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General Comments #1: Festool Envy

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Blog entry by DonFaulk0517 posted 12-13-2009 12:37 AM 1536 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I was at my local Woodcraft store today watching various demos of Festool projects. I am amazed at the reliability and feel of the tools. Their performance seems unmatched… the only problem is having to take out a mortgage to pay for them. Since I am in the process of putting heat into my garage workshop, I can not afford these tools… yet! The heat is important since the first snow/freeze of the season here in Michigan hit this week, at 14 degrees F… reminding us that winter is here! Better to get a warm workable shop so I can create some projects, instead of buying more tools. Well it sounds good anyway!

Enjoy!

-- DonFaulk0517@gmail.com



12 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2711 days


#1 posted 12-13-2009 12:55 AM

It’s -30° C (-22 F)here today and my shop is a balmy 70 ° F.
I spent a bit more on the heater and saved on the gas.
I’m using infrared tube heater.
It costs me about a buck a day to run it 24-7.

Festool rules when you can afford them.
You can do a heck of a lot without them too.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2151 days


#2 posted 12-13-2009 01:05 AM

Of the Festool reviews I have read by the major magazines it seems the Festool doesnt rate all that well. I have only seen one, that I can recall, where a Festool tool came out on top. It seems to me you are paying more for a name and a different “looking” tool. I have held some of their tools, never used one, and they just dont seem right to me. If they are so great why dont they score higher and blow away the competition. After all, they are priced 2-3 times more than the competition.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1854 days


#3 posted 12-13-2009 02:03 AM

All
Value is where it is at, and that is a judgement call, and probably unique to the buyer. Never looked at Festool, because it is not the kind of thing that I would normally buy, I guess. Some of that has to do with the amount of use the tool is likely to get, and I don’t think I could get enough use to justify the price, for most things.

Bob #2
Better move north to balmy Anchorage Alaska, it is 18 deg F here. Fairbanks, in the interior, is -9 deg F. Its temperatures are usually worse than Edmonton. My shop is in the attached garage, and so are the furnaces and hot water heater, and a bunch of exposed pipes running to the rest of the house. Fortunately, the temp hovers around 68 to 70 degrees F, without heating. I do have space heaters, attached to the central heating system, but I never have to use them. The colder it is outside, the more the furnaces run and the hotter the pipes, and the temperature remains the same. Happy accident, not by design.

Happy Holidays to all…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2711 days


#4 posted 12-13-2009 02:31 AM

Jim, you guys are spoiled.
cmon down to Alberta where men are men and a deep freeze has nothing to do with Maytag!
Weird weather isn’t it?

Whatcha gonna do with the Iron Dog if it dosen’t get back to normal?

You guys will be sending out for skate borad wheels. <g>

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1854 days


#5 posted 12-13-2009 04:20 AM

Hear yah Bob,

Funny, why would anybody want cold weather?.............

Oh well. Spent 8 years in Fairbanks, weeks where the temperature never breasted -50 F. Yikes. Moved to the “banana belt”, that’s what Anchorage is called here. Grew up in northern Minnesota, my home town temperature today is 18 F, and below zero at night. Oh well. Understand your situation….....

Best wishes for the holidays..Canadian brother…..

Have a good one…....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View WhittleMeThis's profile

WhittleMeThis

125 posts in 2062 days


#6 posted 12-13-2009 05:25 AM

As a recent Festool convert and former Festool hater (I only own the Domino and the TS 55 saw) I can easily say there is no tool on the market that can do what a Domino can do as quickly, so if you work with wood for a living the domino is worth every penny (can’t speak to the router or other Festool tools). If i was a hobbiest I would look else where unless my money was burning a hole in my pocket.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1485 posts in 2814 days


#7 posted 12-13-2009 06:46 PM

As a several year Festool using hobbyist, I’ll counter WhittleMeThis with:

