Festool.....there I've said the ugly word!

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Forum topic by mike85215 posted 03-07-2010 06:31 AM 3480 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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127 posts in 3750 days

03-07-2010 06:31 AM

Today I was able to convince my wife to go shopping….my kind of shopping that is. I went to Rockler, Woodcraft, Woodworkers Source, and Timber. The last stop was at Timber a locally owned company here in Mesa. At the last store I thought of a conversation that has been ongoing here in the forum arena for quite some time. Can a tool that costs between two and maybe even up to four times be worth it? They actually have a miter saw that they sell for $1300.00!! Their ROS is $170.00. In comparison to the other brands those prices seem ridiculously high. Fortunately the owner of the store had some time on his hands and he spent some time with me discussing these tools. I used the 5 inch ROS and to tell you the truth I was and still am amazed!!
YES there is a great difference. The sanding was completely 100% without any dust. The machine is lighter in weight, and feels much more comfortable in my hands than any other that I have used. The owner then grabbed a router turned it upside down plugged it in, set a half inch bit on the top of it and then with one finger started the machine and let it run without touching it….the router bit did not move… much for the famous “nickel test”.
No I did not buy anything….but I can assure this when it comes time to replace any of my tools whether it be for work or for my home workshop I will not let the fear of being called a tool snob interfere with buying the best product available.

33 replies so far

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3773 days

#1 posted 03-07-2010 06:47 AM

I had a chance to really look at the Festool line at a woodworking show, I really like their miter saw, I know it costs an arm and a leg but it can do alot more than any other saw out there. There is no doubt in my mind that Festool is a superior product. One of these days I may actually break down and buy one lol.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View Ron Carlton's profile

Ron Carlton

3 posts in 3656 days

#2 posted 03-07-2010 07:17 AM

I bought the ROS plus vacuum. He’s right, almost no dust!

View Moron's profile


5046 posts in 4498 days

#3 posted 03-07-2010 02:08 PM

Their miter saw, not to mention the dust extraction, the accuracy, built solid as a rock one of the nicest things about it.

It doesnt take ten men and a boy to lift.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4427 days

#4 posted 03-07-2010 02:57 PM

Mike, either you are a much stronger person than I am or you have a much tighter hold on your wallet. If I had seen this demo I probably would have come out of the store much poorer than when I went in. Next time go shopping by yourself. When it comes to buying tools I have found it is easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask my wife for permission. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Porosky's profile


619 posts in 3969 days

#5 posted 03-07-2010 03:20 PM

I have the 5” ROS I use it mostly for finish sanding the control and pad options make it top shelf. When someone say OMG it’s like a piece of glass (smooth) I think of my Festool.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4272 days

#6 posted 03-07-2010 03:37 PM

You can’t compare a Festool to any other tool, simply because they are on a whole other level. Yes the price is steep, but I believe that to be due to the fact they are uncompromising. Most tool manufacturers are cutting corners to make tools cheap enough to meet a price point. If buying the best tool for a given job make someone a tool snob, then so be it. Tools don’t make a craftsman, but they can aid in the job.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View dmorgantx's profile


70 posts in 3688 days

#7 posted 03-07-2010 03:47 PM

Hmm. Interesting that people would be a proponent of Festool and their prices. I’m ignorant of the tools and their quality- but jeez. Their prices are really through the roof. Surely there is something more there than just quality (high labor prices where they are made or something?).

View mmax's profile


185 posts in 4060 days

#8 posted 03-07-2010 04:04 PM

I have the T15 cordless drill/driver, 125 ROS and the 1400 Router. I plan to do a full review of each after I have some more hours logged on each. Thus far I an say the dust collection on the ROS and router are fantastic. At this point in time I cannot say anything negative. I guess the best analogy would be like comparing the Fiesta to the Lincoln, both will get you from point a to point b, but you won’t be feeling the bumps in the road with the Lincoln.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View mike85215's profile


127 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 03-08-2010 12:40 AM

Scott…my wife actually said that it was okay to go ahead and buy one….I am still the one needing convincing.

It is now a day later and my mind still cannot grasp the fact that their (Festool) tools are so different.

I am also surprised that there has only been one negative comment regarding Festool and that was only in their pricing. Which leads me to another question…..has anyone ever heard of a problem with any kind of a Festool product?

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3734 days

#10 posted 03-08-2010 04:02 AM

OK. let me ask a general question. When hooked to a Rigid vac my Porter-Cable sanders are virtually dust free. Are there other attributes that Make the Festool sanders superior? I hate wasting time. If they really do sand faster and smoother I liked to own one, but dust is not the issue for me.

