much what I got was, "Return the tool and shut up." That didn't sit well with me.

As for Makita, I have no experience but I've read many comments about Makita rail saws that were very positive. Good luck!
 
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John
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Just one more festool question.

Does the TS 55 or 75 take a standard circ saw blade or is the blade proprietary to Festool. I passed on the Kapex because of the 30mm arbor. I quit buying Craftsman about 35 years ago because their staple gun would only take Craftsman staples and my attitude about stuff like that hasn't changed much. :thumbdown:
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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This post will probably generate several flames, for that I apologize in advance.

Festool, there are questions and decisions.

Which universe do you live in and work in?
Home shop or professional.

If the answer is the "home" universe, then yes you can use Festool products. Is it a realistic choice? Only you can answer that. For me, I can get 9 or 10 DeWalt ROS sanders for the price of one Festool ROS so my choice is obvious. If you have a significant other and you do your woodworking in the living room, then Festool is mandatory if you want to stay with SO.

If the answer is the "professional" universe, then you need to determine which planet you work on. If the planet is Newport Beach or Beverly Hills AND you're working in multimillion dollar homes WITH the residents living in them during construction, then Festool is just about mandatory.

If your work is done in the garage, in the driveway or away from food preparation areas, Festool is nice but not really required.

It has been implied that if you show up with anything other than Festool the customer knows that you're not a professional. If those are the type of clients that you are dealing with, I would expect that you're going to lose a lot of money on the job.

The HUGE advantage to Festool is dust control. The Festool system does not collect dust but rather controls the dust. The system is very impressive when it comes to controlling dust. I have seen Festool demos done inside and on a vinyl tile floor. At the end of the day there was almost nothing to sweep up. (I KNOW because I was the guy that had to do the sweeping.)

There was a sale Labor Day weekend at Ace where a DeWalt ROS were going for $50. (Honolulu) The obvious question, 'Is a Festool ROS $450 better than a $50 DeWalt?' I don't know because I'm in the wrong universe. I am sure that somebody will be able to tell us.
 
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It has been implied that if you show up with anything other than Festool the customer knows that you're not a professional.
I worked in the building trades for 34 years. Not once did I see a single Festool on the job nor did anyone ever mention the brand. And never did a customer bring up the subject of the brand of tool I was using except to ask about the quality of tool, usually because they wanted the opinion of a professional to help them with their own purchase decision.

I know Festool WANTS you to believe theirs is the only tool that will signal to the customer you are a true professional, but at the end of the day, the true professional's quality of work is how we are judged.

I worked mostly commercial projects but I did maybe 100 homes and a few dozen small businesses. I worked in the field most of my career but I also spent over 8 years working as a project manager, where watching job costs is part of your job. I can't think of a single contractor that would have approved the cost of a Festool when there are alternatives that do the job just as well. The brands I saw most often were Milwaukee, Rigid and later, DeWalt. Once battery operated tools could meet the demands of the jobsite, DeWalt became the tool of choice.

So if you ever walk onto a jobsite and the customer criticizes your choice of tool because it's not Festool, tell them they have been watching too much TV.
 

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I normally have my jointer and planer tuned, to limit sanding to an absolute minimum. With highly figured woods, if I cannot dress afterwards with a hand plane using special blade angles, I will very occasionally resort to a drum sander, finishing with 220 grit paper. Even with that, one has to dress afterwards with an RO.

Any RO besides the Festool I have tried is slow, dusty and in general a PITA.
 

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Julie Mor said:
I worked in the building trades for 34 years. Not once did I see a single Festool on the job nor did anyone ever mention the brand. And never did a customer bring up the subject of the brand of tool I was using except to ask about the quality of tool, usually because they wanted the opinion of a professional to help them with their own purchase decision.

I know Festool WANTS you to believe theirs is the only tool that will signal to the customer you are a true professional, but at the end of the day, the true professional's quality of work is how we are judged.

I worked mostly commercial projects but I did maybe 100 homes and a few dozen small businesses. I worked in the field most of my career but I also spent over 8 years working as a project manager, where watching job costs is part of your job. I can't think of a single contractor that would have approved the cost of a Festool when there are alternatives that do the job just as well. The brands I saw most often were Milwaukee, Rigid and later, DeWalt. Once battery operated tools could meet the demands of the jobsite, DeWalt became the tool of choice.

So if you ever walk onto a jobsite and the customer criticizes your choice of tool because it's not Festool, tell them they have been watching too much TV.
+1

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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WillemJM said:
I normally have my jointer and planer tuned, to limit sanding to an absolute minimum. With highly figured woods, if I cannot dress afterwards with a hand plane using special blade angles, I will very occasionally resort to a drum sander, finishing with 220 grit paper. Even with that, one has to dress afterwards with an RO.

Any RO besides the Festool I have tried is slow, dusty and in general a PITA.
I had a question about the handles on the sanders. Seems a bit odd on some of them. Is it better or does it work well that way?

Al

Friends don't let friends use stamped metal tools sold at clothing stores.
 

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I had a question about the handles on the sanders. Seems a bit odd on some of them. Is it better or does it work well that way?

Al
The ETS 150 handle hasn't felt awkward to me. Maybe I just adjusted easily and never thought about it. I usually have my hand over the top but sometimes move to to the handle in order to ease fatigue if I'm sanding for long times. The 6" disk on the 150 really makes a difference in ensuring the pad lays flat on the surface and makes sanding easier. It's also a lot faster than 5" sanders.

The RO 125 is a bit of a beast and the handle on it quite large. You'd have to have a very large hand to fit around it. To control it, you're better off using two hands, one on top and one at the end where the dust hose connects. There's a learning curve to using this beast.

The RO 90 is a smaller version of the RO 125 and therefore easier to handle. I can use that with one hand but for delicate work I may use two hands.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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I worked in the building trades for 34 years. Not once did I see a single Festool on the job nor did anyone ever mention the brand. And never did a customer bring up the subject of the brand of tool I was using except to ask about the quality of tool, usually because they wanted the opinion of a professional to help them with their own purchase decision.
Thank you for making my point with so much clarity.
 
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