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Woodpeckers' New One-Time Straight Edge & Festool

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Forum topic by TimInVA posted 04-05-2018 02:31 AM 5665 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TimInVA

2 posts in 446 days


04-05-2018 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question festool woodpeckers straight edge

Hey,
I guess I’m going for a three-fer here with a quick introduction and questions about both a Woodpeckers tool and a question about Festool in general. I apologize if this is a forum faux pas, but I’m not a huge forum guy.

I am relatively new to woodworking. I’ve done a lot of “home improvement” type work on my own place, but other than a couple of “crude” bookcases and such, haven’t really done any what I would call “woodworking” (building furniture and such). I bought a contractor saw & miter saw a couple years ago to put in some hardwood floor and trim work and have recently thought I should get more use out of those tools and take on woodworking in earnest as a hobby. Obviously a contractor saw and miter saw a woodshop does not make, so I”m building out my shop and that brings me to my power tool and accessories questions (you know, the subject this post is supposed to be about).

I joined the WWGOA and have found their videos and other tools to be useful. They have a feature that allows you to “ask the expert”. Well, I noticed they have a lot of Festool products in their videos and I asked if they were really worth the money. I said with good blades/bits, maintenance and proper alignment/adjustments, I get pretty good results from my DeWalt, Porter Cable, Hitachi, Kobalt… Is Festool going to give me results congruent with the difference in price?
Unfortunately, I got the non-answer of basically, “If it’s worth it to you then they are worth it.” He did at least share that he didn’t feel Festool provided better longevity than tools of the quality listed above. I guess a better question to ask is if a the same carpenter made two identical pieces with the same material, would 99% of the population be able to tell which one was made using Festool products? Another question might be, “Will I save time and reduce frustration using Festool products?”
Now, i know I’m probably going to get answers ranging from “I don’t know how you can expect to build a child’s toy building block without the quality Festool offers” to “I can outdo a Festool with my pocket knife”, but hopefully I can pick out the truly helpful comments that will help me decide which direction to go.

Now, on to the stinking one-time woodpecker tools—OH THE PRESSURE!! They are currently marketing some pretty snazzy straight edges designed to aid in calibrating your fences and such. Obviously, I see the importance of having a good straight edge to make sure my tools are set properly, but they are $300 for the set. I wouldn’t mind paying that if I didn’t HAVE to buy it now while still having a drill press, band saw, planer, joiner, real table saw… to buy. Before seeing their convincing ad, I would’ve used my 4’ level as a straight edge and called it good. Is it worth if for me to throw out the 300 bones to get this set now (since I can only buy it NOW) or should I put my money toward buying the many basic tools I need?

Thanks for the input!

Regards,
Tim


29 replies so far

View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 533 days


#1 posted 04-05-2018 02:36 AM

Hi TimInVA! Welcome to LJs.

-TimInIndiana

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4041 days


#2 posted 04-05-2018 02:39 AM

If you don’t do woodworking for income
fancy tools are not so necessary. They
save time and they may be fun to play
around with but good work can be produced
with modest tools if you have the time and
take care.

Woodworking is kind of out of sych with the
pace of life these days. Even with Festool
gear and other nice stuff you’ll still spend
a lot of time fiddling with setups if you’re
after precision.

Collecting blingy tools is also a hobby in itself
sometimes indulged by people who are so
busy they don’t actually do much woodworking
but intend to get around to it someday.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5414 posts in 2745 days


#3 posted 04-05-2018 03:28 AM

Woodpeckers tools are way over priced for the most part. You can get them a lot cheaper from other sources, here is one example.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4491 posts in 983 days


#4 posted 04-05-2018 03:31 AM


Woodpeckers tools are way over priced for the most part. You can get them a lot cheaper from other sources, here is one example.

- bondogaposis

+1

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1864 posts in 2710 days


#5 posted 04-05-2018 03:35 AM

Festool is nice to have when you get to the point where time is worth more than money. That’s more likely to happen with businesses than hobby shops but I’ve known some hobbyists that rather spend more to get a tool guaranteed to do the job than take the time to research and find best value for the money.

Besides being well-made, Festool also has an excellent service center. You can ship a malfunctioning tool and get it back in less than a week. I sent in a 7 year old Rotex once when the brushes wore out. It cost $70 to repair but we were in the middle of a large, time-sensitive job and needed the sander back as quickly as possible. Our other sanders were much slower to use so the Rotex was sorely missed during that time.

Festool also holds value over the long term. I sold a Kapex that was over 5 years old for $1,100. We didn’t do much onsite trim work and didn’t need it anymore.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2802 days


#6 posted 04-05-2018 03:38 AM

It is a hobby, and from what you wrote not one you have engaged much in over the years. Use what you have and see what tool you are in need of the most then buy one, cheap. Add it to your collection and if it wears out then a upgrade is in order.

Made with a Delta 34-441 contractors saw, a Dewalt 12 inch miter saw, combination square and some time. In Iraq I had a circular saw, handsaw and a cordless drill. Built some good solid furniture with nothing more than that and used 2×4 ’s to do it all. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

96 posts in 649 days


#7 posted 04-05-2018 03:41 AM

Hi TiminVA:

Welcome. That woodpecker “do it now” question reminded me of a time I was at Disneyland and I heard a very wise father telling his little boy: If you still want it tomorrow, we’ll discuss it. I say think on it for a while and see if it’s still appealing later. Don’t let them pressure you with phony advertising schemes. Good Luck!