View mike85215's profile


127 posts in 3750 days

#11 posted 03-08-2010 04:55 AM

mcase…Honestly I do not know the answer to that question. I can tell you that the owner of the store showed me a model that was capable of sanding as a random orbiting sander as well as a direct drive very similar to a grinder. I tested it on a piece of maple and it did surprise me. I am not associated with Festool nor any other company and do not currently own any Festool products. But I am still very impressed with the feel and the apparent quality of their tools. What I would suggest is that the next time you are in a store take one for a” test drive” every store that I have been in that sells them has a test area.

View PhineasWhipsnake's profile


77 posts in 3653 days

#12 posted 03-08-2010 07:24 AM

I’ve looked at and tested several Festool models, and it’s obvious they are a very high quality product. I’ve also read many reviews of various tools (sanders, vacuums, jigsaws, drills) that rate the Festools in the middle of the pack when it came to comparative performance. The stratospheric prices are enough to turn me off, but there are many woodworkers who swear by them. I’m kind of a tool snob myself, but only because I’ve bought a lot of cheap tools in the past and have experienced their shortcomings. I try to hit the ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to price vs performance. Let’s face it, anything produced in the U.S., Germany, France, England, Italy, or the Nordic countries are going to be pricey just because of the cost of labor and socialistic government overhead. The cost of Chinese labor is a fraction of that of western countries.

-- Gene T

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3679 days

#13 posted 03-08-2010 03:55 PM

Many years ago I was a serious photographer (back in the days of film photography). Festool reminds me of the German made Lieca cameras of that era. They cost 3 or 4 times as much as a comparable Japanese made Nikon or Canon or whatever and it didn’t seem like they had the features to justify the additional cost. However, today a used Lieca in good condition sells for more than it did new and old Nikons, Canons, etc. have virtually no value.

I’m not saying that will be true of Festool tools – but I wouldn’t be surprised.

I wasn’t smart enough (or rich enough) to buy a Lieca back then and, so far, I haven’t bough a Festool either – but I think about it a lot.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

555 posts in 4495 days

#14 posted 03-08-2010 04:51 PM

I haven’t heard of any complaints about Fes’ products, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that problems don’t sometimes arise.

Mike, my question for you is: What type of “problem” with Festool are you wondering if people have had? (Sorry about that poorly phrased question). I’m not pointing the finger at you, but your question reminded me of the recent problems Toyota has had with consumer confidence…It’s basically gone down the drain in just a few weeks…only after decades of rather implicit trust and confidence from buyers (which was well earned because of their quality). It seems to have blown up into quite an uproar among their customers. I understand this is a more delicate issue, especially with those who have lost loved ones in a car crash caused by a Toyota malfunction.

So if Festool products have a random malfunction here or there, I can’t see that as a hindrance to making a purchase, as painful as that may be on one’s wallet. It’s like expecting a Toyota, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti (get my drift??) to NEVER EVER BREAK DOWN. It does happen to every brand of product at some point, but the point of concern is whether many owners of the same product have the same problem. With Festool, if there’s a pattern of faulty performance, and perhaps even hazardous malfunction on a regular basis (maybe even inducing recalls from the manufacturer), then it would probably be time to consider other tool options.

As big business tries to make ever bigger profits—by cutting well-paying jobs, reducing the quality of design and materials in the product, and simultaneously cranking up the prices—the tool buyers’ view of an affordable tool begins to wage brutal warfare with the concept of paying lots more money for a truly extraordinary tool. We begin to expect pure perfection from a tool that we pay a whole month’s wage for. We then wonder if it’s worth buying the lower-priced tool and potentially sacrificing quality.

I’ve found that many times, as soon as a manufacturer’s product has become the “Best Value” in a rating forum like Consumer Reports, that product either mysteriously increases in price or completely disappears from the market!! Go figure!

If you can hold out until you’ve saved up enough cash to spring for the $1300 Kapex Miter saw, go for it. If you can’t wait and must have a Festool now, just make sure you build up your appetite for Sawdust Sandwiches, just in case you can’t afford groceries for the next month!! LOL

I try to buy the best tools I can afford because the LIKELIHOOD of malfunction tends to go down (but never disappears) with more expensive equipment. In my shop, “top-of-the-line” generally means DeWalt/Delta/Porter-Cable (which are easy to get service and parts for…) and the occasional Bosch tool. I’d love to see at least one Festool in my shop, but I might need to start selling contraband to be able to afford it…KIDDING! ;-D

Sorry ‘bout the rant…
...the high-horse I was on just bucked me off!!

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View TheDane's profile


5727 posts in 4268 days

#15 posted 03-08-2010 05:09 PM

I think if I depended on my tools to make my living, I would be buying Festool products.

I always try to buy the best tool I can afford, and if my budget allows me to go for a Festool when my old B&D cordless drill dies, they’ll have a new customer.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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