Is a Felder worth the extra cost over a Hammer?

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Forum topic by Paulie1220 posted 03-05-2018 04:34 PM 1843 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 863 days

03-05-2018 04:34 PM

Hello all
I apologize in advance for what may seen like another post on this type subject. But my question is a little more specific, i think. I am pretty much set on purchasing a combo machine. I have narrowed it down to a Hammer C3-31 or the Felder CF531. Main reason is I really want the X-Roll table. I think there are some other differences like an upgraded rip fence and shaper fence but the sliding table is the main difference as i see it. From what I understand they are basically the same unit. My question is very subjective i know, But i would like to get thoughts from anyone who is or was in a similar position. Or any experienced woodworker our there for that matter. When considering the areas of accuracy, consistency, ease of use, joy of use, and i guess just all around quality of the machine. Can you expect any better performance from the Felder. I am one that enjoys using well made tools and I do not like constantly fiddling with settings or machines that do not hold square or are not repeatable, etc. The Felders seems so high quality that by comparison is seems the Hammer as not as well made, but I think my perception may be misguided. Maybe they are equal, but the Felder is just heavier duty for a professional environment? And in a hobby shop it will give no real tangible added value? I dont know. Its a big purchase and i dont want to make a mistake. I can afford a CF731 for that matter. But dont want to overspend. That is a lot of lumber i can but with the difference. Plus i need a band saw, and a drill press!! lol

3 replies so far

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10477 posts in 4428 days

#1 posted 03-05-2018 05:34 PM

There’s a Yahoo group exclusively devoted to
those machines.

I have a Felder 531. Nice machine. Probably overbuilt
for single-user hobby use. I have heard the Hammer
sliders won’t hold up in a professional shop. Guys
putting sheets on those outriggers all day probably
tweaks the bearings.

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603 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 03-08-2018 02:22 AM

I’m currently looking – hard – at the Felder line – the AD941 (combo jointer/planer) and the K 900 S slider. Also, I have the Hammer N4400 bandsaw (three years, and counting).

The 500 series is a combination of higher-series Felder and Hammer parts. If you have the money, go for the Felder series. The 500 series is a noticeable step up in fit and finish, and I believe the trunions and saw assemblies are more robust than the Hammer. That said, my Hammer N4400 is an excellent machine; and I’ve run it hard. Also, consider two combination machines – the jointer/planer and, separately, the saw/shaper – not as many compromises on ease-of-use. Personally, I’d recommend staying with a tricked-out your router table; rather than the Shaper – cutters are outrageously expensive, and a good router table (Incra/Jointech assembly and Incra fence), will get you well down the road.

I have the full Felder catalog, and I’ll do some research on the machines you mention.

Felder is an expensive brand. Look hard at the Minimax (SCM) line; as they have a strong and vocal following. SCMs are more pedestrian looking, and have fewer bells and whistles; but they are very functional, tough machines.


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603 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 03-08-2018 12:52 PM

The Felder catalog has very limited information on the Hammer machine, so it is difficult to do a direct comparison with the Felder 500 – which gets several pages of attention within the catalog. My recommendation is buy the best you can; though, I still recommend looking at the Minimax… if only so the Felder sales person knows they have competition for your purchase.


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