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4491 posts in 983 days


#8 posted 04-05-2018 04:08 AM

Where Festool really shines is in their dust management. Get one of their dust extractors with a HEPA filter and attach it to any of their tools and you can work virtually dust free. It’s driven by Euro standards for safe work environments. It’ll also cost you dearly, paying an average of $700 for the extractor that uses $90 HEPA filters, as well as the premium prices they get for their tools.

The way I see it, if you’re a professional contractor that works on-site, it’s worth it. You show up to a remodel in a residence with all of those beautiful tools and leave behind zero dust and you will get lots of work sent your way. For the average home shop, it’s not worth the money.

An exception might be their Domino tools. They are truly innovative. Thing is, I can do fine with my Porter Cable 557 and its face frame blade, dowels, or my hollow chisel mortiser, depending on the application. Is the Domino really cool? Yes. Is it worth $900 to $1500 to me? Nope.

Same goes for Woodpeckers. As it was indicated above, you can get a straightedge with a tolerance of a couple thousandths of an inch for $40. Why pay more for a name?

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View playingwithmywood's profile

playingwithmywood

444 posts in 1990 days


#9 posted 04-05-2018 04:43 AM

I love some of my wood pecker tools but I also love my free harbor freight tape measures also…. the good thing is when I drop the harbor freight tape measures I do not cry

but back to the topic

I have two of these and love them as well
1. the red matches the woodpecker theme colors
2. it is just as straight as my woodpecker tools
3. I do have the old version that used to come with magnets built into it a BIG PLUS
4. THE PRICE

https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/levels/24-in-solid-aluminum-level-69242.html

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2292 posts in 3338 days


#10 posted 04-05-2018 05:20 AM

I have a couple Festool sanders. Great dust collection, but then I haven’t tried one of my other five or so sanders with mesh and dust collection. They might complete.

I like my Rotex, but it would be interesting to see how Bosch’s best compares in performance. The little Festool finish sander is so so.

I doubt Festool’s router is going to replace any of the nine I have any time soon. There’d be no gain trying to install it on my router table, pin router, carver, . . . .

As to the Kapex, the local hardwood supplier swapped theirs out for a Hitachi, since the Festool worked too hard doing the same job.

In the end, no company is so good at all things woodworking that all the others look like amateurs.

Regarding Woodpeckers, being within a thousandth or so is the same on a ten dollar square as it is on a seventy dollar one.

Of course, it’s okay to have purty tools too, if you can afford them.

View hkmiller's profile

hkmiller

136 posts in 475 days


#11 posted 04-05-2018 11:45 AM



I love some of my wood pecker tools but I also love my free harbor freight tape measures also…. the good thing is when I drop the harbor freight tape measures I do not cry

but back to the topic

I have two of these and love them as well
1. the red matches the woodpecker theme colors
2. it is just as straight as my woodpecker tools
3. I do have the old version that used to come with magnets built into it a BIG PLUS
4. THE PRICE

https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/levels/24-in-solid-aluminum-level-69242.html

- playingwithmywood

The HF website lists .0005 and .005 tolerance. Which is it?

-- always something

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2388 days


#12 posted 04-05-2018 12:23 PM

Woodcraft has a set of aluminum straight edges. They are plenty flat for woodworking and cost much less. This is one case where I would not buy woodpeckers. I have the 38” and my brother has a 24”. They work great and together cost less than $100.

You also only really need one. I got the long one due to my longer jointer bed. If I’m working on something that I need to test and it is too long to be easy to use, I just use the rule from a high quality combo square. It is also straight enough for the task.

On Festool….its been said already but I will say again. The Domino is a heck of a machine. I love it. I have heard their Sanders and dust system are awesome, but I am still getting by with my metabo sander, shop vac, and rockler dust hose. I think their Sanders drills and routers all have a designed service life longer than most home center stuff, but since I don’t use them all day it is not worth the extra cost.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4491 posts in 983 days


#13 posted 04-05-2018 03:21 PM


The HF website lists .0005 and .005 tolerance. Which is it?

- hkmiller

I’m sure it’s five thousandths. Even Woodpeckers doesn’t spec theirs below 1/1000 — and that’s per foot, not overall.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View SweetTea's profile

SweetTea

430 posts in 1053 days


#14 posted 04-05-2018 03:39 PM

I haven’t really used the Festool rotex 90 or 150 or any other Festool sanders long enough to get a good feel. Even as good as their dust collection is on their sanders, I doubt that they are much of any better than my setup as far as dust collection is concerned. I have a porter cable 5” ros that I have connected to a dedicated 2HP dust collector through a combination of the Rockler small hose port kit and some adapters. It gets pretty much all of the visable dust. We keep this sander going for 3-5 hours a day.

View playingwithmywood's profile

playingwithmywood

444 posts in 1990 days


#15 posted 04-06-2018 02:01 AM


https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/levels/24-in-solid-aluminum-level-69242.html

The HF website lists .0005 and .005 tolerance. Which is it?

- hkmiller

I think the answer to this is flat enough… I was as flat as my woodpeckers 24” ruler when I put them beside each other and when I put it up to a freshly jointed board

for woodworking I say straight enough to build a rocket too the moon you probably should just spend the money and buy the woodpeckers

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