Love the machine/Hate the service

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Review by ECharles posted 03-29-2012 03:01 AM 11948 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Love the machine/Hate the service No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So my brand new Hammer A3 31 jointer/planer combo machine was delivered yesterday. I would like to thank everyone that has posted info on their machine here on the forum. A large part of the reason I bought this machine sight unseen was the great reviews. I have to say the reviews were correct this is a great machine. I put it together, took about 3 hrs, including the carrymaster casters. (Again thanks for the great idea, I love them.) This is a one time buy, it is heavy, well made,and the fit and finish are perfect. I got a couple of extras as advised, the small extension table and the digital handwheel for the planer table. I am very happy with both of them. I am going to put the Hammer through its paces over the next month or so, I have several projects that have just been waiting for it to get here.

That is the good, now for the bad. I am so disapointed with the service. Here is why, while I was still considering what to buy, the salesman for Felder was right there for every question by phone or email. The problem started when I said send me the paperwork for purchase. He sent it that day, while on the phone I asked him to confirm when he got the paperwork back. (I was out of town and not at my home computer I wanted to be sure he got it.) He said he was going to be gone all day, but he cc’ed the lady in the office who would take care of the paperwork to let me know. (He also told me the week that it was shipped he would call me to go over the unpacking of the machine. Still haven’t got that call.) Two days later no answer to my email, I called his cell phone no answer, so I left a message. Next morning I called again, that afternoon he gets back with me. Yes, he got the paperwork. I was good to go. The machine was not due to reach the US for another couple of weeks, so I sat and waited. While I thought about it, I sent an email to him asking what the cost for the long extension table was and an extra set of knives. I am still waiting for a reply, that was nearly four weeks ago. I kept looking at the forums here for advice on the set up and actual operation. Someone had posted that they had Felder drill the holes for the caster prior to it being sent. I liked the idea so I called him again, and left a message. That was two weeks ago. As of today he has only returned one call, the one to let me know that the paperwork was good. So much for service after the sell.

In addition the manuals leave a lot to be desired. By my nature I am a firm believer in reading the manual. I read all three of them at least twice.(Downloaded them from the Felder website.) Well there are mutiple errors in all three. The biggest has to be on the one for setup. The manual starts out well but it jumps from page 21 to page 134. Guess what part is missing Chapter 11 “Assembly”. I downloaded it twice and checked it once online, it simply skips the assembly part. Even the instructions that came with the machine for some of the table assembly the drawing is incorrect in the way the bushings go on. On a scale of 1 to 10 these manuals are a 3, just so sad.

One more thing, in passing the lady I dealt with for the purchase of the machine happended to mention in passing that I could use my credit card since the purchase was under $5,000. (That was what I was using.) However, this had never been told to me. Since I had already put my nonrefundable deposit down, 20%, it would have been nice to know this up front. They knew that I was using a credit card, since the paperwork I sent clearly stated the full purchase price had ok’ed. What if the total purchase was more than $5,000 and I had planned to use my credit card? I would like to think they would have told me up front if I couldn’t have used it, but now I have my doubts.

So for now I have my machine (love it), I will post a complete review in the next month or so. Thanks for reading.

View ECharles's profile


2 posts in 3095 days

13 comments so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3281 days

#1 posted 03-29-2012 06:19 AM

Looks like they are as bad over in the US as they are in Mexico. Let me put it this way, count yourself lucky your machine worked properly, took me 2 months and a legal threatening letter to get them to fix mine, which was also brand new. Sorry I did not see your post I would have told you to stay away and go with the Jet or Minimax.
Anyhow, enjoy it is a good machine.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Dan's profile


111 posts in 3633 days

#2 posted 03-29-2012 01:34 PM

I received my A31 last week. I have not used a better jointer or planer. the planer is very very nice. I haven’t had any problems with customer service. The only issue I have had so far is encountering a large amount of friction when moving 8’ long pieces of 8/4 ash across the jointer. I keep waxing it with johnsons paste wax and its not getting any better. Any ideas for jointing such heavy material?

-- Will work for wood...

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3281 days

#3 posted 03-29-2012 03:52 PM

Have you clean the bed first? They put some kind of rust proof sticky material when they ship them. I cleaned mine with turpentine, then waxed with shoe polish and now the wood slides like butter on it.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 4026 days

#4 posted 03-29-2012 04:39 PM

There is a Yahoo news group for Felder/Hammer users where you can pickup lots of useful information. I read on that forum that some people have complained about rough machining on the table surfaces. You can knock down the burrs with some fine sandpaper or a nonmetallic abrasive pad. I uses a purple pad with some paste wax on mine.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View SteveGrimes's profile


17 posts in 3183 days

#5 posted 03-30-2012 01:34 AM

I own an A3 31 and love it. My experience with sales in DE was very good, was informed about the option of paying with credit card, and had prompt, productive replies to emails.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3767 days

#6 posted 03-30-2012 11:17 AM

I understand your frustration, i would have felt the same. But in this case your review has nothing to do with the actual machine. It would have been more appropriate to review the service of that particular dealer.