1. I buy a lot of reclaimed and recycled wood off of Craigslist. My materials costs still overshadow my tools costs.

2. What’s your time worth? I have friends who fly airplanes as a hobby. Friends who drive mumbledy-mumbledy tens of thousands of dollar cars on racetracks (and one of ‘em “left the track” recently. Luckily it only cost him two wheels and wheel bearings, but it could have cost him the car). Heck, I bought my road bicycle used, so it didn’t actually cost me this, but new it’d easily run over five grand. I work in the shop to get work out my frustrations. Having tools that do what I want with minimal fuss and hassle, and that’ll last me for 20 years, is a far cheaper hobby than many things my peers do, and is way way cheaper than paying a shrink for therapy.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2583 days


#8 posted 12-13-2009 07:13 PM

I am a convert….................love Festool. Guessing I’m lucky because one of my brothers, works for a guy who’s a Festool junkie (despite not having a clue as to how they are used) so I get the chance to “test drive” his tools. .............truly, superbly crafted tools. Very expensive but if you make your living at this trade…..............they are priceless.

I got so sick of spending money, again, and again, and again, only to have the router, the planer, the sander puke and die. Then I bought the Liegh Dovetail jig, then the Rockler< then this one and that one. (I’m happy with the Liegh but its time consuming to set up)..............I finally bought a Festool router with a Festool Dovetail jig and was absolutly, 100% IMPRESSED…....as my tools die, I now replace them with Festool.

Buy Once/Cry Once

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1854 days


#9 posted 12-13-2009 07:13 PM

Dan underscores the uniqueness of the value computation to the user. I will end up with a few high end tools, probably in the hand tool realm. And I will enjoy them. On the flip side, I enjoy trying to trick out a machine to work better than it is supposed to. dbHost, for one, likes to do the same. But many, perhaps most, do not enjoy that sort of thing, and they will probably spend their money buying a better tool in the first place.

I have some old saws that were purchased at a time when I had little money, and they were used for DIYing on a very occasional basis, not as a hobby. But I enjoy putting these old friends to the new hobby task, and fixing them up to do it.

Its like the sled I am about to make. A new high end saw and a sliding table would probably be the quickest and best solution, if I could make it fit in my shop. But I am having a blast designing the sled in Sketchup and will enjoy making it and using it. But I don’t think it is the best use of my time and money from a strictly economic view. But by definition, a hobby is not foremost an economic thing, it is a fun activity. I fully understood when I recently entered this hobby that fiddling around with the machines, the shop, and making jigs would be a large part of my enjoyment of the hobby.

So buying the best tools is not the most enjoyable or practical thing for me to do. It would deprive me of part of the fun. For others, the equation is totally different, and the quicker they can have a first class shop up and running, the better.

Different strokes for different folks…................

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2257 days


#10 posted 12-13-2009 07:17 PM

Dan, I’ve heard those arguments (and many like them) from tool salesmen at Rockler and Woodcraft and elsewhere… The problem is, if you can’t afford Festool, you can’t afford Festool. Regardless of the advantages of owning one or how much my buddies spend on their hobbies.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1485 posts in 2814 days


#11 posted 12-13-2009 08:21 PM

Derek, true, and there are people like Jim who enjoy working around the limitations of tools (and fixing them up and making them better), and people who produce work that’s far nicer than mine with little more than a dozuki and a whittling knife. No jags against any of them. However, in the pantheon of “expensive hobby”, Festool in your woodworking shop doesn’t rank against, say, having even a ‘Vette or a Mini, let alone an Audi RS4 for the track, or flying a few hours a month, or carrying a decent SLR and two or three good lenses.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3674 posts in 1854 days


#12 posted 12-14-2009 04:29 AM

Dan
I hear exactly what you are saying. I have many friends flying planes, and that is one expensive hobby. It’s great to just do what you want to do, and you are into making stuff, instead of goofing around in the shop. I am sure you will produce a whole lot more than I could with my tools.

MedicKen
I think you are in the majority, and will look for value, the amount of use, and the learning curve. I do that, for a number of reasons, but probably different reasons than you. I appreciate your stand and your comments.

DonFaulk0517
Good thread Don, brought up a lot of pertinent issues…..........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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