I picked up my N4400 band saw a few months ago, the service before and after payment was equally good. Though i wouldn’t think of reviewing it within the first 6 months at very least Once the excitement or in some cases frustration have settled to make room for a more objective view.

View Dan's profile


111 posts in 3633 days

#7 posted 03-30-2012 01:01 PM

I cleaned the top with mineral spirits. The top is meant to be rough because it is supposed to limit friction (fewer touch points). Maybe U didn’t clean it well enough. I will clean it up again. Any other ideas?

-- Will work for wood...

View RichRiddle's profile


14 posts in 3065 days

#8 posted 04-04-2012 12:33 AM

How long was your wait time for delivery of your Hammer? Congratulations on your purchase.

-- Thanks, Rich

View ECharles's profile


2 posts in 3095 days

#9 posted 04-05-2012 01:11 AM

I only had to wait about a month for the actual delivery.

View .'s profile


76 posts in 4603 days

#10 posted 04-07-2012 03:49 PM

So sorry to hear of your experience with service on this purchase. I had the exact opposite experience. Just yesterday I spoke with them here on the west coast and they recognized me right off the bat. One of the best examples of customer service for any purchase I’ve ever made, in fact.

I had a question about the feedroller and received some good advice that I hadn’t considered. I came across your post here researching the purchase of a hammer n4400 bandsaw. I’m going to sell my Rikon 14” bandsaw to do this.

Hope Hammer reads this and contacts you.

View carl_felderrep's profile


9 posts in 3489 days

#11 posted 04-11-2012 01:06 AM

First I would like to apologize if I have let you down in any way. I am not sure what happened, I value all our customers from the time of first contact and for as long as they own their machine(s). I am posting Felder’s response to your thread that was on sawmill Creek in an attempt to reach you, From March 29th and up until this moment, with many attempts we have been unsuccessful in reaching you by phone or email. So please give us a call. Threads like this are very disturbing. We work very hard and are committed to all our customers. That statement also applies to anyone else out there that may be reading this. If you ever need any help or even have a question, Call us, If you can’t get a hold of a particular person. Call our customer service department as we all work as a team.

The Felder Reply posted on sawmill Creek on March 30th after we could not reach you by phone or email
Dear Mr. Charle

We would like to apologize for the service and hope we can correct this for you in the future. We are committed to our customers and to our product and the service level you mentioned on this forum is not the standards we set for ourselves and have thousands of customers who would agree. We have sent you multiple emails and also left phone messages with no response. Could you please contact us to make sure we resolve any open issues you might have.

Please also have a look at this setup video for your machine:

Best regards

Felder Group Team

again am sorry for any problems you may of had setting up the machine, I hope you have it all squared away and you are enjoying it. We strive to make it an enjoyable experience. We have technicians standing to answer any questions or concerns that may come up. We also have a nice set up video that helps a lot. We sent out an email on the March 20th the next day after you machine left Delaware. I am pasting a copy along with the link to the set up video. I am sorry if you did not get this.

Link to the Hammer A3-31 set up video on You tube

The Email sent out from Felder on March 20th, the day after the machine shipped
Good Morning Edward,

How are you? I just wanted to let you know that your machine left our warehouse yesterday and is on its way to you. I have set up the delivery for them to contact you directly so that you can set up which day and time you would like the delivery to happen. If you should have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Your machine shipped via R&L Carriers
Your tracking/pro number is: XXXXXX203-2
You can reach R&L Carriers at the following number: 800-543-5589
or you can visit there website at

Also, please take a moment to read the receiving instructions that I have attached.

Once your machine is received if you should have any set up questions or concerns please feel free to contact our service department and they will be more than happy to assist you with all of your needs.

Please call me. If for any reason I can not take the call it will be forwarded to my emails.


View Howardh's profile


24 posts in 2940 days

#12 posted 07-24-2012 02:54 AM

I got a K3 about 4 months ago and love it. All European manuals I have seen are basically crap. I have a lot Festool so I learned to figure things out on my own. I also ordered an A3-31 which should be ready to ship in a few weeks. The DE office has been great. They were proactive when I received the K3 and would expect they would be the same way when the A3 arrives. I spent the extra money to get their new spiral head. Carl can be a bit hard to find at times but between him and the east coast office, I can usually get an answer pretty quick.

-- If you learn from your mistakes I must be a genius.

View .'s profile


76 posts in 4603 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 04:28 PM

I am now on my second A3-31 unit, having sold the first one without the helical head.

It is UNUSABLE. I cannot get them to fix it, though it came broken. DO NOT BUY THIS UNIT (unless you like to fix new products).

When they work, they’re great. When they don’t, you’re in for a wait. See Jorge’s comment above.

If they rectify this situation, I’ll add another comment here to say so. I’m not out to get anyone. Just entirely disappointed.

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